Glenn Valles – A Troubled Mind [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Moving, Meaningful, Memorable

What is the main idea behind your track A Troubled Mind?

Mental health is quite a concern these days and is a subject that goes unspoken more often than not. “A Troubled Mind” is a song about weathering the various “storms” in our lives. The lyrics that I’ve written in the Bridge says it all.

“The days I measure
Not by hours
But something I call
Sheer will power”

If we can somehow tap into our inner strength – our “will power”, a lot of what’s going on in “A Troubled Mind” can be overcome. That’s the main idea behind my track.

You have been awarded in many song contests. What moment in your career are you most proud of?

Each award that I’ve won is very special in its own way. Winning an award in the 1st edition of The Clef Music Awards in my own country, India and then winning an award for “Outstanding Achievement In Songwriting” at The Great American Song Contest earlier this year were one of those special moments for me as a Songwriter. Besides being a great honour, it’s also a validation of the effort that goes into creating and producing original music.

Favourite album of the past year?

‘Sour’ by Olivia Rodrigo

If you want to feel with your soul, how do you first connect with your soul?

Here’s what you need to do. Close your eyes and let yourself get swept away by that wave of emotion you feel when something touches you deeply. It’s a Divine experience that helps you connect with your soul. You start feeling things at a much deeper level. I’d like to share what a listener wrote in a comment for one of my songs “If I close my eyes and listen to the lyrics, I feel like I can envision everything. So awesome!” That comment was the ultimate compliment a Songwriter could get. I do my best so that my listeners can “see with their ears” and “feel with their souls”.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Take chances!!! I’ve written a song called the “Story Of My Life”. You can listen to it on my YouTube Channel – Glenn Valles Music. There’s a line in the 1st Verse that goes like this – “Didn’t take the chance to chase my dream” (of being a Songwriter). So yeah, I would definitely tell my younger self to take more chances and follow one’s passion.

What would you say is your biggest vice?

Getting completely immersed in the creative process of writing and composing songs to the extent of being totally oblivious to everything that’s happening around me! I’m sure my wife would vouch for that! 😂

Thank you!

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Joshua Singh – All I Ever Learnt [Review]

All I Ever Learnt by Joshua Singh is characterised by the expressive vocal delivery in which relatively dry, low pitch vocals blend with nicely manipulated, vocoder style high pitch ones. The vocal section, which has a lovely James Blake touch, is mixed with a irresistibly warm, nicely repetitive, atmospheric soundscape. The added reverb adds depth and works as a glue to the whole track. If All I Ever Learnt was a picture it would be a very colourful one, like the heavenly aromas and colours you would discover in a spice market in the commercial capital of India, Mumbai. The track comes with a very effective video clip. Enjoy below!

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Chip Pirrs – When In Rome [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Angsty, Lush, Spacious

What is your creative process like? Tell us a few things about your new work and how it differs from your previous tracks.

My favorite part of the whole music making process is the initial construction of the idea in the form of the musical track. So usually start there, playing with different sounds until something sticks out to me. I used to complete the entire process in my home studio from track to vocals. Now I have a collaborator, and once I have a song in raw but understandable form I take it to his (Josh Valleau, The Glass Wall) studio and we work through it. My newer tracks are on new level now that there’s someone to help.

For which lyric you are most proud of?

I think I’m proudest of being able to make the last part, of When In Rome, a bop. I was happy with how those lines turned out and sounded on the track.

Do as the Romans do.. What is the importance of adaptation?

My whole life people have said to me, When in Rome you do as the romans do, meaning when you’re in someone’s else’s element you should act like they act. Take their example. So I used that idea as an excuse for a guy coming home after being on a trip with his friends. It’s like, “it’s not my fault how I was acting out at the club or wherever. I was with my friends I was just fitting in with what everyone else was doing.”

Your music has a lovely experimental touch. Should music as a form of art always challenge the listener?

I’m not sure any art should always do any one thing. I know that I really enjoy when a complex song unlocks for me and I understand what the artist is doing. It’s an enriching feeling for me and I feel like after it happens my understanding of art as a whole deepens.

Favourite music related film?

Purple Rain

What would you say is your biggest vice?

Music. I spend more time listening to music than anything else.

Thank you!

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Jadamarie – Love?? [review]

Los Angeles based artist Jadamarie is showcasing her latest track titled Love??. The perfect song for a chill weeknight or even better a summer evening spent in good company or blissful solitude. Driven by the laid back piano sound, Jadamarie’s dreamy vocals feel like they have fallen straight from a pink cloud, setting an ultimately nostalgic mood. This atmospheric scenery is exacerbated by the extra saturated drum section and garnished by some Lofi aesthetics. This is a Public Service Announcement: Take your portable speaker with you to the beach and do not miss the wild Perseid meteor shower!

Ps. On Spotify you can also find the instrumental version. How about your own special cover?

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Collie Wattz – Down South [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Folk/Electronica/Pop

In Down South you blend country elements with a modern twist. What is your creative process like?

I create a guitar riff on top of electronic drums, then find a synth and bassline that blend together well, usually creating lryics last. They have to match the vibe!

Which song of the EP reflects you the most?

Werewolf

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Gorillaz, Billie Eilish, Diplo, NIN, TOOL, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

getting the project promoted has been a challenge. Particularly on a local level. My local independent radio station is picky

Favorite film ever?

Grandma’s Boy

What would you say is your biggest vice?

Negative thoughts. I also have high expectations that usually lead to being let down

Thank you!

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Alli Bean – Outside Voice [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Jazzy, Sassy, Honest.

Tell us a few things about your new album ‘Outside Voice’. What is the story behind it?

Outside Voice is a culmination of works created along a personal growth journey. We go through life making moves; choices aren’t always conscious. By chasing people & seeking external validation we find ourselves in dicey situations, leading us astray from what matters. When I realized I had this issue, I turned inward & began really asking myself what I was relentlessly pursuing; what did I need to let go of in order to find it? In that process, I said goodbye to a lot of habits, & ideas that got in the way. The album directly addresses those situations while letting sleeping dogs lie. I’m thankful to have found a way to split the difference.

Which song of the album reflects you the most?

Twenty Questions is an extroverted, playful tune expressing over-intense curiosity. That sums up a hefty part of my personality! Anyone who knows me closely can attest that this tune is Very Me.

What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live?

Both are compelling for different reasons, absolutely, but now that I’ve spent good chunks of time doing each, I have to say I enjoy the writing part the most. It’s the solitude & quiet; the inward listening & development that does it for me. I used to think I was made to perform, & I do quite enjoy performing my music, but since diving deeply into writing & recording, it’s that piece that feels the most like home. By leaving a state of seeking, I was able to sit still in the experience & find my own heart. I wouldn’t trade that for any live gig on earth or in space.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

The hardest part was getting back to it. I returned to music after a seven-year hiatus. I was always into music to express myself, so the frustration of not being able to do so cogently at an instrument after such a long silence was large on my mind. The feeling that I was playing catch-up was also tough to handle while working through eight years on my Jazz undergrad. I had to take my time in order to ensure I developed the skills I needed. It wore on me watching class after class graduate as I chipped away. Now that I’ve finished that part of my academic musical mission, the art itself is far less challenging. I don’t feel like I was ever away from a keyboard any more & I’m so thankful every day that I stuck it out.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

I’d love for people to hear my music & feel confident that they can lay their own boundaries & function in a manner that is best for them first & foremost. Get out of hot pursuit & find what you need in absence of the noise.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

There’s never any trouble if you never get busted. 😉

Thank you!

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MonkeyRat – The Child Ft. Anna Sofía Skoradal [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Funk, Soul, Multi-genre.

Tell us a few things about your new song ‘The Child’. What is the main idea behind it?

“The Child” was written when I was a teenager in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, after my dream of becoming a professional dancer was destroyed with violence by the patriarchal father figure, because of my Calabrian, southern Italian culture and strict Roman Catholic upbringing. Dancing was not seen as a respectful career choice, nor acceptable regarding marriage opportunities for an untouched woman. It was read at my mother, Anna Diano’s funeral in 2020. She died of Covid, but before her death with her dementia, she become like a loving child, free to be her authentic self, singing and clapping for everyone to hear and cheer, finally free to be herself, a performer till the very end of her life. “The Child” is about never loosing one’s inner child, never giving up on your hopes and dreams for the future. I never gave up on my dream and neither did my mother.

Describe the experience of working with Anna Sofia Skoradal. Is songwriting a lonely process?

It was a pleasure to work with the talented 21 year old, Anna Sofía Skoradal from the Faroe Islands. I fell in love with her soulful voice at the weekly Open Mic event hosted by myself and Arnold Ludvig, my husband, bass virtuoso, and composer of my band MonkeyRat. “The Child” is the 1st song that he composed solely on Ableton Live, Ludvig is also from the Faroe Islands and an award winning bassist.

I enjoy being alone when I’m being creative. With maturity, self love, and self acceptance, I embrace my own company and like-minded people who love and respect themselves and their art.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Carmen Amaya, Spain’s iconic gypsy Flamenco dancer loved and honored by both Franklin D. Roosevelt and all the great stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. James Brown, the godfather of Soul, Sly & The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Meshell Ndegecello.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

I would say getting my music out there in the world. Faroe Islands is a tiny tiny country in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Iceland and Norway, north of Scotland – population 52,000.

Favorite music related film?

Purple Rain

One last thing we should know about you?

I passed my Viva Voce on May 25th, 2022 the defense of my Thesis – Trauma, Poetry, Fuck The Jante Law, Creativity as a Means of Survival. On June 24th, I will receive my Master’s in Music in the NAIP program – New Audiences and Innovative Practices, from Iceland University of the Arts. The new artistic practice that I developed during my 2 year study is Poetry w/ Electronics with sensors (Piezo contact microphones underneath the taps of my tap shoes with cables and jacks in my soundcard, through Ap Trigga 3 plugin, Ableton Live, and an Akai mini midi keyboard). The influence for my new art form is Laurie Anderson.

Thank you!

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HeIsTheArtist – Boom (Doo Wop Version) [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Soulful, Sensual, Unique

The vocals in Boom are really sensual while the groove feels very chill. What is the story behind it?

It’s actually based off of a dream that I had where I had relations with an Angel (That’s why there is a religious and non-religious version of the song).

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

The lyrics “Can’t You See? How much you mean to me?” from a religious sense because God is everything to me.

Your music has an old school vibe. Are you into today’s Hip Hop? Or do you prefer to listen to old classics?

I’m into old school HipHop more because HipHop artists back in the day used to be great songwriters and lyricists. However, today’s HipHop is more about “the look” rather than memorable artistry.

What would you change in the music industry?

I wish the music industry would stop encouraging prostitution and using demonic symbols . I understand women feel mistreated in America but there are more positive ways to go about championing it .

The way that women in the industry are going about it now will leave them feeling like a piece of meat instead of a valuable asset to society.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

To stay true to myself. But I learned that from watching shows on “The Disney Channel” and “Nickelodeon” as a kid. Which is why it’s very important that kids TV shows stay for kids and inappropriate content isn’t forced on kids shows because of liberal extremists.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I’m pretty much a law abiding citizen. However, I only get in trouble on social media because they don’t allow freedom of speech due to this era of celebrities who are hypersensitive because they don’t love themselves and every little comment brings them to tears.

I play by the rules of America. People can judge my character based on that.

Thank you!

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Space Cowboy Newt – The Mild West [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Dreamy, shimmery, and space-y.

Your work The Mild West has a lovely bedroom sound. What is the story behind it?

This EP is the merging of botanicals, outer space, and dream states in a faraway universe known as The Mild West. Here, cowboys of all genders flock to the saloons to drink herbal tea and play with tiny synthesizers. These songs represent my experiences in this universe so far: melancholy experiences set to gentle synthesizer and harp soundtracks.

Which song of the EP (if any) represents you the most?

“Looking Down At The Earth” merges together several genre influences and unique forms of instrumentation. This mashup of weird little synths and angelic harp is a pretty accurate representation of my personality. I could be embracing peace, but I cover it up with chaos!

What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live?

This cowboy is a cowboy only viewed through the comfort of a screen and headphones. You won’t find me onstage, you’ll find me hiding in your herb garden and writing a love song to the worms.

Is Spotify the music industry’s new Gatekeepers?

Spotify certainly defines an artist’s success, whether the rest of us creators like it or not. Getting on staff-curated playlists has become the ultimate bit of success. Those on these elite playlists become part of a feedback loop where only those who have been on playlists get on more playlists… et cetera. It’s very hard to break through!

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I’m an audio engineer! I’m constantly working on recording and mixing other people’s music, as well as producing their work and recording instruments on their tracks.

One last thing we should know about you?

I love hearing from anyone who listens to my music! If you’re reading this, show me your art, show me your pet, send me a meme!

Thank you!

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Ọlá – Back To Harmony [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Feels like home. That is the kind of music I seek to create.

Tell us a few things about your new song, ‘Back To Harmony.’ What is the main idea behind it?

I wanted to release a record I enjoyed making. On a personal level, Back To Harmony is a track where I started to understand what completeness feels like.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

There are so many talented creatives I would love to collaborate with in the future. And I have written many songs with my sister throughout the years, so I’m no stranger to music collaboration. We’ve penned some pretty cool tunes when we created together. And solo songwriting, for me, is one of the ways I make peace with many positive and negative problems.

Favourite album of the past year?

Right now, I’m really into KEYS.

What would be your dream performance venue?

It depends on the vibe. But if I had to say, a place that holds many, yet feels intimate, a lot like the music I make now.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I’m an academic student researcher in my other life, so most of my time is spent on that. When I’m not researching for work or purely for leisure, I enjoy finding breathtaking scenery and other things to photograph. I also enjoy playing video games and getting in touch with my spirituality.

One last thing we should know about you?

That I am grateful for this opportunity. Thank you!

Thank you!

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