Interview: Quickfire with Lina

One of the more interesting pop acts to emerge from the global scene of late, this year has seen Lina reach new heights, and I can’t see any sign of it slowing down any time soon. Here’s a Quickfire to get to know this fresh new talent…

You’ve recently announced that you’ll be supporting Little Mix on their arena tour… How does that make you feel?

I’m super excited! I love Little Mix, and it’s truly a dream come true for me.

Your musical journey has been pretty special, tell us a little more about your story so far.

I’ll make it short!

  • I was the first Palestinian Arab to win The Voice Israel in 2013 (or any big reality TV show by the peoples vote)
  • I supported Queen+Adam Lambert, Will Smith, and Little Mix.
  • I am the first Arab female singer to publicly support the LGBT+ community.
  • I got the support of the one and only Alicia Keys all over her social media when she posted a cover I made of her song ‘Holy War’.
  • I’m the most hard working dreamer you’ll ever meet.

Who inspires you the most?

A lot of artists inspire me but every time I need inspiration I turn to Beyoncé, Eminem, and Alicia Keys.

  • Beyoncé – whenever I need some drive and motivation.
  • Eminem – whenever I need to focus and find determination.
  • Alicia Keys – whenever I need an  inspiration before writing new songs.

Who would you love to do a collaboration with, and why?

There are so many people that I would like to collaborate with but at the moment, I have an amazing single which hasn’t been released yet and I think Sean Paul would be a perfect match. I met Sean a few months ago here in London and last month in Tel Aviv, and if luck plays on my side we’ll collaborate! He’s an extraordinary artist who adds his own spices to every song and turns it into a hit.

Aside from the huge tour ahead, what else do you have in store for your fans?

My new single ‘I Wore It Better’ is out now! I love love love this single since it’s a super fun song that talks about overcoming the disappointment/heartbreak of seeing your ex with their new crush, who is wearing your favourite sweater. It explores how that makes you feel, the memories, the pain but ends with positive and empowering feelings.

My album is almost ready- it’s called ‘Walking On A Tightrope’ and hopefully will be released in the beginning of 2018. Stay tuned and follow my news on my social media pages and website.

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Interview: Quickfire with Frida Sundemo

This quickfire is a bit of a big deal for me. Frida Sundemo’s been on my radar for as long as I can remember, and was one of the first artists to be featured on this site back in 2011. With an album due for release in October, I had the chance to ask a few questions…

So, I’ve been a fan since 2010. I can’t even remember how I stumbled across your music but I remember falling in love with the sound straight away. Seven years later, how has your sound evolved?

That’s lovely to hear, thank you very much! Back in 2010 the music was guitar-based and the productions quite small. In 2012 I started working with (producer/songwriter) Joel Humlén and we developed the sound more towards the electronic pop genre.
Ever since then I feel like we’ve let the productions grow bigger and bigger and we’ve also moved in a cinematic direction. Still, I guess you could recognise the melodies and harmonies all throughout the years. That has always been the core of my music.

 

What inspires you when you think of songs to write?

Almost anything. A conversation, a concert, a good song, a memory, feeling bored, feeling sad, feeling free and much more. But on my upcoming album I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from sci-fi space films. And I’ve Youtube’d video clips of space in the studio that I’ve looped on the screen while writing the music.

Where is your favourite place to write songs?

I wish I’d answer ‘in the deepest forests of Northern Sweden’ or something like that but it’s actually in my studio in Stockholm. I love structure and good technical conditions. Actually, I also love writing on the guitar at my parents summer house at Tjörn, an island on the west coast of Sweden. That’s a bit more romantic, I guess.

 

Tell me of a new artist that you are a fan of, and why…

Norbert Lukacs from Sweden. He released his debut EP recently and it’s just beautiful. Melancholic retro-indie music that makes you sad in just the perfect amount.

Who would you love to collaborate with on a song, dead or alive?

I’d love to do a duet with Tom Waits. His voice is just to die for.

What does the year ahead have in store for you?

I’m releasing my international debut album ’Flashbacks & Futures’ on Oct 6 and I’m super excited about that! It’s a lot of PR stuff going on around it and I’m also doing a couple of shows this fall. And I’ll keep writing new music of course. I never stop.
The inevitably beautiful debut record, ‘Flashbacks and Futures’ is due October 6th.

Why does Scandinavia keep on producing effortlessly cool and hugely influential female pop stars? – The Independent

Stumbled across this interesting article over on The Independent – check it out!

Live: Tom Walker at OMEARA London

tom walker omeara london may 2017

Probably one of the loudest, happiest gigs I’ve been to this year so far. Tom Walker loves his fans, and his fans certainly love him back…

Support from Etham was pretty special too.

 

Live: Jessie Reyez at Miranda London

Back from watching a short set list from one of the most anticipated Canadian exports over the last year, Jessie Reyez.

Intensely beautiful blends of hip hop and RnB mixed with the most innocent sounding voice you could imagine!

 

Interview: Quickfire with JMSN

Since discovering JMSN‘s sound five years ago, I have been consistently digging his raw and soulful sound. With new record ‘Whatever Makes U Happy’ slated for a release on April 28th, here’s a few words from the man himself.

Tell us more about your new record…

It’s exciting to have it coming out. Feels like my first official record.

How does it feel releasing it under your own label?

Amazing wouldn’t have it any other way!

Who would your dream collaboration be with, and why?

Prince, because he is the greatest.

Is it easier to write about falling in, or out, of love?

They both have their advantages. Depends on how I’m feeling. They’re both a way to express myself.

What’s your favourite jam that you’re listening to right now?

‘Just Once’ – James Ingram

What’s your favourite city to perform in?

I can’t pick one. It’s like picking a favourite child. I love them all.

JMSN headlines London’s Village Underground on June 27 2017.

 

Interview: Quickfire with TAPZ

The intense energy emerging from TAPZ is pretty unique from the hip hop that I’ve been listening to so far this year. Here’s more about this fresh new talent from New Zealand…

Tell us more about your sound?

My sound is a sonic representation of my personality. Along with my visuals.

Who inspired you to get into music when you were growing up?

The move from Zimbabwe to New Zealand. I couldn’t speak English at that time, I was in search for a language form that could help people understand who I am. Music became that, which bled into the visuals and fashion aesthetic. Art is the universal language for all man kind, we are all born with the ability to speak it, if I wanna be a voice to the masses, what better language to communicate with than a language we all understand… or at least once understood. 

Where has been the best place to perform?

Every show is different. They’re all special in their unique ways. It’s an interaction, an opportunity to connect with people, and use the voice I once didn’t have. It’s like if I had kids and shit, I’m not gonna choose a favourite, they’re all special to me.

What new vibes are you currently listening to?

GALLANTINO (that’s my gang). LVRN (I love everything they’re doing)

Who would be your dream collaboration be with (dead or alive)?

Jesus. I want to be as selfless as he is, and to serve people through art, show them a perspective they’ve never seen before, or just as simple as triggering a feeling.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2017?

I just wanna tell people truth, through a language we all understand, art, a language I’ve become familiar with. In other words, more songs, more videos, more art.

TAPZ

Live: Dua Lipa + Off Bloom at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Shepherd’s Bush was the place to be in London last night! Being one of the UK’s biggest pop exports of late, Dua Lipa put up an impressive gig to a sold-out crowd, with support from Danish indie-electro outfit Off Bloom.

Live: Rhys Lewis at Borderline London

Rhys Lewis played London’s Borderline last night where he showed off a pretty likeable pop-rock vibe. Fun night.

Live: Sailor & I at Pickle Factory London

sailor-and-i-pickle-factory-london-march-2017

I saw Sailor & I last evening at London’s intimate Pickle Factory. The sound coming out of this Swedish talent through a good sound system is one thing, but hearing the synths and beats live was on another level! Debut album ‘The Invention of Loneliness’ is out now via Skint.

Interview: Quickfire with KING

king-denmark

Danish Cuban newcomer KING exploded on to the blogosphere with debut ‘Promise’ back in August last year – and the track is nearing a million plays on YouTube already.

Her releases so far give out an intense, deep sound that bounces from euphoric pop through to dark beats. Curious to learn more about this talent, I sent through a few quickfire questions…

What influences you to write songs?

I feel like I make up small fairytales about how I want things to be – or how I want things to end up.

Who are you currently loving listening to?

I listen to Tory Lanez. He is currently by biggest idol. I also really like Big Sean’s music.

Coming from Scandinavia, why do you think so much good pop is born from the region?

I think people in Scandinavia are really good at making music and I make most of my music in Stockholm – I’m in Stockholm right now. I love listening to Tove Lo and Zara Larsson. And I really like everything Max Martin did.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

Justin Bieber, Tove Lo, Tory Lanez, Big Sean.

What do you have planned for the year ahead?

I’ll be spending a lot of time in Stockholm and Los Angeles writing and recording my music. And later this year I’m releasing my debut album and I’m really looking forward to show people who KING is.

Check out KING here.

Interview: Quickfire with Betti

betti-singer-blue-tub

Despite only releasing one single so far, my obsession for jazz newcomer Betti is quite strong. Reminiscing of a classical jazz era, yet blended with a modern and raw edge, Betti’s sound plays between elegant and sass. Here’s a few quickfires to get to know the kid.

Tell us a bit more about your story…

I got my love for the stage through theatre when I was a young girl. I was never thin enough back then for them to cast me as the starring roles, but still I fell hard for the heat of the lights. Now that I’m older, I find myself taking a lot of what I learned from theatre and incorporating it into my art. It’s as important to me now as it was then to always put on a show. Now however, I’m finally front and centre.

Who do you draw your inspirations from?

I find inspiration in many different avenues. One day it’s from fellow musicians, the other from fashion or film. For me, I’m always searching and what inspires me is always changing.

Is it easier to write songs about falling in love, or being heartbroken?

Honestly, they are equally satisfying. Song writing in general is just such a fun experience. I always encourage other artists to give it a try if they haven’t before. It’s therapy.

‘Ordinary’ is a pretty special track considering it’s throwback-jazz vibe at a time when EDM seems to dominate the charts – what made you want to release the song as your debut?

I wanted people to hear what my artistry is at the core. That’s what this song is for me, and for my upcoming album. It is the foundation.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

This is probably the toughest question really because I am such a fan of so many artists. If I had to narrow it to one at this moment though I’d say Bruno Mars.

What is your favourite track to listen to right now?

Probably Caroline by Aminé. My best friend introduced me to this song and it’s quickly become our new jam.

What have you got planned for 2017?

A lot of sleepless nights. All of the stars have finally aligned for me to begin releasing my music, and I couldn’t be more excited to give this year everything I’ve got.

Betti

Live: Harlea / Petrie at Sebright Arms London

harlea-sebright-arms-london-live-january-2017

petrie-sebright-arms-london-live-january-2017

Caught Harlea do a short set at London’s Sebright Arms today… Umm… WOW! This kid is carrying the flag for British rock with some serious power.

Support from Petrie was also pretty special.

Interview: Quickfire with Draper

draper

Following the release of new EP ‘Luminous’ earlier this month, London’s master of fresh electronic vibes Draper goes through some quick fire questions for us…

Firstly, tell us more about the new EP…

Exciting escapism, it’s taken about a year to put together and is the result of my confidence in myself right now. I have no criteria to fill, simply writing what comes natural. In essence this is the most natural representation of my music to date.

Where has been the best crowd that you’ve played to?

Reading Festival 2016, my first non BBC introducing stage, I was nervous no one would turn up but I walked out to a pretty packed out tent! It was a great show, I had my full live band with me for that one, so much fun.

If you could play any show in the world where would it be?

Wembley Stadium, oh wait I’ve already done that, next question please…

Sum up your live show in three words…

Lights. Excitement. Hype.

What are your favourite tracks to play live right now?

‘Jealous’ is definitely up there, it has a huge chorus and always seems to get people going. ‘Pressure’ has always been a favourite, it’s got so much going on dynamically and gets so hectic in the choruses, it’s also the slow one of the set so adds something a bit different.

Who’s sound are you obsessed with right now?

Mura Masa, some organic produce right there. Love the sonics.

What was it like working with Låpsley?

It was great. She’s a lot of fun and a great writer, very poetic. ‘Falling Short’ is probably the most abstract thing I’ve done.

Who would be your ultimate collaboration be with and why?

Chris Martin, he’s my favourite song writer of all time. He can make the simplest song beautiful.

What do you have planned for 2017?

I’ve got a show at KOKO on February 3rd, then off to USA in march for SXSW! Then more singles and festivals! It’s going to be a good year.

The EP is out now via M:UK

2016’s Random List

What a year, eh. I was almost tempted to not write up a random list for 2016 on the count of me wanting it to end as soon as possible. But alas, in a year of many disasters, there were a few nice things to come up which made everything OK for a little while. It’s a condensed list this year, so here’s looking to an awesome 2017. Anyway…

The guy who made a song two years ahead of it’s time

ragz-originale

This song by UK talent Ragz Originale is basically a view of the future for me. It bounces between dark samples while keeping a gritty rawness. All the while still sounding slick. I see this sound taking off majorly in 2018.

The song most likely to turn you into an emotional wreck

daniel-caesar

I am not a huge fan of covers, however, when I stumbled across this Kanye West rework by Daniel Caesar I was an emotional mess. Stunning, beautiful, flawless… Everything that reminds you that the world can still be a beautiful place.

The boyband that got it right

hare-squead

Ireland. Home of the type of boyband that you love, and love to hate. Until this year. HARE SQUEAD are a bunch of kids crafting a sound that is on-point.

Most epic Scandi pop

smith thell

Smith & Thell have been on my radar for a really long time. This Swedish duo haven’t been afraid to change musical directions, and with the release of ‘Row’ this year I can’t think of any other Scandi act that has managed to come up with a song as intense and catchy as this one.

Most listened to song on my iTunes

dua lipa

I’ve surprised myself with this one. And I’ll be honest, I did consider leaving this category out for 2016, but f*ck it. For the second year, Dua Lipa is behind my most listened to song on my iTunes. This time it’s with ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – a pop banger through and through. It’s not edgy, nor does it push any boundaries. But it’s everything you want from a big pop sound, and that’s all I need to hear a song on loop.

Most likely to be huge in 2017

Rag’n’Bone Man

It’s been a while coming but I am finally excited to see that Rag’n’Bone Man is certain to be the biggest new act to hit the mainstream in 2017. Well deserved too.