Interview: Quickfire with George O’Hanlon

While singer and songwriter George O’Hanlon is still a fresh face within the British music scene, he’s already picking up considerable momentum thanks to support from heavyweights like BBC Introducing and Radio 1.

It’s easy to see why this 21 year-old from Dorking is so captivating; few can create tracks that give such a strong feeling of intensity and emotion as O’Hanlon can. Thanks to the release of his new single ‘The Weight’, I was able to ask this hugely promising artist some quick questions to learn more about him.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s not heard your music before?

My sound is a combination of my influences, stuff like Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke, as well as being inspired by my life experiences and the world around me.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a musician? 

I never thought of it like that, I just enjoyed playing the guitar and singing. I’ve always had a love for music.

How did it feel signing your record deal with a label as established as EMI? 

It was a big change of course but it’s felt very natural and everyone’s been very welcoming.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

Michael Kiwanuka or Phoebe Bridgers.

What artists do you draw upon for inspiration when you’re crafting your songs?

Loads but at the moment I’d probably say Nirvana and Radiohead.

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

Hopefully getting out and playing more gigs! I’ll be recording more songs as well so that’s exciting.

Be sure to check George’s debut Mahogany session, featuring stripped back performances of both ‘The Storm’ and ‘The Weight’ here.

George O’Hanlon

Interview: Quickfire with Nox Holloway

Hailing from Tennessee, Nox Holloway were undergrads turning lemons into lemonade during the pandemic, recording remotely from their home studios in Nashville and South Carolina, as well as London during their time studying abroad.

A perfect musical partnership, one half of the duo is a producer, while the other is a songwriter, lyricist, and vocalist who is as likely to find inspiration strumming his ukulele as he’s in the flow of hip hop by his idols. Together they realised that they had all the skills needed to write the kind of songs that previously only existed in their imaginations.

To celebrate the release of new single ‘Audrey’, I managed to send over some questions to this enigmatic outfit to get to learn more about their process…

For those who have yet to hear your music, how would you describe it?

We like to call our music ‘alt pop’ as a general description, but we talk all the time about making a statement with our musicality and delivery while maintaining catchy hooks and overall accessible songs. Ideally, our work can be easily enjoyed by anyone, but we also want to satisfy those who will take a deeper dive.

You worked remotely from your home studios during the pandemic. Do you think that this process made an impact on the way that your sound was formed?

Absolutely. Working remotely meant a lot of asynchronous work in our rooms alone. We think that this time honing our respective crafts individually only upped the product as we recorded and finished songs over FaceTime together. There’s much more experimentation and detail orientation when you’re alone in a room, so the remote work really let us explore as individuals what we like and how we want to sound as Nox Holloway.

What inspirations do you take when writing your music?

We draw a lot of inspiration from film. This was pretty on the nose with ‘Audrey’ but there are some more subtle nods to the big screen in what we have coming. Also, with some visual art and our favourite albums, we love how immersive artistic expression can be, so we try to create music and sonorities that one can get lost in. Beyond that, we keep a pretty close eye on charts and metrics to see if there’s any music blowing up that is especially inspiring to us.

Who are your current favourite new artists?

The newer artists we love are Jack Harlow, Dominic Fike, Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Kays, Petey, The Kid LAROI, and Billie Eilish. Is she still considered new?

Who would your dream collaboration be with, and why?

I think for the both of us our dream collab is with Jon Bellion. He was an artist we bonded over when we first met, and his process and passion as related to his music and artistry have provided us with endless amounts of inspiration and wisdom.

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

We’re going to continue to release new music and videos. Later in the year I’d imagine we’ll start to discuss live shows, and we’re constantly writing and recording new songs. Hopefully there are some more great Q&A’s like this along the way too! Thanks for great questions! 

New single ‘Audrey’ is out now, and the debut EP will be released imminently.

Nox Holloway

Interview: Quickfire with Isaac Anderson

It’s become incredibly rare for an artist to craft a sound that is as easy to listen to as that by British talent Isaac Anderson.

First and foremost, this is music that is written with a desire to connect to the listener. Through simple melodies, engaging lyricism and a warm vocal delivery, Anderson creates worlds that are both inviting and captivating.

So whether you’re already one of his army of loyally committed fans, or someone yet to discover this hugely promising talent, here’s some quickfire questions to pique your interest.

For those who aren’t familiar with your music, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Nottingham, UK. I’ve been playing music my whole life – I started playing guitar when I was eight, joined my first band at ten and was doing music as a full time job by eighteen. It’s always been a major goal of mine to write and release music under my own name, as a solo artist, and it took me years of touring and playing in all sorts of different bands to gather the confidence to tackle it head on. It’s been a long road but it’s so exciting to finally be here!

In a very short space of time you have garnered huge acclaim for your releases. How does that make you feel?

Overwhelming – but incredibly humbling. It’s really easy to get sucked into obsessing over streaming numbers but the most important thing to me is that the music is connecting with people. I get a real sense that it’s starting to do that – it’s sparking conversations between myself and others – and that feels massively rewarding, even at such an early stage of my journey as an artist. I have to say, there is a bit of a bizarre disconnect watching it all unfold online though! If only people knew how often I’m sitting in my pyjamas when I chat to them on Twitter…

What inspires you when you write your music?

On my recent EP, there was quite a heavy influence from some of the songwriting greats – Bob Dylan, Adele, Elton John, and loads more. I love songs with a real story – I find myself drawing inspiration from just observing the world, and trying to interpret all the craziness that happens day to day. I hope that the music I write can help people figure things out a bit for themselves too.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

I’d love to write a song with James Bay – he’s an incredible songwriter. I’ve admired him for years!

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

I’ve got a couple more releases up my sleeve, but I can’t say too much yet! I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get to do some live shows – I’d love to take these songs out and play them to people in real life after this bizarre year. Loads more writing, developing myself as an artist and above all, just strengthening the bond I’ve started to grow between myself and my listeners. I feel like it’s just the beginning!

Isaac Anderson

Interview: Quickfire with VICTORIA

The world’s biggest music event, the Eurovision Song Contest concluded last Saturday with what was one of the strongest editions of the competition in recent years. Broadcast live from Rotterdam, an estimated 200 million people around the world watched as twenty-six countries vied for a chance to win that iconic microphone trophy.

While this edition’s victor turned out to be Italy, there’s another nation that has consistently scored well every time they compete; so much so that the announcement of their participation every year is seen as a fan event in it’s own right.

Bulgaria’s reputation at Eurovision is a strong one. Unafraid to buck the traditional pop trends that often flood the Contest, they have been known to opt for artists who are at the cusp of something new and fresh. It’s a risk that seemingly pays off, yielding the Balkan country an excellent run of scores.

This year’s representative was VICTORIA, a hugely talented artist who is already an established name within the Bulgarian music scene. Having waited two years to finally go on stage (last year’s Contest was cancelled due to the pandemic), she garnered 170 points in the Grand Final, securing an impressive 11th place with her performance of ‘Growing Up Is Getting Old’.

Fresh off the success from competing, we managed to secure some time for VICTORIA to do a Quickfire with us… Enjoy!

Firstly, how does it feel now that you’ve finally managed to compete at Eurovision, and scoring so highly in the Grand Final?

It feels great and my team and I are really happy with the result. Bulgaria is also really proud of what we’ve accomplished and I couldn’t be more happy. We’ve been working on this project for the past 2 years and it finally comes to an end. It’s so surreal that I was announced as the Bulgarian representative back in November 2019 and since then I’ve been working non-stop on new music and on my development as an artist and as a songwriter. Eurovision is a great opportunity for young artists to find new opportunities and to grow. I loved every second of this journey, proud of both of my Eurovision songs – ‘Growing Up is Getting Old‘ and ‘Tears Getting Sober‘, my first EP ‘a little dramatic‘, the TV concert we organized to announce my song for Rotterdam and the two songs I released prior to the contest – ‘Ugly Cry‘ and ‘alright‘. All this wouldn’t be possible without Eurovision and I hope one day I will be back.

Why do you think Bulgaria always does well at the Contest?

I think the most important factor is the team behind the project here in Bulgaria. They really understand Eurovision and how to take the best out of this project. I am happy that together with my producer Genoveva Christova from Ligna Studios, who made the Eurovision participation possible for Bulgaria, we will continue to work with the same team from Entiendo in the future. They were guiding us through the world of Eurovision and I think we accomplished a lot. Now we have new challenges in front of us and the first will be a songwriting camp in the summer of 2021. Our partners in the UK Ostereo also are an important factor in our journey and us going to Eurovision. It’s all about the team work.

What inspirations came to you while creating ‘a little dramatic’ EP?

The EP ‘a little dramatic’ is a very dear release to me and I am so happy so many people connected with the stories behind the tracks. I love all 5 songs in it – ‘imaginary friend’, ‘growing up is getting old’, ‘dive into unknown’, ‘phantom pain’ and ‘the funeral song’. The first three are inspired by my personal experiences and I relate them to episodes of my life. The last two – ‘phantom pain’ and ‘the funeral song’ take a dark and surreal turn and obviously are not personal experiences of mine. They all have a special place in my heart and I am privileged I had to work with songwriters from all over Europe to create this EP. All the songs were written with the idea that they might go to Eurovision but we didn’t look for the ‘Eurovision formula’ when we were writing them. We just wanted to create something we will be proud of.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Bulgarian music scene, can you recommend some artists to check out?

I would definitely recommend for you to check Kristian Kostov’s music –  his two EPs that he release under his name and the EP under the name VOSTOK. He is another Bulgarian artist that is aiming at the international market. For the people that want something more out of the box – just write ‘Bulgarian hits’ on any streaming platform and dive into the unknown. :)

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

I really would love to collaborate with artists like FINNEAS, Moses Sumney, Jacob Banks, Ashe and many others. There are also many international songwriters that I would love to write with.

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

I already started working on new material and we are discussing with my team what should be our next steps. I don’t think I will be taking a break until the end of this year. I am full with ideas and I can’t wait to share my new music with the world.

a little dramatic EP‘ is out now.

VICTORIA

Interview: Quickfire with Ofenbach

With over a billion streams and hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, Parisian duo Ofenbach have heralded the return of French dance music to the top spots across European charts.

It’s fair to say that few have achieved so much in such a short space of time. With the release of their latest single ‘Wasted Love‘, Alfitude has been lucky enough to get some time with the pair for a Quickfire interview.

Looking back to the start, can you tell us a little bit about you both and how you got formed?

We have known each other since we were little kids. So Ofenbach is a friendship project before everything. We always wanted to create, to have artistic projects together. So Ofenbach is the result of this! 

What is your process when you create music?

We usually start with a melodic base, chords and vocal line. It’s the songwriting part. And we then move to the production side of things where we add up all the dance music touch and arrangements.

To date, three of your previous singles have all achieved platinum or diamond status. Do you feel a pressure when you release new music?

Of course there’s always pressure! We always want to do better, and we spend so much time and energy creation music, that the pressure is always around the corner. But it’s a positive one. Also – since we passed the post-first single issue, we have the feeling that we’re here for the long run.

Who inspires you musically?

We’re listening to pop, rock alongside dance music. Supertramp is our go-to band. What inspires us really is melodies in general.

Your new single ‘Wasted Love’ shows a melancholier side to your music, can you tell us a little more about what the song is about?

The song is about love and how to save it from going down. There’s this double use of the meaning of ‘Wasted’ that creates this kind of interesting twist on the chorus. We connected with this deeper and melancholier side of the record quite quickly when we started working on it. Funny thing is that we worked on it during summer time when the sun was shinning and everything was great and bright.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

We would love to collaborate with Calvin Harris on the dance part. And Coldplay for the pop one.

What are you most looking forward to when we finally finish with COVID?

Touring, touring, touring and seeing fans. 

And speaking of the future, what can people expect from Ofenbach next?

More songs and most certainly an album within the next year!

Ofenbach on Instagram

Images Credit: Alexy Montuelle

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

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

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

Interview: Quickfire with LINES

LINES manage to bring out all that is best in Scandi pop right now. A bold beat, excellent electro and melodies that won’t leave your head for a while. Here’s a bit more about the Swedish outfit.

Tell us how you formed, and a little more about your sound…
The short story is that we didn’t form at all, that we don’t exist. But the legend is we evolved out of nowhere like the big bang. Small energetic explosions of light that expanded through time and space. At first we couldn’t make any sense of it, later on we understood it was all part of a grand idea, the blueprints of a masterplan. When everything comes around we’re pretty small, aren’t we.
Our sound is solid.
What artists are you listening to now that you are loving?
Yaeji, almost exclusively actually. She’s been on repeat in our headphones for the last months.
Where has been the best place to play live so far?
Our own release party at a sauna club here in Stockholm. Top notch party.
Who would your dream collaboration be with, and why?
The CIA, our marketing campaigns would really benefit from their surveillance and we would also treat all the information more responsible than they would.
Why do you think Scandinavia has such a unique place in pop music?
Left wing politics and the belief that culture is one of the basic needs for the survival of our spices. Although that might change in the future unfortunately.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
More music coming! We release a single with Dolores Haze pretty soon and we have an EP in the making that will release this summer. That and playing live!

Interview: Quickfire with Fabich

London producer Fabich has shown an infectious blend of smooth disco and feel-good vibes that’s been hard to ignore for me. With an upcoming EP, here’s some quickfire questions to get you acquainted with this exciting new talent.

Tell me more about yourself?

Hi my name is Fabich, I’m a record producer and DJ and my music is a mix of House and Soul/Funk/RnB. I’ve released on labels like Majestic Casual, The Magician’s POTION and Island Records.

What’s the new EP about?

The EP’s name is “a friends story” and it’s about the people I’ve met since arriving in my new hometown London. Ever since moving here from Germany I’ve met a lot of fun and talented people from all over the world and I wanted to tell their story in this collaborative project!

Have you got a favourite track on the record?

All of the records on the EP are my favourite tracks out of the ones that I’ve produced during the last couple of months so a lot of work and love went into each one of them and I like all of them equally… :)

What are you currently loving listening to?

I currently listen to a lot of Disco and also urban stuff. Artists that get me excited at the moment are Anderson.Paak, Goldlink, Kaytranada, James Vickery, Jafunk, Mokoa, Young Franco…

I do a monthly podcast series on Soundcloud called 12 Tracks Tape where I include my current favourites and also ask another artist to do the same, check it out.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

I’d love to get in the studio with Pharrell one day. He’s been one of my favourite record producers since his work in the early 2000’s as part of the neptunes. I worked with one of his new artists last month so that was an exciting experience for me! I hope to show you the song we did soon.

What’s the rest of the year got in store for you?

Releasing this EP has been so much fun and I want to keep on putting music out every couple of weeks this year. I’m in the studio almost every day so it’s cool to see if people enjoy the music I’m making and also to play it Live!

Check out Fabich on Spotify

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.

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.

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

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

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

Interview: Quickfire with Shift K3Y

shift-k3y

Shift K3Y has been on my radar for some time, blending house with some old-school UK garage vibes. With his upcoming second Nit3 Tales release coming out yesterday and featuring collaborations with MJ Cole, DJ Zinc and Chris Lorenzo, here’s more from the man himself…

Tell us more about the Nit3 Tales project and what it means to you?

I started the Nit3 Tales project because i like the idea of releasing E.P’s as opposed to single song releases for the moment. The reason for this is my music doesn’t always fit into one genre so this way i can put a few different ideas together.

The project features a few interesting collaborations. How did they come about?

They are all people that i have wanted to work with for a long time or people that I already collaborate with. For example, MJ Cole has been an inspiration growing up as he has always shown limitless skill in making dance music with soul and a strong musicality. Lorenzo and I had been meaning to make a track for some time and finally managed to get something together. Also Ryan Ashley and MNEK who delivered an incredible vocal for No Question.

You’ve managed to straddle the divide between chart success and underground club culture – how would you describe the evolution of your sound over the years?

Most of my stuff is more uptempo but i love to make a lot of different kinds of music. So the evolution comes from naturally from that.

Aside from the artists you’ve already worked with on Nit3 Tales, who would your dream collaboration be with?

Stevie Wonder, and why? Its Stevie.

Who do you listen to when you’re making your own music?

Mostly RnB, LOVE the Nao album, Also really like everything i’m hearing from TY Dolla Sign. I always come back to people like Outkast, Early Snoop, and everything RNB from like ’96-’04.

What’s your favourite club or festival to play?

So far clubwise would be Xoyo, Festival would be Boardmasters.

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

Can’t say too much but something will be announced in January 2017.

Shift K3Y