Interview: Quickfire with Remi Wolf

As one of the most exciting pop talents to have graced Alfitude’s pages recently, it’s a joy to announce that Remi Wolf has finally released her debut EP, “I’m Allergic To Dogs!’ today. It’s a collection of songs that embrace elements of funk and soul with a laid-back flair for quirkiness which I find absolutely charming.

And so in the spirit of things, here’s a quickfire round of questions to get to know this insanely bold, fun and authentic kid before she conquers the world with her unique take on music.

Who would be your dream collaboration be with?

There are so many. Right now I would say this artist Melanie. She wrote amazing country pop songs in the 60s.

Your videos are some of the most creative (and quirky) that we’ve seen for some time. Where do you get your ideas from when coming up with the visuals?

I draw a lot of inspiration from movies and shows I used to watch when I was little. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Spy Kids, Silly Ville, even Dragon Tales. I love the colours and the whimsy. 

If you could choose, which song on your new EP means the most to you, and why?

Each song has a specialness and specific meaning to me but I think ‘Hello Hello Hello’ is the one. It is so honest and true to real events that happened in my life. I wrote in in my bed at 3am and I think that exhaustion and anxiety allowed me to be vulnerable in a way that can in other circumstances be a bit challenging for me. I’m really proud of it.

What artists are you currently obsessed with?

Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of prolific and incredible songwriters. John Mayer, Dolly Parton, Marvin Gaye, Kanye West, Bob Marley. I love how these artists tell stories that are so true to their experiences. They paint skin burning detail while still capturing ideas in broad strokes.

Remi Wolf will perform her sold-out release show on June 25th as the first drive-in concert of 2020 in Los Angeles. All proceeds are going to the Summaeverythang Community Center Inc., and the Plus 1 for Black Lives Fund (Movement For Black Lives, Impact Justice, Equal Justice Initiative, The Bail Project).

Remi Wolf

Advertisements

The Show Must Be Paused

There will be no posts today, June 2nd 2020, in observance of ‘Black Out Tuesday‘.

The recent events that have triggered an outcry across America and the rest of the world have highlighted now, more than ever, the injustices in society that we must all confront ourselves with and resolve.

Today will be spent on reflecting and educating ourselves, and supporting the causes who need our help, so that those who are struggling for their voices to be heard can protest in the knowledge that we all stand with them.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Desmond Tutu

Black Lives Matter.

Find ways in which you can help by clicking here.

Now is the time to get involved and help to #saveourvenues

The Music Venue Trust has just launched a new initiative to try and help at least 556 grassroots music venues around the UK that are in danger of shutting their doors for good (like Bush Hall, pictured above, which has been my local venue pretty much most of my adult life) as a result of the Corona Virus lockdown.

Head on over to the Save Our Venues National Campaign Crowdfunder and try to support with whatever you can. These smaller venues have to stay open so we can continue nurturing the quality of home-grown talent that the world has come to expect from UK.

“The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now. The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.” – Frank Turner

Celeste wins the BBC Sound of 2020 poll

Celeste, who was first featured on Alfitude back in summer 2014, has topped one of the UK music industry’s most prestigious polls. On a personal note this is a pretty great choice and I’m looking forward to seeing how the year pans out for this talent.

Celeste 2020 UK/EU live dates: 
January

16 – Eurosonic Festival

March

2 – O2 Southampton Guildhall, Southampton^ 3 – O2 Academy, Bournemouth ^5 – O2 Academy Brixton, London^ 6 – O2 Academy, Birmingham^ 7 – O2 Apollo, Manchester ^ 9 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge^ 10 – De Montford Hall, Leicester^ 12 – O2 Academy, Leeds^ 13 – O2 Academy, Newcastle^ 14 – Barrowlands, Glasgow^

April

21 – Belleville, Paris* 22 – Printemps De Bourges, Bourges* 24 – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam* 25 – BIRD, Rotterdam* 27 – King Tuts, Glasgow (SOLD OUT)* 28 – Deaf Institute, Manchester (SOLD OUT)* 29 – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (SOLD OUT)*

May

1 – Les Nuits Botanique, Belgium* 5 – Standtgarten, Cologne* 6 – Kranhalle, Munich* 8 – Pitchfork Festival, Berlin

^supporting Michael Kiwanuka

*headline shows

BBC Sound of 2020 announced

Here we go again… BBC Sound of has just released it’s longlist for 2020 and I honestly feel this is the first time in years that they have had a list which is actually relevant… Anyhow – here’s the lucky kids (along with the first time most of these were featured on Alfitude):

My money’s on Yungblud to win this, but my heart is with Arlo Parks and Celeste. The shortlist and eventual winner will be announced in January 2020.

Live: Jesse Markin, Moyka & Elias at Ja Ja Ja

What better way to celebrate 10-years of London’s top Scandi night, Ja Ja Ja than to go and watch them showcase three of my absolute favourite Nordic acts last night.

Elias

I have been featuring this Swedish talent since 2015 and I am still a huge fan of his raw take on soul and pop – and the intensity is amplified tenfold on stage.

Moyka

Moyka carries a powerful synth pop sound in a way that Norwegian talent only can. Watching this kid live felt like a polished cross between Robyn and Ingrid, only with a naivete charm which makes the whole sound so unique.

Jesse Markin

One of Finland’s brightest talents of late, with the most stunning fusion of RnB and pop. A bold presence on stage, this set was mind blowingly epic and captivating.

A new way to enjoy gigs in London

So then, this isn’t a paid placement or anything of the kind (as you may know, I prefer to focus on sharing music and not much more on here).

Gotobeat is a new concept which is worth knowing about. It’s a monthly subscription service that offers access to a selection of gigs every month, and you can go to as many as you like. Check it out if you’re interested.

Live: Molly Hammar at Colours Hoxton

Swedish RnB talent Molly Hammar’s debut London performance took place at Colours Hoxton last night and it was one of the best showcases I’ve caught this year.

This kid owns the stage and the vocal range on her is nothing short of immense. Top tracks performed included pop banger ‘Words’ and racy ‘Bathtub Moments’.

Interview: Quickfire with Ea Kaya

Denmark is rapidly becoming a hotbed for pop right now, rivalling Sweden in a big way. Ea Kaya, one of the country’s brightest emerging talents gets the Quickfire treatment from Alfitude… Enjoy!

Tell us a little more about you

I’m a pop fan who found out I could create pop songs myself. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since I was a teen. Now I’m in my twenties, living in Copenhagen where the music scene is absolutely blooming. I’m an artist because I write honest and very personal songs, and I’d find it weird to let someone else sing my songs.

Why do you think so much great music comes from Scandinavia?

Sweden’s been the front runner on the music scene for a while, but Denmark and Norway have definitely caught up with the Swedes the past few years. Why do Scandies create such good music? Personally, I think it’s a mixture between two things. 1) Our attitude. I’ve had a lot of sessions, and whenever writing abroad, I miss the Scandinavian professionalism. We come on time, we deliver what we’re supposed to and we’re focused. 2) Our curiosity. Looking at Scandinavian music history, people aren’t afraid to take chances. We explore, wonder and don’t have an issue with being different.

Who is currently your favourite new artist?

I’m very into Lennon Stella at the moment! She has the softest voice and I love her melodies.

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

To be honest, I think Troye Sivan and I would be a perfect match for a duet. He agrees – he just doesn’t know it yet!

Who has inspired you to become a musician?

My biggest inspiration as a teen was Taylor Swift, no discussion. T-Swizzle definitely one of my songwriting masters.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

I’m heading out to play my first festival season this summer! Then I’ll be hiding in the studio for a good while, teaming up with new producers to play around with my sound and get out of my comfort zone for a little. I’ll be releasing music in the meantime, of course! 

Be sure to follow Ea Kaya here – one to watch for sure!

Interview: Quickfire with Isaac Dunbar

Perfecting that blend of dream pop with innocence and melancholy, Isaac Dunbar has certainly made a name for himself in a relatively short space of time. With the release of new single ‘Cologne’, we sent over some quickfire’s to know more about this new internet buzz kid.

Tell us a little more about yourself…

I am 16 and I’m from Cape Cod, MA. 

How would you describe your sound?

Sonically, I would describe my sound as Alternative Pop. But to go more in depth, I would describe my sound as very honest. I always but my feet in the shoes of people when writing music, so it ends up being very honest. 

Who would your dream duet be with?

My dream duet at the moment would be with Conan Gray! He’s so cool and we have similar voices. 

What’s your new single about?

I would describe my new single as an “anti-love letter”. It’s about liking someone who likes someone else, and that other person is only acting like the perfect image of what your crush likes in a person. The song is me asking my crush all these questions, somewhat of an interrogation. 

Who are you currently obsessed with musically?

Currently, I’ve been obsessed with this artist Tamino. Listen to him. He is literally – I don’t even have words. 

What does the rest of the year have in store for you?

I’m releasing an EP and doing some shows and releasing more music afterwards! Stay tuned for everything, I’m so excited for what’s in store. 

Catch Isaac on Instagram.

Interview: Quickfire with Lil Halima

One of Norway’s most hyped RnB talents from the last twelve months, Lil Halima has already received a huge response globally as well as coverage from tastemaker heavyweights like The Line Of Best Fit, Spindle Mag, and Wonderland. With a new EP released today, I had the opportunity to ask this exciting talent a few quickfire questions…

Before we begin, tell us a little more about you.

Haha! What do you want to know? I’m Lil Halima, an artist from northern Norway. I love to create music, sing, produce, play instruments. Also painting, drawing and I want to learn so much more when it comes to forms of expressing yourself through art because it truly brings me peace. 

What’s the RnB scene in Norway like?

It’s not very big, i know some people who do Norwegian RnB and a bunch of people I wish did RnB instead of pop, hehe. but thats just my taste, I appreciate people doing what they want to. 

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Everywhere! Just now, I realised (or I’ve always known just never really labeled it) that I have synesthesia, and I’m starting to be more accepting for the colours and the odd way of mixing my senses. It has always been like this, so that some sounds have very visual colours, numbers with personalities and making music being very much so like painting a moving image of patterns, textures and colours. So I feel like this has been the reason I could sit and make music for hours every day, since as long as I can remember. It’s very entertaining. and inspiring. Also people in general, the earth and the questions I have surrounding everything inspires me. 

Tell us more about the tracks on your EP.

My EP is called ‘For The Dark Days’. It is created for the dark days that we have in Northern-Norway. I also have one coming out that will be for the bright days. In Northern-Norway we have months of complete darkness because of the placement of the location on earth, and during summer the sun won’t go down (it’s literally switching on the horizon). The music I listen to, the clothes I wear, how I feel, what I think about and how I spend my time is extremely different, depending on the season. Therefore I wanted to make to EPs to illustrate this, and try to capture it. On this EP, the songs will be for the dark days, but not in the sense of darkness meaning sadness. One song is for example about dreaming about being abducted by an alien, hehe.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

Always been, always will be James Blake. And monte booker, his music with the sounds he choses, has so much colours and patterns and shapes that I’m always just trying to process and take it all in, in a good way. 

I always ask this with Scandinavian artists, but the answers are always interesting… Why do you think so much good music comes from the region?

Hmm. Maybe because we all have such a great opportunity to make music. We are so blessed when it comes to going for the things you love, because we mostly have a system to fall back on if we fail without it very obvious (yes Im talking about you the States) giving us a hard time. Thats probably one of 13569 factors, but the only thing on top of my head.

What do you have planned for 2019?

My plan is to live my best life. Plain, simple, still really hard. Learn and evolve, make music and listen to music, play shows and go to shows, make visual art and see visual art, sing and dance, create, create, create, create.

Lil Halima

2018’s Random List

I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people around the world when I say that this year was messy. I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing seemed to be straightforward over the last twelve months. So this year’s Random List should be interesting…

MOST LISTENED

Astrid S – Emotion. I have surprised with myself on this one. Since it’s release a couple of months ago it’s had 110 plays. I like the idea that the song balances between a retro and kitsch vibe and spins it into a more current twist with a soulful edge. Then there was the (bonkers) performance of the song on Norway’s equivalent of the Brits which gave it another fresh take…

MOST POLISHED

This has been the year for Troye Sivan. We started 2018 with this understated pop banger and the hits came through over the next twelve months. Managing to balance commercial pop with the slickest delivery, I really can’t wait to see what’s next for this kid.

BEST GIG

I haven’t had the time to go out as much in 2018 but if there’s one gig that’s stuck with me then it has to be Daniel Adams-Ray (also known as ‘Human’ and one half of ‘Snook’) earlier this month. He’s unheard of outside of Scandinavia since most of his hits are in Swedish, but he is one of the reasons why I fell in love with Scandi music as a kid. In a venue almost entirely full of Swedish millennials in east London, his setlist spanned his entire career and more than anything made me realise that: A – I am weird, and B – that Swedes still push pop’s boundaries pretty hard.

MOST UNDERRATED K-POP BANGER

(G)I-DLE – HANN. In what’s been K-Pop’s breakthrough year, this one song didn’t get as much love as I think it should have. I know it’s been viewed 38-million times on YouTube, but that’s barely anything for the genre these days. Anyway – it’s a strong pop track with a strong essence of melancholy that you wouldn’t expect from K-Pop.

BIGGEST SUCCESS STORY

TEN Music Group. For those of you who aren’t too familiar with Swedish pop, TEN is the powerhouse behind Zara Larsson (and damn, what a huge year she’s had). Take a look at their other roster of artists because I genuinely believe they are the new wave of Scandinavian talent… Keep an eye on Felix Sandman‘s unique vibe in particular…

MOST LOVEABLE

Jeremy Zucker. While still relatively unknown, I have nothing but total love for this talent. Give the track above a spin, it’s really quite special.

BIGGEST IMPACT

Female Soloists! This was the year we saw talents like Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Zara Larsson, Rosalia, Robyn make a huge impact. Not only through the release of consistent hits, but also through reminding us that we can all be strong even through turbulent times that make us vulnerable.

MOST DESERVING OF A BIG BREAK

Grace Carter. While Grace has been put on the longlist for BBC’s Sound of 2019, I’m not sure how likely she is to win it in January 2019. I, however, would love to see her become a huge success over the next twelve months.

And that, friends, is the Random List for the year. I can’t wait to keep sharing new music with you, and as always, thank you for following the site!

For previous editions of The Random List, head here.

Live: Daniel Adams-Ray x HUMAN at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

The reason the photo above sucks is because watching Swedish pop institution Daniel Adams-Ray perform alongside his new outfit HUMAN in London last night got energetic and bonkers so fast that the whole set barely stayed still the whole evening.

Blending a mix of well-known hits alongside some new material from the latest record ‘IRL’ to a sold-out crowd, this was one of the best acts to watch live from Sweden this year.

Live: Amanda Tenfjord at Ja Ja Ja

London’s biggest monthly showcase dedicated solely to Scandinavian music featured one of Norway’s most promising pop starlets last night, Amanda Tenfjord.

The amount of talent that has emerged from the country this year has been exceptional so I am keen to see what else is in store in 2019.

Sweden’s Orkid (channelling a sassy electro sound) and Denmark’s Luster (with a unique blend of power pop and rock) also played sets in the evening.

Live: Ea Kaya at Gold Dust London

I haven’t been to watch newcomers at Gold Dust for quite some time but it was great to finally go back to see that this showcase evening still has some of the most promising talent out there. I caught a stripped-back set from Denmark’s Ea Kaya, which was delivered beautifully. Other acts included the (amazing) ASHS, Curtis Walsh and Average Joe.

Live: Lemaitre at YouTube Space London

Norwegian super-duo Lemaitre hosted an intimate Q&A and short set this evening inside London’s YouTube Space, ahead of their gig with Dagny tomorrow at Heaven. If you’re in London and haven’t got a ticket yet – get one!

Live: LANY at O2 Forum London

Arguably one of the largest American ‘boy bands’ to impact across the world, I watched LANY perform to a packed crowd yesterday evening in London’s Forum.

Stunning set, mega loyal fans and the best chilled musical vibes you could expect.

Sophomore record ‘Malibu Nights’ is out now and carries their trademark blend of minimal soft, heartbreaking pop with a wistful charm.

Oh, and the support from APRE was pretty slick too…

Interview: Quickfire with Apropos

A short and sweet quick-fire from this promising Detroit talent with a gift for effortlessly blending RnB into some of the catchiest pop emerging right now.

How would you describe your vibe?

My vibe is cool calm and powerful at the same time.

What three artists would you say inspire you, and why?

Marvin Gaye because he knew how to express his pain in a way that made it sound beautiful. Michael Jackson because of his stage presence. Jim Morrison due to his songwriting and sonic poetry.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

My dream collaboration would be with Quincy Jones.

Who are you currently listening to that you think deserves more recognition?

Masego.

What do you have planned over the next few months?

I’m releasing my debut album on November 2nd. I plan on going back to London and playing live shows soon after.

Apropos

Live: Haux at OMEARA London

Haux has produced some incredibly stunning sounds over the last couple of years, and watching him this evening really brought that intensity to life.

The duets with Rosie Carney were particularly cute.

Haux

Live: Betty Who at Bush Hall London

One of pop’s most promising kids right now, Betty Who played to a packed out crowd at Bush Hall in London this evening. Top stuff.

Betty Who