Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.

Erica Von Trapp, United States, I’m a Pisces, and I grew up in the Bay Area, California, though I was born and spent the first few years of my life in Los Angeles County. 

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.
 
Music started very young for me — I grew up playing piano at about the same time I started writing and have been singing since I can remember.  I was raised in a smallish town in Northern California so while I wasn’t doing Broadway young, I was still doing every musical I could from a very young age and have my first “job” as a character on The Disney Channel, which was fun as a young thing to drive down to Los Angeles and film.  I’m classically trained in piano and voice and it’s been great to transition those skills into modern pop and production.  I learned how to produce electronic music while I was living in France in 2014 when I joined the group H4R3M and then a few months later formed another group GRAND BAIN with my now-partner and drummer/mixing engineer for Jane Machine.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

Genre is such a weird thing.  I guess we are all certainly inspired by what innately moves us and then environment of where we’ve listened to things we like certainly has a play.  I would definitely call my music a sad indie electronic pop music.  Most of the instrumentation is completely synthesized or electronic, with a few exceptions being some drums and percussion, a few guitars here and there on the album, and of course voice.  I am a keyboardist so it’s easier for me to be more elaborate with melody on the synthesizer, and I love how many sounds you can achieve with them.  It’s like having a whole orchestra at your fingertips.  I play guitar (horribly) so I use that for textures or composing, but the songs are always far more simple when I use the guitar to compose, though I love its rhythmic quality, you can always hear where the drums or percussion fit in with a guitar, piano is more floaty to me sometimes.  Which is great for singers. 
The music video was directed by French-Indian director Hannah Rosselin right outside of Paris, France by Trinita Films.  It’s an ode to the Gulabi Gang in India, a group of women who are human rights activists and beat up rapists and corrupt government officials with pink sticks to restore order to the rural area.  They’re really badass, and since we wanted a video to speak upon the power of women and standing up for yourself, this was inspiring to us.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.
Music for me is a catharsis.  I left performing for several years when I was at University and the few years following it and songs always kept creeping their way back to me.  It’s a way for me to let out how I really feel, as even though we might feel comfortable within ourselves to do so, sometimes it’s just not easy for others to take (I’m an intense person) so songs are my safe place to do so.  That beings said, the music industry to me is just a way I get to share these songs.  It’s changed a lot since even 2013 when I joined H4R3M, there’s always a new way to market your music, new mediums to share it, etc, but at the end of the day, it’s just about making songs because they mean something to you and make you feel, and finding a way to get them out to those who could feel something, too, is really rewarding, so worth understanding the “industry” for.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.
Lots of questions there.  For the music, I produced and recorded about 95% of the album all by myself in studio or in various locations with a soundcard, a synth, and a microphone.  Jules de Gasperis, who is also the drummer for the project, mixed the entire album and added some production for a few of the songs, including this one “I Hope We Win”.  Since this is a studio project, meaning I started making the songs in studio before sharing them live, the band has come second, but they’re amazing.  I’m starting to incorporate more of the live elements, such as more guitar, more real drums, etc, into the next recordings for the next album. 
Music video: Director was Hannah Rosselin of Trinita Films and it was produced by Trinita Films, including Mathieu Tonneti and Sarah Lee, who is an old friend of mine from when we lived in Paris in 2007 the first time.  There was a decent sized crew but it wasn’t enormous for what it looks like.  We shot all of it in a day in the forest outside of Paris and the girls who danced were so so lovely.  We’re still in touch.  Same with the actor for the video, he was phenomenal and actually scared me when I was running in the beginning.  It wasn’t hard to “act”.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.
It hasn’t been that long in adult life that I’ve been in the “industry”, though as I mentioned I have been playing music my whole life.  I’ve been lucky to meet my partner Jules in 2013 in Paris right when I think I was emotionally solid and mature enough to know what I was getting into.  I imagine people have bad experiences within the music industry if they’re looking for fame or doing it for the wrong reasons.  I know it’s a hard road, but I love making songs and playing them live and putting media with them, and I need it to get everything out of me.  So, for me, it’s just about being smart and resilient and saying what you want to say.  Everything comes out of that as long as it’s in good taste, in a certain way.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Mostly sad things, but anything that is beautiful.  And kind of weird sometimes.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.
It needs to be sincere, a great composition, well produced, and never leave you bored.  Ta da!

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.
Listen to music, in general.  Media gets so in the way, but listen to all of it, sit down with a RECORD, not just a single and skip to the next group.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Be honest, and know that if you don’t know why you’re making songs, it just won’t last.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.
Jane Machine is a really new project, relatively, so the album isn’t publicly released yet, but is ready to go.  We’ve played a lot around Los Angeles and in Southern California and will be doing a West Coast tour in November.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.
Huffington Post
Obscure Sound
Buffablog
AXS
Surviving the Golden Age
Many indie radio stations nation-wide.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
Lyrics either come first or after being inspired by a melody, but I generally know what I want to sing about when I write instrumental anything.  We have a pretty decent studio set-up, so my vocal rig is a C-12 going into a LA2A compressor and BAE pre.  Lots of other stuff, too, but voila, that’s vocals.

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Name five biggest artists that you look up to like idols.
I don’t believe in idols.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.
I’d love to collaborate with Portishead, Soulwax, Vök, Metronomy, or Hot Chip, but those are reaches.  🙂  Brothertiger did a remix of another single off the album I cannot wait to share.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.
http://www.janemachine.com
http://soundcloud.com/janemachine
http://instagram.com/jane.machine
http://facebook.com/jane.machine

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-hope-we-win-single/id1245337075

https://janemachine.bandcamp.com/

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.
Happiest day – the day I met my partner, Jules, in 2013 and many other days with him afterwards. 🙂
Saddest day – the day my mother died.


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