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!

Follow
Instagram

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!

Follow Space Cowboy Newt
Instagram

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!

Follow Ọlá
Instagram

Dirty D – Dandelion Heart [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Smooth Engaging Different

Tell us a few things about your new work ‘Dandelion Heart’. What is the main idea behind it?

Dandelion Heart was made to see if l could create a musical interpretation of love, fragile, yet perfect, that you can admire while appreciating the delicate yet amazing way its designed, like a dandelion heart. Everything looks perfect in love, but a strong wind of hate can destroy a dandelion heart.

What is the story behind your name?

I was a nightclub sax player for years. They called me Dirty D on stage cause my general attitude of hard drinking and hard parting that our band did. Now its mutated to mean I can make some sax notes so smooth it will make your partner want to do dirty things to you LOL!
The night club scene was crazy, but when Covid hit all our gigs and work dried up so I ended up in the studio making my own stuff.

Do you have an artist that you would describe as a hidden gem that we should know about?

Yes, Dubl A is a bass player I work with and just released a new EP Solar Sail with. His musical literacy is amazing and his Music Theory understanding is unmatched. he will be on all my work now.

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

My biggest challenge is getting my music out to people so they can hear it. Like most artists thats the goal. The issue with my work is that its a blend of genres that we use. We do it because it makes great stuff and sounds great to us. Its not made really to satisfy anyone else. So sometimes its hard to get on playlists because the Genre is kind of undefined.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

Im not much of a movie guy but I think I would do a great score for an action film of some type. I can get my music to get crazy then drop to sadness all in the same song.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I like this question, thanks for asking it. you can quote me on this.
“There is no such thing as a useless talent, only talent that is used less.”

I have a friend that can pull a string into his nose and out his mouth…….He ended up getting his own TV show on discovery channel called guinea pig because of his seemingly useless talent. talent with no hustle is just talent, but its not useless. You need Hustle to make talent work. Its how hard you want to use your particular talent, whatever it is, that decides how useless it is. I have 45 songs out now and 20 or so appearances on other people work internationally. Im always on the hustle to make more great music.

Thank you!

Follow Dirty D
Instagram

IDN – Kaleidoscope [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Kaleidoscopic, unique, sound collage (if that’s a descriptor)

Tell us a few things about your new album Kaleidoscope. What is the story behind it?

Kaleidoscope is the product of my own style developing and blossoming. Over the past two years, I’ve experimented with countless genres and techniques in Ableton Live (my production software) and have pushed myself to listen to an insane variety of music from almost every genre imaginable. From this, I began to understand what aspects I loved in each of these genres, and learned how to apply those inspirations into my own work, combining multiple genres into one. I think the result is really unique sounding, which is great, because I’m not fulfilled by making something someone has already made.

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

I love collaborating, although it can be hard to translate two artists’ brains into one piece. I do have a couple new songs in the works with other producers, singers, rappers! Songwriting can be lonely, but I prefer to have complete creative control over every part of my art. This, in turn, makes Kaleidoscope a 100% IDN experience – every ounce of every song was handled by myself. I understand the joys of collaborating, but for my personal projects, for now, I like to make sure what I’m putting out is a true form of personal artistic expression.

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

I definitely enjoy writing/producing music more than performing, however, I haven’t yet performed live with Kaleidoscope. My first show is on April 17 at Sonia Nightclub in Cambridge! If anyone is around, please come, it’s going to be so much fun. I’m looking forward to performing and I’m putting a lot of effort into making sure it’s a fun, danceable, and trippy experience for everyone.

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

The biggest challenge I continue to face is social media and marketing. I can’t wait for the day where I have a team who believes in my art and can help me get it to more people. I consider myself very tech-savvy, however I loathe the performative aspects of social media, and I don’t do any of the things other artists tell you to do in that regard; Reels, TikToks, vlogs, ads, etc. I just don’t care, and I currently don’t have the demand. Social media has always been emotionally draining to use consistently.

Favorite music related film?

The Lovers Rock episode of Small Axe by Steve McQueen single-handedly got me obsessed with dub and reggae, and led me down countless rabbit holes of inspiration. It’s about an hour and shows the incredible energy of reggae/blues parties in the UK ’80s.

One last thing we should know about you?

I am constantly creating new music and working on my art, one way or another. I have dreams of combining my interests in visual media, fashion, music, and dance together – but for now, come to my show on April 17 if you’re in the Boston/Cambridge area, and look out for new music soon! Thank you!

Thank you!

Follow IDN
Instagram

Long Term Parking – Luxury Luxury [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Real, unclassifiable, raw.

You blend in your music many different elements. What is your creative process like?

It’s mainly a daily job. At the beginning, you have a vision in your head. Then you need the courage to step out of your comfort zone and you need to be patient. You progress step by step and often you get lost, then it’s important to admit it and come back. You know, I think about music all the time. All three of us are such musical chameleons,
then there are no boundaries to limit you.

Which song of the album reflects you the most?

Depends on the mood. The songs together create a mosaic and when it all fits together and you start to feel that way, you can hear the story of the whole record – that’s our point.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Peter Gabriel can experiment and still be understandable.
Kendrick Lamar, who didn’t go wrong. Frank Ocean, how real he can be.
And bands with a recognizable sound like
Arcade Fire, Radiohead or Vampire Weekend.

What would be your dream performance venue?

Wherever there are listeners who are crazy about our music.

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

Without prejudice, with an open mind, ready to travel through music.

Future plans?

Promoting the album in every way to get our music to as many potential listeners as possible.

Thank you!

Follow Long Term Parking
Instagram

Hector Lee Tut – Beyond The Curve [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Carefully woven structures

Your music is an exciting blend of numerous different genres. What is your creative process like?

If I have no specific idea in mind initially, then usually I’ll jam around with some chord progressions on a piano or guitar, maybe it’s just a bassline – and then once I’ve landed on something I like, it then becomes a process of developing that idea into what sounds, composition and beats will compliment it. Sometimes I will have a defined idea in mind e.g. I want a thumping drum-break to be centre-piece, so I’ll go find one, chop it (or play it myself) and arrange it first, then fit everything else in around it. If the drums are busy, then the other instruments tend to stay in the back seat.

Which song of your EP ‘Beyond The Curve’ reflects you the most?

Probably “Pocket Change” – it’s more understated and less bombastic than “Warsaw Tombola” but underneath is quite subtle in terms of the layering of the instruments and samples.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Quite a long list! But I’ll try and keep it short – from the perspective of producing a song from disparate parts and also playing live on their own records, then someone like RJD2 was a massive influence, his debut is a masterpiece. Loads of late 80’s/early 90’s hip-hop – De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Eric B & Rakim as they really pushed the artform of sampling before copyright started to restrict it. They also led me down the path of classic funk, soul and jazz that I may not have found otherwise. For sheer musical chops, inventiveness and exploration then Radiohead are right up there.

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

My main hurdles are – time (I have a day job and family, so music gets squeezed into whatever spare space there is) and then also the puzzle of developing an initial decent idea into a whole song. It comes back to the time issue because half an hour here and there is nowhere near enough to get anything meaningful done.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Get a drumkit NOW! Also, challenge yourself by trying to learn to play more styles of music

You’d give up making music for…

Tough one! There are clearly many correct existential type answers like world peace, childhood poverty hunger etc, which obviously go without saying. Being more selfish…I’d go with something like taking off in boat and sailing round the world, or a ride on one of these commercial spaceflights…with the caveat that I’m only giving music up until I get back!

Thank you!

Follow Hector Lee Tut
Instagram

Vickie Davies – Fade Away [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words.

Contemporary, Avant-Garde, and Soulful

Tell us a few things about your new song, Fade Away. What is the main idea behind it?

“Fade Away” is about depression and the self-deprecating thoughts that fill our minds daily.
Vickie wrote this song because she genuinely thought she was losing her mind and needed help. We sometimes suffer quietly and never reach out for help until it’s too late.”

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

The first part of the bridge is how I feel most days.
“My body’s on fire. I’m running on smoke. I’m tired of fighting.”

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Mary J. Blige, Emily King, and James Blake.

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

Consistently producing and releasing music. I have a hard time scheduling time and getting inspired to write new music.

If you were asked to re-score a film, which one would you choose?

I would choose the film “The Secret of Moonacre.”

Your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is losing my family in a tragic accident.

Thank you!

Small Island Big Song – Our Island [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

A – Collaborative
B – Oceanic
C – Grassroots

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

‘Our Island’ is a collaboration of activist/artists from islands across the Pacific & Indian Oceans, uniting the voice of the ocean for climate action.

Which song of the album reflects you the most?

“Festival of the Living Ocean’, unites the rhythms and spirit of the world’s great oceans, through beats produced by HipHop artist Airileke from Papua New Guinea with the Sega grooves from Mauritius by Emlyn.

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

Music and the spirit contained only lives through the listener, through being shared, both recorded and live are vital, but live we see and feel the listeners connection animating bringing life to our songs.

Your music also has lovely grooves. Tell us a song with a groove you wish you had composed yourself.

All the grooves in our music follow music traditions passed down through generations, these are the grooves in our family which we can unite to create new feels.

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

We are a varied mob, but our oceans are central in our lives, we have surfers, Kite Surfers, swimmers in our group, and cooking up feasts to share in our group on tour, planet friendly food of course. (No industrial red meat).

When was the last time you danced?

Yesterday we jammed with 6 artists from islands of the Caribbean for our show in Miami at the North Beach Bandshell. The beats and groove of the Caribbean mixed with our oceans was mazing we are all pulsing and moving, singing out loud. Uniting the worlds great oceans, Atlantic, Indian & Pacific, after all we share one ocean – one island.

Thank you!

Follow Small Island Big Song
Facebook

Anton Commissaris – Living My Life [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Jazzy, soulful, natural.

Tell us a few things about your new song ‘Living My Life’. What is the story behind it?

I was writing a song for a friend’s milestone birthday about how life is for living, as he is such a bon vivant. During that process, this song appeared from my subconscious but it was blues-based and seemed to carry a message, so I ran with it. The song conjures an image of a guy in a bar telling a lady with troubles on her mind (a sister) and then a gent (a brother) and then everyone in the bar, to just get on with life as best you can. For, it’s a waste of energy to fret over things you can’t change or control. So just live your life, like the singer tries to do.

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

In songwriting, I apply the Pareto principle. It’s 80% alone and 20% in collaboration. I conjure songs from alone time coming up with the melody and lyrics first of all. I don’t find this to be lonely as the brain is stimulated by creative juices. Then I enjoy collaborating with a producer/musical director on enhanced arrangements for the original song structure. Receiving someone’s feedback and input at this last stage is rewarding and fun.

Favourite album of the past year?

I’ll take this as the favorite album I’ve enjoyed in the past year, rather than an album produced during that period. And that would be: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” which is an extraordinary blast from the past.

What would you change in the music industry?

I’d like to see more local venues for live music open and thrive. People should be able to go and see a music show as if they were going out to a movie. I’d also like to see a subscription-based business model introduced in this regard. The venue would offer me a packaged or unlimited number of shows for a monthly price. That way I’d use it or lose it and I’d end up discovering much more music than if I just showed up ad hoc for artists I already knew. It would be a win-win as the customer would get cheaper shows than on a per ticket basis, the music venue would get loyal, recurring customers, and musicians would get discovered and paid out of the proceeds.

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

I like to cook, eat and drink good wine with family and friends. I spend time walking and exercising to keep my mind and body in good health and spirits. I also like to travel and read to learn and experience new things.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

The Kenny Barron & Dave Holland Trio at the Monterey Jazz Festival 2019. They were the warm-up act for Diana Krall in the Arena. Their playing was so pure, heartfelt, and in the pocket.

Thank you!

Follow Anton Commissaris
Instagram