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Pavit Sanghera – You Ran Away

 

ARTIST NAME:  Pavit Sanghera

 

SONG TITLE:  You Ran Away

 

RELEASE DATE: 15th May 2020

 

GENRE:  R&B/Soul

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Pavit Sanghera is a 21-year-old Singer-Songwriter based in Birmingham.

 

Her main genres are RnB/Soul and Indian Fusion. She has had a very interesting life. Having lived in Spain (3 years) and India (5 years) she’s experienced each culture with open arms and uses the knowledge that she has gained, to her advantage. Pavit brings a new flavour to the RnB scene. She is trained in Indian classical music and that heavily influences her tracks.

 

The Birmingham based RnB singer has sung with the famous “Tum hi ho Bandhu” Indian singer Neeraj Shridhar and the YouTube singer, Alex Aiono.

 

Pavit Sanghera has been gigging around Birmingham since she was 15 and was picked up by a Birmingham based record label “touchagencyuk” with whom she created “You Ran Away” with…

 

She has collaborated with other producers and has more music coming your way.

 

Pavit is in her 3rd and final year studying at BIMM which is Europe’s largest and leading music Universities. Keep a close eye on her!

 

Pavit Sanghera’s New Track “You Ran Away” is the heartbreak track to cry to. This RnB track paves another path for the RnB scene. She is one to watch, as her crisp, soothing, and powerful vocals are not a one-off! She can do this on a bad day.

 

With this track, she tries to shed light on an issue that she thinks everyone has gone through once in their lives: “When that one person you loved and cared about leaves you just when you needed them the most. Through this song the message is no matter how much it hurts, remember that this too will pass and the tears you shed will dry out.”

–       Pavit Sanghera

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Tell us your names, country of birth, and childhood experience.

My name is Pavit Sanghera and I am a 21-year-old RnB/Indian fusion singer-songwriter based in Birmingham, England. I am trained in Indian classical music and I have lived in India for 4 years… I can sing and write songs in English, Spanish, Hindi, and Punjabi.

 

I was born and brought up in Birmingham, U.K. At the age of 8 my family and I moved to Spain just because we could (no reason) and we lived there for 3 years. After this, at the age of 11, we came back to England and that is when I decided to pursue music as a career. That’s when my brother and I moved away from our mother and left for India.

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Tell us about your academic qualification.

I did my GCSE’s in India College, BTEC in Music through Academy of Music and Sound here at Birmingham University and currently studying to get my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Songwriting at BIMM University (Birmingham branch).

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Elaborate on your music career, band name, experience, and skills.

I have been performing since I was 11 in front of big crowds. My guru who taught me Indian classical music has a lot of connection to big names in the Bollywood music industry so he would put on showcases for all his students to perform.

 

Then once I started college, I was still performing but now I was part of a band called Distinction but we don’t play as a band anymore. The places we/I performed at in Birmingham are; The Rainbow, The Victoria, The Roadhouse, The Dark Horse, Actress and Bishop, The Square, The sunflower Lounge (recently), The Bristol Pear.

 

I have done everything myself so far in terms of my music and the production, etc. but this song was actually picked up by a record company based in Birmingham itself, so I have been working with them to make this song what it is today.

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Tell us your genre and idea behind your music video or song.

My genre as I would class it would be RnB/Soul but with Indian classical influences.

 

The idea behind the song was to convey a message on a topic that is very relevant to a lot of people no matter what background they come from.

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Tell us how to run a record label based on your experience as an artist.

I think the main thing for me would be the word “FAIR.” This industry is not always fair to their artists in terms of giving them total creative freedom and that makes the artists unhappy…

 

Also, some of these contracts that are given to artists especially new artists is very unfair and even inhumane in some cases. Thus, I would focus on what would be fair for both parties.

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Tell us how you are promoting your music.

 Now my marketing plan has consisted of:

Contacting different blogs to cover the release of my songs or just me as an artist.

 

Contacting playlists with a good amount of following to add my song to their playlist when the song comes out.

 

Sending my song to BBC Introducing for coverage and also sending it off as a pitch for Spotify editorial playlists.

 

Other than that, I have a few teaser posts that I will be posting on my social media of the song and artwork.

 

After the release, I also have a video of me talking about my songwriting process that will go up on my IGTV for my fans to get more of an insight into my songwriting process.

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Explain the story behind the song.

The story behind this song is when the one person you cared and loved the most and stuck by leaves your side as soon as things get hard for you. Kind of showing my journey of how I coped and worked through all the emotions I had towards this person. The message was that no matter how many tears you do cry, eventually they will dry up and you will move on.

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List the radio stations, television stations, and blogs that have aired or featured your new song.

Run that again LDN.

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State the names of other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director.

The record label that helped me through the whole making of this song was TouchAgency UK (@touchagenecyuk).

 

This song is produced by Shakes Harris (@shakesgharris)

 

The artwork was made by Serena (@serenaillustrates)

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Tell us how long you have been in the music business, your experience, and your future goal.

I have been an active member of the music industry for around 6 years now, making, producing, and releasing music.

 

My future goal is simple, to make songs that will appeal to any kind of person from any background and will make them feel something, sold-out shows, the whole package.

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Tell us what makes you unique from others.

My music is what sets me apart. I am filling a gap in the market for the RnB scene. I have not seen many artists that look like me or come from an Indian background in my genre. I want girls/guys like me to see that even we can make a breakthrough in the western music industry by showing our cultures in the form of music. I think me being that voice is the one thing that sets me apart from the others.

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Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.

My weaknesses at the moment and I say moment because I have a growth mindset which means that I always want to become better at what I do, are my stage presence which I have been working a lot on and I am already getting better with every performance and also how to translate my vision to producers and others who are helping me with my music.

 

My strengths however are my passion for making music and my dedication to this creative outlet. I am very hardworking and never go into something without gaining enough knowledge about the subject.

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List your five favourite songs including the artists.

On My Mind – Jorja Smith

Stone Cold – Demi Lovato

Think About That – Jessie J

How Could You Leave Us – NF

When I’m Gone – Eminem

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Tell us your position on “Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.

Now I am leaning towards the DIY position just because I am a new artist and want that creative freedom for myself to express my emotions without any outside pressure.

 

However, If the right contract came around, I wouldn’t be fully against the idea to get signed to a Major Record Label, but I think that would take a hell of a deal between the Label and me.

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Tell us other activities you are pursuing apart from music.

Right now, I am focusing every part of me on my music but I do love to dance as well which I will be delving into more.

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List your various works.

Anymore

 

Bhuljake

 

Catastrophe

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State the official date of release.

“You Ran Away” is set to release on the 15th of May 2020.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Pavit Sanghera is my birth name. Pavit means Purity.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

You Ran Away is the song’s title and it sums up the whole song in 3 words. It’s a song about someone running away from you.

 

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RIDER – Stay

 

Artist’s Name:  RIDER

 

Song Title:  Stay

 

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Tell us your source of inspiration.

A lot of it is the kind of music I used to listen to as a child and film music – especially from 80s films. Current artists like M83 and The 1975 also inspire me.

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Discuss how you develop your music style.

It’s just the case of what sounds I like and how I use them. It’s hard to describe how I’ve developed my style. I just like certain sounds and timbres more than others. It’s taken years to develop my writing style and to be comfortable with it knowing it’s fully who I am. I think all artists go through that journey.

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Elaborate on multi-genre music.

I think most artists would say they like a lot of different types of music. I am one of them of course and I do like to incorporate different musical influences from my lifetime. Multi-genre just isn’t strictly one definitive style.

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Tell us the best means of reaching fans.

Live videos on Instagram or YouTube.

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Discuss the process involved in launching a musical career.

You believe and dream and know you can achieve it and then somehow the right people come into your life to help you along the way.

 

I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a music artist from a very young age and if you stay with your dream and work towards it, life sends you the right people and circumstances. There’s no one way as everyone has a different story.

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Tell us how to develop a lyric to a full song.

I have to fully feel what I’m writing. I have to be able to visualize the scenario or story in order to write a full song.

 

Usually, I start with an emotion, and then why do I feel that and how did I come to feel that in the first place?  There’s usually a story around the whole situation. It’s just finding the words to piece it all together. I find using the website ryhmezone.com helps me out a lot too!

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Tell us how you come up with a melody.

I just keep singing and recording something until I like the sound of it.

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Tell us your ideal type of recording studio.

One with a sea view and lots of windows.

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Describe the factors you consider in a good song.

A great melody and something that uplifts you or makes you feel at peace.

 

Also, a singer singing it that you love the voice. I find that crucial, as I’m quite picky with people’s voices…

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Tell us how you impact your listeners with your songs.

I usually like to get to the chorus quick and I like using my voice in an emotive way. It just has to have a vibe that draws you in immediately – be it with production or your voice.

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Tell us how you deal with producers and music directors. 

I am a producer and I produce my songs, so I guess I only need to deal with myself.

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Tell us how you feel after the completion of a song.

A mix of pure happiness, excitement, relief, and huge satisfaction.

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Tell us your worst song and state the reason.

I love all my songs! They are simply expressing different times in my life and I cannot for any reason regret any song or think that anyone is rubbish because at the time it was perfect.

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Tell us what you will change in your music.

I think my mixes will get better and I may start co-writing with other people.

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Tell us what is special about this release.

It’s special because I wrote this song about 3 years ago now and so I’m super excited for it to finally be released. It’s been a long time coming! Plus, it’s an awesome song that suits the summertime vibe.

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Tell us about your future goals.

I’d love to perform in stadiums and impact thousands of people all at the same time with my music and make them feel feelings and pure happiness they’ve never felt before!

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Tell us how you overcome obstacles.

It can be super hard at times of course but I find keeping my dream alive at the forefront of my mind helps a lot. If you stay focused and motivated, you can overcome any obstacle.

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Elaborate on the song.

‘Stay’ is about finding yourself suddenly having feelings for a friend you’ve had your whole life. You keep spending the summer holidays together as you always did as younger kids but this time around you don’t want them to go back home, instead you want them to stay because this summer is something else!

 

You’ve fallen in love with them, but, is that wrong? It’s something I can most definitely relate to.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

My name ‘Rider’ means many things to me. It means fast energy, excitement, freedom, always changing/adapting, and riding life which is how I’ve lived my life! I haven’t released an album as such as I’ve only released singles.

 

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Annabelle’s Curse – Foul Beast

 

ARTIST NAME: Annabelle’s Curse

 

SONG TITLE: Foul Beast

 

ALBUM TITLE: Vast Oceans

 

RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2020

 

GENRE: Indie Rock

 

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Granted, when a band opts for a handle like Annabelle’s Curse, it does tend to sound a little ominous. One must wonder, who is this Annabelle, and what’s brought about this streak of bad luck?

 

Fortunately, though, there’s no need to over-analyze. Listening to the bright, effusive sounds that this band brings forth is all the reassurance needed.

 

The group hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to a certain volatility that’s impacted their instrumental arsenal — more about that later — but when it comes to making music, the prospects are promising indeed.

 

Since the band first formed in 2010, the five current members — Tim Kilbourne (Voice, Guitar, Banjo), Zack Edwards (Guitar), Carly Booher (Mando, Voice), Travis Goyette (Drums), and Tyler Luttrelle (Bass) — they’ve followed a steady trajectory that’s not only resulted in three superbly impressive albums and a soon-to-be-released EP but also made them festival favorites at several major musical gatherings in their region of the world.

 

So never mind any dire designs. Annabelle’s Curse is anything but troubling. Upbeat, infectious, inspired, and flush with a celebratory stance that’s evident in every performance, the band’s approach defies definition but consistently connects with an emotional embrace. “We’re very rhythmic and we have a great deal of drive,” Edwards maintains. “It brings us great joy…so much so that people often comment on how great it is to watch us because they can tell we love what we are doing. We carry a very strong message, but it doesn’t really fit or even want to fit in a genre. We make a spontaneous sound that just seems to happen.”

 

“When things first started, the goal was to write good music with a positive message,” Kilbourne suggests, citing influences as varied as Grizzly Bear, Doomtree, Chris Thile, Iron and Wine, The Band, Josh Ritter, Bon Iver, Run the Jewels, Hudson Mohawke, and Modest Mouse. “It was all about the craft of songwriting, and never really about anything more. It just kind of grew from that. We’re still doing the same thing on a slightly bigger scale. We’re still focused on making better music as we go along.”

 

“We have kind of strayed from our roots a little more with each new album, leaning a little more on the electric side of things,” Edwards observes. “That’s also allowed us to get weirder with our effects and textures. With each album, we’ve put a lot more effort and a larger budget towards sound production. Over time, we’ve gained more conviction, confidence, and certainty in our sound. The music has kind of grown-up along with us.”

 

The group’s new EP, Here and Now (due for release February 17, 2017), was produced by Bill Moriarty and Zach Goldstein. “This is the crew that we worked with for Worn Out Skin,” Edwards explains. “We were very adamant about working with them again. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken? If anything, spending the last recording session together allowed us to break those initial barriers amongst ourselves. It’s hard to communicate musical and creative ideas with strangers. So now that we’ve already overcome that obstacle and when we got to the studio, we were able to hit the ground running.”

 

Oh yes… the name. Suffice it to say, it’s far from foreboding but somewhat spooky all the same. It seems that on the night of the band’s first show, their new upright bass, which they had named Annabelle, was dropped in the parking lot, leaving only two strings that still functioned.

 

“The show went on,” Edwards recalls. “The day we got her back from the luthier she fell over and broke the glass door at Tim’s house. A while later, the back separated from the body. It became apparent that something was not right. Hence the curse.”

 

“It didn’t stop with just the bass,” Kilbourne adds. “It’s transcended into just about everything we do. There was a show where Zack broke a guitar string and it literally swung over from the headstock of the guitar and into the power socket, effectively blowing the power for the whole bar. Annabelle’s replacement, Sophia Thor, once fell over onto a heater and was smouldering when we got back. Another few hours would probably have led to a house fire. These stories are endless…We’ve just taken it as a sign that we need to push to be more electric.”

 

Indeed, despite these snafus, and the challenges that come with being away from family, friends, and pets — not to mention the difficulty of driving a nearly 20-year-old Dodge van with over 200,000 miles racked up so far — it all pales in comparison to the rewards and satisfaction that’s come with creating a very special musical tapestry.

 

“We’ve been able to share a piece of ourselves with the world,” Edwards reflects. “We’ve met fans that have used our music to get through hard times. Plus, we get to play music together with our best friends. What more could anyone want?”

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

In creating music, my goal has always been to create something from my heart without much influence from outside sources.

 

When working on an album, I try to not listen too much to other music as subconsciously I am inspired by others’ work.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

The music industry is extremely saturated these days so sometimes even the best artists don’t get as much recognition as they deserve.

 

To stay relevant, I think it’s important for an artist to keep pushing forward and introduce new music to their audience as often as possible.

 

Attention spans are getting shorter, so you’ve got to find a way to maintain some limelight.

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Tell us about your experience as a musician/artist.

I’ve always been a musician who finds writing, playing, and singing as a therapy for dealing with depression and other emotions.

 

When I write songs, I am trying to satisfy my own need for a creative outlet.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

Though money revenue has been lost due to people buying fewer albums, I think that streaming is a beautiful thing because it allows for the spread of music with little to no barriers.

 

Used to be that an audience could only hear your music if you sold them an album or they bought it online, but now anyone can hear your music if it’s in the right place to listen.

 

The music industry is constantly evolving, but I do think that it’s a great thing that people can hear new music and spread it easily.

 

Also, in a time of COVID-19, streaming music is now the only way to be heard. Playing shows may not happen quite the same for a long time.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

My goal is to get our music to as many people as possible.

 

I guess some people are seeking fame and fortune, but I find comfort in knowing that my songs and music have helped, inspired, or motivated another person.

 

A lot of my songs are written as a way of coping with difficult situations or celebrating the beauty of life around me, so my goal is to carry my message to as many people as possible.

 

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to make money from music because let’s be real, playing music for the rest of my life for income sounds like the ultimate gig.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

Run the Jewels, Jose Gonzalez, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, and Local Natives.

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Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.

I’m a bit biased on what I think our best song is, but I would have to say “Cornerstone.”

 

The rest of our band would most likely say “Regret” even though it’s an older song for us but I’m partial to Cornerstone because I wrote it for my wife and sang it at our wedding. I feel it may be the most honest and sincere song I’ve ever written.  I’m including the links to both:

 

Regret, Va

 

Cornerstone

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

My dream is to make Annabelle’s Curse a common, household name, and I hope to share our music with as many people as possible.

 

Currently, I’m also dreaming of a day when we won’t be stuck at home due to shutdowns and quarantines.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

I’m not sure if it’s the music industry that has directly gone through changes or if the world has gone through changes and now the music industry is trying to keep up.

 

As a musician, it’s getting tougher to sell albums when streaming is cheap or free. Navigating the ever-evolving financial world of music is tough especially with an over-saturation of artists in the world, and everybody is fighting to be heard.

 

It used to be that blogs and reviews would listen and review your music for free if they like what you sold, but now to be heard, you often must pay a fee to even be considered.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

What can you say? I wish all the best indie artists were given a chance to be heard, but oftentimes, only a select famous few are played and repeated relentlessly on the radio and TV.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle them.

The biggest challenge we face is whether to invest our energy in an online promotion or playing shows. I guess COVID-19 has sort of solved that problem for a lot of musicians and is pushing live bands to focus on their digital offerings more.

 

Playing shows has always been a hit or miss type business especially when you are setting up shows on your own without a proper manager.

 

It’s also a huge challenge to play music while having to maintain a full-time occupation. I am a Middle School teacher by day while the rest of the band also work as a pharmacist, a therapist, a cook, and an employee of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Share your press releases and reviews with us.

“Their emotive, post-folk songs sweep from intimate whisper to anthem-like choruses, placing them in a category of bands like Mumford and Sons and The Decemberists that are testing the boundaries of modern-day Americana”                                                                     -Tennessee Shines; WDVX Knoxville

 

Pop Matters

 

Michaels Musiclog

 

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

Social media is a great way to advertise your music online but to some degree, you are limited to new people seeing your music.

 

Sure, you can pay for advertisements on social media, but finding spare money laying around for that these days is tough.

 

I see social media as a better way to maintain interest with current fans.

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Tell us about your music career.

We’ve been playing music for about 10 years now, and it seems like we figure out the industry a bit more each day.

 

We have recorded 5 albums now and each one has evolved, and everyone feels better than the last.

 

I’ve always had a love for writing and recording while playing live has been harder for me as I am a bit introverted.

 

The band started with 3 members (guitar, bass, banjo) and evolved into the six-member group that we are today.

 

We’ve played 30 – 60 shows in a year and we’ve played a lot of festivals along the way.

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

It’s not the money. It’s not the fame. Music itself is what motivates me. Creating for the sake of creating is what makes me happy.

 

To me, the act of creating something new and unique to share with other people is the best feeling you can receive in your music career.

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Tell us about you as a person.

As I said, I’m a teacher by day and I am a LEGO robotics coach. I love my job and I love working with kids. Music has always been a huge part of my life and it’s a big part of my classroom at school.

 

I love playing disc golf and love road biking as well. I’d have to say that food is a huge part of my life as I love to eat new things as well as cook and bake. I also love working in the garden as I find myself writing new songs while I work.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

Foul Beast is about the power of lies and the shadow they cast over your life.

 

This song was written during early 2019. Partly due to some personal things, but I mainly wrote this song looking at the political turmoil in the US. It makes me sick to hear politicians (especially the president) lie at the rate in which they do. But as the song says, all lies will eventually “come around” to haunt the person spilling them.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

Writing songs has always been a very fluid thing for me. I know musicians who write lyrics first and then the music next (or vice versa), but to me, writing lyrics and the music have always sort of happened simultaneously.

 

There have been very few songs that I’ve written that quickly come together in a day or two as most songs I write genuinely take weeks, months, or even years to finish.

 

I think sometimes the best music I can create has been wrestled and toiled with for an efficient amount of time.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Our band’s name is Annabelle’s Curse, and I know that it sounds more hardcore than what our music may portray.

 

When the band first started, we travelled around with a large upright bass that we named Annabelle.

 

At our first scheduled show, the bass player was carrying Annabelle but the case broke, Annabelle’ fell to the ground and broke in half at its head.

 

Annabelle only had two strings on it for a while. Another time, the upright bass was situated in the corner of my buddy’s house while he was out of town. When he returned home, he found that Annabelle had somehow shifted against the wall, turned on a wall heater, and the bass began to melt. Luckily, Annabelle didn’t catch fire and burn his house down.

 

We eventually got rid of the upright bass, but the curse has been known to follow us whether it is through our van breaking down countless times on the side of the road or blowing up a sound system by accident.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

This song is called Foul Beast and it’s about the monster we create through the lies that we tell. You can’t escape it. It will always have its way.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

We named this album Vast Oceans because we felt like that name encompassed the wide-ranging differences between the songs.

 

Vast Oceans is also a song on our new album and it’s all about wrestling with your emotions.

 

To some degree, I believe all music is about wrestling with feelings and emotions.  The song Vast Oceans is a bit experimental to some degree and I think we as a band may have enjoyed creating that song the most.

 

Many songs on this album revolve around the ocean or images of water so it makes sense to lump them together under that theme.

 

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Louisa Maria – One Lump of Sugar

 

ARTIST NAME: Louisa Maria

 

SONG TITLE: One Lump of Sugar

 

GENRE: Pop-Electronic

 

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Best known for her role as a lead vocalist and guitarist in a top power rock trio, Tequila Mockingbird, Louisa Maria hails from one of the UK’s music & arts hubs, Bristol, and has now stepped into her own solo career.

 

Louisa has attracted an incredibly loyal fan base by launching her original material which has gained a large national and international reach through her previous successes including airplay on Planet Rock.

 

Louisa uses a loop station, guitar, and keys, resembling artists such as Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, and Melanie Martinez and has supported the likes of Razorlight, The Hoosiers & John Adams.

 

One Lump of Sugar‘ portrays an abstract view on life. It aims to provide the listener with a sense of inner power.

 

Speaking of the single Louisa says:

I want it to motivate people into pursuing something that they want to do but might not feel comfortable doing in real life. Sit back and get lost in the music while creating your own fantasy world. It could be about absolutely anything you want with any outcome you desire.

 

During her tour of Belfast & Dublin, Louisa performed the new single on ‘The Big Show’, Belfast with Robyn Elliott, and at ‘The International Bar’, Dublin.

 

‘One Lump of Sugar’ is the first single out of two (Bang Bang Drop) that will then be followed by an EP ‘Tea for Two’ which is due for release at the beginning of July.

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State your reason for choosing music as a career.

There are several aspects I love about music and that is the reason why I have chosen it as my career. I sing, play piano, guitar and have always enjoyed performing.

 

I soak up the emotions of people around me and portray them in my songwriting.

 

I am a free spirit and very creative so a 9-5 job would not work for me at all. This, of course, has its good and bad points. I can, at times, feel very isolated from society. During this current COVID-19 2020 lockdown my songwriting has reflected this aspect. In normal times I thoroughly enjoy the warmth and interaction of the live audience.

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Tell us how you write lyrics.

Lyrics and pictures usually flood my mind at random times, I could be out running/training or driving and ideas pop up with catchy hooks. I usually have to stop and make a voice memo as I always worry, I’ll forget them if I don’t record them immediately.

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Discuss your life outside the music world.

Outside of music I love a lot of girly type things such as makeup, fashion, and glamour.

 

I am also an intermediate level Spanish speaker. I attended a Spanish School in Alicante, Southern Spain for a 2-month period in 2018. I loved it so much that it has become a place I visit 6+ times a year. I have friends living there and when I go to visit together, we improve each other’s understanding of the language. It has become a holiday destination that I very much enjoy visiting with my friends from around the globe.

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Discuss your music career.

I’ve been a professional musician since I left University. I used to perform on the covers circuit with a function band ‘Angel Up Front.’ I also performed on the cover circuit as a solo act ‘Louisa Baker.’

 

Shortly after this I had my very own Bristol all-girl rock band ‘Flowerpot’ which I fronted and toured around the UK. A little while late I moved to London where I worked as an Intern for a booking agency ‘Milk and Two Sugars.’ I would look into the world of older bands on tours and got some great insights into how a “Booker” works. Shortly after my internship ended, I turned to busking on Trafalgar and Leicester Square where I really learned how to catch people’s attention.

 

After a six-month period of living in London the opportunity to join an Australian all-girl rock trio as their lead singer/guitarist was put to me. It seemed to me that it had emerged out of nowhere! I joined this band and that meant leaving London to tour with them. We released three of my songs as singles including ‘Tell Me’, Fire & ‘Pretty Picture’ which scored airplay on Planet Rock Radio throughout 2018.

 

I’ve performed at the 02 Arena supporting ‘Richie Blackmore’ as part of the Stone Free Festival, played alongside ‘The Hoosiers’, ‘SlipKnot’ as well as headlined numerous tours throughout Europe and Spain and Germany.

 

Since I began my own solo path, I’ve supported the likes of ‘Razorlight’ and John Adams as well as toured the UK three times including an acoustic solo tour of Belfast (Where I appeared on local TV) and Dublin.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name.

Louisa Maria Baker is my real name and I’ve adapted it by simply dropping my surname… hence Louisa Maria… I feel this name is more appealing to those in Europe and particularly Spain/ South America where it is my dream to go on a full-blown tour with my band together with dancers.

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List your five favourite music videos with reasons.

The Jonas Brothers ‘Sucker’ – Alice in Wonderland style – Gave me an idea for my current release. I love the imaginative costumes and setting in which they choose to film in.

 

“Ava Max” – “Sweet but Pyscho’ – Awesome storytelling music video! I love the scene where she is pretending to be some weirdo cutting her hair off!

 

“Rooster” – ‘Come Get Some’ – Iconic video to me as I grew up hearing this track. I loved the teenage appeal and how the boy band was so smooth and so good-looking!

 

‘Nirvana’ – Smells like teen spirit’ – So influential for me as I loved Nirvana and would always try to play certain songs as a teenager. The video and song ended up being part of my finals in Uni as I used it as an example to write about ‘Commodity’ in the industry. This was for a BIMM Analytical Perspective unit.

 

‘Letters to Cleo’ – I Want You to Want Me’ – In the film ‘5 Things I hate about You’ featuring Heath Ledger. The music video was the film practically and the band and the film sold themselves as a package for me. I fell in love with the idea and concept of being a rock chic that the singer ‘Kay Hanley’ pulled off so well!

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Tell us your source of inspiration.

Funnily enough, looking back on the last music video from the band ‘Letters to Cleo’- I always wanted to have a voice as soft but as strong as ‘Kay Hanley’. It’s the perfect blend of a pop-rock chic with an awesome flair for fashion!

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Tell us your experience of dealing with fans.

I gained a lot of followers online who started supporting me when I joined Tequila Mockingbird and have continued throughout my solo journey so far. It’s been such a fantastic experience for me, and I really enjoy keeping in touch and writing to people.

 

I’ve only ever had a couple of strange experiences where fans might try to hang around a bit too much! It can be awkward when a conversation has ended yet I tend to allow for a bit of overflow conversation.

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Elaborate on the recording of this song.

The song has undertaken a lot of production under my instructions. I attended the mixing session with the studio engineer ‘Andrea Succi’ of Puzzle Maker Studios and requested certain effects and changes in tempo to be added to the track. I feel there is now a “fantasy world sound” that I very much wanted to create.

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Tell us about your future projects.

I have a full EP that has been recorded, mixed, and is waiting to be mastered right now. Some great publishing opportunities have also begun to come my way and so I am holding my breath to see what I will do next! I imagine I’ll be conducting my music videos for a few tracks off the EP, especially the next Single ‘Bang Bang Drop.’

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List the names of those that have supported you so far.

I have some amazing supporters out there:

 

Andy Lynn – not only supporting me via my patron channel but has continually ordered merchandise, exclusives, and even lent me a guitar + attending all live shows!

 

David Abraham – Another great supporter on my patron channel who also continually orders my music and merchandise and attends shows.

 

Ken Gamston – Another great supporter on my patron channel who also put me forward for gigs including John Adam’s support slot I mentioned before.

 

Jonathan Peter Baker – Another great supporter who continually shares my posts online and, in his Facebook, ‘Appreciation Music Group’ – orders all merchandise and attends all shows.

 

Fin McNicol – Another great supporter on my patron channel who continually orders merchandise and shares my posts.

 

Daniel Bright – Another great supporter on my patron channel who also orders merchandise and music etc.

 

Saz Moulson – Always plays my tracks on her radio station!

 

Heidi Kerr – Supports me through my solo journey since Tequila along with Terry Chapman – My previous manager who was always performing to her highest at Rock People Management.

 

John Atkinson – A great fan who always baked a cake and brought it to gigs! We started a weekly cooking channel during lockdown!

 

Bevan Baker – fan from Australia who always tunes into my online streaming shows no matter what the time difference is!

Steve Lyth, Mark Robson, Jill Domain, Gary Connor, Bevan Baker Andrew Price, there are so many I could go on! I feel so lucky to have such a loyal fan base.

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Tell us your point of view on vocal tuning.

It’s make or break! The vocals are the most important aspect, live and generally. It can make or break the artist’s live career.

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Tell us your thought on quality and quantity for the release of songs.

I feel it is best to start off small with aims to get big! You do not have to release things all in one go. It’s also not just about the music in terms of your circle and ‘what’s going on in your professional life’. You can make the bigger picture if you put in enough effort. The bigger picture can be your social media – what’s going out on your pages? Are you posting good quality content? Are people engaging on your socials in the way you’d like them to?

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Tell us your viewpoint on comparing music career to non-music career.

Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to not think about the ‘Timeline’ when it comes to what you should do next. A release, whether you like it or not, is an entire project and depending on what you want the release to do determines how much work you put in as a DIY artist.

 

Nowadays it’s mainly about what you can achieve that’s big and effective. A non-music career seems interesting but only in the sense that you are not calling the shots all the time. Yet I don’t think I’d do well in any other industry due to that fact unless I was arranging it all. Event’s organizer I think I’d be very good at. Then again, the tourism industry appeals to me too.

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Tell us your opinion on categorizing music into genres and sub-genres.

I don’t have an issue with music being ‘categorized’ – But I do have an issue with how it might affect gig and gig support placement.

 

Artists preferably ought to be considered due to their success and pervious success first – before then applying the music and category to deciding a gig line up for example.

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State the genre you despise most with reason.

I don’t despise a genre – however, I’d say that perhaps Doom Metal tracks wouldn’t be on my home playlist.

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List your favourite movies with reasons.

‘5 Things I hate about You’ – Loved the American Teenage lifestyle it sold to me as a kid growing up along with its musical influences.

 

‘Erin Brockovich’ – Amazing movie that I would watch repeatedly! This movie always stuck in my mind because it was so good and true. Plus, Julia Roberts is an amazing Actor.

 

‘You’ve Got Mail’ – Loved this old-style movie for its use of email and only to find out that the person you’ve been hating the most is the new love in your life via internet reality! As a millennial – This film featuring Tom Hanks was put across in such an awesome and realistic way. It would make me laughed as I’d be thinking to myself as a kid that the email system was already at that point too old!

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

‘One Lump of Sugar’ – Fantasy abstract title for the hook in the lyrics
 “I’ll take one lump of sugar and you’ll take another two!’

 

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Cat Marina – Ex Friends + Bad Endings

 

ARTIST NAME: Cat Marina

 

SONG TITLE: Ex Friends + Bad Endings

 

RELEASE DATE: 8th May 2020

 

GENRE: Alt-Pop

 

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After featuring on BLOWSOM’s latest EP with the single ‘Lost In The City’, producer, writer, and multi-instrumentalist Cat Marina steps out into the foreground with debut solo single Ex Friends + Bad Endings. Since spending his time fronting a number of indie/pop bands, as well as composing music that has amassed over a million streams; alongside being featured on national media outlets including BBC Radio 1, Amazon Prime and video game Pro Evolution Soccer – Cat Marina has been perfecting his brand of quirky indie pop, a mix of left-field electronic beats and insightful self-reflecting lyrics; embedded by his prolific ability to craft hook-filled pop songs.

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Tell us the genre of your music. 

Indie bedroom pop.

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Tell us the story behind your song. 

This one’s about leaving difficult relationships behind. Sometimes it’s easy to rely on people that aren’t overly healthy for you, and it can be the toughest moments of change that create the most lasting happiness in your life. Get that on a t-shirt.

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Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician. 

Somebody wiser than me would probably tell you that every problem is a song. It’d be nice to get paid though.

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Discuss the recording and production of the song. 

I self-produce all my stuff – so it’s just kind of a battle between getting motivated to finish songs off and feeling uncomfortable when listening to them and they’re not finished.

 

This one took me about four days to get the demo done, I remember I watched a YouTube video on Lauv writing a tune. I’m probably paraphrasing, but he said something along the lines of “So I thought of this guitar part… and I recorded it” and I just thought, “What? It’s supposed to be that easy?”. But hey, I tried something similar, and then it ended up being a pretty easy song to write in the end. Thanks, Lauv.

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List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far. 

I’ve been lucky enough to get support from BBC Introducing (South, Solent), Turtle Tempo (Huge fan of them!), It’s All Indie, FVMusicBlog – I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but I’m writing this before the release of the single so I’m hoping there’ll be a couple more that find it along the way. I also found out a song I wrote was played on Eastenders the other day, does that count?

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Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals.

I’ve always played in indie/pop bands, including a group called BOA and Suzi Island.

 

In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to get the music I’ve written on Jack Ryan’s Tom Clancy (Amazon Prime), Pro Evolution Soccer, BBC coverage… it’s been loads of fun. Along the way, I’ve also been fortunate enough to watch some incredible producers work, and that’s really helped me out producing my own stuff.

 

As far as my future goals – world domination has always been the end goal, but paying rent is the first step. On a serious note, I’d love to be able to self-produce outside of my bedroom. When it comes to drum sounds etc. I’m a bit limited to samples due to my space – I mean samples are great, but I’d love to get into a space where I could work with some musicians better than me and record an album.

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Brief us what inspires you to write, compose, and sing/rap.

I’m always a little self-deprecating when I write music. I sent a song to a girl on Tinder a little while back, and she literally asked: “What happened to you?” I think for me though the motivation for the better songs always comes through a kind of self-realization, where you just write whatever your subconscious wants to, and then realize what it’s about afterward. It doesn’t always happen like that, but the songs I like most tend to. It just so happens that my subconscious isn’t so full of itself.

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Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.

Let me know if you ever find out. I’d kill for this info.

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Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

As I’m an upcoming myself, it’s impossible for me to give advice. I’d love to, but I think I’d just come across as somebody that knows what they’re talking about.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing, and record in the studio. 

Every time is so different; it’s impossible to say if I’m honest. I think the way to keep creative is to try different things – I tend to write all my lyrics just on my notes on my phone, and just recorded really rough ideas until it starts to make sense. I’ve recorded myself writing a song recently, from start to finish. I quite like the song too. Hopefully, that’ll be out soon.

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Name your favourite artists for collaboration. 

I did a track with French producer/writer BLOWSOM for his last EP ‘Colours.’ He’s a phenomenal producer, so that was a great experience. I got to stay at his place in Paris, too. He’s got a pretty cool place.

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Share your press releases and reviews with us. 

With a production style honed by shadowing seasoned pros such as Pete Robertson (The Vaccines) and Will Hicks (Ed Sheeran, Jamie Lawson) Cat Marina gave up the live band recording studio for a more intimate setting: his bedroom. Influenced by artist/producers such as James Blake, Athlete and Mr. Hudson, his writing became more personal and biographical than ever before – epitomized by the song Ex Friends + Bad Endings which discusses the difficulty of leaving toxic relationships with friends and loved ones in the past, no matter how challenging change can be.

 

“I just realized I landed in a place where I was relying on other people for my own sanity, and that’s fine as long as the pack of cards you’ve built into a stable little flat-pack bungalow doesn’t cave in on itself. But when it does, you realize you’re left with no idea who you are, or where you’re supposed to go. It dawned on me that I needed to figure out exactly what type of snare drum I like, and whether I’m the type of person that keeps eggs in the fridge or in the cupboard. I guess that’s why this song feels so important to me, as it’s me starting the process of figuring that out.”

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Well, after a quick Google it seems that the exchange rate would leave me with £799,872. I’d buy a dirigible.

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Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base. 

I love Instagram. Mainly I just post ridiculous stuff on there; it’s fun.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it. 

Cat Marina. I thought it sounded like a cool place to go.

 

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Low Life Lolas – Grime

 

ARTIST NAME: Low Life Lolas

 

SONG TITLE: Grime

 

ALBUM TITLE: Anchors

 

RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2020

 

GENRE: Indie Pop/Rock

 

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LOW LIFE LOLAS, fronted by songwriter Renée Parr, is a Toronto-based indie-rock quartet whose haunting, bittersweet pop songs evoke a hint of nostalgia.

 

 

It’s a record about relationships: how they shift and evolve, make us vulnerable, and ground us when we face the unexpected dangerous creatures that inhabit it.

 

In 2019, the band released their debut EP, WOLVES, produced by Ian Blurton (The Weakerthans, C’Mon, Blurtonia).

 

Their second EP, ANCHORS, is produced by Alex Gamble (Rheostatics, Alvvays) and is set for release on July 24th, 2020.

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Tell us about your future music projects.

Renee: We have a new bass player on board, so taking that into account, we anticipate some fresh collaborations. We are striving for our first full-length record next year.

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Share your press release and reviews with us.

GRIME is the lead single off the upcoming ANCHORS EP by Toronto’s LOW LIFE LOLAS.

 

“Grime is kind of my queer anthem,” says songwriter Renée Parr. “Every summer I go home [to Thunder Bay, Ontario] and spend about a month in the bush with my dogs and my partner. It’s about a dirty kind of bush, queer, let-your-hair-grow kind of love—embracing that, and going against any sort of conventional lifestyle or conformity.”

 

Anchors is due for release on July 24th. Recorded in Toronto with producer Alex Gamble (Rheostatics, Alvvays).

 

“ANCHORS” EP OUT JULY 24

“When you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, you sometimes experience a floating feeling, like you’re floating away. The things in your life—your job, friends, music, or your craft—they hold you down, almost like an anchor.”

-Renée Parr

 

 

ANCHORS , due JULY 24th  is a record about relationships: how they shift and evolve, make us vulnerable, and ground us when we face the unexpected.

 

Songwriter Renée Parr (vocals, guitar), along with bandmates Melissa Chiasson (drums) and Alex MacLeod (guitar, backup vocals) entered the studio to record Anchors in early January, accompanied by producer Alex Gamble (Rheostatics, Alvvays).

 

Things did not go smoothly.

 

On the first day of recording, Parr’s partner’s father survived a severe stroke while traveling. “I was actually in the booth and my phone was on silent,” says Parr. “It could only go off if someone was calling repeatedly if it was an emergency. So right away, my heart stopped. “The closing track on the record, “Secret Song”, was written in the studio the next day, while anxiously awaiting news on his prognosis.

 

 

Shortly after, the band unexpectedly parted ways with their bassist (since replaced by Jessie Taynton , who will be writing and performing with the band going forward).

 

The next session was brought to a halt by the discovery of bed bugs in the studio. “I was washing up in the bathroom when I noticed a bug crawling on my arm,” says Parr. “I frantically ripped off my clothes and shook them out, but I couldn’t find it. Later, I saw one crawling on Alex’s back and knocked it off.” The band members, cell phone flashlights in hand, gathered round the blood-filled pest on the studio floor to confirm its identity. “We squashed it, and that was it for the night.”

 

The global pandemic struck during production, complicating the mixing and mastering process. Nevertheless, the band persevered, and the record was completed…

 

TRACKLIST:

1.Grime

2.Grip to Me

3.Portraits

4.Washed Out

5.Sad Songs

6.Secret Song

 

LOW LIFE LOLAS, fronted by songwriter Renée Parr, is a Toronto-based indie-rock quartet whose haunting, bittersweet pop songs evoke a hint of nostalgia.

 

Inspired by contemporaries like Alvvays, Hop Along, and Bad Bad Hats, Parr places melody front and center, crafting memorable hooks that underscore stories of struggle, heartbreak, and queer love.

 

Through the lens of their Northern Ontario upbringing, Parr’s songs challenge the confines of urban life with allusions to the unforgiving Canadian wilderness—and the beautiful and dangerous creatures that inhabit it.

 

In 2019, the band released their debut EP, WOLVES , produced by Ian Blurton (The Weakerthans, C’Mon, Blurtonia).

 

Their second EP, ANCHORS , is produced by Alex Gamble (Rheostatics, Alvvays) and is set for release on July 24th, 2020 .

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Tell us if you will change the style of your music to get signed.

Renee: No. We are happy with who we are and the way we sound.
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Elaborate on this song.

Renee: I often daydream of the kind of life my partner and I are striving for. Dogs, adventures, and a couple of filthy kids to drag along with us. Stating that ‘your grime is mine’, means I want this with you. I want the difficulties, the dirt, the good and the bad – I want the messiness, whatever it is, I want it with you.
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Tell us if you have a guideline or standard set for your music production.

Alex: We have a process. Songs are first recorded rough on a phone and then built up into demos. We pass those to our producer (Alex Gamble) and collectively decide which will make the cut. The best tracks are recorded in the studio and mastered.
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Tell us your preparation for a live performance and how you make sure the quality of sound is high.

Renee: We rehearse weekly. If we have a show booked, we rehearse twice as much to prepare for the show.

 

We take very good care of our equipment and instruments, keeping up with repairs and tune-ups as needed.

 

We don’t accept slots unless we have enough room to be properly rehearsed and ready. A tight performance is important to us.
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Discuss how to live a healthy life.

Renee: Do what you want, the way that you want to.
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Tell us if you are in control of your performance or you are still learning.

Renee: We’re always learning. It’s those little milestones that keep me moving forward. Where Would I be without them? Pretty bored I’m sure.
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Tell us that precious moment you chose music as a career.

I can’t recall a certain moment. But I guess I know it’s the most important thing to me because even if I wanted to stop, I would never, ever be able to. I can’t say the same for anything else.

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Tell us the greatest feedback you have ever received on a song of yours.

Renee: The best feedback was from a fan of ours. They told me they listen to my music when they are having a hard time and are upset. It helps them feel better, and not alone in their struggles.

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Tell us your side interest apart from music.

Renee: I’m a big outdoors person. I love hiking, camping, and fishing. And I don’t go anywhere without my dog!
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Tell us the artist that influenced you.

Renee: The first artist that influenced me and made me want to rock the fuck out; was Hayley Williams of Paramore.
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Tell us if you prefer singing as a solo artist to collaborating with others.

Renee: That’s a hard one. They are very different, and I love both, but I would have to say collaborating with others is best!
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Tell us the full details of this song.

Renee: I wrote Grime at my partner’s family cottage on a child-sized classical guitar in the summertime. I get a lot of inspiration there.

 

The central theme of the EP is relation. Relating to persons with mental health, vulnerability, and difficulties that come with it. The ability to grow and change together and live with each other’s past and present traumas… You become ‘Anchors’ for each other.

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Tell us the organization you will set up to fight a cause and state your reason for fighting the cause.

Renee: I would set up a fundraiser for any organization in support of indigenous communities’ needs.

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Tell us about your mood while performing.

Renee: I am always having a blast. Performing makes me smile!
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Tell us the mistakes to avoid in the music business.

Renee: Don’t forget why you’re doing this.
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Tell us your opinion on smoking, health is wealth, but people still smoke.

Renee: Do what you want.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Renee: We couldn’t come up with a name, so we asked Facebook. It was an old friend from back home’s idea.
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State the title of the song and the meaning.

Renee: Grime is the metaphor for all the relationship’s problems and imperfections, for the unconventionality I’m looking for.
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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

Renee: We named the record ANCHORS because it’s about mental health, trauma, and relationship. How the people and things in your life can work as anchors, in good ways or not…

 

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Ilona Mahieu – Criminal

 

ARTIST NAME: Ilona Mahieu

 

SONG TITLE: Criminal

 

RELEASE DATE: 15/04/2020

 

GENRE: Indie Rock

 

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Tell us about your history.

Ilona Mahieu began as a solo project, with me spending years performing acoustic sets at various pubs and small venues in the south of England.

 

When I started university in 2017, I gathered together a group of like-minded musical pals (Emma Taylor, Jack Williams, Mark Fifield, and Sam Appleby) to see what magic we could create.

 

The majority of our set consists of new and improved versions of the songs I wrote and performed when I was solo, but the more we’ve written and played together, the more we’ve branched out and created fresh material, defining our sound as a unit, and evolving far beyond just a singer with a supporting band.

 

The first official release under the Ilona Mahieu alias was a collaboration, “Dysart”, with Kayncee, another friend from university. We bonded over our mutual love of Watsky and set out to write a track inspired by his music. Around the same time, me and the band recorded our debut single “Maslow” and began planning the music video. The whole project was self-funded and organized, taking months and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears to complete.

 

Our goal was to come right out of the gate with a bang, to make noise and to make our mark, hence the scale and ambition of the debut track and video.

 

We chose to follow this with “Criminal” because it was the first song that we wrote together from scratch, and we were incredibly proud and eager to show it to the world.

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Describe yourself as an artist. 

Most of our music is quite sad. I find it difficult writing “happy” music as you don’t tend to wallow in happiness long enough to write something down. The songs are not supposed to get you down though – the goal I have with every song we write is to capture a specific feeling or experience. The songs aren’t all slow and miserable either – something I love about artists such as Twenty One Pilots is their ability to frame sad lyrics in lively and energetic music.

 

As an artist, I try to create distinctive and memorable imagery, musically and otherwise. I like playing with metaphors and trying to personify emotions and mental states to make them tangible.

 

The rest of the band are brilliant at writing parts that reflect this, and often share the sentiment behind the songs, so the feeling we are ultimately trying to recreate is interlaced throughout the track in every way.

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Tell us the genre of your music. 

We generally describe ourselves as Indie Rock, but we use a lot of elements from other genres too, including progressive rock, pop, and blues.

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Tell us the story behind your song. 

“Criminal” is an ode to every sexy bastard whoever drove you just a little bit crazy. Revolving around the theme of the Garden of Eden, this song uses the metaphor of Eve falling for the snake’s charm; despite knowing it’s not good or right for her.

 

The focus is on the mental tug of war happening between two people, with both fighting for emotional power over the other.

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Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician/artist. 

The biggest obstacle we’re facing now is reaching a bigger audience.

 

We are confident that the music we create is of great quality, but due to the nature of the industry and such an oversaturated market, it’s difficult to make yourself stand out in a sea of other musicians clamouring for peoples’ attention. It’s very easy to get drowned out in all the noise.

 

However, the audience that we do have is devoted, encouraging, and incredibly supportive, and we are forever grateful for them.

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Discuss the recording and production of the song. 

We recorded this track along with 3 others in January 2020. We went to AJA Studios in Surrey and had a brilliant day – recording went smoothly, we had tons of snacks and there was even a pool table to enjoy during breaks!

 

Our sound engineer and producer Ryan Wood of 105mm Studios is fantastic, and can basically read my mind, so I never have any trouble communicating with him about how we want the tracks to sound. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has a great understanding of how to bring out the best qualities of everyone’s individual performances.

 

The production of this song aimed to be punchy and dynamic, as it does with all our tracks. I record all the vocals separately at home as I have my own recording setup and prefer editing them myself before sending them to Ryan to mix.

 

In the studio, we recorded only the instrumental with me singing a guide vocal into the talkback mic. Our guitarist Sam lives in Devon (he moved back home after university), so he also recorded his parts separately. It’s not a conventional process but it works for us – it provides a lot of flexibility and allows us to work around logistical limitations like location and time restrictions in the studio.

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List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.

So far, we have been featured on BBC Introducing: The South on BBC Radio Sussex, as well as Stereo Underground, also on BBC Radio Sussex.

 

Big thanks to Melita Dennett for picking up the track and playing it on her show! We also had our debut single “Maslow” played on Surrey Hills Community Radio by DJ Azza, who did a short interview with me and our drummer Emma on-air to help promote the release. Shout out to him too!

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Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals. 

I have been playing acoustic gigs since I was 13. I’ve always loved music and have been writing songs since I was young – I remember bringing lyrics into school to show my friends when I was 6 years old.

 

Naturally, I pursued music within education, studying music performance and production at college and going on to study a music production degree at ACM in Guildford.

 

The band formed in the second year of university when I decided I needed to take my music to the next level and take it more seriously. I know the rest of the band have had similar experiences loving and playing music since they were young, which is how we all ended up in the same place.

 

I like to take a leading role in all our musical projects as I usually have a clear vision in my head of what I want from the end result. I conceptualized and organized both music videos (“Dysart” and “Maslow”), processes which taught me a lot very quickly.

 

In general, I have learned a lot during my time with the band and have massively improved as a writer and musician; thanks to them and the projects we have worked on so far, and I really look forward to what the future holds.

 

In the future, after lockdown is over, we hope to book as many gigs as possible and dive right back into writing, rehearsing, and recording. We have 3 tracks already recorded that just need producing and finishing off, and 4 more that we’ve been working on recently that will soon be ready to record. At some point down the line, we are eager to tackle a concept EP/album of some kind; we are really inspired by progressive music and would love to adopt more aspects of the genre, such as unusual time signatures and song structures.

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Brief us what inspires you to write, compose, and sing/rap. 

I like to tell stories. I pull inspiration from events and people in my life and try to describe them in a unique and poetic way.

 

I’ve always felt jaded by the way that many popular songs recycle the same lyrical ideas and never to try to innovate or say something original. I find this can be avoided if you write from a personal perspective – no one else in the world has your life experience other than you. I used to worry that if I talked about things that were too niche and specific to my life then listeners wouldn’t be able to understand or relate, but I found the total opposite to be true. I find it fascinating hearing different people’s varying interpretations of my lyrics and the meaning that they find. Listeners tend to instinctively recognize if a song is coming from a personal place and they really connect with that. I find that beautiful.

I’m also heavily influenced by the musicians I love. I will often write lyrics or improvise melodies over existing songs. I’ll hear an element I like and think, “I want to write a song based around that idea.” This can be anything from lyrical ideas to song structures or melody styles. For example, the structure of “Maslow” was inspired by the structure of my favourite song, “Jesus Christ” by Brand New – no chorus, but instead, a motif that gets repeated throughout, and then changes at the end for a breakdown section. I found this super effective and interesting and kept the focus on the lyrical content, so I wanted to achieve the same result with “Maslow”.

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Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song. 

I’d say the top-secret behind making a hit song is probably writing a strong hook, though I don’t think that’s much of a secret.

 

Unfortunately, just writing a good song is rarely enough – a lot of success is down to who you know and being able to reach a big enough audience in the first place. It can be very difficult as an independent artist or group, doing everything off your back.

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Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

Don’t write what you think people want to hear, write what you like, and try to be as authentic as possible. Trying to appeal to listeners for the sake of it is transparent and you will never be able to please everyone. Inevitably some people won’t like your music, and some will – so focus on the latter. Focus on creating music that means something to you and you personally enjoy and believe in, and like-minded people will find it and support you.

When choosing other artists to work with, such as photographers, videographers, and other musicians, choose people you admire and want to work with, not just people who will offer you a low price. Save up some money and invest in artists you want to support who will give you a higher quality product. Your work will look far more professional and people will take you more seriously, and you will have the bonus of building working relationships with artists you respect.

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Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have received.

We have only been active as a band since 2019, and we have spent most of that time writing and practicing together. We have struggled to find gig opportunities, however, the few have had were a lot of fun; in particular The Summer Westival at the West End Centre in Aldershot, Hampshire, and Breaking Sound at The Victoria in Dalston, London were really memorable shows.

 

Before the band, I did record and release a 5 track EP called “Head Under Water” when I was 15, but I have removed all traces of it from the Internet because (as you can imagine) it was not very good, given how young I was. I have repurposed a couple of the tracks from it and the band has adapted and improved them, so the EP will still live on in those future releases.

 

Jack has been in a couple of bands before us, and Emma (being the incredibly talented drummer she is) is in high- demand and plays for multiple other artists, as does Sam.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing, and record in the studio.

Like most lyricists I know, I write all my lyric ideas in a note on my phone. I also record melodies into my phone whenever inspiration comes – this is usually at very inconvenient times, like when I’m at work or driving. I will genuinely sneak off to the bathroom or pull over just to make sure I can get the idea down before I forget it. I used to write songs on my own with my guitar, but now I have the band I find the best ideas come from when we jam together. Someone will have written an idea on his/her own time, bring it to band practice, and we’ll slowly but surely build it up and develop a full song. Our drummer Emma can also play the piano, so she’ll jump on the keyboard in our rehearsal space and play around with chords and melodies.

 

Sometimes we hit a wall, and so we put down the song for a few weeks and come back to it with fresh ears – this happened with “Criminal”. We started with the “boy this is criminal” hook and went around in circles trying to figure out what needed to come next. When we picked it back up again a month or so later, the song was finished in only about 2 writing sessions.

 

We rehearse our songs as much as possible to make sure the performance is super tight, and this helps to make recording sessions go as smoothly as possible. The next single we plan on releasing only took 2 or 3 takes to record. Our producer Ryan is very detail orientated and will set up countless mics in order to capture absolutely everything, with great results.

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Name your favourite artists for collaboration.

So far, the only artist I have officially collaborated with is Kayncee, and I look forward to writing music with him again in the future – he’s insanely talented and creative, and a lot of fun to work with.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
I got this idea from our producer, Ryan Wood – take a million dollars, buy a church and renovate it into a huge recording studio.

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Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base. 

I believe that visuals and aesthetics are important for promotion and building an image. With every release, I want to make sure that the song is represented with a bold image, for example, the cover art for “Maslow” was the burning piano from the music video, and the cover art for “Criminal” was an image of my hands holding a white snake and a red apple. Both photos are closely connected to the lyrical content of each song, and the promotional material (videos and photos) helps to develop the track’s narrative.

 

For video shoots, I like to get a behind the scenes videographer on board to document the day; this is partly for my own sentiment to look back on and enjoy the memories of working on those projects, and partly to demonstrate to audiences the amount of work and creativity that goes into them. This all (hopefully) will intrigue potential listeners enough to give the song a chance, building a fan base that believes in the music and invests in it enough to keep coming back.

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career. 

All our spare time is filled with music. Everyone in the band works, some of us full-time, but we meet every Tuesday evening to write and play music together. We constantly keep in touch and work on songs on our own where we can, recording demos and musical ideas and sending them to each other for inspiration. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make music our full-time careers yet, so we do our best to fit it into our lives and schedules as often as we can.

 

Our guitarist Jack is studying a university degree as well as working – he brought his laptop to our last studio session to work on an essay between takes. You do what you got to do.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it. 

Ilona Mahieu. When I was solo, I went by my real name, Ilona Pointeau, or just Ilona where I could. To prevent copyright and confusion issues with other similarly named artists later down the line, I decided to adopt my great-grandmother’s maiden name, Mahieu. As well as being dedicated to her, this name had no other affiliations, meaning I could make it my own and make my artist name completely unique. When the band formed, we decided to keep the name as I had already started building an audience with it.

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State the title of the song and the meaning. 

“Criminal” was inspired by the phrase ‘this is criminal’ used to describe things both when they’re incredibly unfair and unjust, as well as when they’re brilliant. I loved the double meaning behind this phrase because it summarised the feeling we were trying to capture so well.

 

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FreddeRico – What’s Ur Number?

 

ARTIST NAME: FreddeRico

 

SONG TITLE: What’s Ur Number?

 

RELEASE DATE: 04/30/2020

 

GENRE: Pop, R&B, Funk & Hip-Hop

 

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FreddeRico aka Mr. Global Citizen is a Swedish music artist from Lund and with over 23 years he has created an ongoing musical canvas to reflect the passion for music productions to songwriting and vocal harmonies.

 

His emotional inspiration is pop, R&B, and hip-hop but he doesn’t confine himself into an artistic box for the status quo fans.  While traveling abroad in Europe, Africa and Central America he has had numerous social interactions with the local musicians’ community which gave him a new outlook for future collaboration.

 

At the age of 15, FreddeRico was featuring on artist albums such as Same Blood and Lovemark. Lovemark who participated on a popular Swedish television show X-Factor and has continued to drop new material.

 

The debut EP “ I’ve Got Soul” had four tracks, but one of the songs “Here I am” became a local hit on the radio in the south of Sweden. This put FreddeRico on the map and gave him a large fan base of the southern region of Sweden.

 

 

He started gigging at major clubs and concert venues such as Malmö Festival, Madri Gras Festival, Palladium, Mejeriet, Hipp, Slaghuset, and Glorias. That didn’t stop FreddeRico’s momentum and he moved on to secure a contract with Ruben Garay, the owner and creator of the Britney Spears Internet page called the World of Britney.com. He wrote, produced and recorded the theme song for the website which gave him major recognition in the U.S. market.

 

The popular U.S. mixtape label Coast2Coast approached him to feature his song “She Is A Bad Girl” on the mixtape compilation hosted by Chris Brown. Other collaborating artists on the same mixtape were Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, The Game, Jadakiss, Talib Kweli, Freeway, and many others.

 

The song “She Is A Bad Girl” started getting airplay on American radio station and his fan base grew further.

 

This encouraged FreddeRico to immediately work on finishing his own demo with different producers and then started submitting it to record labels.

 

He got a record contract offer from the label PbP Inc and after having several negotiation meetings FreddeRico decided to sign the deal.  There was no hesitation from FreddeRico and PbP Inc so they released the first single called “I Will ” that got a lot of love from the U.S. fans base and created a new following from Central America. The next single release was “Don’t Go” and it got top rotation on radio stations as well as the video on major television networks within U.S. and Central America. FreddeRico racked up 1.344,400 unique streaming users on YouTube.

 

While FreddeRico’s music career was soaring all suddenly a major setback occurred that stop him from singing and to barely speak. This forced him into a medical vocal rehabilitation hiatus for more than a year. He took the incident as a blessing in disguise to work on upgrading his musicality by sound designing and building a proper recording studio. During the healing process he developed his musical craft to a whole new level in offering songwriting to other recording artists and taught himself to play new instruments.

 

FreddeRico’s mixing and mastering skills started being sought after by various artists and bands. But better yet he found his musical sound as an artist, songwriter and producer during this time…

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

I develop my sound from creating my music around what is inspiring me now and bringing in influences from listening to old classic and modern R&B and pop artist.

 

I constantly refine my musicality through playing different live instruments and collaborating with songwriters of pop, rock and jazz musicians to find new sound landscapes.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

I really don’t judge new artists on creativity, but I feel the songs need to have characters.

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Tell us about your experience as a musician/artist.

My experience as a musician and artist has been a rollercoaster journey, so far, from a positive and negative learning process to finding the right people to work with the same focus and goals.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

My thoughts about streaming and digital downloads of songs is a new technology platform that makes it easier for music artists, songwriters and producers to reach a global fan base.

 

What’s key is that we need to understand how to generate different streams of income from the various social media and traditional media channels.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

My goal is to make people feel real emotions by touching them with my music.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

Justin Timberlake, Usher, Kanye West, Pharrell, and Sech.

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Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.

Don’t Go – YouTube

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

I dream to have a Nordic and international tour within the next two years and for the future, I want to produce new upcoming artists that will be released worldwide.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

There aren’t many persons within the music industry working with traditional artist development.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

Traditional media stations focus on financial gain first to attract big advertisers. So instead of promoting new upcoming unique indie artists they rather focus on artists that are signed on major labels and that sounds like other artists on the TV/radio stations.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle them.

The greatest challenge for indie artists is how to get major exposure and financial support from fans direct from the early stages of artist development, especially when it is quality music…

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

It’s a good marketing tool and I love the fact I can interact directly with my followers.

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Tell us about your music career.

I’ve experienced both sides of the coin in the entertainment business. My music career has gone through both high ups but also low downs. I’ve released major hit songs through a record label placed on top list to doing the usual digital release as an indie artist.

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

What still makes me go forward after 20 years in the industry is that I’m in love with the creative process. From the start when you’re getting a song idea all the way until it’s released for people to listen to it.

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Tell us about you as a person.

I’m an open, social, and warm person that loves new challenges, environments, and cultures.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

The story of the song is about me entering the weekend feeling unstoppable. From all of a sudden this girl catches my attention and made me want to get to know her. Like “What’s Ur Number?”… What she’s about.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

I wrote the initial song idea in my home studio by mapping out a chord progression and a song melody.

 

Later, I took the idea to two of my close friends and songwriters Jon Remneus and Magnus Ringborn. We continued to develop the song and the final phase was producing it together with Temu, an inspiring NYC artist/producer.

 

The final lyric was written by me and co-written by Sean Denson.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Being around a lot of Latin-Americans and mixed culture friends as a youngster I got the nickname FreddeRico at an early age.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

“What’s Ur Number?” has a double entendre and is maybe first referred to as What’s your phone number? … But going further it means: What are you about?

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Abby Sage – Holy Water

 

ARTIST NAME: Abby Sage

 

SONG TITLE: Holy Water

 

RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2020

 

GENRE: Indie Pop

 

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Tell us how to refine a demo to a mastered song.

It helps for me to really sit on something, try out multiple sounds and styles until my words find a home in a fully mastered track.

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Discuss the processing involved in creating a song.

I tend to start by brainstorming on the guitar, feeling out different melodies or phrases I have created, and testing them out. Verse, pre-chorus, and chorus I start with and I revisit that later to see if it’s something I want to finish or explore with production.

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Elaborate on the themes of most of your songs. 

A lot of my songs focus on the emotions that coincide with falling in love, whether that be one that is fresh and new or one that spans across a longer timeline.

 

 

Holy Water particularly emphasizes a less ideal version of love. The line, “let me breathe before you come and burn my lungs” is a cry for space and the desire for self-fulfillment prior to giving away a part of yourself to someone.

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Tell us your greatest musical works up to date. 

The works that I am most proud of are unreleased, pre-produced ideas that are sitting in my voice memos folder and have captured something pure and honest. My greatest musical work is in its rawest form.

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Tell us those behind your music process.

Jeff Hazin is my incredible producer! He is based in Toronto and we spent all last summer working on this project together.

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Tell us how you are handling the promotion of your music. 

I take it day by day, some days I actively reach out to blogs/ playlists/talent recruiters, etc. and other days I wake up to someone reaching out who has stumbled upon my music and those are the connections I love to make.

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Tell us your future goals and how you aim to accomplish. 

I just want to keep releasing. I have so much to give and so much growth to do. I want my musical journey to be ever-changing; I never want to settle into one thing.

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Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry. 

I still find it insane how personal it has become. How easily you can reach out to your favourite artists, show them love, and thank them for creating. It’s incredible how intimate it can be.

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Tell the greatest mistake to avoid while making a song. 

Don’t let one idea trip you up. If something is bugging you on a song you’re creating, move forward, revisit it later, talk to someone, listen to it in a different space, etc. Just don’t sit there repeating a line repeatedly until it makes you sick; let it breathe.

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Tell us how you boost your performance. 

Still learning that one! Early stages, so I take advice from those around me and string together a plan that works best for me.

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Explain the structure of the song. 

I like simple songs and I like elaborate songs. Some lyrics deserve the space that simple production allows and some lyrics demand that sense of chaos to create additional feelings. It really depends; allow the song to tell you what it needs.

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Discuss how the instruments come together for a song.

When something works you know. You know when something is missing just as much as you know when the right thing fills that space. There is nothing I love more than cracking (instrumentally) what a song needs.

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State your musical skills. 

I play guitar, a little bit of piano, I sing, and I write. Ideally, I would love to write for the rest of my life, for myself and for others.

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Tell us how you eliminate noise in your recordings. 

Find a small space, whether a sound booth or a makeshift quiet closet. The space is essential however sometimes I love the crackle in the back of my voice memos. It feels warm to me and sometimes I hate parting with it when we record the final version.

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List the name of artists you cherish most. 

Julia Jacklin is an incredible songwriter; I love SALES for their effortlessly distinct sound, and so many more. I love to draw inspiration from very different styles. A good song spans across genre and it’s dumb to ignore a beautiful song just because it’s left of what you normally listen to.

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Tell us how you get inspiration. 

Anything at all. conversations especially recently… lines in books, the outdoors, driving especially. I think best when I’m not thinking too hard. Inspiration comes naturally if you let it.

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Elaborate on the song. 

Holy Water is about self-fulfillment. To me, it is a reminder that no matter how warm and fulfilling love can be, I am my own power first and it is my responsibility to ensure my mind and body are taken care of before pouring myself into anything else.

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

My artist’s name is my name! I thought of changing it, but I’ve always liked my name.

 

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Lucky Iris – Get Ready With Me

 

ARTIST NAME:  Lucky Iris

 

SONG TITLE: Get Ready With Me

 

ALBUM TITLE: Turns Out We Should Have Stayed at Home

 

RELEASE DATE: 25/04/2020

 

GENRE: Alt-Pop

 

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Lucky Iris are an alt-pop duo who have put their own personal spin on the resurgence of electro-acoustic music, resulting in the production of a set of intimate silky tunes with a fresh aesthetic.

 

The pair started their band with a bang, releasing their debut EP “Turns Out We Should Have Stayed at Home” (25/04/2020). The EP is a concept EP based around a night on the town, and how sometimes they don’t go to plan and it may be better to stay home…

 

The duo take influence from a broad range of sounds and have previously been likened to Oh Wonder, Adele, Celeste, The xx, and Shura, taking further influence from Alt-J and Laura Mvula, but you will have to go and see them; to make your own judgment.

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Explain how to overcome a writer’s block.

Go on a terrible night out… gives you tonnes to write about. That is how we wrote this EP.

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Tell us the tricks behind making a hit song. 

I think a good song is one that has some sort of purpose, whether that means it has lyrics that speak to you or whether the bassline really hits, it’s got to have that thing that people remember.

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Tell us how you get feedback for your demo before working on it.

I think the best part about working in a duo is that we’re able to bounce off each other with our ideas, however if we get really stuck we have some lovely friends and family and other musicians we know who we send our work to in order to get their opinions whilst still keeping it our own.

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Explain your recording experience in the studio.

So, we got to fly to Poland for the bulk of our EP recording which was amazing.

 

We recorded at the wonderful Tall Pine Studios just outside of Gdansk with our producer Oliver Sekunda. It was a brilliant experience staying out there as we stayed close to sight and spent just under a week fully immersed in the recording experience, we wouldn’t have changed a thing!

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Tell us how you compose.

Jasper and I wrote the whole EP together, contributing to both the music and lyrics. I predominantly do the lyrics and Jasper focuses on the music, however we both input on all aspects to create the sound we did.

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Tell us if you add effects to your vocals to sound better.

I used to think that unless you had completely unedited vocals that it wasn’t authentic in some way. But it’s no different to any other instrument and a bit of reverb and echo can go a long way to add some extra power or ambience to your vocals.

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Tell us the best streaming platform to get new fans.

Streaming is a tough business; it’s about getting heard by the right people and being added to the right playlists! Bandcamp is a brilliant site and does a lot to help up and coming musicians, however Spotify is definitely our most useful tool for getting heard.

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Tell us your opinion on music education.

I think if everyone had a bit more music in their life then the world would be a better place! A lot of young people get put off by the idea of learning classical music, I wasn’t too dissimilar when I was younger, I was eager to cover Adele or whatever was big at the time, but there is so much detail in the perfect balance of instrumentation and flow of a piece and so much more that can be learned from classical music that it shouldn’t be ignored.

 

However classical music aside, I really believe there is an area of music for every individual, whether you are a classic rock or country fan, and I do believe that young people should be exposed to more music as once you find your niche it is a wonderful way to express yourself or see yourself in the music of someone else.

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Discuss the shooting of a commercial music video for a song. 

We’d love to do a video but right now our skills aren’t up to scratch and unless you want a zoom call themed montage of us in our rooms then we’ll wait a while.

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Tell us how you interact with other artists. 

The best way is to get out and gig! However, there are so many ways to support each other, from sharing each other’s tracks online to simply having a listen.

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Tell us if you can collaborate with an artist of a different genre. 

We would love to collaborate with as many artists as possible and are open to almost all genres.

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Explain how to finance a music project.

With unsigned artists, funding a music project relies on using your own income to push your music forward, or, sometimes it can be done through crowdfunding. However, for signed artists, sometimes a record label can fund musical projects.

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Explain how to copyright a musical work.

We use our distribution website called CD Baby which helps to collect royalties and generates the barcodes and metadata needed for our tracks.

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Tell us how to generate income from a musical work.

For our releases online, CD Baby collects our royalties for us, and organizations such as PRS and PPL can also help generate income. Gigs are also an effective way to earn money, alongside merchandise sold at the gigs and online.

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List the name of organizations you know can be helpful to new artists.

Distributors such as CD baby do make it easier for the artists but other than that, make friends with other similar bands and support them and you’ll get support back, just learn from those out there before you!

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Send a message to your fans.

Thank you to all those who have listened to our tracks, it means so much to hear the positive response and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

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Explain the process involved in recording a vocal.

I find that it’s always best to record vocals when I’m nice and relaxed. I believe that a lot of my job as a singer is to convey the emotion of the words that I’m saying so if I’m relaxed that helps, I often even turn the lights off/low in the room I’m recording in because I find it helps, and then I just sing and sing again until I get enough takes.

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Elaborate on the song.

We have just released our debut EP.

 

Turns Out We Should Have Stayed at Home” is actually a concept EP based around a night on the town, and how sometimes they don’t go to plan and it may be better to stay home…

 

Each song explains a different point in time/ stage of the night out…

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.

We chose the name Lucky Iris for multiple reasons. We chose ‘Iris’ because of the multiple meanings: it is a common purple flower, the Greek goddess of rainbows, and “Irie”, a common nickname for Iris, which means luck.

 

We also chose “Iris” because it sounds like it reads, an easy name to say. “Lucky” came partly from “Irie”, but also because it flowed nicely with “Iris” and created a positive-sounding name.