Artist Interview – Friend Slash Lover

Friend Slash Lover is a rock band from Los Angeles, California. At Song Revelation we loved Friend Slash Lover’s artistic, electric-rock sound and were therefore really happy when Josh Mintz, the band’s creative frontman, agreed to complete an interview with us. Read the full in depth interview below where Josh discusses, amongst other things, what he’s recently been working on, his artistic inspirations and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Friend Slash Lover

Friend Slash Lover

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Forward thinking, backward compatible.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Nerd, loser, geek. From a marching band as a kid, to electronic music in college, to indie rock.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Lots of change! Figuring life out.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

John Lennon. Every Sunday morning, I listen to my Pandora John Lennon station.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Silversun Pickups, Pinback, Radiohead.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I’d actually like to collaborate with a filmmaker more than another band.

 

Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?

I use Spotify, so it’s pretty wide open and can change with my moods. I’ve been creating radio stations from interesting 80s music lately, like New Order, XTC, Bronsky Beat, The Cars, Talking Heads, Talk Talk, etc.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

In many cases, I mess around with notes on acoustic guitar until a chord pops out and sets the mood. Then I start humming along to it until some words pop out. Later, I’ll audition it to the band and see what they think and sometimes they love it and sometimes they send me back to the drawing board (those bastards!). 😉

 

Friend Slash Lover

Friend Slash Lover

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Melody. You can always hum along to a song, not knowing what the lyrics are. I went through a phase for many years where I only liked music that had no lyrics, from experimental electronic (Aphex Twin, Autechre, Lesser) to classical.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Los Angeles.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

LA is a very interesting place. It’s horribly designed, from a city/functionality standpoint, but it’s also the true land of opportunity. This is where a lot of popular culture is dreamt up and produced and unleashed onto the world.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on turning our website into a fine art piece, since I got bored with the idea of a band website in general. We took a break from recording our next album, but the songs are all written and halfway recorded. I can’t wait to get back in the studio.

 

Friend Slash Lover

Friend Slash Lover

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

So far? That’s a tough question because it still feels like we are barely getting started. I’d have to say, releasing The Grey Area felt like a nice accomplishment, after all the hard work that went into it.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

Releasing another album, shooting several music videos and turning our live show into a cool art-show kind of event.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
No. I put the breaks on gigs for a bit because I am working on visuals. I hand screen print all of our shirts and I’m working on posters and visuals to project on stage, and stuff like that. And I’m slow sometimes…

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Drink vodka and watch movies.

 

Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?

A private tour inside the great pyramid at Giza.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Well, musicians should always play music just because they love it and can’t imagine not playing…but if you’re trying to launch a band, figure out your brand and get real savvy with social media.

 

Editor’s Note: Friend Slash Lover has artistic flair and great technical ability to create a fresh, dynamic yet abstract modern rock sound. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch!

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Friend Slash Lover just follow the links below:

Website: www.friendslashlover.com

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/friendslashlover

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/friendslashlover

YouTube: http://youtube.com/friendslashlover

Bandcamp: http://friendslashlover.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/friendslashlover

Twitter: @friendslashluvr

TUMBLR: http://friendslashluvr.tumblr.com/

Artist Interview – Winslow

Winslow is a 6-piece band from Ohio specializing in an eclectic mix of pop, rock, soul, jazz and funk. After checking out some of their tracks we really felt their vibe at Song Revelation and were honored when band member Maurice Martin agreed to complete an interview with us. Read on to discover Maurice’s creative influences, what he’s recently been working on and what advice he would give to upcoming musicians.

 

Winslow

Winslow

Winslow

Winslow

 

 

Q: Who are you called?     

This is Maurice Martin from the band Winslow

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Umm I have no idea where to begin with this answer. It would probably be something like…crap…did I just run out of words? I’m terrible at this game.

How about: Winslow is a 6-piece band that is a unique blend of pop, rock, soul, jazz, and funk. And stuff.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I was definitely your friendly neighborhood band kid in high school. Had some great teachers when I was young who pushed me to write, arrange and learn as much as possible. Went to Kent State University and studied music. Met Matt and Curtis while at the school of music and then joined forces with them to put this band together. We formed the band in 2006. This was and still is the first band I’ve ever been in. It’s been a pretty wild ride so far haha.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Slow. Painful….and slow haha. We had to get our new bassist acclimated to things and then had an album to record. We’re all definitely ready to get this album out and start making things happen now.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Honestly my biggest inspirations musically are the other 5 guys in my band. They are constantly challenging me to be a better musician than I was the day before. I feel like I owe a lot of my growth as an artist to them. It’s cheesy as hell but they definitely inspire me in a major way.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

John Mayer, Anthony Hamilton, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, John Legend. Maroon 5.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

There are so many artists I wish I could work with. If we’re talking current artists, I’d give anything to sit down and write with either John Mayer or Anthony Hamilton.  I don’t know how the hell they go together, but who cares haha!

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve really been burning up the new Bruno Mars album. Every song I listen to I’m just like damn, I really wish I had written this!

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

With this album, most of the tunes started with Charlie and I. I wish I could say that the process is consistent but sometimes you go in with a plan and sometimes you just really stumble upon a good idea. There are at least 2 hooks on this album that I wrote while driving down the street. Go figure…

 

Winslow

Winslow

Winslow

Winslow

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

That is just not a fair question to ask haha I’ve changed my answer 4 times but I’m going to settle on lyrics.  As a writer, I can’t think of anything better than someone telling you how deeply they connected to the words of a song. That is my answer and I’m sticking to it. For now.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Akron, Ohio!

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

This place is a hotbed for up and coming artists. We have a great blossoming music scene that bands like The Black Keys have put on the national map. We’re just hoping we can be one of the next bands to rep our city to the world

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Right now we’re putting the finishing touches on our first national music video. We’ve had the pleasure of teaming up with Madwerkz Studios from Chicago. So far, everything I’ve seen has been fantastic. Definitely hoping people will love it when we release it in February

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

It would probably be getting to record with Tony Nicholas (Gerald Levert, Barry White, Mary J Blige) for this record. To be honest, when I first found out we were meeting up with him, I had no idea who he even was so there was no excitement. I sat down and did a little research and realized he had produced some of my favorite songs. After that I went from not caring to being crazy nervous/excited haha. It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. Quarter-Life is definitely my favorite recording on this album.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

Saving the planet and world peace? Lol I don’t know I just want to spread our sound to as many people as physically possible. I’m incredibly proud of something of the things we accomplished on this album. I want to do everything in my power to share it with the world in a major way.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

For Ohio readers, our local CD release party is March 1st at Musica in Akron, Ohio. Gonna’ be a huge musical bash. Other than that we’re just pumped for all of the shows we’ve been adding to the books. There are a few big things in the works that we can’t say just yet. People should definitely find us online at www.winslowsoul.com to see where we’ll be.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I’m a huge movie watcher so technically that would be answer. I need to be honest though…I’m a total workaholic. If you asked people who really know me….they’d tell you I have no real idea how to relax lol

 

Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?

Grandma’s house. Good food and good memories. Need I say more?

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Make it your goal to fail more than anyone that you know. I know so many people who have given up in this business because they couldn’t take failure. I constantly remind myself that every failure means that we’re one more “no” closer to the “yes” that could change our lives forever. Failure is going to happen so accept that fact quickly and let nothing stand in your way.

 

Winslow

Winslow

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I wasn’t born this awesome. It happened over time. You can be cool like me too when you grow up.

 

Editor’s Note: Winslow is a band full of accomplished musicians with tremendous energy, dynamism and fun! We’re looking forward to more material over the coming months.

Winslow consists of:

Maurice Martin (Vocals), Matt Tieman (Tenor Sax), Curtis Tate (Keys/Trumpet), Charlie Trenta (Guitar), Danny Kolliner (Bass) & Jesse Marquardt (Drums). If you’d like to learn more about Winslow or check out more of their catchy tracks just follow the links below:

Website: www.winslowsoul.com

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/winslow

Facebook: www.facebook.com/winslowsoul

Twitter: www.twitter.com/winslowsoul

Myspace: www.myspace.com/winslowsoul

 

Artist Interview – Bray

Bray is a songwriter / performer who currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA and is our latest Sonicbids feature artist competition winner. Listening to Bray’s eclectic rock style we were impressed and were delighted when he took the time to answer a few questions for Song Revelation. Read the full in-depth interview below where Bray discusses his creative influences, what music he enjoys listening to and what he hopes to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Bray

Bray

 

Q: Who are you called?    

My parents named me Brayden.  Growing up, people always screwed my name up: “Hey Brenden.”  What’s up, Brady.”  So, I thought… I’ll just go by Bray.  That will make it easier.  Wrong.  “Hey Gray.”  How’s it goin, Dre.”  But by this time, the unpronounceable symbol I was considering was already used by Prince, so I just stuck with Bray.

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Quirky cinematic songwriter and performer with elements of 70s AOR, 80s pop, and today’s border-bending rock.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I grew up marveling at the Renaissance men of pop – Bowie, Prince, MJ… watching their videos and being entranced by their all-encompassing work.  They seemed to create a whole multi media world around their messages and performances.  This excited me because I was an illustrator who liked to dance and do impressions.  Maybe there was a way I could incorporate all the things I loved into an arena that might inspire people to love and create and inspire others the way I’d been inspired.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

I like the sound of that question.  If I am to answer honestly, though, I would say tumultuous.  I guess as humans we are in transition all the time, but the past year has been particularly transitory.  I spent a great deal of time working with cover bands and exploring new personal territory as well.  I’ve experienced a lot of pain, but I’ve also learned a lot and had a lot of fun.  One of my greatest lessons has been that you cannot trust everybody.  I am someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, and I am prone to trusting people on instinct.  Many times, I’ve been right… but this year, I was bitten.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Nearly everything I hear inspires me.  Rarely do I say something sucks.  My biggest inspirations change periodically.  I go through phases of listening to an artist’s entire catalogue for weeks.  The past couple of years have seen phases of Morrissey (perfect for the old pained heart thing) and Elvis Costello.  I love the strummy twangy quirky songwriters.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Another good question.  I admire different people for different things.  I think Cee-Lo is a bad ass singer and wonderful lyricist.   Looking through my iPod, I like Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs… I also like Frank Ocean.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I really love collaboration.  I’m open to all kinds of things.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

“Float on” by Modest Mouse.  “Tiny Demons” by Todd Rundgren.  “Latte and Macaroon” by Towa Tei

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

As I always say, it’s different every time.  The best songs come as a complete vision in my head, before I even touch an instrument.  Otherwise, I usually hear a melody while jogging or in the shower.  Other ideas come from just jamming around on the guitar, arranging drum samples in the computer, or doodling on a piece of paper in some waiting room.

 

Bray

Bray

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

I wanted to say they are equal, but damnit I don’t believe that.

Melody is way more important.  There is meaning and emotion implied within a melody that words may never capture.  Traditional songwriter-type songs that have hardly any melody but include a long descriptive narrative, don’t usually interest me.  Rap is a totally different thing, though.  I do like a lot of rap songs.

 

Q: Where are you based?

I was born in Vallejo, CA, but I haven’t lived there since I was a kid.  I claim San Francisco as my home town.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Here in the bay area, we are spoiled in a lot of ways.  It is one of the most liberal places in the world, which is great, but it is easy to forget that most of the rest of the world doesn’t think the way we do.

You can also find any kind of food you can think of here in San Francisco.  There is so much to see and do, all crammed into this tiny magical city.

It is expensive to live there, though, so I see that adds a certain stress to the things we do.  It may even effect our motivations.

I could not live anywhere but a major city.  There are nature boys and city boys.  I’m a city boy.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

On December 8, I released a brand new album (“The End Is the Beginning”) that has been over a year in the making.  Since then I’ve been working hard promoting it.

After that, I have lots of things coming up.  We’ll be making more videos for the songs from TEITB, and in March, my brother and I will be performing a stage adaptation of the movie Dumb and Dumber.  We did it a couple of years ago, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had in my life.  Just laughed the entire time.  Gotta do that again.  OH!  I’m also lucky to be involved in another project: Glass Dragon.  This is a Japanese-themed collection of songs produced by a cat named KDubbs and myself.  It leans more to my R&B roots, but is also pretty creative and interesting.  There are songs about forbidden love, the art of zen, and even skyscrapers.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

A handful come to mind.  The first big show we did in France (at the festival des musiques d’ici et d’ailleurs) was amazing.  Then there was the time I met Dr Fink from Prince and the Revolution.  That turned into collaborating on about a dozen songs, and more importantly, a great friendship.  So many things, I’m thankful for.  Recently, I performed at Bimbo’s in San Francisco.  Every time I get to play there, I feel super lucky.  That place is very nice.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

Happiness!  I also plan to solve world hunger and reduce the national deficit.

Oh, you probably meant “professionally.”  Well, in that case:  Happiness.

 

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

I’ll be at Hotel Utah in San Francisco on January 19, 2013.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I like reading or watching a movie.  Something I can get lost in… I recently finished reading the 1,200 page epic Shogun, by James Clavell.  There was plenty to get lost in there.  It turned out to be one of my very favourite novels.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I’m a total Europhile, but I really like visiting places I’ve never been.  For the past couple of years, I’ve felt a strong draw to Greece.  I see dancing on a veranda among the white buildings in Santorini.  Now wouldn’t that be nice?  Also, riding a moped around town to view the ruins and to stop at the beach for a swim.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

I really think the most important things are to work hard and be yourself.  These words just roll of the tongue and past one’s ears.  “Yeah, Yeah… I know.”  But, no.  Take each of these things to heart.  They are all you need.  Remember to clearly visualize what you want to accomplish in your life.  Visualize it with love, not wanting.  Every detail.  It will happen.

 

Bray

Bray

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

There’s a great farmer’s market in the ferry building in San Francisco.  Go on a tuesday or thursday.   Less crowds and all the beautiful colours and smells mixed with your breezy weekday hookie attitude… you’ll find a smile spread right across your face.

 

Editor’s Note: Bray already has a strong following and at Song Revleaiton we can see why. His effortless charisma and cultured songwriting is a winning combination. Definitely one of Song Revelaiton’s artists to watch!

 

If you’d like to check out some more of Bray’s tracks or get in touch just follow the links below:

Website:  http://www.braymusic.com

Soundcloud:   http://www.soundcloud.com/braymusic

Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/braymusic 

Bandcamp:  bray.bandcamp.com

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/braymusicfans

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/braymusic

Myspace:  http://www.myspace.com/bray

Artist Interview – Mee

Mee is an upcoming singer-songwriter who splits her time between Croydon and Brighton. When we first checked out Mee’s work we were really keen to share it with you by featuring her on Song Revelation. Despite her ever-increasing musical commitments we were delighted when she agreed. Read the entire interview below where Mee discusses, amongst other things, what her current career highlights have been, what she’s hoping to achieve over the coming months and where her favourite holiday destination would be.

 

Mee

Mee

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be? 

PUNCHY lyrics – topical and personal, with SWEET haunting melodies that echo in your memory.  Delivered with heaps of humble fun!

 

Q: What is your musical background? 

Polish Folk singing, close harmonies, eastern European traditional music, classically trained pianist, self taught guitarist, self taught singer.  Steeped in Soul, R n B, Salsa, Soka, English Folk…. shake it up and listen.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you? 

Such a blessing!  Rejuvenated my artistic inspiration having gone through the Live and Unsigned competition as a finalist.  Its been a very productive 6 months.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically? 

Laura Veirs, Beyoncé, Ani Di Franco, Tuung, MJ, Dolly Parton, list is endless.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Bob Hilary, Carrie Tree, Dan Whitehouse.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with? 

Brighton Goes Gospel & Banned Sauce; a big brass band!

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?   

Beyoncé – Be with you.  Carrie Tree – Faith in you, Mee – Grow the grey green.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Melody might arrive without lyrics while driving or walking, record on voice recorder on phone.  Go home play back and sing on to Garageband, add harmonies and other parts, possibly flick through poetry book, to add lyrics.  Or in middle of night fumble for pen and paper, as whole song being downloaded from the ether.  Or work with the band to produce new music to an old concept.

 

Mee
Photo by www.loudlonely.net

Mee

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Ooh both.  Haunting melody that sticks and lyrics that become a mantra.

 

Q: Where are you based? 

Croydon / Brighton, usually found in the woods by a campfire, or in the city shoving seeds in concrete cracks.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Peaceful.  Inspiring, loving, supportive.  Wild.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Recording 3 new songs to add to my other 2 making a new album, called Mee and my ‘Peep Toe Welly’s.’  Hopefully out soon available on iTunes.

Check out website home page for latest recording and video running in the background.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Winning exposure prizes as a finalist on The Live and Unsigned competition 2012.

It’s a real ego boost that you are filtered from an initial 40,000 entrants UK wide, to be in the top 13 chosen for my urban pop genre.  Recording at Metway Studios (owned by The Levellers, heroes of mine)

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months? 

Get signed!!!!  Have my music used on a TV programme or an advert.

Become a finalist in The Open Mic UK competition, to launch my “Peep Toe Welly” Campaign and album.  Have my business team solidly in place.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about? 

Follow the Open Mic UK website for details, will be gigging locally.

 

Q: What do you do to relax? 

Swing in my hammock, I love my hammock.  Make fire.  Dig my garden, plant seeds, read about growing food, make up a song, drink my homemade marrow rum, play with my children, and get cuddled by Shongalolo.  Ooh yeah, a cuddle I can sink into and get squeeze crushed.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why? 

Maldives, Laga Majoire Switzerland, Fjordes Norway, anywhere with either a sandy beach or crystal clear water to swim topless in and a hot tub and sauna/sun, cocktails.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Those people that say it’s impossible shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it. “Live the Dream”.

Ask a lot of questions, right? :)

 

Mee

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about? 

Yes visit www.meemusic.co.uk for news on “The Peep Toe Welly” campaign and the release of my new album.  Support me through the Open Mic UK competition and watch this space for ‘Britain’s got talent’.

 

Editor’s Note: Mee has a lot of talent with a unique zany style that is both enchanting yet has a distinct commercial edge. At Song Revelation we’re looking forward to seeing how Mee’s musical career develops over the coming months and years.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Mee just follow the links below:

Website:  www.meemusic.co.uk

YouTube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/user/MeeMusicVideo?feature=mhee

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MyVoiceAndMee?ref=hl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MyVoiceAndMee

Any Other Links: http://www.bestofbritishunsigned.com

 

Many thanks to Tino Leonard (http://www.imediamonkey.com/author/tinoleonard/) for her assistance with this interview:

Artist Interview – Liz Menezes

Liz Menezes is a multi-talented singer and performer from Queens, New York and is our latest SoncBids competition winner. When we first listened to Liz’s sultry voice and profound songs we were really impressed and were delighted when she agreed to complete a full feature interview with Song Revelation so that we could share everything with you. Read on to discover, amongst other things, which modern day artists Liz is inspired by, what she’s currently working on and what advice she’d give to all aspiring musicians.

 

Liz Menezes

 

Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?

A non-typical mix of pop/rock/jazz and acoustic blends.

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Rich, sultry yet at times aggressive, voice leading the listener to a never before heard storybook of song.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Well, growing up I listened to a lot of merengue, salsa, disco and lots of Elvis.  Yes, my mom loved Elvis!

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 brought me more attention, I was awarded honorable mention by Billboard as a lyricist and interpreter for  my song “Tengo” in the Latin category.

My fan base has continued to grow with fans in Argentina, Peru, Spain, Colombia and many more.

I launched my official website www.lizmenezes.com in colaboration with MONKEYPIG.

 

Liz Menezes

Liz Menezes - NY AL DIA

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaaSExEMkLw

 

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

My inspiration is drawn from a good lick on a guitar, from life, from everyday occurrences.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

I have an endless list of artists which I love to listen to and think they are fantastic at their craft.

Spanish artists

  • Shakira
  • Luis Fonsi
  • Laura Pausini
  • Soraya
  • Julieta Venegas
  • Ricky Martin

 

English Artists

  • Adele
  • Gary Go
  • Foo Fighters
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Mutemath
  • Carrie Underwood

 

Brazilian

  • D’javan
  • Maria Rita
  • Jota Quest
  • Jorge Vercilo
  • Rosa Passos

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I would like to sing with Shakira, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson and Laura Pausini.

 

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

I would say everyone I mentioned above on endless rotation.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

 I wish I had a template each time I had an inspiration but, I do not.  I’m inspired at the oddest moments and from the unconventional things. I most definitely have to have paper, pen or pencil and my recorder with me, my essentials. :-)

Once the idea is set in motion, I sit with my guitarist and we work on changes and the skeleton of the song followed by a ruff recording of vocal and guitar.  This is enough to work around and get the foundation going.

 

Liz Menezes

Liz Menezes Article - People en Espanol

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk-XxCfGc5E

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

I think they are two peas in a pod.  The lyrics are just as important to me as the melody.  I see it as a beautiful dance a relationship that works together for a greater good.

 

Q: Where are you based?

I’m based in Queens, New York

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

There is a lot of inspiration and diversity here.  My neighborhood is a melting pot and it all works together so nicely.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Well I just released my first Spanish CD which I’m promoting at the moment but I’m also working on my  English cd as well.  Music never sleeps it is a constant!!!

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPPkY_3hRKc

Liz Menezes

Liz Menezes - Spin Mag July 2008 Issue

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

The highlight of my career thus far has been just the fact of going for what seemed a dream and making it a reality.  Connecting with fans around the world and having them really love what I do and support my journey.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I’m hoping to gain more fans to do more shows to continue introducing my passion and love for music to the world. I want to become an international entity.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Yes I will be performing the following dates:

Drom NYC on Sept 20

http://www.dromnyc.com/events/1127/liz-menezes-momposonica-american-jettison

Fat Baby on Oct 3

Café Wha on Nov 5

And more to be confirmed and announced…..

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I absolutely love watching old movies from the 30’s 40”s etc. My favorite channel is AMC.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I would like to leave them with words of encouragement.  Whatever your dream may be, work on accomplishing it, anything is possible if you work hard and dedicate yourself.  Use your energy and talents wisely.  It all starts with a dream or idea and the rest is in your hands.

 

Liz Menezes - CD Cover

 

Editor’s Note: Liz Menezes effectively draws on Spanish, Brazilian and English influences to create an individual, meaningful and commercial pop-rock sound. Make sure you check out Liz’s gig schedule to watch her in person.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or contact Liz Menezes just follow the links below:

twitter linkhttp://twitter.com/#!/lizmenezesmusic

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/lizmenezes

facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LizMenezesMusic (

web page link: http://www.lizmenezes.com

soundcloud link: http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=161486

reverbnation link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/lizmenezes

soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/liz-menezes/

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/gcleff71?feature=mhee

Artist Interview – Neara Russell

Neara Russell is a Singer / Songwriter and Berklee College graduate, originally from Wisconsin but now living and working in Hollywood, California. When we checked out Neara’s latest tracks at Song Revelation we were impressed and had to invite her to complete an interview so that we could share her music, style and personality with you. Read on to find out about what Neara’s currently working on, how she writes and produces her own musical material and who her musical inspirations are.

 

Neara Russell

 

Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?

Electro pop/rock

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Wisconsin girl in Hollywood, singing quirky songs and experimenting with synthesizers.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

My musical background is in classical piano, voice, and bass clarinet, with a healthy dose of rock music. I composed contemporary art songs and released an original CD in my teens, then attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study composition and performance.

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was great. 2011 has been even better. I graduated college and moved to Los Angeles as a full-time musician. I like to think that every year must be better than the last, because you’re always improving!

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

I’m inspired by anyone with original thought. Could be an adventurous journalist, creative businessperson, or local singer/songwriter. I appreciate people with original ideas and the confidence to pursue them.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Imogen Heap, Incubus, and Peter Gabriel, for their lasting careers and for being unafraid to change and grow beyond industry trends.

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOzj4XuDUVw

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Producer Butch Vig, for sure. And I’d love to open for Incubus or Pink.

 

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Artists on my iPod at the moment: Robyn, Skylar Grey, See Green, Ari Herstand.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

I want to have something to say before my musical ideas take over. So I’ll determine a tempo and feel for a piano riff, then dive into lyrics and melody. Improvise on that for a bit to find form and direction, then dig into Yamaha Motif programming.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Melody.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Los Angeles baby!

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I’m from Wisconsin, and that’s at the heart of everything I do. My hometown has been very supportive, and I’m super nostalgic for my Midwestern woods and cornfields.

 

Living in California now, though, has been crazy. LA is a different world and I’m right in the middle of it. Everyone’s involved in “The Industry” in some way, and I love being a part of the global entertainment hub.

 

Neara Russell - "Noise and Silence" Album Cover

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z4oIGiI5ZQ

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

My new album “Noise and Silence” was released in May 2011, so I’ve been working to get film/TV placements and local exposure. I play keyboards with other artists as well, and looking to go on tour.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Definitely playing on “The View” as keyboardist/background vocalist for Sony artist BC Jean was a great experience. Self-producing my new album and playing a sold-out CD release show was super fun.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I want to secure a tour as keyboardist/background vocalist, and hear one of my songs in a movie. Getting there!

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Plenty of local shows coming up in cool venues with other great artists on the bill. You can check out my calendar on my website:

http://www.neararussell.com/Events.html

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I like to run and hike, read as many books as the library will allow me to check out, and dance with myself in the mirror.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

This is a great website and I’m happy to be part of it. Thanks for reading!

 

Neara Russell

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJto36gZva0

 

 

Editor’s Note: Neara Russell’s proficient musicianship and profound sense of style produces music that is both appealing and commercial. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s ‘One’s to Watch’ for 2011 and beyond.

 

If you’d like to listen to more of Neara Russell’s work, or get in contact, just follow the links below:

web page link: http://www.neararussell.com/

twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/neararussell

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/neararussell

myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/neararussell

Artist Interview – Safire

Safire is a Progressive Rock band from Portland, Oregon consisting of Steve Killen (Vox and Guitars), Kit Taylor (Keyboards and Backing Vox), Rob Obregon (Bass), Michael Herrman (Guitars) and Erik Storm (Drums).  Safire is our latest competition winner from SonicBids and we were delighted when they agreed to complete Feature Artist Interview so that we could share their music with you! Read the full interview below to find out, amongst other things, who inspires them musically, what they’re currently working on and why Portland is the Nashville of the NW. Also make sure you check out some of their live videos through this article!

 

Safire

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGhTXGMOPLs

 

Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?

It’s a mix of lots of styles, but predominantly Alt Country, Progressive Rock with a little Jazz and Fusion thrown in.

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Safire- a musical creation team with a unique vision of music composition and performance, determined to pioneer world change through music.

 

 

Safire - Steve Killen and Kit Taylor


 

 

Q: What is your musical background?

All of the members of our band have been playing music their whole lives. Steve Killen, Founder and Composer, has a degree in music composition from Lewis and Clark College. Keyboard/vocalist Kit Taylor met his first band while studying music in College. Members have also been a part of extremely successful bands before this one. The House Of Blues Vegas and Hollywood, Nokia Theater in New York, The Fillmore in San Fran, The Hard Rock Cafe, and The Taco Bell Arena in Boise are just a few venues we’ve played. Artists we’ve worked with or shared the stage with include Lifehouse, The Neville Brothers, Kansas, Hall & Oates, LIVE, and Blessed Union Of Souls. The five members of Safire have a combined 100 years of musical background.

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was very good. Founder Steve Killen completed the debut album, ‘Crashing Tiles’, and then set out to find the right group of musicians to perform, tour on, and believe in the material. We’ve received a considerable amount of press in only a short period of time, and we hope to continue to build momentum. Some notable achievements include a home page feature on Reverb Nation home page, an international interview and photo spread distributed world wide in Barnes and Noble, and 3 nationally syndicated radio features- one of which we appeared with Chevy Chase and Ray Charles Jr.

In addition, founder Steve Killen composed an original score for award winning film, Tapping The Source, and was also part of the editing team for Song Writing For Dummies 2nd edition.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Anyone who plays music for a living and does it at a high level. This could be huge names like Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan,  Dave Matthews. Or even local guys that are killer players, and bust their ass playing several nights a week to make a living. We are big fans of Rock, Soul, Gospel, Fusion, Acid Jazz, Alt Country. Really… anyone who puts some serious thought into their music could potentially influence us. We have been known to gain inspiration from bands like Wilco yet we try and create soundscapes like Peter Gabriel or Pat Metheny.

 

Safire


 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Steely Dan always tops the list of artists we listen to and admire. Other current artists could include Ryan Adams, Coldplay, Son Volt and again, any band that is playing music, and doing so successfully.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Any major act with a great sound would be a dream to play with, but I think opening for Steely Dan, Wilco, or the band Dredge would be about the coolest thing ever. To write a song with an artist that we look up to would be incredible as well… Quincy Jones, Sting, Stevie Wonder, T-Bone Burnett… many others.

 

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Cee Lo Green “Bright Lights Bigger City”, Black Keys “Everlasting Light”,   Puddle Of Mudd “Psycho”. Ray Charles “You Don’t Know Me”. Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”, Ryan Adams “Crossed Out Name”, Steely Dan “Aja”, Sting “I Was Brought To My Senses”, Tom Petty “Time To Move On”, Son Volt “Driving The View”

 

Safire

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNFELw3gbLs

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Members of our group write in different ways, but generally one of our members will bring an idea to rehearsal, or it could be a nearly completed song. We’ll work with it as a group, taking input from all angles, until it’s a finished product. This process could be fast, or it could be extremely slow.  Our tunes end up having many layers of guitars and keyboards. “Crashing Tiles” has been described by some as guitar orchestral. We have a brilliant production team that helps us with sound fidelity and some arrangement ideas. Keith Sommers and Matt Burnett were a huge part of “Crashing Tiles”

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Both have equal importance! A song with a strong melody and weak lyrics feels incomplete, and vice-versa. In our music, we like to think of lyrics and melody as being different parts of the same appendage. An arm is not nearly as functional without a hand. Lyrics and melody combine to articulate themes and ideas with the purpose of gaining emotional reactions from the listener.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Based out of Portland, OR. Our beautiful rainy town… Perfectly imperfect!

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

It’s great and very challenging. Portland is incredibly saturated with musical talent, possibly more than the rest of the country realizes. The guy down the street from you, working a day job at a construction company, could be an absolutely ridiculous singer or horn player by night. It’s amazing. It definitely inspires you to keep your chops up, and your abilities honed. We like to think of it as the Nashville of the NW.

 

Kit Taylor - Safire


 

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

We are currently pushing our CD release party which will be on June 18th at The Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, OR. We are very involved with Carpe Articulum Literary Review, which is an internationally distributed magazine by Barnes and Noble in 47 countries. They run a non-profit charity that we are currently raising funds for, through the rest of 2011. We will be featured in a 5 page spread in the latest issue, speaking about our philanthropic work with music.

 

From there, we are putting together our first semi-national tour, and marketing the hell out of the album. Seeking radio/publication interviews and airplay, blogs, websites, you name it. We are gauging label interest at this point, but primarily working on building our following. We know that labels are looking for a band with an established national fan-base. Also we are gradually putting together the next album. Already have 4-5 tunes almost ready to go. We plan on entering the studio in the early months of 2012.

 

Safire on the Reverbnation Homepage


 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

The highlight would have to be the completion of the album. Founder Steve Killen put blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of money into this disc. To actually have the finished product done, and for sale almost everywhere, is like a dream come true. Crashing Tiles   is a thoughtful musical discourse which explores many stories and reflections of our human experience of “loss”. It purveys a message of hope amidst our difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances in our relationships, careers and spiritual paths. I think we are most proud of the lyrical message and the musical arrangements.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

National tour, opening slot for a major name, possibly a major festival, moderate label interest, but most of all to spread our sound to as many sets of ears as possible. Anything that doesn’t happen in 2011 will happen in 2012. We are unified in our philosophy, and we won’t stop until we succeed. Music is our vision quest.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Yes, mainly our CD release party in Portland, OR at The Alberta Rose Theatre on 6/18. Tickets are available on the venues website http://www.albertarosetheatre.com, and 50 percent of proceeds go to the The City of Asylum Program (a non-profit run by Carpe Articulum Literary Review)  We’ll be using that show as a springboard to the next level of Safire’s career.

 

 

Safire - Steve Killen in the Studio


 

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Members do different things. All of us write music to relax, Kit loves animals. Steve hangs out with his Border Collie at local parks. We all like to kick it with our group of talented friends at bbq’s, jam sessions, and of course local pubs.  All of us dig funny movies and TV shows. All of us also enjoy thinking about music, at all times and in all places.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

We’re honored to be a part of this interview, and hope the readers give us a listen and like what they hear. Please support your local music scene wherever you are. There are unrecognized talents everywhere. Go out and find them! Join their fan lists! and show them that their hard work does in fact bring joy to this world… that their melodies and storytelling can improve our living conditions and bringing awareness to all walks of life. Love to you all!!

 

 

Editor’s Note: At Song Revelation we believe that Safire have a winning formula of innovative song composition, profound lyrical content and incredible vocals. We’re sure that their love of and talent for music will mean they’re around for a long time and will enjoy continued success.


If you’d like to learn more about or contact Safire, just follow the links below:

 

twitter link: www.twitter.com/safireband

facebook link: www.facebook.com/safireband

myspace link: www.myspace.com/safiremusicgroup

web page link: www.safireband.com

reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/safireband

Youtube embeds: www.youtube.com/safirebandpdx

 

MP3: Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross’ “Blacks”

Enigmatic Chicago artist Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross is only starting to crawl out of — their? its? — shell. Well, make that his shell. The American blog darling has revealed himself to be just one person, a 24-year-old playing under a completely made-up moniker cribbed from Rosicrucian iconography. How’s that for obscure? (His given name is actually Dexter Tortoriello).

A detail of the cover for Dawn Golden and Rosy' Cross' debut EP

But these days, with the way music circulates quickly as data, that was all anyone needed to know to fall in love with his bedroom-produced, electronic indie pop. Well, that’s not an entirely accurate term. In hazy-textured songs like “Blow,” also the title of his debut EP, there are Gen-Y snippets of all kinds of styles. The songs themselves are often downtempo slow, but built on rattling pseudo-hip-hop beats, but overlaid with pop piano and mournful, singer-songwriter style vocals. It’s definitely music of the short-attention-span, iPod generation, but it comes together in a beautifully heartbreaking way.

 

The handful of tracks Tortoriello has allowed to circulate on the Internet have been enough to score a joint record deal with Downtown Records and super-producer Diplo’s own imprint, Mad Decent. It’s due out on April 12 in the States, where Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross just played its first real string of super-public dates, as part of the annual industry-centrix SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

 

Tortoriello’s pulled his Blow EP form his Bandcamp site, which now remains surprisingly blank (http://dawngoldenandrosycross.bandcamp.com/), but you can still legally enjoy the track “Blacks” below until the next record comes out. And check out this promo trailer for Blow, but only if you’ve got a strong stomach — that mystery stain on the bed is probably best left unexplained!

 

 

MP3: Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross – “Blacks”

http://www.mediafire.com/?v8v5t44z57atpjt

 

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Offer Free Album Stream

The four-piece indie act The Pains of Being Pure at Heart may have originally come from Brooklyn, but from the beginning, they wore their Anglophilic tendencies proudly. The band’s much-acclaimed self-titled 2009 debut album was unabashedly twee, picking up where jangle-pop acts like the Field Mice left off in the early ’90s. The record was charged throughout with wistful, slightly nerdy romance — there was a song about an encounter in a library, after all — and struck a chord with the literate and hopeful.

The Pain oF Being Pure at Heart

 

There’s a lot of hype to live up to, and the band, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Kip Berman and keyboardist/vocalist Peggy Wang, have thrown fans a bone before the release of the upcoming follow-up record, Belong. The band is streaming the album in its entirety for free on its web site, and it’s promising.

 

The sound is bigger, for sure, the behind-the-boards work of the pseudonymous Flood, the British producer born Mark Ellis, who collaborated with legends like Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. As such, he’s added a slight post-punk edge, and made certain sounds sharper and slightly grungier — as in the title, opening track– and others shinier and more synth-heavy, as in “The Body.”

The band onstage at the London Scala

 

 

Still present from the earlier record, though, are Berman’s and Wang’s distinctively sweet vocal interplay, and a continued obsession with relationships lost, won, and almost-won. The 10 catchy songs include no filler, and Belong is an album sure to invite repeated listening sessions. Stream the whole thing below.

 

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