JamSphere http://jamsphere.com The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network! Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:40:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NazB: “When We Were Young” – warm keys and lifting vibes http://jamsphere.com/reviews/nazb-young-warm-keys-lifting-vibes http://jamsphere.com/reviews/nazb-young-warm-keys-lifting-vibes#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 03:39:37 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31608 As a child growing up in Nigeria, NazB was surrounded by the music of his native West African homeland. With members of his immediate and extended family playing instruments and singing, music was a part of his upbringing. His persistence and perseverance eventually gained him the nickname Nazodobas, which eventually evolved into NazB and became […]

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As a child growing up in Nigeria, NazB was surrounded by the music of his native West African homeland. With members of his immediate and extended family playing instruments and singing, music was a part of his upbringing. His persistence and perseverance eventually gained him the nickname Nazodobas, which eventually evolved into NazB and became his rapper alias. Now based in Zurich, Switzerland, NazB has been performing, recording and releasing hit songs, almost at will, since his debut album “Money In Da Game”, dropped in 2006. His brand of music blends hard-hitting urban beats, funky bass driven rhythms, and African flavors, which he carefully translates via R&B and Rap tunes. Currently riding the crest of the wave with his latest, nineteen track album, “Lion”, NazB has also released two singles and supporting videos, “When We Were Young” and “Gimme Some More”, taken off the aforementioned album.

The track “When We Were Young” is as welcoming as it is laid back, you feel obliged to unwind and relax with the rapper-singer himself, obviously the intended reaction with its warm keys and lifting vibes, and the nostalgic lyrics about lost youth.

The bass, piano lines and strings are appealing as the melody is deep, slow-burning and reflective. It has a feel good hook and an uplifting vibe, as NazB has a knack for delivering tracks with memorable choruses.

Urban music always has prized larger-than-life icons whose alchemy of skills, style and swagger enabled them to scale the charts. And with rap and R&B finally submerged in the waters of the mainstream, it’s only inevitable that many new potential hit-makers would make their way through from the underground into the brighter shining light.

NazB is clearly on that list. He boasts an impeccable flow, but his greatest achievement is his understanding of how to stay within the music, never overwhelming his tracks. And this is never more evident than on “When We Were Young”.

“Gimme Some More” is swathed in mammoth R&B hooks, baying hip-hop adlibs, and an excellent drum beat. There’s an almost geometric symmetry to its pop precision, one that lends it an unrelenting efficacy and anoints NasB as the premier Swiss, urban music, underground superstar, on the rise.

This one is a party song, so there is no time for sitting down and looking back, as on “When We Were Young”. If you want some music to motivate you and to push you a little harder across the dance floor, then “Gimme Some More” will get the job done.

NazB follows his usual recipe on these tracks, smart verses and soaring choruses, with well-thought out beats. He makes a groovy kind of catchy urban music that stays in its lane, and does what it’s supposed to do.

And that’s a whole lot more than many other artists are capable of doing. Just the sheer fact that he doesn’t gurgle or mumble makes his music ten times better than the average Hip-hop or R&B out there at the moment. NazB’s place in the music scene is well deserved.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMYOUTUBETWITTER

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Brooklyn based Hip-Hop music collective – Well Dressed Villains http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/brooklyn-based-hip-hop-music-collective-well-dressed-villains http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/brooklyn-based-hip-hop-music-collective-well-dressed-villains#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:29:06 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31603 The Well Dressed Villains are a Bushwick, Brooklyn based music collective with a genre blending sound. Each member of this dynamic duo is a triple threat: music producer, songwriter and recording artist. J. Vargas the Investment and RAH combine forces to present a new approach to hip hop. How long have you been in the […]

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The Well Dressed Villains are a Bushwick, Brooklyn based music collective with a genre blending sound. Each member of this dynamic duo is a triple threat: music producer, songwriter and recording artist. J. Vargas the Investment and RAH combine forces to present a new approach to hip hop.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started as a duo in the first place?

Well Dressed Villains: We’ve both been making music since we were very young. Some music lessons and formal training as kids as well as various projects and collaborations on our own over the years. We met and formed a duo about a year and a half ago during the Bushwick Collective Block Party. A mutual friend introduced us and we immediately went to work and collaborated on music for a film project.

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?

Well Dressed Villains: I’d say the legends of Motown, Latin and soul music—things we heard around the house growing up. Between the two of us that list would include everyone from Stevie Wonder to Stevie B—freestyle, Latin, hip hop, disco, rock, dance—you name it.

  1. Which artists and/or producers are you currently listening to?

Well Dressed Villains: We listen to a wide range of things. Kid Cudi, Khaled, Daddy Yankee, Rza, Kanye, Skrillex, Run the Jewels, Ruben Blades, Dre, Pharrell, Kendrick… honestly the list too long.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?

Well Dressed Villains: A seamless blend of genres and influences that offer a new perspective of hip hop.

  1. What do you think separates you from the crowd of emcees and producers emerging right now?

Well Dressed Villains: We’re not running on the same track as the main crowd. As producers we’re definitely creating music within a familiar framework sonically, but lyrically I feel our subject matter explores other aspects of the human experience outside of the typical hip hop conversations of today.

  1. Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalog, and why is it special to you?

Well Dressed Villains: We don’t have a favorite, each song shows a slice of the spectrum of our range so they all play a unique roll on the album. Thus far, we’ve learned that many people have a different “favorite track” so it’s cool to see how the album reaches so many different types of folks.

  1. Are your lyrics predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?

Well Dressed Villains: The lyrics come from all of the above. Many of them are real moments either embellished or told exactly as it went down. We definitely pull from life for inspiration.

  1. What would you consider a successful or high point in your career so far?

Well Dressed Villains:  Having released an album as a duo in just a year and half of knowing each other is definitely a high-point for us. We’ve gotten radio play in Philadelphia for our track Between the Lines, and we’ve also gotten a great review on a popular French music blog called Iggy Mag. We’re playing a show on March 18th with Ces Cru, they’re dope emcess who have been in the game for bit, so we’re humbled and looking forward to the future.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

Well Dressed Villains: Wow. I think we’ll narrow the options down to the music. I’d say the most difficult thing related to the music has been holding onto the vision. Often we get a clear picture of what we want and how it all plays out—everything makes sense initially. Life is a constantly evolving experience and priorities can easily shift as we fight to maintain balance in our personal lives. This process of “living” is tough, a constant struggle for creating any type of art or big project. So the battle to hold the vision and push it forward is one of the most difficult battles on a daily basis.

  1. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs, regardless of style or tempo?

Well Dressed Villains: Sincerity in the subject matter. Passion and power in the music. I feel like our music has a hopeful vibration and it translates into how the listener feels afterwards. We definitely want people to feel good and inspired in some way. In short, we believe that good music motivates.

  1. Which of you does primarily does what in the duo? For example who takes care the lyrics and whop does the production. Do you also collaborate with outside sources?

Well Dressed Villains: There isn’t a primary person handling a segmented action. We both produce and write music so it really is a collaboration throughout. It’s random as to who will have the initial idea but we just build off of that and keep volleying things back and forth. We’ve worked together in the same studio on some tracks and others we’ve swapped files and shared the results afterwards. We hired a guitar player for the solo on F* the Label and we’ll definitely collaborate with other artists as we continue to create music.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Well Dressed Villains: The exciting part is definitely following your unfiltered vision as you see fit. The part that can be discouraging is the lack of resources as it relates to people power and tied in networks. When you have a team and connected allies, things can move much faster. As an independent you need LOTS of patience.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

Well Dressed Villains: We’re taking it day by day. As the quote goes “There are levels to the game.” With that being said, we’re working to show up at each stage and deliver to the best of our ability. That kind of work ethic applied over time equals success. We do have some quality relationships that offer us support on a variety of levels. To say we’re doing everything ourselves wouldn’t be accurate—but to say someone else is doing the heavy lifting and making things happen for us wouldn’t be true either.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?

Well Dressed Villains: I would slow it down and make space for development and growth of music. I feel like that is gone. In the end, we’d end up with a better product that has time to blossom.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Well Dressed Villains: Our music has hip hop swagger, EDM energy, and rock guts served up with a pop music appeal.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Well Dressed Villains: Yes, it’s all definitely important. Personally, the world is SO noisy that we’re looking to add value and less noise. The path to do that is tricky so we’re testing things to find out what works best. We use Instagram, SoundCloud, our site and Bandcamp primarily.

  1. Tell us something about your latest release and where fans can find them.

Well Dressed Villains: Our new album Hide Your Valuables is available on all major music platforms. Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Tidal, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

  1. What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music? Do you have a video you would recommend fans checkout?

Well Dressed Villains: Visual media is definitely important. We shot a fun promo video for Between the Lines that can be seen on our website. We’re working on a few other visual projects right now actually.

  1. If you were forced to choose only one, between receiving a Grammy award and having a Certified Platinum selling disc? Which would you choose and why?

Well Dressed Villains: We’d go for the Grammy. It’s a symbol on many levels in the industry (like it or not). That award would also open the doors for many more projects and collaborations. So we see it as a gateway to more opportunities.

  1. What’s next on the upcoming agenda for Well Dressed Villains in 2018?

Well Dressed Villains: Performances—in person and digitally. We’re playing with Ces Cru and G-Moe Skee on March 18th at Gold Sounds (44 Wilson Ave) in Brooklyn. We also host a monthly event at First Live (219 Central Ave) called ‘All the Way Live,’ which is a curated freestyle jam. Now that the public can hear our sound we’re working on showing more of who we are and how we roll. We’ve got an inclusive vibe so we’re open to meeting new people and collaborating. We’ll be shooting videos, making appearances and sharing our visual story that accompanies our sonic narrative.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDINSTAGRAMTWITTER

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The Sudar Percussion Ensemble is a successful, award-winning group from Croatia http://jamsphere.com/news/sudar-percussion-ensemble-successful-award-winning-group-croatia http://jamsphere.com/news/sudar-percussion-ensemble-successful-award-winning-group-croatia#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:35:30 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31598 The Sudar Percussion Ensemble is a successful, award-winning group from Croatia that consists of very talented Croatian percussionists. They have completed a very high number of performances, tours and projects in Croatia and abroad since 2010.Their distinguishing characteristic is the original interpretations of famous works by classical and popular music composers, as well as their […]

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The Sudar Percussion Ensemble is a successful, award-winning group from Croatia that consists of very talented Croatian percussionists. They have completed a very high number of performances, tours and projects in Croatia and abroad since 2010.Their distinguishing characteristic is the original interpretations of famous works by classical and popular music composers, as well as their innovative and humorous ensemble members who have incredible musicality and technical skills.

Throughout the years they have performed many remarkable concerts and appeared at important festivals. The Sudar Percussion Ensemble have also performed alongside world-renowned artists, as well as some of the biggest names in the world percussion scene. They have released critically acclaimed albums, including the Oxygene series. “Oxygene IV” not only received incredibly positive reviews from the public but also from Jean Michel Jarre himself, and his record label Francis Dreyfus Music and BMG France.

The Sudar Percussion Ensemble have their natural habitat on the stage, performing in front of enthusiastic audiences. Their live projects include multimedia performances as well as electronic elements. The band consists of Filip Mercep, Nicolas Sinković, Goran Gorse, Robert Batelic, Aleksandar Vešić, Goran Klisuric and Adriano Bernobić. They have just completed a major live concert. Performing the music of J.M. Jarre at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, Croatia on the 11th of February 2018.

You can follow and find out more about Sudar Percussion at the following links:

WEBSITEFACEBOOKYOUTUBE

 

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Or1 aka Oxaï Roura: “Back From Sirius B (Nommo)” – a new musical dimension http://jamsphere.com/reviews/or1-aka-oxai-roura-back-sirius-b-nommo-new-musical-dimension http://jamsphere.com/reviews/or1-aka-oxai-roura-back-sirius-b-nommo-new-musical-dimension#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:06:22 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31594 A study by Chris Dobrian in 1992 brought forth the theory whereby it is most widely held that music originated as a vocal practice: either as an extension of non-linguistic vocal utterances (expressions of joy, pain, etc.), as extensions or intensifications of the intonations of spoken language, or as the production of vocal sounds purely […]

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A study by Chris Dobrian in 1992 brought forth the theory whereby it is most widely held that music originated as a vocal practice: either as an extension of non-linguistic vocal utterances (expressions of joy, pain, etc.), as extensions or intensifications of the intonations of spoken language, or as the production of vocal sounds purely for their sonic quality. Various hypotheses about the origins of music have connected it with, or derived it from, the intonations of excited speech, nonverbal voice signals, or significant inflections of the voice in tonal languages. A widely accepted notion maintains that both natural language and music, of all the arts, involve sound unfolding in time, and that both have the human voice as their common source. If, as is generally believed, instrumental melodies developed as accompaniment to and extension of vocal melodies, vocalization is a vital tool for achieving a better understanding of instrumental music.

It is with this in mind that one should explore the music of world traveler Or1 aka Oxaï Roura – a composer of new and very unusual musical forms, a percussionist, a vocalist and a researcher in Ethnomusicology. Last year we experienced some of his musical creations in “Afro-Himalayan 01: GanEshou”, which blended voice and percussion within ethnic sounds and rhythm.

The musician and composer is deeply involved in discovering both traditional and modern musical art and often blends them to innovate and refresh our own musical perceptions. Moreover he uses his music as a spiritual tool.

Which brings us to Oxaï Roura’s latest composition Or1 –“Back From Sirius B (Nommo)”. The track is strictly vocal, but non-language, in that it doesn’t use any known words. It mixes a blend of vocal tones and textures. If all meanings could be adequately expressed by words, the arts of painting and music would not exist.

There are values and meanings that can be expressed only by immediately visible and audible qualities, and to ask what they mean in the sense of something that can be put into words is to deny their distinctive existence. Hence this is not a piece of music you can describe to somebody else, it needs to be experienced and perceived by each individual listener alone.

To try and assist my own personal interpretation of Roura’s work, I picked up on the word “Nommo”, and learned that it refers to ancestral spirits (sometimes referred to as deities) worshipped by the Dogon people of Mali. Nommos are described as amphibious, hermaphroditic, fish-like creatures who were inhabitants of a world circling the star Sirius.

All of which explains the title Or1 – “Back From Sirius B (Nommo)”, and what went into its thematic creation. However, what you get out of this work, largely depends on your own perceptive and interpretive skills, as well as your desire to address, acknowledge and absorb music far removed from traditional pop music forms. Because it is here that Or1 aka Oxaï Roura truly excels.

OFFICIAL LINKS: REVERBNATIONFACEBOOKTWITTER

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RAVENSCROFT Drop New Video For “STAND UP” http://jamsphere.com/videos/ravenscroft-drop-new-video-stand http://jamsphere.com/videos/ravenscroft-drop-new-video-stand#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 01:01:30 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31591 Ralph Buso (Vocals), Brett Gorke (Guitars), Devin Baker (Bass), Pat Magrath (Drums), collectively known as RAVENSCROFT, are working on their most unique, creative, exploratory, and bone-crushing recording they have ever produced. It’s a progressive work of metal and rock art, delving deep into the nature of their craft. This six song EP “Rebel” will be […]

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Ralph Buso (Vocals), Brett Gorke (Guitars), Devin Baker (Bass), Pat Magrath (Drums), collectively known as RAVENSCROFT, are working on their most unique, creative, exploratory, and bone-crushing recording they have ever produced. It’s a progressive work of metal and rock art, delving deep into the nature of their craft. This six song EP “Rebel” will be released on March 25th 2018.  And there will be a release party held at The Slidebar in Fullerton California with Killset.

The soaring melodies, the intense guitar solos, the deeply profound lyrics all take part in painting the picture that the band’s works regularly deliver. With precise timing and technicality, RAVENSCROFT space and structures each song to embody its own chemistry. In other words, the band is heavy and dark as ever, rewarding the listener with brand new material, and the release of the video for the upcoming EP’s third single “STAND UP”.

The niche that RAVENSCROFT fills in modern rock with their technical, yet accessible songwriting is desperately needed, and the band does not disappoint on “STAND UP”.  They embrace their abilities as a riff and rhythm machine, consistently balancing heavy, intricate, and often technical work with the right amount of melody throughout the song while avoiding the monotony that often plague some of their contemporaries. This is the sound of a band inspired, a band willing to experiment and break out of any given formula to grow as artists.

Technicality aside, “STAND UP” is just fun to listen to, being both layered and memorable. A huge, bombastic anthem that’s full of energy and carried by powerhouse performances also manages to have a winning melody that elevates it even further. This is a surprisingly good track with the potential to carry an unbelievable amount of meaning. RAVENSCROFT shows that this is one band that cannot be held back.

Links to find out more and follow RAVENSCROFT

Live review and video interview http://www.backstage360.com/ravenscroft-in-the-cauldron/

Website: http://ravenscroftofficial.com/

ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/ravenscroftofficial/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RavenscroftOfficial/

Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/c/RavenscroftOfficialBand

News to Share: https://www.reverbnation.com/ravenscroftofficial

Instagram Follow: https://www.instagram.com/ravenscroftofficial/

Listen and add to Playlist https://www.pandora.com/…/cosmic-plan-expli…/AL64cmllX5bdPf6

Listen and enjoy: https://soundcloud.com/ravenscroftofficial

Bandcamp: https://ravenscroft.bandcamp.com/

Listen and Add to Playlist https://open.spotify.com/artist/38Urhv5VSlo7kSQq333XR6
Stand Up was just added to The Heavy Metal Playlist

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Niq Venus Brings a Southern Spice To His Seattle Hip-Hop Flavor! http://jamsphere.com/news/niq-venus-brings-southern-spice-seattle-hip-hop-flavor http://jamsphere.com/news/niq-venus-brings-southern-spice-seattle-hip-hop-flavor#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 22:45:24 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31588 Born in Jackson, MS; Niq Venus brings a southern spice to his Seattle hip-hop flavor. Speaking on behalf of ones feeling stuck, portraying the infamous journey of learning life the hard way. Inspiring independence and tenacity in his listeners by connecting with topics such as death, drugs, crime, and homelessness. Niq takes everything he does as […]

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Born in Jackson, MS; Niq Venus brings a southern spice to his Seattle hip-hop flavor. Speaking on behalf of ones feeling stuck, portraying the infamous journey of learning life the hard way. Inspiring independence and tenacity in his listeners by connecting with topics such as death, drugs, crime, and homelessness. Niq takes everything he does as lessons towards the destination of life, love, and happiness.

The Yin/Yang in one, perplexed and distressed, Niq’s been knocking out house shows across Seattle along with desecrating Venues with the Collective TRUENTSEA. Growing in popularity and infamy Niq Venus is a force to be reckoned with.

“I got so many thoughts, music is my way to project them in a pleasant manner. My story is one I believe should be told. Follow me and my quest to shake the game up and blow a musical load.”Niq Venus

You can follow and find out more about Niq Venus at the following links:

YOUTUBEFACEBOOKTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDINSTAGRAM

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Exit 22 Music: “Last Goodbye” – mammoth songwriting and production values http://jamsphere.com/reviews/exit-22-music-last-goodbye-mammoth-songwriting-production-values http://jamsphere.com/reviews/exit-22-music-last-goodbye-mammoth-songwriting-production-values#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:47:17 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31583 It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and […]

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It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and it’s catchy as hell. Sounds like authentic Exit 22 Music to me. This is pure Calamera from his pop-rock songwriting style standpoint, and pure Exit 22 Music, considering the breathtaking vocals and high production-value quotient. The perfect, power-pop formula. Exit 22 Music has been keeping us on the edge of our seats for a couple of years now in terms of releasing new material from the studio.

Another reason for celebrating the arrival of “Last Goodbye” is simply the fact that the record showcases a project whose output remains as strong, as cohesive, and as relevant as any one of their previous records.

Always pushing their sound into new territory while retaining that signature pop vein that makes Exit 22 Music records, well, distinctively Exit 22 Music; this track is a truly exceptional composition from one of the finest musical acts in the pop-rock underground.

To the casual listener of the project’s material over the years, particularly those who are only really familiar with some of Exit 22 Music’s peak material – “Break These Chains”, “The Magic In You” and “Double Life” etc., “Last Goodbye” will contain as many surprises as it does certainties.

Chris Calamera, the songwriting mastermind behind the project’s past and current hits, has once again edged Exit 22 Music into melodic and angst-filled pop-rock terrain with this record; and it has once again paid off, for the soon to be celebrated hit-maker, behind the mammoth songwriting and production wheel of this project.

“Last Goodbye” combines a dynamic guitar opening, some sweetly sung verses, and a bitchin’ chorus that sidesteps right into pure, unadulterated pop-rock terrain. This is serious goose-bump-inducing stuff, especially the guitar riffs in mid-song. The production on this track is one of its finest features.

Each listen pulls out something new or previously hidden. While this could have resulted in a cluttered arrangement, Chris Calamera has applied care to the placement of instruments, and other elements and so each stem unravels with a vigorous consistency as opposed to feeling out of place or messy.

“Last Goodbye” is yet another stellar effort from a should-be-adored project. And contains some of Exit 22 Music’s finest work. Its testament to the project’s songwriting, vocal, production and instrumental talents and is further evidence that Chris Calamera’s hit-well is very, very far from running dry. We tip our hat to you once again!

MORE ABOUT: Exit 22 Music is the brainchild of founder, Chris Calamera, a talented artist with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. More precisely, Exit 22 Music is a dynamic and charismatic NYC music production company, that mixes intuitive instrumentation with world-class production value and widely appealing lyrics in order to craft a blend of sound that transcend barriers and genre definition.

With a unique personality and a striking collection of tunes under his belt, main composer, Calamera, set out to create songs that feel eclectic, yet direct and personal, echoing the work of seminal performers the likes of Matchbox Twenty, Kelly Clarkson and the Goo Goo Dolls, among others.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – YOUTUBE – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – SOUNDCLOUD – REVERBNATION

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RMZ Keez NataS: “On Lock”- a stream of consciousness http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/rmz-keez-natas-lock-stream-consciousness http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/rmz-keez-natas-lock-stream-consciousness#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 02:42:17 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31577 RMZ Keez NataS is an artist and writer from RoMeZHooD RevolutionaryMotivationZone. He is the cousin of one half of the popular Birmingham Rap Group ‘Lotto Boyzz’. And also the cousin of award-winning actor and singer Matt Henry. It is obvious by his content that music in his DNA. RMZ Keez Natas grew up in a […]

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RMZ Keez NataS is an artist and writer from RoMeZHooD RevolutionaryMotivationZone. He is the cousin of one half of the popular Birmingham Rap Group ‘Lotto Boyzz’. And also the cousin of award-winning actor and singer Matt Henry. It is obvious by his content that music in his DNA. RMZ Keez Natas grew up in a Rastafarian family and lives by most principles adhering to Haile Selassie’s speech about no deity worshipping. Hence he promotes self-motivation and self-reliance through his music. “On Lock” is RMZ Keez NataS’ debut single, and as you can imagine it is a unique piece of work.

In today’s music world, having the ability to perfect multiple sounds is impressive, but overdone. Sometimes it’s exhausting to listen to after a while. Almost every heavily anticipated release this year, and the last, has had that theme, which isn’t a bad thing because it sells records. However, RMZ Keez NataS new single has a simplicity that is refreshing and a great palette cleanser.

It’s dark and mysterious, but uses a single catchy Middle Eastern flavored melody line, which rides on a deep resonating bassline. It’s almost as if the rapper already has a signature sound right from the get-go. It was created for two reasons: to ride out to, and to blow the loudest bud to – apart from the lyrical messages RMZ Keez NataS is handing out.  Wafting walls of sound whisk listeners from verse to verse like in a stream of consciousness flashbacks.

RMZ Keez NataS’ bars are consistent. His mush-mouthed flow is measured, as he never gets too excited, and is always in control of the scenery he’s painting. Potent lyrical imagery, intoxicating beat work and a strong connection to its theme make this one track to keep coming back to. RMZ Keez NataS presents some impressive rhyme schemes while the production had me unconsciously nodding my head along with the vibe of the song.

RMZ Keez NataS is just so damn committed on top of this unusual beat. The revolutionary independent rapper that indie fans will surely learn to love has little in common with his so called peers, or any of their incarnations. He exists in the wake of his own ideas and ideals.

Freed of major label concerns, or living in the footsteps of more successful mainstream artists, RMZ Keez NataS’ strong presence and peculiarities seep through every note of his music, and it won’t just simply be the hip hop heads taking notice.

Impressively constructed, RMZ Keez NataS’ has managed to add different ingredients into “On Lock” and still make it one unified dish. His work ethic is on point, as are his bars. He’s doing what he wants, allowing his creative verve to take the lead.

His flow, built on straight up front wordplay and vivid images, avoids the easy punch lines or the loud vitriol. RMZ Keez NataS tends to be less abrasive, and far more compelling than many of his contemporaries. “On Lock” is a case study in style and commitment.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEITUNESTIDALAMAZONGOOGLE PLAYSPOTIFYINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK

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Ambient Instrumental Composer Lake of the Lion http://jamsphere.com/news/ambient-instrumental-composer-lake-lion http://jamsphere.com/news/ambient-instrumental-composer-lake-lion#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:36:43 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31572 Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating […]

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Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this knack for just creating this style just for the hell of it.

The great thing about Lake of the Lion’s composing is the way that he can embody all the emotive sounds and textures of his lead instruments, the strings, as well the rest, and bring them together to create very subtle, haunting yet triumphed sound with differing timbres.

Lake of the Lion has created some extremely emotive pieces, yet the melodies and haunting harmonies that are created for the music make the listener feel every heartbeat that is in the composer’s intention.

For example “Shallow – Lost”, one of Lake of the Lion’s recent pieces, which tells the story of someone who has lost a dear friend, is a calming, yet strangely disturbing track is  made up of gentle plucking and whimsical keyboard melodies.

The depth of the interlocking parts is astounding; it’s a gorgeous piece of bittersweet melancholic music. Instead, “Save” is a collection of 5 tracks that according to the composer is meant to showcases the struggle of survival in the winter season.

“Save” is a masterwork of multilayered orchestration with strong piano melodies. Like a movie soundtrack, it’s introspective, delving into areas of the soul that are usually left alone, and as such succeeds in being a great work of art. The album is currently in pre-release, and has two songs available for direct streaming.

You can find out more about Lake of the Lion and listen to his music via the links below.

OFFICIAL LINKS: BANDCAMPSOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOK

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INTERVIEW: Crossover EDM, POP and RAP Artist L.A.G http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/interview-crossover-edm-pop-rap-artist-l-g http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/interview-crossover-edm-pop-rap-artist-l-g#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:33:38 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31567 Born in Los Angeles, California, Isaac King (L.A.G) was raised around the area of Hollywood, his consistent love for music and writing has been a very heavy motivator for the entirety of his life, and as of 3-4 years ago, he has decided to make a career out of it.  It also was one of […]

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Born in Los Angeles, California, Isaac King (L.A.G) was raised around the area of Hollywood, his consistent love for music and writing has been a very heavy motivator for the entirety of his life, and as of 3-4 years ago, he has decided to make a career out of it.  It also was one of his primary motivations in his obtaining of a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing, and Music. He has had experience in almost every field of music and continues to learn & grow in his music and in an ever-growing industry. His music is inspired by the sounds of old, in addition to modern era music deriving from pop, EDM, and rap, and the combination creates an entire new sound for all those under his voice to enjoy.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?

L.A.G: To be honest, I’ve only been doing this professionally for around 2 years, but have been writing music since about 10. My professional career started in college when I struggled between this and teaching. My education program was cut, and that, to me, was a sign of what I should do, that’s the start!

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?

L.A.G: Drake was probably the first artist I consciously listened to with comprehension and for inspiration.

  1. Which artists and/or producers are you currently listening to?

L.A.G:  Currently, I listen to a lot of Chance the Rapper, a lot of Childish Gambino, and I’m also a humongous old school fan, so that’s in my playlist a lot.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements people should be getting out of your music?

L.A.G: Aside from the amount of fun I have making it, happiness, and the pursuit of it, whatever that may be to you: I want the listener to feel the ability to chase happiness, and acquire it.

  1. What do you think separates you from the crowd of emcees emerging right now?

L.A.G:  Besides my holding back on the typical “Triplet Flow” every other artist uses, I feel that I’m breaking into new territory with my mix of Edm, Pop, and Rap, a revolution much needed.

  1. Do you currently have a preferred song in your catalog, and why is it special to you?

L.A.G:  “Don’t Call Me”. Despite the fact that it’s my most recent song, it’s also my first song under management, and to me, it’s my statement for and into the industry. If someone were to ask, “who the hell is L.A.G?” which they do, this is my answer.

  1. Are your lyrics predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?

L.A.G: Neither, I use my music to get a point across. I rarely tell stories, or make them up. I just kinda look at my current situation, and I ask myself, “What do I need to say”? If I’m wanting a girl, then I’ll write love songs, if I’m upset, then I speak on what the issue is. It’s basically a need-based thing.

  1. What would you consider a successful or high point in your career so far?

L.A.G:  Reaching 64,000 views on Youtube for the first time. Last year, I was in complete disbelief that I had gotten that much attention with my music and it still shocks me now as those numbers continue to rise.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

L.A.G:  My father passing, it’s still tough, but the music definitely helps, this is certainly what he would have wanted me to do.

  1. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your songs, regardless of style or tempo?

L.A.G:  I always make sure I have people thinking, as long as I’m doing that in some form, the style can vary considerably.

  1. Do you also produce the beats and write the lyrics on your songs or do you engage outside sources in any of these cases?

L.A.G: Beats, definitely not. I certainly write my own songs, and I do use others for concepts, but never lyrics. But yeah, beats, no I contact other sources for that.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

L.A.G: The most exciting thing is the freedom to do it on your own, but the best part can also be the most detrimental, no major label help.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

L.A.G: I do have a management team, as of late, prior to that there was just a lot of me promoting as much and as precisely as I possibly.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about how the music business works right now, what would that be?

L.A.G:  I would change where some of the attention is placed and focused on. I feel like the industry has lost its choosing talent over popularity.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

L.A.G: I would use Pop and Rap, those would probably put the simplest and most accurate image together.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

L.A.G: I do believe so, I believe that all are a necessary evil. I personally use social media for entertainment anyways, so using them for the purposes of my music and promotion, I have no trouble with.

  1. Tell us something about your latest releases and where fans can find them.

L.A.G:  “Don’t Call Me” and “Bring It” are my two biggest releases so far. As far as where to find them, you can start with Youtube @ L.A.G Music or L.A.G therapperdude, and from there you could search L.A.G on Spotify, Itunes, Soundcloud, Spinrilla, etc, and I will pop up as either that, or L.A.G Music

  1. What is your relationship with visual media? Do you think videos are important for your music? Do you have a video you would recommend fans checkout?

L.A.G:  My managers always tell me that a song doesn’t exist WITHOUT the video, so I do believe that visuals are a tremendous part of the process. Again, I’d most certainly check out “Bring It” on Youtube, the video for “Don’t Call Me” is in the editing stages right now, but when it’s out, you’ll be able to find it on those same channels.

  1. What’s next on the upcoming agenda for L.A.G in 2018?

L.A.G:   Well since a lot of recording and footwork is done, I’d love to start getting out on the road to promote and perform. My management and I are planning a tour in the summer, but for now, I’ll be in Miami performing on March, 3rd at Miami Live, and on March, 21st, I’ll be in Macon, GA, for the Cherry Blossom Festival to perform as well.

  1. I left my first question for last. Where does the moniker L.A.G come from?

L.A.G: I get that a lot… lol… But I’m originally from Los Angeles, California, but as of my teenage years, my parents moved me to Waycross, Georgia, and I put the two together as city and state, and L.A.G was born. I believe that California gave me a lot of my creative and musical talent, with the classes and acting and all, but Georgia shaped who I am as an actual person, my mannerisms, Southern Hospitality, all from Georgia

OFFICIAL LINKS:

Websitehttp://www.therapperdude.com

Soundcloud– https://soundcloud.com/l-a-g-music/dont-call-me

iTuneshttp://itunes.apple.com/album/id1339934741?ls=1&app=itunes

Spinrillahttps://www.spinrilla.com/mixtapes/l-a-g-music-don-t-call-me

Apple Musichttp://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1339934741

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/track/2sLa6nseZniD6nqGwifMH5

Tidalhttps://tidal.com/track/83811580

iHeartRadio– https://www.iheart.com/artist/lag-660058/albums/dont-call-me-53489656/

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Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” – whirling you in a spell of great sound http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/natalie-jean-levi-moore-letting-go-whirling-spell-great-sound http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/natalie-jean-levi-moore-letting-go-whirling-spell-great-sound#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:41:59 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31560 A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, […]

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A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself.

Natalie Jean

The track “The Letting Go” was written Michael Peloso and Natalie Jean. If there’s a track that’s going to revive your interest in indie Country-Pop this year, it’s this one — largely due to its willingness to smash the tropes that’ve stagnated the genres.

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore spend time going into deeper, darker, and introspective places, as they discover how it feels when you stop chasing dead romance and start letting your life happen. Natalie is full of girl-next-door charm and her music is written and sung from the heart, full of emotion and passion. It amazes me how she always speaks the language of the ordinary person. In her songs, she says everything we want to say but can’t or don’t. Maybe that’s why so many people gravitate towards her.

This track is a great addition to both the country and pop music world. It has a dexterity and willingness to take shape at each turn, whirling you in a spell of great sound. Aurally it is stellar, holding validity within each vocal delivery. “The Letting Go” is a beautiful song about love and life.

Levi Moore

Levi Moore

Everyone has messed up in love. Everyone, to one point or another, is haunted by their past, and we all long for happiness within ourselves. Natalie Jean and Levi Moore take on the roles of compassionate narrators who make you believe in yourself again. It’s a little sad, but an encouraging song that lets you know that letting go is the only way to free yourself from the past’s hurtful chains.

Both singers do a great job at creating a sincere but uplifting mood and atmosphere. There’s also plenty that show’s Natalie’s evolving style here. She is clearly experimenting, which makes sense as her wider range of emotions require a music that matches the words.

Throughout, she always maintains the honesty that won her original following. This clearly shows Natalie’s progression as a writer and artist. To say I’m impressed would be a gross understatement. The substance and maturity of the song, and her stunningly nuanced vocal performance is what strikes me more than anything.

Michael Peloso

“The Letting Go” sounds like Natalie Jean’s truest accomplishment yet, together with co-writer Michael Peloso they find that chord in a lyric, and hook that strikes a universal note, and pair it to a most grounded and gorgeous, effortless sounding arrangement.

An arrangement that stretches Natalie’s usual musical boundaries, as I don’t remember her doing anything as country-inclined before. Of course it has to be said that Levi Moore’s assertive baritone lends a rich and resonant voice to the track’s all-round authenticity.

“The Letting Go” firmly plants Natalie Jean in the fertile ground between Pop and Country, and her marriage of the two is effortless and thrilling. This impeccably crafted melody reminds you that a truly talented artist like Natalie Jean can be held to a high standard and still exceed expectations.

The fact that she keeps great musical company – in this case Levi Moore and Michael Peloso – has also become a dominating factor in galvanizing her artistic growth.

CREDITS:

NATALIE JEAN: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM – Natalie Jean is an award winning, multi-nominated singer/songwriter performer. She is also a Voting Member in the Recording Academy (GRAMMYS). Natalie Jean is a versatile performer and singer. She sings many genres, such as Jazz Pop, R&B, Blues, and Dance. She can also sing in French, Spanish, English, and Creole.

LEVI MOORE: WEBSITE – Levi Moore, is a country singer/songwriter out of Savannah, GA. Nominated for Male Vocalist of The Year in Modern Country at the 2017 Josie Music Awards Levi is a full-time musician, currently into his third successful year.

MICHALE PELOSO: WEBSITE – Michael Peloso is a New Jersey-based lyricist/songwriter who writes touching, honest lyrics with a sense of simplicity that are uniquely all his own. He began writing at the tender age of 10.  “I remember buying REO Speedwagon’s Hi-Infidelity, and was just floored by the words and music,” Michael says.

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Adrian Kniffley: “Authentic” – a tool to connect people through emotional storytelling http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/adrian-kniffley-authentic-tool-connect-people-emotional-storytelling http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/adrian-kniffley-authentic-tool-connect-people-emotional-storytelling#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:13:20 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31554 Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17, Adrian Kniffley latched onto music as a constant. “I’ve always loved to create. Through music I had a way to express my creative side in my own way. I never started doing music to be a millionaire or to glorify material things. Just followed my […]

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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17, Adrian Kniffley latched onto music as a constant. “I’ve always loved to create. Through music I had a way to express my creative side in my own way. I never started doing music to be a millionaire or to glorify material things. Just followed my heart.” The Louisville, KY, artist, was born into a musically cultured family, and began writing songs and composing music by 4th grade. After being introduced to the music producing program, FL Studio, Adrian knew he had found his niche. For much of the last couple of years hip-hop has been under a microscope. As many artists found success with seemingly indecipherable lyrics. Critics have been questioning if these lyricists deserve a seat at rap’s table. Their penchant for mumbling words over a hard beat became a fan magnet, but not all of hip-hop’s vanguard welcomed the new regime with open arms.

The predicament of simple comprehension in hip-hop is a crucial one, but when you have a lyrical rapper like Adrian Kniffley in the room, all the dreck and the drivel of mumble rap disappears; technical skill, poetic quality and social significance come to the fore.

Adrian raises the stakes of rhyming by presenting his aspirations, his experiences as well as the challenges he faces on the album “Authentic”. He then pairs this with a commentary on the priorities in the culture he is surrounded by. Adrian also calls into question the ideal of ‘realness’, which has long been affiliated with street cred.

Often Adrian Kniffley’s wordplay is so subtle, so effortless, you don’t even realize he’s doing it at first, and when you do, you think back and say, “Damn, Adrian. That was dope.” Unlike a lot of emcees who act tough in their raps, Adrian gets very real very quick in a way that catches you off-guard. Part of the power of some of his lines comes from its brevity; it comes at you so fast, it hits you like a blow to the face. Taken into account all the aforementioned elements,

The proliferation of the album, “Authentic”, isn’t simply a transmission of sound; it’s Adrian Kniffley’s mode of expression, and as such, a tool to connect people through emotional storytelling. Besides the content of Adrian’s verses, which is powerfully descriptive, and the tone, which echoes the emotions of artist, the collage of sound that Adrian Kniffley constructs, with alliteration, metaphor, and multi-syllabic rhyme, is impeccable.

Most rappers can’t rap with the conviction nor the technical skill that Adrian does on tracks like, “Habitual” (Prod. SOTB), “When it’s On” (Prod. Damien Tomasso) and “Instinct” (Prod. Damien Tomasso).  At the same time there is plenty of ear-catching and soul-sitting material here, which will captivate you long before the message does. The best of these include, “Just Chill” feat. Christina Marie (Prod. Crackdosja), “All Good” feat. Emmit Jay and “What We Like” ft. Rolo (Prod. Crackdosja).

Throughout “Authentic”, Adrian Kniffley beautifully illustrates the story-lines and delivers the lines as if he’s dictating what’s happening as it occurs. You can almost see the words floating around in the air, rearranging themselves until they make sense and culminate into clear pictures. The debate between mumble and lyrical rappers, no doubt, will continue. In the meantime settle down, turn up the volume and enjoy the true essence of a lyrical rapper.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITETWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM

STREAMS: APPLE MUSICSPOTIFYAMAZON

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MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – captures moments that achieve sublime sonic poetry http://jamsphere.com/reviews/maki-waking-world-fire-captures-moments-achieve-sublime-sonic-poetry http://jamsphere.com/reviews/maki-waking-world-fire-captures-moments-achieve-sublime-sonic-poetry#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:10:10 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31547 The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but […]

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The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a decidedly textural, atmospheric and cerebral style. Rather than trying to keep up with popular music’s standard structures, this work offers unusual musical values that transcend barriers.

With his new album ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’, the composer avoids elaborating any one single genre, thus eschewing isolation from another. He abandons any one known human language, using signature voices which MAKI confirms, took him years to refine.

Using bold exotic forms to infuse his music with dramatic monumentality, MAKI captures moments that achieve sublime sonic poetry. With its mesmerizing swirl of pulsing strings, whooshing keys and rumbling percussion the album possesses an impressive sonic sheen, yet it feels pared down to it’s core essentials – tone and texture.

The listener is allowed to wade through an ever-changing musical current, finding emotional resonance in sounds from a subtle palate. But underneath all the blissed out textures is a deep mystical consonance and a practiced sense of composition designed to communicate.

The resulting 7 tracks on the album offers us a mystical bridge between our world and the greater cosmos – as its music, or at least a redeeming impression, will linger on in the listener’s mind. ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ is one of those MAKI works that’s projected to augment the space around you or open the space within you, depending on how you choose to listen.

From the moment “Polypropylene” opens the proceedings, this album is truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic, like the soundtrack to an epic film. It conjures up images of deep space, the regions between the galaxies, where no matter exist, while “Nylon” brings to mind the distant nebulas where stars are born.

At times, it is very easy to get lost in the sheer sound, the isolating sense of it all, on “Xylene” for example. In those moments, this album truly is like floating in a void. And perhaps MAKI is hinting at the universe inside us, the microcosm that exists inside of us. And in that respect, ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ takes on a profound spiritual sense.

I experienced the last three songs, “Acrylic”, “Methylene” and “Zephylin” in a dark room with some incense burning and my stereo at just the right volume. Being perfectly relaxed I went on the 3-track journey of sound with an open mind and plenty of excitement building inside of me.

It really hooked me mentally, spiritually and musically and the album has since become a true favorite. Dark yet textured, effortless yet so full of tones, this album possesses sounds and voices that can indeed carry you to places you have never been. Haunting and beautiful, MAKI, with this album has certainly made his mark in recorded music – specifically in the Darkwave, Ambient and Experimental genres.

This is a sonic journey to the true depths of the inner space that flows through each one of us, making you not a passive listener, but an integral and active part of the music. Published and distributed by the Natalis Group, ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ signals another bold step forward for independent music.

 OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – MUSIC EPK – MUSIC DOWNLOAD – SOUNDCLOUD

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Award-winning, Multi-talented Artist, Host, Curator and Promoter – Lex Lumiere http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/award-winning-multi-talented-artist-host-curator-promoter-lex-lumiere http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/award-winning-multi-talented-artist-host-curator-promoter-lex-lumiere#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:56:00 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31542 Lex Lumiere is an Artist and Fashion Photographer based out of NYC, but was raised in Texas. She curates, hosts and promotes Art Events for Non-profits. Her specialty is in visual branding, fashion editorials, creating advertising concepts and promotions for clients, models and luxury fashion apparel. With a degree in Business Management and over ten […]

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Lex Lumiere is an Artist and Fashion Photographer based out of NYC, but was raised in Texas. She curates, hosts and promotes Art Events for Non-profits. Her specialty is in visual branding, fashion editorials, creating advertising concepts and promotions for clients, models and luxury fashion apparel. With a degree in Business Management and over ten years’ experience in luxury apparel, Lex specializes in luxury Fashion & Editorial photography, creative concepts, television production and curating custom art exhibits. Themes of environmentalism, activism and spirituality flood Lex Lumiere’s collections. Her art is politically and energetically charged because, as she says, “it has to be, there is no point in creating artwork that does not strike a nerve or touch a soul.” Lex is also the founder of Healing HeARTS, focused on therapeutic arts & holistic services for stress reduction.

  1. You’re an award winning artist; oil painter, photographer, therapeutic arts educator, singer-songwriter, television producer, writer, charity promoter and radio host. Which is the most fulfilling? And if by some mischievous destiny you were forced to only pursue one of the above crafts, which would it be?

Lex Lumiere: Art is like a diamond, it has many facets regarding self-expression. When I was young, I had a martial arts Sensai that would touch you in the middle of your forehead (3rd Eye Chakra) with his finger during practice and say “No Mind.” It was his way of encouraging you to let go of your daily concerns and be fully present to step into the flow of the movements and moment. Art, in every form from painting to music, is the emptying of all the things you internalize in your daily life and letting it go into a creative form. The most fulfilling part for me is the actual process of creating something beautiful, it is a meditative experience to de-stress from the grind. If I had to only pursue one craft; it would be film or television production for therapeutic arts and holistic services because you can marry art, charity, music, photography, writing and storytelling into an educational platform and impact a wider audience. When you expose people to positive information focused on solutions rather than just negative fear based news, you never know who will be inspired or encouraged by your work to think differently or to raise the bar of their own performance.

  1. When did you first discover your creative talents and love of charity? And have you had any formal training in any of the above skills?

Lex Lumiere: My grandparents were professional artists that owned Cricchio Studios, a photography studio and bridal shop in the small town of Port Arthur and later Beaumont, Texas. My playground was a traditional photography studio, dark room and bridal shop full of glamorous gowns. My grandmother would host bridal fashion shows and take me to Dallas to the fashion market with her from a young age. So I was blessed to be trained in Black & White film and lighting by a family of two experts in their craft; my grandfather was a Master photographer who was a Kodak Camera Craftsman, one of the top 50 photographers in the world. While my grandmother Bea was also an award winning painter and the first minority women to be inducted into the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) for her oil painting skills. If she could not hand correct you’re negative, she would just paint your entire portrait, and she won tons of awards. In high school, I loved writing and was placed in advanced English, art & photography classes and joined the choir. However, I am more of a shy singer in the closet who prefers the studio over performing live. In college, I continued taking advanced art, oil painting and writing classes, guitar and entered the competitive world of fine art. I explored myself as a musician in our former band Vanity Inc and have written or sung backing vocals on about a hundred songs for different artists.

  1. Do you play any acoustic instruments or is your music electronically based? What secret talent would people be suprised to know you have?

Lex Lumiere:  I took piano as a child but my teacher quit, so chopsticks is my go to piano song…lol…unless it is a jemba. I have great rhythm. Luckily, my high school choir teacher Mrs. Parsons was a stickler for reading sheet music and the metronome so it helped me tremendously when I started writing my own music in college. I hear melodies ‘out of the blue’ all the time, so I just hum them and my pianist would play them out on the spot and we hammer out the sheet music together. When we have a project that requires music, I hire real musicians with instruments to record in the studio, because it has a different dimension of sound than digital. When we send it off to a professional music producer and engineer to work their magic that is when the digital art and sound comes into play. My secret talent people would be surprised to know is I am a bad ass rap lyricist but cannot rap in real life worth a damn. I’ve got some songs for Drake, Iggy, DJ Khaled and Lecrae.

  1. What types of music and which artists do you currently prefer listening to?

Lex Lumiere: In the last few years, when my grandparents fell ill with cancer. I began to pay close attention to lyrics and what I was feeding my mind, body and spirit. Tuning in to see how all the music I was listening to was effecting me daily in my outlook on life, whether the music was influencing me to be more negative or positive minded.  I started eliminating the negativity, minimalizing my life and letting go of materialistic excess and listening to music that was uplifting, inspiring or positive to counter act all the sadness or negativity I would deal with in life or see in the evening news. When I create art or write, I only listen to instrumental or classical music so I can hear my own thoughts; not the worlds noise and download my mental data. You can check out my Spotify list, but the music I listen to embodies many different genres and eras:

https://open.spotify.com/user/memememe1234/playlist/61lmsgSfMjkLoX7afcKPEJ

  1. Are your works predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?

Lex Lumiere: All of my work; from my photography projects, music, artwork, television to paintings is drawn from personal experiences and spiritual lessons that I have encountered in my lifetime. Art is a medium I use to make people think differently on their life journey, to question ‘the system’ we were born into, and to create more beauty in the world.

  1. What inspired you to become involved in the Swan Lake, Houston Ballet Ball charity project?

Lex Lumiere:  Houston is my hometown, and Hurricane Harvey’s flood water caused significant damage to my studio and the arts community in general. The flooding effected Houston Ballet’s 2018-2019 performance schedule significantly because the ballets home venue The Wortham Theater Center will be under reconstruction through September 1, 2018.  Out of respect for the Houston Ballet’s contribution to the arts community, as well as orchestra conductor Ermanno Florio and the guest conductor Geneviève Leclair, we donated an original wooden art sculpture piece on a platter with wine and gourmet foods from Spain for their silent auction.

https://www.houstonballet.org/seasontickets/Special-Events/balletball/

  1. Do you work totally on your own in all of your endeavors, or do also collaborate with other creatives?

Lex Lumiere: In terms of artwork or creative projects; I usually create the concepts, put the storyboards together with project phases and deadline dates then let my team members run with it. I’m not a micro manager, because I only work with people I trust and hire for their expertise, input and reliability. Not people I have to babysit to finish a project because they are too high to get any work done. Regarding music; I have collaborated with Kirke Jan from Academy Curve for beats and sound engineering, he is incredibly professional and has worked with artists like Crasher Tunes, Stashbox Music, Madonna, Music Blender. I’ve also worked with Paul Cox of 226 Recordings in Houston, he recorded ‘Bella’ for a charity project with me and my childhood friend Ryan Wink on guitar. His credits include recording with Macy Gray, Stanley Clarke, and the White Stripes. I was also blessed to work with Grammy Award Winning Don Grossinger who mastered all of our bands singles and has also done a charity project for me. He has RIAA Gold record awards and has worked with everyone from Pink Floyd, Sade, Tony Bennett, to Mariah Carey and has an amazing ear for sound. I love that he is a perfectionist regarding the quality of his work and the creative projects he is trusted to complete.  If he thinks something is off in terms of a note, pitch, chord, he sends you back into the studio to correct it. I love working with people who are honest and direct in their communications, because they get the job done without a lot of headaches.

  1. Are your art or charity projects limited to any particular location? Which key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your art or charity projects, like the ‘ Flashback Dance Party ‘ in Austin?

Lex Lumiere:  We work both nationwide and internationally on art and charity projects. The only requirement is the non-profit must be a registered 501 (c)(3) and rated on Charity Navigator. Specifically, the Flashback Project is a fun retro dance party playing 80’s and 90’s music benefiting Explore Austin, a nonprofit committed to change the lives of underserved youth through leadership, mentoring and adventure activities. They are auctioning off a Spa Gift Set which includes a Gift Certificate for a 8×10 Custom Psychic Painting with me done at the Dessert Gallery, while the winning bidder gets to eat something sweet. Our goal is to always create a win win.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flashback-dance-party-presented-by-strub-benefiting-explore-austin-tickets-41251543477

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your art career so far?

Lex Lumiere:  Enduring a lot of discrimination and racism in the art world in terms of support because it is very cliquish and controlled by elitists. Ever see The Monuments Men? There have been times I have walked into art openings where I am the only minority in the room representing the State of Texas as a voluntary Arts Ambassador. Being the grandchild of immigrants, galleries and art dealers are most likely to support you if you are a man, rather than a minority, much less a female. Finding a reputable art agent that is fiscally responsible to sale your art and manage your career without stealing from you is honestly like finding a needle in the haystack. Compound that with Hurricane Harvey, and people have decent intentions but when the insurance company is waging war with FEMA in terms of “was it the 40 feet of flood water that caused the damage or the electrical fires to your property,” none of it helps me rebuild my life or art business any faster. Every grant available, all the resources for help in the arts require that you jump through 1001 loopholes of red tape and fill out a ton of paperwork just to get the funding you need. I want to re-build a sustainable art studio but it honestly would be faster to be in a turtle race and just barter or trade an oil painting or original photograph for $12 million to a private collector.

  1. What would you consider a high point or proud moment in your career so far?

Lex Lumiere:  Being part of the Exposure Award showcase at the Louvre Museum in Paris and having my art become a part of Stonewall National Museum & Archives was a milestone for me professionally. I carry the artistic legacy of my grandparents; my grandfather is the only photographer in Texas to have the Fuji Lifetime Achievement award and United Nations Award for Photographic Excellence, so when I accomplish something it’s like they are both right there with me and I am living up to the level of their expertise. It’s always a personal challenge for me to do the next creative project even bigger or better.

  1. How would you define ‘success’ regarding your craft? Do you feel you have already reached it in some way? If not what do you feel you would still have to achieve to consider yourself ‘successful’?

Lex Lumiere: Success in regards to the arts for me personally is summed up by John Wesley, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can,” and by that definition my family and I are very successful. We remain in a consistent space of generosity because divinity, our source is an endless ocean of love. All artists dream of selling enough art to maintain financial stability for themselves and their family in order to continue doing what we love. Hurricane Harvey hit us quite hard; I lost my home, and my business partner died. In spite of circumstances, I am still able to maintain a positive attitude and enough faith to believe it is possible to sell 1 piece of artwork at auction for $67 million and break the sales record in order to re-build; because it has never been done historically by a women. The only person who has come close was Georgia O’keefe at $44 million, it has always been men with the highest sales records at auction. I need a docent or a banker that wants to make history and help charity at the same time. Ultimately, it is about establishing my grandparents and my art in a permanent museum collection together in one large room so you can see three perspectives of art from one family.

  1. More than anything else, what is the one thing you desire that people get out of your music or other creative work?

Lex Lumiere: Never accept being bombarded by the world’s negativity or tragic events as the absolute standard of truth for your quality of life; when joy, peace, beauty and abundance are your birthright because life is the masterpiece and you are an original work of art. Protect your peace of mind.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an artist? (And was there a particular moment you thought, ‘I can do this!’?)

Lex Lumiere: Yes. My high school art teacher started entering me in competitions, and I won. At 17, I was chosen to represent my high school district and co-host my first art show at Hermes with Parisian Photographer Daniel Aron, a photography legend responsible for branding the Hermes company. I knew then a lot of my blessings would manifest around art.

  1. If someone has never heard your art projects infused with music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Lex Lumiere:  I like to play with sound like a blank canvas; so it will go from intense dance music with deep lyrics to instrumental funk to these very soulful ballads like the old torch singers with a pinch of jazz.

  1. Talk to us about your creative routine; what’s a typical day for you?

Lex Lumiere: I have very intense dreams, and usually wake up hearing music, even if no music is playing in the room. I joke and say the angels like to sing to me and wake me from my slumber. I make some coffee, sketch out my dreams from the night before into a black book, date them. Read my daily devotional and write out whatever flows to mind or whatever signs manifest throughout the day. The universe always validates what the next steps are, the creative process is like the unfolding of a flower. Then I go work out; hit the gym, yoga, tai chi or go walking. Shower, eat a protein shake for breakfast while getting dressed and look at my ‘to-do list’ for the day.  Get any projects or art ready for delivery or shipping for the current weeks art or charity events. Then I spend the afternoon going between working on my top five creative projects deadlines for the week, giving each about 2 hours and studying for my classes at Harvard. I often skip lunch to do intermittent fasting 2-3 days a week depending on if I am asking Divinity for some particular type of breakthrough in my life. Spend an hour making calls and rap up my work by 6 for dinner. Go walking for 30 minutes to an hour afterward, come back, read, sketch in my book, add to my ‘Honey Do’ list and do a Guided Meditation to go to sleep. My creativity comes in cycles; so I allow myself down time between the projects to have fun, take in a new art show, try a different creative medium, play pool, race go carts, challenge strangers to a game of Pac Man to see if they can beat my score for a prize.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in art today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Lex Lumiere: I think the Internet, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook they allow you to keep track of people and share your art form at the touch of a button. The convenience is a good thing on one hand but on the other it also makes us lazy in terms of the quality of how much energy we actually invest of ourselves in spending time with real people. People need affection, they need to see you face to face, to hear your voice to have an intimate relationship, it’s part of the human experience. Art openings are fun and I enjoy them because instead of a cold computer screen, I actually get to be with people. Building a following is great to a certain extent for fans, but maintaining and nurturing quality friendships and relationships in real time is even better.

  1. Are your family and loved ones supportive of your creative endeavors, or are you pretty much one of those misunderstood creatives like so many others? Who is your circle of influence?

Lex Lumiere:  I come from a creative family, so they are very supportive and understanding. We are book nerds who love to read and I have become more introverted as I get older. I’m a strange mix of friendly, but shy if I don’t trust you or know you well. One of my baby sisters is a nurse, the other is a blues singer and yoga teacher, so we all have a similar creative vibe and healthy holistic lifestyle. My circle of influence includes; my mom, she does Hypnosis and is a Reiki master, I am good friends with a Sheriff in Houston who is also a veteran, Motivational Speaker Matt Morris who is a world traveler and author of the book, ‘The Unemployed Millionaire’, my bff is a retired Diamond Broker living in Florida, the other is a Social Worker I adore and have known since we were ten. Honestly, I spend a lot of time in the Holistic community, at church, doing charity or art projects and openings. I keep a joyful and loving inner circle, I don’t have time for drama or hot messes.

  1. Describe your route to being published? Do you have an agent, or do you take care of things yourself?

Lex Lumiere: My music is copyrighted with the U.S. Copyright Office and published through ASCAP. I do have an arts agency, The Creative Group who manages bookings for my creative career; commercial photography, film / television production, public speaking, charity events, creative director, etc.

  1. As an artist, do you feel it is sufficient that your art or works entertain audiences, or do you think it should always educate and enlighten people in some way too?

Lex Lumiere: If you watch the evening news, in light of all the lovely and dark world events; as artists I think we have a responsibility to entertain, educate and enlighten people so we can balance out all the tragedy and pain with joy and love. People who are hurting and living in suffering need us to show up with our creative gifts in an empowering way that gives them hope and shines our love light into the darkness to help people overcome and heal.

  1. What’s next on your upcoming agenda? What can fans expect in 2018 from Lex Lumiere?

Lex Lumiere:  I am working on collaborative partnerships this year with the Koha Collective, which is a group of artists, yoga lovers, healers wanting to give back and empower their community through SEVA (volunteering,) a upcoming art exhibit, more art projects, helping promote a new jazz singer (tba,) then Charity Network News is going through a huge metamorphosis and is stepping up on the public speakers circuit for empowering charities, women and other creatives. I’m excited, this year is going to be spectacular.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITECHARITY NETWORK NEWS

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Jahmings Mccow Set To Release New Single – “Trod It Through” http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jahmings-mccow-set-release-new-single-trod http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jahmings-mccow-set-release-new-single-trod#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:40:21 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31537 In the pantheon of underground reggae artists, Jahmings Mccow is right up there at the top. He has gained critical acclaim for both his expressive vocal delivery and his exceptional skills as a songwriter, and the undeniable charisma is another part of the draw. Like the great pioneering figures that came before him, Mccow’s biggest […]

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In the pantheon of underground reggae artists, Jahmings Mccow is right up there at the top. He has gained critical acclaim for both his expressive vocal delivery and his exceptional skills as a songwriter, and the undeniable charisma is another part of the draw. Like the great pioneering figures that came before him, Mccow’s biggest claims to fame comes through ardent songs that expose the vulnerable heart of a passionate man, and like his more famous peers Mccow has also recorded a lot of astute social commentary and expressions of the struggles of humankind. Jahmings Mccow was already happening as an artist during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when he started forming his own bands, before going on to do studio work with the likes of Max Romeo and Sugar Minott. He has since remained a force to be reckoned in the underground, continually releasing new music and forging his own path relentlessly. Put it all together and the end result is an awesome catalogue.

But Jahmings Mccow keeps building his brand and expanding his craft. Right now he is in the studio mixing and mastering his upcoming brand new single release “Trod It Through” which we managed to get a preview copy of. This slow-burning ballad has got all the credentials to really boost Mccow’s profile.

From the bluesy arrangement to the gently loping rhythm, as usual it’s his voice that cuts through to make the most lasting impression. It’s the heartfelt anguish that really draws attention; he’s singing every word as an honest reflection of the circumstances that he sees around him.

The expert mix, places the slowly pounding drum pattern to the fore, with a haunting keyboard and guitar pattern lingering alongside it. The melodic bass meanders woefully as Mccow wails of the injustices meted out by an inequitable world. In some instances he uses biblical language to relate the plight of innocent.

The pain and anguish his voice indicates that he is singing about his own experiences rather than merely observing. The blend of Jahmings Mccow’s great lyrics and melody, all play starring roles. Always front and center is his understated, willowy tenor, which invites the listener to pay attention.

A new Jahmings Mccow release is always cause for celebration, and with “Trod It Through”, Mccow once again proves that in the quiet environment of the studio he is still quite capable of turning out a quality product. Simply put, Mccow adds another jewel in his crown with the new single which is coming soon. The artist also has a new album in the works, to be called “Metal & Paper” which will feature this latest single.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITETWITTERFACEBOOKREVERBNATION

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Damian Sage: “Memories” – a bold and powerful statement! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/damian-sage-memories-bold-powerful-statement http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/damian-sage-memories-bold-powerful-statement#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:27:12 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31531 There has never been such a gap between popular and quality mainstream music as there is today. The biggest cause of this shift is technology. You can listen to virtually any artist and any song, in any genre, subgenre and sub-subgenre, instantly, at the push of a button. There’s amazing technology that can actually tell […]

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There has never been such a gap between popular and quality mainstream music as there is today. The biggest cause of this shift is technology. You can listen to virtually any artist and any song, in any genre, subgenre and sub-subgenre, instantly, at the push of a button. There’s amazing technology that can actually tell you what music you would like, before you even listen to it. All of this makes for an endless stream of new forms, and new hybrids of new forms of music. But the downside is while the periphery flourishes, the core of music culture decays. Before the advent of the new technology, you were pretty much stuck at least somewhat in mainstream music culture. Most music was consumed through broadcast radio, or local record stores with limited inventories.

At the time, the most discerning music consumers were chained to the mainstream masses. So they raised the level of discourse and the quality of the product that the masses were producing. It wasn’t the perfect filter, but chances are that if you turned on the radio during the sixties or the seventies, you could find something of ‘quality’ playing.

Try that today, all you’ll get is…well you can fill in your own favorite names. Hence, those discerning music consumers, who once raised the level have completely withdrawn from the mainstream and gone into separate cocoons to hide with their privately discovered musical gems. And without them the mass market has cratered into a cluster of crap that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

The person to blame for this rather lengthy prelude is none other than Damian Sage, a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. The New York native has just released his latest single, written in collaboration with Robo H“Memories”, which opens with the lines: “Tired of all these insipid songs on the radio, whatever happened to good old rock and roll. Spewing words that have no real meaning. Lot of people talking but not saying anything.”  It got me thinking…

Damian’s music is always full and with a depth of emotions unmatched. This particular song has that same dramatic and haunting music the artist is noted for, coupled with lyrics indicative of a man who has come to terms with some of the demons, and with a little bit more bitterness about how the intrinsic art of his craft has morphed over the years.

But “Memories” should not just be circumscribed to the music world, as it in fact, is also a compelling metaphor of our ever changing society which is becoming more shallow and superficial.

And when Damian’s roaring voice ragingly echoes out the lines: “We seem to have lost our way. Where are the good old days, when raw emotions could have filled up all the ocean. Now it’s just a sea of grey…”, the analogy between the evolution of modern living culture and artistic expression in song, is potently evident to me.

“Memories”, to all intent and purposes is a bold and powerful statement, no matter how you read its message – literally or metaphorically. You will instantly be drawn into the mesmeric crunch of the hard driving musical arrangement which seems to ignite the passion and emotion in Damian’s voice.

His vocal delivery is as aggressively angry as it is poignantly beautiful. This song is everything I like about Damian Sage -emotional, passionate, visceral, and authentic with just a hint of hope, no matter how dark the horizon. As a matter of fact that’s what I loved out the old music too!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFY

This single is available on iTunes and all other major digital download outlets.

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INTERVIEW: Jennifer Juan – A Cultural Melting Pot Of An Artist http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/interview-jennifer-juan-cultural-melting-pot-artist http://jamsphere.com/twentyquestions/interview-jennifer-juan-cultural-melting-pot-artist#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:50:58 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31526 Jennifer Juan is a cultural melting pot of an artist. She is a writer, a musician, a producer, a film maker and a podcast host, currently residing in the Kent countryside, but dreaming of the ocean. A tornado of darkness and delicacy, Juan creates engaging and powerful projects, using a variety of mediums and platforms, […]

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Jennifer Juan is a cultural melting pot of an artist. She is a writer, a musician, a producer, a film maker and a podcast host, currently residing in the Kent countryside, but dreaming of the ocean. A tornado of darkness and delicacy, Juan creates engaging and powerful projects, using a variety of mediums and platforms, each dripping with her signature playful, yet powerful style of writing. Beginning her journey as an artist as a teenager, Juan graduated from The University of Greenwich in 2013, and began sharing her work on her personal website, as well as through social media, posting written poetry and video projects.

In 2017, Juan began producing a weekly podcast “Sincerely, Jennifer x”, sharing her poetry, insights into her writing techniques, and released several printed volumes of poetry, including the critically acclaimed “Home Wrecker”. 2017 also saw Juan’s first venture into music, with her releasing her debut single “Past Preston”, a haunting instrumental track that would begin the first step into her immersive cross media project “Drowning In Us” that will be unveiled in full in 2018. Juan has also had adventures in professional wrestling. Initially training with Progress Wrestling at their Projo in London, she debuted for IPW:UK as the manager of Earl Jonathan Windsor, in August 2014.

    1.  You’re a writer, a musician, a producer, a film maker and a podcast host. Would you describe your creative calling in exactly that same order? And if by some mischievous destiny you were forced to only pursue one of the above crafts, which would it be?

Jennifer Juan: I think it goes in that order, yes. Pretty much everything I do starts with something I wrote, so it really is the heart and soul of what I do. I think if I had to just do one, I’d be a writer, because it gives you so many endless possibilities.

  1. When did you first discover your creative talents? And have you had any formal training in any of the above skills?

Jennifer Juan: I have to be honest, I was the annoying theatre kid everybody hated at school. I was like Rachel Berry, from Glee. At every opportunity, I wanted to sing, and dance, and be creative. I’m sure people thought I was exhausting, but it came from watching so many old movies and listening to my grandparent’s records when I would stay with them. I became obsessed with the glamour and dramatics of it all, and just decided that I was going to do it for the rest of my life, in some capacity. I began going to dance and acting classes when I was about twelve, after begging my family for months, and that’s where I discovered writing, in a sense. I loved to perform, but I also loved the creation of characters. I’d always come up with really elaborate back stories for everyone I played, or for every song I sang, and so I began just writing my own things. I later went on to study creative writing at The University Of Greenwich.

  1. Do you play any acoustic instruments or is your music electronically based?

Jennifer Juan:  I play a little guitar, but most of what I do is electronically based. I’m a control freak, so doing everything electronically allows me to have a hand in everything.

  1. What types of music and which artists do you currently prefer listening to?

Jennifer Juan: I really enjoy older stuff, like The Beach Boys, Timi Yuro and Bobby Vee. I like a mixture of different things, but it all tends to be old and sentimental.

      5. Are your works predominantly based on real events and personal experiences, or are they drawn from your creative storytelling skills?

Jennifer Juan:  A lot of what I write and create starts as real experiences and events, but the final version will have been built on. I like to imagine different endings to things that have happened, or what could have been if one detail had been different, or if things had gone another way.

  1. What inspired you to write the song “Past Preston”?

Jennifer Juan:  It’s a part of my upcoming project “Drowning In Us”, which will be an immersive media experience across video, music and reading platforms to tell the story of two people who find the right love, at the wrong time. I started writing it when I was sat right by the North Pier in Blackpool. I could hear the ocean all around me, it was about 9PM, but it was May, so it wasn’t dark yet. I thought about the story I’d written, and how I wanted to transform into something bigger than I’d ever created before, and I looked right at the heart of it, to the longing, the despair, and the bittersweet joy, and Past Preston was born.

  1. Do you work totally on your own in all of your endeavors, or do also collaborate with other creatives?

Jennifer Juan: I’ve collaborated with people before, but right now, I’m doing my own thing, and exploring my creativity for a little while. I’d like to work with other people again in the future.

  1. Which key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your music, regardless of style and tempo?

Jennifer Juan:  Drama. I couldn’t tell you why, but I really do live for drama, and I think that reflects in my music. I like to play with dramatic sounds, and transitions. I want everything I create to sound like it could play in the background of Lauren Bacall being swept up in a kiss with Humphrey Bogart, that feels painfully essential.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music so far?

Jennifer Juan:  I’ve had a lot of struggles with my mind, and she’s not done with me yet. I spent a lot of time when I was growing up, trying to be the strong one, and keeping it all together, so it never occurred to me to ask for help, until it was almost too late. I couldn’t recognise that I needed to reach out, because I’d always tried to be the hand that pulled somebody up, and accepting it, for the first time, was humbling, and terrifying. I try and find things to keep me positive, and my work has been very helpful. I feel like I can write down what hurts, and turn them into something different, and beautiful, and for a moment, it’s like it doesn’t exist for a moment, and for a few seconds, I’m free.

  1. What would you consider a high point or proud moment in your career so far?

Jennifer Juan:  I’m a little embarrassed about this, but it’s also one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I remember my dear friend once jokingly asking William Regal, the wrestler, if he ever read fan fiction about himself, on twitter. He actually responded, and said he didn’t, but he would read something about himself, if he was written to have a monkey sidekick. So me, being me, I wrote it and sent it to him on twitter, and he actually responded. I thought I was going to die of embarrassment, but I also felt weirdly proud of it, and it was a nice moment, as a writer, to be able to have such good feedback for something that I wrote as a joke. Apart from that, I’d say the reception that my book Home Wrecker received meant a lot to me. I felt very vulnerable about that collection, because a lot of it was deeply personal, and so it was nice to see that people enjoyed it, and some people found things they could relate to.

  1. How would you define ‘success’ regarding your craft? Do you feel you have already reached it in some way? If not what do you feel you would still have to achieve to consider yourself ‘successful’?

Jennifer Juan: I think it’s personal to every person, but for me, I think knowing that you’ve created something that made someone happy is success. Over the last year, I’ve been able to connect with a lot more people, and I have been fortunate enough to hear that things I’ve created are being enjoyed, but I want to keep going. There’s a lot more people in the world, and I want to keep doing what I love, and hopefully, they’ll be enjoying that with me.

  1. More than anything else, what is the one thing you desire that people get out of your music or other creative work?

Jennifer Juan: I hope that it makes them feel like someone understands. I always felt that way about music, and poetry when I was younger. I still do now.

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer and musician? (And was there a particular moment you thought, ‘I can do this!’?

Jennifer Juan: I always wanted to be creative, and it took me a little while to pin down how I would do it, because I had so many ideas and thoughts on what I wanted to do, but the desire to be an artist was always there for me.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Jennifer Juan:  A little eclectic, and unusual, but full of longing and passion.

  1. Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?

Jennifer Juan: I’m always up early, around 05:30, so I like to get up, and get clean and dressed. Sometimes, I like to feel fancy, and go all out in a proper gown, with jewels and everything, because it just makes everything seem more urgent and sublime. I like to listen to records when I write, so I normally put one on, and just lay down for a while, to soak it in, and relax, while I think of the kind of thing I’m looking to create. It’s really good if I’m having a little writer’s block, because it relaxes my mind and lets me just exist for a little while, so I’m more available for ideas to come to me. That’s also really good for my back, because I have to admit, I have terrible posture. I try and start writing by thinking of the central themes and ideas that I have, and starting off with a stream of consciousness. It helps me to come up with the strongest emotions and images tied to the idea, and gives me an idea on the kind of language I’m going to use. I start trying to piece things together, and figure it out, and I’ll just edit until it’s presentable. Not all my pieces start in such a relaxing way though, because inspiration can hit you at any time, so I’ve written on trains, in the bath, in the middle of the night when I was fast asleep a minute before. You just never know.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Jennifer Juan: Absolutely. It gives you a whole new platform, and a new way to interact with the people who support you. Building a community with the people who support you, and getting to know them can be so much fun, so I’m really enjoying it.

  1. Are your family and loved ones supportive of your creative endeavors, or are you pretty much one of those misunderstood creatives like so many others?

Jennifer Juan: My family are very understanding and supportive of what I do. From when I was performing in school showcases, to what I’m doing now, my family have always been there to encourage me. I’m very fortunate in that regard. I think some of my friends find it a little weird, because the way that social media has become almost an integral part of being involved in entertainment, means that I don’t really have a normal instagram or whatever, because I’m using it for work, so if they add me on social media, it isn’t just them, it’s the people who read my books, or listen to my music, or come to my shows, and I think that can be a little much for them to take in, because they haven’t really connected with it, because to them, I’m still just who they grew up with. It can be frustrating for them when a lot of my posts are about work, because they don’t see social media as a thing for work. I think it will get better over time, as more of them get used to me taking a different path, and doing things a little differently. I think my family were more prepared, because I was with them all the time, and they knew it was where I was working towards.

  1. Describe your route to being published? Do you have an agent, or do you take care of thing s yourself?

Jennifer Juan: Unfortunately, a lot of places won’t take a chance on publishing poetry unless you go super viral, and even then, not really, because it isn’t as big of a money maker as novels and things like that, so I just figured it out myself. The good thing about publishing it with Amazon, was I could keep costs low, making everything more accessible. Literature and culture should be for everyone, so I wanted to keep everything as affordable as possible.

  1. As an artist, do you feel it is sufficient that your music or written works entertain audiences, or do you think it should always educate and enlighten people in some way too?

Jennifer Juan: As long as someone finds something in what I create, that’s enough for me. Entertainment and education are both important.

  1. What’s next on your upcoming agenda? What can fans expect in 2018 from Jennifer Juan?

Jennifer Juan: At the moment, I’m getting ready for the launch of my next single 2AM. It’s going to be a part of the Drowning In Us project, and I’m really excited to share it. I’ve just finished the music video, which was shot in Blackpool, where the project’s story is set, and it will be available on February 23rd. I’m also going to be releasing the entire project in the spring, so there will be an album of songs inspired by the story, a film inspired by the story, and the book to tell the story in greater detail, and I can’t wait to share it, because it’s kind of my magnum opus. I’ve also just launched a monthly poetry competition through my blog JenniferJuan.com, so I’m looking forward to building further relationships with my audience, and seeing what awesome things they can write. It’s going to be a fun year.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE

 

 

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The Silver Bayonets: “Fake” – higher voltage hooks! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/silver-bayonets-fake-higher-voltage-hooks http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/silver-bayonets-fake-higher-voltage-hooks#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:18:29 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31521 The Silver Bayonets’ essence remains. Sharp hooks, crushing riffs, locked-in grooves and Kabir Sheikh’s sneer dominates their soundscapes. Which leaves the band where exactly with their brand new single “Fake”? An ever-growing fanbase, and a free pass onto the rock n’ roll’s red carpet – without appearing remotely compromised. Quite frankly, this song is a […]

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The Silver Bayonets’ essence remains. Sharp hooks, crushing riffs, locked-in grooves and Kabir Sheikh’s sneer dominates their soundscapes. Which leaves the band where exactly with their brand new single “Fake”? An ever-growing fanbase, and a free pass onto the rock n’ roll’s red carpet – without appearing remotely compromised. Quite frankly, this song is a beast! Kabir’s vocals are totally superior. And when he opens the track with the line “I’m alone you don’t care. Can you ever care too much?” you can predict that is going be quite a humdinger.

Not surprisingly the chorus is made of even higher voltage hooks that totally bend’s your ears with its intensity. As the merciless rule aptly indicates, you’re as good as your latest release, hence The Silver Bayonets deliver another tour-de-force rock ride that bursts with restless energy and their usual creativity.

“Fake” is rendered with admirable precision, retaining the attributes that have thus far made the outfit’s music such a precious commodity. There’s rock swagger on display which, along with hook-centric song craft, desert vibes and a dash of flamboyance, makes for a truly seductive sound both deeply ingrained in alt-rock legacies and relatively novel.

On top of that, Kabir Sheikh puts in his most enthralling vocal performance, making the transitions between his verse and chorus absolutely captivating. The track showcases The Silver Bayonets at their most immediate as it revolves around a robust arrangement that amazes with a unique symbiosis of dense riffs and tight rhythms.

“Fake” is utterly enchanting in its progression from brisk verses to a stomping grandeur of its chorus, while drummer Enzo Cuticchia takes a simple hard driving pattern and expands it into one manic jam, featuring irreverent rolls and cymbal crashes. In contrast, Ross Guy’s bass trades malicious for liberating, with his exquisite blend of throbbing and thumping lines.

As always Kabir’s guitar is up for the ride, coloring the band’s trademark style with gut-invoked crunch and cinematic splendor. His blissfully epic six-string overflows with a sinister spaghetti western atmosphere built around the action-filled soundscape and a dynamic rhythm.

Kabir Sheikh remains in the limelight throughout the song’s entire running time. His dominating presence only reaffirms his artistic independence. It strikes me as admirable that he refuses to look back, redefining the style of The Silver Bayonets with every new release, yet never moving away one single inch from the band’s core roots. With all its sonic diversity, consistency and precision, “Fake” is yet another impressive step in the right direction.

MORE ABOUT: The Silver Bayonets are a London-based indie-rock band formed in summer 2012 who fuse loud rock guitars with vocal harmonies and pop hooks to produce melodic, often anthemic, addictive power pop. Fronting the group on guitar and vocals is songwriter Kabir Sheikh, while bassist Ross Guy and drummer Enzo Cuticchia both add backing vocals. They have a modern DIY ethic, recording and releasing music through their own label, Header Records, and managing their own press campaigns and band promotion. The band’s latest album, “Braveface” was completed in January 2018 and includes the single, “Fake”. The album is set for official release on the 13th of April 2018.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE & STOREFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUD

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3 Phase – six tracks of chart topping battering rams! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/3-phase-six-tracks-chart-topping-battering-rams http://jamsphere.com/reviews/3-phase-six-tracks-chart-topping-battering-rams#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:32:14 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31514 The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and […]

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The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks of chart topping battering rams. What 3 Phase has created in this project is no mere concept, no experiment – it’s a towering blueprint. Plundering the eternal springs of EDM, Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana have added every enviable trick in the book to these tracks.

This collection of electronic songs is so intensely colorful and catchy, and just the right side of groovy. Whatever 3 Phase’s mission may be with the release of this EP, genre domination is the likely result. It’s hard to detail just how many gallons of creative fluids have been pumped into these tracks, but the tanks have been filled to the brim.

There are definitely moments in each track which will bring a smile to the face of anyone tired of a predictable drop. These beats are creative and sonorous, paying testament to 3 Phase’s penchant for a thick bassline, a wall of shimmering synths and an anthemic chorus, as displayed on the EP’s opening track “Alone”.

Tracks worth noting include “Alright” which delivers a bouncy, almost electro-swing beat that gives way to a delightfully brassy drop. This represents one of the best things about 3 Phase. Like peeling the seal from a fresh jar of coffee, the first listen is always incredibly powerful and lingering. These are tracks that should be played loud in a big room, which I recommend you do with the ever evolving tonal changes of “End Of The Line”.

But you may turn down the volume slightly and slip on a pair of headphones for tracks like “Krazy Kolors”, “Runaway” and “Sky High” where you can catch the musical nuances, sonic timbres, and overall atmosphere of each arrangement. All the while, the vocals are superbly executed and well-defined, supported by powerful melodies and gorgeous harmonic elements.

Clocking in at just over 4 minutes “Sky High” sounds like a melting summer – warm nights on the sand, and being young and in love – it is a perfect piece of crossover electronica. The track is sweet and catchy enough for the commercial airwaves, yet experimental and creative enough to catch the ear of the more cynical EDM fan; a winning combination indeed.

It is also one of the two tracks featuring female lead vocals. The other being “Krazy Kolors”. Forging updated production values for an ever-discerning listener base and effectively expanding its stylistic range from song after song, this EP can work both as a Pop or EDM recording, depending on how you swing the volume dial.

This speaks volumes for the production finesse showcased by 3 Phase. Overall, though, the EP owes its strength to the effective synthesis of all its key elements – from the vocals to the melodies, and the rhythms to the instrumentation. Make no mistake, it’s definitely got a mainstream twist, and will undoubtedly garner accolades from across the board. Considering how well 3 Phase have carried out their creative direction here, they clearly get our full stamp of approval.

Now you go grab a pen, or your smartphone, and carefully write down the following three names – Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana. In the not so distant future, when they eventually pop up on your national radio chart, or at one of those glamorous music award-winning ceremonies, you’ll already know who they are – 3 Phase!

OFFICIAL LINKS: APPLE MUSICITUNESSPOTIFYSOUNDCLOUDGOOGLE PLAYAMAZON

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