Interview With Jazz Sensation Fiona Ross


Award winning vocalist, pianist, composer and producer Fiona Ross has become known for creating her own contemporary Jazz sound using fast paced Latin Jazz, vintage jazz club and a little neo soul along with heart wrenching ballads that demonstrate that “Her style is poetic and the messages ooze with Millennial angst” (Jazz weekly).

 

She came to the world’s attention as “The artist that gave Ed Sheeran his ‘first push'” (Daily Express), but has very quickly established herself as an artist in her own right and has received incredible reviews across the globe for all of her four albums. Her live performances have seen her perform at prestigious venues including 606 Club, Pizza Express, Bulls Head, Nells Jazz and Blues and Toulouse Lautrec and her music is played on radio stations all over the world including 40 stations in the USA as well as in Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Netherlands and Spain.

 

Fiona has achieved many accolades for her most recent album, including Best Jazz Song from the World Songwriting Awards for her song ‘For My Dad’, Outstanding achievement awarded by the Global Music Awards and most recently International female songwriter of the year from the International Singer Songwriters Association. She has been featured in many publications including Tinnitist, Jazziz, Record World Magazine, Jazz Corner, Ink 19 and Jazz Quarterly and was thrilled to be in the top ten of most played videos recently in Tinnitist. Fiona’s song ‘Mistress’ which was recorded live in a stairwell, was selected to be included in the British Library archives for prosperity.

 

 

Jazz Singer


 

MT: Hello Fiona, how long have you been singing for and when did you know music was your calling and when did you figure out why you needed to pursue music as your career?

 

Fiona: Hi! Thank you so much for interviewing me. Ha, well, my Mum used to say I was singing before I could talk. But I never had that defining moment when I decided to work in the creative arts. It’s just what I have always done. I trained in dance and drama as well as music from a very age and in fact had my first professional job when I was about two and was working quite significantly from about the age of six, in theatre. I just don’t know any different. I guess my parents decided it was what I was supposed to do, but I never objected or questioned it. It’s just who I am.

 

MT: Who is your influence; why did you choose to sing jazz and what do you love about singing jazz?

Fiona: I have been surrounded by a whole range of musical influences all my life and there are so many to mention. My older brother was always listening to more rock based music and great songwriters which had a huge impact on my style – Eagles, Blondie, Kate Bush,  Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell – my Mum was a huge opera fan and also wanted me to be the next Julie Andrews, ha. My Dad was all about old school Jazz – Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong. But also for me, my youth was full of Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Chaka Kahn, Aretha Franklin – all the power vocalists. I was also obsessed with Prince. Still am.

Jazz, for me, is about freedom. It allows me to write music that doesn’t have to fit into any boxes. There is room for a bit of everything. So, I can write some Latin Jazz, or something more soul influenced – I love the space it gives me to do whatever I want

 

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

Fiona: Again, so many I could mention, but, I listen to some Earth, Wind and Fire everyday without fail, they always put me in the right frame of mind – positivity. Michel Camilo and Hiromi are my heroes and I am huge fans of their work. I love finding new music and my work as a journalist allows me to meet and explore many artists and it’s quite wonderful!

 

MT: Your ‘Live Sessions’ in lockdown video album is divine; how long did it take to record the full video album?  

Fiona: Thank you so much! It was so much fun. We recorded it during two sessions, so two days. The production side of it took much longer.

 

MT: I noticed that you wrote all the songs on the entire album; Do you collaborate with other writers and is there a personal favourite?

Fiona: Yes, I write all my own material, so haven’t collaborated with anyone yet. I’m sure I will at some point. I don’t have any favourites as such, but I enjoy different songs for different reasons. So, ‘Let Me Go’ is just fun to sing, and one my easier songs, vocally, whereas ‘The Evidence Suggests’ is really hard to sing and very emotional for me, so always a challenge, but in a good way. So, all the songs have different elements that mean something for me.

Jazz Singer and Band

MT: Did you arrange all the songs for the band? If so, how do you do this; do you physically write each part for each musician, or how do you show your songs to your band to play?

Fiona: Yes, I arrange everything, apart from their solos of course. I do it differently based on what my musicians need. Everyone has a basic score, but then some prefer parts written out, and others, I will play or sing the parts and they notate it out in their way. I always like to give them whatever they need!

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Fiona: As a Jazz Artist in my own right, it was A Twist of Blue a few years ago – 2016. I have been working as a session musician/composer etc for many years, but I have only been doing my Jazz thing for four years.

 

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

Fiona: Of course. Well, I don’t have one process, other than, I write whatever is going on in my head at the time. So sometimes, a song will start with a bass line that I’ve come up with, and sometimes it might be a groove or a chord sequence – it varies all the time. Almost always music first and then lyrics as I’m going along

 

MT: As an independent artist, it looks and sounds like you have a great band; are they your regular musicians who you have beside you when performing at a live gig?

Fiona: Yes, I am so very lucky to work with some incredible musicians, live and on my albums. I have the occasional dep player, if there is a gig clash, as they all work for other artists as well, so scheduling can be tricky, but yes, I work with the same group of musicians all the time. It’s very important to me. The chemistry and our different backgrounds and influences is so wonderful.

 

MT: How long did it take to record your lockdown live video album and where was it recorded?

Fiona: I did two sessions, both in London. One was at St Cuthbert’s Church, which was a four hour session where we recorded 2 songs. The other was at The Premises Studio where we did 7 songs, over about 4 hours, although the setting up took a while.

 

MT: Covid 19 has proved an enormous challenge for artists in thinking outside the box and how to get ‘Out There’ so to speak. You have obviously taken this on with ease (or so it looks) with your live in lockdown album. What has been your frustrations and challenge during the pandemic?

Fiona: Ease? Ha, well it has been so very challenging for everyone – and still is. But you know, I am a very positive person – sometimes annoyingly I reckon – and I have always lived by three simple rules based on the quote by

Reinhold Niebuhr: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

So with COVID, I cannot change that situation, so I haven’t felt frustrated as such, I’ve just tried to do what I can under the circumstances. I have had to accept that gigs were cancelled and goodness knows when they will return, so I’ve tried to do more online – with this live album for example. It also came at quite a good time for me, as I was supposed to be writing my next studio album, so I wasn’t supposed to be gigging a huge amount until January anyway, so this was helpful. My biggest concern was how to help others. So many of my friends suffering with no income and feeling very down, that has been the hardest thing. It has been just heart breaking.

 

MT: As a whole, what has been your biggest challenge in your music career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

Fiona: Well, for me, it’s never thinking I’m good enough. There are so many incredible artists out there and if I stop and think about it, I would just give up. So many of us just trying to do our thing and it can be very hard.  I always get genuinely overwhelmed when people say nice things about my music, as for me, it’s never good enough. But the positive in that, is that it always drives me to be the best I can be and strive to be better – both as a human being and as an artist. I am not trying to be the ‘best’ artist, I am trying to be the best me I guess.

Interview With Hypnotic Soul Singer Amanda St John

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

Fiona: Strength and resilience are key. Belief in yourself as an artist and what you are trying to achieve, no matter what people tell you. If you don’t fit in a box, embrace that rather than try to fit. Surround yourself with good people who care about not just your art, but you and your wellbeing. And always remember you are part of an amazing community – help and support each other, other artists – you are all in this together and it is not a competition.

 

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

Fiona:Yes, I am also a pianist and started playing when I was six.

 

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?

Fiona: Well, before COVID, I would have said I don’t have a typical day, but I do have more of a routine for now at least. Yes, music everyday. I practice for four hours a day and at the moment I’m spending time on writing my next album. I also work as a Jazz journalist, so I’m often interviewing people or writing reviews. The business side of my music is time consuming – not fun, but has to be done. The continual self promotion is always a challenge for me, as I would far rather talk about other people, but it has to be done! The only thing I do that is not music, is Taekwondo and I read a lot.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Fiona, I really appreciate it and all the very best with ‘The Live Sessions Video Album’.

Interview With Jazz Sensation Fiona Ross

Interview With Jazz Sensation Fiona Ross

Powerful Songstress Lumane Not Your Typical Pop Artist

“I want my songs to connect with listeners,” says River Iris. She was born in Japan and alternated annually between schools in South Carolina and California. While most ask if it was a difficult transition, River responds, “Overall, it sparked an appreciation for change in me that furthered my enchantment with the creative process, a place where I am free to be childlike and playful.”

River had a microphone in her hand at age 2 followed with formal voice training that began when she was 11 years old. At UC Berkeley, River received invaluable criticism and more opportunities to expand upon her creative process; learning to adapt, make changes, refine lyrics, and shift direction swiftly.

Upon graduating from UC Berkeley, River was able to backpack to many countries where she lived with locals— learning their cultures, customs, foods, and embracing the beauty of people from Europe to Asia to Australia and performing in local restaurants and bars along the way. River learned to appreciate how interwoven our lives are.

River worked diligently with a Grammy nominated producer to create what will be her first EP. The debut single from the EP, “Bet on Your Love” was released May 8, 2020. Releasing these tracks as a solo artist reaffirms the years of hard work constantly writing, practicing, and performing regularly in Phoenix, Arizona. For River, music is a universal language, a form of release, and a place of exhilaration; “I just can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”

Teenage Indie Artist Rachel Jaymes Inspired by Friends
Singer  

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?

River Iris: Some of my influences include Alicia Keys, Tori Kelly, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, JoJo, Jessie J, Sara Bareilles…the list goes on! I’ve always known music was my calling. I remember as children they had us write down what we wanted to be when we grew up and my project said, “I want to be just like Britney Spears.”

 

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

River Iris: Singing since I was a child and performing since around age 11.

 

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

River Iris: I enjoy listening to my influences! I like to put on an album by one of my favorite female artists and just listen for several days. Lately I’ve got Tori Kelly’s album “Inspired by True Events” on repeat.

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

River Iris: My first recording as a solo artist was last year, and was just released this May 8 2020.

 

MT: You recently released your single “Bet  On Your Love”.  Can you explain how this more about the meaning of the song and how it ties into your music goals?

River Iris: “Bet on Your Love” is a soft pop ballad with a touch of whimsy and a heavy dose of emotion. I didn’t have any one love in mind when we were writing the song. It’s more of an expression of the feeling you have while reminiscing on a love that is both joyous and sad simultaneously. I hope it gives listeners a brief moment of nostalgia towards their own loves that may have come to a bittersweet end. In terms of my music goals, I want to continue creating songs like “Bet on Your Love” that connect with listeners, enabling them to express or let go of emotions as they need.

 

Singer

MT: You are now 28 years old and you wrote your first song when you were 13. Can you describe your current sound? Has your sound changed since you wrote your first song?

River Iris: My sound is pop with a touch of electronic influences. I’d like to continue narrowing my sound and pushing boundaries with bending genres together. By the way, the first song I wrote was absolutely terrible.

 

MT: Do you have a favourite performance to date and why?

River Iris: I wouldn’t say I have a favourite performance to date. The times I enjoy the most are when I am so lost in the music and performance that I just feel like I’m floating.

 

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

River Iris: My biggest challenge has always been trusting myself and my vision for my career. I don’t think I’ve overcome it, I’m a work in progress, but aren’t we all?

 

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

River Iris: Put in the work–on your voice or instrument, on your song writing, on yourself (mentally and physically), on your performance skills. These are things I value highly and I’m constantly trying to improve.

 

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

River Iris: Oh I dabble in guitar and piano but purely for song writing purposes.

 

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?

River Iris: Music is an everyday thing for me, whether it’s voice training, song writing, social media, photoshoots, rehearsals etc. Even on the weekends I tend to be extra responsive and active on my social media accounts. Other hobbies include absolutely ANYTHING creative (painting, sewing, baking, sculpting) soccer, the gym, video games, and swimming or hiking with my dogs.

 

MT:   You had a new single come out Jul 3, 2020.  What would you like fans to know about the meaning behind the music on your upcoming EP? Where can fans find  your music when it is released?

River Iris:  I write about everyday modern life. My upcoming release “So Tempting is an uptempo energetic dance tune. This song is about seeing through someone’s smoke and mirrors and fiercely saying, “No, not today.” It depicts a shady side of modern dating culture where people can ‘submarine’ each other easily with the help of technology, “vanishing without a trace and then, without warning, sliding back into your inbox like nothing ever happened.” You can find my music on all digital music stores and streaming platforms!

 

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?

River Iris: Hm.. I don’t think so! My only ritual is hydration. I am constantly drinking water.

 

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? 

River Iris: Nothing upcoming given the state of the world, but stay in the know by following my socials. I can’t wait to get back to performing.

 

LINKS TO RIVER IRIS BELOW

Bet Your Love with New Music and Interview from River Iris

 

 

Indie Teenager Singer YSSA Posses The Wow Factor

Powerful Songstress Lumane Not Your Typical Pop Artist

Switzerland native Lumane is not your typical pop artist. Much of her inspiration stems from her mother playing “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven on the piano when she was just a toddler. 4 year old Lumane put her foot forward to be like her mom learning to play different instruments throughout the years to come. In the mix of that was learning to use her vocal gift in hopes of expressing her creative side.

Lumane had the opportunity to audition her talents at the age of 13 in front of super star judges in Germany on a show called “Das Supertalent”, which is similar to America’s Got Talent. She sang her heart out only to be left with no invitation back. Lumane was determined to grow. Years later with thousands of hours put into vocal lessons and practice, she auditioned for the Voice of Switzerland making her way through 3 rounds. While this was progress it wasn’t enough for Lumane.

Lumane did not give up. With the support of her family, she pushed further to achieve her dreams. A plane ticket to New York with hope in her heart led to an opportunity to finally take the first steps in using her talents to create her first set of songs.

Lumane worked with a Grammy nominated producer on songs like “Taboo” and “Letters”, which are two recent releases from this electro-pop artist. Her next song titled “White Lies” is a story we all have. Lumane was scared of breaking the heart of a man she was dating thousands of miles away using a white lie to ease the blow of the breakup. You can feel the battle of emotions throughout the song with verses that build up to explosive choruses. Sounds like good song, right? You can hear for yourself on all streaming platforms.

Teenage Indie Artist Rachel Jaymes Inspired by Friends
Indie Pop Artist

Danielle/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?

Lumane: Growing up I always wanted to be like Christina Aguilera. She’s such a powerhouse singer. But ever since “Joanne” came out my biggest musical influence is definitely Lady Gaga. I love her musical style, the passion and power in her voice and what she stands for as a person. Lady Gaga is truly trying to make a difference in the world through her music. To me, that’s really inspiring and something we should all aim to do.

For me there was never really a moment where I was like “I have to pursue music, this is my calling”. Music was all I ever did and there was never another option on the table. I started my musical journey at 4 years old and haven’t done anything besides that. When it came to figuring out what to do after high school I was just trying to find ways to move to the US to really go after my dream of being a singer. I knew that I needed to pursue this dream because it’s all I’ve ever dreamed of. My brother fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional race car driver in Europe. Seeing him work hard for this dream and succeeding made me feel like I can do the same.

 

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

Lumane: I honestly don’t remember a time where I wasn’t just always singing. I had to wait until I was 13 to take voice lessons (that was my local music school’s rule…) but as soon as I could, I did. I remember having my first gig in school in 5th grade and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t stopped performing since. Connecting to an audience is one of the best feelings ever.

 

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

Lumane: I am a sucker for top 40 music. Right now, all I listen to is Lady Gaga’s new “Chromatica” album. It’s absolute fire! I’m the kind of person who listens to the same couple of songs over and over again until I can’t stand them anymore and move on to the next songs. But luckily, I won’t ever have to run out of music with so much amazing music out there in the world!

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Lumane: I recorded my first ever EP when I was in high school under the name “La Rebelle”. It was a live music recording with a band that I put together just for that recording. It was a lot of fun! Btw. No need to google that name, nothing will show up. I never “officially” released any of that music. Under Lumane I recorded my first songs in 2018 and released my first single in 2019. I am super happy with the songs we recorded. So far three of them are out, another 5 are to come!

 

MT: You recently released your single “White Lies”.  Can you explain how this more about the meaning of the song and how it ties into your music goals?

Lumane: The song “White Lies” is all about not telling the whole truth to protect the person I’m lying to. A couple months after I moved to the US I broke up with my boyfriend back in Switzerland. Eventually we got back together again but yes, you guessed it, I wanted to break up with him for good this time. I felt really bad because I promised him that I wouldn’t do that again. So I had to tell a white lie to not completely crush him. The song is also about letting go of something that you know won’t make you as happy as you deserve to be. Sometimes it’s just better to move on than trying to fix it.
To achieve my music goals I will most likely have to let go of something in order to find something better suited for me. Just like when I first started making music under “La Rebelle”. I needed to move on from it and evolve into the singer and musician I wanted to be. Evolving is so important, not only as a singer but also as a person. A lot of times people seem to struggle with that. I think it’s something beautiful, inevitable and necessary to reach your true potential.

 

MT: You are now 24 and you wrote your first song when you were 10. Can you describe your current sound? Has your sound changed since you wrote your first song?

Lumane: I would describe my current sound as a mix between electro pop and pop/rock. The production of my songs is more electro pop while my vocals have more a pop/rock feel. I want my music to be uplifting, empowering and truthful. My personality is very bubbly and happy. While not all my songs are happy, you can definitely see my personality shine through in my songs.
My sound has definitely changed a lot! When I first started writing I was just playing chords on my piano and wrote words and a melody to those chords. But when I got older I started playing around with Logic Pro X and explored some sounds. This was amazing to me as a songwriter because it helped me get my ideas out of my head and into the software so I could actually hear what was in my head. Other than that, my sound isn’t very far off of what I started with. I always wanted to make pop music. With time and practice I developed my own sound, which I am now super happy with. I can truly say that my sound is me and that’s an amazing feeling.

Indie Pop Singer

MT: Your performances have been fun and intimate. Do you have a favourite performance to date and why?

Lumane: My favourite performance so far was last December. I got to play an intimate Sofar show in Indianapolis. I love playing intimate gigs. It really gives me the opportunity to connect to the audience on a more personal level. Telling the stories behind my songs and really having the full attention of my audience is something so beautiful but yet rare to new artists. It is hard to find gigs with an audience who truly cares about you and your music when you’re just starting out. It was also super nice to talk to the people before and after my set. I love getting feedback from the audience, it helps me grow as an artist.

 

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

Lumane: My biggest challenge in my music career was right after I decided to finish Berklee online to write and record my album in Nashville. Switching to online school meant that I didn’t have a valid student visa anymore. I could only stay in the US for 90 days at a time. The US boarder patrol wasn’t happy with me and all the time that I spent in the US as a tourist. They interrogated me at the Chicago airport for 3 hours. Eventually they let me go but I got banned from the ESTA visa waiver program. This meant I only had 90 more days in the US and then I had to leave for good until I could find another way to enter the US on a different visa. I had writing sessions scheduled that I now had to reschedule and cramp all into those 90 days. I had to write and record demo versions of all the songs on my album in just 90 days. It was crazy. At the same time I was trying to find a way to get a visa so that I’ll be able to come back to actually finish the recordings. It was absolute pandemonium. I cried for many many days because I felt so helpless. It all eventually worked out because I didn’t give up. I am now a proud green card holder and my whole album is recorded and ready for release!

 

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

Lumane: Persistence is key. You just can’t give up. There are so many artists out there trying to do the same thing as you are. You have to find a way to stand out of the crowd and you can’t give up. You will get 100 no’s before you get a yes. But once you do get that yes, it will all have been worth it!

 

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

Lumane: I do play instruments! I played classical piano for 9 years and then changed to playing chords so I could accompany myself. I also play a tiny bit of guitar. But I am definitely much more comfortable on the piano.

 

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?

Lumane: I work on my music every day, yes. On the creative side that might be songwriting or singing or doing some photoshoots by myself. Everyday I try to somehow be creative. But being a singer is not just about being creative. A lot of it is business. My music business teacher at Berklee always said that the music industry is 90% business and only 10% music but the 90% doesn’t exist without the 10%. The business side of being a singer is also something I work on daily. That might be reaching out to blogs, playlists, radio stations, etc. On a typical day I spend about 2-3 hours being creative and the rest of the “working” day I pretty much spend in front of the computer emailing people.
I have always loved cooking. Starting in 5th grade I was the one cooking for my family at home.

Being quarantined these last few months helped me dig deeper into food. I started growing my own vegetables. I have zucchinis, tomatoes, carrots, eggplants, and the list goes on and on. Every time I pick up something new, I always go all the way. I don’t like doing something half hearted. So my backyard is now basically one big garden and I absolutely love it. Not only does the food taste amazing, is fresh and organic, but I’m also doing the planet a favor by growing my own food.

 

MT:   You have an album coming out this year. What would you like fans to know about the meaning behind the music on your upcoming EP? Where can fans find  your music when it is released?

Lumane: I am super pumped to finally release my whole album soon. I’ve been working super hard on it and am very proud of the outcome. My heart, soul and guts are in that album. Every song tells a story out of my life. By being truthful, open and vulnerable I hope that my music can help some people out there who are going through a rough patch in their life. My whole goal is to leave the world a better place than I found it and I’m hoping my music and my stories help with that. Once the album is out you can find it on all streaming platforms. If you don’t want to wait for the digital release you can order a CD on my website lumanemusic.com so you can listen to the whole album now.

 

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? 

Lumane: I was putting together a small tour for this summer, but now with this pandemic going on, I had to cancel all of my gigs. With the uncertainty of when things are going to open back up again I have not scheduled any more gigs. You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@lumanemusic) to catch a live stream of me singing some tunes.
Other than that, get ready for the whole album to come out this year! I’m super excited to share it with you all and can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

 

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?

Lumane: I wouldn’t say that I have a specific ritual. I always warm up my voice before I record or perform and I like to make sure that I have room temperature water close by. Other than that, I like to connect with people before I go on stage or record. At the end of the day that’s all we’re looking for when we listen to music or watch a performance: a connection to someone else. Doing exactly that before taking the stage or entering the booth helps me get into the right head space.

 

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

Lumane: I’m hoping to be back out there soon, once concert venues start to open back up again. In the meantime you can catch me on my Facebook and Instagram pages for some live streams.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Lumane, I really appreciate it and all the very best with ‘White Lies’!

Lumane: Thank you so much for giving me a platform to share my music! I really appreciate it.

 

 

LINKS TO LUMANE BELOW

Powerful Songstress Lumane Not Your Typical Pop Artist

 

 

Indie Teenager Singer YSSA Posses The Wow Factor

Anna Pena; Artistic, Dark and Edgy Pop Princess Making Waves In Music


Indie Pop Artist

“I really get into “focus mode” and focus on my intent and energy before going on stage to make it the best performance I can.”


Anna Pena; Artistic, Dark and Edgy Pop Princess Making Waves In Music

Anna Pena can be described as mysterious, artistic, dark and edgy pop princess. Mostly creating alternative pop in the studio, Anna tests the limits incorporating unusual genres and contrasting musical styles together. From pop, rock, to even musical theatre, all styles are welcome in Anna’s repertoire. Growing up in professional musical theater at a young age, Anna remains true to her roots, inspired by theatrical content and incorporating that into her shows and artistry. Drawn to dark subject matter and theatrical performers, Anna’s musical inspirations include artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Queen, and Melanie Martinez.

From performing on stages from the age of 4 years old to performing for Howie, Mel, Heidi & Howard on America’s Got Talent, Anna constantly shares her art at numerous venues in Dallas/Fort Worth. In her upcoming EP, you will experience the highs and lows of love and loathing  

 

 

Danielle/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?

Anna Pena: I am super inspired by theatrical performers and artists that dabble in darker/ edgier sounds and subject matter. My biggest musical inspirations include artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Queen, Melanie Martinez, Foxy Shazam and Panic at The Disco.
I have loved singing since as long as I can remember. When I was four years old I was called on stage by a children’s singer-songwriter while on vacation with my family. That was the first time I ever sang in front of an audience and my family was absolutely stunned. They had no idea that I could sing because I was pretty shy about it as a kid. I was obsessed with all things performing arts as a kid.

There really wasn’t an exact moment I knew this was the right path for me, I kind of just always knew this is what I was born to do, even though that sounds super silly and cheesy to most people. It’s really hard to explain, I just always knew this is what I was going to do and so did my family, it never was really a question. Since as far back as I can remember I was constantly talking about this and my every thought was consumed by it. I was just born knowing my passion and I don’t think I would be happy doing anything else.

 

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

Anna Pena: I began performing in professional theaters when I was around 10 years old and attended an all fine arts high school, so I have definitely been performing and singing pretty much my whole life. I transitioned from my classical, theatrical training to pop/commercial music when I was about 18. That’s when I first started writing my own music and gigging with a band.

 

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

Anna Pena: The first person that always pops into my mind when I think of the artist I listen to the most and am the biggest fan of is Lana Del Rey. Her music has had such a unique impact on me, I truly have never seen another artist like her. I enjoy literally everything she puts out.

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Anna Pena: I recorded and released some singles back around 2016 before I really found my own sound and brand that was authentic to me. Two of those single titles being “Fickle Heart” and “Never Looking Back.” You can still find these old singles on my soundcloud and my youtube channel.

 

MT: You recently released your single “Retribution”. Can you explain how this more about the meaning of the song and how it ties into your music goals?

Anna Pena: I came up with the concept and title for “Retribution” at a time when I was very hurt and angry. It’s definitely inspired by a specific situation that left me feeling very betrayed. “Retribution” is an angry, “revenge type”, edgy anthem. I have always loved dark pop songs and edgier production sounds so we went full force with that in the studio and I look forward on experimenting with more similar sounds in the future.

 

Indie Singer

MT: You are now 24 and you wrote your first song when you were 18. Can you describe your current sound? Has your sound changed since you wrote your first song?

Anna Pena: I definitely have found my sound since my first release to my current releases. If you look back on my old songs they were a lot more “bubble gum pop”, bright, even a little indie/acoustic sounding. I definitely was playing it safe back in the day, trying to do what I thought I should but I wasn’t really being my true creative weird self. My sound now is much edgier, darker, and feels more me.

 

MT: Do you have a favorite performance to date and why?

Anna Pena: Although I don’t have a specific one that comes to mind, I will say the performances that stand out to me, the ones that I always leave feeling the best after, are the ones where I get out of my own head on stage and just have a good time. They are the times where I didn’t care about looking or sounding perfect and instead just performed the songs with the true emotion behind them and focused more on connecting with the audience. There is no better feeling in the world than really leaving it all on the stage and seeing the audience appreciate that.

 

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

Anna Pena: The biggest obstacles I’ve had to face in my career so far have always been about staying true to myself and standing up for myself. I had a really hard time going against what someone “above” me in this industry would say even if I disagreed.

 

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

Anna Pena: People are always going to tell you what they think you should do but I had to learn the hard way that you cannot please everybody. At the end of the day you just have to trust yourself and do what you feel is best. These obstacles brought up a lot of insecurities and doubt in me that I had to face head on and realize that their is no room for those fears in this business. You have to believe in yourself even when no one else does.

 

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

Anna Pena: I play a little bit of piano. I started taking lessons a few years ago because I understand the importance of playing an instrument and the advantage that can have on a singer. I believe it helps a singer be a more well rounded, knowledgeable musician and can only help with everything that goes into songwriting, performing, and overall musical knowledge.

 

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?

Anna Pena: I currently work full time on pursuing my dreams. I gig as much as possible on the weekends, I take lessons, I work on my online/social media presence and I audition constantly. I work as a nanny/dog sitter part time because sometimes being a “starving artist” doesn’t cut it. As far as hobbies, I love making video content for my youtube channel, working out, and of course going on adventures with the people I love. Another fun fact is that I love everything creepy and paranormal. Like ghosts, aliens, scary movies, and all sorts of spiritual stuff.

Single Cover

MT: You have a EP Coming out on October 30th What would you like fans to know about the meaning behind the music on your upcoming EP? Where can fans find your music when it is released?

Anna Pena: This EP for me is really like my introduction into my music, my sound, and who I am as an artist. The EP definitely has a common theme of love and relationships. Each song has a different sound and vibe and so I think there’s a little something for everyone.
Fans can find my music on all online music distributing platforms.

 

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?

Anna Pena: There will definitely be a EP release show/party around October, (Expect some major creepy Halloween vibes) as well as upcoming shows but unfortunately these dates are still TBD. Definitely follow me on Instagram & Twitter @AnnaPenaMusic for show updates and announcements.

 

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?

Anna Pena: Vocal warm ups, obviously, are the most important pre show/recording session ritual I have. Other than that I would say I always have a warm tea with honey for my voice, and I love to meditate/relax and practice mindfulness. I really get into “focus mode” and focus on my intent and energy before going on stage to make it the best performance I can.

 

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

Anna Pena: With the current state of the world, tour dates and shows are still TBD but still definitely in the works. I would urge fans to follow my social media so they can be updated on upcoming shows and tours. You can find me everywhere @AnnaPenaMusic and on my LinkTree https://linktr.ee/annapenamusic

Anna Pena; Artistic, Dark and Edgy Pop Princess Making Waves In Music

Anna Pena; Artistic, Dark and Edgy Pop Princess Making Waves In Music

Country Singer Brianna Blankenship Warms Up For a Big Future


Independent Artist

“I am changing as I grow as a singer and an artist.  I am finding more ways to use my voice.”


Brianna Blankenship is a country singer/songwriter based out of Pennsylvania. The production, vocals and lyrics of her first single, released on May 29th, called, “Church” has Brianna already on the radar of many in the Country Music Industry. Brianna’s distinct vocals on this upbeat single have her capturing the attention of all who hear her song.  With the reaction to her song “Church”, Brianna already has her fans anxiously awaiting her next release. You can find “Church” on all music streaming platforms and all of her social media links in her LinkTree (more links below)  https://linktr.ee/briannablankenshipmusic

 

 

Danielle/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?

Brianna:  I am inspired mostly by Danielle Bradberry and Tenille Townes.  I knew I has a passion for music about 3 years ago.  I knew I needed to pursue it about two years ago.

 

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

Brianna: I took singing lessons for about 3 years through high school, but I didn’t start singing in front of people until my Junior year in high school.  I then began gigging out a little over 2 years ago.

 

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

Brianna: I really am growing to love Lady A most recently!

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Brianna: I recorded my first single “Church” in Nashville in November 2019 and it was just released May 29th, 2020.

 

MT: You recently released your single “Church”.  Can you explain more about the meaning of the song and how it ties into your music goals?

Brianna: The meaning behind Church describes the feelings and experiences that one person has at church and their relationship with God to the love relationship they are currently experiencing. This song really gives my listeners a feel for how my sound is going to be in other music as well.

MT: How old are you now and when did you write your first song?…. Can you describe your current sound? Has your sound changed since you wrote your first song?

Brianna: I am 21 and wrote my very first song at about 18/19 years old.  My sound is quite the same, but I am changing as I grow as a singer and an artist.  I am finding more ways to use my voice.

 

MT: Do you have a favorite performance to date and why?

Brianna: My favorite performance so far would be at the McKean County Fair. That show was one of the first ones that I really got to perform original music for people and really connect with my fans.

 

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

Brianna: MY CONFIDENCE:  I haven’t completely overcome it, but I am working every day on growing and developing it.  Each day that goes by I am building it.

 

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

Brianna: Keep pushing for your goals and dreams no matter how far they seem. You will get a thousand no’s before just one yes. Just keep working hard and success will come!

Independent Artist Singer

 

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

Brianna: Yes, I do play guitar and picked that up about 3 years ago.  I really wanted to learn when I started singing so I could be a more rounded artist.

 

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?

Brianna: I currently work for an Eye Doctor full time during the weekdays.  My evenings and weekends are then busy with music.  I get home from the doctor’s office and automatically start working on all the things related to my music career.  I love spending time with my dogs and boyfriend.  We spend a lot of time riding our side by side with friends and relaxing with family when we can.

 

MT:   Now you have released ‘Church’, what would you like fans to know about the meaning behind the music on your next upcoming EP? Where can fans find your music when it is released?

 Brianna: My music can be found on all music platforms and I do have another single coming out.  The next single I am releasing means so much to me, it is very relatable.

 

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? 

Brianna:  I do have quite a bit of shows coming up which, they can all be found on the events tab on my Facebook, Brianna Blankenship Music. I would absolutely love if you guys could follow my social medias, Brianna Blankenship Music, on everything!

Facebook link –  https://www.facebook.com/briannablankenshipmusic/ (More links below)

 

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?

Brianna: Obviously every singer warms up their vocal, but I have TMJ so I have this exercise I do to stretch out my jaw before I go out and play/sing.  The exercise makes me look “pretty odd” so always try to hide when I am doing it.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Brianna, I really appreciate it and all the very best.

Brianna:  Thank you so much for interviewing me as well!

 

Country Singer Brianna Blankenship Warms Up For a Big Future

Country Singer Brianna Blankenship Warms Up For a Big Future

Interview With Hypnotic Soul Singer Amanda St John


Amanda St John is a soulful singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. She is a mainstay on the Irish radio, festival and gig circuit and has been described as a “Head-turning vocalist with serious song writing prowess………a sensational artist” (Visit Dublin). She has worked with artists like Brian Kennedy, Eddi Reader, Mary Coughlan, Gareth Dunlop, Ciaran Gribbin (of INXS) and Jon Tiven (Grammy winning Nashville writer/producer whose CV has included BB King, Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones etc…).

After hearing Amanda’s voice, I had to find out more about her. Read the interview below and of course, take a listen to her music.

 

 

Indie Singer


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

MT: Hello Amanda, nice to cyber meet you. Wow, what a voice! Your voice and style, inclusive of the BV’s, are reminiscent of the real soul music from the good ol’ days. Who did you grow up listening to?

Amanda: Hey there, and thanks so much for the feedback. I actually grew up listening to Irish folk music, it wasn’t until I was about 18 that I started listening to soul music. I heard Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s going On’ album and it blew my mind. I started exploring the classics then like Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Roberts Flack and was so moved by the power and expression of these artists.

 

MT: Having been the 1st Independent Irish artist to record in the ‘Fame’ studios in Alabama, can you share your experience and the differences recording there as opposed to other studios you had previously recorded?

 

Amanda: It was like a dream come true walking in those doors and standing in the same vocal booth with the same mics and same musicians as my heros. At one point I had this really overwhelming thought and was like “Aretha was here!” It was a very different experience than my 1st album as I took my time with that and recorded it over a 6 month period here in a studio in Northern Ireland (with producer Mike Mormecha). This album was all live tracked (bass, guitar, drums and keys) and we were really on the clock as we had just 5 days to record the whole album. I traveled there with co-writer/drummer/producer Mike Mormecha and co-writer/guitar player Paul Tierney and I hired 2 of the original ‘swampers’ session musicians to complete the band. It was an absolute joy to work with David Hood (Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Paul Simon, Alesha Keys etc.) and Clayton Ivey (James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Joss Stone etc) who welcomed us with open hearts and shared their wisdom and expertise so generously.

 

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

Amanda: I’m listening to Gregory Porter, Lianne La Havas, Erika Badu and Leif Vollebekk a lot at the moment. I’m starting to write again for my next album so I’ve been revisiting classic songwriters like Joni Mitchel and Carole King for inspiration.

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Amanda: I released my debut Ep ‘Where is The Man’ in 2012. I was late committing to myself and my music career to be honest.

 

MT: Your recent track of ‘Made Myself a Name’ indicates the struggles of trying to make it as a singer. Can you tell us what you find has been the most frustrating aspect of trying to make it in this business?

Amanda: The most frustrating part is getting your music to the right people. There are some playlists and DJ’s that I know my music would suit but without a budget for a radio plugger it’s difficult to reach these people. Finances are definitely the biggest struggle overall. It’s so expensive to produce good quality recordings, then you need a massive amount more for quality videos and promo material. I just wish a had a digital marketing budget too. Lol. Without big budgets everything just takes more time and you have to keep plugging away to build your fanbase organically.

 

MT: I believe you are a household name in Ireland, I apologise for not knowing you here in Australia, however, that will soon change   Where are you based at the moment and where do you plan and hope to take your music?

Amanda: Lol, you’re very kind and I wish I was but like so many artists I’m still building my name here too. I do have a good following in certain circles though and I’m grateful for that. I am based in Co.Antrim in a small rural seaside village, it’s such a lovely place to live and create. Belfast is my closest city. I’ve been very lucky to tour across the Uk & Ireland and also in the USA the last few years. I’d love to take my music to the European market and festival scene now, though I’m open to anywhere that receives my music well. 

 

MT: Can you explain a little bit about your song-writing process, who you have collaborated with and what it’s like to collaborate with such music royalty?

Amanda: I’ve been very lucky to write with some super talented Grammy award winning writers over the years but for this album most of it was written with my 2 main collaborators Paul Tierney and Mike Mormecha. I love collaborating as it helps bring a song to a new level when other writers add their ideas and creativity. It’s such a rewarding process to see an idea grow and take life.

 

MT: As an artist myself (way back), no matter how many releases you have, there is always excitement around each new release. Do you feel that each time you release something new, given the times we are in, (in regards to streaming and fans attempting to find new music); do you try and think of new ways/strategies with each new release?

Amanda: Yes it really is exciting but also very nerve wrecking. I write very autobiographically and these songs in particular are very raw emotionally in parts. It’s quite a vulnerable experience releasing your innermost thoughts and feelings into the world and sharing yourself at this level. The release strategy and business side of it is so important as every artist wants people to hear their music and reach press if you are to have any impact. I do find this the hardest part of things. Spotify and streaming has changed the game slightly too as it has really meant that music is more about numbers than sales these days. Everybody is literally learning to adapt and change to a very quick moving industry and figures suggest that less people are listening to albums so I released a lot more singles ahead of the full album this time to try and slowly increase fan base and listeners with each song. It’s all a bit trial and error to be honest but I am learning a lot.

 

MT: When you record, do you produce or arrange all the vocal parts, and do you naturally progress to the classic soul sounds of the likes of Aretha Franklin or Dusty Springfield; Is this a part of your nature and soul?

Amanda: That soul sound is very much at my core so I don’t have to think about it too much. I do all my own vocal parts and arrangements and a large majority if the backing vocal parts too. I actually had very severe vocal damage during production time and I had some good vocalist friends Matt McGinn and Siobhan Brown (who I’ve collaborated with a lot in the past and is so gifted at soul harmonies) who stepped in to help get the final bv parts recorded. I also love gospel choirs so had a small choir which I arranged parts for and led the recordings for a few songs.

 

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

Amanda: I’ve had a lot of life challenges the last few years which make my music career hard to focus on and put me under immense pressure financially. During the production period with this album I lost a large amount of money when Pledge Music went bankrupt and I had a lot of time off earning due to caring for my father (who was terminally ill) and then soon after that the vocal damage I talked about. That was an extremely difficult period of life for me. I had just invested my life’s work into an album, was so broke I had no money to finish it and was told after 4 months of vocal treatment that the damage was so bad I might never sing again. I had so much work to do to heal and get back on my feet, and raise the funds I needed before I could release this album, it just makes me all the more proud though that I’ve finally got it out there into the world despite some very difficult obstacles.

 

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

Amanda: Have a vision outside of success that you want to achieve and appreciate the small victories. You will get more rejections than successes but if you believe in yourself and that your music has a purpose then you will keep moving towards your goal even if it is taking longer than you hoped. Sometimes I get caught up in the business side of things and forget how far I’ve come as well as the joy of creating and touching audiences.

Indie Soul Singer

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

Amanda: I have played guitar since I was a teenager, though I’m much more confident as the singer.

 

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?

Amanda: First and foremost I am a mum, I have a 12 year old daughter) who is my main focus in life. I also teach workshops on personal development, vocals and songwriting. I work with a lot of community and charity projects (mostly with teenagers) and am so committed to other people having belief in themselves and reaching their full potential. On my downtime I live by the beach and am very into nature and the outdoors.

 

MT: You have some major performances under your belt, including the prestigious Folk Alliance Festival, performing for the US president among many; 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?

Amanda: Yeah I do have to get into the zone and try to filter out all the nerves and inner noise. I usually do some vocal warm ups and deep breathing techniques to ground me and make me present to the moment.

 

MT:   In these horrid times of Covid 19, what are your music plans for this year and how has this current climate affected you both musically and personally?

Amanda: My plans have obviously changed drastically due to Covid. I had to cancel my US, UK & Irish Album release tour as well as all my festival dates for the summer. I’ve had to completely restructure my plans and focus on reaching people digitally. I’ve been doing Facebook Lives as well as Zoom concerts and have been working hard on creating new digital content. It’s been a huge blow financially but so many people are in the same boat so I can’t complain, I’m just grateful to be healthy at this point.

Personally I’ve really enjoyed the slower pace of life and appreciate the extra time with my daughter. We’re lucky to live in the countryside and the weather has been great so I feel like I’m getting a chance to recharge my batteries after such a stressful couple of years.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Amanda, I really appreciate it.

 

Amanda St John Latest Release June 2020 – ‘Take A Leap’

Take A Leap Single Cover

Interview With Hypnotic Soul Singer Amanda St John

Interview With Hypnotic Soul Singer Amanda St John

INTERVIEW with Nic Rollo; Just Focus On Improving Your Music


Nic Rollo would have to be one of the most talented artists I’ve seen of late. With super cool new music that’s incredibly catchy with the driving beat behind his latest single, ‘Monster’, showcasing his effortless vocals and producing skills with a sound that is new, yet familiar.   

Hailing from Perth, Australia, why am I not surprised. As I’ve said before, there must be something in the water over in the west. 

Rollo’s personal musical tastes include acts such as The Weeknd and Drake and shows determination and dedication to his art which is apparent throughout our interview.

 

 

Australian Indie Artist


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

MT: Hi Nic, how long have you been singing for and 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?

Nic: Hello hello.  I’ve been singing since I was 15 and have been really focusing on improving for the past 2-3 years after getting a good vocal coach.  It’s been those last few years that I’ve seen the most progress.  Musical influence wise there’s quite a lot, ranging from Tears for Fears, Bonobo, The Weeknd, Drake, etc etc.  I like to listen to as much music as I can to expand those musical horizons.  Ever since I started getting into recording and producing I loved the idea of being a musician, and I think the further I got into it the more it became clear that this was what I was going to do with my life. 

 

MT: Was it a conscious decision to pursue a music career or was it something you just loved, and fell into?

Nic:  It was definitely just something I did a lot of as a hobby that started becoming more and more a pathway I wanted to pursue as a career.  It was about halfway through my uni degree that I really decided I was going to commit to music after recording an EP that sounded better than anything I’d done before.

 

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

Nic: There’s a few, acts like The Weeknd and Drake have been huge inspirations of mine for the longest time.  More recently I’ve been really enjoying Conan Gray and Kacey Musgraves.  These questions are always tricky, I feel like I listen to new stuff every week so my favourite tracks are typically just that week/months findings.

 

MT: When was your very first recording and release?

Nic: Well there were a few tracks back from when I was 15 that I uploaded to my soundcloud and shared with my friends (it sucks).  Here have a listen if you want to hear a poorly recorded, produced, written and mixed song from young Nic.  Aside from those early attempts at music, I recorded a song with my previous band Deli Days (Time-Bomb, which is still on Spotify etc).  It was super exciting going into a proper recording studio for that for the first time, and hearing back a polished song was amazing.  I think those first few times will stay with me forever, there was something magical about it.

 

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

Nic: Monster is about saying things that you regret, essentially.  It was written during a turbulent time in a previous relationship where it felt like I kept saying petty things that would slowly cause more and more conflict.  The song is about trying to watch those inner demons.  I guess Monster was one of the first songs that I started writing with more of a commercial sound in mind, not that it’s even that hifi.  So I guess it stands as the starting point to a more refined sound from my music. 

 

MT: Do you perform live? Where can people see you perform?

NicI do perform live, although I’ve been taking a break for the past few months to focus on other areas of music like writing songs.  They can see me perform around Perth, and perhaps over East later in the year!

 

MT: I love how the video clip is shot, there looks to be a lot digging going on; how long did you have to dig for and how long did it take to shoot the video?

Nic: Thanks!  Yeah there was certainly a fair amount of digging, although not as much as you might think for a human sized hole.  I was probably only digging for 10 minutes to get it reasonably sized.  The video itself was shot over 2 nights and probably took somewhere between 10-15 hours in total (including driving to scenes, setting up etc ec).  It was a lot of fun!

MT: I see that you are also a producer, so I’m assuming you produced ‘Monster’; How did you begin producing and have you produced other artists’ tracks?

Nic: I sure did.  Producing was never a conscious thought or decision to pursue, I’ve always done it ever since I started writing my own songs.  Over the years (I like to think) I’ve honed the craft to a point where I’m pretty happy with it, although I actively try and improve all the time.  At this stage I have not produced for other artists, but I’d love to at some point in the future!

 

MT: I see that ‘Monster was mastered by Chris Gehringer (Harry Styles, Rihanna and Halsey); what was the experience like working with a person of this calibre?

Nic: Mastering is a bit of a dark art, you send the track to them and they sort of magic it up and send it back.  So in that sense I had very little contact with Chris, but he did a fantastic job.  It’s cool working with people of such high calibres, largely because you don’t have to worry too much about if they’re doing a good or bad job (since they typically do a good job).

 

MT: What’s the best piece of advice that you have received in which you stand by?

Nic: It’s probably some iteration of ‘ be so good that they can’t ignore you’.  I feel like in the music industry you really do have to be creating fantastic music to stand out, so that’s what I try to do.  I’m not saying I’m fantastic, but that’s the goal one day.

 

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

Nic: It’s probably just the resistance at times I’ve faced from other people in the Perth scene to get around the music I’m creating, both industry people and artists.  I think back when I was starting I had this expectation of everyone jumping on board the Nic Rollo train and saying ‘wow this is incredible’, but obviously that didn’t happen (probably for good reasons).  It was a good thing though, it forced me to focus and work harder on improving the music which I think is the most critical task anyway.

 

MT: From what you have learned about your challenges in the music business?

Nic: You just have to keep going and ignore the others around you.  Everyone is on a different timeline/trajectory, so there’s often no point in comparing yourself to other artists who are doing well.  I think the music industry is one of the industries that can be kind of fickle sometimes, so it’s a good strategy to just focus on improving your music as much as you can and hopefully the industry/scenes will get around it at some point.

Australian Indie Artist

 

MT: I saw on Instagram that you can cook up a pretty mean Chocolate cake! 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?

Nic: Hahaha thank you, it’s some of my finest work.  A typical day often revolves around music, I’ll try to do a bit of writing/producing every day, as well as practicing instruments.  Lately I’ve been teaching music lessons so that will often occupy a few hours in the afternoon.  In terms of other hobbies, I spend a lot of time trying to craft social media content (lately the focus has been TikTok), so that can take up a disgusting amount of time sometimes.  Aside from that I like hanging with my cat Tiggy.

 

MT: Just curious to know about your cat, Tiggy; What on earth is he lying in, were you preparing him for the ‘Monster’ clip or something? Lol

Nic: Tiggy is my favourite and least favourite creature on the planet.  She’s amazing, but she also has a love of peeing on my bed occasionally which isn’t my favourite thing in the world.  She’s probably lying in this big tunnel toy that I got her, she loves to play in it.  Yeah… Monster is actually about Tiggy, she’s evil.

  

MT: Can you tell us why it took so long to release ‘Monster’? 

Nic: I’ve been running on a timeline roughly a year ahead of schedule.  I recorded an EP a few years ago, and an album at the start of last year.  So when I started releasing the EP I was finishing the album.  Monster was always going to be one of the first singles for the end of 2019 / beginning of 2020, and by the time I released it I’d been sitting on the song for pretty much a year.  It was a little bit painful holding onto one of my favourite tracks for so long, but it was worth it.

 

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

Nic: Lots of releases!  I’ve got a tonne of songs to release over the next few months, and an album that will hopefully drop by the end of this year or beginning of next year.  I’m also looking forward to setting up a few collaborations with other artists this year, as well as ideally a bit of touring later in the year.  All in all it’s looking to be a pretty exciting year.

 

MT: Thank you so much for your time Nic, wishing you all the best! 

INTERVIEW with Nic Rollo; Just Focus On Improving Your Music

INTERVIEW with Nic Rollo; Just Focus On Improving Your Music

A Delightful Interview with Americana Gospel Indie Artist Katie Garibaldi


I consider myself lucky when it comes to having the opportunity to interview so many wonderful independent artists, and when Katie Garibaldi sprung up in front of me recently, there was no question or hesitation what-so-ever.

Having the pleasure of knowing Katie since Music Talks first began (almost 5 years ago) she has been one of those artists who you will always be more than happy to accomodate and work with.

Katie’s music is blissfully calming and easy to listen too with a gentle and alluring personality; I believe it is only a matter of time before Katie Garibaldi ‘s music reaches the masses and touches more souls around the world.

 

 

Americana Indie Artist Singer


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

Tracey: Hello Katie, great to have you back on Music Talks. It has been a little while since your amazing Delightful song. Can you tell us and everyone how long you’ve been singing and performing for?

Katie: Thanks Tracey! At the risk of sounding cliche, I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Humming and making up melodies was something I always did as a kid. I just loved singing. When I learned how to play the guitar at age 11, I started writing songs and discovered my love of songwriting, and soon after that I started performing live while in high school. I always feel really grateful for finding a passion for something at such a young age because music really helped define who I am as I grew up.

 

MT: Delightful is truly delightful; Can you tell us what this song is about and what inspired you to write it? 

Katie: Thank you! I had been playing around with the guitar melody for “Delightful” for a little while and when I sat down to play with it, my emotions were more in a melancholy state. I became aware that I was allowing other people’s negativity get me down. So the lyrics for the verses are a bit heavy: “How did I get here, losing myself in fear?” But as I progressed through the songwriting process, it turned out to be a very positive song, more of a call to action to take control of my own happiness. So the chorus is about finding liberation in honoring the light inside myself as well as in others: “Take these shades off of my eyes and shine all of the light inside. We could be delightful.” I love songwriting so much because it allows me to connect with a higher realm that can deliver messages I need to hear, as well as share with others.

A Delightful Interview with Americana Gospel Indie Artist Katie Garibaldi

MT: Who was your biggest inspiration when you were growing that perhaps helped you pave your way and decision to make music your career?

Katie: Hands down, Jewel was a huge inspiration for me when I was starting out. Her big debut album Pieces of You was released around the same time that I was learning guitar and starting to write songs, so her guitar playing really inspired me to expand my practice on the instrument as well as be authentic in my songwriting. I remember seeing her on the cover of guitar and music magazines and feeling so motivated to pursue my career in music. Also seeing her play live and how she commands an audience as a solo performer inspired me to be more confident onstage.

 

MT: When you were little, what kind of things did you do in regards to music? Did you sing in-front of the mirror with a hairbrush, or sing along to your favourite artists performing for family members?

Katie: When I was little, I was always, always, always singing. I was a very shy girl, so I probably sang more than I spoke! I didn’t really do it for anyone else. I just sang because I loved it. It made me happy and I felt connected to my true essence through music. My brother and I however did perform some Christmastime “shows” for our family back in the day. He played guitar too so we’d put on little concerts of songs we’d practiced and I would sing a Christmas song every year for a while. We had a lot of fun.

 

MT: I’ve noticed the feel and genre (although we don’t like to put artists in boxes) varies from Folk style Pop, Country/Americana, Christian pop and even noticed some jazz elements to some of your songs. Do you have a preference?

Katie: That is so true and I do get this question a lot because I think it’s kind of difficult to define my genre. I don’t have a preference for what someone labels my genre as. I love that different listeners connect with different aspects of my songs. It’s very endearing because I don’t sit down to write a “country” song or a “Christian” song. I just sit down to write what’s in my heart. So to hear someone call it what it means to them is cool because it reached them in that way. Yes, as an artist I do need to put myself in a box in a sense sometimes in order to promote my music more strategically, but I don’t let that interfere with my creative process so I just try to go with the flow.

Americana Indie Artist

MT: How would you describe your sound? 

Katie: I typically use Americana as the term to describe my genre because it’s such a wide umbrella to encompass the folk, country, and roots sounding element to my music. And mainly, Americana is welcoming to storytelling centered songs. I don’t think my songs are very folk in the traditional sense where I’m telling long stories, but the story in the lyrics is a very important element in my songs. I like to weave in an aspect of hope as an underlying theme for the most part too. 

 

MT: What is your most recent release? 

Katie: My most recent album release is an original holiday and faith inspired album called Home Sweet Christmas, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, and other online stores. My most recent music videos are “Safe and Warm (Lullaby for Jesus)” and “Wonderful Mother Mary,” which can both be found on youtube.com/katiegaribaldi.

 

MT: Your songs have been described as ‘Grammy Award Winning’ and you have won so many awards and accolades; Have you been nominated for any Grammy’s yet amongst all your other awards? (I think it’s about time)

Katie: Thank you so much! I haven’t had a Grammy nomination, but I am a member of the Recording Academy and very active at their events as they’re heavily involved in songwriters’ rights and fair pay. It’s also been a lovely opportunity to network with so many great artists and creatives.

 

MT: How often do you perform live and where can people see you? Do you have a residency anywhere?

Katie: A couple years back I was playing out at least twice a week, if not more, and traveling a lot for mini tours. As much as I absolutely love performing live, this kind of schedule really burnt me out because at the same time I was also recording, promoting—doing all the things, all at once. So I found that at the end of the day I couldn’t fully enjoy anything! Last year I made a conscious decision to cut back on playing live and create the space I felt I needed to write my new album and fall more in love with music again. So I only played a handful of gigs, and for the majority of the year I wrote. It was an extremely healing process and necessary for my mental health as well. I was also busy last year traveling to different film festivals to represent my video screenings, so that kind of took the place of live shows as far as being out on the road and meeting people. It was a lot of fun. Now, I’m looking forward to recording my new songs so I can share them in a lot of different and new ways, including live shows when possible.

 

MT: When you write your songs, how do you decide on what the topic or sound of that song should be?

Katie: The process is different for every song. I don’t have one set way of writing. Sometimes I have a lyric idea and then will sit down with my guitar to work with that, and other times my guitar playing will be the instigator for an idea. Typically though, it starts with melody, whether I hum a melody or find something on the guitar. Once I get an inspirational inkling, I’ll play around on the guitar and when I find a melody or chord progression that moves me, I’ll keep playing until the words start to form. It’s a very difficult thing to describe the creative process because most of it is just following my intuition and responding to an inspirational call. Usually the first few words that start coming together will inform me of what the song is going to be about, not so much me telling the song what to do. Once the song starts coming to fruition, I’ll start to get a sense of what I want the sonic production to entail.

 

MT: Do you have any special moments through a collaboration, either in writing or performing that you would like to share with us?

Katie: Sure. I’ve always loved the sound of stringed instruments and envisioned my songs accompanied by an orchestra. On my Follow Your Heart album, I had a couple songs that I really felt strongly about recording with an orchestra on. I had the opportunity to work with the Magik*Magik Orchestra here in San Francisco on those songs, and was able to sit down with the arranger Minna Choi before going into the studio. I hummed out the string melodies that I wanted and she wrote them into the arrangements. There were parts I heard strongly in my head. Other parts I didn’t quite know what to do, but I knew the emotion I wanted or the general vibe, for instance, building up slowly. Minna was able to add her creative ideas to that and came up with some beautiful arrangements. It was a really cool experience being able to witness the melodies in my head come to life in such a beautiful way.

 

MT: Do you have your own band or regular musicians who record and perform with you?

Katie: I work with a variety of musicians for studio sessions as well as live performances, so they vary depending on the project, location, and availability. I’m grateful to have met some gifted musicians and engineers in different stages of my career. Shout out to Todd Richardson, an amazing drummer and percussionist, who has worked on many of my recordings and live shows. He’s one of the most talented and professional musicians I’ve worked with, and a great person too.

 

Indie Gospel Americana Artist

MT: Do you have a favourite song of yours and what makes this your favourite?

Katie: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite song I’ve written because they’re all meaningful to me for different reasons. I’m particularly close with my song “Delightful” though because it’s become somewhat of a personal anthem for me on my philosophy of how I want to live my life and the kind of message I want to share with other people as an artist.

 

MT: What would be the hardest time so far in your career? How did you get through this time?

Katie: One hard time was the period leading up to recording my album Follow Your Heart. I had back-to-back producers not work out right before we were set to go into the studio. So it was twice the disappointment. Not a great way to start a new project. I went through a period of depression because I felt like I was being repeatedly let down, when I had been so pumped up and excited to record my new music. I was at a standstill, not wanting to trust anyone else with my creative endeavors. I got through it by eventually loosening my grip on the way I thought things should be, and started to shift my perspective on the situation. Instead of an obstacle, I had an opportunity to reclaim my power and ended up producing the album myself, which was an extremely crucial and magical adventure for me as an artist. It took some time, but once I redirected my focus from fear to faith, things came together in a way I would have never expected, bringing the right people into my circle to create the album, and it’s still one of the best experiences of my life.

 

MT: Have you ever felt like giving up music?

Katie: Although I’ve had hard times, like I’m sure every artist goes through, I wouldn’t say in my heart of hearts that I ever felt like giving up music. I’ve definitely been in black holes before where I took a break from my guitar before picking it up again. But I never abandoned music. It’s sort of the vibration deep inside my soul that has always sustained me. If I lost that, perhaps I’d really be giving up on myself. I’ve had times where I’ll question my path: “How do I keep going?” But I just always kept going.

 

MT: How important to you is it to keep your faith in what can be regarded as a difficult industry?

Katie: Keeping my faith is extremely important to me in anything, including my professional life. This industry can be regarded as difficult, but I also think that has become an overrated notion. Just because a particular something was hard to accomplish for someone else, doesn’t mean it has to be hard for you. I’d love to start hearing people in the industry tell artists and songwriters, “Go for it,” instead of, “Well, it’s really hard so what’s your backup plan?” These stories should be questioned and challenged. I hold on to my faith like it’s nobody’s business in this regard because even when I tell these stories to myself (“you’ll never be successful”), which is what the industry can cater towards, I find that one tiny whisper that is saying, “You got this,” and hold on to that. I’ve discovered that success is not in doing, it’s in being. It’s just being true to yourself. That’s success! To be. God has given me my light for a reason so dimming it would only be telling God he made a mistake. I feel more aligned with my purpose when I put my faith first and simply be who I am.

 

MT: Your music videos are just gorgeous. Where do the ideas of how your music videos should look, or the storyboard ideas come from?

Katie: Thank you so much! The creative process for my music videos varies with each project, depending on the video and who I’m working with. For “Delightful,” I trusted the director Anna Haas’ vision because I wanted the video to portray the message of taking responsibility for my own happiness and loving myself first, which Anna told in a beautiful story. For my video “Wonderful Mother Mary,” I was more involved in the production and wanted to tell the story of an awakening of faith by using a few different factors, including color. So the video starts in black and white, slowly turns to a sepia tone, and then is in full color by the end. I wanted it to be more of a performance video so the lyrics of the song could be the focus, but certain film techniques like color, fog, and light, would take the viewer on a visual journey. I absolutely love how music videos can make a song shine in a whole new way.

 

 MT: Are there any rituals or lucky charms you may do or have before you go on stage?

Katie: Before I play a show or do a radio interview or anything where I’ll be sharing my voice, I usually say a prayer, which is something along the lines of, “God, please use me for the highest good. Allow the light inside my heart to be received with love and allow me to see and receive the light from others in return. May this performance/conversation be rooted in love.”

 

MT: Do you have any plans for any music releases in 2020?

Katie: Yeah! I’m currently in the pre-production stage of a new music video, which I’ll be filming in Los Angeles soon. I’m hoping to release that in the summertime. I’m also planning on recording my new album this year. I don’t know the exact release timeline yet, but I’m excited to share my new songs very soon and looking forward to getting back into the studio.

 

MT: What advice would you give to other upcoming artists or those who have been trying to break with their music?

Katie: Being an independent artist is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of work, but if you love it, the work is fun and fulfilling. Don’t let the work intimidate you. If you love doing music and being creative is what lights you up, it’s so worth it. All I would advise is to be conscious of staying in flow with the directions that life takes you. If you focus on the end result too strongly and hang on to a particular outcome too tightly, that’s when things get tough. Work really hard, but also be comfortable with letting go and trusting. That’s when things come together and you can enjoy it.

 

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

Katie: I want to say thank you so much for everything you do for artists and songwriters. Music Talks gives us a platform to share the stories behind our musical journeys, which allows for a deeper human connection. So I really appreciate it, and appreciate you!

 

Thank you heaps for your time Katie, have a great day !

Katie: Thank you so much for this opportunity!

 

A Delightful Interview with Americana Gospel Indie Artist Katie Garibaldi

 

Welcome to MusicTalks! Tell us a little bit about who Em is. 

I always have a little chuckle at this because this was my birth name but Em as an artist is obviously a separate thing than Em as a daughter, sister, friend or significant other. Em as an artist is similar to Em in everyday life. Not afraid to be herself.. She is who she is.. Spiritual, emotional, deep, thoughtful, caring, sincere, honest to a fault. Loves with her whole heart, curious and passionate.

What has been the biggest challenge in your musical career so far? How did you overcome that obstacle?

The biggest challenge was facing my producer and ultimately, myself in Woodstock. I worked with my producer Chris Young and truthfully, I never had anyone push me as much as him, and I’m so beyond grateful for that. As difficult as it was at times, we never gave up, and always put the music first at the end of the day. I knew the only way to receive the blessings was to make sacrifices for your passion so that meant staying in Woodstock until we got it right. Also, having a tendency to take things very personally, I started to people please from doubting my own intuition. Once I calmed the noise and trusted myself, the magic happened. 

Based on what you’ve learned in the music business, what advice would you like to give to upcoming independent artists?

It is easy to use words, and until someone is there in their journey, then it will resonate. I used to hear all the time: practice your craft everyday; be around people that are better and will make you better and challenge you; never give up.. But those words do not mean what they used to at all since I lived it. Everyone’s journey is different but those three pieces of advice are so dead true and anyone who is in the thick of it, walked through the ring of fire and back, knows it. One last piece of advice my producer passed to me was huge. Being objective and listening to artists you like and figuring out why you like what they do. That helped me a ton.

 

Will you tell us about your new music video, “Say What You Mean?” The video is truly stunning, what made you produce such emotional visuals? 

Thank you, truly. This song was as vulnerable and raw as it gets when you’re still holding onto a relationship you know you have no choice but to walk away from it because it abandons all your morals that stand in a relationship. I cannot take full credit on this at all.. 

I worked with an amazing director I handpicked myself, Parris Mayhew from Wildfire NYC productions.. Hours and hours of research led me to him, and I knew he would be able to deliver such a vulnerable and beautiful depiction of the divine feminine in her hurt and glory. 

It was my idea to have this woman wandering around in a flowy dress in this glasshouse with rain just pouring down on the windows.. I saw the rain with this song. Being showered in rain, almost like a cleansing of the spirit. He took my rain concept and made my reflection in the droplets. 

Pure genius and we split my personality into two. The one in her peignoir set who is vulnerable and hurting waiting for her man to come home. And the one who rises above it. In her 50s glam look showing that she is strong and she will power through any confusion, someone will try to put her through.

Many signs of symbolism as well besides the rain, there’s the flame and the tarot card. I decided on one or two tarot cards for each of the songs on the album and this one, I chose the High Priestess and the Strength card.

In the video, you see me pick up the High Priestess when I’m starting to question the nature of myself and the relationship, and with that, the High Priestess serving as woman’s intuition, ‘when you know, you know.’ 

Renee Farias Photographer produces Actor and Business Headshots in Los Angeles. To include all types of commercial and branding photography for artist and companies.

 

The lyrics are very personal, do you channel your personal experience in it? 

Absolutely. I’d feel like a phony if I didn’t truthfully. It was a true experience.

Rumor has it that you are preparing your debut album? What can we expect from that LP? 

Yes. 5 other songs you haven’t heard from this collection entitled, EM. I think there is something there for everyone. Everyone I ever showed it to picks a different song. I wanted it to be classic, timeless but still modern in a way people could relate. They’re all so different yet unified. There is a heartbreak song, there is the upbeat pop dance tune like “Blue Light”, the fight song, a song for unification and so on. They all have their own flavor and message. A lot of heart, a lot of soul.

Are there any upcoming collaborations in the future? Who will your dream collab be with? 

At the moment no. I would love to do more soul/ spiritual music so wherever G-d leads me with that. A dream collab for sure would be Drake. I also connect with Lauv’s tenderness to his vocals… so many.. Anyone that can blend nicely with my voice and spirit and we just click.

Will your fans be able to see you perform anytime soon?

Oh yes. I’m out in NYC performing currently, and I have a show on March 13 at the West End, and March 23 at Pianos. Possibly a few others in April and May. I always have it on my Spotify as soon as I know!

Thank you so much for your time Em and good luck with your future releases! 

Thank you. It was an honor and a pleasure. 

INTERVIEW: EM On Her New Releases And Artistry

 

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 💜

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

Picture of Tracey Arbon

 

 

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.

 

 

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