Enchanting, Beautiful & Delicate Music from Young Indie Artist, Sage


Sage is independent artist, musician, singer and songwriter who has just released her debut single, ‘From Dust’. 

Stunning music that’s beautiful, enchanting and delicate but also has a sense of innocence. 

This young Australian artist has been drawn to folk music ,showing the talent of Sages vocals, cello and songwriting in a more contemporary folk style. 

Although this is Sages first release, don’t let that fool you in regards to her experience and talent as a seasoned musician, as you will read below in our interview.

 

 

Australian Indie Artist


Enchanting, Beautiful & Delicate Music from Young Indie Artist, Sage

MT: Hi Sage, nice to cyber meet you. Your voice is so soothing, how long have you been singing for?

Sage: Nice to cyber meet you too! I’ve been singing since I could talk, and maybe even before then, but you’d have to ask my Mum. Apparently as a toddler she used to have to beg me to stop singing; it’s not that I sang badly, I just didn’t have an off switch! It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. 

 

MT: Your current single, ‘From Dust’ feels like the warmth of the sun on a beautiful Autumn day. Can you explain the meaning behind the song? 

Sage: Thank you, that’s so sweet! The song is sung from the perspective of a person who has been separated from their loved one after a long life together. This loved one is no longer around, but has passed on and become a star in the sky. The person left behind is thinking back on all of the beautiful memories they shared, and pining to be together again. It’s a happy-sad fairytale. I think a lot of that warmth you mentioned comes from the sentiment of the song, but also the lush layers of cello at the foundation.

 

MT: I’d love to know your age; reason being, I don’t often hear many young singers and songwriters who are writing and recording folk style music. If you don’t mind, how old are you?

Sage: Not at all! I’m 26 years old. And it’s funny you say “young” because, yes I am young, but a small part of me wants to be 18 again to get another head start on this music journey I’m on. 

 

MT: Who introduced you to folk music?

Sage: I really couldn’t say. I’ve been exposed to so much music in my life, particularly through my family and my education. I loved listening to artists like James Vincent McMorrow, Joanna Newsom, and First Aid Kit in high school. Folk exists in 2 universes in my mind; there’s the contemporary folk that I write and sing, and the traditional folk that I play in jam sessions with other fiddlers. The latter I was introduced to a couple of years ago on an immersive folk music camp called Stringmania. 

 

MT: I see you play Cello throughout ‘From Dust’. What came first; playing the cello or singing?

Sage: Singing. I got my first cello when I was about 13 or 14, and I think we paid just over $200 for it on ebay. I’ve taken that cello all over the world and it’s opened so many doors for me. I never took a singing lesson until 2 months ago actually! Before then I just translated everything I knew about cello, flute, and piano to how I should treat my voice as another instrument.

 

MT: Do you play other instruments? If so what else do you play?

Sage: I started piano when I was 6 and flute when I was 10. I dabbled in guitar briefly but it’s not my forte. Put anything in front of me and I’ll make it work! If I played another instrument it would be the harp; I just feel like you could play all the wrong notes in the world and it would still sound beautiful. My fiance is a musician as well, so I think we’ll be hoarding a lot of instruments in the future. 

 

MT: How long have you been in the music business as an independent artist? When was your very first recording and release?

Sage: A week ago! It makes me sound really green, but I’ve been studying classical music at conservatories since I was 18 so I’ve been working in other musical spheres for a long time. I picked up the stringer-songwriter thing many years ago but it was a secondary thing for a long while. Being my first official release I keep telling people that I’m equally excited and terrified about it. They’re the good kind of nerves that remind you how much you care about what you’re doing. 

 

MT: Can you tell us how you came into contact to work with members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra? What was it like to work with Richard Vaudrey?

Sage: When I was at university studying classical cello, all of my teachers were members of the MSO. At first they seem like celebrities, but then they become mentors and friends. My network was always in the classical stream, but meeting Richard was actually a separate thing altogether. My best friend was 1 of 5 girls, and one of her sisters was dating this cellist and living in NY. Eventually I got to meet him, and I kind of just looked up to him from afar until I got up the idea to ask to work with him on this EP.

 

MT: What has been your biggest challenge in your music career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

Sage: There are always hurdles like making ends meet, or dealing with burnout. They’re very real. Then there are the musical hurdles like obsessing over lyrics, or not being able to finish a song. I’ve always been really resilient and been able to push through all of these things, but there are definitely days when it’s all too much. It’s good to remember your track record of getting through bad days when you come up against the next one. Personally, I also really struggle with my health on a daily basis due to a major spinal surgery I had when I was 18. It makes all the simple things like just sitting in a chair or carrying my groceries much harder. For a long time I just put on a brave face about how much pain I was in, but now I’m better at telling people when I need help. Ask for help, whatever it is! I really believe people want to help people. 

 

MT: From what you have learned about your challenges in the music business, what advice would you like to give upcoming independent artists?

Sage: You have to forcibly and decisively make time for what is important. Unless you take time out to turn your ideas into a product, they’ll only ever be ideas. Unless you set boundaries on your time, you’ll miss out on the balance you need to be happy and functional. You’ll be working hard, not working smart. Time is precious; a lot of the time I feel like I’m running out of it, but I have to remind myself that it’s not the case. 

 

MT:   Can you tell us a bit about your music video which accompanies ‘From Dust’? Was this your first music video and what was the experience like for you?

Sage: This was my first music video, and it was the best way to ease me into this medium. I really didn’t want to sing to a camera, or be an actress. I’m more open to that idea now, but at the time I just wanted to make something aesthetic and feature myself and the cello in it. It’s an important visual for me. Better to keep it simple and let the song shine! The experience was just so fun. It was only three of us walking around these gardens all day and searching for beautiful things, and I got to play dress up! 

 

MT: What’s a typical day for you? Do you work on your music every day? What other activities or hobbies besides music do you like to do that your fans may like to know about?

Sage: I’ll get up and get ready for the day, then smash out as much admin work as I can so that I have the rest of the day to dedicate to work or play. I’ve never been a coffee drinker so I always have an almond milk hot chocolate with marshmallows by my side. At the moment I’m planning my wedding, and working as a freelance orchestra manager for a project of 64 musicians to tour Melbourne & Sydney, so I’m definitely not short on tasks to do! Yesterday was super busy so I didn’t get to sit down at the piano until about 9pm, but it was so lovely to play in the quiet of the night and I’ll probably spend a lot more of today working on music. Other than that, I just love living on the Mornington Peninsula. When you have a day off or even a couple of hours, you feel like you’re on holiday. I go to pilates three times a week, go to the beach, walk at The Briars, play with my cat, and bake! I just got a watercolour set for Christmas so that’s going to be a new hobby for me.

 

MT:   We’re really looking forward to your EP ‘Tethered’ due for release on February 27th; what can we expect on the EP?

Sage: A lot more ethereal vocals and cello! I’m really proud of how each song is entirely different from the next, but they still feel like a family. ‘From Dust’ is so happy, but you only have to listen to the next track and things start to get a little dark and cinematic. There’s folk in there, there’s pop, there’s beats, there’s guitar, and glockenspiel; there’s definitely some unexpected sounds going on in there that make it unique, and I can’t wait for people to tell me what they think! 

 

MT: Did you write and/or co-write all the tracks on ‘Tethered’? Who produced the EP?

Sage: The music is 100% written by me! I wrote, arranged, and performed everything that needed to be tracked before production, then that part went to Richard Vaudrey. I sure could not have done it without him! I learnt so much watching him work and am now starting to make basic demos at home with the skills I’ve picked up. My best friend and colleague Navin Gulavita also played violin and viola on the last three tracks of the EP, and I’m so glad he did! He has a beautiful tone and the strings are one of my favourite parts about those songs. 

 

MT: Are people able to see you perform anywhere?

Sage: Yes! Stay tuned on my socials for the dates, I’d love to see you! I’ve been in Canada and the US for the past 5 weeks, so now that I’m back I’m rehearsing with the band and putting a show or two together. 

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Sage, good luck with the EP release! 

 

 

 

YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT SAGE HERE

Enchanting, Beautiful & Delicate Music from Young Indie Artist, Sage

The Freakish Talent of Samuel Jacks Natural Soul Finesse


Make sure you write this name down ladies and gentlemen; ‘Samuel Jack”

Every once in a while you hear a voice which screams to your soul, and Mr Jack is just one artist who’s songs and vocals command attention leaving you wanting more.

The London born singer songwriter has grown up with Blues, Motown, Roots and RnB music and has mastered his craft to perfection. 

His voice is rugged and warm as his songs make an intense connection with the emotions of depth and security, as if a blanket has been wrapped around you. Samuel Jack’s is a surviver who’s songs ooze the experience and vulnerabilities as they are written from the heart.

With all of his natural talents combined, Mr Jack is high on the radar and most certainly one to follow.

 

Pop Soul Singer


The Freakish Talent of Samuel Jacks Natural Soul Finesse

MT: Hi Samuel, Who are some of your musical influences and When did you know music was your calling? and when did you figure out why you needed to pursue music as your career?

Samuel: I was raised on blues and soul music predominantly, but also love hip hop, pop and rock music, I kinda listen to anything that gives me all the feels. I started out on music pretty late, at first it was college bands and singing down the pub, I spent a bit of time in recording studios through my late teens and just got the bug for it – it wasn’t ‘til after that in my early twenty’s that’s I started writing my own music.

 

 

MT: When did you figure out why you needed to pursue music as your career?

Samuel: Good question. I think it’s just that feeling that says ‘nothing else makes you feel like this’ I’ve always loved music, it’s been my rock. I remember sending a song called ‘weatherman’ to my now long-standing writing partners over on America – it was the first time someone told me I was a songwriter, I think if I had to name one time that was definitive for me it would be then.

MT: How long have you been singing and performing for?

Samuel: Professionally for about 5 years. And probably about another 5 or 6 before that

 

MT: Who do you enjoy listening to as a fan?

Samuel: I’m really into Jordon Mackampa at the moment. I love Leon Bridges, Jessie Ware and Dermot Kennedy is a beast right now

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Samuel: My first release was my ‘Let It All Out EP’ in 2016/17 – I’ve been on quite the journey since then.

 

MT: You recently released your single “In My Head”.  Can you explain more about the meaning of the song?

Samuel: In My Head is a hugely personal song to me. My first time publically opening up about struggles with mental health, and essentially about my fight against it – it was hard to write, but as always I find writing songs a really cathartic experience it was actually really helpful. I just hope it has some similar effect for the people listening

MT: Your voice and sound is so soulful and rich, did you have formal training?

Samuel: I didn’t. I just strive make sure every word and note that comes out my mouth is honest…and hope its in tune 😊

 

MT: You are quite open and honest about your struggle with depression. Can you tell me, how does this affect your songwriting; how does it help you?

Samuel: I consider myself somewhat of a survivor to those problems – looking back I don’t know how I came to write some songs, but at times it did bizarrely help. It’s a strange paradox, but again, going back to honesty – I voice the way I feeling at that moment on paper and through my songs.

 

MT: What has been your biggest challenge in your music career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

Samuel: There’s constantly new challenges. Everything’s gone up a level for me now so I’m taking it one day at a time and working hard to overcome them – my biggest challenge so far was probably performing live believe it or not. I used to be so nervous. Uncomfortable. But now I can’t wait to get on stage. It just comes through perseverance, reevaluating in order to improve and strive to constantly make the next show better than the last.

 

MT: From what you have learned about your challenges in the music business, what advice would you like to give upcoming new artists?

Indie Artist Soul Singer

Samuel: I’ve got a list as long as my arm hahah. I think the most important thing is hard work and determination. Nothing falls on your lap, I was bangin on the door for years before I made headway – and it’s not like I’m getting a helicopter to the Grammys just yet. I’d say, be decent to people, work hard and persevere.

 

MT:   Besides singing, do you play any musical instruments? How long have you been playing them?

Samuel: I play a little piano. I’m a deeply average pianist to be honest, but I love playing live and that’s where I wrote the majority of my music.

 

MT: What’s a typical day for you? Do you work on your music every day? What other activities or hobbies besides music do you like to do that your fans may like to know about?

Samuel: Football. Sorry. I can’t help it. I just love it. I still play when I can. But most days are all about music now.

 

MT:   You have had several singles and EP’s released including live performances, do you have a personal favourite? 

Samuel: I really love the Live EP’s ‘Live from Glastonbury’ and ‘Live From The Church’. The Glastonbury one mainly for nostalgic reasons and the church just because I feel like we captured that natural acoustic beauty that only a church can provide.

 

MT: Do you have any specific rituals or do anything specific before you head out on stage or even before you record your vocals in the studio?

Samuel: I like to be on my own for a minute. Hahah, I can’t even look at my manager before I go on, I realise that sounds weird, but I just like to get in the zone. That and a good glass of whiskey.

 

MT:    Do you have any up-coming performances you would like fans to know about? Is there anything else you would like to announce for your fans or anything you would like them to know? Plans for 2020?

Samuel: OH YES. My first headline show of the year is at Omeara in London on March 23rd! This is going to be a very special night, for reasons that will shortly be announced J So, please come down for a sing!

 

MT: Where can people see you perform next?

Samuel: London – March 23rd @ Omeara. Further tour dates to be announced shortly.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Samuel, I really appreciate it!

 

 

YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT SAMUEL JACK HERE

 

See here for more information about Samuel Jack’s Performance at Omeara on March 23rd

Australia’s Indie Artist Parker On The Right Track To Succeed


Parker is not just a singer, but a visual artist, songwriter and musician whose obvious experience has helped path the way for where she stands today.

Her recent release, ‘Become The Fool’ is just a taste of what’s to come , as this inspiring indie artist has clearly worked hard with great thought, a prominent team and  has reached out from beyond with guidance to better herself and find her mindset within this brutal industry. 

It’s obvious this young woman is in control of her destiny and has taken the time to manage and find who she is as an artist and what’s important to her to succeed in the music business.

You will see and hear, Parker’s music is not only about the song, not just about the voice; but about a complete musical and visual experience as an art form. 

Parker is one to watch and enjoy her journey and her rise upwards. We have no doubt, it won’t be long before Parker gains audiences from all over the globe. 

 


Australia’s Indie Artist Parker On The Right Track To Succeed

MT: Who are some of your musical influences? When did you know music was your calling and when did you figure out why you needed to pursue music as your career?

Parker: Dolly Parton is one of my biggest musical influences.  Her effortless vocals and flawless songwriting continue to inspire me to this day.  As a kid I spent a lot of time on my own in the bush writing songs about my imaginary friends and singing to myself.  I guess I’ve always known that singing and story telling was my destiny.  I’ve always felt a strange sense of responsibility to use this incredible gift (my voice). So long as I’m singing I’m on the right path. 

 

MT: Your vocals on your current single, ‘Become the Fool’ are so enchanting, smooth, well controlled and so easy to listen to, which is such an important factor for songs, as so many singers feel the need to over sing. How long have you been singing for? 

Parker: I’ve been singing as long as I can remember.  It just came naturally to me.  As a 2 year old I would sit next to my dad at the piano while he played Everly Brothers songs and I would hum along.  I joined the school choir when I was 8 years old and performed as a soloist.  When I went to boarding school I didn’t study music but I would sneak down into the laundry room at night and practice.  A few years ago I had some formal lessons which really helped me to find the depth and quality I use in my voice now.   The most important part of a vocal performance is not the singing technique though.  It’s embodying the emotion and meaning of the words.  Humans are incredibly discerning when it comes to the subtle nuance in tone and delivery of language. 

 

MT: Who do you enjoy listening to as a fan? 

Parker: I love listening to anything I can sing along with.  Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters, Sheryl Crow and Robyn have been on my recent road trip listening playlists. I also love listening to movie soundtracks.  Chocolat by Rachel Portman has been on repeat at home recently. 

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release? 

Parker: I recorded my first album of songs in 2003 in Perth WA at Kevin Bloody Wilson’s home studio. (writing that sentence sounds absurd but it’s true!!!)  It was a country record and I sold over 2000 copies at shows performing in the Kimberley and Northern Territory.  Luckily for me this was all before streaming music was a thing so this album is not online anywhere.  You’ll just have to imagine how cute I sounded with my country twang singing about teen heartache.  

 

MT: Can you explain more about the meaning of the ‘Become the Fool’ and how it ties into your music goals?

Parker: Become The Fool tells the story about being left by the person I loved and the realisation that I had scarified too much of myself and my dreams for them.  It is such a common experience, in fact I think we all do this at least once in our lives. We often use helping others as a distraction when we are afraid to shoot for our own dreams.  Now I put all of my time and energy into my own music and art practice and I am incredibly grateful to have been set free to do so. 

 

MT: Can you explain a little bit about your song-writing process? 

Parker:  Become The Fool was co-written with Becki Whitton and Hans Van Vliet.  I love collaboration and I love this writing and production team we’ve formed for PARKER.  I often start songs in short bursts, usually a one hour session just getting down ideas.  Then I send these through to Hans and Becki and we flesh out the arrangement and refine the lyrics and vocal melodies together.  I used to just write alone but finding this new collaborative way of working has really helped me develop my skills as a lyricist and vocalist. 

MT: As an independent artist, it looks like you have an amazing team around you. Who makes the final decisions on your songs, production and even direction of your music?

Parker: I think of myself more as a curator of this music project.  I guess I have the final say on all the creative output for PARKER but I work with the most incredibility talented bunch of musicians and artist that most of the time I just let them do their thing.  When ever I work with someone I give them as much creative freedom as possible.  My role is more to help them feel confident and challenged at the same time.  I want everyone I work with to feel like they are making the best work of their career so we set the standards high but also make sure there is joy in the process.

 

MT: The music video to the single is incredible as it makes the viewer feel like we are there within the 3D imagery as it jumps out. Can you tell us how this video was filmed and how the idea of how it was created came about?  

Parker: This clip is all Hans Van Vliet. We were going to release Become The Fool without a video but once we had locked in the release date Hans came up with this idea to create an animated clip of a dancing figure using the game engine Unity.  He had been researching some new motion capture and fabric simulation software and all he needed was a design brief for the environment.  Earlier last year I had been working with an amazing multidisciplinary artist and photographer from Tasmania, Tim Kling, and he suggested I look at Bauhaus design and photography for inspiration on the visual assets to accompany this single.   Hans researched Bauhaus design and colour theory and modelled the city on famous Bauhaus buildings and photographs.  The colour for the cloak was a pattern paying homage to Anni Albers fabric works.  For the closing credits I worked with an incredible young photographer from Hobart, Jacob Collings.  I made a version of the cloak from the video with the help of my niece and we used it for the press photos to accompany this release. 

 

MT: What has been your biggest challenge in your music career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

Parker: Overcoming my own fears and limiting beliefs about my ability to be a successful artist.  I have been working with an amazing Creativity Mindset coach for the past 5 years.  Mijo Biscan works with artists and musicians and provides them with an amazing set of tools for goal setting and time management.  Self managed artists often struggle to focus their time and energy effectively.  Mijo keeps me accountable to the promises I make to artistic practice. I would not be here without his constant support, encouragement and guidance. 

MT: From what you have learned about your challenges in the music business, what advice would you like to give upcoming independent artists? 

Parker: Don’t get distracted by the business side of things.  You are an artist.  Your job is to make art. 

 

MT:   Besides singing, do you play any musical instruments? How long have you been playing them?

Parker: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 16 and I have recently learned to play piano. I still write mostly on guitar or ukulele and I perform on these instruments in another band Runaway Belles with Emma Anglesey. 

 

MT: What’s a typical day for you? Do you work on your music every day? What other activities or hobbies besides music do you like to do that your fans may like to know about?

Parker: I always start my day with a gratitude practice.  Then I make a cup of tea and walk around the house and garden talking to my plants (like a crazy person).  I have a huge collection of indoor plants and a beautiful established garden that hosts native birds, lizards, wallabies and the occasional echidna. After this I read my goals for the year and do 10 minutes of journaling to help focus my day.   I work from home full time on my music and art.  I have a daily practice of vocal exercises, piano practice and rehearsing songs for any upcoming performances or recording.  Collaboration means I am often checking in with the people I’m working with on projects.  At the moment I have some live acoustic videos that I will be filming in March with Ladychoir and my band so I have to send through storyboards and work out production specs for those.  I’ve also started rehearsing for the Costume Dream Palace support shows so practicing my parts and sewing cloaks is going to be filling my time for the next few weeks. I usually take a break for lunch and meet up with friends in town at one of my favourite cafes. At the end of the day I love going for a run and a if it’s warm enough a swim in Cataract Gorge.  I’m generally in bed by 9pm.  I have a strict ‘no tech after 9pm’ rule.  

 

MT:   What’s next for Parker? What are your music plans for 2020? Will we see an EP or Album? 

Parker: 2020 is going to be a year of singles.  Hans and I have committed to making amazing music videos for every song so we’ve got our work cut out for us.  I will release 3 more singles and then we have a writing break at the end of the year to work on some more material.  I also have an art exhibition at Rubicon ARI in Melbourne in July in collaboration with Drawer/Sculptor Jo Lane.  And I’ve applied for some residencies for art-making and songwriting in Europe later this year.  So there will be plenty of songs and art for everyone to enjoy this year and next.

 

MT: Do you perform live? Where can people see you perform next; are you planning on taking your music out to the fans? 

Parker: I have just been invited to support Costume on the Tasi leg of their national Dream Palace theatre tour.  I’m so excited as these will be my first shows with my new band.  I’m sure these will be the first of many performance opportunities for this year. 

I’m also going to be recording some live acoustic videos this year so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

 

MT: Do you have any specific rituals or do anything specific before you head out on stage or even before you record your vocals in the studio?

Parker: When recording vocals with the amazing Becki Whitton we spend time discussing the emotion of the song (and eating cake).  I before I do a take I visualise myself as the character and in the environment we’ve discussed – for example I recently embodied Mother Earth for a song we wrote about the future of the human race. 

Before a performance I usually wish everyone on the team a great show including all the crew who work behind the scenes.  They are the ones who make a show possible and very rarely get acknowledged for their performance.  

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Parker, I really appreciate it and all the very best with ‘Become The Fool’ 

 

Australia’s Indie Artist Parker On The Right Track To Succeed

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Links To parker

 

Australia’s Indie Artist Parker On The Right Track To Succeed

Sam Bartells Fast Becoming New Zealands Next Big Music Artist


A trip to Nashville in 2019 sent the wheels in motion, and truly set up a promising future for country artist, Sam Bartells.

With a husky timbre, a love of raw acoustic guitar and an authentic delivery of melody/lyrics, Sam Bartells’ talent grabbed the attention of Nashville record executive, Peter Strickland. Strickland will be overseeing the development of the NZ based artist through his compan Marathon Talent Agency. Sam has just returned for a series of shows, recording and writing sessions. 

Signed to New Zealand based Resiau Records, Bartells was funded the opportunity to record an EP in Nashville during September, 2019. 

 

We had the pleasure to interview Sam while in transit on the plane to Nashville to pursue more recording, writing and shows. 

Country Rock Singer Songwriter


Sam Bartells Fast Becoming New Zealands Next Big Music Artist

MT/Tracey: Hello Sam, lovely to meet you. Was there anyone who inspired you to begin a career in music?

 

Sam: From listening to music with my father from a very young age and having cousins and uncles all play was my first inspiration. Music just moved me from the early days.

 

MT/Tracey: How long have you been singing and playing guitar for?

Sam:  I have been singing and playing for 20years. Holy moly..

 

MT/Tracey: Who do you enjoy listening to, as a fan?

Sam: I listen to mostly easy listening soulful music or country. I haven’t been a big listener for the last few years but am getting back into it again now.

 

MT/Tracey: When was your first release?

Sam: First release – Have released music since in my early 20s however a limited amount is available due to relaunching my career recently.

MT: You have had a few battles which you are quite candid about with an underlying important message for others struggling with addiction. What do you tell yourself when you’re not feeling on top of world; do you have strategies to help?

Sam: When i struggle there are lots of things i do but a few things that help are.

Write a list of all the things i’m grateful for.

Accept myself and my situation

Look to help someone

 

MT/Tracey: How important do you think it is to share the reality of life to others?

Sam: A problem shared is a problem halved.

 

MT/Tracey: Your last release, ‘Blessed & Broken’ is such a beautiful song musically, lyrically and simple, highlighting the strength of the song and raw vocals, guitar and violin; Can you tell us what ‘Blessed & Broken’ is all about? 

Sam: It’s about my last rock bottom before i got sober 3.5 years ago. And reflecting on it.

 

 

MT/Tracey: Do you perform often?

Sam: Planning on a lot more shows in NZ and USA very soon and a tour of USA

Single Promotion

 

MT/Tracey: Do you have any specific rituals before you head out on stage?

Sam: 30 min warm up. Focus on breathing.

 

MT/Tracey: Your latest single, ‘Alone No More’ has only just been released; What or who inspired you to write this song?

Sam: Just had a story in my mind of a guy realizing he is lonely without his love

 

MT/Tracey: 2019 looked to be a stellar year for you with a trip to Nashville meeting many from the industry. What was it like for you while meeting people and recording in Nashville?  

Sam: Nashville was amazing so many experiences and was cool to work with so many talanted musicians recording and jamming. Loved the vibe in town and the people.

 

MT: Where can people see you perform next?

Sam: We should have some shows announced soon for Nashville.

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Thanks for your time Sam have a great day and all the best with ‘Alone No More’

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Links To SAM BARTELLS

 

 

Sam Bartells Fast Becoming New Zealands Next Big Music Artist

Melbourne Ska Orchestra; is An amazing ancient ritual that is a sacred journey for all


 

Orchestra


 

Tickets from www.melbourneskaorchestra.com

FRI FEB 28 | MULLUMBIMBY CIVIC HALL NSW| 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-mullumbimby

SAT FEB 29 | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-brisbane

SUN MAR 1 | SOLBAR, MAROOCHYDORE QLD | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-maroochydore

THURS MAR 12 | CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-newcastle

FRI MAR 13 | MANNING BAR, SYDNEY NSW| 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-sydney

SAT MAR 14 | ANITA’S THEATRE, WOLLONGONG NSW | AA (U18 ACCOMPANIED BY LEGAL GUARDIAN)

SUN MAR 15 | UC REFACTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-canberra

FRI APR 17 | FREO SOCIAL, FREMANTLE WA | 18+

Tickets from http://bit.ly/gooddays-freo

SAT APR 18 | FAIRBRIDGE FESTIVAL, PINJARRA WA | 18+

FRI MAY 1 | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+

Tour Dates Poster

Melbourne Ska Orchestra; An Amazing Ancient Ritual that is a Sacred Journey For All

Live Trigger is Doing it for the Artists with Co-Founder Andrea Abbondanza


Artists who are actively pursuing their music careers will certainly know what difficulties lie in trying to find places to perform, platforms to find opportunities as well as communicate with other artists are. With so much out there, it’s hard to know how they function, what they do and how they will actually help you as an artist. 

If you haven’t heard of Live Trigger yet, you are probably wondering why? A platform totally dedicated to artists providing a service free of charge and is super easy to understand and use.

You can book shows, find live venues and bands along with it fast becoming one of the biggest social network platforms worldwide. 

We interviewed co-founder Andrea Abbondanza to find out more about Live Trigger, how it began what it is and plans for the growing mega platform.

 

SEO/Co-Founder of Live Trigger


Live Trigger is Doing it for the Artists with Co-Founder Andrea Abbondanza

Tracey: Hello Andrea, nice to cyber meet you! What is Live Trigger, in a nutshell?

AndreaLiveTrigger.com  https://www.livetrigger.com/ is the most advanced and creative live music community on the planet. It helps connecting bands, musicians, venues, and promoters book amazing live music shows!

If you are musicians, on LiveTrigger you will find those venues you would like to play at, plus the artist you would like to play with. It will create heaps of new opportunities for you!

If you are a Venue or a Promoter, on LiveTrigger find those artists you would like to work with. It saves you time and money!

 

MT/Tracey: I see that Live Trigger is located around the world, where did it begin and who started it?

Andrea: LiveTrigger was born in Milan in 2012 when my friends Gio, Gianluca, Jacopo and I decided to create a sort of CouchSurfing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CouchSurfing for bands; that’s when we started to conceptualise LiveTrigger. Since then we have put a lot of effort into the project, and we are now in the third version of the platform.

LiveTrigger is present in 59 nations, with the biggest presence in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe and South Africa, especially Italy, where I am originally from.

 

Live Trigger is Doing it for the Artists with Co-Founder Andrea Abbondanza

MT/Tracey: How did the team of Live Trigger meet and evolve?

Andrea: Everyone is still collaborating, and now we have new friends helping: Jemma, Bill and Jack Golding  https://jackgolding.com/  are helping me with the interviews and social media, cause I also have a daily job, so it’s hard to keep up with everything.

 

MT/Tracey: What’s the concept behind booking independent artists. How does it work?

 Andrea: There are 2 ways to book shows:

    1. Organise shows in an independent way (DIY): it means book shows by yourself, organise concerts for your bands or musical projects and help other musicians like you to organise live music concerts. It means to expand your music network and always make new friends through music and thoughtful connections. LiveTrigger support the independent way of booking shows
    2. Pay to play shows: that’s the other way around, you or your band play to play shows. LiveTrigger doesn’t support this way of organising shows.

 

MT/Tracey: How many booking agents do you currently have on Live Trigger?

Andrea: 975 verified promoters and booker on the platform worldwide as far as today, in more the 60 nations worldwide

 

MT: Can you tell us, how the idea was evolved. Was it something you were actively brainstorming or discussing over a spaghetti bol or was the idea born out of personal necessity and experience?

 Andrea: I always loved live music. When I was 14 years old, my parents bought a drum set   https://zerotodrum.com/ for my sister Alice, and I started to use it. With a few friends, we started my first band, called Hermano and the Marines  https://myspace.com/hermanoandthemarines/videos, when I was 16. That’s when I started to play shows in Milan and Italy. When I was 18 I started my adventure with Seditius https://seditius.bandcamp.com/album/misplaced we recorded a few albums, and we toured a lot of countries in Europe, we had a lot of fun, we made a lot of friends and played a lot of shows, from Amsterdam to Paris, from Berlin to London to Athens. When we were touring, it was great to meet new people and have heaps of fun 🙂 The personal connections and deep friendships born in this period are still super important.

Once in a tour with my best friend and Seditius’ singer Gio we were discussing how hard is to book shows, especially for independent musicians, and to book tours https://www.livetrigger.com/magazine/underground-guides/step-by-step-guide-on-how-to-book-a-tour-for-your-band/  As I said before, that’s when we created LiveTrigger.

 

MT/Tracey: So, tell us a bit about the artists? Do they post their music up or show live footage on their profiles for venue’s/promoters to see? What do they need to do to be listed on ‘Live Trigger’.

Andrea: Every musician, band or promoter can subscribe LiveTrigger for free  https://www.livetrigger.com/want-to-play-more/ . They can upload their music, pictures, send private messages to promoters, venues or musicians and start organising shows. They can also rate other users anonymously.

Co-Founder of Live Trigger

MT: What is a typical day for you at Live Trigger?

Andrea: I go through all the email that we receive (big job), and I reply to all of them. I then check the backend if everything is in order. I then read articles about music and I try to find amazing contacts like you Tracey, that want to connect with us and that love music 🙂

 

MT/Tracey: I’m one of those people who don’t notice the big sign in front of me and look at the small print and I couldn’t help but notice your very hilarious text at the bottom of your website. “Proudly Made By Those Lazy Italians”. Is everyone behind ‘Live Trigger’ Italian? (and lazy:)

Andrea: ahahahaha Thanks for noticing that Tracey. I’m living in Melbourne now, Jacopo is in London and Gio and Gianluca live in Milan. We have Jemma, Bill and Jack from Johnston Street  www.johnstonstreet.net/ helping me here in Melbourne. They all are booker here in Melbourne, they mostly organise the punk rock shows.

 

MT/Tracey: Excuse me for not believing you are lazy as a site of this magnitude comes with hard work. How long did it take for ‘Live Trigger’ to get to where it is today?

Andrea: OMG we started in 2012 and we worked a lot on the project. In Europe and I guess worldwide Italians have the reputation the be lazy, so that’s why we used this motto to make fun of ourselves and Italy, that is not the most efficient place in the earth, lol.

 

MT/Tracey: If an independent artist/band wanted organize a world tour by using Live Trigger, what would you suggest they do and start with?

Andrea: First of all they should subscribe LiveTrigger, then create a profile and optimise it. I recommend to upload images and create a nice BIO so others will recognise the profile as legit. Then they can start connecting with people by using the map and the search filter integrated in the dashboard.

We created a help centre section that can help new users navigate LiveTrigger

I suggest to click this useful support article https://www.livetrigger.com/help-center/searching-and-booking/book-shows-livetrigger/ and to watch the following video:

MT/Tracey: What industry were you in or what did you do before ‘Live Trigger’?

Andrea: I’m a marketer and my passion is SEO. Before moving to Australia I was a criminal lawyer for 5 years in Milan. I like my new career. What I keep loving is music, drumming, book live music shows as a promoter and have fun 🙂

 

MT/Tracey: Currently you have offices in Milan, London and Melbourne; can you tell us of any future plans in how you would like to see ‘Live Trigger’ evolve and grow further?

Andrea: Yeah, LiveTrigger is driven by passion and not by money, so we dedicate as much time as possible to the project. All other international players, like Sonicbids, Indieonthemove, Reverbnation and others, they are all paid services, but LiveTrigger is free.

So we would like to find investors, for sure or young musicians that would like to collaborate with us as volunteers, so they could learn how to manage and book shows.

I started with LiveTrigger and now I have a raising career in digital marketing. I always recommend to follow our own passions and learn what we like. The reward sometimes is not immediate, but it will come in future, maybe!

 

Great chatting with you Andrea, thankyou for your time, have a great day!

Thank you so much Tracey for having me and thanks for supporting LiveTrigger project and the independent music scene 🙂

Live Trigger is Doing it for the Artists with Co-Founder Andrea Abbondanza

Actor, Model, Singer, songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents


Having worked with brands such as Gibson Guitars, Topman, BooHooMan and stared in popular movies such as ‘SPUD’, alongside Casper Lee and Troye Sivan, as well as Netflix’s ‘The Kissing Booth’, multiinstrumentalist Byron Langley returns with debut EP, ‘Light On EP’. 

Byron’s silky melodies and imaginative imagery is painted across an indieelectronic canvas that eases like a breeze into the ears.

Originally from South Africa, Byron began uploading to YouTube back in 2018 and quickly accumulated a huge online following which stands at over 400,000 followers across YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. His close friendship with Strictly Come Dancing Star Joe Sugg and mega YouTuber Casper Lee skyrocketed the young singer-songwriter’s music career, with over 1 million streams on Spotify, multiple Spotify Official playlists including New Music Friday and brand collaborations with Apple Music.

Bryon Releases his Debut EP, ‘Light On’, Today 3rd December and we had a chat about the EP among other things. 

 

Singer Songwriter


Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Tracey: Hello Byron, nice to cyber meet you! Since you’re an all-rounder, (not a square at – all) Actor, Model and Singer/Songwriter/Musician. What came first and do you recall your first job?

Byron: Hey Tracey, nice too cyber meet you too, how very 2019 of us. Acting came first and then modelling followed shortly after. My first ever job was selling chocolate brownies at school. It turned in to a little empire that was eventually shut down due to the alarming amount of chocolate fingerprints everywhere, at least that’s why I think they shut me down.

 

MT/Tracey: Who introduced you to the world of modelling and acting?

Byron: My grade 10 drama teacher put our class forward to audition for a film in 2010, after a few call backs, much to my surprise, I got the job. I worked as a bartender after that and a local creative director scouted me at the bar to do some modelling for a local South African fashion brand, everything kinda picked up after that.

 

MT/Tracey: What is it you enjoy the most? (I’m talking about what’s in the circle of roundness btw)

Byron: I enjoy writing songs the most, I sometimes really dislike it but I think that means you care, right? Indie Artist

 

MT/Tracey: For those who don’t know who you are, (where have they been??) what is it that you think you are well known for the most, to date?

Byron: I am probably most known for featuring in ThatcherJoe Vlogs on YouTube. I lived with Joe for 18 months when I first moved to London and was exposed to his giant audience then.

 

MT/Tracey: How would you describe yourself, what kind of person are you? I.e. Kooky, Weird, Funny, Normal (whatever that is).

Byron: I’d say I’m pretty normal, maybe a little nerdy and a little goofy.

 

MT: So, you’re meeting your girlfriends’ parents very soon. Are you nervous? What do you think you’ll talk about?

Byron: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. We’ll probably spend a lot of time talking about Emily ha-ha. Other than that, I’m excited to get to know them in general, they seem like legends.

 

MT: Do you have or recall any favourite scenes while you were in the filming of SPUD?

Byron: My favourite scene was during Spud 1 when “Fatty” got stuck in the window of the chapel. It was the first time I had ever seen special cranes on a set before and the scene was hilarious to watch.

 

MT/Tracey: You’re a very busy boy, and about to release your debut EP, before we get into the recording of the EP, what do you like to do outside of modelling, filming and music?

Byron: I love surfing, living in London makes that very difficult but I try to travel for at least 3 weeks of the year to Indonesia/Philippines/Taiwan and get as much surfing in as possible.

 

Actor, Model, Indie Artist

MT/Tracey: So, your debut EP is almost here; That being said, how are you feeling to the lead up? Excited, eager with this being your first EP?

Byron: I’m super excited to be able to release songs and get a response from the public in general so this EP release is no different. Most of the songs have already been released as singles so I have already gauged what the response is but otherwise I’m just a fan of the process.

 

MT/Tracey: Can you tell us how many songs you wrote on ‘Light On’ and what the EP is about?

Byron: In total I probably wrote between 10-15 songs. Some I will still release they just need some TLC; others won’t ever see the light of day. The EP is about my struggles with addiction a couple of years back and dealing with the consequences of that and ultimately finding the solution.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you collaborate song writing with anyone else and specifically for the EP?

Byron: Unfortunately, I didn’t have any collabs on this EP, it is something that I’m definitely keen to get into moving forward. The producer of the tracks, Christo (aka MusiCli), had a lot of input on the final product.

 

MT/Tracey: What’s the message you would like people to hear from ‘Light On’?

Byron: I’d love for people who are also struggling to have something to help get them back on track, even if it is in the smallest way.

 

MT/Tracey: I have to say, and I’m not just saying this, ‘Light On’ is a pretty amazing EP. It’s not boring, thank goodness! ‘Light On’ tracks are very different from each other; from electronic to rocky to slower folky style pop. Do you have a personal favourite and why?

Byron: Thank you very much, that’s very kind. The genres of the songs do vary quite a bit, I think that has a lot to do with finding a sound I like the most. My favourite track on the EP is Westside, it’s nice and big I can always feel like I’m in a movie when listening to it ha-ha.

 

Indie Artist, Model, Actor

MT/Tracey: Where was ‘Light On’ recorded and who produced it?

Byron: The whole EP was recorded in my living room or else Christo’s bedroom / studio in East London. Christo Patricios (aka MusiCli) is the producer. The only track that wasn’t recorded in London was  Westside which was recorded in Cape Town.

 

MT: Will there be music videos for ‘Light On’? 

Byron: We tried to shoot one in Croatia earlier in November, but the weather was not great at all, we were quite unlucky. Other than that, I’ve tried to accompany each release with a music lyric video.

 

MT: Any plans to tour with your music?

Byron: Yes, I’m looking at hitting the road in spring next year.

 

MT: And now, nothing to do with music, acting or modelling; Do you have any pets, if so, what are their names?

Byron: Haha, no pets I’m afraid, I’d absolutely love to get a dog though.

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Byron: I have another EP coming out around springtime next year too. Otherwise thanks very much for the interview and all the best! 

 

 

Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter Byron Langley A Man Of Many Talents

Links To BYRON LANGLEY

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back


Melbourne singer-songwriter, Daisy Spratt undoubtedly has talent to burn. Her energy, songwriting and singing skills are to be admired with her intentions and goals to match. 

Having just released her third single, ‘Think Again Boy’, proving she isn’t just a pretty lady, but a lady with fierce motivation, goals and dreams that are certain to become a reality for Ms Spratt. 

We had the pleasure to interview Daisy. Spratt is down to earth with a certain kind of perkiness about her which reflects in ‘Think Again Boy’. 

Hope you enjoy the interview, and continue to keep an eye on this talented young woman. 

 

Australian Singer


Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Tracey: Hello Daisy, nice to cyber meet you! Can you tell us where you are from and how long you’ve been singing for?

Daisy: Thank you Tracey for having me! I’m sort of a hybrid. I was born in Southport, Queensland. However, I moved to the United States when I was 1. I moved back to Melbourne when I was about 10, and have been here ever since. I like to think of myself as being from Melbourne. It’s my home here, but a piece of me will always be with the USA, because that was where I first started listening to music, and learning what I liked and didn’t like. I didn’t start getting singing lessons until I was 13, and started performing around 15, so I was a late bloomer in my craft.

 

MT/Tracey: How did you become involved in music and singing?

Daisy:  It was by chance when I was about 12 or 13, back in the MSN days, I would do voice recordings for fun and send them to my friends. I sang some Linkin Park songs one day. My friends were serious and said I should pursue lessons because I apparently sang well. The singing side of things started from there, in terms of actually pursuing that. Guitar was my first musical love though. I came back to Australia, and lived in a small regional town called Moe, in Victoria, initially. It was there I decided to give guitar lessons a go, and I never stopped playing from then on. I regularly did little performances playing guitar, and also would play guitar with my dad who taught me a lot of basic chords.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you write your own music and collaborate? If so, who have you recently worked with?

Daisy: I do. I love writing. Even if the initial ideas are terrible, I like to get my heart and feelings down, to release those emotions at the time. I love collaborating, and actually prefer it when I’m releasing music. You get so many more ideas, and can work as a team to make the song the best it can be. With all the songs I have released so far, I wrote the majority of the song on my own, and then would bring it to the studio and collaborate to make it better before recording. The most recent collaboration would be “Think Again Boy”. It was co-written with Brandon Hood in Nashville, and then I had the honour of having it produced by John Capek, who has worked with artists like Rod Stewart and Diana Ross in the past.

Australian Singer

MT/Tracey: How important do you feel music is, in people’s lives?

Daisy: I don’t think I have ever met someone who doesn’t listen to music. Sure, not everyone has a passion for it, or is involved in it per se, but everyone listens to it. It is very important, because it has the power to shift the atmosphere, in a positive or negative way. It can also speak to people in low moments, or give them a “pick me up” for the day. That’s why I love doing it, not just because I’m good at it, or enjoy it, but also because I get to speak to people that I’ll likely never meet.

 

MT: Do you recall the first song you sang, and at what age were you?

Daisy: The first song I ever sang for an actual audience I was around 15, and sang “Scar” by Missy Higgins. It was the first time my mum saw me sing live on stage. My family jokes about it, because I apparently I sang so pitchy and flat back then!

 

MT: I’ve noticed you have sung your own version of few covers and your previous releases being more pop.  What was the reason for the style change to more of an Americana Pop feel for ‘Think Again Boy’?

Daisy: I like singing anything and everything. When you grow up listening to a broad range of music, it can be difficult to find your “box” or genre. My song “Love Like That” was more country, my self-titled EP was more pop and rock. So, it’s been a journey of self-discovery and finding what style I can express myself the best through. “Think Again Boy” is the launch of a new era and a new style for me, where I feel I am able to give people an insight into me as a person, through music. Maybe down the track I might venture into something different like blues, but Americana pop is where I am at right now, and I’m cool with it.

 

MT/Tracey: You have a great voice! Who did you listen to growing up?

Daisy: Thank you! That means a lot. I listened to so many genres and artists growing up. When I was really little it was Kenney Chesney, Shania Twain and Keith Urban. I was also surrounded by a lot of gospel and Christian music. Then I discovered Green Day at 10 years old, and got hooked on rock, American punk music throughout my teens.

 

MT/Tracey: Are you performing live anywhere at the moment?

Daisy: I’m doing a lot of open mic gigs at the moment through the CBD of Melbourne, and on the Peninsula, to keep myself fresh and try new songs on audiences. I also have some internationally live streamed gigs coming up during the Christmas period as well.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you have any great moments that stand out to you, perhaps a show or a session that made an impact and you will never forget?

Daisy: Probably when I did the launch party in November 2018, for my EP release. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the people that came, and having my first experience of doing a full show of my own original music. I remember thinking “this is what it feels like to do your own shows, and have people there that connect with your music”.

Australian Singer

 

MT/Tracey: What hobbies do you have that you like to do other than music?

Daisy: I love working out with my husband, it’s something we make time to do together amongst our busy lives. We’re on a bit of a health kick at the moment. Anything creative, like scrapbooking. I’m currently trying to finish our wedding album. I also really enjoy baking and cooking at home, if I have the time to just bake a cake.

MT/Tracey: Is there an album coming? What’s next in line for Daisy Spratt?

Daisy: Yes, for sure! Next year we have some singles and music videos in the pipeline, and festival shows. An album will definitely be happening, but most likely will be looking at releasing in 2021.

 

MT/Tracey: Where do you see yourself with your singing and music? What is your biggest dream?

Daisy: My biggest dream is doing headline tours, and essentially running a whole business through the Daisy Spratt brand. I’d love to include merchandise, and Daisy Spratt clothing in the brand, and also introduce some form of a charity side to the business, so that I can continue helping people and giving back to the community somehow. Essentially, I want to be able to make a living doing something I love, and being able to help people at the same time.

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Daisy: Just thank you for having me. It’s been a wild journey since releasing my first studio recording in 2016, and I’m humbled that I’m even at the point that people care to ask about my music and songs, so thank you, and there is more to come!

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Thanks for your time Daisy have a great day!

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Links To DAISY SPRATT

Australian Songbird Daisy Spratt Looking Ahead and Giving Back

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar


Embracing the positivity of the festive season, songstress Rachael Leahcar’s fifth album release – Together For Christmas – is a beautiful journey through her favourite yuletide tunes, effortlessly delivered in six different languages and with a swag of special guests. Featuring duets with Darren Mullan, Ben Whittington, Grace Bawden (Australia’s Got Talent) and Lara Nakhle (The Voice), the 14-track long-player includes rousing renditions of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock, to breathtakingly gorgeous versions of Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Silent Night and White Christmas, to name a few. The album is sprinkled with the magic of the festive season from the opening track, until the closing bars, and embodies that inherent bubble of excitement that surrounds the final month of the year.

It’s clear that there is no stopping this lovely lady despite being handed the short straw with a degenerative eye condition, leaving her 90% blind.

Rachael has recorded ‘Together for Christmas’ in six different languages and was recorded in such a way to incorporate diversity. 

Australian Blind Singer

For Rachael, the Together For Christmas album isn’t just about the celebration of Christmas. The core theme of the release is about bringing people together, regardless of their beliefs, and sharing quality time catching up.

“We’ve become so busy in our lives that we often let too much time go by but this way we’re forced to do it – share stories, give a gift, have a laugh and be merry,” she says. “Christmas is about people coming together with love, something everyone can benefit from. What better way to do this than through music? Christmas is also a time to celebrate our differences, because life would be so boring if we were all the same. I have learned so much from people – their stories, beliefs and opinions. We can only move forward as a human race if we are open, respectful and accepting of each other. I’m hoping that by sharing the songs of old and new, with diverse languages and voices, it will help this message be shared.”

I had the privilege of interviewing Rachael on music, ‘Together For Christmas’ and a few other things. Enjoy the video interview with Rachael Leahcar 💜

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Make sure you get your copy of ‘Together For Christmas’ to play this Christmas!

BANDCAMP | DEEZER | GOOGLE PLAY

ALSO AVAILABLE AT

SANITY RECORDS | JB-HI

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Links To RACHAEL LEAHCAR

WEBSITE:  http://www.rachaelleahcar.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachaeleahcar

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachaeleahcar/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachaeleahcar

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/au/album/shadows/1208409043?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 

Together For Christmas Video Interview with Rachael Leahcar

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir


With over 100,000 streams on Spotify, combined video views of over 2 million, music shared by Coldplay and supporting the legend Dodie……Belfast born, Owen Denvir at only 29 has asserted himself as one of the finest singer songwriters around and is now announcing his biggest project to date. 3 EP’s released over a year that form his debut album.

It was some time ago that the talent of Owen Denvir captured my attention with a need to find out more about who this incredible talented artist is.

We interviewed Owen to find out more. 

Enjoy the interview!

Indie Artist Owen Denvir
Photo Credit: Liz Wade Blur

 

MT/Tracey: Hi there Owen – how are you going and great to cyber meet you. I’ve personally become a fan of yours and so impressed with your music and vocals. How long have you been singing for?

Owen: Hello & great to cyber meet you too! I’d sung in school choirs since primary school and I learnt a lot there. Secretly I wanted to be some combination of Damien Rice and Matt Bellamy from Muse when I grew up, so I used to sing along with my CDs when I was home alone. Performing in front of people only happened through forceful and (hopefully) well-meaning friends after I’d put a few demos online.

 

MT: I believe you began as a violin player. What or who made you discover your voice?

Owen: I’d gotten really into music for want of having a personality as a teenager. My school had a pretty strict policy of classical-music-or-no-music-at-all, but my older brothers were into Radiohead and The Strokes so I decided I was too. I switched to viola around 15, which was a serious demotion because viola players get the most boring parts to play in the orchestra. So guitar and singing had to be my release for musical tension/social acceptance.

 

MT: Was there a definitive moment when you realized that you ultimately wanted to be a singer?

Owen: My Dad had a Fleetwood Mac live DVD he used to play a lot. Seeing Lindsay Buckingham play Big Love when I was about 12 hit me pretty hard. I was never particularly good at anything other than music so I’d made my mind up pretty early!

 

 

MT: Does music run in your family?

Indie Artist Owen DenvirOwen: My Dad pointed out recently how it was strange that all of his children have quite creative-focused careers even though he and my Mum had quite traditional jobs. It’s hard to know which side we inherited music from because while my Dad’s Mum can’t stop talking about music, my Dad can barely string a few notes together! One of my brothers runs an annual Christmas piano karaoke night in Dublin and he’s scored entire orchestral arrangements for Sigur Ros and Radiohead tribute concerts while he was at Trinity University. Then I’ve a cousin who plays in virtually every band in Dublin to have ever featured a trombone. I think between the lot of us we could get a pretty solid show on the road together.

 

MT: You are about to release the first trilogy of EP Releases with ‘Sticks’ being the first, with ‘Stones’ and ‘Bones’ to follow. Can you tell us a little bit about the trilogy that will eventually form your debut album?

Owen: Yes! So the idea for the first EP came from general release-fatigue, where I felt as though in order to be compatible with “the industry” you have to do the same thing as every other artist. Recently the trend is to continually release a catchy 3:30 radio-friendly single every couple of months, in the hope that one of them will catch the attention of an industry gatekeeper (radio/streaming/blogs/press), rather than aiming directly for an audience with a full body of material. I never got into an artist or band after hearing just one single. Growing up I loved albums, and most of the tracks I’m drawn to when browsing Spotify are more lowkey or more complex than something built just solely for radio. I’ve made a lot of music over the last couple of years that I’d always felt was too personal or mellow to be released, or too much of a departure from the sound of my other singles up to now. When it came to deciding what would make the cut for an EP, I released there was a lot more material I loved than I had remembered. So the idea snowballed into releasing a whole trilogy of EPs, with the songs linked thematically through each.

 

MT: How did you feel when you found your music shared by the likes of Coldplay and Dodie?

Owen: It’s a real rollercoaster of emotions when something like that happens. Getting tweeted by Coldplay first of all just drew so much attention all at once – I was getting messages from people all over the world who didn’t know I existed 10 minutes beforehand. A few TV and radio opportunities opened up through that as well so it was a good opportunity to try to smuggle fans onboard while I was flavour of the week.

Supporting Dodie again came completely out of the blue and was easily one of my favourite shows I’ve ever played. She’s got such a loyal and passionate fanbase which extended to her support act thankfully, so I had a lot of fun at that show and lots of them have stuck around and been really supportive since.

 

Indie Pop Artist
Photo by Fiona Kerr

MT: I believe you write all your songs; do you also collaborate with other writers?

Owen: I don’t co-write very often. Sometimes I’ll borrow a friend’s ear if I’m stuck on an initial idea. But a lot of my writing happens quite spontaneously, especially if I’ve a character in my head from a movie or something, and I find the more ideas that come all at once usually fit best to make the song flow together as a whole.

 

MT: Why the fascination of Sigmund Freud and how did you go about placing these idea’s into your songs?

Owen: This was actually a bit of coincidence. I’d been incubating the idea of an EP trilogy when a friend had told me about a Youtube binge they’d been on resulting in videos and Freud. They told me about his theory of personality, that it consisted of 3 individual parts that amount to 1 whole. The more I looked into it, the more it seemed to fit how I was planning my EPs. While the first 2, “Sticks” and “Stones”, are a collection of misinterpretations of love and relationships, “Sticks” is delusional in a sense of trying to make relationships work that never will. “Stones” is more brash and self-assured with misplaced confidence and “Bones”, the final EP, is a healthier balance between the two. Freud’s theory is the same but in a different order, where in a single personality the “id” acts impulsively to do whatever it wants, the “ego” is terrified of the consequences and the “superego” is the balance between the two.

 

MT: You are also involved in a charity called, ‘Live Music Now’. What is this about? 

Owen: A musical friend recommended I get involved with this charity and I’m very grateful they did. Live Music Now aims to put live music into places where you wouldn’t usually find it but where it’s sorely needed. For the most part I’ve performed in care homes around Belfast, mostly to old folks with dementia. This led to my “Music & Memories” project with Peter J. McCauley, where we recorded an album of the residents’ party pieces from their youth, then afterwards adapted them into modern experimental works, a bit like Gavin Bryars’ “Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. I’ve also been really lucky to have been involved in lots of music workshops in special needs schools. It’s been really rewarding interacting with kids who have little to no social awareness, but will respond really significantly to the sound of a viola or with musical games.

 

Live Music Now Northern Ireland: Older people living with dementia from Live Music Now on Vimeo.

 

 

MT: Your first single of your ‘Sticks’ EP, ‘Stay’ will also be released very soon, what was the inspiration behind this song?

Owen: It’s about a relationship I had that broke up over distance. It took a while for me to decide to make this song public.

 

MT: Do you perform or will you be doing any performance to co-inside with your trilogy of releases?

Owen: I have an Irish tour in the works for 2020, but the soonest date in the diary is the Belfast Sticks EP launch in The American Bar on Guy Fawke’s Night, Tues 5th November.

 

MT: What else do you get up to when you’re not singing or in the studio?

Owen: I’m a spectacularly unskilled 5 a side football player, a devoted watcher of Parks & Rec, and a super fun uncle to the cutest niece in the world.

 

MT: If music was taken away and no longer in your life, what do you think your second calling would be?

Owen: Professional chocolate taster

 

MT: This is our famous question….do you have any pets? (I know, nothing to do with music)

Owen: NO and it’s an absolute travesty, I’m aiming to get a dog as soon as humanly possible

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

Owen: If you stream my music, I can’t guarantee your life will be flooded with success and happiness, but there’s a chance it might so you totally should.

Thanks for your time Owen, have a great day!

Owen: Thanks! You too!

Owen Denvir
releases new single ‘Stay’
and 1st of trilogy of EP’s ‘Sticks’
Nov 1st

SPOTIFY | ITUNES | GOOGLE PLAY | AMAZON

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Links To OWEN DENVIR

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwenDenvir

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owendenvir/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/owendenvir

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/owendenvirmusic

WEBSITE: http://www.owendenvir.com/

Amazing Talented Brilliant Indie Pop Artist Owen Denvir

Meryn Ruppert is making waves as an indie artist


If you haven’t heard of Meryn Ruppert, it’s only a matter of time before you see this Los Angeles Singer Songwriter and actress pops up on all major social media feeds. 

Meryn Ruppert sparked interest after jumping onto the scene only a few months ago and is making waves with her new dance single, ‘The Night’. 

We interviewed Meryn to find out who this young talented songstress is and what her plans are. 

Enjoy the interview!

 

Indie Artist Singer Songwriter


 

Tracey: Hi Meryn, nice to cyber meet you! How long have you been singing for?

Meryn: Hello and thank you for having me Tracey ! I have been singing since I
have been 3 years old and always loved every second of it.

 

MT: Do you write your own music?

Meryn: Yes I write my own music and I really like different lyrics that write for different songs.

 

MT: Who have been your biggest influences?

Meryn: I like classic rock from 70’s to different rock music from 90’s all the way up to some of the rock music like The Foo fighters from today.

Singer Songwriter Meryn Ruppert

 

MT: Do you play any instruments?

Meryn: I play the piano and electric organ also guitar because I like the different sounds you can get on all of them.

MT: Do you perform live? If not, are there any plans to play live in venues?

Meryn: Everywhere, anywhere and worldwide if I can. lol

 

MT: What other hobbies do you have besides music?

Meryn: I enjoy dancing singing and putting together all my music videos.

 

MT: At what age did you realize that your ultimate dream was to sing?

Meryn: When I was 13 I was singing and performing in front of audiences and I really enjoyed it and I knew I really wanted to be singer from then on.

 

MT: Do you have any pets? (we’re big animal lovers here)

Meryn: I love animals but I don’t have any pets.

 

MT: If there was one place you would love to visit and perform, where would that be?

Meryn: I would like to sing in a Hollywood bowl in CA where The Beatles played

 

MT: Can you describe what your latest single ‘The Night’ is about?

Meryn: It’s about anticipation and excitement of the love that you’re going to discover like almost in a fairy tale and you just cant wait see & feel how it all works out.

 

Singer Songwriter Meryn Ruppert

MT: Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

Meryn: I would like to be a recording artist with a record label also to be performing live all around the world.

MT: Are there any plans for an album or EP? When can we expect your next release?

Meryn: I would love to do an album but I am working on a new songs hopefully to be done by early 2020.

 

MT: The indie music scene is so large, as an independent artist, what kind of team surrounds you and how important is it to have a small team? (if applies)

Meryn: There are so many artists and bands out there and I am trying to share my music on social media the best that I can It is a lot of work with that I am also meeting wonderful people from all around the world and that is so great.

 

Thanks for your time Meryn and looking forward to your future music releases.

Meryn: Thank you very much Tracey I really enjoyed the interview. 

Meryn Ruppert Is Making Waves as an Indie Artist

 

Meryn Ruppert Is Making Waves as an Indie Artist

Links To MERYN RUPPERT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MerynRuppert/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MerynRuppertMusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/merynruppert/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MerynRuppert

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQjPAcZBKpUMklEaMhKoAog

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merynruppert/

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

A Beautiful Song From Indie Artist Peta Mai, and One To Watch


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every now and again there’s an artist who’s music and voice

Indie Music Artists

grabs and demands attention. Peta Mai is a classical example of what made me want to begin Music Talks. 

Peta hails from Sydney, Australia and has performed with the likes of Keith Urban with country flavoured music.

Now Peta is about to release her beautiful song with a her great voice to match this Friday 4th October and available for pre-order now. 

 

This is one indie artist who’s music speaks for itself. 


Read the interview with Peta Mai.

 

Tracey: Hey Peta, so nice to cyber meet you, although we are in the same city! Do Perform gigs around Sydney?

Peta: Yes I do! In fact, I’ll be doing a single launch for Hell or High Water at Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville on Monday, 7th of October. You should come!

 

MT: Peta, your voice and singing style blows me away, who are you and where the hell have you been? How long have you been singing for?

Peta: Thank you so much! I’ve been floating around in a few different genre worlds – I used to be in a Pop-Country trio which informed my songwriting for a long time. ‘Hell or High Water’ is the first track I’m releasing that moves more into the realms of Pop/Soul.

 

MT: Did you study voice?

Peta: I’ve been getting vocal coaching since I was 7 – I still see a teacher now. I try to treat it like any other muscle in my body – it needs to be stretched and worked regularly!

 

MT: Do you play any other instruments?

Peta: I play guitar and dabble in a bit of piano.

 

MT:  Do you write all you own material? And do you collaborate with others?

Peta: I’m a firm believer that teamwork makes the dream work, but as of late, I’ve stripped the production line way back. I currently write most of my songs alone, (including HOHW) to give myself the best chance of honing in on what I want to say as a solo artist.

 

MT: Do you have a musical family?

Peta: Not at all! My mother is in the medical field, my dad in finance, and my brother is a chef!

 

Australian Singer

MT: Which artist/singer did you listen to while growing up?

Peta: I had several different CD’s growing up – I remember listening to The Corrs, Carole King, Dixie Chicks, Little River Band. As an adolescent I listened to John Mayer & Paramore.

 

MT: I’ve noticed you have shared the stage with one of Australia’s sons, Keith Urban, what is your connection with Country Music?

Peta: I wouldn’t consider myself a born & bred country gal, but the story-teller nature of Country music has always really moved me. I’ve considered myself to be a bit genre-ambiguous in the past, so I found myself in country music almost accidentally.

 

MT: Your new single, ‘Hell or High Water’ is just incredible. What inspired you to write this beautiful song?

Peta: I was going through a hard time when I wrote Hell or High Water – kind of strange seeing it comes across as an uplifting tune. I knew how to love someone else, but I’d forgotten how to show myself the same love. The take home message of Hell or High Water is that we are all flawed, but we are all worthy of being loved. I’m thankful I was able to tap into that sentiment with this tune.

 

MT: How did you go about writing ‘Hell or High Water’….Was it something that poured out?

Peta: It was one of those rare moments where lyrics and melodies seemed to roll off the tongue. I think it was buried inside me for a while waiting to come out. I started with piano, and then the lyrics and melody.

 

MT: Who produced ‘Hell or High Water’? Where was it recorded?

Peta: I took the song to a trusted friend and producer, Ryan Miller, who I’ve worked with before. I’m a big champion of Ryan. It’s like he doesn’t know how great he is!? He was so integral in taking the song to the next level and bringing the vision to life. It was all recorded in house with Ryan at Hercules Studios.

 

MT: When the song was nearing the completion stage, did you feel it had a certain quality or should I say, spark about it? And do you feel this song is different to others you have written?

Peta: Ryan & I are both very critical, so when we stopped having words to say about the song, we knew it was ready! I think it comes from a more mature space than my previous releases. Even though I realise it’s a life-long process, this song has made me feel closer to finding myself and my voice than anything else I’ve done.

 

MT: This could be the wedding song of the year! What are the plans from here, EP or Album perhaps?

Peta: At the moment I am taking it song by song – so I’ll likely release singles for a while. BUT, I am a big fan of an album as a body of work. I hope I’ll be working towards releasing an album soon!

 

MT: Will there be a music video for ‘Hell or High Water’?

Peta: Not at this stage, but there will be a lyric video, and a live performance!

 

MT: Will you be touring at all in Australia or any upcoming gigs we can catch you at?

Peta: Lazybones Marrickville on the 7th of October. Be there!

 

MT: Anything else you would like to mention?

Peta: Just a huge thanks for your kind words about Hell or High Water – I can’t wait for everybody to hear it!

Thank you so much Peta, and really looking forward to an album!

PRE-ORDER ‘Hell or High Water’

https://www.petamaimusic.com/

A Beautiful Song From Indie Artist Peta Mai, and One To Watch

Read last weeks review on Simon SaysHERE

 

 

 

Links To PETA MAI

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/51jhfyjq1B3X7mSGaSj5aO 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petamaimusic 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petamai/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqxkI_0pGKaduxIY2P788tQ

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians


Aly Cook is a New Zealand based Multi award-winning recording artist with a deep passion for all things musical. She is a consummate songwriter and performer, who has taken her music to the world, delighting audiences wherever she roams and carving a career as a respected live performer. She has used her vast entrepreneurial experience to crowd fund all of her recordings to date and also dedicated much of her life to furthering the careers of other independent artists. She has twice been a finalist for NEXT New Zealand Woman of the Year in 2011 & 2016 for her contribution to the Arts.

 

Country Singer

Although based in New Zealand Aly has had one foot either side of the Tasman for many years, touring the length and breadth of Australia as she has in her homeland.
While touring the East Kimberley region, her passion for ancient lands led her to write ‘Kimberley’ which was used in a TV promotion for the region and many songs of the country and its people have fallen from her pen. ‘Kimberley’ was a single from her sophomore album ‘Horseshoe Rodeo Hotel’ and was produced in New Zealand by Alan Jansson. The album entered the Top 40 Official New Zealand album charts and also enjoyed 6 number one hits on Australian independent airplay based charts.


The interview about the journey of Aly Cook’s album, ‘Caught In The Middle’.

 

Tracey: Hey Aly, great to have you back on Music Talks. Wow, the new album is almost here! Can you tell us what the first single off the album is about, ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’

 Aly: Over the Years I have travelled up and down and around Australia, across the Nullarbor in the 80’s, up to the Kimberley, out to Alice, and up to the far north of QLD.  I love the Red Dirt! We don’t really get it in NZ, those long Aussie road trips singing to songs on the radio. On my way to Mildura Country Music Festival and back I heard the song idea in my head, and then took the idea to Asquith, did that Bidstrup Cook Bidstrup writing thing and we had the song completely written in a couple of hours.  We have filmed a cool music video for this song out in Alice Springs.

 

MT: You do very well in your crowdfunding campaigns to help your funding for your music. Your upcoming album, ‘Caught in The Middle’; when is the due date for its release?

 Aly: The Album comes out in 3 stages with the pre-sale starting Friday 6th of September. ‘Steal Your Love’ becomes available on digital stores and then the iTunes pre-sale of the album begins. If you pre order the album you get ‘Steal Your Love’ as your instant gratification track. The Song ‘Steal Your Love’ is one of 3 covers on the album, which also has 9 originals. The song is by Lucinda Williams from her ‘Essence’ album.  Friday Sept 20th comes the first single ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’, and it’s video, then a week later ‘Caught in the Middle’s official release date is Friday 27th of September. My Birthday! It’s also the first day of Mildura Country Music Festival where I am performing for 10 days straight.

 

MT: If you couldn’t raise funds through crowdfunding to record, how else would you do so, and how important is it for an artist to have the support from their current fans? 

 Aly: Well I don’t know really.   I’ve only been able to record because of crowdfunding and pre-sales, and my crowdies, as I like to call them, mean heaps to me. They are more than people who buy my album. To me, they are true friends, as they support my being able to do my art, and we are a team. That is how I look at my crowdies x

 

MT: Do you feel extra pressure to do something extra special when so many people have contributed to the costs of making an album through crowdfunding?

Aly:  It’s a symbiotic relationship. I provide them with music and they enable me to make it… I hope everyone that listens to the tracks on ‘Caught in the Middle’ love them, and especially my crowdies, as they are part of this journey.  I now hope that more people come on board, buy the album and love what I do .

 

Album cover

MT: I’ve noticed there’s been a lot of attention around this particular album with some very well-known and respected musicians and producers involved. Can you tell us who has been involved in the making of ‘Caught in the Middle’?

Aly: Well it all starts with the song and the Bidstrup Cook Bidstrup writing team started 4 years ago, when I got the opportunity to go out to Mutitjulu near Uluru with Uncle Jimmy Thumbs up team. We were doing music with the Aboriginal Kids out there with Buzz Bidstrup. Most will know Buzz as a founding member of The Angels, he co-wrote one of their greatest hits with Doc Neeson, ‘No Secrets. Out in Uluru we wrote a song called Kulini and this started our writing together. Each trip to Australia I would stop in to Buzz and Kay Bidstrup’s house. (they are both founding members of Australian band GANGgajang ) and so began the journey of writing the album. There is also a co-write with friend Gold Guitar winner Allan Caswell on the album.  Buzz produced the album and recorded and mixed it with the very talented David Nicholas. David is amazing and his list of credits on many hit albums is huge including ‘Winner ARIA Producer & Engineer Of The Year’. He’s produced and or mixed some of the greatest Australian albums like INXS & Midnight Oil, also international tracks like Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting #1 US Hit ‘All for One’ which he co-produced, engineered and mixed. Both Buzz and Dave have really given the love to my album and it’s been a complete honour to work with them. The musicians are just outstanding people and it has been a real privilege to have them play on this album. These include ..Members of the Tracking Crew,  Rick Melick on Keyboards, James Gillard on Bass Guitar, The Late Glen Hannah on Guitar, who tragically passed away during the making of the album, and Buzz Bidstrup who, apart from co-writing, played Drums, Percussion and Guitarlele also Clive Harrison on Bass, John Kaldor on Pedal Steel, George Washing machine on violin and Dean Ray on Acoustic Guitar. Also some vocals from Buzz and Kay, along with Jon Abo and a special guest appearance on two tracks from Sharon O’Neill.

 

MT: What keeps you going in music and who have been your biggest influences?

Aly: I love music, & musicians. I love people and nothing beats delivering the songs live,  knowing you are moving people and have them with you. That comes through honest delivery, something I strive for. I guess one of my biggest early influences was Neil Young. I had every Neil Young album, Fleetwood Mac, then Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams etc.

 

MT: You travel and perform a lot between New Zealand and Australia, where has your favourite place to perform been to date that you remember well?

Aly: I think my fav gig would have to have been opening for Melissa Etheridge, REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis & The News in Taupo NZ, performing in front of thousands of people is amazing, and the other would be with Buzz performing to raise funds for Uncle Jimmy thumbs up in 2015 at the Sydney Opera House.  My favourite venue is a little place in Golden Bay NZ called ‘The Mussel Inn’ where you can hear a pin drop when you play and its deemed to be cool to do your own material. Musicians get to stay in the owner’s log house at the back and Jane and Andrew’s craft beers and food is amazing.

 

MT: If there was one place you would love to visit and perform, where would that be?

Aly: That is a hard one … Dream Big …The Royal Albert Hall … with a whopping great Orchestra.  Apart from that I am grateful for every show I get to do anywhere. Especially festivals.

 

Single CoverMT: Getting back to your upcoming album; Do you have a favourite song, and why is this your favourite?

Aly: They change all the time. But I love ‘Hold Up Half the Sky’ because it’s a woman empowerment song. Another is  ‘Cold Wind’ that closes the album, written by Kay, as her inspiration after the death of Glen Hannah. It was very cathartic. Personally, delivering that song gave me closure over Glen’s death and allowed me to look at finishing the album. Celebrating his beautiful magical guitar work, that he left on these recordings, enabled me to focus in a positive way. Music is such a healing thing.

 

MT: What does this album mean to you?

Aly:  A deeply emotional journey. A lot has happened for me, on a personal level, during the writing and recording of this album. It’s all a reminder. While I was in Mildura about to take the stage, I was told that my son had been involved in a serious car accident back home in NZ. He’s left today with a paralysed lower leg from it. When I left Mildura, and drove to Buzz and Kay’s house, my son was in surgery and was for that entire 1000 Km drive. ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’ was partially written on that trip back.

Then Glen Hannah tragically dying, just a couple of weeks after the initial recording sessions for the album, really took the wind out of all of our sails. We were all so devastated it made it painful to listen to the work and complete the project. As a mother and a wife, I felt so much for his family. His death rocked many people in the Australian music industry.

 

MT: You mentioned the collaborations associated with the making of this album, one being the great Buzz Bidstrup who is one of Australia’s great musicians, songwriters and producers and has been a member of some very big Australian bands, namely, The Angels, The Party Boys and GANGgajang, as well as managing the likes of Jimmy Little and Nathan Cavaleri.

How do you know Buzz and what was it like working with him?

Aly: I kind of answered that one above but I am so honoured to be working with Buzz and this great team and to be on the SBD Label.

 

MT: How long did it take to record ‘Caught in The Middle’?

Aly: We wrote over a 3 year period and the recording was done in a week of sessions and then I returned for another week of minimal overdubs and recorded ‘Cold Wind.’

 

MT: How does it make you feel when you are hearing your songs nearing completion in the studio?

Aly: I am very proud of this body of work and feel pretty elated by the calibre of people I have had the privilege to work with and how they have laid their own beautiful magic on the tracks.

 

MT: How does this album differ to others you’ve recorded and released?

 Aly:  Well, quite different. I’ve been much more involved in the process on this one and the big difference is the recording with a live band. With my previous albums I laid down the vocal and guitar guide track and the tracks were built up while I was not there.  With ‘Caught in the Middle’ I recorded with excellent musicians live in isolated rooms, so we were laying down at the same time, no click track involved just to set the rhythm at the beginning of the song, and this really allows the music to breathe and be dynamic. We then chose which take had the best vibe and built on that track. What I wanted more than anything on this project, was for people to listen to my album, then see me perform live and feel that the recording was every bit the same as seeing me live. So it’s like I’m really in your lounge when you listen.  I think we achieved that and there is some lovely instrumental work. With that level of talent in the room you really want those people to shine and share their gift on your music.

 

MT: The indie music scene is so large, as an independent artist, what kind of team surrounds you and how important is it to have a small team?

Aly: This time, for the very first time, I am no longer on my own or just working with Therese.  The album is released on SBD Music which is a partnership between Buzz Bidstrup, Dave Nicholas, and Sebastian Chase, who is the owner of MGM Distribution, plus the team at MGM. I also have Therese McKee at Key 2 Artist promotions and Amy at Light Tree Media. For the first time I have someone really working on the branding, graphics and imagery. and my crowdies of course who help to get the word out about the album. I love my team x

 

MT: Will you be releasing any video clips from some of the tracks off the album?

Aly: Yes I think there are a good 3 to 4 singles at least off this album. ‘Red Dirt Road Trip’ being the first to launch on the 20th of September.

 

Single Cover

MT: Aside from the first single off the album, ‘Red Dirt 

Road Trip’, I believe you will be having a pre-release of an album track on the 6th September. What is this track and what is it all about?

Aly: Yes that is the 6th this Friday we release the pre-release track. This is an album track called ‘Steal Your Love’ which is one of the 3 covers on the album, this one being written by Lucinda Williams. It’s what you call an instant gratification track.

So this Friday 6th of September is the beginning of the ITunes pre sale for the album ‘Caught in the Middle’ and whoever pre-orders gets ‘Steal Your Love’ as their instant gratification track or the track off the album that they get straight way .

 

 

MT:  Is there anything else we should know about?

Aly: People can still order from my from my pre-sale crowd funder and get a signed CD from me here http://www.alycook.com.au/the-new-cd and hope you will love what you hear and add to spotify playlist and apple music etc.

‘Steal Your Love’ Available On These Platforms

Spotify | Apple Music | iTunes | Deezer | Amazon | Tidal | YouTube

 

 

 

Links To Aly Cook

Website: http://www.alycook.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alycookmusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alycooknz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiwialy

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/166AJiXkYyMbBFzv4SMg1E

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd0d13gJfF_04EjqrvY5XBA

Aly Cook Gets ‘Caught In The Middle’ with Some Of Australia’s Finest Musicians

FROM THE FARM TO Nashville; The City That Changed It All For Violet Lavelle


Indie Singer

“I guess, the way it reflects my music goals is that when you’re in the music industry, you don’t have time to second guess yourself. The industry is always changing and if you don’t adapt and change with it, you’ll be left to fall into obscurity. “


Danielle/MT: You recently released your song “I Gotta Know”. Can you explain the title and how this title reflects your music goals? Can you describe your sound?

Violet: To be honest, I wrote the song about this guy that I thought was the ABSOLUTE coolest and sexiest guy in the room. One night, I chugged a whiskey, sucked it up, walked straight up to him, and just shamelessly flirted with him all night. I always wanted to know what he was about, what his vibe was, and if his personality matched his looks. I had to know and I don’t think that would’ve happened if I hadn’t been so bold and just took the situation into my own hands. 

I guess, the way it reflects my music goals is that when you’re in the music industry, you don’t have time to second guess yourself. The industry is always changing and if you don’t adapt and change with it, you’ll be left to fall into obscurity. 

It took me a long time to realize that Pop Music was the direction I needed to go. I spent college trying to discover my sound and I think what held me back for a while was the fear of sounding too generic. I honestly just had to get over myself, because my voice was trained and made for Pop and there’s so much phenomenal music made in that genre. So I spent a few years in a few different bands, and tip toed between genres for a while. And even though I thought the music we were writing was badass, none of it was truly me. I always found myself trying to throw pop-isms into the other genres, and my bandmates were like, “No, that’s too bubblegum, that’s too Top 40, it doesn’t work.” It was inevitable that I would fall into it eventually, I just needed a little convincing. I’m pretty stubborn. 

So with all that being said, I would say that I’m more along the Pop/R&B side of the umbrella. Like, the female version of Bruno Mars or a mix of Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande. There’s catchy melodies, and pop production, but I’ve still got a lot of soul in my voice from previous training, and all of my original inspirations when I first started singing. 

Danielle: You record in Nashville, but are from a small town. Can you share where you are originally from and how your hometown influences your music. Has moving to Nashville changed your music? Do you think the move has opened more doors for you?

SingerViolet: I’m from Kansas City originally. Well, a small town outside of Kansas City, but nobody ever really knows what the fuck I’m talking about so I always say KC. My hometown is on the Missouri side and consists of about 2,000 people. We have a “mom & pop” grocery store, a few buildings for the kids to go to school, a couple neighborhoods, one stoplight going into town, and another going out.

My hometown has that classic Blue Collar culture, and while that’s not a bad thing, I always felt a little out of place, because at heart I feel I’ve always been a city girl. There wasn’t a ton to do in town, so my friends and I took every chance we could to go to the city and I LOVED IT. The hustle and bustle, all the lights, and THE MUSIC. Kansas City has a flourishing jazz, blues, and rock circuit so whenever there was a show, my friends and I would try to go. It was that combined with influence from my parents being Blues musicians themselves that really lead me to falling in love with music in the first place. 

Being from a farm town in Middle-America, my hometown is obviously more about Country music than I was. Don’t get me wrong, I love Country music, and obviously sin

ce I moved to Nashville, I’d be lying if I said I hated it. HAHA! But I really thought about it and writing about back roads and tractors, just isn’t who I am. Even though I lived in a farm town my whole life, I wasn’t a farm kid, and if I was singing about that kind of lifestyle, well, it wouldn’t feel authentic. I wouldn’t necessarily say that my hometown influences my music a ton. Conceptually and sonically, it’s completely different than what you would think. 

However, I am a person that takes from real life experiences to write my music so I have written songs about the people I’ve met and some of the experiences I’ve had with them… so in THAT WAY, yes, my circle back home influences my lyrics. 

Before Nashville? HA! Before I moved to Nashville, I wasn’t an artist. I wanted to be one, but I wasn’t. I didn’t write songs, I wasn’t recording anything, I just sang covers mostly. Whether it was in my high school rock band, or school choir, or at my job during the summer at the local amusement park, I was always singing other people’s songs. Moving to Nashville was the catalyst to starting my career as a real musician. I went to college for music, I was trained professionally to be a singer/entertainer, I met other aspiring musicians, and I began learning to write a well-written song. I was given all the tools I needed, so in way, Nashville literally changed everything for me. This city has given me so many more opportunities than I ever would’ve h

ad back home.

 

Danielle: Who are your musical influences?  If you could pick any one artist to share a stage with, who would that be?

Violet: My influences have changed so many times over the years. The common ground I find though is that I’m drawn to strong, soulful women. From about the age 8-13, I was into all the soulful greats, and everything MoTown had to offer; Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Diana Ross, etc. When I started getting into my early teenage years, I was all about the pop divas; Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Beyonce, etc. Then in college I took a turn to 80s queens like Anne and Nancy Wilson, Madonna, Blondie, and Pat Benetar.

It’s honestly SO HARD to pick someone to share a stage with. There’s so many that would blow my mind. Top 3 as of this moment would have to be Jessie J, Bruno Mars, or Lizzo. They all put on such a great show, and you never know what could happen on and off stage. They are WILD. 

 

Danielle: When did you know music was your calling and when did you figure out why you needed to pursue music as your career? 

Violet: I was about 12 when I figured out music was my calling. My mother convinced me to sign up for a singing competition in Nebraska… of all places. haha. We drove 3 hours to get there, and I was SO NERVOUS. At this point I had never sang in front of an audience, ever. I could feel my body just shaking… but when we arrived and they called my name to come up to the stage, I stood at the ready, struck a pose, and sang like my life depended on it. I ended up winning that day and ever since then I wanted that feeling of being on stage. I wanted the rush, the cheers from the audience, the emotion you can feel from everybody watching and knowing that you made those people feel all of those emotions… 

I started doing everything that had music apart of it; choir, musicals, marching band, color guard, talent shows, and even got a job at the local amusement park during the summer doing variety shows. Sophomore year of high school is when I knew I wanted to be a performer as a career… and I haven’t stopped since. 

 

Indie Singer 

Danielle: What has been your biggest challenge in your music career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

Violet: I think the biggest challenge a musician can face is, rejection. And honestly, it never ends. It’s a habitual obstacle that we have to face every day of our lives. And the thing that sucks is that it’s all a matter of someone else’s opinion of you, no matter how educated it may or may not be. Whether it be; you didn’t make callbacks because you weren’t ‘skinny enough’, or you didn’t get that playlist add because you’re ‘too generic’, or the label dropped you because you didn’t ‘sell enough’, or you didn’t get the gig because, ‘you’re not pretty enough’, rejection is everywhere. What I’ve learned about overcoming it is all about your mindset. It’s about working your ass off, having confidence in your craft, and the perseverance to keep going in spite of what others might say. You will get a billion people saying ‘no’ to you in your life, but all it takes is one person to say, ‘yes’ to change everything and that’s what I work for; that one yes. 

 

Danielle: Besides singing, do you play any musical instruments? How long have you been playing them?

Violet: I’ve been playing guitar since I was a teenager and I’ve been “proficient” in piano since college. haha! I even used to play flute in high school, but it’s been a while.

Danielle: What’s a typical day for you? Do you work on your music every day? What other activities besides music do you like to do that your fans may like to know about?

Violet: Being a working musician at the beginning is almost like having two jobs. I have my day job that I go to four to five days a week and then all the time in between that I’m working on my music career; traveling to gigs, recording, filming, co-writing, filling out blog interviews.. It’s all about the grind. 

Then when I have actual time off my hobbies consist of cooking, traveling, and wine tasting…

 

Danielle: What’s next? Do you have any up-coming performances you would like fans to know about? Is there anything else you would like to announce for your fans or anything you would like them to know?

Violet: September is a BIG month for me and the team! September 6th the whole EP drops, and then I’m having an EP release show on September 25th at Mercy Lounge! It’s going to be a fun night of supporting all women in the music industry and I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on for almost a year. 

 

 

 

Aussie Rockers Grinspoon Are Back With Epic Tour: INTERVIEW


Australian Rock Band

 

Legendary Aussie rockers Grinspoon have today announced their epic Chemical Hearts national tour, set to make its way around the country in October and November, supported by The Hard Aches, Gooch Palms and Bugs.  In celebration of the tour, the band will be releasing a Chemical Hearts vinyl record on the day the tour kicks off (October 11) with a tracklist that will offer fans a nostalgic taste of what’s to come at the shows.

 

In 1997, the youthful Grinspoon uploaded the track Sickfest to triple j Unearthed, not knowing the life-changing success that was to come.  With Sickfest, Grinspoon won Unearthed’s national band comp in its first year – and for the next two months the track was the stations’ most request song.  What followed was an illustrious career, with seven albums, Top Ten ARIA chart spots, ARIA Awards, 13 ARIA nominations, more than 1,000 gigs, tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles, 7 appearances at the Big Day Out as well as slots at Homebake, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, an NRL Grand Final and a Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Melbourne.  Despite these massive achievements, Grinspoon don’t have plans to wrap things up any time soon.

The Chemical Hearts tour will be packed with hits and audience faves from the band’s festival performances over the years, but will also pay homage to their discography after the record that thrust them into the spotlight, Guide To Better Living.  It will kick off in Fremantle on October 11 at Metropolis, then move through Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle, Sydney, Gold Coast, and wrap up in Brisbane on November 8 at The Fortitude Music Hall. 

The accompanying vinyl record, Chemical Hearts, will contain some of the band’s favourite singles and a taste of the setlist from the tour.

It is with great delight that we announce a cute little sojourn around the country with Grinspoon visiting (hopefully) all of you!  We are going to be doing a little thing called Chemical Hearts.  The tour comes with the crazy new vinyl record which features (arguably) some of our favourites on wax,” says lead vocalist Phil Jamieson. “Joining us are absolute legends of the game The Hard Aches, Gooch Palms and Bugs.  These concerts will have a very exciting atmos  due to the individual scintillating performances by these amazing acts.  We’re super excited to be doing this tour.  We don’t get out much anymore and our last one focused primarily on our first record and this one will take a more broad approach to the little nuggets of songs that came between 1995 and 2013.  Sooooooo…. long story short.  TOUR – CHEMICAL HEARTS – OCTOBER / NOVEMBER ~ ripper time.  Ripper bands.  Great times.  Classic hits.”

 

INTERVIEW –

 

MT/Tracey: Hey hey hey guys, nice to cyber meet you! A band from a time I remember well; How long has it been since you’ve been on the road? 

GrinSpoon: Nice to meet you too!

We were last on the road doing the ‘Grooving the Moo’ tour in 2018.

 

MT/Tracey: For those who don’t know, you have been an iconic Aussie super band way back from the 90’s, with many successful albums, 25 top selling singles and numerous awards. How does it feel from being a band who saw major success from the day’s before streaming and social media to a whole new world of music in relation to how artists and bands now promote and market themselves through and on the internet? 

GrinSpoon: We were caught in the transition period from selling music on CD to streaming… not too much has changed in the way we deliver our music, however the income streams for bands went from record sales to mainly live performance and merchandising these days. A good song is still a good song and nothing will ever change that!

 

MT/Tracey: Most people would think that when they hear of a band coming from a small country town such as Lismore, that they would assume you all met at school, but this wasn’t the case. Can you tell us where you met and do you remember what the conversion was at that time after a few schooners, (I’m guessing)? 

GrinSpoon: The story went a little like this from memory…

Phil & I we’re playing in a band in Port Macquarie NSW called ‘CrabApple’. We decided to move the band up to Lismore (Lismore had a good music university & thriving music scene at the time). My dad was the Drum lecture at the Uni and also played in a band called ‘Goodfoot’ with Pat & Joe. The short version is we broke up the 2 bands to form Grinspoon.

 

MT/Tracey: Did you ever dream that Grinspoon would become as big as it is? 

GrinSpoon: It would be a lie to say we didn’t have big dreams for the band as all young bands should, but I think I can speak for all of us to say that there’s no way we thought that we’d be still doing GrinSpooN 20 plus years down the track.

 

MT/Tracey: As a band, is there one person who is the leader, (so to speak) or do you work and write together tossing ideas around? How do you stay focused as a band and to avoid common band disagreements in all facets, including writing, recording and making the decisions?  

GrinSpoon: Yeh there is.. Joe is the main leader but we all contribute to the writing and recording processes. We usually take a mediator/life guru (Yogi Donnan) on the road with us and have weekly counseling sessions to avoid any conflict and resolve any contentious decisions.

 

MT/Tracey: After you announced you were going in hiatus in 2013, what did you all get up to in your individual lives during this period?  

GrinSpoon: Phil continued touring solo. Joe went into the production side of music festivals. Pat opened a shop and a recording studio & I had a few mostly legal side hustles.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you collectively have a favourite album? If so, can you tell us why it’s your favourite?

GrinSpoon: For me it’s ‘Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills’…  it was great recording that one and was a really fun period for the band. We recorded it in LA and had some very memorable times 

 

MT/Tracey: I love where the name ‘Grinspoon’ came from. Can you tell our fans where you found the name?  

We got the name from Dr GrinSpooN from UCLA (he’s now Professor GrinSpooN). He wrote ‘Marijuana Reconsidered’ amongst a lot other things… We sent him a few of our albums and had some funny correspondence with him… his niece attended one of our shows in LA a while back.

 

MT/Tracey: For upcoming bands, can you tell us what the secret is of keeping a band together for so long? 

GrinSpoon: The secret to keeping a band together for this long is to treat it like a polygamist marriage… you need to spread the love equally and respect your multiple partners😎

 

MT/Tracey: There have been recent talk of rock and metal music dying, what are your thoughts on this?

GrinSpoon: Rock music is one of the best legal outlets there is…. Rock will always survive!

MT/Tracey: What else do you get up to when you’re not writing, singing and performing or hanging out at pubs? (pubs are half a joke btw)

GrinSpoon: We all have families these days so that keeps us all pretty busy outside of the band.

 

MT/Tracey: You have worked with other well-known musicians such as Chris Cheney from The Living End, Tim Rodgers and Josh Pyke. How does this work in terms of  including others in a well-recognized and formed band; what was the decision behind including special guests to record on an album with Grinspoon? 

GrinSpoon: It’s pretty cool to have people drop by when we’re recording and if there’s a song that suits it’s great to have a guest on it.

 

MT/Tracey: Any plans on new music? When can we expect a new album or EP?

GrinSpoon: We’re currently demoing some songs so fingers crossed we’ll put something out in the near future 

MT/Tracey: Since you announced your upcoming ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour, we’ve noticed it’s been sold out and more shows announced. When you initially put together a tour, is there an any kind of expectation of how they will go in terms of how the tour will sell? 

GrinSpoon: It’s always a great feeling to play to a packed room and we always hope to sell out shows.. massive thanks to our loyal fans for the continued love and support for the band… 

 

MT/Tracey: You are about to embark on your next big Australian ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour, what can fans expect? 

GrinSpoon: We’ll be playing all the songs we put together for the Chemical Hearts vinyl we’re releasing for the tour. We have some fun live tricks for the show and are taking some cool new bands – Bugs, The Gooch Palms & The Hard Aches – with us.

 

Pre-Order Vinyl: https://www.officialstores.com.au/au_en/chemical-hearts-vinyl.html

The Chemical Hearts vinyl record will be available October 11.

Grinspoon is Phil Jamieson on vocals, Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums.

 

Pre-order Chemical Hearts                     Buy tickets              Buy ticket + vinyl bundlesTour Poster

GRINSPOON ‘CHEMICAL HEARTS’ NATIONAL TOUR

 

FRI 11 OCT | METROPOLIS, FREMANTLE WA | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 12 OCT | METRO CITY, PERTH WA | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

WED 16 OCT | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC  | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 18 OCT | UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

WED 23 OCT | ODEON THEATRE, HOBART TAS | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 26 OCT | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA | AA

Tickets available from  http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

THURS 31 OCT | WAVES, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 1 NOV | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, NEWCASTLE NSW | AA

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

SAT 2 NOV | HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY NSW | AA

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

THURS 7 NOV | THE STAR BROADBEACH, GOLD COAST QLD | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

FRI 8 NOV | THE FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE QLD | 18+

Tickets available from http://www.grinspoon.com.au/

 

 

I know these kids are battling their own battles and if I can give them a few hours of happiness, I feel like I’ve done my job; Jennifer Mlott


There is alway’s a clear reason as to why indie artists such as Jennifer Mlott has a very engaging and active following; she is obviously kind hearted, honest and a very giving young woman. 

Jennifer Mlott has been entertaining most of her life in various aspects of performance including music and dance. 

I had a chat to Jennifer to find out more about her, the music, her passions and her charities. 

Country Singer


MT/Tracey: Hello Jennifer, lovely to meet you. Can you tell us where you’re from? 

Jennifer: Hello Tracey, I’m so glad to meet you too! I am from Indianapolis , Indiana. 

 

MT/Tracey: When did you begin music/singing and can you tell us what kind of music you like to sing? 

Jennifer: I started singing at a young age performing at events and singing in numerous competitions . I started my professional music career 3 years ago and it’s been a fantastic journey from the start . I love singing different genres of music , but my favorite is Modern Country . 

 

MT/Tracey: You have a strong association with a few charities, can you tell us what your connection is with helping those with Down Syndrome, the children’s hospital and children with cancer? 

Jennifer: I thoroughly enjoy working with charities and organizations that give kids hope and joy every day. They have the purest hearts. I love working and performing for the Down Syndrome Foundation of Indiana. The kids are awesome & so full of love & joy. I perform for the Walk-a-thon every year to help raise money for the organization. I also volunteer at Riley’s Children Hospital as part of the “Team Joey” foundation. We collect Legos for the kids and distribute them by room around Christmas time & back to school time. It is always wonderful to see their smiling faces when they receive their gift. I love having the privilege to perform for these kids as well. They have gone through so much in their young lives. It humbles me and makes me happy. I know these kids are battling their own battles and if I can give them a few hours of happiness, I feel like I’ve done my job . I also work with the “Sertoma” Club twice a year on their “Clothe A Child” Drive. My family and I are assigned a deserving family and we work with them to get clothes for the school year as well as clothes around the Holidays. After they receive their clothes depending on the time of year, they are either surprised with a backpack full of supplies for the school year or they are surprised by a guest appearance from Santa! They also receive a few gifts from him too! It’s always a fun and special & really humbling to see these kids so thrilled to receive new underwear, socks. shoes, coats & clothes. It really puts things we take for granted in perspective.

 

MT/Tracey: I see you have quite a few shows and events booked until the end of the year. How many shows/gigs would you do on average each month? 

Jennifer: I love to perform in Nashville, Tennessee and around Indiana. I have some big performances coming up such as performing in Atlanta for the International Singer Songwriters Awards. I can’t wait to perform there and meet all of the incredible Indie Artists who are finalists for the awards. Regarding performances, I typically schedule 3-4 shows a month , some public and some private.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you write your own music? If so, do you also collaborate with other writers? 

Jennifer: Yes, I do both. I have worked with several different co-writers on collaborations and I’ve also been writing on my own. I am fairly new to writing so it’s definitely a learning process. I’ve been blessed to co-write with some very amazing people including Sheri Lynn , Dave Lucid and James Davis. I love covering songs too. I have been covering songs that have made an impact on me in some way and have become my favorites . I’m sure I will continue to do so.

 

MT/Tracey: When it comes time for a single, EP or Album release, do you set up a specific time frames and plan a certain amount of releases within certain time frames, or do you release music when it feels good and ready? 

Jennifer: I set up time frames for all of my releases . I typically have a game plan for my next song & when it will come out. Over the past two years, I’ve tried to release a cover or an original monthly.

My plan is to come out with an album late summer with a lot of the favorites that I have done as well as originals on the album. I’d also like to incorporate more of my tapping into my music as the percussion like I did on my single, Different Drummer.Country Singer

MT/Tracey: Can you tell us who produces your music? 

Jennifer: I am very blessed to work with an amazing producer, Mike Champlin outside of Indianapolis. He has a beautiful state of the art studio which is called “Neon Cornfields”. He has made an amazing impact on me and I truly enjoy working with him. He has taught me so much.

 

MT/Tracey: Have you had formal singing training? 

Jennifer: Yes ! I am very lucky that my mother is a sought after Vocal Teacher in Indianapolis. I have trained with her for the past three years. Before that I was heavily into dance and being a dance teacher and choreographer. All of my spare time went towards my dancing . So singing has only recently become my primary passion.

 

MT/Tracey: Who’s involved with the decision making when it comes time to release a single or tracks placed on an album or EP? 

Jennifer: It’s a joint decision between my team and I . Myself, vocal coach, promoter and producer, parents, all listen to my music before we release anything. Everyone offers their feedback and we make changes accordingly. 

 

MT/Tracey: The music business can be known as a shark frenzy with a few people (even corporations) not giving artists/musicians and singers their fair share, making it difficult to trust others in the industry. How do you go about the business aspect and who helps and supports you to make the right decisions? 

Jennifer: Again, I would say my team . I keep my circle very small. I totally trust them because I know they have my best interests at heart . My family is also a huge part of every decision I make.

 

MT/Tracey: What is your ultimate long-term goal for your singing career? 

Jennifer: It has always been my dream to put music into the world that changes lives. I would love to have the opportunity to create music and perform around the world . I would love to tour the United States, and eventually the world . Making a living doing what I love would be the ultimate gift . 

 

MT/Tracey: What else do you get up to when you’re not writing, singing and performing? 

Jennifer: Other than singing and performing I am a dance instructor and choreographer. I have danced since I was 8 years old, and since then I have been a student , a teacher , choreographer and recently I have become a judge for the competitive dance circuit. Dance has always been a huge part of my life and it always will be! When it comes to hobbies, I am an avid reader, love to sew and I love animals.

 

MT/Tracey: You also co-host on the ‘Kickin’ Country Radio Show’ with Rob Charles. Had you done anything in radio prior to the ‘Kickin’ Country Radio Show’? 

Jennifer: Yes, I was a co-host with Kevin n Williams on KDUB Hit-Country Radio.

 

MT/Tracey: Do you have any pets? 

Jennifer: Yes I have pets . I have two dogs , a cat and a new kitten!  I also have some birds. 

 

MT/Tracey: What’s next for Jennifer Mlott? Anything you would like to tell us? 

Jennifer: Yes! I will be heading to Atlanta next week for the International Singer Songwriters Awards. I am a finalist for “Rising Star of the Year “ and “Single of the Year”. I will also be performing at the after party at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. My goal for the summer is to release a new album . I plan on continuing to write and working on my guitar skills.

 

 

 

THE LIFE IN A CULT, the music and inspiration with  KATEY BROOKS  


Katey Brooks is a clear-eyed rebel in an industry that demands consistency. A devastating songwriting talent that has drawn comparisons with Jeff Buckley (Supajam), Brooks has no shortage of famous admirers and yet she has resisted formula.

Over a career spanning four continents, she’s journeyed from intimate living rooms to opulent concert halls, from dive bars to decorated studios with some of music’s biggest names. The wandering troubadour defies easy classification, with a back-catalogue incorporating soul, folk, blues and country.

It was really nice to interview Katey on lots of different things. 

Singer Katey Brooks


MT/Tracey: Hello Katey so nice to cyber meet you! We’ve had your music on Music Talks a few times and we are a huge fan of you. Your music has been compared with the great Jeff Buckley; who are your inspirations; who did you and do you still listen to?  

Katey: HI!  Lovely to meet you too!  Ooh so many. Growing up I listened to John Lennon, Elvis, Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox and many more.  These days I still listen to them, with the addition of artists like The War on Drugs, The National, The Staves, Matt Corby, Foy Vance, Hozier, Florence and The Machine.  God the list would be endless!

MT: Ultimately who makes the decisions on which of your music is recorded and released? 

Katey: Me

MT: Do you consciously sit down to write a song or do you always have your guitar nearby for when the moment or feeling comes over you to just sit down and sing/write out of the blue? 

Katey: A bit of both really.  And if there’s no guitar I just record a vocal on my phone for a later date.

MT: Do you have a particular formula for how you write? 

Katey: No, but I have habits.  I tend to just pick up my guitar and see what comes out.  Other times I will hear a whole song clearly and write in all of 15 minutes. And if I’m with my pianist he’ll start playing something on the keys, and I’ll just start singing a melody and some lyrics, and when the first raw spurt of inspiration is done, I go off and put it together.  It’s different every time.

MT: Your personal life journey is certainly not one to be wished upon anyone. How did you find that it was the music which was your connection to finding your words and feelings? 

Katey: It just connected.  It’s hard to describe.  It just feels good/healing/moving when I listen to or write music, so I keep doing it.  I think my mind depends on it!

MT: Many artists who try their hand at writing music, often ask common questions such as, ‘how do you write your songs’. How much of an impact has your personal journey had on your music and writing? 

Katey:  Massively.  I can’t imagine writing what I do without it.  I think above all it’s added a lot of emotion to my voice and my words, or at least that’s what gets remarked upon the most.

MT: What would your advice be to young upcoming or less experienced artists or musicians  in regards to either writing or performing? 

Katey: Whatever you’re doing, do it with total authenticity.  Don’t try to be anyone else – it doesn’t work.  And work on your craft.  Always put that first. I didn’t do that for years and instead I coasted on my natural abilities.  It’s not the way to be, you can always be better. 

MT: There is an incredible sense of soul and hope when listening to you sing, when you are singing your songs live, how much do you lose yourself within the songs you are singing and comparing that to how much do you feel you are performing them to the audience?

 

Woman
Photo – John Morgan

Katey:  That’s a really great question – one I’ve not been asked before!  It all depends on the show, the audience, the sound, the song, and how I’m feeling that day.  I don’t think I ever ‘perform’ fully, it’s always me being me. When I’ve tried to do that in the past it’s always felt a little awkward and unreal, but I definitely make sure I’m holding my sh*t down.  To the same degree, I wouldn’t say I completely lose myself very often, because I’m always concerned about giving a good show. My mind can be full of questions and analysis as I’m playing – although that’s my mind off stage as well!  The time I most switch off is when I’m writing and recording to be honest, because I can be fearlessly creative without worrying about what anybody else is thinking. There are of course those magical moments on stage when you feel completely at one with the song, yourself, and everyone in the room.  That’s very special, and what keeps people like me coming back for more!

MT: Personally, I’m loving, ‘All Of Me’, like really loving it. What a song! Can you tell the readers a bit more about this song? 

Katey:  Thank you!! It was a process that spanned across a few years.  I started it when I was dating someone totally unpredictable.  One minute she’d be travelling across the country to see me play for half an hour, and telling me she’d fallen for me, and the next she’d disappear.  We had had one of those instant connections when we met, which had taken me aback so much that, in hindsight, I held on for longer than was self-respectful.  That feeling doesn’t come around around everyday, and I think I hoped it would just eventually come together. Then fast forward two years and I’m in the studio recording my new album Revolute, and I’m in a situation with a similar level of ambivalence. Different behaviour and situation though –  this was an ex who had always been completely doting and dedicated when we were together, but after a split, and then an attempt to rekindle (which came from her) her behaviour became unpredictable and incongruent. At that time I remembered the song I had started to write, and knew it was time to finish it. I felt I finally had the inspiration to do it justice. I love the way songs do that to you. They decide when and where they want to be written, whether it takes 15 minutes or 15 years. They are their own world.

MT: I saw the official video clip for ‘All Of Me’, and read a comment from you in regards to how much fun it was to make it. Are the storyboard or ideas of your music video’s your ideas? 

Katey: I always come with a vision and an idea of what I want, yes.  I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t! Because it’s so personal, and I’m also a bit of a control freak where my work is concerned *hides face*.  With All of Me I knew I needed to be dancing with someone, and it felt like it needed to be a waltz because the song is in ¾ time, so it has a swing to it.  And I felt it needed to be pretty raw and intimate between myself and the person playing my love interest, but done in a tasteful and beautiful way. I also felt it needed to be super natural and authentic, so instead of asking an actress I asked a friend who fit the physical description in my mind, but also happened to be someone I knew I could relax and have fun with.  However none of these feelings and ideas would go anywhere without Michael Sides (Director and Editor) He was and is amazing (he also made In Your Arms, and Never Gonna Let Her Go) He has this wonderful way of listening to your ideas, coming back with a stack of his own, and then quickly going off and putting something awesome together, as if it’s all just very easy!  I love that. He makes the whole process extremely chilled, and then he produces a beautiful finished product.  

MT: Can you tell us what went on behind the scenes of shooting ‘All Of Me’?

Katey:  Well, I can tell you there was quite a lot of wine consumed… The estate we filmed on (King’s Weston House in Bristol) was really beautiful, and the sun was shining, so we’d sit outside and drink prosecco during breaks.  The dance scenes were pretty intense…so much so that we’d all have to take a breather between takes (!)  My love interest Fleur did a phenomenal job – she made it so easy to relax and be real. As neither of us are actresses, there was always a small concern in the back of my mind that we could get there and it would be awkward or ‘wooden’, but that didn’t happen, we just had fun and didn’t take ourselves too seriously.  

MT: Apart from writing from life experiences, have you tried writing about something completely the opposite to writing a song for the sake of having to try and write a song?  

Katey: I’ve written for many different reasons and in different ways yes.  My favourite is definitely the life experience one though. Probably because it’s most natural and there’s a wealth of inspiration!

MT: I understand that you grew up in a cult. I’m very curious to know, what kind of cult and what was that like? 

Katey: I don’t feel to go into too many specifics at this stage, but I can talk a little about what it was like.  It was chaotic, dramatic, and terrifying in moments, on a frequent basis.  But I thought that was completely normal because it was all I knew. There was a broad spectrum of people – from those who should be in prison, to those in need of treatment for severe mental ill health, and those like my mum – sweet, kind, a little naive, and just searching for a sense of belonging.  The kids were an add-on – an inconvenience to be silenced, or used in some way – never a precious and vulnerable little being. If you stepped out of line you tended to be punished with everybody’s favourite tool – shame. It wasn’t a fun experience that’s for sure.  However, it also brought some very special people into my life, back then, and as a result in present day, so if I had the option to change it, I don’t think I would. 

MT: Did you feel a part of the cult, or did you feel differently to others there? 

Katey: I don’t think I felt ‘a part’ of it, but I think I wanted to believe in it, so I very much ‘talked the talked’ for a while.  But like I said I was very young, so it was all I knew.  

MT: How did you get into the cult in the first place? 

Katey: My mum.  She had not long since split from my dad and she was looking for a sense of belonging and meaning. She just happened to find it in the wrong place.

MT: How easy was it to leave the cult and how did you manage to do this?  

Katey: I don’t really remember to be honest because my mum dealt with it.  One day we just moved to Bristol, and that was it. So I guess it was easy – for me anyway!

MT: A part from your music, what hobbies or past times do you enjoy? 

Katey: Well, I always find myself saying this in interviews (so I should probably do something about it hah!) but over the past few years finding time for hobbies has been challenging.  Or rather, making time for hobbies, as it is my choice.  But when I do make time I love film, surfing, snooker (yep haha), squash, dancing, climbing (or at least I’m desperate to get back into it) and most importantly, hanging out with good friends.

MT: What’s your typical day like? 

Katey: Work, work, work and more work haha.  That can be on my laptop answering a lovely interview like this, sending emails, social media, creating/editing promo videos, playing my guitar, writing, meetings…It’s hard to say specifically because the is just pretty endless! And I’m also a manager at a venue in London, so that takes up a large portion of time.  But I’m definitely not complaining, I absolutely love my work, I like interesting projects and I thrive on being busy I guess.   

MT: What’s next for you? Any touring coming up? 

Katey:  Yes.  There are sporadic dates and festivals throughout the UK this year, an Italian tour in November, a US trip in September, a Canadian tour in the works for later this year, and more structured tours being prepped for next year!

MT: Any chance of coming to Australia? 

Katey: Hell yeah.  Very very soon.  It’ll be my fourth tour and I can’t wait – I LOVE Aus.  Watch this space!

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Katey: Just thank you for the questions and for supporting the music, and thank you to you the reader for reading.  I hope you all enjoy the new record!

Thank you so much for your time Katey, I really appreciate it, and all the very best with Revolute! 

 

 

Emme Lentino; You are loved. just as you are


Emme Lentino has been singing and performing from a very young age. American born singer, songwriter, actress and model, now calls New Zealand her new home, while her musical endeavours continue to see her travelling between the two countries. 

From performing on Broadway and collaborations with well known music producers and songwriters, Emme Lentino has gained a wealth of experience which has led her songs placements on ‘Victoria Secrets’ commercials and well know TV’s shows on the ABC to name just a few. 

Emme has many singles to date with more on the way.

Danielle Haskell interviewed Emme to find out a bit more about this upcoming talented and inspiring independent artist. 

 

Emme Lentino Sitting on Stairs


Danielle/MT: Your last two songs, “Oxygen” and “Shine” are so universally relatable.  “Shine”, like many of your songs, has such an important message. What influenced the lyrics and can you share the full meaning behind the song? Can you also share the inspiration behind your song “Oxygen”? 

Emme: Shine is a song close to my heart because I felt so strongly about the challenges that young folk face in school and growing up. I felt they needed to know they would be okay, and to not give up, or let anyone tell them they couldn’t dream or achieve. The lyrics just came so fast to me. I was teaching a dance class and honestly, I had to quickly jot them down in between a hip hop dance session! My friend and fellow songwriter/producer Bryan Bell came up with the amazing music behind the song. It was a wonderful co-writing experience. I’m actually releasing a brand new version of “Shine” in a few weeks! 

“Oxygen” was mainly written while I was living in my car, and a friend who believed in me lent me a Casio keyboard. I had never played keyboard before really, but felt inspired to come up with a melody line on the keys I could sing to. I wrote three songs that week. And I wrote them quickly, because well…. I also had to ask a friend to let me use their apartment as a writing and rehearsal space. I was under pressure for time! Oxygen is all about the light at the end of the tunnel. I believe we all face challenges in life, it’s how we choose to react to those that build our character. A few years went by, and with some awesome co-writers and producers from L.A., the original song evolved into what it is now. It’s really special that both songs have had new life breathed into them, and I hope they will bring encouragement to the hearts in this world that need it. 

MT: Reading your journey is such an inspiration in itself. When your fans listen to your music or read about your accomplishments, what is the one most important  message you hope to leave with them?

Emme: I love this question! My message is this: you are loved. Just as you are. Be assured that the moments of your life when you feel like giving up, I’ve also felt that before. So I can relate to anyone who is struggling. But I want to tell my listeners that there is always hope. Things turn around when you least expect it. Which is why it’s so important to face each new day with belief in your heart that you can get through anything! 

MT: Since I loved and participated in the Missoula Children’s Theater for 8 yrs in my home area, I have to ask how traveling around the US with the Missoula Children’s Theater has impacted your life and influenced your music. Do you feel like that experience has taken you full circle to what you are doing now with Theater at your farm in New Zealand?

Emme: Oh I loved touring the US with MCT! How cool you worked with them too!! The experience of being on the road, performing, directing and teaching young people was like nothing I had ever done before. Brand new faces and new towns every week. We mainly stayed in homestays so we really got to know the locals. I loved the kids and watching them blossom and build confidence in their acting. I definitely think it prepared me for what I later did on the farm in New Zealand when I ran my own theatre, music and dance classes for our local town. I love working with kids! 

MT: You’ve once said that Music pursued you. Can you explain that along with how your journey has been influenced by the early start of your music career in Oregon, to your performances in New York City and your current life in New Zealand? This has you traveling between New Zealand and the US frequently, do you find that difficult and where do you now consider home?

Singer with Guitar Emme Lentino

Emme: I have been singing since I was a little toddler. When I was two, I wore cowboy boots and used a hairbrush for a microphone. Singing as loudly as I could for anyone who would listen! I just loved music and remember dancing around the kitchen to every song my parents had playing. It has been a great source of joy for me.
I began writing my own music a few years later when I was ten, and went through a tragic loss. I always loved singing and acting, and was really active in my local theatre groups, and this continued through university and in NYC. I was portraying Lucille Ball a few years ago, and within a few months of that I fell in love and moved to New Zealand. I do travel a lot to America, my parents live there and I miss them so much. But I am very blessed to also sing and record there, so I get the opportunity to stay connected with my American family. New Zealand has been a wonderful country to live in, and I actually became a New Zealand citizen two years ago. So it looks like I am pretty happy here

MT:  With all of the experiences you have had, is there a favorite or life changing moment you would like to share with your fans?

Emme: Moving to New Zealand and learning a different culture was life changing, along with writing and singing about my experiences once I arrived. The next would be losing someone I loved and the grief that came with that – as difficult as it was, that loss provided me with a chance to help others.

MT:  What do you like to do in your spare time that is not musically related that you would like to share with fans? 

Emme: I love being in nature.  I stay active hiking and running. And I love pilates, yoga and dance.  Acting in shows and auditioning for films is something I have just started doing again. It’s super fun!  I love laughing, skipping and dancing to great tunes with good friends. Travelling and meeting new people, enjoying great movies and delicious food!

MT: Do you currently have management? 

Emme: I do, Michael has been with me on this musical journey for the last few years.  He is a great visionary.

MT: You have amazing photos on social media ect…, has this always come naturally for you? Who is the photographer behind the camera?

Emme: I used to model and be in local commercials as a kid.  In the last couple of years I have worked with a few different photographers, and my latest photoshoot was done by Suzanne Teresa.  She is brilliant and made me feel super comfortable, and I had a blast!

MT: Your songs have been featured in several daytime shows including ABC’s One Life to Live and All My Children. How did it feel to have your songs featured and hear them played on these shows?

Emme: It made me feel so thankful and very happy!  

MT:  You also had the incredible experience of having a song be a part of the Victoria Secret national BIOFIT campaign? What was it like working with the DJ/producer Vasili Gavre for that song? 

Emme: It was a very cool experience and I was super nervous while we waiting to hear if our song would be selected. Vasili is very talented and it was awesome collaborating with him.

MT:  Do you have any current projects or more music coming out soon that you would like fans to know about? 

Emme: I am super excited I have brand new music coming at the end of July, that I am thrilled to share with my listeners! I am currently co-hosting Heart of Indie Radio, an international radio show with Eddie, and I am learning so much and having a great time.  It’s a radio station close to my heart because they are helping kids make their dreams come true! I’ll be joining my friends over at Unsigned Chat and a few other podcasts over the next few weeks too. I’m also excited to continue my charity work as a princess for parties and events. Plus teaching kids theatre, music and dance is a regular gig for me – totally love it!

 

 

 

The Rise and Success Of Australia’s X-Factor Runner Up Jason Owen

It’s been an exciting run for Jason Owen since his successful performances on Australia’s X-Factor which lead him to runner up position in 2012.

Jason has since released four albums proving he is an artist here to stay. With chart-topping success with a #1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart and #5 on the Australian National Chart with his debut album, ‘Life Is A Highway’, followed by his original hits, from ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Proud’ Album which also celebrates his First Nations background, and features Australia’s most iconic female Indigenous entertainer, Christine Anu with the title track, Proud.

 

INTERVIEW
INTERVIEW

His most recent album, ‘Jason Owen Sings John Denver: The 20th Anniversary’, is a labour of love which pays tribute to his Pop and the legendary American singer-songwriter, John Denver.

Jason has continued to grow into a genuine country artist following his success on X Factor.

He has entertained audiences around the country for album tours and at popular events, including the Tamworth Country Music Festival, CMC Rocks the Hunter, the ACE Awards and the Sony Foundation’s Wharf4Ward event, which raises funds for youth cancer care. 

He also has a Golden Guitar and three Country Music Channel (CMC) Award nominations to his name in categories including New Oz Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year.

More recently, Jason popped the question to long-time girlfriend and now fiancee, Becy Harvey, and is now back in the studio and working on new material.   

I had a chat with Jason to find out more about what he’s been up to since X-Factor and what’s a head for this talented young man. 


MT/Tracey: Hey Jason, great to meet you. Firstly, at what age did you begin your music career?

Jason: I’ve been singing pretty much all my life. I started singing professionally when I was lucky enough to get my break on X Factor. I had just turned 18 when I was on X Factor. 

MT: Since your TV appearance on Australia’s X-Factor, how much impact did the show have on working in the music industry?

Jason: It had a huge impact! It was a great experience to get mentally ready for an industry that throws a lot of challenges. As they say on the show – the whole experience was to teach us what it would be like working as a true music artist. It wasn’t so much about teaching us about the music industry, but it did mentally prepare me for performing live to an audience, how to manage nerves, and how to be quick off the mark and be ready for absolutely anything.

MT: Did your family listen to much music? Who did you listen to while growing up?

Jason: I grew up in a small town that is 140 kms west of Dubbo. It’s called Albert, and it comprises of 12 people. My family own the pub out there and as a result I grew up around a lot of jukebox music. John Denver was a huge inspiration for me as a kid because my Pop absolutely loves John Denver’s music. My latest album, Jason Owen Sings John Denver: The 20th Anniversary, actually pays homage to the legendary John Denver and my Pop. 

I listen to a lot of different music – music from artists like Willie Nelson and John Denver, through to Celine Dion. I grew up around a huge variety of music – music far different to what people my age [when I was a teenager] were listening to at the time. Great music and music that is well and truly alive today. I’m blessed to be able to perform theses songs – the songs that people love.

MT: Coming from a small town and before performing on the X-Factor, did you perform for your home town audience at all? 

Jason: Yes, I did. My family are very musically oriented. I grew up surrounded by music in my family and many of them gigged at the local pub. My uncle actually played guitar for Brian Cadd many, many years ago. And my aunty Michelle, she is doing a lot pub gigs in Albert and surrounding areas. When I was 13-years-old, I would go and do shows with her. That’s how I really got my start in music and from those performances, it made me really think about pursuing a career in music.  

MT: Are you from a farming family? 

 

Jason: No, I’m not from a farming family. I am from a small town. My dad owns the local service station and the pub. I did however, grow up doing some work on the land and spending a lot of time with my friends on their properties. 

It’s heartbreaking at the moment to see how much they are struggling with the drought. To see your best friends and their families struggling through difficult times, it just breaks your heart completely.  Last year, I released a song in aid of the farmers and it was used to raise money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners. It’s called These Are The Times. I worked it out with the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, that $1000 would get a truck of hay on the road. It’s just a matter of finding the feed.  I’m doing my best to raise between $10,000 – $15,000 so essential feed can be donated to those farmers who need it the most during this terrible drought. If your readers want to donate, the  Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have their own website. I’ve donated show profits and money raised from the single to them over the years. 

MT: I’ve noticed that you now have a HUGE following. How did you find interacting with a town from 12 people to then over 215K between Twitter, Facebook & Instagram? That’s a very big difference! 

Jason: It’s huge. I still haven’t comprehended it yet. I love what I do and I’m so honoured by all the support. Social media is definitely a different kettle of fish to growing up in a town of 12 people. There is so many people watching what I do. It’s very different, but I’m incredibly humbled by all the well wishes and support that I receive from my followers.  However, I do have days where I struggle and get a bit anxious about what I’ve posted because almost a quarter of million people are watching what I post. But on the other hand, I have the opportunity to share my experiences with others – something that would not normally happen if social media wasn’t around. 

Jason Owen AlbumMT: Since recording Your debut album, ‘Life Is A Highway’ which had huge success with it debuting at #1 on the ARIA Country Albums Chart as well as # 5 on the Australian National Chart, how easy or difficult was it to follow through with your subsequent albums keeping the same standard or Improve on that? And was that at all in your mind? 

Jason: It’s never an easy thing to follow up on something like that! I came out from the show [X Factor] and recorded a strong album, with songs people loved. We wanted to keep the next album to that standard. But it’s never an easy task to maintain that success and we did our best to record an album that included people’s favourites once again. Lucky for me, it was an album people liked and it did place within the top 10 of the album charts. It was phenomenal and to do it two times in a row. It literally blew my mind!

MT: I’ve seen a recent video of your rendition of the great power ballad, ‘The Power Of Love’, (awesome btw) this is obviously not a country track, but you’ve made it into your own, as well as your most recent album paying tribute to the late great John Denver. Do have a personal preference to the style of music or genre? 

Jason: Every artist has a genre, but for me, the thing is that I’ve sort of gone in and out of genres throughout my career, including POP to country to country POP. It’s sort of been borderline the last few years. I don’t specifically sit in one genre. I think my music is always blended between a couple of genres each and every time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. If it’s music that people enjoy, that’s all I care about. I don’t care to be pigeonholed to one genre, as long as I am singing songs that people like.  

MT: Do you write your own music? Or co-write with other people? If so, have you also written a song for your fiancé yet? (Congratulations btw….   thank you Tracey)

Jason: I wrote a song for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners called These Are The Times and I also co-wrote the song Proud. I sang a duet with the beautiful Christine Anu on that song. 

I do write and I do co-write. I’m not the strongest writer. I don’t have enough experience in the field just yet, but I’m working on improving my songwriting abilities. And, I am also working on a song for my fiancée, but I’m not quite ready to release it to the world. I love to co-write. If I have someone to bounce off, then I can have a song written in just a few hours. When I’m on my own, I sometimes doubt my own song writing abilities and then things can just go pear-shaped from there.

MT: What’s it like touring this incredible country of ours and being able to connect with so many people while on the road?  

Jason: Great question! Everywhere I play, I have the opportunity to meet new people. It’s really an honour to be able to travel around this big beautiful country of ours and thank the people who have supported me in my career, as well as make new friends along the way. Some days I feel like I’m in a dream. I honestly can’t believe that this is my life! I’m literally living my dreams. 

Single by Jason Owen MT: Where do you currently spend most of your time when you’re not on the road?  

Jason: At the moment I’m spending a lot of time at home and working on new music. 

I’ve got a brand new team of people working around me and I’m excited to be working with them on new ideas and projects. Recently, I got engaged. So, wedding plans have also started to begin.  

MT: What do you like doing in any spare time you may have apart from touring and recording music? 

Jason: I love my golf and play a bit of golf – well I try to! I also shoot clay targets. I’ve been a clay target shooter since I was 12-years-old. And I enjoy going down to the beach when I can. But with my work, it’s a bit hard to do my hobbies because there is a lot of travelling involved. 

MT: Where do you call home now? 

Jason: I’m currently living on the Central Coast, but ‘home’ will always be the bush for me. Seven years now, I’ve been travelling backwards and forwards – travelling through cities and travelling overseas. I’ve been everywhere, but there is nothing better than going back to the country and getting some fresh air.   

MT: What’s the best piece of advice that’s been given to you? 

Jason: Great question! 

The one piece of advice that has remained with me is – ‘to be yourself and never change’. I think people respect you more as a person when you remain true to yourself. Another two pieces of advice that I follow is – ‘don’t back down’ and ‘be powerful and strong’. If you want to be your very best self, you have to put in the hard work to make it happen. 

MT: Do you do anything weird, crazy or otherwise before you go on stage; like a ritual?  

Jason: Actually, I don’t have a ritual. I’m usually cool as a cucumber right before I go out on stage, then I’m a mess. I’m not really a mess! I’m just super excited to get out there and perform. The boys and I might have some drinks before we head out on stage to calm the nerves, but I don’t have any weird rituals. Might need to get one! 

MT: Where’s the next big event or concert can people see you perform? 

Jason: Bluewater Country Music Festival is my next performance. I will be playing at Broughtons at the Bay on June 8. I’m really looking forward to being apart of the Festival, hearing new music and meeting people. But most of all, I’m looking forward to having a great time and I hope the people coming to my show enjoy themselves. 

Other than that, we are working on future shows, future music and getting ready to just rock’n’roll.

MT: Awesome Jason, you know, I might even get there, I need to get away and have some good chill time listening to good music. Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Jason: All good! Thank you for your time. 

Thank you so much for your time Jason, I really appreciate it.

Take a break and grab yourself some tickets to see Jason Owen perform next Saturday June 8.

DETAILS: 

Agnesse Will Have You Captivated With Her Vocal Artistry & Flair

Space and Time went through a difficult journey to creation, taking almost one year in total. A stolen computer led to lost vocal samples that had to be re-recorded and re-mastered into the track that is brought to us today.

Time is precious and this track speaks out about the universal desire to press rewind when life feels as if it is travelling too fast. Agnesse brings us into her personal story where she expresses her wish to spend more time with loved ones.

 

Interviews with indie artists

Agnesse hails from Riga, Latvia where she grew up surrounded not only by native talent but also international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Anne-Marie and Dua Lipa. She now bases herself in England as she juggles music and her studies. 

Having performed live throughout her childhood, Agnesse has perfected her stage sound, promising a captivating show with impressive vocal range. 

Agnesse is no stranger to success, reaching advanced stages in a number of regional talent competitions, with X Factor Latvia (Chair Challenge), Baltic Talent 2016 (1st place), Pop Fest Jurmala 2017 (Grand Prix), EuroPop Contest in Germany (Finalist) to name a few. 

In 2018 she participated in National Eurovision contest (Supernova) up until the semi-finals with her original song “You Are My World”, which hit 150,000 streams on Spotify, 40,000 views on YouTube and was played on one of the biggest radio stations in Latvia.

I interviewed Agnesse on her musical journey thus far and what’s ahead for this lovely talented young woman. 


MT/Tracey: Hi Agnesse, Awesome to meet you. I think you are the first artist we’ve had on Music Talks that’s from Latvia. Who did you listen to when you were growing up?

Agnesse: Hi! Glad to hear that! As I remember, my first musical influence were, of course, what my parents were listening to, for example, Queen, Phil Collins and many other bands and artists, but as I started to explore music by myself, first artist what I was listening a lot was Sarah Brightman and after her followed Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce, Britney Spears, basically all the female artists who were popular in that time of period.

MT: I believe you are from a musical family, how much support and influence does your family have on your music?

Agnesse: Yes, my dad is composer, pianist, producer, and my mom is a singer. I really love that, because I can always get honest opinion and constructive critique, which always let me grow as an artist. They both are professionals in music, so it is such a great opportunity for me to always get feedback from music professionals. They are the biggest support for me!

MT: I have to admit, I’m not too familiar with the music in Latvia. Your latest music is very commercial pop sounding, did you write your latest single, ‘Space or Time’.?

Agnesse: I am not really into Latvian music, so I don’t know what is in the charts here. My dad Helvijs Stengrevics created and produced music, but lyrics were written by 2 times Grammy award nominated artist Kristal Oliver. So this time I played the role as a singer in this project.

MT: What did you learn from performing in the talent competitions like X Factor, Baltic Talent and even the Eurovision Contest?

Agnesse: I learnt that before coming on the stage, you have to be mentally prepared, otherwise, if stress takes all over your body, you will perform worse than you actually can. Second thing I learnt is – if you think you have worked enough, work even harder and perform more before the actual performance. Because, when you get on that stage, personally for me the situations were that I was so stressed on stage, that it might have helped to reduce the stress levels if I had worked even harder before (although I already did) for the subconsciousness – I might have felt more ready and not that scared of messing something up. But of course, enjoy while you are on that big stage. That is what I have to learn, because I overthink everything and forget that sometimes I just need to relax and stop thinking about all the nuances while performing.

Singer Agnesse

MT: Even though we are all familiar with the bigger named artists, can you tell me one of your traditional favourite songs or artists from Lativa?

Agnesse: hmm, I could say that for now my favourite artists are Dons, Aminata and Triana Park – I do not have any specific favourite songs though, but I like these artists and bands charismas while performing and their sound. 

MT: I believe you’ve recently moved from Latvia to England, how does the music industry differ, what are the changes between Latvia and England?

Agnesse: yes, that’s right. Music industry in Latvia is way smaller than here in England. It is way harder to get contacts, gigs etc. + here is way bigger competition than in Latvia. But because of that, I could say that the level of how you should sound, perform aka quality level is higher in England, what I like more, because it gives you bigger motivation to become the best. Sometimes in Latvia I can hear that some artists do not really put that much of an effort on working with their music or quality of their performance, because they will get gigs anyways. But don’t get me wrong, we have really professional musicians in Latvia as well, I just believe that there might be even more, if standard of the quality level would be higher and places would not give gigs to artists who don’t put enough effort in their work. But overall, biggest changes were the population of people, cultural difference with what I had to get used to and the fact that I am living on my own in England, which brings bigger responsibility and many other things to learn and be responsible of.

MT: Are you doing any live work in England?

Agnesse: Mainly I study, but on my free time I do perform in concerts and open mics! Latest concert was Bucks Band Wagon which happened in 4th of April.

MT: Can you tell us what ‘Space or Time’ is about? 

Agnesse: The story of the song is when you are together with the ‘real’ person, does not matter your best friend or lover, time flies unbelievably fast. There is no explanation for this phenomenon, the only thing you want to do is to press the rewind button and live it all over again. The lyrics are very dear to me, because I am in a long distance relationship and whenever we finally meet for a week, it seems that the time we have spent together was short as day and now we have to say goodbye again, which is so hard and everything I want to do is just live it all over again, have a little more time. My goal was to be able to explain these feelings in a song which, I think, we did very well.

MT: I read that you had your computer was stolen which had all the samples and tracks that were to be recorded/mixed but had to re-do everything again. What a nightmare. What did you tell yourself when it came time to having to re-record every single thing again?  

Agnesse: Yes, that was horrible. Well, we really liked this song, so we just had to bite our teeth and do the hard work again no matter what, so I just said: “Lets do this!” (laughing) Thank God, my dad had the base of the song saved, so we did not have to do everything from complete scratch. But vocals and majority of production were gone, so I flew specially for two days to Latvia to re-record and re-create them again.

MT: What else are you doing in England a part from your writing and recording?  

Agnesse: I am studying in music university, program “Music Performance Management” and working as Student Ambassador. And of course, practising my vocals. 

MT: What other hobbies do you have that’s outside of music?

Agnesse: Living in England is something new for me so I do not have many activities except music. I often go to gym and while in Latvia, train kids in figure skating, because I was a figure skater myself for 12 years. I don’t skate anymore, because I have few traumas which forbids for me to do figure skating professionally. But at least I can teach others what I know and can do, which I really love!

MT: The music business is such a tough industry, I’m wondering what your thoughts are and what your plans are from here and how you are going to take it on? (sorry, kind of three questions in one)

AgnesseI already mentioned above that yes, music industry is really tough and in England it is a big competition to get somewhere. But for now, I am really focusing on making and creating my sound and character, which will differ me from any other artist, what is the most important thing in the music industry – be unique and create sound never heard before and music what people will buy!

MT: What do the songs you write and the music mean to you personally?  

Agnesse: The songs what I have, which are not that many yet, talks about my personal life and what I go through. They mean a lot to me. Every song, when I release it, comes with a piece of my soul and I hope that people can feel it!

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

AgnesseI really hope that everyone who listens to my music likes this song and thank you for taking your time to listen to it! I really appreciate that! Also – new music coming very soon, so keep tuned and follow me on social media!J

Congratulations on ‘Space and Time’, it’s a great song. Thank you so much for your time Agnesse I really appreciate it.

Agnesse: Thank you for the interview!

Agnesse has recently released Space and Time to each of her digital platforms available to listen NOW. 

iTunes | Google Play | Deezer | Spotify