Earth Matters - Imagine

Earth Matters – Imagine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Matters - Imagine

Earth Matters – Imagine

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Matters – Imagine

 

ARTIST NAME: Earth Matters

 

SONG TITLE: Imagine

 

GENRE: Pop/Singer-Songwriter

 

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Earth Matters has been described as “positive music to inspire change around the world”.

 

Doing plenty of souls searching, one night while performing drums and enjoying every minute of it, I decided to pursue my dream of making music full-time, and traveled from my hometown, Mexico City to Boston, where I quickly realized I was born to rock!

 

After completing my music production studies from Berklee College of Music, I decided I’d make Miami my base of operations.

 

Miami was not easy at all. After knocking and failing to open so many doors and going through plenty of ups and downs, I was able to establish myself as a music producer and engineer.

 

Everything started to go awesomely, but something rocked my world more than anything I’d experienced…I became a dad. It was then I woke up and realized we’re not doing the best we can for the survival of our species and now, as a father to 3 energetic and spirited girls, I’d like to leave this earth in better conditions than I found it. This is how Earth Matters was born.

 

Inspired by my main influences, including The Police and The Beatles, Earth Matters is a music and media project to help us become the best version of ourselves we can be, so we can live better lives and connect with our Gaia…Mother Earth.

 

There’s a lot of work to be done, so we might as well start somewhere! And the best place to start is ourselves! We wait for someone to bring change without realizing we can change ourselves.

 

Earth Matters is a music and media project that seeks to change the world, one song at a time!

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Tell us your definition of being a talented artist.

My vision of a talented artist is a person who uses his creativity and imagination to express the most powerful human emotions that connect us with one another!

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Share your opinion with us on digital distribution.

I love digital distribution because it has made audiences and artists come closer together. There is no other era I’d rather live in because today we can connect with people from all over the planet creating a sort of digital revolution! Digital distribution has facilitated this communication between artists and fans.

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Send a message to those involved in helping you with this project.

Special thanks to everyone who has taken me this far on this musical journey, including my parents, family, and friends.

 

Special thanks to those musicians who have added their unique talents into the music and to all the fans that believe we can make this a better world for everyone on this planet.

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Describe how you get involved in music.

Growing up, most of my friends were partying while I was practicing drums and rehearsing with several bands.

 

I really felt a connection with music from early on and this is why music is a part of who I am, not just what I do.

 

I learned piano but at a talent show at school I heard a drummer perform “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2 and I was immediately hooked. That led me to recording, which eventually led me to production.

 

I’m currently learning guitar and am always trying to improve on what I already know.

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Tell us about your childhood experience.

I grew up in Mexico City and had a really blessed childhood. My brother was a fan of Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands, but I was more attracted to music Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Elvis, and The Beatles.

 

It was a lot of fun growing up. My friends and I were always creating something, like movies when we got our first video camera, and of course, we definitely created some trouble every once in a while too.

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Tell us if you are a starter or an established artist at the moment.

I’ve been living from music for over fifteen years now. I started as a drummer and drum teacher and transitioned into music production and engineering where I worked with many artists both established and independent.

 

Along with the drop in CD sales that happened in the industry around 2005-06, I had to transition into looking for more sources of revenue. That’s when I started creating my own music. I developed an instrumental that serves those looking for relaxation music, called Musical Spa.

 

Earth Matters is a brand new concept I came up with so I look forward to watching it grow!

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

I love both new and old music. And I’m a true believer that there are good musicians and singers in all genres. That being said, I was spoiled, as I learned to record live with the bands playing together. There’s something magical about that. I’ve never been able to reproduce this live feel, but there are a lot of advantages to recording these days that weren’t available in the 80s and 90s, so there are always good ways to combine both eras to make great music!

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Elaborate on the themes of most of your songs.

I am concerned about the ‘Earth’ and all of us living here. The way we’ve been living is simply not sustainable. That’s why I am covering songs that will hopefully inspire positive change in people.

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State your greatest performance.

I had a lot of opportunities to perform as a drummer with many bands. I performed an evening in a very big park in Mexico City. That was just magical. I felt a strong connection between us and the audience.

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Tell us the greatest mistake to avoid while recording a song.

A lot of people get into perfectionism, which as Grant Cardone says, typically leads to procrastination. You should make decisions and move on. If you hear something you don’t like the next day, you can always go back and re-record. So spend more time “doing” than “thinking” in the studio.

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Tell us your definition of a hit song.

To me, a hit song is one that delivers a memorable chorus and music within a few minutes and produces a positive reaction in a considerable amount of people.

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Tell us what you know about your fans.

I know that like me, they are committed to learning, connecting and doing things that will create positive change around the world.

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Describe your mood during recording or performance.

I am always excited when I’m recording. I never know how songs are going to turn out so it’s like rediscovering the song every time you hit the record button! Performing is wonderful because you get to transmit what you created to an audience. Pure magic happens when you perform!

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Discuss your songwriting.

I normally start out “hunting” for a melody. Most ideas come as a little motif, that later develops into a full verse and chorus. Once I have that I keep working at it until I have a nice song structure.

 

Sometimes the lyrics are temporary and I tweak them as I go. I’ve done full songs in a couple of hours, but I’ve also done songs that I need to put on hold and come back to them, so it can be a couple of months before I finish.

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Discuss your recording process.

Once I have a basic idea and song structure, I’ll record a reference guitar and vocal so I can sit back and hear it back. Sometimes I end up discarding the idea if I feel it’s not unique enough, but if I choose to work on it I typically start with any loops percussion and drums. Then I record bass, keyboards, and guitars. I leave any vocals and lead guitars until the end.

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Discuss the difference between live recording and studio recording.

There’s always a time and place for both live recording and studio recording. Recording live you’ll have a more polished song but a powerful one, whereas with a studio you get a chance to perfect the sound further which makes for a nice recording too.

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Discuss how you experiment with different sounds.

I love experimenting with different sounds. I am a fan of old school sounds like Rhodes, pianos, etc., but I also like experiment with new sounds and bringing a more modern and polished sound to the music, like processing the drums to get more “power” out of the music. Especially when creating I’ll sometimes throw something I haven’t used in a while. Sometimes it works and others it doesn’t of course. ;).

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Elaborate on the song.

I’ve always wanted to cover ‘Imagine.’ It is such an iconic song I consider it part of my influences. It reflects the dreamer that was John Lennon, and his dream, which I share, about a world united by love, peace and living in the present moment, or as he says, living for today! I wanted to give it my own interpretation though. I play the piano but my typical arrangement features more the rhythm guitar instead, so I wanted to sort of “personalize” it!

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Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.

‘Earth Matters’ is a project to inspire positive change around the world. It’s about focusing on what matters most to you because when you focus on becoming a better version of you, you’ll make wiser decisions for you and this will impact the beautiful planet in which we live. This is why ‘Earth Matters’ more than anything. It is our time to shine on this planet!

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Share your press release and review with us.

Taking his own approach on the iconic song “Imagine,” producer and artist Ivan Valles celebrates life, love, and music through his project, Earth Matters, positive music to inspire change around the world.

 

With singer/songwriter inspired colours, ‘Imagine’ takes us on a journey to a world of dreamers that come together for peace, love, and harmony through music!

 

Mobile Version

Joe Ramsey – Won’t You

Joe Ramsey – Won’t You

 

Joe Ramsey – Won’t You

Joe Ramsey – Won’t You

 

ARTIST: Joe Ramsey

 

SONG TITLE: Won’t You

 

RELEASE DATE: 26/07/2019

 

GENRE: Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop, Indie Folk

 

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Joe Ramsey is a singer-songwriter from the North East of England.

 

His alternative indie-pop sound has propelled him to play festivals like Hit The North, as well as being featured in the Top 40 singer-songwriter iTunes chart.

 

With his previous single featured on Amazing radio and was showcased on The Unsigned Guide’s Spotlight show.

 

Joe’s sound is for fans of John Mayer, Ben Howard, Kodaline, James Bay and Foy Vance.

 

“Heartfelt and emotive”

– Little Indie Blogs

 

“Very impressed by what I’ve heard from Joe”

– Charlie Ashcroft (Amazing Radio).

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Go on at length on what it takes to write a song from the start to the end.

It depends on the song and the ideas and what I’m feeling at the time, sometimes it can take days, weeks or even months! The process changes from song to song.

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Elaborate on the gain and loss of being a musician/artist. 

The highs are high and the lows can be pretty low. There’s not a better feeling than gigging to an invested audience!

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Tell us how you connect people with your music.

I try to make my music direct with honesty and openness; relatable to everyone.

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Tell us what you hate most about the music business.

How difficult it can be to make yourself heard.

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Discuss how you monitor your digital distribution and streaming.

Just through my aggregator!

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State the obstacles that a new artist can face as a starter.

Getting gigs and getting your music heard by the right people.

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Tell us how you will tutor a new artist in the music business.

Take every opportunity that comes your way!

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Explain how you record songs.

It changes depending on the song!

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Tell us your opinion on adding effects to vocals.

I think it can work really well!

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Describe the theme of your lyrics. 

Openness and honesty with directness…

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Tell us if you consider singing about politics or injustice rather than love stories.

I try to write about the modern world and how scary it is, so yeah!

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Discuss how you cope with the crowd on the stage. 

I try to interact and gel with the crowd, but try not to bore them too much!

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Elaborate on the song.

‘Won’t You’ is about being a fickle person who can fall in love with someone who shows them the slightest bit of affection! – And trying to counteract that by learning from your previous failed relationships.

 

Mobile Version

Allison Conrad - Burn

Allison Conrad – Burn

 

Allison Conrad - Burn

Allison Conrad – Burn

 

ARTIST NAME: Allison Conrad

 

SONG TITLE: Burn

 

ALBUM TITLE: Playing with Fire

 

RELEASE DATE: 16th May 2019

 

GENRE: Folk, Singer-Songwriter

 

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Allison Conrad is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in East London.

 

As a female, piano playing songstress, she takes inspiration from Regina Spektor and Sara Bareilles, her two personal heroines of songwriting.

 

She wrote, recorded and released her first EP: Playing with Fire, a concept album inspired by the fierce female characters portrayed in Game of Thrones, in October 2018.

 

The video for the song Burn, featured on the EP, has just been released in time with the Season Finale of Game of Thrones.

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians. 

I like writing about things that other people aren’t singing about, things that make me angry, as a woman, or just as a person.

 

I like writing about the struggles of specific women, whether autobiographically or inspired by another’s story.

 

I love finding the universality of specific stories and the determination and resilience I see in so many women, so many people, and even within myself.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

It’s a tricky one in the indie market because most of us don’t have producers paying us to write and record, we don’t have labels backing us, everything we do comes out of our own pocket, so the frequency of release is mostly dependent on how much spare change we have. We have new material, we’re writing and creating constantly, but can we get it to an audience this month? Let’s check our pockets…

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State your experience as a musician.

I grew up playing the piano since the age of 5. I studied classical and jazz music and began writing songs for worship at my local church whenever I disagreed with a hymn and felt the words weren’t right or relevant.

 

I started writing more intensely as a way to cope through life as an adult.

 

When I moved to London, that’s when everything started to click for me. I started playing at the open mic and small gigs. I formed a band with the other musicians I met at the open mic, we recorded together, we continue to play together and here we are.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

Please stream, download, watch and ingest as much indie music as possible. Music is silence without an audience, we need listeners, it’s free, it’s fun, so go have a listen.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

My goal is to continue to tell stories with my music, stories that aren’t being heard in other places, stories of people who are misjudged and underrepresented and to create a space for others to do the same.

 

I hosted a successful all-female line up of music entitled “That’s What She Said” at the Finsbury Pub. It was incredible! I hope to make it a regular event. There are so many inspiring female artists that I would like to shine a spotlight on in London!

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite. 

Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Lucius, Walk Off the Earth, HAIM.

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Tell us your best song up to date.

Definitely ‘Burn’ – It’s gotten the most positive response from audiences and I feel so empowered when I sing it because I just get to let loose right at the end. And I’m so excited that I have a video to share with it too!

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

To write musicals with Lin-Manuel Miranda – That’s all I want.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

On the one hand, the music industry is now open to everyone and anyone because you don’t need a label to produce your own music, you can record in your bedroom and have your single on Spotify the next day.

 

On the other hand, how do I get myself heard in such a saturated market?

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists. 

People like what other people like. We’re often scared to try new things and we like hearing what seems familiar.

 

The radio plays songs that will give them listeners.

 

I think there’s definitely room for more indie artist radio stations, I think there’s a massive audience that wants to try new things, to hear something unfamiliar and like something that no one else likes yet.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle it. 

We face a lot of challenges in the way of marketing because most of us are musicians who don’t know a thing about marketing or social media.

 

The most successful indie artists I know have capitalized on social media, they post regularly, creatively, and they get your attention.

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Share your press release and reviews with us.

‘Burn’ is the first single from the EP: Playing With Fire, a concept album inspired by female representation in the HBO series Game of Thrones, written and recorded by Allison Conrad.

 

In a world where being a woman is synonymous with victimization, the song protagonist seeks power through the only means she sees possible – violent revenge.

 

The track is mostly a cappella with complex harmonies until it breaks out into a rock ballad showcasing the unhinged desperation and primitive nature of vengeance.

 

The message speaks to an aggressive resilience developed from being constantly underestimated and using that to find internal power.

 

‘Playing with Fire’ is the first EP release for Allison Conrad, a Canadian singer-songwriter based in East London. It was recorded at Mattison Studio with producer and sound engineer, Julien Baraness and the video recorded and edited by WMAF.

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

Social media is the only way to go! That’s where all the eyes and ears are.

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Tell us about your music career.

My first EP: Playing with Fire was launched in October 2018. The video for Burn released on the 16th of May 2019. I’m currently in the studio recording two new singles that will be released later this year!

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career. 

There are always stories left to tell.

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Tell us about you as a person.

I’m a hopeless romantic, always seeking out the stories, the experiences, and the songs that will inspire the most passion.

 

I sold everything I owned and flew across the ocean on a chance that someone was as hopeless a romantic as me, it turned out to be true because we made it so. We define who we are every moment of every day, if we stand still long enough to write a succinct definition of ourselves, we might as well be dead.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song. 

It started as a dare. Do you think you could write a song about Cersei Lannister? You hate that character so much! So I had to. I had to get inside her head and write the song from the only person’s perspective that believes she was justified in her actions. So I wrote it as Cersei, but it became my own narrative, not that I want to burn everyone to the ground, but that I can’t be underestimated. And who is the one person who underestimates me the most? Myself. So it’s a song about breaking bondage from my own negative self-image.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

I wrote the music and lyrics and asked my good friends Brian Grogan, Lin Hamami and Easymess to figure out some backup vocals.

 

I sat in the back garden with cellist, Lucy Campbell, and the best violinist I know, Mónica Viñoly, and we created string parts.

 

I saw Cianán Curran playing the Bodhrán at an open mic and thought, I must have him on the recording too! So we did it all at Mattison Studio run by Julien Baraness and now it’s here!

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Allison Conrad. That’s me!

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

‘Burn’ – It comes from mad king’s last words in Game of Thrones. “Burn them all.” It means complete and total vengeance.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

‘Playing with Fire’ – I chose this title because it seemed fitting for a concept album about a show with dragons, vengeance and literally burning things to the ground.

 

Also, I’m playing the piano and playing around with ideas and characters and all creativity is like fire, it’s beautiful or it burns you.

 

Mobile Version

Shenendoah Thompson - Boy Who Cried Wolf

Shenendoah Thompson

 

Shenendoah Thompson - Boy Who Cried Wolf

Shenendoah Thompson – Boy Who Cried Wolf

 

ARTIST NAME: Shenendoah Thompson

 

SONG TITLE:  Boy Who Cried Wolf

 

ALBUM TITLE: Elephant in the Room

 

GENRE:  Acoustic Rock/Singer-Songwriter

 

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Tell us how you build up this song.

“This song is about the boy who cried wolf… me.”

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Tell us the best means of becoming a famous artist and selling more records.

By loving what you do, and never being afraid to share your soul honestly with your audience.

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Tell us how fans are reacting to your music.

My first album “Under the Radar” was released to a very limited following, and I like to say now that I am music’s best-kept secret. I live proverbially “Under the Radar” and feel like every time a new fan finds my music, they show me a little piece of myself along the way.

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Explain how to deal with fear on stage.

For me, the stage is the place where everything slows down… the hectic hubbub of life disappears and my anxieties about who I am and what I’m supposed to do all melt-away.

 

I feel like on stage is exactly where I was meant to be and love every second I get to be up there.

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Tell us your point of view on the quality of production of today’s songs to old songs and point out what you think has changed.

I feel like the production quality in our recording capabilities has greatly improved throughout the years, though that has given rise to very distinct contrasting uses of various antiquated sounds.

 

I personally love the warmth of old 8-track and vinyl recordings, that faint audio hum from the reels. It gives rawness to the music that just cannot be imitated.

 

In the modern sounds of The 1975 and Bastille, synth pop layers build out otherwise acoustic tunes that really somehow capture the digital-vibe of a technology-hungry society. The vocals still have a nice warmth to them, but the music overall has throwbacks to 80s rock and ballads, which I think creates a really unique experience for the listener, as a vague familiarity with each tone and note seeps through.

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Tell us an interesting experience in your music career that is significant.

I’ve had the fortune to play at the Bitter End in NYC a handful of times, and each time I feel it’s a massive cause for celebration. The energy of the venue and the fact that so many great artists have graced that stage makes it a must for every artist.

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Tell us how you come across the lyrics of this song.

The lyrics in a lot of ways are how I like to perceive life’s obstacles. And I feel like as an artist I inhabit an idiom that is constantly shifting and not always easy for those in our lives to handle. “I had a dream we both were healed and still don’t talk.”

 

It’s also about self-perception, thinking of myself in terms of the wolf, in terms of the scared little pigs barricading themselves away from society, and the guilt for the decisions we make in how we overcome our fears.

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Tell us your best means of expressing yourself.

I find words are magic, they convey just about anything and when paired with the right musical melody, they can elicit feelings beyond this plane. When a song truly bears a portion of our souls, I feel that we connect on a universal level, something truly indescribable.

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Tell us your opinion on using music to deliberate on issues affecting people like corruption, immoralities, politics, and religion.

I believe that musicians are the voice that tackles these topics. In Bruce Cockburn’s “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” where he watches the genocide of nations, the murderous regimes that prey on innocent and unknowing civilians, he shouts that he wants to “make somebody pay” for all the evils.

 

Our best weapons are our words, and our steadfast commitment to a world that feels love over fear, compassion before jealousy, and forgiveness in the face of hate.

 

Bob Marley believed music was a holy experience, and I would be a fool to try and argue against that.

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Discuss how you plan to create a piece of timeless music that your fans can cherish forever.

I just plan to be as honest with myself as I can be, and through that to share the songs that move me, or that I feel manage to convey the plethora of feelings that we are privileged to experience.

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List the names of individuals you can point out as legends and state your reasons.

Dave Matthews: for his unique rhythmic style and collection of works, not to mention his stage presence and performance.

 

Bob Marley: for his catalog of work and songs, and again the sheer vitality of his stage presence.

 

David Byrne: for his work with Talking Heads, and with his poetic lyricism in his solo career.

 

I could go on forever about the legends and artists that influenced me, Hendrix, Zepplin, Beatles, The Who… but there are far too many to name them all and I’m sure I would forget at least one!

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Tell us your viewpoint on discriminating.

I feel that as a creator you sometimes need to be selective in order to show or tell a particular story, and I believe that not everything fits together in every single idiom – but I feel that discrimination based on uncontrollable variables (i.e. race, gender, heritage, sexual orientation) is isolationist and dangerous.

 

I believe there is a side of discrimination that can be helpful if it is more used as a means of clarification, categorization or a way to find where something can be included, but perhaps, like many words, it’s all in the usage.

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Tell us your favourite books and state your reason.    

I admittedly need to read more, but these are some of the types of books that I am inclined to pick up. My three most recently finished and loved books are:

 

A Higher Loyalty – James Comey

 

Last Words – George Carlin

 

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy – a collection of essays compared to Lewis Carols’ writing.

 

I found that Higher Loyalty gave us a little more insight into who James Comey was when he took the position as director of FBI, and what proceeded and ultimately led to his dismissal. It was a poignant look at New York’s political history and what true integrity operates like.

 

Last Words is as funny as it is insightful, Carlin’s wit never rang truer than it does when musing on memories of childhood, spanning through his introduction into stand up and the groundbreaking material that would turn him into the icon we all loved.

 

Lastly, philosophical essays are something that I have always found a way to surround or immerse myself in. Lewis Carol’s imagination lends itself to some wonderful analogies of social contracts, and whether or not we can trust certain facts of life: “Ferrets are ferrets” or if that depends on the time they arrived at the tea party.

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Tell us what triggers your creativity.

Life triggers my creativity. If I hear a song, or someone says something with a quick turn of phrase, my brain rambles through thousands of verses with little care as per what I’m supposed to be paying attention to.  I find myself with dozens of notebooks on me, hundreds of pages full of word associations and rhymes and the occasional doodle. Nothing is off limits. My rule is: create, create, create…

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Tell us how you generate musical ideas for your composition.

I really just tap on the guitar, move the capo, and gently strum a chord; pick over notes. Maybe I’ll play a riff from an old familiar tune – it’s never the same and I can’t say I have one singular approach when it comes to writing the music.

 

The chords or the rhythm have to feel fresh, and they have to resonate within my chest – I like it when the idea of trying to play or say something vulnerable, bearing fully my soul’s belly; occasionally I weep. But these moments are the currency I have to trade for my time here, for that I can feel nothing but gratitude.

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Tell us your greatest song and state the reason.

I don’t think I’ve yet written my greatest song. I have a few that mean a lot to me, Boy Who Cried Wolf is very personal, and I try to sing it in mind to my son; so that he can know it is absolutely imperative that we follow our dreams and our passions.

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Tell us how you compose your song.

Lyrics usually come second, so almost always I start with just finding a new note or chord progression on the guitar. And since I’ve had limited opportunity to play with electric or pedals to modulate the sounds, I like to challenge myself to create unique tones simply using mutes or rhythm style.

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Elaborate on the song.

‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ is definitely a song of healing for me. It gets me stomping and pulls a visceral cry from deep within. I wrap up my messy feelings and lay the box on a doorstep – probably one I’m proverbially knocking on – and beg for understanding.

 

The first verse is about feeling lost, feeling confused and staring in the mirror at an identity crisis. Randomly walking about, staring at feet – barely interacting with oneself or the world around.

 

The chorus is a cry for forgiveness – For acceptance.

 

The second verse battles with guilt and wondering if you did the best you could, and was your best good enough, and was it all in vain? Is there more that can be done still, and shall, and will?

 

The last verse is my atonement to my hometown – the monstrous public displays of my wolf-like hide. We must remember it’s easy to become a wolf in response to the woods around you… the challenge is to stay the pup – to dream and to chase.

 

“Listen to me my son, there can be only one, place my heartbeats from – it’s you & I.”

 

By the end I’m pleading with myself, the universe and the audience – I didn’t mean to cry wolf… but I did – Ha!

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Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.

I use my given name as a performer: Shenendoah Thompson, the title of this new album is The Elephant in the Room.

 

Mobile Version

Steve Young – Back to Mine

 

Steve Young – Back to Mine

 

ARTIST NAME: Steve Young

 

SONG TITLE: Back to Mine

 

ALBUM TITLE: Troubadour

 

RELEASE DATE: 31.10.16

 

GENRE: Country/Rock/Blues

 

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Steve Young is a globe-trotting session guitarist, teacher and entertainer turned Singer/Songwriter.

 

Early TV appearances with Lionel Richie and Peter Andre soon led to full time touring duties with world-famous artists – most notably ex-Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes which took Steve on trips around the world performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena, Brisbane QPAC, LA Roxy and many more concluding as co-writer on Darren’s last album in 2012

 

Since writing and releasing the ‘Little Things EP’ in 2014, and crowd funded debut Album ‘Troubadour’ in 2016, Steve has performed at The London O2 – Country 2 Country Festival. Time Out London’s ‘Rising Stars of UK Country’ Multiple shows at the Edinburgh Free Fringe, recorded live for Bob Harris’ – Under The Apple Tree Sessions, opened for Carlene Carter (daughter of Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter) as well as opening sets for Broadway Star – Ramin Karimloo, UK Blues Artist – Jo Harman, Brit Award winner Tom Odell (Help Refugees), folk singers Charlie Dore, Reg Meuross and many solo gigs and tours around the UK.

 

His songs have enjoyed radio play around the world including BBC Radio 2, BBC Regional Stations, Radio Caroline, Chris Country Radio and 100’s of community / online stations as well as a live performance on BBC Radio 2 to an audience of approximately 7M listeners in Nov 2017.

 

Last year, Steve was Caffe Nero’s ‘Artist Of The Month’ playing over 45 in-store-performances from Scotland down to Portsmouth.

 

Tracks are still playlisted in all 850+ shops UK wide.

 

Recent appearances include: Country 2 Country, The Cornbury Festival, Buckle & Boots, TogFest 2017, Ventnor Fringe 2017, Liverpool’s Folk On The Dock with future bookings at The Black Deer Festival, Millport Country Music Festival, Togfest 2018, The Little Rabbit Barn, Hard Rock Cafe, The Great Escape and a UK Tour in Apr/May 2018

 

After a 2nd successful Pledge Music Campaign Album #2 ‘A Little North Of Nowhere’ was released in September 2018. Self-produced and featuring many of the UK’S most exciting country session players and artists, the album is proving to be Steve’s strongest songwriting offering yet…

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State your favourite instruments.

Obviously the guitar.

 

But as a teacher; I needed to learn drums and now I’m almost good enough to do a gig.

 

I borrowed my sister’s Saxophone for a year and really got into that. I can play Bass. I think my main instrument would have to be the acoustic guitar. My Takamine is so versatile – even if I plug into a regular amp and use pedals. I also love my Yamaha nylon guitar – Such a sweet sound.

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List the names of those supporting you.

I have been sponsored by Gibson Guitars and Orange Amps in the past but I haven’t maintained those relationships as I have all the ‘stuff’ I need.

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Tell us your preferred musical styles.

Blues, Rock – I struggle with the concept of ‘genre’ as for me it’s about the emotion, melody, etc. I can switch from Pink Floyd to Metallica to Muse to Hans Zimmer in a heartbeat.

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List the name of five artists that have influenced you.

Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, David Gray, Johnny Cash, Chris Stapleton.

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Tell us your recording experience in the studio.

Gosh, years and years, hours and hours? I have been playing the guitar for 30 years and signed to Warners in 1996 so I have done A LOT of recording.

 

I worked with a producer in London for four years and we literally recorded hundreds of songs.

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State your experience with the music industry.

I have been signed to Warner ZTT, Sony ATV and worked as a session player for lots of labels and major artists.

 

As an artist myself I don’t really feel that the music industry goes the extra distance to support artists like myself.

 

As always it’s always about age and beauty and pretty much all to do with experience and ability.

 

It literally pains me to hear ‘fantastic new signings’ slaughter a great song live or fail to write a single song by themselves.

 

I have kind of accepted that the ‘Music Industry’ is not for me anymore.

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Explain vocal training.

Self-taught – I spent years battling through smoky venues then after the smoking ban my voice improved dramatically.

 

The biggest on-job training for me was on the passenger cruise ships between Copenhagen & Oslo. 7 x 45min sets every night for a month. I had to change the key of every song (>150 of them) to suit the ever-changing state of my voice. I became very versatile after that stint – nine months in total.

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Discuss live instruments for recording in the studio.

Real, organic, good mics, well played. You can’t beat the sound of a beautiful instrument correctly amplified and played by a pro.

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Discuss your songwriting.

Something I’ve struggled with for years as I always started with the music.

 

On the ships as stated earlier, I couldn’t play in the day as my fingers were too sore so I started writing lyrics and that changed everything.

 

If you have words, a context, an emotion the music can follow. I now run songwriting workshops and teach some very talented kids (and adults) how to develop their ideas into songs.

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Tell us your other talents apart from singing.

I’m not sure I’ve stopped playing guitar long enough to discover any. I was a champion swimmer in my teens.

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Tell us your plans in terms of your music career.

Well, I work full time as a musician. I perform over 200 private and public events each year. I run a school and teach at another. I have no plans this year for a new album but I do fancy recording a kind of ‘MTV Unplugged’ version of some of my favourites.

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Tell us the worst experience in your music career.

Oh…I don’t want to do that; I would have to throw a few people under the bus. The drug scene in the 90’s in London was awful (and expected). I’ve had some horrible situations with singers but also some amazing ones. Just keep your wits about you, be nice and walk away if you feel disrespected.

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Discuss your music career in details.

Ok – I’m going to have to keep this brief:

 

1989 – I bought my first guitar.

 

1991 – Started my first band. Played local radio and supported Peter Andre at the 1995 Isle Of Wight Festival (Jon Giddings took over in 1996).

 

1996 – Moved to London and signed to Warner ZTT as the guitarist for band ‘REHAB’ – we recorded an album, played some festival and did some tours.

 

2002 – Started work as a session guitarist – the first client was Lionel Richie then Gareth Gates, Peter Andre, and many others.

 

2007 – Became full-time band member for ex-Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes (2007-2012). Three world tours, 100’s shows, radio-TV including some cool venues like Wembley, Royal Albert Hall, The Roxy LA, Arenas in Australia, Abramovich’s club in Moscow.

 

2008 – Started working as Songwriter and Studio guitarist for Tom Nichols who wrote hits for All Saints (Black Coffee), Sugababes, Kylie to name a few. We wrote and recorded songs for artists from all over the world.

 

2011 – Began working as Musical Director and Band Leader for West End Star – Ramin Karimloo. Toured UK, US, Canada, South Korea playing Country/Bluegrass versions of his famous Musical Theatre Hits.

 

2014 – Released my first EP with self-written songs. Launch gig – Rockwood Music Halls NYC.

 

2015 – Country 2 Country, Edinburgh Festival, Played on BBC 2 by Bob Harris.

 

2016 – Released Debut Album ’Troubadour’ – Launch gig – The Chocolate Factory London.

 

2017 – Caffe Nero ‘Artist of the Month’ – 11 tracks playlisted in 850+ UK Stores (still current).

 

2017 – Live performance on BBC Radio 2.

 

2018 – Released Second Album ‘A Little North Of Nowhere’ – The Green Note Camden Town.

 

2019 – Opened Music School in Stevenage called ’SongMakers’ focusing on Guitar Lessons, Songwriting Mentoring, Band Coaching and Recording/Producing.

 

Alongside all these I have been teaching on and off since 2005 as well as performing as an entertainer (Wedding Singer, Corporate Events, Pubs/Clubs/Restaurants).

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Discuss your song and album.

Most of my songs are about my turbulent relationships – From divorce to being a victim of domestic abuse.

 

‘Back To Mine’ was inspired by the feeling of going to sleep without resolving a fight and that 10-20 seconds when you first wake up the next morning having forgotten.

 

Troubadour is an eclectic mix of songs, some of which had been around for a few years. It lacks the direction of a producer and I would love to re-record some of the songs one day for Vinyl.

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Tell us what fans are saying on your music.

I have some very hardcore fans in the USA and Japan who love my songs.

 

My audiences are of an age that isn’t very active on social media and spread so far around the globe due to my touring with Darren & Ramin that’s it’s hard to get any of them to a gig.

 

When I launched my EP in NYC they traveled from Brazil, LA, Boston, and Minnesota.

 

When I launched my first Album in London fans traveled from the USA, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

 

Both my albums and EP were funded by online methods and my fans dug deep. That is what I need to prove that people out there like my stuff.

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Elaborate on your music project.

They are what make me feel real. I sing a lot of songs every day and it’s easy to lose yourself in the world of ‘covers’ or session work.

 

My EP in 2014 was just a bucket list thing but the ball kept rolling and rolling.

 

I love singing my own songs but I hate the snobby world that goes with it.

 

Music is Music and when business gets involved it turns into something ugly.

 

I will keep making music and releasing as long as people are interested and I have subjects to write about.

 

2019 is a year of rest for me. I’ve just bought a house and I feel like I’ve burnt myself out a little.

 

Teaching and 200+ paid gigs will be good for me this year. 😉

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Discuss multi-genre and switching from one genre to another.

As discussed earlier ‘Genres’ are a bit of a mystery to me. I can switch between blues, folk, county, rock, metal, classical without even thinking about it.

 

I love learning and teaching classical guitar but I also love the heavy rock that my teenage students are into.

 

A genre is a selling tool, a marketing technique. It has nothing to do with passion, emotion, melody or lyrics. They all use the same notes from the C Major scale after all…..

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Explain the title of the song.

‘Back To Mine’ – Falling asleep after a fight. Back to back and somewhere in the night a hand touches, a foot, a cuddle and then you wake up and remember…….

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State the reason you are into music.

Music gave me no choice. I was in college studying engineering. I had given up the Trumpet at the age of 12. My sisters took me to see Pink Floyd at Wembley stadium and it changed my life.

 

I always loved music and it’s always been around me through my parents but I never once considered being a musician until I dreamed of David Gilmour and his red guitar ‘Delicate Sound Of Thunder 1988.’

 

Mobile Version

NICHOLAH – Out of the Pie

NICOLAH – Out of the Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

NICOLAH – Out of the Pie

NICOLAH – Out of the Pie

 

 

 

 

 

NICOLAH – Out of the Pie

 

ARTIST NAME: NICOLAH

 

SONG TITLE:  Out of the Pie

 

RELEASE DATE: 10th May 2019

 

GENRE: Singer-Songwriter

 

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NICOLAH is a Cumbrian singer-songwriter based in London. She has just finished performing in a play; Section 28 and The Queer State directed by Kay Adshead at the Alexandra er Palace and she is now ready to share her next single, Out of the Pie.

 

Her music is a sum of fresh life experiences about faith, sexuality, culture… A unique and empathic world view built on a foundation of classic songwriting.

 

It blends pop sensibilities with an indie spirit. She shares similarities with early Katy Perry and her Christian pop roots, the sweet strum, and vocals of Joni Mitchell, and the stadium pumping energy of Coldplay’s anthemic choruses.

 

In the summer of 2018 she won the Open Category – Mayor of London GIGS Competition chosen by Judges Newton Faulkner, Lauren Churchman (BBC6music), Fuzz Chaudhrey (BBC Radio 1), Swarzy Macaly (KISS FM) and James Brister (ICMP).

 

After playing live for literally millions on London’s busy underground platforms, her first single ‘Flow’ won the 2016 Mayor of London GIGS Songwriting Prize sponsored by PRS for Music taking her to play Glastonbury 2017 alongside Everything Everything, Naughty Boy & Mullally. Since then she’s received support and multiple airplay from BBC introducing’s Tom Salmon, and in August 2018 recorded a live session for the show.

 

The previous release ‘Waiting on You’ invited listeners to be introspective: To see the power and completeness of themselves. It was featured on Hoxton radio show Get in Her Ears, Spotify playlist Talk About Pop Music and the music video was premiered by blog, She Makes Music.

 

Next release Out of the Pie is an elegant and bold mix of soaring melody and deep, dark thought-provoking lyrics like “…make up theories to survive…” Influenced by the emotional discord Nicolah has felt over the last 19 years, it will strike a chord with anyone feeling confused and divided right now.

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Tell us how you build up the tune for this song.

I wrote this song quite a while ago now, but from what I remember the melody for verse and chorus came out quite quickly. Once I got the structure clear in my head I finished off the lyrics and then spent a while in the rehearsal studio with my drummer and bass player working out the final arrangement.

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Tell us the best means of becoming a famous artist and selling more records.

I wish I knew. Whilst I try and figure out the answer to that question I’m focusing on writing and releasing new music and playing live.

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Tell us how fans are reacting to your music.

All my mum’s friends at church really love it! I think people can see what I’m putting out is real and seems to be resonating with people, particularly when I play live.

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Explain how to deal with fear on stage.

I’m still working on dealing with it; I start by imagining everyone’s naked! I think the most important thing is being prepared, plan your set, have an idea of what you need to say and how you’re going to say it and then play, play and play again.

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Tell us your point of view on the quality of production of today’s songs to old songs and point out what you think has changed.

I’m a bit conflicted about this. As much as the production of a song and writing is connected to a culture, a zeitgeist, I also feel older music has more substance. Just as you had to be more reliable before we had mobile phones.

 

Personally, I prefer the art of substance, no matter the production, lo-fi /hi-fi… mid-fi?! I’m a fan of artists like Kate Tempest, Stormzy and Four Tet as much as Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and Carole King.

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Tell us an interesting experience in your music career that is significant.

Interesting… I’ve been busking for the last 3 years on the London Underground, lots of interesting things happen there.

 

Once someone walked past covering their ears shouting “That sounds terrible” another time a homeless person came up stayed for a while dropped some coins from the little he had and said ‘Thank You’ which is so humbling.

 

So you never know what you’re going to get, that’s interesting – That the most beautiful thing about music it brings people together, and that’s special.

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Tell us how you come across the lyrics of this song.

Over the last few years, I’ve tried to push myself lyrically. One technique is to first look for different phonetic sounds to go with the melody. It’s good because it encourages me to be less conscious about the lyrics and often leads to more interesting lyrical destinations.

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Tell us your best means of expressing yourself.

I would say the best way of expressing oneself is being unafraid, to be honest, and show your raw self. What I know best is through writing a song and I’m learning how to expand my creativity visually. I’ve just started producing music videos and graphics to go along with my singles…

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Tell us your opinion on using music to deliberate on issues affecting people like corruption, immoralities, politics, and religion. 

I think the job of art, in general, is to comment, question, and make sense of the world. I believe it’s the music maker’s responsibility to do this, as much it is to provide escapism.

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Discuss how you plan to create a piece of timeless music that your fans can cherish forever. 

I plan to write the best songs possible, rich in melody and story. Production and sound changes, but melody and lyrics remain and ultimately that’s what matters to me.

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List the names of individuals you can point out as legends and state your reasons.

I love that quote, “…with great power comes great responsibility…” I think anyone that is: unafraid to be their unique themselves, that strives to be the best they can be, treats others with respect and utilizes love to conquer hate is a legend, famous or not.

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Tell us your viewpoint on discriminating.

Discrimination is wrong. But we don’t live in a perfect world so it happens all around the world in many different forms. And even the conscious of us discriminate subconsciously.  What’s important to me is to remain a good listener, to accept that I can unintentionally discriminate and to endeavor be better.

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Tell us your favourite books and state your reason. 

Ask me in a few years…I need to read more! As a songwriter, the dictionary and thesaurus are very useful. I’m a fan of biographical and factual books; they tend to be the books I can’t put down. I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming.’ And I’m trying to get into more fiction and poems. I’m open to recommendations…

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Tell us what triggers your creativity. 

I wish I truly knew exactly what it was. I know when I don’t play or write for a while, I miss it. And that often gives me an urge to get back and play again.

 

For me the trick is keeping it fresh, once I feel I’m repeating the same kind of melodies, chords, rhythms… I get bored.

 

I’ve noticed how my consumption of art and culture directly impacts how inspired I feel. I try to keep in mind the famous quote, I think it’s from the Dalai Lama:

“Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words. Take care of your Words because they will become Actions. Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits. Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character. Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny, and your Destiny will be your Life.”

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Tell us how you generate musical ideas for your composition.

Most often I get this feeling that I want to write. It’s like a creative urge, a bit like the urge to go to the toilet but the desire is to pick up my guitar and write! This often happens when I get back from a holiday and I haven’t played much or I get bored playing covers when I’m busking and I just start jamming something out. From there, ideas build and I’m looking out for this kind of buzzy feeling I get when something feels right.

 

The last few years I’ve developed a kind of ‘ad lib’ style of writing where I allow and encourage myself to make different vocal sounds and this leads me along more interesting lyrical paths.

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Tell us your greatest song and state the reason.

My most significant song would be ‘Flow,’ It’s my fight song, to remind me to follow my heart and not give up. This song was my first single and the song that took me to play Glastonbury 2017.

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Tell us how you compose your song.

Generally, the music comes first, a chord progression or riff, the melody second then the lyrics start to fall into place.

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Elaborate on the song.

Out of the Pie, is a complex one. It’s a reflection on my life, of how I’ve felt over the last 19 years of my life. The emotional discord that has been playing in my heart, mind and the world I see around me. Its confusion, contradictions, loneliness, judgment…the list goes on!

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Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.

My name is my name, Nicola with an H on the end. The H is the first letter of my last name.

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Share your press release and review with us.

A motto for staying in your own lane.

 

Nicolah explains, “This song optimizes my journey of the last 19 years. The emotional discord that has been playing in my heart, mind and the world I see around me.”

 

Out of the Pie is a tongue in cheek banging anthem.  An elegant and bold mix of soaring melody & deep dark thought-provoking lyrics like “…make up theories to survive…”

 

The video, out 21st May 2019 is a collage of irony, juxtaposition, and illusions of life and death – Encouraging the listener to question and comment on life.

 

NICOLAH’s music built on a foundation of classic songwriting blends pop sensibilities with an indie spirit…

Mobile Version

Megan Black – Fur Coat Queen

 

Megan Black – Fur Coat Queen

Megan Black – Fur Coat Queen

 

Artist Name – Megan Black

 

Song Title – Fur Coat Queen

 

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After receiving singing lessons as a gift from one of her family members who overheard her singing at age fourteen, Megan has been composing her own music and performing it ever since.

 

She received her first ever paid gig when she was merely fifteen and since then has played in venues across Scotland including King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, La Belle Angele and The Hug and Pint.

 

She has taken inspiration from artists from many genres (jazz, rock, blues, pop) which helped to establish her unique sound of a new take on old styles.

 

As she grew as a songwriter, her interests in spirituality, philosophy, and literature seeped into her work.

 

Her ‘hippy’ stage persona developed from influences such as Stevie Nicks and Florence Welch.

 

Throughout her teenage years, she discovered more about her sexuality and sexual orientation and felt it was important that she included it in her music.

 

She has played at LGBT events and incorporated a drag aesthetic into her stage presence through her fashion.

 

Intertwining feminine and masculine identities, much like Lady Gaga and David Bowie, has allowed Megan to challenge stereotypes…

 

Her new single ‘Fur Coat Queen’ is a way of her understanding her sexuality and being able to love herself.

 

Megan also explained:

“It represents the empowerment I received from other people and, in particular, other women… Women battle against one another these days… on the likes of social media and even within the music industry. My experience has taught me that when women support one another…”

 

The aim of this song is to motivate other women to love themselves and work together to gain the recognition they deserve.

 

Mobile Version

Mark Newman – Fire on the Water

Mark Newman – Fire on the Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Newman – Fire on the Water

Mark Newman – Fire on the Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Newman – Fire on the Water

 

ARTIST NAME:  Mark Newman

 

SONG TITLE:  Fire on the Water

 

ALBUM TITLE: Walls Of Jericho

 

GENRE: Singer/songwriter

 

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Growing up in New York, Mark Newman’s musical journey has taken him around the world several times as both sideman and singer/songwriter.

 

This gifted player (guitar, lap steel, mandolin, dobro) and accomplished songwriter is the type of singer whose warm and expressive voice sounds like an old friend.

 

He put it all together on 2006’s (Danal Music, LLC).

 

In 2010 he took a quantum leap forward with the stunning “Walls Of Jericho” (Danal Music. LLC) and has just released, “Brussels” (Danal Music. LLC), a live solo EP.

 

“Empirical Truth”, his latest CD will be released in May 2019 (Danal Music, LLC, distributed by WBA Records).

 

Sharing the stage with such notables as soul legend Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), John Oates (Hall and Oates), McCarty (Yardbirds, Renaissance), the late Willy DeVille (Mink DeVille), Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominos) and Sam The Sham, has given Newman the perspective to craft an individualistic sound framed in straight-from-the-hip rock’n’roll, simmering with the subtle flavors of blues, RnB, funk, folk and soul.

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

Old school always sounds warmer and not so squeaky clean. Musicians actually played instead of using samples and auto tuners.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist.

There are too many. I’ve had the privilege of working with Bobby Whitlock, Sam Moore, Willy DeVille, John Oates, and many others.

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Share your press release and reviews with us.

Mark Newman signs a distribution deal with WBA Records as he gets ready to hit the Paramount Stage in Huntington Saturday, June 22nd.

 

The label welcomes his mix of Americana, Blues, and Roots music to their already stellar roster which includes The John Oates Band, Michael Londra, and The Little River Band.

 

April, 2019 (New York, NY) – As he gets ready to take the stage at The Paramount (370 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743) opening for The Weight Band – Featuring Members of The Band and The Levon Helm Band on Saturday, June 22nd – singer/songwriter and guitarist Mark Newman will have plenty to celebrate.

 

Having recently signed a distribution deal with Nashville-based record label WBA Records, he’ll soon be releasing his third LP “Empirical Truth,” and just hit at #11 on the Reverbnation Singer/Songwriter Charts for NY!

 

A New York native, Mark Newman’s musical prowess has taken him around the world several times over, playing with an eclectic mix of noted musical talents from Sting to Elvis Costello, and Travis Tritt as well as his own solo work.

 

A multi-instrumentalist, Mark has mastered electric/acoustic/lap steel guitar as well as the mandolin and dobro, and with a voice reminiscent of many rock and blues’ men before him – it has the familiarity of an old friend yet the power and soul of many of today’s rock, soul, folk and R&B icons.

 

For over five years, Newman and fellow songwriter Naomi Margolin have run the “Music From the Hive”  Singer/Songwriter Series, and for the past three years – “The Original Music Series” for bands, in an attempt to keep original music alive on Long Island.

 

Although Newman has played a ton of exciting solo and full-band showcases – notably Delbert McClinton at Highline Ballroom just last month and Les Dudek at My Father’s Place at the Roslyn Hotel, The Paramount in Huntington opening for The Doobie Brothers, The Space at Westbury opening for the one and only Don Felder and David Bromberg on separate occasions, The Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, and NYC’s Legendary Bitter End – he has also worked as sideman to so many soul, blues, and rock greats of our time like John Oates (Hall and Oates), Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds), Willy DeVille (Mink DeVille), Sam The Sham, Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominos) and Sam Moore (Sam & Dave)!

 

Past releases include 2010’s “Walls of Jericho” filled with intricate guitar work and mixed with a plethora of sounds from hard rock to a lighter more Dylanesque folk tinge, and 2015’s  “Brussels” – a-live acoustic-driven EP that packs a bluesy punch reminiscent of Clapton’s “Unplugged” album through both the guitar work and raw vocal power.

 

His latest LP “Empirical Truth” is due later this year.

 

More on WBA Records:

WBA Records is a Nashville-based independent record label and production house, specializing in artist development, distribution, and promotion in the digital age.

 

The label was founded by Robert Williams in 1996. Opening their doors in Nashville, Tennessee, WBA Records expanded their offices nationwide and throughout Europe in 1997 as Williams continued to build and developed an elite collection of artistic entities recognizable worldwide as solo artists, musical acts, comedic performers, actors, actresses, theatrical touring companies, feature films, television series, and much more.

 

WBA Records builds on Mr. Williams’ own past and current history. With multiple artists – the genres range from country to soul.

 

Oh his new distribution partnership with WBA, Newman says “I’m extremely grateful to be welcomed as part of the WBA Records family. Having been a big fan of their work for years it’s great to know I have an amazing team helping to get my music out right in the heart of Music City, U.S.A.!”

 

Now, that excitement continues as Mark Newman gets ready to open for The Weight Band at The Paramount in Huntington on Saturday, June 22nd!

 

For Tickets to Mark Newman with The Weight Band 6/22, VISIT: The Paramount

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Tell us how you protect your singing voice.

Vocal exercises in the car.

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Tell us the major reason you are into music.

I can’t tie my shoes without picking up my guitar. I’ve always had an emotional attachment to certain songs. It’s great to be able to play them.

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Discuss creativity and originality in music.

Everyone borrows (or steals) from their influences. You have to find your own voice after you figure out how to sound like your heroes.

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Tell us your plans pertaining to music.

Endless writing, recording, and playing until I can’t physically do it.

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Tell us the secret of success.

Doing what you love and making a living at it.

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Tell us how you get started as a musician.

Hearing music that spoke to me and wanting to play it. I asked my parents for guitar lessons and they gladly obliged.

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Tell us what makes you happy and sad pertaining to this project.

The journey – writing and recording makes me happy. The sad part is the “now what” when it’s done.

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Tell us your point of view on rape and sexual harassment, and how to eradicate it.

As hard as it is, I would hope more people would report both. Eradicating rape is difficult since no one expects it until it’s too late.

 

Carrying pepper spray is a good start. Don’t be afraid to report sexual harassment. It usually happens more than once.

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List the people that assisted in making this song.

Shawn Murray (drums), Keith Lentin (bass), James Dower (keys), Fred Guarino (engineer and co-producer).

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Tell us how you get financial support to run your music career.

My label, Danal Music has been very supportive. I also work as a sideman for other artists.

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Tell us the genre of your music and the reason for choosing this genre.

Roots rock – It’s a great platform for slide guitar and real players instead of samples and loops. I also like the lyrical subject matter.

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Tell us the story behind this song.

It was about an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s aimed at the oil industry’s offshore drilling.

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Tell us your favourite brand of microphone.

Shure SM 57 for live performance.

 

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Kaurna Cronin - Leave Your Love Behind

Kaurna Cronin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaurna Cronin - Leave Your Love Behind

Kaurna Cronin – Leave Your Love Behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist Name – Kaurna Cronin

 

Song Title – Leave Your Love Behind

 

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Folkster Kaurna Cronin’s latest works intertwine meaningful songs with a rich musical tapestry of folk, roots and indie rock sewn together with grand imagery and tales of yesteryear.

 

From ballads to boogies Kaurna and his band’s unique folk blend has provided thrilling musical and poetical journeys for audiences globally.

 

Renowned for their relentless touring schedule, Kaurna together with his band provide their folk, Australiana inspired sounds which craftily compliment Cronin’s lyrically driven songwriting.

 

At just 26 years, Kaurna has released five albums with his latest being awarded ‘Roots Album Of The Year’ by ARBA.

 

After the award of Folk Alliance Australia’s ‘Artist Of The Year’ along with a plethora of other accolades including APRA AMCOS Emily Burrows Award and FLMA ‘Best Acoustic Artist’ Kaurna and band have mustered 300+ performances internationally in the past years throughout Australia, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and India.

 

2019 will see the release of his newest works, a series of singles and a new album recorded partly in Germany, Australia and recorded with producers from David Bowie, Rolling Stones and Midnight Oil.

 

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Monelise – Wild Roses

Monelise- Wild Roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monelise – Wild Roses

Monelise – Wild Roses

 

 

 

 

 

Artist Name – Monelise

 

Song Title – Wild Roses

 

Genres – Singer-Songwriter

 

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‘Wild Roses’ is the first release from Monelise’s ‘Hauntology’ Album.

 

Directed by Jake Hargreaves, the video is shot amongst the gothic scenery of Glen Coe, Scotland.

 

Drifting between analogue imagery and cinematic landscapes, the song is reminiscent of the work of The National and Portishead.

 

Having lived in Scotland for half a decade, Monelise quotes poet Robin Robertson with the video’s opening quote.

 

Monelise is an artist in whose haunting compositions moving poetic lyrics are situated in lush cinematic soundscapes.

 

Her music blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic instrumentation; hauntological longing and euphoria.

 

With songs that are often described as sounding like “A Kate Bush soundtrack to a David Lynch film”, she makes the sublime and the uncanny collide in a startling way.

 

I’m excited to release “Wild Roses” as the first single from my upcoming debut album, “Hauntology”, the material for which was conceived during my Master’s year at Goldsmiths.

 

The musical palette blends past and present inspirations, including Kate Bush and classic trip hop; whereas the lyrics are inspired by a Scottish poetry anthology exploring the visceral and gothic features of nature.

 

The song is an invitation to come face to face with the different components that make up the tapestry of you as a person and artist.

 

The video, accordingly, depicts me “finding myself” somewhere between the ghosts of the past and a glimmering vision of a future yet to unfold.

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Tell us how to refine a demo to a master.

This can vary from song to song. For instance, “Wild Roses” was demoed as a voice and piano version and evolved to its current, fully produced state in the studio, with the help of some reference tracks used for sonic inspiration.

 

Ultimately this song can still be performed in its original, piano and voice arrangement despite the dense sonic landscape in the recorded version.

 

In other cases, for instance with my upcoming single “Memory”, the production was an integral part of the writing process. So, I brought the song to the studio where it was mixed and mastered with most of the production already in place. When I perform this song live, I try to replicate the recording as closely as possible with the help of live electronics and evocative instruments like the Theremin.

 

In other words, how a song goes from a demo to a master, and how it ultimately exists in its live and recorded versions, depends on the context in which it was originally conceived.

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Discuss the processing involved in creating a song.

My songs have been born in a great multitude of contexts. I have randomly had a melody and lyric pop into my head and felt compelled to run to the piano and “work it out” as soon as possible before it leaves me.

 

I have begun songs in the studio using amalgamations of samples, building a sonic landscape and later finding lyrics to match.

 

Equally I have begun with lyrical stories— often inspired by books, poems and cinema— that were then put to music at a later stage.

 

Songs have also been born from co-writing sessions with other artists and songwriters.

 

Typically, in the songs I ultimately end up keeping (a small percentage of what is written), the elements come together very seamlessly and organically.

 

I prefer as little separation as possible between music, lyrics and production; they sort of exist together as a mind, body and soul.

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Elaborate on the theme of most of your songs.

The most common themes in my music include delving into the liminal “world between worlds”; sonic “time travel” (bridging the past and present through music); and nostalgia.

 

When writing music I try to access the subconscious and sonically expand on the themes that emerge from there.

 

Sometimes I will intuitively write lyrics that don’t make sense at the time, but later something will happen and suddenly the song makes complete sense. So they become almost prophetic.

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Tell us your greatest musical works up to date.

My favourite song I have written to date is called “We’ll Meet Again”. It is my favourite to perform live and will feature on my upcoming album.

 

It combines the atmosphere of a David Lynch film with the chord progressions of James Bond, and is lyrically about embracing unpredictability and infinite possibilities.

 

If we are talking about a full body of work, then I am probably most proud of the live show I created as my final Master’s project at Goldsmiths.

 

I am currently transforming this into a recorded album that I’d like to call “Hauntology” to honour my influences whilst at university. This is the album’s fundraiser page: Indiegogo.

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Tell us those behind your music process.

Last year I finished a Master’s degree in Popular Music at Goldsmiths and this was a year that really transformed both my music and my live show.

 

I very much value the opinion people I met there and am inspired by their work.

 

I sometimes write music solo and sometimes with co-writers and producers, who are another great inspiration.

 

My band mates are incredible and yet another creative force that inspires me to keep growing and evolving.

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Tell us how you are handling the promotion of your music.

I am currently on a European Sofar tour with my new songs, which has been incredible so far.

 

The audiences Sofar attracts are incredible and it’s an honour to be able to perform for them.

 

I am simultaneously creating video content for the album’s first two singles: “Wild Roses” and “Memory”.

 

Meanwhile my album’s fundraiser is running online and I hope to have it completed this summer.

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Tell us your future goals and how you aim to accomplish. 

Some of my future goals are to go on a tour to America (and hopefully the world one day!), write several film scores and put out at least one album every 2-3 years.

 

I plan to accomplish this by staying persistent and committed, constantly evolving my music and live show and putting out better and better content.

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Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.

The music industry has transformed in so many ways. Although there are so many incredible artists out there, it is not all a big competition for the “spotlight.”

 

Everyone can find their own niche audience anywhere in the world using the infinite resources we now have at our fingertips.

 

I am greatly inspired and motivated by the fact it is now entirely possible to build your success independently and on your own in terms in today’s music landscape.

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Tell the greatest mistake to avoid while making a song.

I think this is individual for everyone, but for me it is over-thinking or trying too much to emulate another song or artist.

 

The best songs always come from telling your own story and creating your own sonic world. This is fully authentic, interesting and draws people in.

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Tell us how you boost your performance. 

I try to be neither too relaxed nor too nervous for a live show. A good amount of nerves is good; every gig matters (and should be treated as such), and you need a bit of adrenaline!

 

I always remind myself of the exhilarating and inimitable feeling of a great live performance and get myself pumped up that way.

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Discuss how the instruments come together for a song.

Structure, arrangement and instrumentation should all work together to serve the song and its main idea or purpose. This is why I don’t have similar structures in all my songs. Although, I do believe every song needs some sort of energetic progression.

 

To give an example, I have a song called “Memory” which is a sort of love song to another, much older song. Sonically it “time-travels” between the past and present, where the two voices (mine and the sampled one from the other track) overlap during different parts of the song.

 

The structure serves to enhance this sense of being immersed in almost a past life memory, whereas instrumentation and effects (Theremin, vinyl crackle, radio noise, old vintage piano) all “live and breathe” in this very particular sonic context.

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State your musical skills.

I have previously studied classical piano and musical theatre style signing.

 

Currently I play keys, Theremin, sing and operate live electronics. I also create the visual elements of my live set.

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Tell if you consider acting in a movie.

Definitely! I spent quite a few years acting before I got fully into music and am greatly inspired by cinema.

 

“Cinematic” is a world that really characterizes my sound. I would love to both score a film and someday act in one.

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Tell us how you eliminate noise in your recordings.

I often do the opposite, as noise / vinyl crackle are part of some of my songs’ aesthetic.

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List the name of artists you cherish most.

Kate Bush, Bjork, David Lynch / Angelo Badalamenti, Leonard Cohen, BANKS, Marina Abramovic, Frederic Chopin, Enrico Caruso, Yann Tiersen.

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Tell us how you get inspiration.

As a songwriter I am constantly drawing inspiration from everything around me unless it decides to “seize” me itself, which is very rare and special.

 

I am inspired, for instance, by poetry, literature, cinema, other artists’ songs and production choices, my own autobiographical experiences as well as other people’s stories.

 

I am also inspired by the unexplored, undiscovered world that exists beyond this one; something we can always choose to tap into.

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Elaborate on the song.

The lyrics for “Wild Roses” were inspired by a poetry anthology by Scottish poet Robin Robertson.

 

It is a beautiful book of poetry called “Sailing the Forest”, which presents nature in a very visceral, living way.

 

I lived in Scotland for 5 years, studying Literature and partaking in different art forms, and have always been inspired by its mystical, gothic landscapes. This also informed the choice of filming the “Wild Roses” video in Glen Coe.

 

The sonic world of the song, which was created with the help of a great producer called Tom Gibson, was inspired by both the old and the contemporary.

 

I drew on productions like “Teardrop”, “The Sensual World”, and “Expose” (Sunday Munich) and blended the trip hop vibes with ethereal melodies and haunting vocal layers.

 

With the lyrics and production combined, the song stands as an invitation to look beyond this world into something much darker and more mysterious— a place where past, present and future collide in a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory vision.

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Elaborate on the title of the album.

 The album name, “Hauntology”, was chosen to honour my time at Goldsmiths, where these songs were conceived – originally for a live show, hence the cinematic nature of the songs that will be on the record.

 

Hauntology, a concept I also discovered during research for my Master’s project, refers to a sense of being haunted by “lost futures” and consequently drawing on the “ghosts of the past” for inspiration.

 

Although my music is not by nature hauntological (like, for instance, the music of The Caretaker), many of my songs very much dance with the ghosts of the past whilst retaining a strong sense of their own identity.

 

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