Ave

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

My name’s Ano Chrispin. I was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 12th. Growing up I listened to a huge range of stuff- from DMX to Bill Evans, I got put on to it all. A year or so before I entered middle school I moved from Brooklyn to Nyack, NY, which is when I started rapping and really got into music as a craft.

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Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills.

I started really producing and rapping under the name Ave when I was 13, but I’ve been a musician my whole life. I’ve been playing guitar and drums since I was 7 and I spent a few years playing trombone in my schools Jazz band.

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

The concept behind “Gaudy” was really just to be brutally honest about myself. I recorded the song after I missed a studio session I spent my entire paycheck on and I was feeling really brash and blunt- so I decided to put that on the track.

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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.

Well like a lot of artists I’m a perfectionist. Not on a Kanye West level but I’m definitely serious about the way my music ends up sounding. I love to blur genre lines and talk shit; both of which happen on this track. As far as my experience in music goes, I’ve been lucky enough to have grown up in two extremely supportive communities that rock with me.

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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.

This track was produced by Shiboski, an amazing bassist and producer that everyone should check out- I’ve been following him for a while and as soon as I heard the instrumental I knew it was perfect for how I had been feeling. I recorded the song in like an hour at a friend’s home studio.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I’ve been in the industry for 6 years. I guess my ultimate goal would be to win a Grammy. I bet that’s every rapper’s goal. Also to publish a book and open a school, though. And write a Netflix original.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

Since I was a kid I’ve had a bet with my grandmother that I’d become a famous musician and move her out of her neighborhood and into a mansion; so that definitely inspires me to make music. I hate losing bets. Also my friend JR passed a few years ago and had huge dreams to make a living off of rapping. We make completely different types of music, but I like to think he lives through me.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

Be honest!

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

I want my fans to know it’s cool to act natural and be yourself. It’s so much more interesting than pretending to be something you’re not. I try to live by, “rap like what you act like”.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

I think new artists should really learn to respect the law of supply and demand. Quality over quantity is actually really good advice we should all listen to.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

Well “Gaudy” is the first single from my debut project called “Still Alive” that’s going to be out in December 15th. Up until this point I’ve mostly released singles via my Soundcloud and Apple Music, my most successful ones being “The Okay Song”, “Help Yourself” and “Ladies”.

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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.

Yeah, I definitely want to shout out SE. for reposting the track, and Broadtube! I appreciate all of the support so much; blogs still run things and when you get in touch with artists you inspire us to keep working and improving and let us know we’re doing something right.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

When I’m in the studio I transition from freestyles to recording written verses all the time. When you listen to an Ave song, chances are half of it is written and the other half is a freestyle layered like four bars at a time.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Frank Ocean, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator and Bill Evans.

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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’ve worked with Boston’s STOLE, Casper, and my long-time collaborators/friends Tkeys, Eamon Burns and Suphis. It might be wishful thinking but I want to work with Chance The Rapper and Esperanza Spalding one day. Mostly Esperanza because she’s one of my Idols. And G Herbo, that’s my dawg.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

https://www.instagram.com/avesnewyork/

https://twitter.com/avesnewyork

https://soundcloud.com/avesnewyork

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

All my music’s completely free to stream right now. You can listen on https://soundcloud.com/avesnewyork

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

My happiest day was Christmas Eve of 2016; my girlfriend and I cashed out on Chinese food in the village and just had a good ass time. My saddest day was February 9th 2016; my friend JR was a mistaken identity victim and was shot in the head twice.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I’d open a small school for the Arts with a ‘lil museum attached in East Flatbush, self-publish a novel, buy my grandma a house, and take my girlfriend to Spain.

 

Mike and the Suspects

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

Mike and the Suspects are:

Mike Fortier Lead Vocals

Jorge Orendain Keyboards,backing vocals

Doug Friend Drums, backing vocals

Mike was born in Chicago, Illinois December 17th 1956. He graduated from Kenwood Academy High School, where he was trained vocally by Dr. Lena McLin alongside famed operatic Bass/Baritone Mark Rucker. Dr. McLin has also inspired and trained R.Kelly. The Kenwood choir won many awards and all-city choral competitions, helped by soloists like Mike and Mark. Mike is first and foremost a Rocker, but also an amazing Jazz and R&B singer. He counts among his influences Steve Perry, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, Smoky Robinson and Al Jarreau. He formed Mike and the Suspects in 1975 after graduation, with Jorge Orendain, a Mexican national who attended Marmion Military Academy near Chicago and Doug Friend, a Canadian who left Montreal with his family and went to St. Rita Catholic high school in Chicago.

The band performed on the same bar gig and high school dance/prom circuit as legendary Chicago based bands REO Speedwagon and Styx and performed with them at festivals and concerts across the midwest. They had some midwest radio hits, and warmed up for Sly and the Family Stone, (Sly was late as usual, and so they came back and calmed the crowd by performing a 2nd set until Sly finally arrived). Aerosmith and Journey.

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

Our genre is a soulful gumbo with rock and R&B in the pot (Mike’s family migrated north to Chicago from New Orleans) and lyrics with a positive message that is spiritual without being preachy. While “South Side Girl” was a hit in the 70’s, we want to create a renaissance of the song to a new generation and are pitching the song to the Chicago White Sox for play at Sox Park next season.

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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.

As a musician, I believe sincerity is what comes across when I perform, as well as write original songs. I believe I might be a bigger star if I were better looking guy, but then the hair bands and MTV came along and how you looked became the most important thing. Our fans remained loyal, but the National Breakthrough never happened. Frustrated, we broke up in ’89. It was not pretty. Mike ran into Jorge again in 2014, and we decided we could not even remember what caused the breakup. So we called Doug and reformed. We decided to go on an extended tour of Mexico, since they knew and like our music because of Jorge.

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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.

Jorge Orendain loves classic and progressive rock, and counts Jon Lord and Gregg Rolie as influences. Doug, still Canadian, loves Neal Peart of Rush and the Tragically Hip. I serve as band producer, having studied mixing and recording techniques in Nashville. The album was recorded in Nashville by Steve Peffer (Alabama) who also contributed keyboard parts and brought in additional musicians to round out the sound. Our mix engineer is Daniel Lerner, Grammy winner for Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memory” album.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

My future goal? I love challenges, so to achieve the level of success denied me earlier at my current age would be one.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I am inspired by my muse- I hear a melody in my head or a clever turn of phrase and turn it into a song.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

A hit song needs a great hook, something that sticks in the head, is simple and relatable to a mass audience. I aim to write a great song that is true to me and my band and our sound. I have found trying to write a hit song creates bad songs.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

The message is Mike and the Suspects are back and badder than ever.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Upcoming artists, do what you do, what you believe in and want to say lyrically and musically. If you stay true to your vision, success will follow. It has to be honest and it has to be you.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

We had two regional hits back in the day, “South Side Girl” and “A Brighter Day”. We toured as backup band with Head East, played at Chicagofest with Shooting Star, and already mentioned Styx and REO.

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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.

“South Side Girl” is being played on WLUW 88.7 FM and streamed at http://www.radioonechicago.com on their Thursday night local artist’s showcase. It was also used on DaBears blog podcast https://soundcloud.com/dabearsblog/dbb-weekendshow-aug-23-2017

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

I write lyrics from life experience. I mentioned New Orleans is my ancestral hometown; I am Creole and can, as we used to say, pass for white. So I got to experience racism from BOTH sides, my neighborhood was all black, and the catholic schools were mostly white. But I also got great music like Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf and Etta James and the post Beatles wave of rock bands coming on like ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Bad Company and Foreigner. So all that goes in to my writing.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

My 5 artists Al Jarreau, Led Zeppelin, Sly and the Family Stone, Journey and Buddy Guy.

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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 have written songs with many people, but all were members of my band at the time. In the future I would write with anyone.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

mikeandthsuspects.com

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MikeAndTheSuspects/about/?ref=page_internal

https://twitter.com/i/notifications

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

You can buy our album at mikeandthesuspects.com I have not chosen between CD baby, Distrokid, or Tunescore for distribution yet. On my to-do list.

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

Happiest day was when I met my wife. Saddest day was when my father passed.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

If I had a million dollars- I would form a group of the best musicians I have played with, make an album and go on tour with proper promotion. Anything left, I will solve world hunger. Hey, a million is really not that much money anymore.

Kameron Davell

 

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

My name is actually my stage name, I was born on June 27, 1996 and as for my childhood experience, I spend half the time in the country, and the other half in the hood. Mostly listening to rap and watching dragon ball z.

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Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills.

I don’t have a band, but I definitely have a name for one (I can’t tell you… Yet). I started rapping around 11 or so? But I started taking it serious around 13. The production side came a little later around 14 or 15. I rap, sing, produce and engineer all of my own music.

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

Well, I would consider my music a blend between lyrical hip hop and contemporary rap/ R&b.

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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.

As a musician people should know that all of my songs are a reflection of my true self. That’s why I don’t go by a stage name. As for ups and downs, I’ve definitely gone through the bitterness of not being recognized, but the process of making music and getting good feedback is a good enough up for me to keep creating. 🙂

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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.

Kameron Davell, and the process of recording the song was crazy. I actually made the song right after calling things off with a girl I was emotionally involved with. I went home and sampled her favorite song by her favorite artist, shout out Amy Winehouse! And the lyrics came fairly quick, because the situation was so fresh.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I plan on using my platform as a means to bring people closer to The Creator. That’s something I’m very passionate about.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

Akira Toriyama.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I don’t believe in hits! I just believe in making good songs and people calling them hits!

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

Keep God first.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

If you want to make a quick buck, dress up like a girl and dye your hair rainbow colors! Ooooh and beef with a local artist! If you want to last, then focus on your craft. Make good music. Stay grounded.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

Idk about awards but the biggest accomplishment I’m proud of is getting my dad to like my music! He’s hella picky so hearing him get hype to my songs lets me know I got it.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

I can’t give out ALL my secrets. 😎

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

In order I would say

  1. Kendrick Lamar

  2. Ty Dolla Sign

  3. Drake/Kanye (tied)

  4. Wiz Khalifa

     5 . J Cole.

 

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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.

Okay so my bro KT/Error and I have a tape coming soon. He’s always fun to collaborate with because his energy is so raw and non-processed. That challenges me to stay away from formulas. And as far as future collaboration, I would love to work with Bryson Tiller. I really want to challenge him with my production. #GetTillerOnAKamBeat Lol.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

 

IG: KameronDavell

 

YouTube: Kameron Davell

 

Facebook: Kameron Davell

 

Twitter: KDavell

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

Hmmm seeing Wiz Khalifa in concert was a high for me. As far as my saddest day, I have hella sad days so prolly any day in 2014.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Get the hell out of America.

 

Nick Ralg

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

My name is Nick Ralg and I was born on January 9th 1993 in the town of Webster, NY USA. I grew up with both my parents and my two older brothers myself being the youngest. I played hockey as a kid and a little baseball. At six I was diagnosed with type one diabetes but with the help of my wonderful family and friends I manage to keep myself healthy through the years. I also started drawing as kid mainly self-portraits like Bob Dylan and my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

I started listening to music at a young age being in the school choir since was in 3rd grade to 8th grade. I listened to artists like The Beatles and Eric Clapton as some of my earliest influences then having my mind blown when my eldest brother introduced me to the musical genius of Bob Dylan. Then other artist that were pivotal in my musical identity were Tom Waits, Nick Drake, Big Star, Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Kate Bush, The Cure, The Smiths, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Jason Isbell and Jackson Browne just some of the top of my head. I started writing lyrics before ever picking up an acoustic guitar at age 13 in the hopes of my talented cousins would play and sing my words. Once I picked up a guitar and my brother taught me the first chords of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” I was set to create my own music. I knew I wanted to be a solo act and figure out how to play certain instruments to the best of my ability to create what I truly wanted to hear. I started playing keyboard on certain tracks to add more to my music and I’m so glad I did. Though I don’t know how to read or write music I learned from playing by ear and certain courses in school. During my community college year at Monroe Community College I took certain music classes that I loved like Vocal Class, Songwriting Class, Guitar Class, Music Appreciation and Rock N Roll Class.

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

What I mostly play is folk singer songwriter kind of music. I record all my instruments myself as well as produce each song. ‘When You Said’ lyrics deal with losing someone you thought you could trust and the heartbreak of that kind of rejection and loss.

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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.

As a musician there are a lot of up and downs. Rejection is one of them but you have to persevere. I love what I do and for me I love crafting a song and working on it until I think it sounds right. The whole process is a joy to me and I love recording and hearing the final product.

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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.

I am the only one who actually records all my music. That includes playing all the instruments and producing each of my songs. On ‘When You Said’ I recorded the vocals and keyboard on one track then used GarageBand to add more background vocals as well as an acoustic guitar part and several keyboard arrangements.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

I’ve been a musician for around ten years. I’ve recorded so many songs through those times and I’ve grown as musician each new song I do. My future goal is to grow my fan base and have more people enjoy my music. I also want to keep on growing as a musician and become better and better.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I have a lot of influences as I mentioned above but my biggest has to be Ryan Adams. His music has always moved me and makes me want to become a more soulful and better. Through my beginning stages I was looking for my voice but as I listened to musicians like Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and many more I started to gain confidence in myself and find my voice as a musician.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I don’t think there’s a secret in creating a ‘hit song’ but when recording, playing and singing your own song in the right moment it’s a beautiful thing. Hearing back to your song and hearing that emotion you wanted to get across through your words and music there’s nothing better.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

The message I want to send to any fans I have is that if you’re passionate about anything then just don’t give up no matter how much rejection you face. Keep working on your craft and enjoy what you put out in the world because that’s always a truly wonderful part of creating.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Practice makes perfect. Whatever perfect means to you. I get a kick out of playing and recording something that I can tell I gave my all into and to me that’s true perfection.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

I’ve mainly done a lot of recording less touring or playing at coffee houses. I came out with a record in the late summer called ‘Home’ that I’m so proud of and so happy that anyone has listened to it. I’ve been mentioned in certain music blogs from songs that came from the new record and for that I’m forever grateful.

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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.

Some music blogs include Adobe & Teardrops, For The Rabbits, EarToTheGround, Santa Rosa Records, Eternity Records, heroboard and KRXM Radio.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

In the beginning stages I used to write the lyrics first and then I would put music to the words. Now as I grow as a musician I tend to pick up an acoustic guitar and then come up with chords and a melody then write the words. Sometimes, like in this case, I’ll write a song starting with a keyboard. I mostly record everything separately then mix the tracks into each other. I started recording with a Tascam 8 track recorder I got from my friend then I started to record using GarageBand which has made my sound much better.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Five huge artists in my life would be Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits.

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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.

Like I said before I mainly record everything myself. There’s rarely anyone I ever collaborate with except a couple times with my friends. I would love to record and collaborate with any of those huge influences I mentioned and a producer like Ethan Johns.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

Here are social media links where you can follow me.

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NickRalg55

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/nick.ralg

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/nickralg/

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

Here are some links to where you can find my new record ‘Home’ and my other music.

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/home/1268864515

 

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/album/1jkFRcjDOAL8AQAHVnoWFk

 

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Nick-Ralg/dp/B074MKBTGG/ref=sr_1_2?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1511586110&sr=8-2&keywords=home+nick+ralg

 

SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/nick-ralg

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I would spend a million dollars on my family and loved ones who would need it. And of course a lot of sushi.

Handbook

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

Hi I’m Jake Brown, 29 years old and born and raised in UK. My childhood was your standard middle-class white boy in a Northern UK city upbringing. It’s an upbringing that seems to have a soundtrack though – I associate times in my life with different tracks or albums.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

Handbook has been my alias for the best part of eight years and I started making music under this name in early 2010. The focus of my music has always been along the lines of hip-hop and electronic music. It’s sometimes deviated into styles like trap (although only slightly), chillhop, beatstrumentals and other micro-genres. At its core, my music has always contained samples. Sometimes they’re big samples that take centre-stage, sometimes chopped up and turned on its head; other times they’re in the background, providing extra texture and depth.

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

‘Let Me Down Easy’ is definitely hip-hop – there’s no doubt about that. Voyager Music got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to release a single through them and I was delighted. I asked whether or not they knew of any vocalists that would dig the beat and they suggested Charonne. It didn’t take long for us to finish a track with a winning vibe and it ranks up there with one the best songs that I’ve been associated with. The concept is pretty straightforward: it’s classic storytelling through the medium of rap and touches upon issues to do with lifestyle, family and getting through life, trying to succeed despite the struggle.

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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.

I feel that even after eight years, I’m still relatively new to the ‘music business’ and still pretty uninformed about the major side of the music industry. What I do know is that there are many different independent groups that come together to create amazing music – music that should be played in every home and on every station. You look at the immensely popular Chillhop group, who rack up views and sales and have created a sizeable impact upon the internet music community. You look at Soundcloud rappers and the influence they have and the wide following they have. For as long as net neutrality can go on, it’s all about independent groups that can create their own side and move in their own direction.

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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.

 As for Handbook, I’m a one man operation, lucky enough to work with a range of different talented individuals. This has been the first collaboration between Charonne and me, and I hope it’s not the last. I produced the beat and emailed it over. The lyrics were devised and recorded over the next month and I tidied it up and mixed it.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had limited experience of the wider music industry in the last few years but I do hope that changes. Ideally I would love to work full-time in it, producing music for the greatest talents that there are in this world, but it must be one of the most competitive industries on the planet. I’ll be happy if people are still listening in 10 years’ time!

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

It’s that creative energy that drives me. I don’t know whether it’s the experience I have in my general life – I certainly know big life events inspire me and help me to process the good and bad that life has to offer. I just know that when I get in from a tough day at work, or wake up at the weekend, there’s the creative impetus that drives me to make something, to express myself and to give my own life meaning.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had a ‘hit’ song. Songs that I’ve been involved in that have outperformed others generally have top class production, memorable hooks and if it’s not an instrumental, concise and evocative lyrics.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

My message will always be “thank you”.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

My advice will always be to make music when you feel like it, enjoy making it and don’t make something in a certain style just because everyone else. If you dig that style and want to make something in that vein, then fine, but don’t alienate your friends because you’ve been caught up in the zeitgeist.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

In the early days of Handbook, I was putting out a new beat every other day and created such a vast catalogue of music. However, it wasn’t focused and there was no sort of self-curation, no quality control. Now I work harder to hone my craft and only release music that I feel will have true longevity. Less singles, less albums, but a more accessible and long-lasting catalogue.

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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.

There are so many radio stations, blogs and playlists that support what I do and the message is ” if you support me: thanks! It really means a lot!”

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

When I’m making a new beat, I usually start with the sample and work out from there. I put on the drums, the other instrumentation and then work the effects into it. It’s a basic setup in my ‘studio’ – it’s in my bedroom and everything I make is on minimal equipment.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

My favourites right now are: Four Tet, Bibio, Elderbrook, Madlib and Tom Misch.

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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.

Regular collaborators include Supreme Sol, RKZ, J.Hurt, Jetpack Jones, Edamame and Lippi to name a few.

I’d love to work with Kendrick Lamar, Tom Misch, Bonobo, Bibio, Blu and Freddie Gibbs.

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Give us the links to your website and your social network.

SC

https://soundcloud.com/handbook

FB

https://www.facebook.com/Handbookah

Twitter: @HandbookYork

Instagram: @HandbookUK

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

Bandcamp

https://handbook.bandcamp.com

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6OvOdUubb1MOOz2FtGWlHk

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

So many happy days and a few sad ones too. I couldn’t possibly choose one for either. Just hoping for a lot more happy days to come.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I’d buy a house and keep my family right. If it stretched, I’d definitely finance a few projects for my circle and travel to see them too.

Matty Mac

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.
Matty Mac (Matthew Maccarone)
United States of America
7/23/1990

Childhood experience:
I had a great childhood. I’m 100% Italian so I enjoyed the traditions and customs of a large Italian family. We sat down as a family and had dinner 4-5 nights a week, and also had larger parties with the extended family every 1-2 months. I grew up in a middle-class family in a small town in New Jersey. There wasn’t much crime and we have a great school system. Having old-school Italian parents, there was no way I’d be allowed to focus solely on my music. After high school, I went to college as a backup plan. After 7 years of hard work, I have received an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science, an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics, a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I had a very successful soccer career earning First Team All-state in high school and National Player of the Week for my first week in college. As I wrote in one of my songs, I had everything that I could ever need, but I didn’t have what I wanted. I wanted a girl to call my own. I spent my whole childhood working to be desirable to women, and that is where the music came into play. I started playing music as a way to get girls, but then I saw the reaction. I saw the good and the happiness it could spread and it became much bigger than me. It’s almost not even about me anymore. It’s about all the people that didn’t have the opportunities that I have had. It is about all the people that don’t live in a situation where they can chase their dreams. It has gotten to the point where I will feel disrespectful if I don’t make it. It’s like being 6 foot 5 and you can’t dunk. That would piss off everyone who wants to be able to dunk but will never be able to. That’s how I feel about my life and my music. I have all of the resources I need to accomplish my goal, and if I don’t….well I don’t know if I can look that man in the mirror every day. I’d feel like I let down everyone who is less privileged than me.

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Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills.
I am a one man band so my band name/ stage name is Matty Mac. Well, it used to be a stage name but honestly at this point I don’t even remember who Matthew Maccarone is. My life has revolved around music for so long that I have become Matty Mac there is no separation anymore.
I play 7 different instruments on my albums, and recently have invented a new instrument that will allow me to be a live one man band. My skills include vocalist (5 yrs), guitarist(14 yrs), drummer(14 yrs), bassist(12 yrs), pianist (11 yrs), trumpet (16 yrs)/saxophone(10ys)/trombone player(9 yrs), audio engineering(5 yrs), video production(1 yr) and graphic design(5 yrs).

Music Career:
I started back in 2002 playing trumpet in a ska band. I bought a guitar a week after our first practice and began playing that live within 2 years. I was in a three piece reggae band for about 3 years and we released 17 songs. As we got older it got harder to get together so I went my separate way. In 2012, I released my first solo album with 16 tracks on it. In 2013, I released 12 new tracks as part of an acoustic album. In, 2014 I released another 16 track album called “One Man Band”. This was the first one to be distributed online to iTunes and Spotify. In 2015, I released my most popular album “The Proposal” which had 8 tracks. The music video went viral hitting 1 million views in the first month. Finally, my most recent album “Dedication” was released in August of 2017. It is a 10 track album based around the new instrument that I invented and my loop pedal.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.
I think the best genre to describe my sound is Reggae Fusion. I grew up on ska and reggae and feel like there is an underlying influence in most of my music, but I also combine with all other genres to create upbeat, catchy and creative music.
The song “My Apology” means a lot to me because it is an apology that goes out to everyone that I love. The road to a successful career in the music industry is long, lonely, and often times disappointing. None the less, you must keep on grinding day in and day out. It takes dedication and commitment even if that means putting your music above the people that mean the most to you. Working around the clock, there are countless times that I’ve had to say no to friends, family and lovers. Sometimes the decision is harder than others but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make. This song was meant to serve as an apology to anyone that I’ve ever had to tell no in order to better my music. It details the changing tides as my music begins to get traction and starts to spread. It offers apologies to friends and family while also explaining the reasons why I make these sacrifices.
“In hope of a life that your son’s always dreamed of where
I’ll write you a check for a home with a deck and a lake house
And moms off the clock because the chef can cook and clean
You’ll offer your best and I’ll tell you to rest because it’s all on me”

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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.
As a musician, I’ve never won anything. I’ve been in talent competitions and battles, but I always come up short. I even had a band apologize for winning one time solely because they sold more tickets. They knew they weren’t the better band, the contest was just looking to make as much money as possible. I had a lot of success in 2015 when I released the music video for my song “The Proposal”. It’s actually an incredible story. It was a Wednesday night when I got a call from my cousin. “I’m going to put you to work” was the first thing that he said to me. He had a longtime girlfriend, Jess, who was basically a part of the family. Everyone knew they would eventually tie the knot but didn’t know when or how. My cousin Sam likes to go big so he had the idea to propose in a music video. He asked me if I had any songs that I thought would work, but being a single 24 year old at the time I wasn’t even considering marriage let alone writing songs about it. I decided this needed a special song specifically for his proposal so I wrote him one. About an hour after the call, I had written and recorded a song and sent it back to him. He loved it!! We used it to create a music video and the entire story went viral. Various new stations in the US and all over the world picked up the story and we have since racked up over 30 million Youtube views. Words can’t even do it justice so I’d just suggest you watch what happened that day. Here is a link to the same video as the original with updated audio (https://youtu.be/Y1wO5bORA3E).  The original video with 30 million views is here: https://youtu.be/OuXKkROBkiI

As far as the downs, I make money by playing cover gigs as an acoustic solo act. Most of the time, acoustic is best fit for earlier happy hour type shows so there aren’t any wild shows happening. A lot of the time, it is incredibly disheartening to put your heart and soul into a 3 hour performance and not get a single clap. You are often stuffed in a corner as background music, and sometimes don’t play for more than 10 people. This is a consistent ‘down’ that I have gotten used and actually find quite funny now. I tell myself to enjoy the journey because one day I may want these days back. When life was simple and no one knew who I was ha-ha.

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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.
This is a one man operation so there are no other band mates. I am the music producer. I am the crew for most of the smaller videos. I recorded this song in my home studio. I call it a home studio but in reality it is a room with instruments in it and a computer. There is no professional acoustic treatment or expensive equipment. I make do with what I have. Usually I lay down scratch guitar and vocal tracks to a click, and then I start recording drums, then bass, then horns/auxiliary, and then I finish off with the vocals and guitar final takes.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.
I’ve performing live for about 12 years. I have been releasing albums for 5 years, of which the past 3 year’s music has been released internationally online through iTunes, Spotify, etc. My goal is to use my music to make a sufficient living. I’d love to tour the country selling out theaters, but I’d also like to build up my online presence and sell private live streams. The most efficient way to do this would be to become a well-known youtuber. I have just recently started uploading 3 videos a week on Youtube with hopes to add to my fan base and build up a bigger following. I’d like to use the platform and profits from my music to continue inventing products/devices the world has never seen. I feel like there aren’t many organizations that aim to encourage young women and minorities to pursue a career as an engineer and that’s also something I’m interested in. Bringing awareness to the benefits of computer programming and being a “nerd”.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. I had dreadlocks for 9 months and I have an entire song about the day I decided to cut them off. I have a very popular song called “Betsy Ann” that is subtly about mosquitoes. While there are certain inspirations for certain songs, I don’t really know that there is anything in particular that inspired me to be a songwriter in the first place. It is just something that I did. It is a part of my being. As I had mentioned earlier, I started playing guitar because I thought it would make girls like me, but I never once thought about writing songs. It just happened. Most of the time, I write songs for me. I feel that those are the best ones. There was a rough time in my life where I played this song I wrote called “Sunshine Days” every day. It was the medication I needed to push through. Songwriting and composing is just natural for me. Even now as I write this and try to think why I write songs, nothing sticks out as a definitive answer. There are obviously benefits that come from releasing music that make it very satisfying but there is usually a large gap of time between writing the song and releasing it to see the impact that it has. In that gap of time, the song only exists for me. It is mine to jam when I need it. Sometimes I write songs that I know I will never release so I think I can confidently say I don’t write all songs with hopes that they will be mainstream hits. I just write as a form of therapy I guess.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.
In my opinion, a “hit” song must sound good, have creative content, paint a picture for the listener and evoke some type of emotion, good or bad. I don’t believe in structural rules. You write what the song calls for. If you need a chord change to convey the way the feeling of the song is changing then you write a chord change. I’ve worked with people before who said “Okay we did the first verse now we need a pre chorus, chorus, verse 2, breakdown and final chorus”, but that’s not how I write. I let the story and feeling of the song dictate the structure and what music needs to be written.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.
The universe is full of unlimited happiness and abundance. It is free to smile, free to laugh and free to be kind, we should do it more often. Everyone has the power to create happiness and give it to someone else, and quite frankly a lot of people need it. Be the light. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Don’t worry about being cool. Don’t waste your time with relationships while you’re young, many times they keep you from evolving into the best version of yourself, the one that can be happy on your own without anyone else love. Have a bit of a social life, but don’t waste your time partying.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.
Aside from “The Proposal” hitting 30 million views and a radio interview on 101.3 WRKD out of Ohio, I haven’t had much recognition. I haven’t toured yet or won any awards. My musical journey to this point has consisted of playing cover gigs to earn a living and then funding my own original music by releasing albums, music videos and videos online.

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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.
Currently, my music is on one radio station in Ohio, 101.3 WRKD.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
There are a few different ways that I write my songs. Most of the time it starts with a guitar progression/riff and then I will assess what that sound makes me think of and start throwing out some words to start off the song. Other times, I already have a lyric or topic in mind and then I will create music that matches the feel of the song. I have just recently started writing songs on piano which has been a very fun process. I tend to get different chords and progressions than when I start with guitar. When writing lyrics, I always write with a computer or tablet because I can type faster than I can write by hand and sometimes you sing something that you like and forget the words by the time you can write it down. With any writing though I always follow one rule, if you want to remember it write it down and record it. I can’t tell you how many times I lost awesome melodies or lyrics because I thought to myself “oh I’ll remember that”. You won’t haha you’ll forget and it will be gone forever.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.
Frank Sinatra
Andy Grammer
Ed Sheeran
John Mayer
Bruno Mars

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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 haven’t collaborated much at all in the past. When I was in the reggae band, we collaborated with a rapped name Ray Jones but unfortunately that’s as long as my list of collaboration goes. As far as collaborating in the future, I love Tori Kelly’s voice I think she’d be at the top of the list for females and probably Ed Sheeran for males.

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

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.
Latest album Dedication (2017)
iTunes: https://goo.gl/g7ZT5A
Spotify: https://goo.gl/xwB6gx
Google Play: https://goo.gl/U4mto1

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.
Happiest Day:
You know what’s really weird about this question. I knew the saddest day of my life immediately without hesitation. There were two that were very close but for the most part it wasn’t hard to come up with. Yet in order to recall the happiest day of my life, I have to do some soul searching. There are a few days that stick out. The day we filmed “The Proposal” was a magical day. The day my wrestling team won the state championship was incredible. The day that my music video broke 1 million views was monumental, but even having already felt what those days felt like they don’t even compare to the feeling I get just when I imagine retiring my father. None of those days brought me to tears, but the thought of handing my dad a check and telling him to quit his job…I’m getting choked up right now just thinking about it. When it actually happens, I think that will be cemented as the happiest day of my life.

Saddest Day: My first love was soccer. I had won 3 championships before I ever even touched a guitar. In high school the goal was to win a state championship. We started my senior year 10-0, won our conference and entered the playoffs as a top seed. In the first round of the playoffs, I went into a tackle and cracked my big toe in two places. I played about 60 minutes of soccer into double overtime with a broken toe to ensure we would get the win. I went to the hospital after the game and they told me it was a sprain and I’d be back in two weeks. I had a follow up appointment with a specialist where I learned it was broken, and I’d be sidelined for the rest of the season. The saddest day of my life would come in the next couple weeks when I had to stand on the sideline on crutches and watch my team go to battle without me. We lost 5-2 in the state semi-finals and it has haunted me ever since. You know honestly, I don’t even regret breaking my toe. I regret that I didn’t gear to that semi-final game and suit up to play anyway. That game took place 10 years ago and quite frankly I’m still not over it. I think of the lingering taste of defeat every time I get down on myself with my music, knowing the pain of failing again would eat me alive until I die, and so it is the fear of failure that will push me to succeed.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
Short answer is I wouldn’t haha I smashed my nose across my face playing soccer when I was 16 and I was supposed to get corrective surgery after I stopped playing, but 11 years later I’m still in 2 soccer leagues every week so the first thing I’d do is get the surgery to fix my nose. It’d be nice to fully smell and taste again haha I’d probably keep about $200,000 for myself and give the rest to my parents. With the 200,000, I’d rent a space to put a studio and upgrade my equipment, buy two patents for my finished inventions and then just figure out what living situation would make that money last the longest. I’m not ready to settle down and purchase a house, I should get another 5-10 years out of my car, and I have plenty of clothes. I’d put money into music videos and promotion and just continue the grind. There is a saying “It’s hard to get up and go to work when you’re sleeping in silk pajamas”. I’m afraid the comfort of knowing I have a million dollars would make me complacent. I’m young, I’m hungry and there is unlimited money to be made. I think giving the money to my parents would keep me grounded and keep me on track to grow and evolve as an artist and keep me working as hard as possible day in and day out.

BOTA


Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience. 
My real name is Akbota Kassymova and originally I come from Kazakhstan. I was born on April 4
th and I am a fire sign Aries. 🙂 Since childhood I was playing classical piano, dancing ballet, and performing at the local concerts in my home town Almaty. I remember once our dance group was invited to perform at the TV show and our teacher forgot to bring our outfits! That was fun.

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Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills. 
BOTA – is a shorten version of my full name Akbota. It is a very traditional Kazakh name. If you translate Akbota from Kazakh language it literally means the ‘baby camel’, but in fact it is compared to the purity and innocence of the child’s soul. However on a daily basis everyone calls me Bota and I took it as my artist name.

I started doing music since I was 6 years old. My grandfather brought me to the classical music school where I was studying piano for 11 years. I started to sing and songwrite since I was 15, at that time I became a winner of the vocal competition and started to feel that music is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I think that my classical background, love to Pop music and desire to dance and perform on the stage formed my musical identity.

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

My genre is pop, and I sometimes tend to mix it with ballad and soul music. I love pop productions, and the fact that it involves dance and performance production.

My song is called ‘Special’, It is about being special, finding your uniqueness and confidence. I remember I had a break down when I was 11, I had no friends and felt insecure. But then I won piano&vocal competitions and confidence came to me. I realised that I have something so special, I have music and it will always be with me. Music made me feel stronger and me who I am today. So this song is dedicated to my love to music and I want to motivate others to believe in themselves and to start doing what they truly love.

Idea behind the music video is about the spy girl, who is special and the villain tries to catch her in order to find out what makes her special and steal it from her. However, the spy girl is smart and she knows that it would be impossible for him to do. At the end of the video she frees herself and villain falls into his own trap. And her uniqueness is about her bravery to do what she loves (music). Me and the director of the music video Lukasz Pytlik, had a whole journey of shaping this concept. Our main influences were coming from the films Man from U.N.C.L.E., and James Bond’s themes. And then we modified it and made it more original and contemporary.

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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. 

I have a solid background in the classical music. I played with orchestras, accompanied to opera singers, I was studying everything you could imagine when it comes to music theory. I also traveled to Boston to study at the prestigious music university Berklee College of Music, where I completed summer program. After I graduated from classical music school I moved to London to pursue my dream to become an artist. I then graduated with a performance degree from British Modern Institute and with Master’s Degree in music business from London College of Music. I am glad I didn’t take any breaks from studying and managed to finish higher education at my early twenties. 😉

I had moments of euphoria and sadness of course! And I know I will have many more. I am just starting my career and can’t really say that I had some major ups and downs yet. I am thankful for every experience as it only makes me better at what I do.

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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. 

“Special” was recorded by the talented and great producer Nick Bitzenis with who I was honoured to work with and enjoyed every session a lot. I remember I was talking to Nick saying that I want to write a song that would have a strong instrumentation, and then he came up with that great instrumental part of piano, horns and bass, which I absolutely loved and wrote my melody and lyrics on it. It was a perfect match.

Music video was filmed by the award-winning music director Lukasz Pytlik, who is based in Warsaw. I remember how I spoke to Lukasz by the phone for the first time and since then I knew he is the one who I want to film my first music video. He was so creative and passionate about it and I felt secure while working with him throughout the whole process. I traveled to Poland to make it happen! And it was worth it. The crew, the shoot, Lukasz were amazing and professional.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal. 
Since I was 17. I started to work with my first producer at that time. I feel that I have grown up a lot since then. I recall that I could not even look at my audience when I was singing, my voice was not shaped well, I barely knew anything about the music business! My future goal is to become an established artist with dedicated fan-base and hopefully perform around the world and support other musicians.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 
People inspire me and the way they make me feel. Every time something good or bad happens I start to write a song, or even just an idea for the song. Also, great performers inspire me to work harder and practise more.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.
I think it is about writing from your soul and then shaping it into the right sound and production.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.
I would like to thank them for supporting me and for inspiring to continue what I do! And I can not wait to perform to them! 🙂

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 
I consider myself as an upcoming artist, and what I usually say to myself is: Be hard-working, smart and stay positive.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 
“Special” is my debut single, in the near future I will be releasing one more single and then I will concentrate on my EP release. Currently I mostly perform around London, once EP is out I will announce more gigs hopefully! From the past achievements, I have collaborated with the well known Russian/Kazakh boys band The Jigits, we released a single on my original song ‘You + Me’ and it received very positive feedback and was aired on Kazakhstan TV. I have also had an opportunity to be filmed in the music video ‘Strobelite’ of the world-famous band Gorillaz and became a featured ‘Geisha character’. That was unforgettable! Also, I have recently filmed my cover on the song ‘Alone’ from Cirque Du Soleil, the music video was filmed on the most beautiful rooftop in London and involved contemporary dance. 

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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. 
Hopefully my songs will be on a few local radio stations, which I am about to confirm. Huge thanks to The Devil Has The best Tuna and Jamie Hetherington for reviews, and to Eternity Network for adding my song to their Spotify Playlist ‘Sunday Selects’! My music video will appear on Kazakhstan TV Music channel Muzzone. In regards to UK, music video will be send over to the local TV channels too. I will be posting all updates on my website. 🙂

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 
I always start to write songs by playing chords on piano and then sing over ideas for the melodies. Sometimes I write lyrics because of the story that I want to tell. On the other hand, books, films, my friends’ and family’s phrases/quotes inspire me to find the right lyrics. Also, I listen to a lot of music, I believe that it is the best way to learn how to songwrite. When it comes to the recording in the studio, previously I was concentrating a lot on my diction and was learning how to shape my sound. At the moment I care more about the emotion I want to translate while I record. But of course, improving my technique and looking for the right sound is still something I am working on.

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Name five biggest artists that you like. 

Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.

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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. 

As I previously mentioned, the boys band The Jigits.

I would love to collaborate with my huge influence Britney Spears, also JP Cooper, Bruno Mars, Michael Buble, David Guetta and SIA.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network. 
www.botamusic.com

facebook.com/botamusic

twitter.com/bota_music

instagram.com/bota_music

youtube.com/botamusic

soundcloud.com/botamusic

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music. 
http://smarturl.it/SpecialBota

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

Happiest – when I got to know that my little brother was born.

Saddest – when I got to know that my grandfather passed away.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I would invest it in the creation of the music school for those who can’t afford an education or experience difficulties.