Interview: Quickfire with Lex Low

lex low

Lex Low‘s unique, chilled RnB sound has been carving it’s way around the blogs over the last few weeks. Here’s a few quickfires from this London based 21-year old talent.

How do you describe your sound?
My sound is R&B production with pop vocals. At least, that’s how I feel the last two EP’s have come out. It veers more towards outright pop with every release – probably because I’m listening to a lot more pop music than I ever have before. There’s so much great, varied pop music out at the moment.
Do you find that living in London affects the way you write?
Definitely. There’s something magical about London. It’s always moving but somehow it still seems so serene. You can walk by the river at 5/6am and not see a soul or be in central during work hours during the bustle.
There are so many different pockets of London too. It’s not really one big city – it sort of feels like loads of small towns, each with their own unique character. London is so culturally vibrant and multi-faceted. There’s endless inspiration, I’m always stumbling across a little side street I’ve never been down or a beautiful building I’ve never seen.
Who are you influenced by musically?
Each release is influenced by what I’m listening to at the time. The Mystery EP has some 80’s electro-pop influences. I remember hearing Heart – Alone on the radio and thinking I had to use it as a reference. I had the same thing with Hall & Oates – Maneater.
HONNE was a big influence on that release too, in terms of production. Then there are some influences that carry through all my releases. 90’s R&B is a big one for me – I’m not sure it gets much better than that in terms of melody writing. 60’s/70’s pop-rock as well – guys like Badfinger, The Yardbirds, Free and Humble Pie have really impacted my guitar style.
Who would be your dream collaboration be with?
I really enjoy working with female vocalists / producers. I like the tonal juxtaposition of it. So it would probably be someone like Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande. I mean Beyonce is the dream really – she’s so talented and can pull pretty much any melody off whilst making it seem effortless. I love what Alessia Cara is doing right now too, she’d definitely bring something fresh to the table.
What do you have planned for 2016?
I’m going to start working on some tracks for another EP around March time. I have a few already, ones that didn’t make the cut for the last EP. I want to do a lot more collaborative work. I really enjoy writing with other people, it brings out things that you might never come up with on your own.
Check out some Lex Low tracks here.
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Interview: Quickfire with House Of Spirituals

house of spirituals

After featuring these guys only last week, I liked House Of Spirituals so much that I sent through some questions to find out more…

Your track, ‘Too Many Days’ has just been out for a month. What’s been the response like so far?

It’s been amazing, people have totally got our vibe which we weren’t expecting and some of the things people have said have been mind blowing to us.

How do you describe your sound?

Primal, ancient and future soul.

How did you get together?

We met each other through a mutual friend who told us we both had similar stories of surviving a near-death experience. So we both had developed a new found sense in the value of life as neither of us were meant to have survived.

We realised this thing we had in common was worth exploring and our first track was finished in 3 hours . So much to our amazement the house of spirituals was born!

Who would be your dream collaboration be with?

We will love to get Caribou and Charles Bradley in the same room as us, that could end up with something that’s insanely soulful or a total mess, who knows.

What have you got planned for the coming year?

As well as releasing another track and a video for “Too Many Days’ we are currently finishing our debut album working doing through the night “Brass and Chain Gang” sessions we are also getting to grips of putting our live show together.

Interview: Quickfire with JATA

jata singer

Berlin’s JATA has been on my watch list for some time now, so I’m quite excited to share a small Q&A with you…

In a short space of time you’ve captured a lot of hype from some of the biggest music blogs online – how has that response made you feel?

Of course it’s flattering to have well respected blogs react so great to my output. But it is a short-lived pleasure as it stays virtual. For me personally I really first understand that my music reaches people when I play it out live to an audience. So I can’t wait to bring JATA to the stage in 2016!

Does being in Berlin play an influence on your sound?

I guess every surrounding has an influence on what you do musically. But in my case as I am not really into clubbing the influence may differ from what other the city does to other artists.

What inspires you to make your tunes?

Often it’s getting a feeling out of my system: mainly bad stuff-which is very relieving. Besides that it can basically be everything: from great music (old and new), to spending time with friends, to having a nice day in the country side.

Who would be your dream collaboration be with?

For a start: Flying Lotus, Four Tet, Madlib, Karriem Riggins, Flako, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Van Dyke Parks. But there are so many other great people out there…

What have you got planned for 2016?

Finishing my debut album and then get out there and play shows!

Help JATA be the next big thing here!

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Interview: Quickfire with Raphaella

raphaella

Raphaella has been one of the more interesting newcomers this year, carving a name for herself not only as a solo artist but also through working with other big British prospects behind the scenes. Here’s a few quickfires to get to know this up and coming talent a little more…

Your style seems to blend a few genres together- tell me more about that…

I think music should always been an expression of you and your experiences, and for me my mixed heritage of Persian and English/Scottish has always played a huge role in my life and growing up- so I wanted to create a new genre incorporating both sides of my background. As a producer, I take traditional Persian instruments- create samples & effect them into my Alternative UK electro setting of synths and beats. Lyrically I also love to draw upon the Persian sufi poets Rumi and Hafez in the same way traditional Persian musicians do.

 

Who would be in your dream collaboration?

I absolutely adore James Blake’s production and writing. The way he approaches experimenting with sound, structure and melodies really excite me, so I’d love to collaborate with him.

 

What new music are you into right now?

I’m really enjoying Disclosure’s new album and also James Bay. I love the way Disclosure build their beats with such interesting textures and sounds & James Bay’s tone and melodies get me every time. 

 

What inspires you to write music?

Anything that affects me within my life- people, experiences and emotions – good and bad. I find writing music such a cathartic process and the idea that you can then in turn help someone else going through the same thing as you is so amazing to me. Recently someone sent me a message thanking me for one of my songs as the lyrics had helped her get through a really tough time in her life when she felt there was no-one to turn to. That’s the kind of thing that inspires me the most.

 

What do you have lined up for the year ahead?

I’ll be playing Community Festival on 4th November on the BBC Introducing London Presents stage at Concrete- Shoreditch. I’ve been working a lot on producing and writing my next solo singles as well as working with some great DJs and producers like Gorgon City & MNEK, Tough Love & Midnight City, Kove, Ossie, Tazer & Kayper. I’m also writing a lot for pitch projects for other artists which is always so much fun as I get to explore different genres and challenges. So next year will be filled with new music, features and releases.

Interview: Quickfire with Emmi

emmi

Now then. I haven’t done any quickfires in a while (my bad…) but I am happy to start them again. It’s always interesting to see what inspires promising newbies.

I featured Emmi not too long ago, so here’s more about this new talent…

Tell me more about you
I stand at 5 ft 7. Not quite tall enough to be a chorus girl (I tried once) but taller than most of my mates.
My accent is confusing to most people I meet.
I was obsessed with Shirley Temple videos as a kid. I wanted to be her.
Goats cheese is my favourite food.
I have a fear of the flapping wings of birds.
I talk too much.
When you did you realise that music was something you wanted to do seriously?
I was working as an actress in a show. It was a long tour, and we’d been going a while, so to alleviate the boredom I went out and bought a guitar. I started writing songs and being creative in a way that working from a script had never allowed me to before. Something was coming from nothing. From my own head! That felt good. I was on stage one night delivering lines and all I could think about was this song I’d started in the orchestra pit that afternoon. I was totally distracted. That’s when I knew something had shifted in me. I decided to give whatever bug I had caught a chance to take hold so I left the tour and moved to a house boat in the South of England. I spent a year away from the city and distractions, writing songs about stuff, and trying them out at local taverns. The songs from that time will never see the light of day of course… but I was finding my voice, in both senses of the word. That was the beginning of music for me.
What influences you to write?
People I meet. Their stories. Films. Plays. People struggling and failing or scared but doing it anyway. Something in the way someone is strumming a chord or playing a piano. A feeling. Everything. Anything. It’s all voodoo to me.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Oh man. Can I go back in time? Do I have to pick one?
James Brown. Gene Kelly…(and it’s a tap routine and miraculously I can dance like Ginger). Eminem. Alica Keys. Damien Rice. I had a dream the other night that Craig David, Gotye and I were in a writing session together and we were arguing over a chorus melody. That’s not so much a dream collab but a collab I had a dream about. Does that count?
What’s coming up over the year for you?
I have a video coming out imminently for my debut tune My Kinda Swag. I’m pretty excited about that. We are also planning to set a few more tunes of mine free over the coming months! No solid album releases to speak of just yet I’m afraid, but the album itself is done so I hope to have release news for you very soon.

Interview: Quickfire with The Tapestry

the tapestry

The Tapestry’s new single, ‘Right As Rain’ was released yesterday, and to commemorate this great little occasion, I had the opportunity to throw a few questions out to the band…

How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard it before?

Dirty disco- a top soundtrack to a great night out!

How did you get together to form The Tapestry?

We got together because we were all mates and decided to start a band together. We saw Zara drumming with another band and loved her playing style. So we kinda pinched her!

What’s been the best gig you’ve played so far?

There has been loads of good gigs. My favourite though was probably when we headlined band in the wall in Manchester. Venue is pretty special, sound was great and the audience went completely nuts. I know there’s even better to come though.

Do you think that coming from Manchester have an effect on the music you make?

We love a lot of Manchester music, however we’re not content, like a lot of people are in Manchester, of living in the past. We wanna move forward, carve out our own sound that’s new. The city has got a great musical heritage but we’re probably more influenced by New York bands, Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, Chic etc.

Clint Boon from the Inspirals came up with a great theory that because it’s always raining we spend more time indoors discovering all sorts of music, hence the different styles of sounds between Manc bands such as The Smiths, Inspirals Happy Mondays, Joy Division, Stone Roses etc.

If you could choose, who do you want to tour with?

If we could tour with anyone it would probably be Bowie, so once he gets his arse back in gear and starts playing live again, we’ll wait for the call.

You’ve got a few famous fans (like Liam Gallagher). How does that make you feel?

Feels good getting praise from anybody. Whether it be Liam Gallagher, my mam, my mates, strangers at gigs. It’s all nice when people actually enjoy something you’ve written And worked hard to create.

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

For the rest of the year we have some big things coming up. Couple of festivals to be announced shortly. But they’re both massive for us to play and were over the moon about that. We’re also playing more shows in support of our Right As Rain single. Plus finishing off our next single in the charlatans studio next month with the amazing jim spencer. The future is looking more and more exciting.

Follow The Tapestry on Facebook.

Interview: Quickfire with Hanne Kolstø

Hanne Kolstø's

The first time you listen to Hanne Kolstø you’re thrown into a random world of musical confusion. A sound hard to describe yet effortlessly slick and Scandinavian. Ahead of her new record, ‘Stillness and Panic’, I sent over some questions for a quickfire…

Tell us a little more about your sound

Aaa come on! That´s really hard! …. But ok, I’ll try: maybe something like dark popelectrorocknoisedrama?

What inspired the songs you feature on your new album, ‘Stillness and Panic’?

Me, myself and I, always trying to figure out what is going on in my head. The things that happens that I can´t understand, love for instance. On all my records I write about trying to find and stay in the middle of the road instead of ending up in the ditches all the time.

Nature inspires me. Especially on Stillness and Panic where I spent half a year hiking the mountains all alone in my hometown Sykkylven (Norway).

You’ve been nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. How has that made you feel?

Happy of course. But it´s kind of weird too, to suddenly be amongst ‘that crowd’. The first time I was terrified, but this year I I just enjoyed the show and drank a lot of beers. It´s a fun party.

Who would be your dream collaborator?

Radiohead, without Thom York. Haha. Or Frank Ocean maybe, I love hip hop.

You’ve released three albums in three years. That’s quite a lot of records! Why do you put out so much music in such a short space of time?

Then I can reveal to you that I´m actually releasing my forth by the end of this year. I don´t think one year to write an album is a short space of time. There are a lot of artist that releases a lot of music, it’s not that uncommon is it?

Who is your favourite artist right now?

I don´t listen to music that much while I write (which I´m doing right now). It messes up my flow. I need silence to hear myself.

What would you recommend are the best new Norwegian acts to listen to?

Atlanter, Higasakite.

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

Finish and release my forth album, move abroad (haven´t decided where yet), play a lot of festivals, not get a boyfriend.

Hanne Kolstø’s album ‘Stillness and Panic is out on May 7th.

Interview: Quickfire with HOLYCHILD

holychild

It’s almost impossible trying to get a HOLYCHILD track out of your head once you hear one. They make a bouncy, catchy type of music that makes it hard not to smile to. Ahead of their North American tour, I sent over some questions to the poppy duo…

For readers who don’t know who you are, how would you describe your sound?

We make brat pop; pop that pushes boundaries in terms of rhythm, chord progression and lyrics (not necessarily all at once), while still maintaining a catchy melody. Essentially, we think it’s a cross between TV on the Radio, St. Vincent, Kimbra and Katy Perry.

How did you come together to be HOLYCHILD?

Louie and I met in my dance class in college and it all sort of came together very naturally. We instantly bonded over music and art, and we started collaborating really early on with paintings and jamming.

We ended up writing a bunch of songs together in the summer of 2011 when I had graduated college. Things progressed from there, we recorded and then decided to move to LA with HOLYCHILD in late 2012!

When buzz started to grow through sites like Hypemachine, how did it make you feel?

It’s so nice that people are supportive of our art. I’m sure you can relate, that it’s nerve-wracking to release your art into the world. Therefore when people react well it’s not only gratifying but it’s encouraging. For me, this is my first band or music project, so I really feel like the public response has been so beneficial for my personal growth as an artist.

What inspires you to come up with your tracks?

We’re inspired by everything. Novels, other musicians, paintings. I don’t know how to describe it, but the process of writing a song is so natural for us. Pretty much anytime we’re with instruments we’ll be writing, and sometimes we don’t even need those to be the catalyst.

The lyrics for our songs have been inspired by insecurities that I have and I feel our culture shares based around roles that we are encouraged to engender. Beyond that it’s pretty fluid.

Who would you love to tour with?

We would love to tour with artists who inspire us! TV on the Radio, TuNe-YaRdS, St. Vincent, Kimbra, Fiona Apple… these would all be dreams!

What’s in store for you over the coming months and the year ahead?

We’re releasing our album in the fall, so up until then we’re excited to be touring! This is all a new process for us so we feel so fortunate to be able to connect with more people while playing the live show.

We head out on tour starting April 2nd, and we plan on being on the road through the summer and then releasing the album in September or October!

Check out more from HOLYCHILD on Facebook.

Interview: Quickfire with Ida Redig

ida redig

I don’t often say something so early on in the year like this, but Ida Redig’s ‘Though Shall Not Be A Pu**y’, released last week, has to be one of the best debut records coming out of Scandinavia this year.

Actually, you can listen to the whole thing here if you don’t believe me.The Swedish singer creates music that is so unashamedly pop yet still manages to get away with being Scandi cool. Here’s a little more about her…

For those who don’t know who you are, how would you describe your sound?

My spectrum is very wide, my music has an intensity that sticks to your body and I would say a recurrent thing in my songs are heavy bass drums and hooky sounds that stands out from the music. Big sound landscapes and appealing melodies. Above all, it’s great songs that everybody should listen to!

What do you prefer to write music about: happy or sad moments?

I prefer to write about happy moments. Sometimes the theme of the song I write have a deep thought or something broken over it, but I always have something happy to refer to in all my songs. Its all about how you want to live your life, and I want people to feel happy when they listen to my music, as I do when I play it!

Why does so much great pop come from Scandinavia?

The changing of seasons makes us creative!

Who are you currently loving music-wise?

Lorde. Her album is magnificent from beginning to end.

What artists inspire you to write your songs?

I don’t have a specific artist or group that inspires me. I prefer to say my music comes straight out of me, but in the end I think my wide music taste over the years have given me a lot of references and inspiration to write music just the way I want.

What is your new album about?

It’s about how to take myself to another level, to challenge myself and not back down for what I want and love. That all my choices I do, I do because I want to, not because what’s expected of me. I want to blow away people with my music, that’s what it’s all about.

Who would be your dream collaborator?

Daft Punk, no doubt!

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

I have some gigs booked all over this spring and summer and between the shows I’m in the studio making more music! I also have some fun collaborations and remakes of my songs on top of that, and this weekend I’m going to the north of Sweden to record two music videos. So stay tuned!

Follow Ida Redig on Facebook and check out the amazing album on iTunes.

Interview: Quickfire with Nabiha

nabiha

Nabiha has been one of Denmark’s most well know and well loved urban artists of late. Her mix of soul, RnB and pop have made her tracks instantly recognisable and you could easily fall in love with her universal sound.

She’s recently topped the UK Urban Charts with her last two releases and has a show on April 4th at Hoxton Bar & Grill to coincide with her next single, ‘Bang That Drum’ which is set for release this Spring.

Ahead of what is promising to be a huge year for Nabiha, I managed to get a few questions answered from the superstar herself. Enjoy…

For those who aren’t familiar with you, what is your sound?

I make pop music from the heart. Lyrically influenced by thoughts & experiences from my life, and musically mixing it up with urban, electronica, classical, ska or whatever we/I feel like that day. I have a great love for different musical genres, and my music reflects that.

Who are your musical heroes?

I have many! But I often find myself praising strong female artists with a characteristic sound, message and look such as Erykah Badu, Billie Holiday, P.J. Harvey, Grace Jones, Madonna, Beyonce, Kelis, Kate Bush, Rihanna.

You’re pretty established in Denmark, how did you get to be so well known?

That’s a good question, I guess you never really know, but I would say, ‘Hard work. Team work. The right songs at the right time, the right hard working people believing in the project, and a lot of love for music!’

What inspires you to write your music?

Talks with friends, my travels, my family. Mostly experiences, love, life, you know!

What’s been the best gig you’ve performed at and why was it so good?

It’s hard for me to choose just one. I like the fact that nothing is the same! I love playing the big open air concerts, watching a sea of people as far as the eye can see, as much as playing small private gigs standing eye to eye with my audience. No filter!

Some of my most memorable gigs was performing for HRM the Queen of Denmark’s 40-year Anniversary, and for ‘Families with Kids who have Cancer’ which really made a huge impact on me. I loved our VH1 gig at Austin City Limits last year, and I recently played a crazy Fashion Week-gig that ended with everyone dancing on the runway and me standing on chairs orchestrating the total mayhem! I love my job!

Who do you currently love musically?

Drake, Disclosure, Angel Haze, Lorde, London Grammar, When Saints Go Machine, Pharrell, the list goes on and on…

What are your plans for 2014?

More work and I can’t wait. It’s been a busy year already and I can feel 2014 is going to be crazy! I’m working on new material, I’ll be traveling a lot, doing gigs and promotion all over the world, I want to keep a strong focus on what’s important, and staying happy and in love with music.

Having seen this lady live before, you really need to check her our at Hoxton if you’re in London in April… Tickets here. 

Interview: Quickfire with Sibille Attar

Sibille Attar

Sibille Attar’s unique blend of cute indie and dark pop has made her one of the most talked about Swedish acts to emerge from 2013. Here’s a quickfire with this very insightful talent…

Where did you draw inspiration from for your latest record, ‘Sleepyhead’?

It’s really a typical first album, millions of things bottled up from a long time.

I’ve been a touring musician for years and was always pretty restless and jumpy so in-between touring and all that I’ve not been exactly still you know… Never knew how to stick around at one place for very long.

That has put me in a lot of weird and fun but crappy situations too, so there was a few stories there to be told.

What is it about Sweden that makes it a top spot for emerging music talent?

I’ve found myself drawing inspiration all over the world but not so much here so I don’t feel like the best representative.

In my life I’ve spent a lot of time trying to leave but I keep coming back so there is something though…

I like the darkness and the cold for example, it suits me.

I am the traveling kind but a lot of Swedes seems to be, maybe that feeling of being a citizen of the world more so than of Sweden in particular could be a red thread in the success of Swedish artists? Who knows.

But I have to mention that right now it’s a very racist place, so not very inspiring music wise, or I guess it could be… Fight wise though, very inspiring. People here should react more to that growing movement, silence and passiveness is super dangerous.

What’s your favourite track by another artist right now?

The Rip by Portishead.

Every time I’ve put the radio on in Sweden recently, ‘Come Night’ seems to be played on the stations. How has the reaction to the track been?

I guess you kinda answered the question for me there! But seriously, yes, people seems to have reacted great to the full album here in Sweden, I even got a Grammy nomination for the 4-track EP I released before the album.

I hope the rest of the world will wanna follow that trend.

But I try not to get involved in that way of thinking, you know, what other people think or how they will react.

What’s next for you?

I wanna take over the world!

Sibille’s full length record is set for a U.S. release in 2014.

Interview: Quickfire with SPARK

 

spark singer

Londoner SPARK has been one of the most exciting acts to emerge from 2013. After ditching a record deal and opting to go down the pop route solo, she’s managed to come up with a flawless pop sound that’s gotten a considerable amount of buzz off the back of just a couple of tracks. Here’s a little Q+A…

How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard of you?

I’d say it’s pop music, but with a twist/hint of a few different things. It has an RnB feel, sometimes a hip hop vibe, all very live too. It’s about that real live music for me right now!

How long have you been SPARK?

Since I’ve been walking and talking! My middle name is Sparkle, so I was nicknamed Sparky and Spark a lot by family when I was younger, so it’s very natural to me and feels as real as my first name.

What’s the reaction been to your sound so far? Was it what you expected?

It’s been great! It’s weird for me because I’m re-introducing myself to a lot of people as well as introducing myself to hopefully more. The reaction from both of those groups has really been amazing though.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Life. All around me. I’ve been writing my whole life and have written songs about all kinds of situations and relationships, whether they’re mine or the ones I see.

Is it easier to write about happy or bad times?

It depends how you feel at the time. If I’m feeling real good, it’s easier to write something that reflects that, and vice versa. Just whatever you feel at the time, writing honestly is easiest always.

What’s the best thing about performing live?

It’s the place where you get an instant reaction to your music from people. Even in rehearsals it’s so incredible to hear your music coming to life. Performing those songs live for people is like no other experience though.

What’s lined up for you for the rest of the year?

Performing! Recording, writing. As always. Just to keep going. It’s been a roller coaster over the past 5 years and now everything feels right, and now I just want to put the pedal to the metal!

SPARK plays a special one-off London show on August 20th at one of my favourite spots, The Social. Click here for more info.

Interview: Quickfire with Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts have become somewhat of an Australian electro institution since their first release, ‘Dystopia’ in 2007. Now they’re back with their third album, ‘Uncanny Valley’, and I managed to fire over some questions to the band which I’ve always wanted to ask.

Since forming back in 2004, you’ve very quickly gained worldwide attention. Where does the name ‘Midnight Juggernauts’ come from?

We liked the idea of something a little unusual, and it seemed to describe some unstoppable force in the middle of the night which worked for us. It was also good to have a band title which hadn’t been used before so we wouldn’t have to change it down the line.

You’ve been part of the ‘Australian Invasion’ from recent years- why do you think there are so many great electro acts emerging from Australia right now? 

Well Australia is so far away from the rest of the world, but there’s still a big music and arts scene down here. It’s a fairly supportive community of musicians and artists and interesting things often grow. Melbourne has always had a strong live music and dance scene. There’s a lot of different things coming out of there in different styles. Tame Impala and Pond and Lost Animal and Shags and Client Liaision. Everyone knows each other and share coffees in airports.

Your new album, Uncanny Valley, is out July 22nd. How does the sound differ on this record compared to your previous ones?

We always like each album to have their own distinct personality. so we approach their recording differently. For this album we probably had a more relaxed approach and didn’t set ourselves a tight schedule. We went to a converted church/studio in a little country village in the French Loire Valley and just dived into music with no distractions. Perhaps this album has more dance and delirium.

Where in the world do you get the best reactions from fans when you play live?

We like playing most continents but we always love playing in exotic locations where it also feels like a holiday for us. Japan is great and people there feel like true music fans. And South America is quite special as well. Maybe the sunshine there gives them a special lift of energy. We just played some shows there last week and can’t wait til we return.

Where do you draw your inspirations from when you write your tracks? 

These can come from various places. We’re also heavily into film and growing up I was watching a lot of genre flicks from the late ’70s which was probably a large inspiration. Landscapes and new environments are also a potent inspiration, which is why we wanted to have our music writing and recording sessions in this French church in the country.

Of all your tracks, which do you love to play live the most?

We always enjoy playing songs with long intros and build ups. From the new album ‘HCL’ and ‘Melodiya’ are fun for me to play. ‘Into the Galaxy’ is fun as a singalong. Anything with harmonies I enjoy too. I’d like to be in a Beach Boys cover band sometime.

Where are you touring to ahead of the album release?

Well firstly through South America. Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and then over to Europe and the UK. It will be great for us as it’s now winter in Australia and we’re looking forward to playing some shows in the European summer sunshine.

Uncanny Valley is out July 22nd in the UK. Check out the Midnight Juggernauts here!

Interview: Quickfire with Tom Dibb

tom dibb

Tom Dibb seems to be one of those people living the musician’s dream. He spends his days travelling across the country performing his music. And that’s his life. Ahead of his upcoming EP ‘Lost’, I managed to send over some quick questions to Tom.

For those who have not heard of you before, can you describe what you’re sound is?

There’s folk, reggae, latin, loads of different vibes from things I’ve heard through out my life, it just depends on how I’m feeling at the time. What ever the genre though I reckon there’s constant rootsy thread of story telling binding it all together.

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

From early days I was well aware I wasn’t going to get on too well in a 9-5 kind of role, I had other things on my mind. I tried a load of different roles, but I think it was about a year after moving back London way that I really found direction.

Who are your current influences?

I’ve been getting some good vibes from Ben Howard’s tunes; some really cool things happening there, Natty, Passenger. I think it’s a really exciting time for music there’s some awesome influential artists about.

What song do you find hardest to perform, and why?

There’s a group of a few, one of which is called “Homes Where The Heart Is” the first reason I don’t really play it is because its a bugger to sing. But mainly due to the time in which I wrote them, I wasn’t in a great place with myself and some times its tricky revisiting.

You’re currently travelling around the UK in a VW T25 writing and performing music. What made you come up with the idea, and how are you finding it?

I’d been working in a phone shop for years whilst attempting to make a career in music but it wasn’t happening. So rather than continue allowing my soul to die a little more each day doing something I’ve no interest in I took the dive. I took a couple of weeks off for the Caffe Nero camper van tour and just didn’t go back, now I can commit 100% to the music. Yea there’s ups and downs, for instance I’ve just spent the last three days stranded in Acton under the van trying to get her going again but its an adventure and I’m doing what I really dig, making music, learning new things and meeting new folk all the time.

What’s the nicest thing a fan has done for you?

I’d been busking in St Albans and met a couple of girls who booked me to come play at their house warming which was flattering enough but a few evenings later it was about -6 and I got a message from the guys saying Tom you cant stay in the van tonight we’re worried for your life, come stay with us. How diamond is that? These guys had found me singing on the streets, I’d spoken to them for 10 minutes, I could have been any one and they offered to put me up. I’ll never forget that.

What can we expect from you over the next year?

I’m going to continue touring in the van, got loads of Volkswagen shows and some awesome festivals coming up including Beach Break Live. Look out for The Lost video due any time now, and another video to follow shortly. The Lost EP launch party is on July 3rd at The Troubadour and then it’ll be released on the 8th. Other than that I’ll just keep writing, playing, and taking it straight to the people.

Tom Dibb releases the Lost EP on July 8th on Little Fan Records.

Interview: Quickfire with Vanbot

vanbot

One of my favourite newbie electropop princesses to emerge from Sweden, Vanbot has certainly been carving a name out for herself. You’ll be hard pressed to not find a music blog that claims to have some knowledge of Scandi music without featuring Vanbot’s tracks. Here’s a few short and sweet questions I threw to the lady herself. Check it out!

For those readers who may not know who Vanbot is, how would you describe your sound?

I try to create tension between the beautiful and the skewed electronic sound. I’m hooked on the idea to find a balance between catchy melodies and twisted synthesizers.

What inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by the things in life that communicate something hidden, an honest message. That’s what I call the nerve and that is something I always try to reflect in my songs.

Who are your musical idols?

I listen a to a lot of different music such as Apparat, Crystal Castles, Niki & The Dove, El Perro Del Mar.

Who’s your favourite up and coming singer?

I like the sound of NONONO (video below) and Sad, Vibrant and The Power!

Is it easier to write songs that are happy, or sad?

I feel the need to express my feelings and thoughts much more in hard times than in the good times. I think the hard times makes us come closer to life and to each other, and life becomes more real. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sad.

Why do you think so much good music comes out of Sweden?

I’m really proud of my fellow Swedes. In Sweden we have a tradition of music schools from early ages and also a lot of opportunities to study music for free after high school. That gave me the opportunity to dare to try!

Who would you love to collaborate with?

I would love to collaborate with Apparat. I love their sound! It’s repetitive like Steve Reich, emotional like Bon Iver, and atmospheric like Loney, Dear.

What’s planned in the future for you?

My focus is primarily on the album that will be released this fall, I’m really excited about that! But we will also try to squeeze in some shows when we’re not in the studio.

Follow the lovely Vanbot on Facebook here!

Interview: Quickfire with Nadia Nair

nadia nair

As far as epic Swedish pop goes, Nadia Nair is right up there. Still very fresh and yet causing a storm across the blogs, her big sound and gutsy lyrics are showing off a new Scandinavian sound that mixes pure, raw emotion with tribalistic beats. I’m personally a huge fan, so I sent over a few questions to Ms Nair and got back some pretty interesting answers…

 

How would you describe your sound to people who have yet to hear it?

It’s raw, darkly eccentric and emotional. Maybe even a bit nostalgic?

 

When did you begin performing music?

My first musical relationship was with the violin. So my first musical performance was when I was 5, with my violin.

 

What inspires you to write your songs?

Anything. I try keeping it very honest. From the torments of my fragile side to the courageous will of my strong side.

 

Your first single, ‘Bon Voyage’, took the blog world by storm. Did you expect the response to be so positive?

Thank you, I’m very flattered to hear that.

I don’t expect anything, but it made me very happy! When we finished the song I finally understood it and started understanding where I wanted to go with this, so I sort of took a deep breath and have been holding it ever since. People will never listen to my music or look at me the way I do. All I can do is hope that I can touch them anyway.

 

Why do you think ‘Bon Voyage’ became such a popular track?

I’d like to think it’s the genre bending that allows people to listen with a different ear. Also maybe the honest lyrics, raw track and the extreme emotion put into it. To me, being able to experiment with styles that way is the definition of freedom. Freedom is the ultimate feeling that I feel we all crave in our lives and this track is just a big fat outcome of my freedom.

 

Is it easier to create a happy song a or sad song?

Sad songs. When I write my songs, I have to go deep. And the deeper I go, the closer I get to my dark thoughts or what you could call my sadness. That emotion is what grabs me, so I grab it back and create. For me, the happy songs are on the surface.

 

Which musicians have inspired your (very unique!) sound, if any?

When I create music I don’t listen to much music because I’m so easily influenced and it can drive me crazy. But when I look back at what I grew up listening to, obviously many have inspired my sound. I love Queen. They had an innovative way of constantly re-inventing rock and Freddy Mercury’s voice gives me shivers.

When I was a little kid I’d watch Sinead O’Connor‘s Nothing Compares To You music video and cry. I don’t know if I even understood what the song was about back then. But she managed to get the message across and open up a box deep down inside of me at a very early age and all of my emotions just ran wild…

 

Who are your favourite current acts, and why do you like them so much?

I really like First Aid Kit. Their lyrics and music are as hauntingly beautiful as they are and their voices carry every word into my heart. I grew up listening to a lot of Indian folk music so I have a lot of fascination and respect for folk music in general. First Aid Kit manage to take something old and nostalgic and make something new out of it. I like that. I hope to get their attention so we can combine forces and write a little something someday!

 

Why do you think Sweden has such a good reputation for exporting music?

A lot of good music comes from Sweden. I guess it’s because of the weather…? It’s so dark and cold most time of the year so what better to do than lock yourself inside and write melancholic music?

What do you have planned for the future?

I have an EP I’m looking forward to sharing, some gigs planned and some I’m dreaming of doing…

 

Follow Nadia Nair on Facebook .

Interview: Quickfire with To Be Frank

to be frank

To Be Frank is one of my favourite male vocalists of late. There’s something pretty captivating about his voice, and if you give his single above a spin you will feel that you’re listening to something pretty special. On an interesting note, his great great grandfather was the Chopin-taught composer Michel Bergson. Ladies and gents, meet To Be Frank…

How would you describe your sound to those who have yet to hear it?

I wouldn’t really say I have a specific sound, I have written a lot of songs in many genres, you may have heard some in one style but there are others which you would think is that still frank. I like to try new things and test myself as a producer and writer. you have to keep moving and evolving, well I do!

You like to experiment with different sounds, but which one do you connect with the most?

I have banks of sounds, and lots of instruments and I could never say that one is my favourite, I guess It depends where the sound is coming in the chain, for instance if i am looking for inspiration from a sound and the song has not been written yet i will search many places to find something that fuels an idea or it may be I am looking for a sound to add to an existing song, it all depends really.

I have just written a song where I had a visual idea in mind that was pretty cold and desolate but I wanted it to represent fire, so I made a beat that had lots of sparky sounds in it.

You’ve already got a pretty impressive family background musically, do you find that motivates you to be a success?

I have many motivations behind my music, obviously my family history is amazing and inspiring but its not my main motivation, my parents always encouraged me to be creative as a child, me and my brothers when we were little turned my mums art shed into a music room when were young and stacked it with equipment, thats where it started really. I also have my own family now too, becoming a dad has inspired me to create on another level really, it’s such an amazing experience.

What inspires you to write?

I write a lot, most days I write something and have done for many years. I just write what comes to me, I can’t tell you where it comes from, it’s a bit like one of those magical things in life where you can’t control it, it just happens when it wants to. I think the most important thing is to not force it, if it’s not happening it’s not supposed to.

Who are your musical idols?

One of the earliest moments in my life musically was when i got on stage at 4 years old at a friends birthday party with a local blues band called the Low House Blues, the lead singer is called Frank Prendergast , or big Frank when I’m around! I took the microphone in the break on my own and sang apparently to everyone in the room. Big Frank is a massive inspiration to me, they are still going now 25 years on and I occasionally get up and sing with him.

How did you come up with the name ‘To Be Frank’

It just came to me one day and felt right!

What are your future plans?

Future plans are to keep writing more songs, and release lots more music on my label. I want to build a live show around it all eventually and play these new songs to people. I would like to produce a few other projects I have been asked to work on too so we shall see.

Visit To Be Frank on Facebook here!

Interview: Quickfire with Jarell Perry

jarell perry

I’ve featured Jarell Perry a good few times on here. I’m always impressed with the quality of his work, and have loved the few tracks I’ve heard so far from this very promising chap. I threw a few questions his way recently, so I figured you’d like to know more about one of my favourite RnB talents of late…

Hello Jarell! For those readers who don’t know much about you, can you tell us more about yourself and how would you describe your sound?

Simple man turned songwriter turned artist, pushing some boundaries and just making the music I want to hear. The sound is classic and unexpected at the same time.

You’ve taken the blog world by surprise recently with tracks like ‘Awkward’ and ‘Getaway’ – were you expecting the buzz to pick the way it did?

You always hope for the best and look for a record to be that ONE hit that breaks you. But I try to go in with minimal expectations. I’m definitely glad the way it’s turned out – the response has been overwhelming positive. With Getaway, I felt it was more of a risk, but the payoff is looking exponential right now.

You’ve worked with the likes of Usher, Diplo, Thurz and Fat Joe. That’s a pretty varied blend of artists; how did these collaborations happen?

Divine intervention always plays a role I think. My covers on YouTube got me a meeting with Usher, my placement with Fat Joe came through a run-in at the studio…I have a great team and friends always making introductions, too. I want to collab with as many dope artists as possible, regardless of genre – it’s always a learning experience.

What’s happening over the next few months for you?

Releasing Simple Things, planning a tour, and working on the next album.

Who’s your biggest current inspiration?

My number one inspiration will always be Stevie Wonder, for his musicality, songwriting, and vocal ability…

Who’s your favourite up and coming artist that you’d like to share with us?

I recently got into this band called HAIM. They have really sick production and can’t wait to hear more from them.

Your album Simple Things comes out on March 18. Tell us about it. Also what do you want fans to get out of it?

Simple Things is the truest introduction of myself to the world. Musically, I’m exploring all of the sounds I’m a fan of right now, from indie-acoustic to dubstep and chill-wave. Lyrically, I wanted to capture some basic human emotions that can’t always be explained in a love song. Those are the simple things I want people to take away. Every song describes a certain moment – take, eat, it’ll be the soundtrack to your life.

Interview: Quickfire with Ed Drewett

ed drewett

One of pop’s hottest commodities right now, Ed Drewett will be releasing his new single ‘Drunk Dial’ on 10th March.

So while he’s behind some songs responsible for turning acts like The Wanted into household names, I managed to send over some quickfire questions to the chap before he gets massive himself. Have a read!

You’ve written a good few hits for some pretty established pop artists like The Wanted and Olly Murs– how did all of that come about?

I was writing my Album when ‘All Time Low’ came about. It was initially for me but I wasn’t ready to release and the lads loved it so it found a good home! After that, ‘Glad You Came’ and ‘Lightning’ were specifically written for the boys. That was the start of my songwriting career!

The studio time with Olly came about literally down to the success I’d had with The Wanted. You write a few hits & you’re and fortunate enough to be able to write with pretty much anyone.

When did you realise that you wanted to be a performer?

I’ve wanted to be a performer since I was a kid. It’s something that rarely happens over night and until now I’ve spent the past few years searching for the right team for me!

What’s the best and worst thing about writing a pop hit for someone else?

Quite honestly it’s all a pretty good situation to be in. Sometimes you start an amazing tune and think, ‘Aarrrghh, I’d love this for me’ but you get over it pretty quick. The best is seeing a song conquer the world, like ‘Glad You Came’. That was incredible. I’m a very lucky dude.

What do you love the most about performing your own songs?

Performing my own songs on stage is what it’s all about for me. The songwriting for others is unreal but I started out as an Artist & I’m going to continue that way. If it doesn’t work out, falling back on writing for others isn’t exactly the worst job in the world!

What’s your new single about?

Basically, it’s about having six too many beverages and calling someone you probably shouldn’t. An ex, your boss, a current love interest. Resulting in feeling even worse the next day.

What else have you got lined up over the next twelve months? 

Promo! Lots of promo! Lots of interviews & making sure Drunk Dial gets the push it deserves. After that, another single then the album! Then, who knows!

Drunk Dial is out 10th March on BAER Music. Click here for more!

Interview: Quickfire with Jordan Corey

jordan corey

Featured back in November last year, I’ve been a fan of Jordan Corey’s sound ever since. It’s hard not to like it really. So when the opportunity arose at throwing a few questions at Jordan’s way, I thought why not…

So Jordan, for those who aren’t familiar with your music, tell us a bit more about you… Where do you draw inspiration from when writing your tracks?

I draw inspiration from everyday life. When I write I pull from unknown places, I usually don’t realize what I’ve written about until the song is finished.

 What’s your favourite song to perform?

Favorite song to perform would have to be “Heart Of Stone” – I love the guts behind it.

 How has the response been to your latest EP ‘Do Me Wrong’ been?

I have been fortunate to have a great response to the EP. Being named an iHeartRadio artist to watch is huge, so I am just happy it is being well received within the music community.

 What was the best bit of advice someone ever gave you about being a performer?

I’d say to entertain. Thats what being a performer is. You gotta give people something they have never seen before. Live in it.

 What do you have planned for the year ahead?

Planned for the year ahead is a new release! So new music, new creative material, and tour dates will also be announced. It should be an exciting 2013!