Desperado Orchestra recently released a thoughtful production, a funky, predominantly afro-house single “Just Dancin.” The song unites a breadth of influences and vocals in a clubby musical world with synths that are echoing through the track, pounding percussion, and smooth scant vocals. “Just Dancin’” embodies all qualities of a track that can blow your party playlist by a composite of powerful chores and African vibes. The track incorporates influences of pop and R&B that make the production even more interesting!
Giampaolo Pasquile (@giampaolopasquile) has returned with a brand new single titled “Risk It All,” an impressively tuned track.
The admirable vocals – a signature element of his artistry, kicks off right at the beginning of “Risk It All,” and only rises strongly as the song goes. The shining bass, pace shifts, and sense of hope only sweep you away to dreamland of Giampaolo Pasquile’s uplifting anthems.
Giampaolo Pasquile has an eye on current EDM trends of dropping motivational-feel tracks with a vibe that cheers you up and has you keep going. Another aspect that makes Pasquile’s new release interesting is an upbeat tempo so different from his previous releases. The banger incorporates house, dance and it’s based on a solid beat of euphoric optimism and power.
MAD FVN; You Are Hired – You’re A Popstar In The Making
Ella Fence The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist
“The beautiful thing about music is you don’t have to be a musician to love it”
MAD FVN; You Are Hired – You’re A Popstar In The Making
I am a performer. There’s never been any question in my mind when it came to what I was meant to do, and I think that rings true for a lot of people in the music industry. The only time doubt comes in is when we’re figuring out how the hell we’re supposed to make it happen! In that regard, there’s a lot of doubt. There are no resume’s to hand in, no amount of internet interviews that say “You’re hired! You’re a popstar”. You simply have to do the work. You have to be good at what you do and prove that you are over and over again before the doors start to open.
What’s gotten me through that process is never forgetting the fun part! Remembering what I do this for: the music.
Music has been my everything since the beginning. The beautiful thing about music is you don’t have to be a musician to love it. It’s emotional, raw, devastating, euphoric, and the ultimate healer. I’m lucky to feel confident in my songwriting, my singing, and my performances, because I get to be that outlet for people that need it. I get to help people heal by being vulnerable myself, and in our darkest times, when people feel the most separated, I’m honored to be a part of the unity that music creates.
Life is simply too short to second guess your talents. I’ve sung since the day I learned how (albeit not very good in the beginning), began writing when I was 14 (again, not very well) and have been on a stage since elementary school through music, dance, and theater. I was horrified to go out on stage, yet totally mesmerized and excited. It was this need for me to keep getting up there, even when the stage fright hit every single time. In the beginning, none of us are very good! But I knew I could be great, if only I kept pushing.
Now here I am, 23 years old, releasing my debut single “Skeletons”, utterly thankful that I never gave up on myself. It’s hard work but that’s what makes it worth it.
This single didn’t just happen over night.
It was constant practice, writing, planning, collaborating, and perseverance that led me to this first step of many to come, and I’m excited. I like the work, because it makes me better. This song means so much more to me than it’s surface portrayal of power and vengeance. It’s a symbol of what I had to do to get to this point, and beyond. “Skeletons” is only the beginning, and even if just one person walks away from this song feeling like they’re not alone, I’ll know I’ve done my job.
Links To MAD FVN
Ella Fence The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist
Ella Fence The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist
“what’s worse than when you fall over in front of over 400 people when you’re the only one on a stage”
Ella Fence The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist
Being asked to write about something about myself that people may not know about me really got me thinking.
As an artist I have the luxury of sharing more personal experiences through music as well as interviews, however there are always so many things that get left unsaid. I don’t mind a little secrecy and in some ways I am a can be a very private person, but there are certain stories I don’t mind sharing, particularly those that overcome mental burden.
This leads me to one of those stories, which I’d like to share for the first time, about when I injured myself on stage during a sold out show in front of over 400 people in 2016. I have previously joked in private that the thing that was bruised that day was my ego, although I actually tore some serious cartilage in my left hip, left untreated cartilage doesn’t heal, without the proper recovery regime it can develop into chronic pain.
So I threw myself into the rehab and tried to keep myself in high spirits mentally.
Throughout that rehab period, I began to associate things that would usually bring me so much joy (performing on stage and exercising) with physical pain.
I still continued performing and exercising, but it wasn’t the usual liberating experience I was used to.
Loooong story short, I chose to take ownership of an exhaustive rehab regime and through that dedicated work and I can honestly say I’m stronger mentally and physically than I have ever before.
Instances that would usually let get in the way of my performances no longer phase me. Cause hey, what’s worse than when you fall over in front of over 400 people when you’re the only one on a stage that is set up in the round (where you’re in the middle and the audience literally surrounds you) and you flash them incredibly un-glamorous underwear? (You know the beige ones that stick to your skin so you have no panty lines? Yep those ones.)
“Ella Fence is The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist That’s Not Afraid To Explore and Go Beyond Musical Boundaries”
Links To Ella Fence
Ella Fence The Genre Hopping and Shape Shifting Indie Artist
Sofia Boyden Finds Her Calling to Country Music
Juan Sánchez Neo Classical Music Impacts You Like No Other
“I am nowhere near where I want to be as a country artist I have hours of work to do everyday and I LOVE IT“
Sofia Boyden Finds Her Calling to Country Music
My name is Sofia Boyden. I am a Country Music singer and songwriter. I am fairly new to Country Music, I have only been listening to this genre for about five years. I was raised on Classic Rock, Soul, Jazz, and many more amazing types of music. I was always the youngest one at concerts my parents took me to, be it Tom Petty, The Eagles, Heart, Stevie Wonder, or Bobby Caldwell, to name a few. I loved singing songs that none of my friends knew, and sometimes songs even my parents have never heard of.
I have loved using the musical gifts God gave me, ever since I was a little girl. I’d sing anything. Throughout my entire high school career, my love for singing grew even more. I joined two choirs and performed in my school musicals, but I was so afraid that everyone would think I was pursuing a career without any promise. So, I never auditioned for solos or put myself out there to be heard. I was afraid of judgement and being looked at as weird or as a daydreamer. All I knew is that I wanted to be a performer and sing music to thousands of people every night.
Country Music is my biggest passion now, however, it was not always the genre I wanted to pursue. I knew I wanted to be a singer songwriter, but finding one lane to choose was very difficult for me. Less than a month after I graduated from high school, along with earning my Associate of Arts Degree at the same time, I was in Los Angeles recording songs, shooting a music video, and meeting with record labels. I did this every month for the rest of that year. As amazing as that all sounds, it never felt right to me.
I was singing Pop R&B, but that didn’t feel right. I was doing what most people dream of their whole life.
It was all happening to me in a short period of time, but it didn’t feel right. I felt like the more I would do to pursue this dream, I would stay in the same place. I wasn’t going anywhere. My family and I decided to leave people we had been working with in LA. That was the hardest decision I ever had to make because I had grown so close with them. I knew it was best, they knew it was best, my parents knew it was best for me to pursue a different path.
After three months of praying and waiting, I signed to my now-management team in Nashville. Flashback five years earlier, I had met with my now-manager because he was interested in working with me. I was thirteen at that time and was very serious about doing this. But my mom and dad felt that the time wasn’t quite right. But now I know that it’s a lot more work than just getting on stage a few nights a week and singing.
I am nowhere near where I want to be as a country artist I have hours of work to do everyday and I LOVE IT.
But the thirteen year old Sofia would not have been able to handle it. So thank you mom and dad for the wise choice. Now, I am more than happy where I am, and most importantly, it feels right. I know this is where I’m meant to be. I was blessed to go to Nashville for the first time last year and put lyrics I’ve sat on for years into powerful, beautiful songs.
The first song I ever wrote in Nashville was my first single that was ever released, my first single to be added to playlists, and my first single to be played on the radio. In my first song, Blame It on My Heart, I wanted to write a song that really tells what it feels like when you’re head over heels a lot quicker than expected. Sometimes I think there’s an invisible timeline of when certain things are supposed to happen in a relationship, so I wrote this song for the people who go all in. My favorite song I’ve written so far, Prove You Wrong is a song for the people who doubted me and weren’t supportive of my career choice. As I said, in high school, I was shy and quiet and didn’t say a word about my hopes and dreams. So when I finally gained the courage to tell people my passion, not everyone was excited for my future. I wrote this song for myself as an outlet, but also made it for everyone; not just a song for the people trying to make it in the music business. I love big-band sounds: Earth, Wind, and Fire, Billy Joel, Elton John, so I really wanted to add that element to this song specifically, even though it is carried throughout all my songs. As much as I love a lot of instruments, my ballad, You Ain’t Him, is definitely my most meaningful. I drew from experiences that I know most other people have gone through of dealing with a bad relationship and moving on to one that is much better. I have come to the realization in the song that what is in front of me is better than what’s past. Like all my songs, it’s for everyone to relate to because we’ve all been there.
I am so happy and excited to share my music with the world. My self-titled debut EP was released on November 8th. You can find my already released singles Blame It on My Heart and Prove You Wrong on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, and more. Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and listening to my special lyrics. This is only the very beginning.
Links To Sofia Boyden
Follow Sofia on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5qEPBLDu6jXGZi8VlS4LYA
Juan Sánchez NEO CLASSICAL AMBIENT MUSIC IMPACTs YOU LIKE NO OTHER
Juan Sánchez Neo Classical Music Impacts You Like No Other
“Others said that they cried the first time that they listened to it, as they felt that my music touched their souls.”
My name is Juan Sánchez, and I am a composer – but I was not always this way. This journey of mine began when I started taking piano lessons at the conservatoire at only 14 years old, which is when a deep passion for music and creation of art was born. During the end of the 80’s until the end of the 90’s, I was playing the keyboard with different bands, which helped me to feed this passion. In 1995, I travelled to London to study music and technology, and this is where I lived for five years. In 1999, I started to make instrumental ambient electronic music, and since then I have been creating music for multimedia and sound libraries for music producers.
I have always felt very grateful to have found my job as an ambient music composer and sound designer, but in my heart, I did not feel completely fulfilled with this role.
“I had always dreamed about becoming a professional pianist and composer, but I didn’t have the confidence to pursue this dream, as I felt that this was only for very talented musicians and I did not see myself in that way.”
I thought that, if I were to create music, nobody would want to listen to it – or worse, that they would listen to it and wonder why I had bothered to create music in the first place.
This negative trajectory that my life was on began to change when, one day, I discovered the music of ambient artists Max Richter and Ludovico Einaudi. I fell deeply in love with their compositions. I have always been a fan of ambient music – in fact, this is the music that I was creating at that time – but these artists were something special to me. They were different to the others. I loved the way they were mixing classical music with electronic sounds, using the piano as the main instrument. This started a fire of passion in me. Motivated by this discovery, I started searching for more similar music, and discovered other artists such as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds, and other neo classical composers. I knew that this was the push that I needed to begin composing my own music.
The first piece I crafted entirely independently, inspired by the music I had been listening to, was a hybrid neo classical/ambient piano composition, which I christened as “Rebirth”. In March 2019, I took the plunge and released “Rebirth” as a single on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. To my surprise and delight, it was very well received on Spotify and quickly began to accumulate traction. People began adding it to their public and personal playlists, and I was receiving very good feedback and positive reviews from general listeners and music bloggers alike. They wanted me to make more music – and so did I.
This positive feedback and reassurance gave me the confidence I desperately needed to start creating more neo classical/ambient style, piano focused music. I released each perfected composition as a single on Spotify. This allowed my audience to grow, as news of my music spread throughout the music community and more and more people clicked the “play” and “add to playlist” buttons. People were even following me so that they would be notified if I released any new music. I was, of course, thrilled at the positive feedback that was flooding in, but I was also very surprised, as I never thought that my music could be so well received.
In this experience, I have also been incredibly lucky to have the unwavering support of the new age/neo classical music promoter BT Fasmer, the man behind the very popular New Age Music Guide blog. One of the pieces of immensely valuable advice BT Fasmer gave me was to release all of the singles again, but this time collected together as a complete album. I fortunately followed his advice, which lead me to September of 2019, when I released the album, also titled “Rebirth” after the first single I ever released. Thank you, BT, for your support and guidance!
“The positive response that I am receiving for this album is just incredible. I don’t even have the words to describe how wonderful it is – it feels like a dream that I will wake up from at any minute.”
Every day, I wake up to a flurry of comments from a huge variety of people across all my social Juan media platforms. They tell me how they feel about my album; how beautiful they think it is, and how much it has moved them and changed their perspectives on music or life. Some people have told me that “Rebirth” has impacted them in a way that no other album has done before, and others said that they cried the first time that they listened to it, as they felt that my music touched their souls. Consequently, I am extremely happy with how the response to the album is growing and developing over time – this, for a composer, is such a great achievement, especially for someone who almost did not follow their dreams due to self doubt.
A question that I receive often along with this feedback is “Why did you choose the name “Rebirth” for your first album?” or “What is the meaning behind the title of your album?” –
Here is my explanation.
Over the course of the last two years, I have started to learn how to reprogram my brain by taking personal development courses. My goal is to completely overcome my self-limiting beliefs that were hindering my growth and personal development. Now that I am starting to see the fruits of my success and change the way I think, I feel that, in some way, I am becoming a new person – I have been reborn. I have no doubt that this is just the start of my career, and that great things are to come in the future. My music is available to be streamed on Spotify and other music platforms, under the name Juan Sánchez if you want to follow along with my journey.
Thank you so much for your support.
Links To Juan Sanchez
Follow Juan on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hWXE61toZRP69BB1bQgDe
To Juan Sánchez
Dacian Miron Is Feeling Dangerous with Dark Upbeat Pop Punk Rock
Slightly Mysterious, Somewhat Delirious – That highlights the dark days…. These Are Dark Songs, But Very Upbeat.
I’m currently 29 years old. I was born in Valcea, Romania, a small country town in the heart of the country. I moved to Deva, Romania when I was about 3 years old. My parents got divorced when I was young and at around 10 years old, my mother brought me over to the United States in search of a better opportunity. And man, what a ride that’s been. It’s been a tough road for a single mom, but she’s been very supportive and i owe most of this to her.
Been in Tampa ever since.
I didn’t have many friends growing up in middle and high school, honestly. Got picked on a lot because of my thick accent. I made a few friends here and there in the anime club. I picked up my first guitar at the age 16. My cousin had an old crappy Dender Squier from music class and I bummed it off him. Not gonna lie, I sucked pretty bad. I started off covered the cliche blink 182, sum 41, punk rock, then eventually migrated to new found glory and all time low.
It wasn’t until age 18 I started my first pop punk band called Another Tragic Case, we still sucked but we picked up a little traction due to the clever lyrics and catchy chord progressions. Locally we were playing with home time homies Set It Off. Cody and i did a few songs together back in the day(click on the youtube link and see). Even have a circles cover online with him and i playing a local gig.
At age 20 is when i got serious and started The August Name. We were more thank pop punk. It was my first rock band band that i played guitar in and i was actually proud of. We recorded our first Self Titled EP with Lee Dyess (Producer of Mayday Parade, Go Radio and I Set My Friends On Fire) and we also played with a few notable bands like Hawthorne Heights and AWOLnation. Did a few cross country tours with them. But the eventual drama caused the band to reconsider it’s style thus creating internal conflict. Eventually the band disbanded in 2013.
At that point in time, i decided to consider going solo. I recorded a few demo songs. Even my first solo music video. ( A Place Between The Ocean and The Stars ) check it out here. I’m sure it’s still up on youtube somewhere. Got a little love on that, although the production and quality wasn’t anywhere near what i’m currently writing now. Not gonna lie, after that i took some time in my life to configure my internal struggles. For about 4-5 years I was dealing with severe alcohol and depression issues. I needed a wake up call, which I got. Which I am eternally grateful for love and support of friends and family because without them i wouldn’t be here.
Fast forward to 2018, i started to get back to writing. The first song I wrote was in September of 2018. Which was “Feelin’ Dangerous.” The track is basically post breakup anthem after a 4 year relationship I endured with an ex who i thought was a good enough fit to consider marrying. Unfortunately, we all know life cant be just fairy tale endings. People change. Things happen. It’s an ode to the once love lost. But with a tone that asks the former “Are you sure you even wanted this from the start“? Which you can tell from the Chorus. It’s a track that describes the start and finish of a relationship, from the passion and lust filled first kiss, take me on your bed to the end of a chapter in ones life.
To be quite honest. This wasn’t my favorite track. I like it. It’s good. But i have some very interesting songs coming out soon. Currently over 20 written. Working on an EP now called Slightly Mysterious, Somewhat Delirious – That highlights the dark days of my past from alcoholism, depression and getting bullied. Don’t get me wrong, these are dark songs, but very upbeat. I’ll just say that Brendon Urie would be proud.
Links to Dacian Miron
Latest Single ‘Feeling Dangerous’
DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT DACIAN
Australian Duo, Leaving Lennox Makes Nashville Home
We Wrote Basically Anywhere and anytime
We are “Leaving Lennox”, an Australian duo, who have recently moved across the world, to Nashville Tennessee. We met back in 2014, int college where we were both studying a bachelor of music performance. We instantly clicked, musically and as people.
Fast Forward to 2019 and we are in Nashville Tennessee, gearing up to release our latest single “Old Love”, in July of this year. This year has brought a lot of change and personal growth, as well as exciting news, that has come with relocating here in the USA.
Recently, we have gone through a rebrand, changing our name to “Leaving Lennox”, which for us, was fitting, due to our journey as a couple and the on- going significance of “Lennox”, being a place we first lived together. We also felt keeping “LL”, was important to the cohesiveness of our brand.
We have been writing a lot and are excited to keep releasing more music consistently after this first single of 2019. We write all our own music, together mostly, although we always say, there is absolutely no formula for a good song. Some of our strongest songs have been co written, while others have been written separately. We never plan to start with either lyrics or music and sometimes, nothing flows, so we try again the next day!
Shortly after we formed, in mid 2015, we decided to release our debut album “Wayward Minds”. While we had already written a few songs together, the inspiration behind the album came from being added to the line up to several summer folk festivals in Australia, including the mid-north coast ‘Wildwood Festival’, where we debuted the record. The entirety of “Wayward minds”, was written together, throughout a few weeks, in our first apartment, in Newtown, NSW. We wrote basically everywhere and anytime! The apartment was isolated so we could stay up late writing. We wrote one song in the bathroom, because the acoustics were so great. Wherever and whenever we had inspiration- we wrote it down!
A few months later, we headlined a sold-out ticketed show at Port Macquarie’s “Purple Sanctuary”. Mick and I always say that this was a pinnacle in our career so far, as this was the first time we had experienced a full room of people singing our lyrics back to us.
To support the release of new music, we are excited to announce that we have booked a string of music festivals and songwriting festivals throughout Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky.
We will play our first headlining festival on October 5th, at Princeton Kentucky’s “Annual Artisan Festival”. We are also playing Georgia’s “Big Red Apple Festival” and being selected for the 10 day “Frank Brown International Songwriting Festival”, alongside 200 established songwriters on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida.
The new single, “Old Love” features Aaron Sterling on drums, who is the live touring drummer for John Mayer and session drummer for artists such as Maren Morris, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, James Bay and Keith Urban.
The inspiration for this song actually came from observing friends and family and how they moved on, or didn’t move on, from what they believed was their first love. The song is written from both perspectives of a past relationship and references “the one that got away”. There are tones of regret, peace, solitude or longing, depending on how the listener interprets the lyrics. We wrote the song in hopes it would be relatable to many, as we believe, everyone has a “first love”, whether you end up with them or not.
The female perspective speaks like a true romantic- of her longing for “old love” as a young girl, while the male perspective reminisces on a past-relationship with a sense of regret and is too late to realize that he walked away from his “first love”. Both sides come together for the chorus, where the lyric speaks of reminiscing on all the great times- even though they have ultimately both moved on.
The single, which is being released on July 19th, just recently won the “best pop song”, in the “World Songwriting Awards”. We will be attending the awards show in Gatlinburg Tennessee this September, where we have been nominated for four awards in the 2019 Josie Music Awards. This is the largest award show in the world for independent musicians, with over 23 000 submissions in 2019. The awards include Best Pop/contemporary duo, Best Folk/Americana/ Bluegrass duo, Folk single of the year and a solo submission for Mick as “Musician of the Year”.
The single will be available for purchase and streaming on the 19th of July. and Keep up to date with Leaving Lennox and their tour dates on Facebook and Instagram.
Links to leaving lennox
Australian Duo, Leaving Lennox Makes Nashville Home
SIMILAR ARTISTS TO LEAVING LENNOX
Edgy Classical Crossover from Lady Of The Shallows
Lady Of The Shallows
With many operatic roles to my credit I am no stranger to the stage.
I grew up surrounded by music in a musical family in South Africa.
My fondest memories are of us singing in the car while going on vacation. Making up harmonies as we go along!
Singing has always brought me great joy. My mom enrolled me for private voice lessons when I was 14 with an opera singer who lived in my small home town, Rustenburg. My voice teacher happened to be from Czecoslovakia and she instilled a love for Opera in me. With her encouragement I went to a performing arts school after I finished high school. That was an absolute wonderful experience!
My training was very specialized. After my studies I lived in England before moving to the US.
With many operatic roles to my credit I am no stranger to the stage and have entertained audiences all over the globe in Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, England, America, Canada, and Italy. Before emerging as a single artist, I had the incredible experience of forming the classical crossover group Klassika® in 2013. Drawn to the more edgy side of the crossover genre I love to create a mysterious and etherial world with music and voice.
My favorite crossover artists in Emma Shaplin. I am now stepping into my solo career with my latest singles “Regnava” and “Ave Maria”, produced by Paul Schwartz. Regnava was chosen for it’s haunting sound and glorious melody line. The Ave Maria by Mascagni is one of my favorite pieces of music and I am thrilled to have been able to record it.
Lyrics and translation for “Regnava”– this song is an arrangement by Paul Schwartz of the opera aria, Regnava nel silenzio from Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti.
Regnava nel silenzio The night,deep and dark,
alta la notte e bruna… reigned in the silence…
Colpia la fonte un pallido A pale ray from the gloomy moon
raggio di tetra luna… shone on the fountain…
Quando sommesso un gemito When a low sigh
fra l’aure udir si fe’; was heard throughout the air;
ed ecco au quel margine and there on the fountain’s edge
ah! l’ombra mostrarsi a me. the shadow appeared to me!
Ave Maria (this is the intermezzo from the opera Cavelleria Rusticana by Mascagni)
|Ave Maria, madre Santa,
Sorreggi il piè del misero che t’implora,
In sul cammin del rio dolor
E fede, e speme gl’infondi in cor.O pietosa, tu che soffristi tanto,
Vedi, ah! Vedi il mio penar.
Nelle crudeli ambasce d’un infinito pianto,
Deh! Non m’abbandonar.Ave Maria! In preda al duol,
Non mi lasciar, o madre mia, pietà!
O madre mia, pietà! In preda al duol,
Non mi lasciar, non mi lasciar.
|Hail Mary, holy Mother,
Guide the feet of the wretched one who implores thee
Along the path of bitter grief
And fill the hearts with faith and hope.O merciful Mother, thou who suffered so greatly,
See, ah! See my anguish.
In the cruel torment of endless weeping,
Ah! Do not abandon me.Hail mary! Oppressed by grief,
Do not leave me, O Mother, have mercy!
O Mother, have mercy! Oppressed by grief,
Do not leave me.
Links to lady of the shallows
Edgy Classical Crossover from Lady Of The Shallows
Freya’s Mission In Music & The Creative Industry Helping The Minority
this release only marks the beginning of what I am going to do
Freya’s Mission In Music & The Creative Industry Helping The Minority
I have been gigging since 2010 at the the age of 14, and after a really good few years of writing; producing and releasing EPs, and gigging around the south-east of England, I went to study jazz guitar at music college. My vision to spend the next 4 years surrounded by jazz soon turned south when I experienced trauma to my wrist. I had to step away from the intensities of playing and for a good few years I fell silent on the music front and people thought I had given up on the dream. I took my time getting back into good health and slowly got to a point where I could be making music again, although it did of course mean navigating a slightly different route, with patience and discipline.
I returned to studying with my focus more on composition and production, taking inspiration from artists such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper and Angie Stone. My sound was constantly developing and although I wasn’t any closer to releasing new music, I continued my hiatus with the mission to refine my style and writing. I always felt that there was still more I could do to everything I made. I needed the time to experiment and develop my writing and thankfully, being in the college-bubble in Leeds enabled me to safely create and do just that. I decided to take down all my previous releases and start afresh as an artist. I was lucky enough to be tutored by Abstract Orchestra’s musical director, Rob Mitchell, whilst in my final year at Leeds College of Music. Being a huge fan of hip-hop producer J Dilla, Rob gave me the space to really explore the hip-hop and contemporary R&B elements of my sound, whilst maintaining a strong focus on melody and jazz harmony. I was taking huge influences from the neo-soul icons throughout this process and this is how most of the material from my album ‘AHLKE’ came about.
Now, fast-forwarding to 2019, I have been awarded funding and support from the MOBO Help Musicians Fund, listed for Glastonbury Emerging Talent, and I have released my debut album entitled ‘AHLKE’, which marks the end of my 5-year hiatus as an artist!
The 2 singles from the album ‘Midnight Train’ and ‘22 Movements’ have gone on to be play listed on Tom Robinson’s BBC Radio 6 Music Introducing Mixtape, as well as being featured within British Vogue. It feels like being awarded in these ways since releasing my new music has been payback for the time I was unable to do so.
‘AHLKE’ has also been pressed to vinyl, thanks to the incredible help from independent record store, Vinyl Hunter in Suffolk, England. The ‘22 Movements’ Music Video, released on April 8th, features a beautiful solo performance from UK-renowned ballet and contemporary dancer, Salome Pressac. Shot on location in Norwich, it is partly a tribute to my time growing up and gigging throughout my teens on the city’s diverse music scene, where I built my first following of fans. Salome’s improvised dance in the video reflects on my writing of ‘22 Movements’ which explores sexual identity and my coming-out experience. ‘22 Movements’was a tough track to choose as a single release, it’s very honest. My writing has definitely become more honest in recent years and I think this shows in the body of work that is ‘AHLKE’.
Thanks to the incredible funding and support from MOBO Trust and Help Musicians UK, I am currently touring my album around the UK, with my firstLondon headline show around the corner, which I will playing with my full band alongside special guests. Other dates have included Brighton, Manchester, Leeds, Suffolk and Norwich, with other upcoming dates in Cambridgeshire and Sheffield.
I release all my music on my own label, FCR Music, which I am using as a platform and community for women and minorities within the creative industries. I am passionate about the fair representation of women and I have used the label as an outlet for other various projects, including a documentary project: ‘FCR Music Presents: Women & The Creative Industry’. This is a collaboration with independent filmmaker, Emile Scott Burgoygne, and is a compilation of interviews with male and female artists based in the UK, discussing gender roles and representation within the creative industries. Artists involved include Carmody, Marie Dahlstromand Scott Quinn. My mission is to grow FCR Musicand continue to use it for projects like these.
Although I have been working on my music for a long time now, I do feel that this release only marks the beginning of what I am going to do. I am excited to use the energy gained from the ‘AHLKE’ release and UK Tour to make new music later this year. I am constantly picking up new ideas and I am excited to put these to work!
Links to Freya Roy
iTunes: Freya Roy
Freya’s Mission In Music & The Creative Industry Helping The Minority
To Freya Roy
I Spent Most Of My Days Dancing & Singing Into A Hairbrush | NIX
Hey y’all I’m Nix from Canada. Thanks for checking me out!
I think like any young girl in the early 2000s I spent most of my days dancing and singing into a hairbrush to Britney, Christina and the Spice Girls. It wasn’t until 2004 when Christina Aguilera blessed us with her Stripped album that I realized how much music and the power of song spoke to me. That album changed my life; it made me want to become a recording artist.
Before I made the decision that singing and writing music was something I wanted to pursue professionally, I had a rich musical upbringing that helped define this path for me. I picked up the violin at age nine and spent my youth relishing in centenarian symphonies and operas. By the time I reached high school I auditioned for any musical ensemble I could, and I was in four different choirs and two orchestras. I was lucky enough to get the chance to explore my musical appetite during my formative teenage years, and it was just after I graduated from high school that I decided to explore music professionally. I somehow managed to juggle university while establishing my music career… and let me tell ya, it wasn’t easy! But fast forward a few years and here I am!
I am beyond proud of my discography (albeit on the smaller side for now), the people I have met along the way, and I am so happy I am at a place in my career where I can share my music with the world. Now for a little bit about my music…
Back in 2014 I wrote my most personal song to date: Six Feet Under. I sat down at the piano with my co-writer, Mat, and while he played the keys, lyrics just poured out of me… and it all came together in about 10 minutes. Six Feet Under speaks about my battle with depression as a young girl and the disconnect I felt between my mind and body, and society’s expectations of me. I like to say that my inner voice wrote this song, because for so many years I felt like I could never actually speak about how I was feeling inside. It was therapy putting my feelings into song, and the response from people who connect with it is the cherry on top.
My most recent singles, Tastes Like Sugar and Playing With Fire were written in the beautiful city of Nashville, and I couldn’t have had a better experience writing and recording these singles.
I was three months into a romantic relationship when Tastes Like Sugar was written, and for me, three months is the point in time that a budding romance blossoms into something more serious. The lyrics paint a picture of when infatuation and love intersect – it’s fun and playful, yet describes the roller-coaster of emotions one may feel as they start to fall in love. I was inspired by my bubblegum pop roots, and wanted to create something light and fun that people could dance to.
Ironically, Playing with Fire was written at the same time, but I was channeling the thoughts of what could go wrong in a new relationship. I drew from my previous experiences of being lied to, cheated on, etc. and hoped that the risk of starting a new relationship wouldn’t follow the same negative cycle.
Looking ahead, I have a few more unreleased songs that I’m planning to release on an EP, and I can’t wait to share those with everyone. In 2019, I plan to tour and connect with as many people as I can, so keep an eye out on my website for any upcoming shows! Until then…thanks for spending time with me, and supporting indie artists!
Links to Nix
Spotify page: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4DCgMpdmCuB8uLOJhFE5IO
Apple Music page: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/nix/1454029378
Tastes Like Sugar lyric video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhKfe-3PYy8
Marloe Compared to Lorde and Vera Blue; And it’s Easy To Hear Why
My biggest hope for people listening is that they can listen to my songs and find a piece of themselves in there.
Hey I’m Marloe from Brisbane, Australia and I began my music journey at nine years old singing in my elementary school choir. Like many young artists, I began performing on-stage wherever I could; from my living room in Brisbane, Australia all the way to the Musical Theatre program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy located in Manhattan, New York. During my time in New York, I performed in many short films and theatre productions which forged the foundation to begin my Indie-Pop career.
My passion for singing had always been at the center of heart, I can recall from my childhood, “crying at concerts because the music explained what I simply could not.”
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a wild imagination and a deep intrinsic love of music, which continues to grow through my journey of singing and songwriting. I’m always thinking of new lyrics to write, melodies to hum and songs to inspire. For me music isn’t just a part of my day; it’s a part of me.
As a special addition to Marloe’s story, we also interviewed Marloe to find out a bit more about her and her music.
Marloe’s angelic and vulnerable vocals in “Remember Me” unfold this poignant “piece of her heart” in lucid moments of love and lust. Her bubbly and feminine yet sophisticated side can be heard in “The Day I Knew I Needed You” and again in “The Future Is Now.”
“The Future Is Now” also brilliantly blends 80’s electronica influences with a fast-paced and forward sound filled with playful pops of colour. Marloe’s luminescent and sleek sound can be compared to princesses of pop including Maggie Rogers, Vera Blue, and Lorde. You can find Marloe’s debut singles on all major streaming platforms.
You recently released a four song EP. From that EP, your original song “The Day I Knew I Needed You” instantly received rave reviews. Can you explain the meaning behind the song and how it might tie into your music career?
I wrote this song about a person that came into my life and kind of broke down all the barriers I’d built up previously. They taught me to be vulnerable and helped me discover who I wanted to be in the world. It’s a really special and rare thing when someone like this comes along, so I decided to write about the day I realized how lucky I was to have them.
During your childhood it was already clear you were destined to be in the entertainment industry. When did you start writing songs? When fans hear your songs, what message do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I can remember the first “song” I ever wrote, I use the word “song” very loosely because it was more like a chant. I think I was about 10 years old, and it was basically me singing ‘My name is Maddison. Yes it is Maddison’ over and over to some questionable melody because my parents and teachers were constantly calling me by my elder sisters name. Clearly wasn’t a hit because they’ll still mess it up today! My biggest hope for people listening is that they can listen to my songs and find a piece of themselves in there. Whether that be a lyric that they identify with or even a guitar riff that makes them want to dance, I want people to listen to my songs and feel something they didn’t before.
Your sound has been compared to the alternative pop queens Lorde, Vera Blue, Maggie Rogers and Billie Eilish. Who were your early influences in music and who are they now?
Lyrically I wanted to write something that moved people the way a Sam Smith song would. So I would sit at the piano and pluck out chords and come up with these really deep lyrics. But then as I evolved and started writing with the intention of creating something that people would actually hear, I wanted to keep these emotive lyrics but blend them with fast-paced and forward sounds. I think that’s where I started to look to the likes of Vera Blue and Maggie Rogers.
Outside of music, what are some of your other interests that fans may like to know about?
My other deep love would be acting. Like music, it’s something I’ve known I wanted to do my entire life and has influenced who I am as an individual today.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by the early start of your music career in hometown of Brisbane Australia, your participation in the Musical Theater program at the American Musical, and Dramatic Academy in New York and where you are at today?
The time I spent in New York studying at AMDA played such a huge role in shaping who I am as an individual and as an artist. I think the biggest thing I learnt at AMDA was dedication to your craft, and that no one is going to do it for you, so if you want it, you have to work hard to make it happen.
How has the response from fans impacted your music? If you could have your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be?
The response from everyone who’s listened has been so incredible. Having these songs that were such a big part of me, now take life and create new meaning with other people has only inspired me to keep opening myself up and sharing my experiences with the world. If there was one thing I would want my fans to remember it would be that.
Listen To Marloe
Links to Marloe
Anieszka; Don’t Let Anybody Take Away Your Right To Express Yourself
For a long time, I was scared to write about what I really wanted to say.
We learn that in the industry, the people that make it are people that follow ‘invisible’ rules in order to succeed. I was faced with the contradicting challenge of creating an ‘original sound’ that was still mainstream. What does it really mean to be an artist then? I questioned myself a lot, and found myself realising that even if this journey takes a little longer than I’d hoped for, I was ready to take it as long as I was able to truly create.
‘Grow’ was the first step in that direction. I was so pulled down by what I felt I had to be in order to succeed. I’m human, insecurities and doubts flare up at times, even if for the most part I’m pretty put together and happy within myself. I was so conflicted about having to be more of this and more of that to get further in the industry, until it clicked one day that I am exactly who I am, and that’s enough. I started thinking about all the people in my life who are talented and have so much to give to the world, but haven’t followed a path towards making it a reality. That’s when I wrote Grow, and soon after decided it was going to be the first release off of my EP ‘Elixir’. I was terrified. I was about to release a song that was filled with a whole lot of truth, as an independent artist with no management, PR or label backing me up. It was a huge risk, and I wasn’t sure if it was the right move in terms of success, but it felt like the right move as an artist.
‘Grow’ had an incredible response, featuring on the Future Classic Office Radio Spotify playlist and the Australian Music Scene Spotify playlist, and gaining airplay on a radio station. Was I surprised? To an extent yes, but most of me was filled with gratitude. I was so grateful I took a risk and spoke my truth, which essentially ended up being everyone else’s too.
‘Elixir’ was filled with five songs, each of them very different to the other. The varying sounds/genres were a rule breaker. Usually an EP has an overall sound, and most of the songs relate to each other in some way. Mine? Nope. Again, I took a risk. I had a lot to say, and I crafted each song to express myself in my truest form. It became evident during the writing process that I had different sounds to express, and I wasn’t comfortable in hiding that in order to fit the ‘norm’. Deep down I knew the right people would connect with this EP, but the originality of it still played on my mind.
Once the EP was released, I did my best to push it but now that I look back on it I don’t think I did enough. Why? I was still scared. Hard to confess but I felt like I had released a body of work that I was very proud of, but that did not reach its full potential because it didn’t fit the standard. I did stand up for it, but perhaps not as much as I should have.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve dropped a brand new single called ‘When Will This Begin’ with UK producer Dat Gruvee. The story behind the song is special. The producer and I met on Instagram, we connected and we started talking about music, life, the stars, déjà vu; deep things. I was flying to London a few weeks later so once I was there, we met up and our connection deepened in person. As expected, feelings developed and it felt mutual, but I soon found out he had a girlfriend. I had to push my feelings aside as we sat in the studio together to create a song, and mind you, I was feeling a LOT. “What do you want to write about?” he asked. I knew I had two options: write about something random or write about exactly what I was feeling in that moment. I told him to give me ten minutes, and I ended up writing the song. The lyrics were raw and intimate. I hadn’t really expressed myself in this way, and I felt exposed. I kept thinking to myself, if this becomes the next single release, how would listeners react? I’m an artist that speaks about deep things; will these lyrics be accepted?
He loved it. I loved it too. He finished producing it after I got back from London, and it turned into this eclectic Afrohouse/R&B track that I’ve played on repeat myself. But again, I was scared. An Afrohouse track from an alt-r&b/soul artist – how will this go down?
These little doubts – they’re not worth it. I really believe in this song, and I believe in my ability to express and create. I feel grateful to be an instrument music flows through, and that I am able to connect with people through my voice and songwriting. The feedback on ‘When Will This Begin’ is that it makes people feel like anything’s possible. If Dat Gruvee and I are able to make people feel that way, we’ve already reached success.
And you know what? I’m not scared anymore. These fears aren’t real, but the art is. And it’s here to speak for itself. Don’t let anybody take away your right to express yourself, there are no rules in expression and there are no rules in art. Put in the work and believe in your talent. Chances are, the moment you let yourself create whatever you feel, that’s when things will start to flow.
Links to anieszka
Latest Single ‘When Will This Begin’
Fytakyte; I Taught Myself How To Record, Produce and Mix
Fytakyte; I Taught Myself How To Record, Produce and Mix
What Is Meandersaur?
As a kid, my imagination exploded from the minute I opened my eyes. Life was a moment-to-moment adventure….And if an adventure wasn’t happening, I’d close my eyes and dream one up, or I’d grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw one in fabulously unnecessary detail – it came almost too easily.
Perhaps if I’d grown up in this current era of helicopter parenting and over-prescription, I’d have been diagnosed with some fashionable acronym, drugged up to the eyeballs and left to atrophy behind a screen. Fortunately Dad and Mum were well and truly old-school.
Rather than showering my siblings and I with the latest toys, they gave us books, pens and paper, musical instruments and a big backyard to let our imaginations run wild and free. All the while they gently cautioned us that we would eventually need to order and discipline our wild, unfettered minds.
Music was a constant in our house, but the guitar captured my imagination from the moment I lay eyes on one. The day I learned an A, E and D chord was the day I wrote my first song. At this point though, the guitar was just one of the many ways I gave vent to the waterfall of ideas and impulses plunging through my brain.
Gradually, cognizance of reality dawned. The necessity to favour ordered thought and all it’s attendant grey, prosaic process above all else seemed the only viable option. I worked hard, really hard! I did well at school. It didn’t come easy to me -like writing a story or a song had – but I was proud that I managed it. Some who had dismissed me as a hyper-active kid seemed aghast that I hadn’t fulfilled their dooming prophecies of inevitable adult uselessness. I became a reliable, responsible human.
After school, the guitar became my creative outlet. I hit the woodshed and tried to learn from the greats. I joined some bands and we played – mainly covers, lots and lots of covers.
And yet, my technicolour brain was always there, bubbling below the surface. I would experience sudden jolts of musical inspiration planted as seeds in moments of stunning clarity. During the rain and storms of the day-to-day grind these seeds gradually germinated into feelings that seemed universal, relatable. I found myself always searching for an oblique angle, a different perspective and trying to find the chord that inspired three different feelings at once, with the words to match.
With the advent of the computer age came the unprecedented ability to affordably build listenable productions right at home. I’d always had the ideas, but never a way to capture them to my satisfaction. Now I could, but it didn’t come easy. I drew on my school experience, knuckled down and taught myself how to record, produce and mix.
The result is “Meandersaur”. What is Meandersaur? Meandersaur is the ancient beast of my imagination, saved from extinction with a guitar and a voice.
Australian Singer Lara Nakhle “I Was Born Totally Blind”
To Lara Nakhle
Minus Cube; There Seems To Be A Lot Of Music That Sounds The Same
I’ve not found much in the mainstream music world that has provided inspiration or an emotional connection.
Our group got together at a time when our previous bands had been and gone, and the relentless push to get gigs, booking agents, managers and record deals, (and also just get to the same rehearsal room at the same time), had been well and truly flushed out of our systems. There was a time when that was so much part of our musical quest, that it could become very easy to lose sight of why we started doing this in the first place! …And that reason was to make music that truly meant something.
In the last few years, I’ve not found much in the mainstream music world that has provided inspiration or an emotional connection the way that bands from 20-30 years ago did. Perhaps that’s why they live on still, but new music has become a rather disposable commodity these days, with a very different approach to it being valued, compared to the way it was.
I prefer to look for music that has emotional qualities, whether it’s lyrics, a guitar solo, a piano part or just one note or line someone may sing or play that speaks to you. In the mainstream world, to me there seems to be a lot of music that sounds the same and fits a core bunch of values that are considered the trend, in order to make a company money for a brief time, until the next song comes along that does the same thing. Maybe that’s why it all sounds the same, but I haven’t been able to find much variety or emotion in many of those songs.
For me, music has always had to be about a lot more than that. I need to make music to communicate sometimes, and sometimes I have to make music as a cathartic process to put an experience or emotion into a tangible thing, that is a song. (which in itself is pretty awesome!) That’s when the creative world becomes its most valuable to me… to be able to create a song that will exist forever, that consolidates something for you, whether that is a memory of someones life, an outlet for mental health issues, or a political issue you want to voice in your own way, and turns it into something real for you. If someone else can relate to it as well, it’s a wonderful bonus, but being true to yourself has always been the main goal.
If your song becomes 15 minutes long, then let it! That’s why the independent music scene is so important, because that is where all this music is these days. Even if you have to go on a weekend long musical quest to discover new artists that speak to you, it’s out there and it will be worth the journey!
We’ve been inspired by many musicians and bands, and I think subconsciously you filter the best parts of all of that down into what makes you. There’s no need to compare yourself to others, or purposefully try and create anything that will be considered acceptable by a mainstream music outlook, because that’s just not real, and right now there is very little reality and emotion there in those songs. I think a better way is to make music for yourself first of all, then it is true and honest and real. That’s the reason we do what we do, and I hope you may like the music we make!
Links to minus cube
To minus cube
Damned If I Don’t; The Only Person Who Can Let You Down Is Yourself
Damned If I don’t
I managed to write, perform, record, engineer and produce everything myself.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa – not exactly the place one thinks of when they think of rock music globally. Despite this I managed to succeed in my own small way in music, eventually being in a band that signed a distribution deal with Universal Music South Africa, opened for popular US Band Underoath when they toured South Africa, embarked on our own national tours, playing music festivals and receiving national radio play. We made things work for us in a place where there is hardly a market for rock music – through sheer determination and persistence. That is a lesson that I’d like to share with you, that no matter the odds, it can be done.
That band was years ago, since then I’ve emigrated to Asia to pursue opportunities in my field, the field of education. As much as I would love to be a full-time musician, that is not a reality for most of us, as such I can think of no nobler way than contributing to the world than through teaching. Music too of course, whenever possible. Luckily when the kids are on vacation, I get some time to work on music and am always busy. I am now faced with a predicament – I accomplished something extraordinary with the debut album of my new musical project Damned If I Don’t: I managed to write, perform, record, engineer and produce everything myself. Most people listening think that is a band of 4 to 5 guys recorded in a studio with a recording engineer and producer – anywhere between 6 to 10 people involved – no, it’s just me. Learning how to record myself was a challenge and something I studied over the past few years – there’s room for improvement but I think I did well for my first attempt. Now, back to that predicament I mentioned earlier…
Self-reliance and a team of one is great as you don’t need to depend on anyone else, the only person who can let you down is yourself and you also work at your own pace. It really works for me, I’ve usually had fundamental disagreements with band members in the past, now there is no one to argue with except myself. Having released an album though I need to perform it live and get touring, which means recruiting a band is on the cards, so that is the next big challenge for me. I’m hoping it will play out well, as I’ve come this far all on my own – now to find musicians with a similar level of dedication and commitment. Here’s hoping.
My debut album Self-Titled is now available on all major online music services.
Links to Damned If I Don’t
To Damned if i don’t
Phé; We Almost Need Permission To Really Expose Our Wounds and Heal
As an artist, a huge part of what drives me is giving people the space in which they feel safe to explore their vulnerability.
As an artist, a huge part of what drives me is giving people the space in which they feel safe to explore their vulnerability. We live in a time where it feels as though we almost need permission to really expose our wounds and heal. Being vulnerable and admitting that you aren’t okay is often seen as being weak, which leaves a lot of people with these bottled up emotions, and without the tools to really be able to face themselves or their issues. But with music, you have the potential to open up a dialogue and space in which self can be explored and understood. That’s what music was for me growing up. It was a lens through which I was able to better examine myself and work through whatever struggles I was faced with. Because through the words of the artists I looked up to, I was able to see myself, and dive into these emotions that I didn’t know how to face otherwise. And that’s where my EP was born from, from a place of exploration and yearning to really look at what I was going through in order to be able to heal and move on. It is my hope that people will listen to it and feel like they have permission to respect themselves enough to truly face their demons and begin to heal.
CRISIS tells the story of my experience with love and heartbreak, diving deep into my loss of self in the midst of loving someone else. These songs were me giving myself permission to truly fall apart, in a healthy and constructive way — rather than using the self-destructive methods I had previously been abusing in order to numb and distract myself from what was actually going on. This person that I was in a relationship with helped me to feel seen, wanted, safe, and loved in a way that I had never experienced before because I grew up really afraid to allow someone to see me like that or get that close to my heart. Growing up I had this sort of jaded idea that love was this fickle thing that didn’t last or that wasn’t worth the risk of being hurt. But my partner told me we were worth that risk, and that I was worth that risk, and that was something I had never heard before.
From there, I sort of lost my grip on reality, and on myself. I gave everything to this relationship, or to the idea of the relationship, and had this twisted belief that he would be the only person who would ever love me like that. That just resulted in me being completely disconnected from myself. I had no sense of self-worth outside of us. So when the relationship ended, I was devastated. I felt abandoned and betrayed. I turned to other men, alcohol, drugs, partying, work and money, school, anything but myself, in order to distract from the fact that I wasn’t sure how to love myself.
It got to a really awful and destructive point where I had pushed away the people I loved and was abusing all these
different crutches. I woke up one morning and saw how bad things were getting, and realized I either made the choice to face the pain and change how I was dealing with it — by actually working through it — or I would get to a point where there would be no going back. I would be completely isolated and unable to get myself out of a very deep hole of harming behavior. And so I changed. It wasn’t overnight miraculous healing. It took time, LOTS of time, and was very painful and hard. But, I made that choice.
I decided I was worth more than how I was treating myself. And that’s where this project came in! It was a part of my process of being able to face myself and talk through my experience. It removed the fog that I had created around how I was feeling and why I was feeling those things and allowed for me to hold myself accountable.
I think I’m only really now finding true clarity. Now that the project is out, I’ve been able to truly let go of whatever I may have still been holding onto from all of this. And that’s so beautiful, to be able to share this story, literally let it go into the Universe, and say that I am finally starting to see and love myself in a real way.
Links To Phé
Edna Mae; I Felt As If I Had Nothing Else To Write About
I had completed an album’s worth of songs over a couple of years, and I literally could not think of another melodic or lyrical idea.
I am a singer/songwriter with a huge focus on emotive, ethereal acoustic music. I am a classically trained pianist, composer and singer and I have travelled extensively in my life to date, having lived and worked in Asia for years. I am currently promoting my second digital EP ‘White Noise’ – described as a beautiful collection of five piano-led songs with hints of world, folk, pop and classical. Nearly everyone who first hears my music says it’s ‘very Kate Bush’, but equally other people say it’s ‘very Birdy piano with the emotional sensitivity of Enya’, but it’s all mixed into the unique formula of my own story.
After achieving my honours degree in music, winning the University Award for my symphonic movement and piano quartet, I returned to my first love as a singer songwriter. I was fortunate enough to appear on tv shows alongside the likes of David Gray, Bonnie Tyler and Mal Pope, and starred as Beth in ‘War of the Worlds’ in St. David’s Centre Cardiff, narrated by The Right Hon. the Lord Neil Kinnock. But in my early 20’s, I felt that her inspiration had vanished.
I felt as if I had nothing else to write about. I had completed an album’s worth of songs over a couple of years, and I literally could not think of another melodic or lyrical idea.
So I decided to go out into the world, travel, and live in different cultures and experience a broader spectrum of life. As a qualified teacher, I lived in Asia for several years, where I taught in a variety of schools, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone, by learning to dive, trekking in the mountainous region of Thailand’s golden triangle and travelling to incredible historical sites such as China’s Great Wall and terracotta army, Cambodia’s Angkor temple complex.
‘In pushing myself out of my comfort zones, I have had the most special experiences, such as diving with sharks in Black Rock, Burma and with a shoal of barracuda in Sipadan, Southern Borneo. I nearly gave up after my initial dive course, it was so far out of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m a huge believer in better to try and fail at something, than have regrets later.’
Travel has greatly influenced my music, and can be heard in both the lyrics and the instrumentation choices of songs on my latest EP ‘White Noise’, with use of instruments such as the Thai Khim and Balinese Gamelan.
‘I love combining the beautiful tones of the piano with more unusual instrumentation. I think it creates atmosphere and interest. And some of the amazing places I’ve visited have definitely sparked my imagination, such as the Egyptian pyramids.’
The single from EP2, ‘A Thousand Suns’ has been a lucky song for me, winning the 2017 Indie International Songwriting Contest and a nomination in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2018.
I married my childhood sweetheart, and our two young sons were born in Asia, where they ran free and wild on the beaches of southern Thailand in their formative years. Now based in a quaint welsh fishing village where I am living the dream to be close to the beach, with my fantastic husband, two beautiful boys, a cat and a dog, and a piano, I draw on my life experiences and the wonderful people and adventures I’ve had in my journey so far in my writing.
Active since March 2016, I feel that I am already making my mark in this crazy, highly competitive music world, gaining radio play, steadily building a portfolio of film, television and commercial syncs and securing a publishing deal for a song from my first EP ‘Luminous’ called ‘Deal with the Devil’.
Links To Edna Mae
To edna mae
Fiona Ross; My Snow Owl Experience
As a vocalist, I am incredibly disciplined with my voice
As a journalist as well as a Jazz artist, I am incredibly honoured to interview some amazing people in the music industry. One of my first interviews was with the Grammy nominated, world renowned bassist Snow Owl – Juan Garcia-Herreros. He is just inspirational and also truly one of nicest people I have met. He helped me understand the power of music and the social responsibility of the artist – and he is a truly phenomenal musician. ( https://www.the-snow-owl.com/home)
About six months later, I was writing a song and literally as I worked out and played the 3rd chord, I thought how amazing it would be to have him play on this track and be a special guest on my next album. I really don’t know why, but the idea just came to me, as I played that chord. I could sort of hear him playing him in my head.
I thought, well, you know life is too short to wonder about things, so I immediately just emailed his manager and very sheepishly, asked her what she thought. She said, of course, just message him! Amazingly, he said yes, and I immediately went back to my piano and carried on writing the song, now knowing he would be playing it with me. I wanted to write something then, that gave him the space to do his thing.
Another six months later, I had the most incredible and overwhelming experience as a musician. I arrived in Vienna and I was taken on a 3-hour drive. It was completely dark, and I had no idea what was around me although I did sense something significant. I woke up in the morning in a house, full of windows, literally surrounded by mountains – the beautiful scenery of Vienna. Mountains everywhere. It was breathtaking. Snow Owl, having asked for no information about my songs beforehand, asked for the chords to the two songs we were going to record, just to look through. It turns out that the third chord, that made me think of Snow Owl when I was writing, is actually his favourite chord. Seriously.
He said he loves that chord. We drive to a castle in the mountains (yes, a castle!!), which is where he recorded his album ‘The Blue Road’ – and there is a plaque on the wall explaining this too.
We played through the two songs and did two live recordings of each song only. It was such an amazing challenge on so many levels.
As a vocalist, I am incredibly disciplined with my voice, but as I was still recovering from being ill (pneumonia) I hadn’t sung for weeks (I always exercise my voice every day) and I hadn’t even warmed up. To be honest, before I arrived, I thought we would just be recording the bass parts and I would be just doing guide vocals. So, to be thrown into this situation was very unsettling but in the best way. I was completely out of my comfort zone, but it totally felt like the right thing to do. We just went with the moment. Could I have sung better? Yes, but if we had recorded them again – and again – that would have taken away the spontaneity of the moment, the feel. The two songs are so much freer than any I have ever recorded and even Snow Owl surprised himself with his playing and said he didn’t know where it came from. It was so surreal.
What I wanted was his essence on the tracks and by going with the moment, that is exactly what happened. These two tracks stand-alone from the rest of the album for that reason and we are both thrilled by the result. The two songs will not suit everyone’s taste, but Snow Owl fans and any bassists will absolutely love these tracks – his playing it simply incredible. You kind of know when someone who is regularly voted as one of the top bassists in world, is surprised by his own playing, you have something special.
The funny thing about this experience and the whole album, is that I came up with the album title before I wrote any of the material, just because I thought it was a cool title. It didn’t actually link to anything at the time as I hadn’t written anything. But now looking back, in many ways, without any conscious effort, it appears to be the perfect title on many levels – and my experience with Snow Owl, is, I guess, some people would say, a perfect example.
Links to Fiona Ross