Nias

 

Discuss your personality.

I consider myself a creative person. I’m not a person that likes a lot of undue attention but I love to write and create. Making something where there was previously nothing and causing it to posses beauty brings our divinity to the fore.

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Brief us about you as a musician.

I’m a singer, vocal arranger, and lyricist that works with other various musicians to flesh out the concepts and ideas in my head.

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Go into details on what have changed in your life for choosing music as a career.

I’ve always been interested in music and involved to some extent. But when I saw the switch from a physical product to a digital one in the industry and how the Internet was becoming a great facilitator for Independent Musicians I started down the path of creating works that I was going to place under my brand for releasing or licensing.

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Tell us the benefits and drawbacks of choosing music as a career.

You are fundamentally going into business for yourself. Any business must know and focus on its target market and develop awareness of and respect for the brand. And there’s a lot of investment in yourself. You cannot expect people to believe and invest in you if you do not do so first in yourself. But if you put in the work and establish yourself it’s way more rewarding than working for someone else.

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Tell us how you will manage fame as an established artist.

My first manager told me: “if you believe your own hype, and you fall, it’s a long way down”, I’ve always had people around me that kept me grounded. And I’ve not experienced a quick overwhelming commercial success which has made it easier also.

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Elaborate on the story line of this song.

Relationship songs do well because people can relate to them. All of us have experienced relationships on some level and can identity to some extent. This song is strictly about encountering that person that you realize that you need, you can’t live without them in your life. It’s about giving into your vulnerability and admitting that to yourself and them before you lose them.

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Tell us means of connecting you and purchasing your music online.

This particular song is on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer, etc, on Goa Chillout Zone, Volume 7 as Nias “Without You” (Acoustic).

 

CD Baby

 

But my new stuff is branded under Nias Miller or “Nias Intellectual Properties” as this video is on YouTube. I have to add my family name because I’ve realized there is another band with the exact spelling of Nias and we are getting confused on some platforms. I also have a Facebook profile under my name Nias Miller.

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Let us know the greatest moment of your music career.

I see this road I’m traveling on as a “journey more so than a destination”. So I see things as a continuum which makes it difficult to identify my “greatest moment”. As an example, I never wanted to produce my own video for “Without You”. But when I saw that it seemed necessary … I did it. The experience of coming up with an acceptable concept, funding the project, and promoting it has led me here. It wasn’t a straight line. I learned so much though about owning and controlling, not only the audio master but the visual one. An invaluable education!

Additionally I released this song through an Indie Label believing that they would do a better job than me. And that it would lessen the amount of work that I would have to do. Actual experience has taught me … that isn’t true. So the continuum has even shaped my perspective and the way I approach things. And it’s already proving to be far more beneficial for me. Don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s the truth.

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Name the artists that have influenced the world.

I love artists that have their own sonic brand. Marvin Gaye is an artist that was popular before my time. But I love his work because he had his own signature particularly when he wrote and produced his own stuff. He changed the conversation, the topics people wrote about in American music. I love Sade because of how African rhythms, Jazz, Soul, and Pop intersected in her work. She was a woman and a person of color that changed the scene of music at that time. You hear other names being celebrated, but Sade is a woman that changed music. And she doesn’t receive the acknowledgment that she deserves. Of the more recent artists I like Miguel because he has his own unique signature and various genres intersect in his work like the aforementioned artists.

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Tell us about your moment of rejections as a musician and how you are able to cope and move on.

Artists often times open themselves up to criticism from people that cannot even begin to do what they do. You need to be humble and understand that art is a subjective experience. That being said, I have trained myself to learn from criticism. If twenty different people all say the same thing … it probably should be evaluated seriously. I’ve listened more so recently and let it “fuel me” in a positive push to new and different expressions … even if I didn’t agree at first. And in the last year and a half , I feel I’ve seen the greatest improvement. The equation changed … so the outcome had to; because totally different variables were involved. That journey taught me, it wasn’t just one move but a number of moves that brought me to this place.

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Elaborate on the recording process of this song.

“Without You” wasn’t meant to be a radio hit but a performance piece that celebrated ballads of the past. Its arrangement doesn’t conform to traditional structures heard on the radio. In many ways I ignored commercialism and just did what felt good to me. It reflects Jazz, Classical, and Soul influences and that’s why it stands out as different. I have found that people either love and get where I was coming from. Or, they feel that it is a mistake because it doesn’t sound like everything else on the radio. I call it my “catalogue piece”. As other songs within the catalogue receive attention, eventually this piece might be licensed as a larger number of people “come to understand its distinctiveness”.

 

Lanoo

Discuss your personality.

I am honestly a laid back kind of guy. I really enjoy spending time reflecting on my life and decisions I have made. I am also an ambivert, there are times where I’m super outgoing and times where I can be closed off and quiet. But I can easily adapt to situations and environments.

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Brief us about you as a musician.

I like to think of myself as a musician/artist that can do many things, a musician that is very versatile. As an artist we have the right to express ourselves in many ways and I use music to express specific moods or events I go through on a day to day basis. For example one day I might be feeling jazzy/ groovy and the next day I might be making an inspirational record.

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Go into details on what have changed in your life for choosing music as a career.

As a child I dreamt of becoming a homicide detective and all those things until I fell in love with music and poetry. I have decided to put my time and attention to getting better, and continuing to make good music. Music has helped me overcome the darkest of times and I believe something with that type of power to heal should be shared with everyone. Music has also helped me to grow as an individual and allowed me to have a platform to express myself artistically.

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Tell us the benefits and drawbacks of choosing music as a career.

 I only see positive things about music. I think it’s more than just music for me; it’s more like medicine. So as I grow as an artist I know that the benefits will continue to bless me. I don’t look at it as a burden. I’m still growing, and working hard to get a stronger fan case. And if you begin viewing the negatives of what you do then you just don’t want it bad enough.

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Tell us how you will manage fame as an established artist.

 I strongly believe that fame is just a reward for working hard. I am not the type of guy to glorify fame in any way. I just love what I do and being able to become “famous” would just tell me that I am doing the right thing and making the right steps towards my goal of making music and inspiring the lives of others.

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Elaborate on the story line of this song.

This song was written after I came out of a really dark point in my life. I was struggling emotionally, and financially. I had a lot going on in my life, so this record marks my transition from overcoming that dark past. It allowed me to become more confident in myself. This song is about staying true to who you are, because I know I got what it takes to be big. And there are going to be a lot of people in this world and in this industry that are going to try to shut me down.  But this song is about refusing and avoiding bad energy. I also share some personal information about my family and what I have gone through growing up but I literally let my heart spill.

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Tell us means of connecting you and purchasing your music online.

I am currently on SoundCloud. This record ‘Black Glass” will be on other music platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube music and many more. But very soon I will be releasing more music soon. I go by the name of “Lanoo”.

Instagram

lanoogotten

Twitter

LGWantsBetter

SoundCloud

Lanoo

Facebook

Lanoo Gottem or Delano McFarlane.

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Let us know the greatest moment of your music career.

The highlight of my music career so far has been having the opportunity to reach some people with my music. I take pride that people can listen to my songs and see my potential. They see how genuine I am in my songs, and that my songs come out of passion for what I love.

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Tell us the highest amount of money you have ever received from your music career and how it happened.

I actually have not received any money for my music yet. I am still growing as an artist and still working on building a stronger fan base, so once that comes I will be able to make some stronger strides with my music.

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Discuss your experience pertaining live performances, gigs, shows and tours.

I have performed at small venues such as open mics and at colleges. But I have not started touring yet. But I do have that as a goal for the future.

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Tell us how you relate with your fans.

I honestly be myself. I am not interested in posing as someone I am not. So I connect and relate to my fans by speaking about my life and being myself and most importantly having fun with it. And exercising my creative freedom through my music.

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Tell us what you will like to change if you have the chance to turn back the hands of time.

There isn’t anything that I would change. Everything happens for a reason and those events have only made me stronger.

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Tell us the most important people that have boosted your music career and how you met them.

I haven’t met any famous musical artists yet face to face but I reached out to Token the rapper and he gave me some pretty useful advice about how to overcome negativity. Besides that I have not met any other artists but there are artists that I look up to in a sense. Such as Eminem, Logic, Joe Budden, King Los, Cyhi The Prynce, Nas, Fabolous, and many more there’s a long list.

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Brief us on what you have in mind before considering music as a career.

Well actually before I fell in love with music, I wanted to become a homicide detective. When I was a child I loved the idea of being a cop, mostly because their priority is to protect and serve and I loved the idea of having the power of protecting people. I also thought about becoming an FBI agent, or homeland security.

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Discuss your good and bad experiences in life.

Well, there were a lot of good experiences like being extremely blessed with a really supportive mother who has helped me get through high school and put me in college. There were also struggles of growing up poor, and how that has influenced my life as well. There has always been financial struggles although we figure out a way to get by semi-comfortably.

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Name the artists that have influenced the world.

There are many artists who have changed the world, especially the music world in my opinion. Like Jay Z, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Damian Marley, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and the list just goes on.

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Tell us about your moment of rejections as a musician and how you were able to cope and move on.

Every time I release a song, I am pretty sure that there are a few people who don’t like my music, or are not a fan of that specific song. Everyone has their own tastes in what they think is good music. I honestly try not to focus on the rejection, and focus more on getting better. Building my skill set is extremely important and you always have to maintain a positive attitude. And just have some faith. There is going to be a herd of people out there that like what you can bring to the table.

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Tell us the most negative comment you have ever received about your music.

 I think the most negative comment I have ever read was what this guy said. He said that my music “just doesn’t stand out for me” or something of the equivalent. I’m not exactly sure what he meant because I write my music to speak to the people. But I don’t spend too much time thinking about negative comments. Sometimes I don’t even read them.

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Tell us how to become a famous artist.

I believe that creativity has now become an integral part of making it as an artist. Now if I had all the answers I would have been famous already. But I also believe that work ethic and creating good quality music is equally as important. But you must also stay consistent! You should be able to pinpoint your growth in every record that you make. You have to be able to connect with the people in some way, shape or form because the fans or the listeners are the most important part about music.

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Tell us how you plan to make an impact on the society.

I mentioned before that I wanted to be a cop mostly because I loved the idea of helping and keeping people safe. I just loved the idea of protecting people. Now I have transitioned that energy and positivity to my music. And I want to have fun with my fans; I want to heal them with good genuine music. I want to change the lives of the future generations. I feel that as musicians you have the power to be able to influence many lives. It’s not just about becoming the president of the United States or becoming a doctor. Many of these kids begin to listen to music at a very young age. Now it is your duty as a musician to be able to speak to them and teach them things about life. I plan on being a role model not just in music but in everyday life as well.

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Elaborate on the recording process of this song.

Being a local Boston artist, this record was recorded at a local Boston recording studio in Roxbury, Massachusetts. “Black Glass” is a song written from my heart. It took me a couple weeks to write because of the things that I was going through in my personal life. But I am glad that it all came together.

Sydmac

Discuss your personality.

I am very humble, and laid back, I like to observe and say less, but deep inside I am very intense, once I’ve set my mind to something it pretty much gets done God willing. I’ve been told I’m charming by women and a hard working leader by men, but I’m really just a risk taker learning from mistakes.

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 Brief us about you as a musician.

As a musician, it all started when I started playing the drums at the church I attended. Subconsciously I think that instilled a rhythm in me, but I didn’t consider music for a long time, until about 2012. Even then it was just an outlet of expression, poems turned to lyrics, composed music and only shared with family and friends, or I kept them to myself as lessons I learned or a journal to look back.

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Go into details on what have changed in your life for choosing music as a career. 

Well it’s very early in my career, so far not much has changed. I’ve had this lingering anxiety that the deeper I get into my career, the more responsibility I’ll have to take for music. For instance because it’s part of me now, if someone were to say “hip hop sucks nowadays” they’ll essentially be saying I suck, so that means I have to be extremely conscious about what I’m using my platform for.

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Tell us the benefits and drawbacks of choosing music as a career.

The benefits to me are lucid; I have a chance to use my platform for social change. To touch each and every person that takes a listen, and make sure they come away with something from that. Whether it is a historical/current fact, a share emotion or something they’ve never heard artistically and more. The drawbacks, I think I touched a bit earlier, more power more responsibility. Got to have to have a thick skin because you may have a piece of work you thought was amazing and the others will scoff at it. For me, I like to stay low key and it’s really tough to do that when you’re trying to get your work out. Those are the drawbacks so far.

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Tell us how you will manage fame as an established artist. 

I wonder if I can impact people’s lives without fame. Fame is not something I’m aiming for, but if it’s inevitable then I will carry myself as an example for the youth, because we’re paving a way for the youth. People don’t listen, they imitate, and therefore I’ve got to be sure I have a good impact.

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Elaborate on the story line of this song. 

“Chase”- it starts out with a description of my youth, “way before I found my flow” and how eager I was to grow up, my mom left me to my own devices and I began to run loose “wake you silly motherfathers quick get me, leash on this dog getting loose” then goes through my encounter with a woman while leaving I get pulled over by the police “sentinel staring at my x men” which turns into a car chase. Filled with historical facts and current facts and leaving the rest for interpretation and vivid storytelling to ambush my listeners’ imagination.

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Tell us means of connecting you and purchasing your music online.

I can be heard at Soundcloud.com/sydmac. I am still in the process of getting my music out there so far.

instagram.com/sydmac4

twitter.com/sydmac41

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Let us know the greatest moment of your music career. 

So far, it’s been someone contacting me telling me “hey, that track really made my day”, and being contacted by great souls who think I have a message and willing to help me to be heard.

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Discuss your experience pertaining live performances, gigs, shows and tours.

I have one live performance under my belt, and another coming up Jan 7th 2018. So far it’s a great experience; I get a direct feel for how my music is consumed.

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Tell us how you relate with your fans. 

The truth is what we’re all seeking. Everyone can identify with realness, open vulnerability. So the people, who consider themselves as fans, are really extended family who are living life and understand that my message is a real one.

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Tell us what you will like to change if you have the chance to turn back the hands of time.

I wouldn’t change a thing. This is God’s will.

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Tell us the most important people that have boosted your music career and how you met them

One of my childhood friends who helped me to get the mic and mac that I used to compose my music on. Friends and family who listen and encourage. Broadtube Music Channel – giving me this opportunity. I’m grateful.

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Brief us on what you have in mind before considering music as a career. 

What I had in mind was how will I get people to listen, I like staying low key, I would have to change and thrust myself into the mix to be heard, making sure when I have an opportunity that I grab it tight and I’m putting out my best.

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Discuss your good and bad experience in life.

Good life experience include the look on my mother’s face when I finally graduated high school, times with my family, falling in love with someone, having to work overnight to pay for school, while being the captain of my college basketball team, many more. Bad experiences include breaking my wrist, car accidents, lost friends, being addicted to alcohol, fighting through being depressed, and wonder if I’ll amount to anything. Not having my father around.

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Name the artists that have influenced the world. 

Nas, Jay-Z, K.Dot, J. Cole, Fabolous, Black Thought, Mos Def, Common, just to name a few.

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Tell us about your moment of rejections as a musician and how you are able to cope and move on.

Developing thick skin and understanding that just because someone doesn’t like something, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, unless it is bad, then it’s bad.

I treat every rejection as a source of feedback, every mistake has a lesson to be revisited.

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Tell us the most negative comment you have ever received about your music. 

I sent my music to a record label recently and was told that the production was trash, and the something was off.

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Tell us how to become a famous artist. 

I wouldn’t be able to tell you how to become a famous artist because that’s never been my goal.

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Tell us how you plan to make an impact on the society. 

I want to put music out that will be a conscious contribution, to bring awareness and speak about things that may not be so popular or shinny.

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Elaborate on the recording process of this song.

Thursday night December 21st 2017, the instrumental came on and I felt it. Letting it flow from the heart. I wrote it and started recording around 9 p.m and finished it around 1 a.m, listened to it for about 30 minutes. Sent it to Broadtube Music Channel around 2 a.m or so. Here we are.

The Karmanauts

Tell us about yourself. 
We (Michael Stephenson, Dominic Romano, and Sam Kaplan-Good) are based out of Humboldt County, California in the beautiful redwood forests along the coast.  All three of us studied music in college and have worked as studio musicians or engineers and are now thrilled to be recording and producing this original music together.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist. 

I (Michael Stephenson) write most of the songs for The Karmanauts either alone or with friends. I have played in many professional groups of various genres (rock, reggae, salsa, calypso, jazz, classical, among others) but have always found myself gravitating back to rock and pop, which are the styles that first made me excited about music as a child.

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Tell us about the genre of your music. 

Our music could probably be described like this:  40% rock; 40% indie pop; 10% reggae/ska; 10% other. We also think of it like The Beatles+U2+David Bowie+Sublime +Vampire Weekend+Death Cab for Cutie.  But we have so many other influences as well.

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Tell us about the story behind your song. 

I wrote “Phantoms” with my very good friend Gabe Lubowe, an incredibly talented musician who is also a former piano student of mine from years ago (I taught him when I was about 17 and he was about 7 — he then went on to study at Berklee School of Music and now has made quite a reputation for himself as a jazz pianist).  Gabe showed me this beautiful acoustic guitar intro he’d written and from there I came up with a vocal melody and a chorus.  We then spent several days at my house writing the lyrics and refining the music.  We hope the lyrics are broad enough that everyone can find the best meaning for oneself, but I think for us the song is about mindfulness and awareness of ourselves and the earth and finding peace within and without. And certainly there are some elements of being grateful for our environment and nature.

I live close to Moonstone Beach and that inspired the line “your voice is gold and your eyes are moonstone” which ended up being everyone’s favorite lyric from the album. That, and the fact that we recorded most of the album at my home studio near Moonstone Beach (which we now call Moonstone Studios) inspired us to name the album “Moonstone.”

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Tell us about the problems you are facing as a musician. 

For better or for worse, there is so much competition in music these days. I think that all of us are being constantly bombarded by information and it is hard to rise above that as an artist or a band and get noticed. And then of course there’s an expectation by so many people that music should be free, which can make the economics of it pretty near impossible. But for me the best part of The Karmanauts is that we’ve just decided to go for it and make the best music we possibly can afford to make, and we don’t worry about whether we will sell enough to make a profit.  At this point we just want to be able to die knowing that we made the best music we possibly could and that it was recorded for people to listen to for a long time. Perhaps our work will be most widely appreciated after we are gone, like Johann Bach or Jeff Buckley!

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song. 

I sang all the vocal parts and played all the instruments, with the exception of the drums.  Dominic engineered everything and added the cool sound effects and samples.  Sam kept the drum parts super simple which was absolutely perfect for this song. Gabe Lubowe had this great idea for us to use a reverse reverb-like effect on the vocal to lead into the chorus like Red Hot Chili Peppers have used and Dominic executed it in the mix perfectly.  For the most part, the song (and the entire Moonstone album) was recorded at my studio, with the exception of Sam’s drum parts which were recorded at a great local studio called Bongo Boy (Dominic is the chief engineer at Bongo Boy which is run by Jimmy Foot and Susie Foot; Sam and I regularly work as session musicians at Bongo Boy).

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List the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far. 

We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been supported by Mystic Sons, The Mikecast, AT Radio, KHSU, Velvety, Keep Walking Music, The Drunken Coconut, Sensei Movement, WXRY Unsigned, and Gas Mask Magazine.

We have also been contacted by a few very cool labels including Dazed Music, UnWanted Records, World Music Stage Records, and Milwaukee Junction Records who have been very supportive and encouraging.

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goals. 

I’ve worked as a session musician in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Humboldt County since about 2001 and have been fortunate to record and perform with some amazing artists.  Aside from The Karmanauts, I currently play in the Afro-Cuban ensemble Timbata and the folk rock quartet Secret Club.

My goal is basically to be the best musician and songwriter that I can possibly be and to keep recording and playing music with my friends and to hopefully release music that really helps people think and to feel more hopeful and optimistic about the future.

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

I definitely get inspired by current events as well as by significant events (both bad and good) in my personal life, and in the lives of people close to me.  And of course, watching and listening to great musicians and songwriters inspires me as well.
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Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song. 

I believe that the best songs strike just the right balance between simple/familiar and interesting/new.
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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

Learn as much as you can.  Don’t stop taking lessons. Just because you are a professional doesn’t mean your educational journey is finished. Keep taking music lessons, take songwriting lessons, find new ways to practice, watch lectures online, take advantage of new technologies for practicing/learning/creating, do it all!  And practice songwriting just like you would practice singing or playing an instrument.

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Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 

Dominic is an engineer, producer, musician and singer-songwriter. He started his musical career at the age of 5 on the violin, and continued to branch out into a diverse range of styles upon taking up the guitar and singing. He graduated Bennington College with a degree in Recording Arts & Sound Design and worked as an assistant engineer at several studios around the country before becoming Chief Engineer at Bongo Boy Studios in 2015. He has worked in a diverse range of styles including folk, pop, jazz, funk, rock, hip hop, classical, country, bluegrass, reggae, world, and all of the best genre-defying projects in between. He also plays both solo and with the band The Gatehouse Well.

Sam studied music at Humboldt State University and has not only played with and managed the Eureka Symphony but is also a member of bands including The Trouble, Ghost Train, and The Desert Line.

I have worked as a studio musician locally and in the Bay Area since 2001 and have a degree in Music Theory/Ethnomusicology from Brown University, Rhode Island. I have performed and recorded professionally with many rock, pop, reggae, calypso, salsa, jazz, folk, and country groups and artists.

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

It is different every time.  Sometimes a melody and a phrase pop into my head and I write a song around it.  Sometimes I come up with a chord progression I like and the melody and lyrics come later.  Other times I’ll be inspired to write about a topic and the music then follows after the lyrics.  There have even been times where we just hit “record” and we don’t even have a plan or a song.

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Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with. 

Honestly, I’d be happy to collaborate with anyone who (1) is willing to give their all to the music, (2) has put their 10,000 hours into music, and (3) wants to make music that will provide the best possible experience to the listener as well as to the musicians involved.  Aside from that, we’d love to collaborate with Jacob Collier, Weezer, Jack Johnson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Paul McCartney, Randy Newman, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Ray, Death Cab for Cutie, and The War on Drugs.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for purchase of your songs. 

Bandcamp

thekarmanauts.bandcamp.com/releases

Twitter

twitter.com/The_Karmanauts

Website

theKarmanauts.com

Facebook

facebook.com/thekarmanauts/

Soundcloud

soundcloud.com/thekarmanauts

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

That’s a tough one. It’s probably like a 10-way tie for saddest events and a 100-way tie for happiest.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars. 

We’d hire a bunch of our favorite songwriters and musicians; to come and help us to try and record the greatest album of all time!

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Tell us about your song. 

“Phantoms” is probably the mellowest song on our debut album, “Moonstone”, but possibly our favorite as well.  People seem to be drawn to it and we are thrilled about that.

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career. 

Writing everything down and keeping a calendar; and not committing to too many things!

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Tell us five artists you can regard as legends. 

I can’t speak for Dominic and Sam but hopeful they won’t think I’m crazy if I say:  The Beatles, The Beach Boys, NG La Banda, Los Van Van, and Townes Van Zandt.

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Tell us your future plans pertaining music. 

We are already well on our way with our second album.  We are probably about 50% complete at this point and are VERY happy with it so far!

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Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music. 

Obviously creativity and originality are extremely important in music.  However, balance is everything and the original elements of a song must be balanced with the familiar.  And sometimes you can’t just wait for creativity as an artist, and instead need to just go “ok, I’m going to write/play/practice something now.”

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Tell us the reason you are into music. 

Music can transform life. It can turn a bad day into a good day.  It can make you think about things in a different way. It can create hope where there was none.

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Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference. 

Personally, I tend to prefer older music on average.  However, every once in a while a new song or artist emerges that just blows my mind.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist. 

The first day I played rock music with other musicians (as opposed to with recordings).  Being in a room with a real drum-set being played by a real person while I was playing my guitar was a life-changing experience.

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Tell us what you would do for the people if you found yourself in a position of power. 

If I could, I’d solve the problem of inequality, in all its various forms (income, gender, racial, environmental, species, etc.).  That would be amazing and I believe it would in turn solve a million other problems that we might not ordinarily think of as problems related to inequality.

Ben Noble

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

Ben Noble, United States. Born and raised in Denver, CO. I moved to Minneapolis, MN in 2009 for college and have been in Minneapolis ever since.

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Tell us your academic qualification. 

I have a Bachelor’s degree in music (and just finished paying off my students loans, suck it college).

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

I have played music my whole life. I grew up playing saxophone, piano, guitar, drums; whatever I could get my hands on. I started recording my own music using a desktop computer mic and Windows Movie Maker (each overdub was played through the speakers into the same mic; imagine seeing my jaw drop when I discovered multi-tracking). I didn’t get serious about my music career until 2 years ago. I had a “real job” and eventually decided that if I wanted to make music actually happen I needed a big change; I quit my job and have been scraping along as a freelance musician (big shout out to my wife for her support!).

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

My music is Indie Folk with influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Radiohead. My song “Worldspin” was originally inspired by a line from a book called The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. The line was talking about pride, calling it “the sin by which the angels fell”. It really stuck out to me. When you think about it, the root of most evil in the world is thinking you are better than someone.

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Tell us how to run a record label independently and successfully based on your experience as an artist. 

Work really hard but also decide on good goals before you start working. Any success I’ve had has come when I have strategically thought about something before working on it. As an independent musician it is helpful to assemble a team of people and play to their strengths. Know your limits so you can focus on what you are good at. More than anything you need to realize that you are the boss (after all, you are the one writing all the checks) and the ship doesn’t move without you.

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Tell us how you are promoting your music. 

I am playing shows regularly in Minneapolis and am looking to tour in 2018. I am also working with a publicist and we are blasting local radio and media outlets.

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Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad. 

What makes me happy: my wife and daughter, seeing people laugh, hugs, buying things, writing late at night with some nice whiskey. What makes me sad: assholes who are mean to other people, overcooked hash browns, a car mechanic telling you you’ll need to make more repairs than you thought.

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Explain clearly the story or concept behind the song. 

As I said earlier, it is based off of a quote from a book. The root of almost all evil is pride: thinking you are better than someone. Later in the song there is a line that says: “You can play the fear, you can move the skies, and you can make the world spin however want with your crooked pride”. It goes on to say “it will haunt you at night”. I like the idea of mean, prideful people being haunted at night by things they do that they think they can get away with. I’m not a super-morbid person, but this is the emotion that this song was born from.

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List the radio stations, TV stations and blogs that have aired or featured your new song. 

The Current (Minneapolis), Root Cellar on KVSC Radio, City Pages (Minneapolis), MN Spin (streaming service).

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Give us links to where the song can be purchased. 

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/worldspin/1208656055?i=1208657060

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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. 

“Worldspin” features my friends Hilary Ritchie (violin), Whitney Loher (viola), and Hunter Selg (cello). I recorded everything by myself in a cabin. Later I wrote string parts and recorded them in my basement.

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

I have been writing and recording music for ten years. I’ve been getting more serious about putting out my own music as well as producing for other artists in the past two years. My goal for the future is to release a bunch of records, build a studio to produce others, and make a sustainable living off of a combination of the two.

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Tell us what makes you unique from others. 

I do my own producing, I am a half-time stay-at-home dad, I doubt myself a lot of the time (oh wait, that’s everyone).

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Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining music. 

My weakness and strength is that I usually try to do everything myself. I am in no way a type-A person, but when it comes to my music, I’m a raging perfectionist. Everything has to be done my way. This helps because I can take an idea and see it all the way through but it hurts because it limits the input of other voices and it doesn’t always use other people’s strengths.

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List your five favourite songs including the artists. 

Holocene – Bon Iver

Death With Dignity – Sufjan Stevens

No Surprises – Radiohead

Was There Nothing? – Asgeir

Callow – Novo Amor

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Tell us your position on “DIY” Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label. 

If your music is deeply interwoven with who you are as a person, don’t sign with a major label (unless you feel like they get you). If you write meaningless pop tunes, go ahead (I’m not hating on pop, but yeah, take the money).

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Tell us the instruments put together in this song. 

There is a sea of acoustic guitar and vocal tracks, violin, viola, cello, a random box I used for percussion, and hand claps.

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Tell us other activities you will like to pursue apart from music. 

I spend most of my non-music time with my wife and daughter. We listen to audiobooks, travel, bake cookies, and jump on trampolines whenever we get the chance. If I had an endless number of hours I would design and build my own house, learn to do a backflip, and learn to make donuts.

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Tell us about gaining the confidence to sing in front of a large crowd for the first time. 

I dealt with anxiety about singing in front of a large crowd for years. When it’s your music, it is hard not to equate people’s response with your identity and self-worth. The turning point for me was realizing that when you are the one singing, you are the one being vulnerable, which is way braver and badass than any critic standing safely and anonymously in the audience.

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Tell us the best way to make money in the music business. 

You have to spend money to make money. Invest in good gear and good musicians, work consistently, and try things that scare you. Also, learn to produce so that people will pay you because that is much quicker income than original music!

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Tell us your experience pertaining TV/Radio plugging. 

I have worked with a Minneapolis-based licensing company with limited success. The stars need to align to have any success but it is there for sure.

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Narrate your recording experience. 

This album was self-produced in a cabin, one mic for everything. It originated as a 6-song EP and I was ready to release it; after showing it to trusted sources I decided to start again and make it a full-length album.

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List your various works.

Debut album “Whisky Priest” released March 10, 2017.

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State links to connect you on social media.

www.bennoblemusic.com

www.instagram.com/bennoblemusic

 

www.facebook.com/bennoblemusic

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7ChhIWKSVrKcgqGnL7IxAG

 

rachad

Tell us about yourself. 

Even though I’m really social, I’m actually the biggest nerd. I’m obsessed with books, but not normal fictions or novels with like creative story lines. I love autobiographies and books that have some kind of historical or philosophical value. You got to control the information you receive these days.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist. 

As an artist, I’m really trying to express the different sides of my personality by telling stories that I’ve actually gone through. I don’t really try too hard to figure out how I want to come across to everyone. I’m rachad.

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Tell us about the genre of your music. 

I don’t really think my music has a specific genre, I like to mess around with every sound I possibly can. But I’d describe it as future R&B, like R&B with an electronic twist.

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Tell us about the story behind your song. 

I had just gotten out of a relationship, but still missed the affection of being in one. So I wrote a song to kind of explain how I wanted the benefits of a relationship with somebody I already has a friendship/connection with.

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Tell us about the problems you are facing as a musician. 

Being from Canada and living in Sydney Australia, it’s a lot harder to get the attention and respect of listeners without being from the U.S.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song.

Originally my producer Klapback and I were messing around with an R. Kelly sample until I started free-styling what is now the hook of the song. Then I got introduced to a producer known as i.amsolo who helped me create my vision for the song by removing the sample and chopping my own vocals into what is now the vocal samples in the background.

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List the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far. 

KIIS FM

Eternity Network

KRXM Radio

FBi Radio

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goals. 

Since I’ve always been involved in every step of the making of my music (writing/production/branding etc.), I have recently gotten the opportunity to write and work with other upcoming and established artists as a result of the connections I’ve made this year. Which is pretty exciting considering this is my first official single.

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

Women.

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Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song. 

Even though you should always have artistic integrity, nobody is going to care unless they hear something that appeals to them (whether it’s familiar to them or not). The irony of being creatively familiar – the artist dilemma.

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

Make sure once you’re confident that once you’re finished turning your vision into a song, spend time on your branding and your image.

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Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 

Because I have just started my career, “Best Friend” is my official first single. But I do have some big plans for the next couple months as far as new singles and a possible EP…

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

Every genre of music that I do demands a different process; but usually the process starts with a chord progression played on guitar, piano or a pad. Then I’ll freestyle some melodies, lyrics and flows for like 10 minutes per song and then just cut parts out and put the song together. Melody first, then lyrics. The beat and the melodies will always tell you what the song should be about.

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Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with. 

Drake, Kanye, Lido, Jaden Smith, Keller, The Weekend, anders, I could go on forever.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for purchase of your songs. 

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/album/0CMmRfnJhZlCIJQvUtu3xZ

Apple Music

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1321702471

Itunes

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1321702471?ls=1&app=itunes

Soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/rachadsedu/best-friend

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/rachadsedu/

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

Happiest Day: the first time I went back to visit Ottawa since I moved away to Sydney.

Saddest Day: when I moved away.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars. 

I’d buy my crew their favourite cars, my mom her favourite bag, myself a house, and then re-invest the rest into my music.

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Tell us about your song. 

Personal. Play it at night.

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career. 

I’m really strict with my time, so I make sure that I cut out distractions where I can. Especially when it comes to people trying to get in the way. Goal setting and monitoring your goals; it is important to make sure that you’re always evaluating your own progress.

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Tell us five artists you can regard as legends. 

Jimmy Hendrix

Ray Charles

Drake

Kanye West

R Kelly

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Tell us your future plans pertaining music. 

Continue to experiment with different sounds that you’d find in less mainstream genres of music, and implement them in a catchy and memorable way (think the 808 in Kelela – “Blue Light”). Release a couple more singles until my EP is ready to launch.

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Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music. 

As much as it’s important to follow trends in music, it’s important that your music makes an impact on people. Without that creative element to your music, you’ll start to lose your sense of identity and your ability to contribute to music in general.

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Tell us the reason you are into music. 

Bullying. I was bullied for many reasons (my weight, religion, nationality and culture) and didn’t have many friends when I first moved, so I needed something that I could do when I was alone. Which turned into listening to and creating music.

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Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference. 

I actually came up on old school rap, r&b, soul and blues. So my first taste of like major fandom was towards people like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Ray Charles, Nas, R Kelly, Sade etc. But I think as far as new school, even though I listen to everything, artists like Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, Childish Gambino “Because the Internet”, Travis Scott “Rodeo” and Jaden Smith “SYRE” – that I vibe to the most. They create albums that are not only time stamps of contemporary music, but are so distinct that they continue to stand out for years after their release. They create modern classics which is what I aspire to do. Because of all the technology that’s available to modern artists, it’s arguable that it’s easier to create something creative and different these days compared to 20 years ago. Regardless, new school music is more readily accessible to us these days as there’s simply more of it. This is possibly the hardest question I’ve ever been asked.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist. 

The day I first wrote “Best Friend” and learnt how to use my voice as a singer, rather than just how I used to write for others.

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Tell us what you would do for the people if you found yourself in a position of power. 

Help with socio-political issues within my own country and in the rest of the world. As a graduate of a politics degree, and about to complete my law degree, I would like to be able to accomplish the goals that I set myself when I began my studies. Especially considering that the reason I became such a music nerd was because of bullying.

Chizlonies the Lord

Tell us whether you are in love with old school vibe or the new school vibe.
I’m actually in love with both, depending on what you mean by new school vibe. I love boombap beats, 9th Wonder, J.Dilla. But I also love the more modern hip hop beats, heavy sampling, trap, etc. There’s a place for both.

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Tell us your position on “DIY” Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
It’s difficult. You got to be diligent and confident in your abilities and whatever team you have supporting you. You can’t get discouraged when you are doing things on your own. Trust yourself and the people who believe in you and keep going. Signing to a label is obviously a huge step in terms of distribution and notoriety, but the ball is kind of out of your court once you sign. You rarely get to do things completely on your own terms and that’s important, or should be important to you.

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Tell us how you feel when you hear your song on the radio.
I’ve never had a song on the radio. If I did, it would feel awesome. I don’t really have affection for most common radio stations but other stations that are on Sirius radio and things like that are cool.

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Tell us the concept and story behind your new song.
I just wanted to make a funky tune. The whole song is just groovy and kind of feel good, reminds me of just dull pink pleasant colors for some reasons.

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Tell us how you come up with the melody of the song and the lyrics.
It usually comes based off the beat or whatever vibe I’m getting when I hear a beat. Lyrics also just come from whatever I’m thinking about or sometimes it’s just straight up bars. A lot of times I just get an urge to write, as if I have a bunch of lyrics cooked up and I need to release them.

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Tell us your greatest artist of all time.
Right now, still, it got to be Lil’ Wayne. If you were an adolescent during 2000-2010, you know that Weezy is the one.

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Send a message to your fans.
I’m happy and appreciative of anyone who messes with my music, or just presses play. I make music for many reasons, and one of them is to give people something relatable, even if minor. Thanks for giving me the chance to do so.
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Tell us what you know about music promotion.
I don’t really know. I just publicize where I can publicize it and send links out to my friends and ask them to publicize it lol. Other than that, my best friend/manager handles promotion.
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Tell us your first experience in recording your first song.
I’m pretty sure I was in high school with some good friends; Me, my homie James Jackson, my homie/manager John Schramm, and my homie RJ. We were at Schramm’s house and he had a Blue Snowball mic I’m pretty sure and he recorded us using Audacity.

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Tell us about challenges you have overcome in life.
​I guess just making it to where I am today was a challenge. Biggest challenge I ever faced was studying for and taking the Florida Bar Exam this past summer. Nothing else in terms of determination, hard work, or struggle comes close. Never grinded that hard in my life.​

Nikö Blank

Tell us about yourself.
I go by Nikö Blank. I am currently based out of South Korea but I’ve been traveling back and forth to Los Angeles.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.
The “blank” in my name represents the “blank” aspect of me not showing images or promoting the image of myself as an artist but rather only the musical aspects of my artistry.

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Tell us about the genre of your music.
Currently producing future bass/dance/RnB/Pop music with a melodic, dramatic and cinematic touch… But this is slowly morphing into something new…

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Tell us about the story behind your song.
“Ride”, was supposed to be the poetic, chill dance track of the EP. It was heavily influenced by Frank Ocean/Kaytranada…I’m putting it out in the universe now… I’m going to get Kaytranada to remix this track.

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Tell us about the problems you are facing as a musician.
Always staying inspired is the hardest thing…

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song.
I made a few track ideas and brought them into the session where we wrote the song. The lyrics then went through one editing process and were then re-recorded the vocals with Rush Davis, who nailed it!

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List the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far.
Apple Beats 1, Sirius XM and Los Angeles KCRW etc… have supported me thus far.

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goals.
I started making short song ideas in 2011, but most were not very good. Then in the years that followed, I made two independent, full length R&B albums. In the winter of 2015, both albums had been out for a while and I was about to quit music all together. This was when my manager and label head MiSCHiEF BOY found and signed me.

Hopefully in the short future I will be touring and supporting my music worldwide. I love traveling because it’s very inspiring for me. Hopefully if I become successful in music I’d love to engage in educating kids.

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Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Other artists’ music always helps me to write songs, it’s how I’ve learned… I’ve studied how others make music and then try to adapt it to my music. Talking with people about life and experiences also help.
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Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
Keep making music… I have almost hundred tracks and counting in my HD. I feel like a hit song is a number game.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Focus on small things and enjoy your process.

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Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.
I’m just getting started…
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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
A lot of voices notes into my phone, listening to music and reading books. Then it’s all about putting in the time/focus and work into creating.

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Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with.
Most recently, Mura-masa, Krane, Lauv, Skrillex, Diplo, Cashmere Cat are artists I’d love to collaborate with.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for purchase of your songs.

Here’s the link to my EP

smarturl.it/NIKOBLANKTHEFRAMEEP

The EP’s Short Film

youtube.com/watch?v=t8QyMMPio_U

Follow NIKÖ BLANK:
nikoblank.com

smarturl.it/NIKOBLANKspotify

twitter.com/imnikoblank

soundcloud.com/imnikoblank

facebook.com/imnikoblank

instagram.com/imnikoblank

youtube.com/nikoblank
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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.
South Korea has various weather…I’m influenced a lot by weather.
The sun makes me happy. The rain makes me sad… So working on my “Frame” EP in both L.A where it was sunny all the time, and Korea in the winter (when I was working on ideas for the EP) was a great balance. My happiest and saddest days occurred during the process.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
I’d like to have a nice place to live… But I think I’d put most of it towards some kind of public utility foundation for kid talent/education. South Korean education system isn’t the best in my opinion. Especially for creatives like myself.

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
Great time management skills haha.

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Tell us five artists you can regard as legends.
The Funk Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, 2Pac, Michael Jackson… Those are the first 5 that popped into my head.

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Tell us your future plans pertaining music.
Just making more music and hopefully touring the world to support it.

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Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music.
Originality came from the experience of my life… As corny as that sounds, people’s lives and experiences are different, this makes them original in some aspect. In my case, when I was about 13 years old, I was dreaming of becoming a web designer…This morphed into being a computer programmer when I was around 17. These things combined with my love of music is how I came to the realization I wanted to be an artist. Steve jobs always talked about ‘connecting the dots’ which I think is what happened with me. Steve inspires me a lot.

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Tell us the major reason you are into music.
Because it’s music… I don’t think I could live without it.

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Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference.
I have no preference because my roots are more “old school” but I make more “new school” music. To me they are both very enjoyable, they are just different.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist.
When MiSCHiEF BOY contacted me for the first time. That is a day I will never forget because it shocked me that someone from half way around the world was interested in my music and had found me… haha.