d'Z & Katie Leone - Lovin' & Dancin'

d’Z & Katie Leone – Lovin’ & Dancin’

d’Z & Katie Leone – Lovin’ & Dancin’

 

 

 

 

d'Z & Katie Leone - Lovin' & Dancin'

d’Z & Katie Leone – Lovin’ & Dancin’

 

 

 

Artist Name: d’Z & Katie Leone

 

Song Title: Lovin’ & Dancin’

 

Genre: Melodic Groove Jazz-Funk

 

Release Date: May 28 2018

 

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d’Z & Katie Leone – Lovin’ & Dancin’

 

Born to a conservative family in Rotterdam, gateway to Europe, the life of Dutch drummer and composer Hans-Peter de Zeeuw a.k.a d’Z changed at the age of nine when he took his first drum lesson. He sat down behind the drumkit, the feel of the drumstick comfortable as if they had been waiting for this moment to meet. He knew he was destined to be a drummer. By 19, d’Z attended the largest conservatory for pop, jazz and world music in Europe, being taught by leading musicians of the Netherlands. He thrived while exploring the richness of music’s different styles and genres. It wasn’t long before d’Z was a sought-after drummer known for his inherent sense of groove and ability to allow fellow musicians to shine. With his career as a professional drummer in full swing, d’Z took to composing his own music. Giving voice to the melodies that filled him and finding inspiration from Incognito, Steely Dan, The Brand New Heavies, Tower of Power and Gino Vannelli. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016, d’Z decided to record. His mandate was simple. An EP of music made without concessions. He hand chose five original tunes with the Jazz-Funk flavor he so loved and went straight to his favorite producer, Raoul Soentken. The two began making plans to record “Connected” using some of Holland’s best musicians. In the very early stages of the journey, it was clear each song demanded a different vocalist which would prove to be a challenge the duo took on with gusto. The participation of Katie Léone (Incognito, Chaka Khan, The Brand New Heavies, Jocelyne Brown), lifted the project to a higher level. There was a buzz forming in the local music scene. Comments like “What a pleasant surprise”, “This is a HOT production” and “You guys sound brilliant on this”, were heard over and over again. After having recorded four out of five tunes (with Freddi Lubitz, a German singer/kick-ass bass player, Ingmar Glerum, a Dutch young vocal/guitar talent and Adriana Romeijn, a well-known singer in the Netherlands) there was one song proving difficult to find the right vocalist. Searching for the perfect fit, d’Z asked American vocalist Sandra St Victor, former singer of The Family Stand, long time background singer for Chaka Khan and two times Grammy nominee to lend her soulful voice to the title song “Connected”. She accepted and the rest, as they say, is history! d’Z’s much-anticipated album “Connected” is released June 2nd, 2018. With his often socially conscious lyrics and groove-based songs, d’Z feels the need to reach out, connect and – if only for a brief time – give people a place to feel love, hope and lightness.

 

SoulandjJazzandFunk

 

Brandooze

 

Tell us how you fund your music projects.

Since this is the first project I funded it all by myself. I consider it an investment. However, I’d like to do some crowdfunding for the next album that I’m planning to record in about two years from now.

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Share your press release and reviews with us.

Born in Rotterdam, Dutch drummer and composer Hans-Peter de Zeeuw a.k.a. d’Z made his debut EP at the age of 50. Even before releasing his debut album, he received many acclaimed reviews on his attempt to blend socially conscious lyrics with challenging harmonies, attractive melodies, and danceable grooves. Being influenced for many years by many styles and genres such as Gino Vannelli, Steely Dan, Incognito, Prince, Tower of Power, d’Z’s musical heart landed on the shores of Groove-Jazz City. Here he built -with the help of Katie Léone (The Brand New Heavies, Anastacia, Incognito) and 2 times Grammy Nominee Sandra St. Victor (Prince, The Family Stand, Chaka Khan), among others- his crib of sparkling and love giving music. With his socially conscious lyrics and groove-based songs, d’Z strongly feels the need to reach out, connect and -if only for a brief time- give people a place to feel love, hope, and lightness. d’Z’s much-anticipated album “Connected” is released June 2nd, 2018. With his often socially conscious lyrics and groove-based songs, d’Z feels the need to reach out, connect and – if only for a brief time – give people a place to feel love, hope and lightness.

 

“The flow is incredible! Love the bass and harmonies in this one. Awesome! We receive a lot of great tracks and it is an honor to receive yours!”

– Unity Promotion Network

 

“Dazzling musical arrangements and a super-tight rhythm section.”

– Soundlooks.com

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Tell us if you will change the style of your music to get signed.

I’m an indie artist by choice. So, no, I will not change my style to get signed. I’ve searched a long time to define my style (Melodic Groove Jazz-Funk) so I’ll stick with it. I know there’s a market for it. The only challenge is to find the audience who like my kind of music. They’re the same people who like Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Tower of Power, Prince, Incognito to name a few. Once I’ve established my name, who needs a signed contract? Besides, a record company isn’t able to put the same effort in your music as you’re able to; they have so many artists to represent… Anyway, that’s all part of the old music industry. I’d rather be in the new one: managing my own music and style in as much freedom as possible! 😉

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Elaborate on this song.

The song kicks off with an almost fusion-like intro with chords I played intuitively on my keyboard, years ago. The postponed chorus opens up the song being played in a major key (in contrast to the verses). I intended to make a joyful tune that builds and builds to a climax. I think we’ve managed to create an energizing and positive sounding song. Thanks in no small measure to the wonderful Katie Léone!

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Tell us if you have a guideline or standard set for your music production.

My guideline has some standards for sure! Being a professional drummer, I want the drums sounding as great as possible; if your drum sound is great, you’re halfway through the recording process. I’m always searching for the best vocalists for my tunes; after all, no matter how good the musicians play on your album, it’s the singer of the song who can make the difference. He or she has to be able to tell the story and touch people’s heart. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great musicians. They really let me shine. Maybe this is the essential standard: to surround yourself with people who are on the same level (or even can boost that level!) of playing.

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Tell us your preparation for a live performance and how you make sure the quality of sound is high.

I always try to be prepared as good as possible. One of the most important things is staying focused on the job that has to be done. I believe that’s key to the quality of your performance. However, I’m not in control of the quality of sound; it depends a lot on the acoustics of the venues. That being said, it’s vital to adjust your loudness on stage depending on the stage you’re playing. Luckily I’m able to play both soft and loud when I’m behind the drums.

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Discuss how to live healthy.

I drink a lot of water. And I mean A LOT! 😉 I also try to walk for at least four days a week into the forest near my house. It clears my head before I start my busy day!

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Tell us if you are in control of your performance or you are still learning.

Being a professional drummer, I would say I’m in control of my instrument. However, that doesn’t mean I’m still learning by studying the drums as much as I can. Besides, it’s fun to improve your playing!

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Tell us that precious moment you chose music as a career.

I can’t think of a precious moment since I know my entire life I wanted to be a drummer… There’s never been a question about wanting to do or be something different.

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Tell us the greatest feedback you have ever received on a song of yours.   

Since I’m a big fan of Gino Vannelli, this was a fantastic message that I received recently: “Not since Gino Vannelli (the early work) have I been blown away by such fine musicianship” And you know who wrote this? A former background singer from Mr. Vannelli. How cool is that?!

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Tell us your side interest apart from music.

I am very interested in human nature, especially when it comes to our convictions/thoughts. I am convinced that our quality of life depends on our beliefs and perceptions on how to view the world around us. In a nutshell: is the glass half full or half empty? What if we could choose our experience? I believe we can. It’s no accident that I combine this message a lot with my music. I want to reach out by suggesting a different road to travel.

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Tell us if you prefer singing as a solo artist to collaborating with others.

Well, I’m not a singer but I do prefer collaborating with others. My musical career depends on it! That’s why I am very thrilled to have worked with Katie Léone (Incognito, Chaka Khan, Anastacia, The Brand New Heavies) and Sandra St. Victor (Prince, The Family Stand, Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield), among other great artists!

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Tell us the artist that influenced you.

Gino Vannelli. Definitely. He is a great inspiration to me. As a matter of fact, I sent him a copy of my EP. To say thank you for all those years of beautiful music and performances. Other inspirations are Steely Dan, Snarky Puppy, Vulfpeck, Stevie Wonder, Richard Bona, Tower of Power. I could go on forever. So many fine artists have influenced me!

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Tell us the full details of this song.

Lovin’ & Dancin’ is an invitation to live our lives to the fullest with the awareness that there’s love enough in this world. Let’s dance our way to happiness! As Katie sings: “Lovin’, dancin’, playin’, laughin’, life can be so good. Make love; your heart deeply wants to. It’s never too late.” The song has a positive message, I think. I hope people can relate to it.

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Tell us the organization you will set up to fight a cause and state your reason for fighting the cause.

I can’t imagine setting up an organization! I believe in smaller things; live your life with love. Strive for happiness. That’s my focus: raising awareness of having a choice in what you like to experience in your life. My mission is to share my message by making and releasing songs.

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Tell us your mood while performing.

When I perform, I’m in a happy mood. I can feel gratitude as well. Performing is a group effort, so it’s always fun playing with people who communicate in the same language.

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Tell us the mistakes to avoid in the music business.

Don’t fall for big promises that are too good to be true! Stay on your path, follow your heart!

Merlot Embargo - Head Above The Water

Merlot Embargo – Head Above The Water

Merlot Embargo – Head Above The Water

 

 

 

 

Merlot Embargo - Head Above The Water

Merlot Embargo – Head Above The Water

 

 

 

 

Artist Name: Merlot Embargo

 

Song Title: Head Above The Water

 

Genre: Indie Pop

 

Release Date: 8/19/2018

 

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Merlot Embargo – Head Above The Water

 

We’re Merlot Embargo; a collective of humans from Los Angeles headed by singer/songwriter and guitarist/producer pair (and wife/husband) Scarlet and Geoff. We write and record out of our home studio and perform throughout Southern California. In December 2014 we walked away from a nearly fatal automobile accident, and left the scene wondering what we’d have regretted if we’d been killed. The answer was immediately obvious: not pursuing our own music. This brush with death unleashed a flood of drive and creativity that propelled us to form Merlot Embargo and leave our creative stamp on the world.

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Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.

I’m sure most of us know that it’s the main way small-time artists can get heard! But more importantly, we think it’s a little more personable. There are opportunities for more of a real connection with fans. There are so many conversations we’ve had with people who’ve encountered our music that just wouldn’t have been possible in a traditional big label paradigm.

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Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.

I mean, what other choice is there? Music is what gives us life. Expression of ourselves through song is one of the most satisfying things we could possibly do. We just have to figure out how to make money at it!

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Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.

I think most of our fans connect with our music on a lyrical, emotional kind of level. Yes, there are cool parts and hooks and grooves and stuff, but at the heart our music is about the stuff of life that’s worth singing about: loss and love and apocalypses and finding your way and sticking up for yourself. But really we’re sort of a singer songwriter pair at heart. It’s the stuff that makes you feel something that our fans are into.

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Tell us how you record your song.

We record almost everything in our home studio – it keeps the cost down and we’ve been happy with the results. That means we have to wear a lot of hats though. In addition to being the songwriters, producers, arrangers and musicians, we have been learning how to be audio engineers as well!

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Tell us the story behind the song.

‘Head Above The Water’ is a song written for a close relative of ours who was going through some hard times. When you’re hurt and crying and broken you often have to just keep going. Life can really beat you up sometimes and drag you down. So we wrote an anthem to inspire this person to keep on keeping on.

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State your musical skills.

Scarlet’s been singing since almost before she was walking. She plays a bit of guitar and piano and writes on both of those instruments, but her real talent is her voice and her writing. She’s got an uncanny knack for melody. Geoff’s the more accomplished instrumentalist of the two, but he’s not quite as creative as far as raw melodies go. He plays many instruments, but guitar is where he started and feels most at home. He’s the producer and arranger as well.

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Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.

Really it depends on the song – some are written, polished and recorded in a couple of weeks. Other might sit on the back burner and take a year or more! ‘Head Above The Water’ was somewhere in the middle of that. A lot of times a song will go through a major feel revision or two before we settle on a final style. Sometimes it just happens organically and sometimes we scrap something that we’re just not happy with. With ‘Head Above The Water’, it kind of evolved slowly. It was originally a more indie rock and a little less soul/pop.

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Go into detail on how you develop your lyrics and melody.

Scarlet is our main songwriter and Geoff is more of the producer and arranger. Usually a song starts with a little nugget of a melody that popped into her head, often in the car, and she’ll quickly capture it on a phone or something so as not to forget a potential gem. Lyrics tend to come a little later, and they tend to be a little more work. There’s also a bit of massaging both of them before we get something we’re really happy with.

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State your five favourite genres of music with reasons.

Folk/country – the stories, the honesty and the realism. Love folk instruments as well, we play a little banjo on some of our songs.

 

Good old-fashioned rock – nothing gets you energized quite the same way as loud drums, chunky guitars and a gritty, intense singer.

 

Jazz – this is where Geoff cut his teeth and got serious about music. Love the improvisation aspect and the extended harmonic structure.

 

Holiday – we had another band that exclusively did Christmas music, so it’s dear to our hearts.

 

And of course wispy singer-songwriter – Nothing connects with us emotionally like someone singing about real stuff about which they care deeply.

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Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.

We’ve got a pretty relaxed stage … it’s not a polished show, but a little freer… We’ve definitely changed our set a few times when a fan shouted out a request! Sometimes we feel like it’s more of a conversation with our fans than a structured one after another set list.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Merlot Embargo – yeah we have a history with Merlot. Well just leave it at that! 😬

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Discuss your rehearsal.

Usually it consists of trying to remember our lyrics and musical breaks and hits!

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State your favourite musical instruments.

Guitar of course. Can’t get anywhere without that. Love throwing a little banjo in a recording though. On Head Above, there’s also a Moog Synthesizer playing a lead line towards the end of the song – love that thing too! Also we love strings and horns!! They don’t make it into every song, but they really are a nice touch and can take a song into new territory. Arranging for small sections like those is really fun, too.

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Discuss your personality in full details.

Scarlet is the classic artist personality. Geoff’s the classic musician nerd. We really do complement each other and form a great team.

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Discuss your music career.

Well it’s really just beginning isn’t it! We’ve got some music that people seem to like, so we’ll keep writing more of it until we can’t!

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List your musical work.

Don’t Look Back (album) – 2016

 

Another Thing Coming (single) – 2017

 

Let the Light In (single) – 2016

 

She (single) – 2018

 

Georgia (single) 2018

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Share your memorable experiences with us.

A few things stand out – for one, the car accident was horrible. But life changing and the inspiration to start doing what we always wanted to. The birth of our daughter and being parents has been epic. Definitely one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences and it continues daily.

Omâge - St. Tropez

Omâge – St. Tropez

Omâge – St. Tropez

 

 

 

 

Omâge - St. Tropez

Omâge – St. Tropez

 

 

Artist Name: Omâge

 

Song Title: St.Tropez

 

Genre: Pop

 

Release Date: September 6th 2018

 

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Omâge – St. Tropez

 

Brief us on how to impress fans during a live performance.

Our goal is never to impress fans, but to be authentic and perform our very best, giving the best show possible to the people who show up.

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List the names of your biggest supporters.

Our immediate family and friends who have stuck by our sides since the beginning.

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Explain what has motivated you so far in your music career.

What has motivated us so far in our musical career has been watching other artists and being impacted by them, and wanting to have an impact on other people. This is our passion, something we’ve always wanted to do. It’s not a hobby, it’s a passion, and we’ve driven by that.

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Discuss your experience as an artist.

We’re fairly new artists so for us it’s been a journey of defining who we are and creating our image and music.

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Tell us the biggest mistake you have ever made in your music career.

The biggest mistake we’ve made has been doubting ourselves or waiting a little too long to take certain actions.

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Discuss the story behind the song.

The story behind St.Tropez – we were inspired by a number of individuals but St.Tropez is a fun summer song for girls or guys who want to go out and have a good time.

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Tell us how to fund a music project.

A big part of it is having connections, people who believe in you to sponsor you, promoting yourself, having a following.

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Discuss your opinion on the safety of fans during shows and live performances.

It’s important; we don’t need any more Ariana Grande incidents. If the safety of the fans isn’t taken into consideration, we wouldn’t be doing our job as artists. Without the fans there is no reason for us to even be there.

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Tell us the greatest piece of advice someone has given you as an artist.  

That the music industry is 10% music and 90% business.

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Tell us what you will improve or change in your music.

We’re going to be changing our sound a bit and bringing some new awesome people onto the team!

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Discuss vocal training and how you protect your vocal.

As a group, we’ve trained with vocal coaches such as Andrea Martin, and we make it a point to always warm up and ease into a singing session.

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Discuss your best mood during performance.

For Dom, it’s when I become my inner queen B (alter ego Beyonce) For Megan, it’s feeling like I’m on top of the world, when I’ve hit an impressive note or sang a difficult riff.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Omâge; which is actually a combination of Megan and Dominique’s names combined , and it’s also similar to the word Homage – which is a tribute to others, for us this means a tribute to the world.

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List your best artists with reasons.

Beyonce – not that she is the Whitney Houston of all the singers, but because she’s the total package, you’re gonna get a performance, a show and great vocals. Beyonce is a true triple threat.

 

Jessie J and Tori Kelly – because of their vocal capabilities, particularly their ability to riff and run.

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Discuss your existence as an artist.

Omâge is a group of girls with the same passion and the same goals. Strong women together make a bigger impact. Better united than divided.

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Tell us the greatest problem you think is facing the society and the solution.

How divided we are right now, whether it’s politics, gender issues, or whatever. We need to accept and love more. Love is definitely the key, and there’s not enough love going around in this world.

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Discuss your songwriting and recording.

We’ve recorded and sang at many different studios, but the greatest thing about writing and recording is that it’s such a team effort, and we each get to add a bit of our own personalities to each song.