Vicky Pasion Talks ‘SOUL STAR’ E.P.

Photo Courtesy of Laure Stefanini, Makeup Courtesy of Aurelie Ormeno, Hairstyle Courtesy of Partners in Crime

What is the inspiration behind the track “Burn Slow”?

I wrote ‘Burn Slow’ in 2020, when I was slowly opening up to more love, connection and intimacy. After years of deep inner work, there came a point when I needed to let people in again so that I could grow. For me, it’s been a process in bloom… It’s been about taking things slow – there’s no rush. It’s been about being honest with my feelings and letting my divine feminine come through. It’s okay to turn up the passion. It’s okay to ease into my range, and a life of effortless effort. ‘Burn Slow’ is a slow build and release – it captures letting go and trusting in the journey.

How influenced the track “Switch It Up”?

I wanted to collaborate with badass female musicians and was inspired by the 90s and the surge of girl groups. We had fun taking up space in the studio, feeling empowered and free to rediscover who we are on the other side of the pandemic: ‘New story, new chapter, new happily ever after…’

We enjoyed hearing both versions of the track “Let Go.” Do you feel acoustic versions of songs have the ability to change the entire meaning of a song?

Definitely. The live version of Let Go could be received as a lullaby, a meditation, a reflective, even spiritual moment. The lyrics feel more intimate and my voice more emotionally vulnerable against a stripped back version. The listener feels closer. Let Go as an R&B record is reimagined into a world of fantasy and sensuality. I tap into my divine feminine more. Music has a powerful way of connecting us – it’s a language of its own, so even if something minor changes, the essence of each version has the potential to change too. That’s the power of music.

On the track “Heavy” you sing “The weight of the world is so heavy.” What was going through your mind as you were writing this song?

I wrote HEAVY in 2020, during the height of the pandemic. I went through several lockdowns in LA, and when the global protests around the murder of George Floyd sparked, I felt heavy and moved to action.

I thought about all the young black boys that I used to teach in and around London, and when I was in the studio, I thought about their experiences and felt called to write.

Nina Simone once said that it’s ‘an artist’s duty to reflect the times’, and HEAVY became a way to affirm that their feelings of being misunderstood, judged and targeted are valid, and that it was right that the world was awakening to this reality.

It felt so powerful to shoot the visuals around my hometown in Camden, North West London. “HEAVY” ends with hope: ‘Young black boy we’ve let you down, and I’m sorry for the pain… lift your head up off the ground’.

“Tangle Game of Love” was a fun pop track to listen to. In your own words and through your personal experiences why is love so complicated?

Thanks! Ah… love… love is the highest of frequencies. It provokes our deepest emotions and triggers both the highest of highs and lowest of lows. It’s what makes us human.

What tracks by Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton do you love to listen to?

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a ballad girl! I’m inspired by singers who sing with limitless passion like Ms Whitney Houston – I can listen to anything from her catalogue: from Saving All My Love, Greatest Love of All, I Will Always Love You, It’s Not Right But It’s Okay… There’s so much control and grace in her delivery.

Mariah Carey, anything from her Daydream album and her duet with Whitney is stunning – When You Believe.

Toni Braxton, Unbreak My Heart – her vocals are so deep and soulful.

What is the biggest difference between your first project and your newest project?

Valley of The Ashes, my first project, was literally written in the winter. Sonically, emotionally, lyrically – I was going through heartbreak and choosing to step away from the pressures of what was expected of me. It captures growing pains, and choosing my own path forwards – it was Pop, Soft Rock and Soul.

Soul Star, my latest project, captures spring – the other side of winter. It’s renewed with sounds of innocence to experience – it’s me finding my voice again. It’s me choosing to love again. It’s me daring to be bold, and gaining the support that I deserve – from the MOBOs, Wonderland Magazine, and Estee Lauder. It’s a purposeful step towards claiming the spotlight – with more ballads, R&B and – of course – soul.

Coming from the U.K. do you plan to dabble in other genres such as britpop, garage, and grime?

I’d never say never!

What do you see as the biggest difference between the U.K. music scene and U.S.A. music scene?

I guess the U.S has undercurrents of the American Dream – possibility and belief is the fabric of the scene. Almost anything seems possible – the land is literally bigger and there are cultural pockets that are thriving like LA, New York, Atlanta… To me, the UK feels a bit more gritty. The cultural scene seems smaller, one could say cliquey, and with so much emphasis placed on being in London the ‘dream’ feels few and far between. I’m a dreamer at heart, so I love bringing this energy to London.

What are your personal struggles in being a musician?

At the beginning, I definitely struggled with finding my place. I had several meetings with music execs and, unfortunately, my image came up for discussion over my sound time and time again. I’m so grateful for my team at GIFTED: my independence and freedom to choose who I collaborate with, my sound and image has been key to my growth as an artist, and I hope to be a source of representation and aspiration for those who are also coming up. Be free! Stay true to you.

Is there a song which was harder to create due to the emotions behind it?

I’d say my first project was the hardest. I opened up about things in my life that I’ve not expressed publicly before… Heartbreak, finding your own place in the world, mental health, my time in foster care, figuring out my mixed identity and leaning towards my chosen family. It was hard – but so transformative.

What does the word vulnerability mean to you?

The strength to be seen and heard – to hold space for truth, even if it feels uncomfortable, unfamiliar and exposing.

Do you often dive back into experiences of your past to create your music?

For my first project, definitely, I dived into my past to move forward.

How do you push painful thoughts and experiences and turn them into music without going down a negative rabbit hole?

I’m really selective of who I have around me. My team creates safe spaces, whether that’s in the studio or collaborative visual spaces, and our energy is consciously centered on personal growth. It’s a choice to stay hopeful, whilst also holding space for the more challenging parts of life. Music is an experience… you express what you’re feeling and that feeling is what people connect to as it’s translated to sound and vibration. A part of healing is to accept pain, knowing that the clouds will pass.

What do you hope for the future of music?

I hope that more and more people can experience music in safe live spaces. It’s incredible when you connect with people in real time, in real life… Covid has made me appreciate live experiences even more, and I hope that more women and marginalized groups feel safer in live spaces, with more festivals and venues committing to safe spaces now.

I also hope that more platforms recognize talent that often goes underrepresented – like women, and people of colour… The recent Brit award nominations have been announced, and it’s disheartening to know that there are no women nominated for Artist of the Year, and that R&B acts haven’t got their own category to shine – so, some artists have fallen through the gaps. I see a future that champions music by women and people of colour, and I’m excited to be a part of that change.






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Rubal Sikka Releases Brand New Track “Luna”

Photo Courtesy of Khalid Khan of Lost Rocket

What was the process of making the track “Luna?”

I was inspired by the Afrobeats genre of music and I wanted to do something different. Whilst vibing to the track in the studio, lyrically I started comparing the moon to an imaginative girl. The song was initially titled Gol Mol. As the audio came to a completion, I sat down with my visual creative team where we came up with “Luna”, the ancient personification of the moon goddess.

Interview with Nikitaa

Photo Courtesy of Tom Gault

What is the inspiration behind collaborative music NFTs?

Equitable collaboration is a big one. We don’t see enough of that in the music industry in general. My collaborative NFT allows buyers to actually create something more with the audio, sample it and so much more! There’s utility and profit for them in resale, there’s of course monetary exchange for me in the sale, and overall there’s the ability to co-create which is always exciting!

What is the overarching message of “Apsara” and what do you hope listeners take away from this track?

I started writing “Apsara” mainly to the flute sample you hear in the beginning. When I first listened to that sample, I immediately thought of an “Apsara” – a mythic, divine creature that could hypnotize. A sensual being who naturally existed that way, rather than molded or shaped by the male gaze or by any expectations. A creature that was playful and confident. I wanted to embody all of that while writing the song, and I want listeners to feel like an “Apsara” when they press play! My music is about embodiment and empowerment, and “Apsara” is no stranger to that theme!

Who are your dream collaborators?

So many come to mind, I always feel like I have a mental list running. But currently, I’m thinking of Banks, TsarB, ChloexHalle, and Frank Ocean.

What types of music and specific artists inspire you?

I don’t know if I’m particularly drawn to a genre anymore, but every time I find music that innovates while still remaining catchy I’m hooked. Sometimes I’m drawn to music because the music nerd in me is obsessed with what I hear, and other times because it strikes a chord with me emotionally or spiritually. But when it does both, that’s what keeps me coming back! My dream collaborators are also artists I feel inspired by. Another one for sure is Beyoncé. I’ve been a fan for so many reasons since I was 12. Her vocals are polished and legendary, of course, but also raw at the same time. The layering, the vocal choices, the way she emotes… it’s all very inspiring!

How can record companies, PR agencies, and artists make the music industry a more inclusive space in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Oh gosh, this is a topic I could talk about for days if not weeks. I think something that’s really been hitting home for me is that overall – whether it’s social media, record labels, agencies, or any other space – we’ve really overinvested in the perception of music as a business. “Let’s put this out because we know this kind of song will sell” or “let’s sign this artist because we know they have a large social media audience”. We’re so focused on pushing a product we’ve forgotten it was never meant to be a product. It’s art – it’s personal, and it comes from stories, struggles, joys, and experiences. And we need to hear the vast diversity in those stories – and so in the art. It’s the intangible made tangible. It’s not meant to be mass manufactured once a week. It’s what sustains us as humans.

I genuinely do question what would happen if a “smaller” artist or an underrepresented artist or similar received the kind of public enthusiasm, budgeting, and energy as a “pre-established” artist. I think it might surprise labels and press with how well they do. There’s this hypocritical dichotomy at play. An established artist is “allowed” (whether by their listeners or any other body) to sit back and release music “slowly” AKA once in a year or a couple of years and is forever relevant. But artists that feel less included, less supported, or represented… must have high social media counts, put out a song every month, etc, etc. or they aren’t “relevant”. It’s not sustainable. It’s not ethical. It’s definitely not equitable, especially when you factor in how much those two categories of artists make in comparison with one another.

Watch “Aspara” Music Video:

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Interview with Sötnos

Photo Courtesy of Vera Lasthein

How did you get started in music?

Tore grew up in a musical family and started played the violin and the saxophone when he was 6. His own, deep interest in music happened a few years later when he found a guitar in the solid waste room. It was love at first sight. Albin grew up to the sounds of Nirvana and learned to sing and play the guitar in his teens. We both went to schools with choir singing for 6 years aswell! We became best friends in high school and have traded skills and inspirations since then.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

Indie/rock with a touch of grunge and pop. The lyrics are often satirical and kind of funny. We say it’s like a swedish neck massage, painful but satisfying. Musically we move between The Prodigy and Elliot Smith but we always try to make it sound good and interesting. Fine-tuned vocals and acoustic guitar alternates with scream-rap, fuzzed out electric guitars and drum machines, so that you never know what’s to come.

Who were your musical influences growing up?

We both grew up listening to The Beatles. After being punched in the soul by Bohemian Rhapsody, Tore couldn’t stop listening to Queen. Then followed the same experience with Radiohead, and later Coldplay. Albin got obsessed with Bright Eyes in his teens, he also loved nirvana and often fell asleep listening to system of a down

What was your favorite song or most recent song to work on and what was the story behind it?

The title track of the album ”Care About Nothing” was a special one. It was the first song we ever wrote together. It started out as a potential song for Tores solo project, but we realized it was to edgy, energetic and rock n’ roll for him. Instead we decided to start a duo, so this song kind of marks the birth of Sötnos for us. We just loved the guitar driven arrangement and the punchy drums, we’d never made anything that fast or hard before. We found our sound. We also found a very direct and fun approach to writing lyrics. As we were writing the lyric to Care About Nothing we frequentally bursted out in ”Can you really say this in a pop song??”. We had so much fun and there’s a lot of energy that we hope can be heard in the performances.

What was the first lyric you ever wrote?

Albin started out his songwriting carreer at 13 with his ”Subway Girl” ❤

She was the girl that fall from the sky
She was so sweet just like a lemon pie
She sat right in front of me with her violin
Reading her magazine, just like a movie scene

Ohhh, Subway girl, Subway girl

Who is your dream collaborator or dream collaborations?

We would love to collaborate with Elon Musk and create the most cutting edge live experience ever. Possibly play the first gig ever on the moon!!!!

What is something your fans don’t know about you?

Tore grew up on a small island called Älgö and drove his own boat to school everyday from when he was 10 years old

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Controlling Spotifys algorithms

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

We try to not rely on inspiration or creativity in our everyday sessions. We keep on working even though we have a bad day. Inspiration might come while you’r at it, or it won’t and that’s ok too. You still got something done. But like all creative processes it’s great to have some creative boundaries – for example; it’s hard to know what to paint if you don’t know the size of the canvas… Asking yourself questions like what and why is great when writing music.

What are your musical aspirations?

Even though we can give the impression of having a silly goose time, we are working really hard on our music and we want to become an acknowledged indie band world wide. We want to make more albums that we feel proud of. And we would like to play the big stages and tour the world one day.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

We just completed our biggest project yet in releasing our debut album! Furthermore we’re going to make 2 music videos and start making a second album soon.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

For all of you readers in Sweden close to Linköping – we’re playing at the awesome venue ”John Doe”, Oktober 1!

Interview with Kunal Merchant

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Sarles

Hometown: Houston, Texas

How did you get started in music?

My journey in music is like a game of shoots and ladders. As a child, my parents encouraged me to try to learn several instruments – from South Asian ones like the tabla and harmonium; to supporting my “dreams” of being a rockstar attempting to play the guitar and drums, and, eventually, I was slightly more successful in the orchestra, playing the trombone and the tuba. Regardless, I was average at best at all of these attempts.

At the age of 16, a friend introduced me to “DJing” and, as cliché as it sounds, it was love at first sight. Soon after I convinced my parents to help me purchase my first set of decks, I was hooked. That was 1996. Since then, my passion for the craft has never waned.

As an artist and producer, I’ve had several stops and starts. As you know, as part of Music Without Borders (MWB), we produced two awesome Jay Z remix projects. We’ve also released a few other original tracks as MWB, and I released a remix earlier this year of my MWB collaborator’s record, Soof – Crashed Wings.

All that said, “Anokha” is my first solo offering. It’s very personal to me because I produced it with the intention of showcasing my life-long influences that range from South Asian classical to New Wave and, of course, electronic music.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

I’m a house music producer with a global sound. My music will always be crafted with a story and concept in mind and will be deeply emotive.

What was your favourite song or most recent song to work on and what was the story behind it?

This record, “Anokha,” was a project that came together over 2 years.

During my college years, I went into a deep rabbit hole, learning about the “Soundz of the Asian Underground,” a movement that was led by the music of the great Talvin Singh, and then carried on forward by so many of the influences that truly helped me understand my “roots” in South Asian inspired-and-influenced electronic music.

I started working on Anokha in 2020 when a South Asian group of DJs and Artists from the UK, Daytimers, asked me to participate in a live stream to help support the farmers’ protests in India. I wanted to play something that I created for that set. While I kept tinkering on that record, I met an artist named Kahani who has invested in today’s South Asian electronic scene in New York. He created a platform for artists that I’m proud to be a part of called Indo Warehouse. I felt an immediate connection and a home for this record. I’m very excited for my debut record to launch on this label, and I’m excited to see how today’s generation of artists keeps connecting our cultural influences with our passion for electronic music.

What was the first lyric you ever wrote?

Great question, but I have yet to write a lyric. Maybe soon!

Who is your dream collaborator or dream collaborations?

Another great question. Here’s a handful of artists that I want to work with, but this list will continue to grow: Kahani, Black Coffee, Diplo, Pablo Fierro, Falu, Talvin Singh, DJ Koze, Frankey & Sandrino, Four Tet, Jimi Jules, and the list goes on and on…ha!

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

Usually, I close the laptop and try to do something else. Often, I just need to give it a night’s sleep or not think about the work. Then, when I wake up in the morning and take a sip of coffee, the creativity re-ignites.

What are your musical aspirations?

To be able to craft and cultivate a unique sound that represents my story. I believe that, while my journey is unique, I have something to share that will connect with many people. And I believe that my message is largely tied to promoting positivity and self-reflection.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

Much more music is on the horizon with both Indo Warehouse and my Music Without Borders family.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

The most important thing to me is finding a productive way to give back to my community and my culture. I believe that electronic music is a language shared by most people on the planet, albeit the sound takes on different shapes. I’m excited about using this medium to share, inspire and connect with people.

New Music Friday: “Red Eyes” by Saleka

Photo Courtesy of Olga Ush

What was the process of creating “Red Eyes”?

“‘Red Eyes’ is a true millennial ‘love’ song. It’s a snapshot journal entry about the dissonance of feeling something real while existing in a world obsessed with instant gratification and overstimulation,” Saleka shares. “Knowing it probably won’t last amidst this chaos of temptation and competition, and compromising for one night of something resembling connection. The title is meant to carry multiple connotations. On the surface, the image of “red eyes” alludes to heartbreak and tears, or intoxication and addiction—the usual effects of toxic love. But I also liked the idea of alluding to red-eye flights—the state of being nowhere, physically and temporally in-between places, awaiting a destination. That’s sort of what this period of life feels like to me sometimes.”

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Interview with Scoobert Doobert

Photo Courtesy of Velma von Dinkenstien

Hometown: San Diego, California

How did you get started in music?

I started playing when my neighbor won a guitar in a raffle. She wasn’t very interested in it, so she let me borrow it. It took almost a year for me to give it back. I was obsessed. Learned some TABs from random sites on the internet, and eventually got a teacher at American Music Exchange in Encinitas. Jeff was a hilarious dude. He played in a Jimi Hendrix cover band. I still kinda play like him.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

Psychedelic stoner funky indie bedroom pop lol. That’s just a bunch of random words strung together that other people have used to describe me.

Usually, I’d say, I’m in the same loose genre as Remi Wolf, Still Woozy, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, St. Vincent and Portugal the Man. Kinda funky, kinda indie, at times chaotic and noise-rock. I equally love The Brothers Johnson, and The Pixies, J Dilla, and Mother Mother, Wu-Tang Clan, and The Trampps.

My goal with music is to take you on a ride. Hopefully, opening minds to what music can do a bit more. So, throw on some headphones and check out my latest work, ‘KŌAN A, B and C (D’ arrives in September). And see if you see what I mean!

What was your favorite song to work on and what was the story behind it?

My favorite song to work on is an upcoming song with CHAI. As I was playing some of the instruments and arranging it with the band, we found out it was chosen to be the theme song for a movie that’s coming to theaters in Japan this fall. It was already one of my favorite things I’d ever worked on, but now it would be heard by so many people on such good speakers! That’s all I can ask for. Making something dope with a band I love, that people will hear in a good listening environment. Does it get better than that?

What was the first lyric you ever wrote?

Oof. Brutal question. I was really young and thought it was so good. It was a breakup song. Something like “her name was April but her reign lasted too long.”


Gotta start somewhere. And it’s probably gonna be cringe. Young musicians: Most of us took years and years to become less cringe. Don’t compare your early work to someone else’s later work. It’s not fair. It’s the same deal as comparing your rough mix with someone else’s mastered track. Unfair!

Who is your dream collaborator or dream collaborations?

Kimbra. I think the Golden Echo is one of the most underrated LPs of all time. I want to make something crazy with her someday. She also has so many voices! Simply incredible range of timbre.

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

I have a lot of ideas. More than I could possibly accomplish in a lifetime. So when I’m truly stuck, I just work on something else.

I think of it this way: Sometimes you need to go through the growing process of making another song or two to become ready to tackle the first song. You needed to grow.

But that said, writer’s block is usually an excuse. Just go write something. Anything. Get the inner critic out of the way. Evaluate after it’s done or close to it. Then if it sucks, delete the vocal, write something else. But remember, there’s room in the world for stupid songs with goofy lyrics. Stuff sometimes gets too serious, too heady. That’s where the writer’s block shows up for me. When I’m trying to make the song into something that it doesn’t want to be.

What are your musical aspirations?

I want to help people love music more. I want to change the way people perceive the artist. I want to push recorded music. It’s a fairly new century still. We need to define our music, separate and distinct from all that came before. I want to be a part of that. And I want to do it through community and collaboration. Even if it means just recording or mixing something that’s musically defining. I want to help.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

My full ‘KŌAN LP’ will be dropping in September. I have about a dozen collaborations in progress, as well as a few remixes and productions with artists all around the world. I’m also working on my LPs for 2023. It’s going to be what I’m calling a meta-cycle, which is a multi-album, multi-EP cycle of music that tackles more genres and emotions than I ever have before. Be sure to follow me on Spotify, so you don’t miss any releases!

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

I also have a podcast! It’s a behind-the-scenes look at all that goes into making a song, with interviews and solo topics covering music theory, music production, and life on the road. It’s basically an ELI5 for all things making music! Check it out and let me know if you have anything you’d like me to cover.



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Interview with Sexy Pigeon

Photo Courtesy of Darrel Dier and Production by Robin Cause


Robin is from Amsterdam, Darrel is from Sacramento. We live in Mexico now because it is our biggest market on Spotify and we want to give back to all of our fans that gave us confidence to keep going early on in this project during the beginning of the pandemic.

How did you get started in music?

Robin was in a band in high school and has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old, but we’ll tell you about how our band started. Robin was hitch hiking the USA in 2016 with just a guitar and got dropped off at a small airport in Northern California after a 1200km ride with a truck driver. The airport he was at his home to The Parachute Center, a legendary skydiving hub for international skydivers to stay for their whole visa. Robin made friends with one of the skydivers that was living in a tent for 18 months and jumping everyday, his new friend is named Darrel. They decided to keep in touch and a year later in Spring 2017 they went on a road trip across America with no plan at all. Robin found out in New Orleans that Darrel loved to write poetry. So at that moment they began writing songs together and recorded a three song mixtape at Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Another year passed and they decided to do the road trip again but focus on writing songs everyday. When they got back to Muscle Shoals, they recorded a ten song folk album that released a year later. Over the next couple years the two best friends traveled all over Europe together writing music. Then 2020 hit and the whole world shut down. At that moment we started Sexy Pigeon as a way to stay busy everyday. We haven’t taken a day off from the project since the start of the pandemic and we’ve built it into our passion and life long career.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

We would describe our music as indie rock. We have really catchy synth melodies, guitar driven music, and lyrics that explore all aspects of love and relationships. Writing with girls in mind is a great way to make songs with meaning. We’ve all been through good and bad relationships in our lives, and they are great ways to build a song from an idea.

What was your favorite song to work on and what was the story behind it?

We just dropped our first Sexy Pigeon album and our favorite song to work on so far is ‘Unstoppable’. It’s a song written from Robin to his fiancé Lesly explaining that they can accomplish anything and everything in the world together. The song was started and finished within two days the week before we uploaded the album. The inspiration came fast and the song is one of the best things we’ve ever made together. If you have a chance, check out our debut album: Polaroid Paradise.

What was the first lyric you ever wrote?

We’ve been writing songs together for six years now and have 1000’s of demos, but the first lyrics we wrote for Sexy Pigeon are from the song ‘Drunk Love’. It was a joke song written about a toxic ex-girlfriend.

Who is your dream collaborator or dream collaborations?

We don’t really have a dream collaboration, but we are starting to do collabs with several female artists in Mexico. We have a few songs lined up for release. If we had to pick a dream collab, it would probably be Clairo or Mon Laferte.

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

We don’t really get writer’s block. We do all aspects of production, mixing, mastering, singing, writing, etc. It is a two man project all the way through. If you are stuck on something you just work on something else that needs to be done or pass off the problem to your bandmate who can solve it with your help. If you struggle to find inspiration, just do something else and take your mind off of it.

What are your musical aspirations?

We want to become the #1 indie artist in the world and a top 100 artist on Spotify.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

We just dropped our first album on Friday, this question could’ve been asked about that project.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

If you like indie music, you’ll love Sexy Pigeon. We are hard working, talented at what we do, and focused on growth on every platform. We do all aspects of music and art with just the two of us and don’t have a team of people helping us out. We are two best friends with a dream and the determination to accomplish it.


Interview with Hobsons Bay Coast Guard

Photo Courtesy of Maire Kashyap @eerie_yam


Naarm/Melbourne Australia. We grew up on the west-side in Hoppers Crossing and Altona!

How did you get started in music?

There was no beginning and there will be no end! No but actually this is a tough question. It feels like we’ve all been interested in writing and playing music since before we can remember.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

A big tough wave smacking you in the face that knocks you back a little but also leaves you feeling refreshed and salty.

What was your favorite song to work on and what was the story behind it?

‘Surf n’ Turf’ was the first song on our second album TUBULAR SWELLS. This was such a mind bending track to bring together and make work. It was always meant to be the final song on the album and we made at least nine different versions to make it fit.

One of the early ideas that we ditched was to make it an Oh Sees style Kraut-rock belter. But it wasn’t until we worked on the album a little more that we realized it always meant to be the opening track! As soon as that clicked a lot of pieces of the puzzle fell into place. The lyrics are basically summing up the time we were going through making the album being locked down because of the pandemic but also just grinding away and spending all our time and energy on this ambitious concept album we were trying to finish. “You’re miles away from the day, to taking a break”.

The other side to the song was basically starting the conversation that the album was trying to get across: surfing the TUBULAR SWELLS of life. How no matter how much you try to control things whether it’s your relationships, your income, your art; the world is wild and chaotic and the swells (as random as they are) are really controlling what’s going on around you – and after some time you are sucked out and you look back and you don’t know where you are and will you ever get back? Or even can you get back? “Were on our own can we get back get back get back”. This all seems pretty grim but the track has got a very cheeky and silly tone. Trying to ride that contradiction between whimsy and serious themes is basically the corner-stone of every Hobsons song.

What was the first lyric you ever wrote?

Ohhh we have been making music for a long time so we can’t remember what it would have been. Before Hobsons, before we even started playing music outside of our bedrooms we wrote this great song called TESLA (pre-Musk haha) that was about being kids forever and how no one ever really feels like an adult.

The song ended with us repeating “we’re all just kids acting, guessing we’re all just kids still pretending” It’s kinda cheesy but we still go back to that song every now and then as a sort of time capsule experience.

Who is your dream collaborator or dream collaborations?

Ohh man how long do we have……the next album we are making is a kinda punk album but the one after that is going to be a dance disco record so we would love to work with James Murphy on that one. Get the cowbell out.

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

We feel like music is a cycle of inhales and exhales. So writing music is like breathing out or exhaling. Going to shows, watching cool movies, hanging out with friends and having nice conversations are all ‘inhale’ moments and you need the balance of both to keep feeling creative. But we also believe in just doing new things to help us get out of a rut.

We have a saying here at hobsons: “a rolling stone gathers no moss (and has more fun).”

What are your musical aspirations?

To keep making weird music that inspires us but also helps the music community around us to keep pushing boundaries. We’d like to shift the window of what’s acceptable for the mainstream industry and make the sonic landscape a stranger and more beautiful thing! Making enough money to eat and pay rent would be nice to.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

We are neck-deep in recording our third album at the moment. It’s much more down-the-line ‘fun punk’ than our previous albums. It’s been really fun trying to refine our songs into smaller tighter versions of themselves. Something that is quite new to us since we like making 10 minute songs. We are really excited with what’s coming out. I don’t want to give too much away but the theme of the album is extreme weather and how in Australia we have deranged politicians who are ignoring the climate catastrophe. It’s still fun music but has a dark side that sheds light on some of those issues.

We think it’s crazy that we have to keep living our lives knowing this stuff is happening. Most of us really have no control! I think having a bit of fun while reflecting on that grim fact is how Hobsons approach all our music.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

“There are many terrible things in the world but hunger and loneliness are the worst. So always eat with your friends and family.”

Interview with FAT Krrent

Photo Courtesy of Aayush Pareek @aayushpareek7

Hometown: Born in Jaipur, brought up in Ajmer; College in Jaipur; Shortly based in Mumbai for 1.5 years.

How did you get started in music?

I was in 6th standard when I heard “English Songs” (American/Western Music) for the first time in my life. This was the time when I had 1 pen drive with me which I used to hustle around my circle of 1 cousin and a couple of friends who used to hear those English songs well, and who would share those songs with me so I could listen and explore more. Fast forward, I got to hear three monumental songs in my life. These three songs became the reason I decided to become the best rapper in life. First one being “Smack That” by Akon and in that specifically Eminem’s verse; this was the first time I paid attention to rap properly and was definitely blown away with an artform so free and expressive; the second song was “Ridin Dirty” by Chamillionaire and in that specifically Krayzie Bone’s verse which completely blew my mind since it was a new style of rap altogether; that verse/song motivated me to try write verses/raps of my own. The third and final one was “Worldwide Choppers” by Tech N9ne, which made me feel like a not so good rapper since that song to this day is probably the hardest rap song ever; after hearing that song I decided I want to be a professional rapper and this vision gradually has shifted to me becoming a good artist and make timeless uniquely beautiful (hip hop) SONGS. I tried to improve my rap game manifold after hearing “Worldwide Choppers,” and I was successful too.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

A flavor they’ve never tasted before. Absolutely weird and unique, in a good way. Not for a listener who isn’t welcoming to NEW or Experimental styles. True visionary. I, along with my music, wish to stand out. And when ‘Music Video(s)’ comes into play, ENTERTAINING.

What was your favorite song to work on?

Tough question; But since you’re asking the favorite song to ‘work’ on, I’m assuming you’re mainly asking about the ‘process.’ Therefore I’ll choose my upcoming song, “Break Em” featuring my good friend and brother “B-Cube” from Mumbai, India’s first ever Beatbox Champion. The reason being this song is 100% organic, sonically. Nothing is “produced,” everything is RECORDED (except for some sounds) and mixed by myself. I had made a mental arrangement of this song in my head, so I began the same by recording B-Cube’s beatbox in 1 take. Then I asked a couple of my friends from Jaipur, Samarth and Bhaskar to play some nasty Bass and Guitars (respectively) on that beatbox track. Then I laid the vocals on it and beatboxed myself a little bit for the “drop.” It was a very challenging task to make the drop sound like a hardcore “drop.” Shot the music video for the same featuring cameos from some of the most respected and known hip hop personalities in India like Gravity, Enkore, D Cypher etc. And in the end after listening to the song unbiased, I’d honestly say it’s the most versatile, unique and dynamic Indian hardcore rap song and probably rap song in general I’ve ever heard.

Who is your dream collaborator?

Again a tough question. I have so many, from Eminem to Busta Rhymes, from Bruno Mars to Sia, from Diplo to Skrillex, etc. But I think at the moment if I had to pick one, it has to be Joyner Lucas. A true visionary. I think if he and I work on something it’ll be truly monumental and a masterpiece. Definitely with a music video. And if you ask from India, I’ll say Hanumankind.

How do you get through writer’s block when you’re not feeling creative?

The moment I decide and confirm myself that yes, I am going to make this song, I don’t think I have a writer’s block per say. It’s a heavy word I feel. It’s just a matter of time/moment, I just feel lazy at times. And when that happens I just take breaks. It also mainly depends on the “drive” or the urgency to make a song. Sometimes I might take a couple of weeks to write a song and sometimes I might just finish it in a day or a couple of hours. And if I’m not feeling creative, I just don’t do it. It’s like these songs/music is my only identity for my profession, so it has to be the best version and supreme quality, so one should not compromise in the quality for the same in any way, especially not the lyrics and recording takes.

What was the process of creating “Look a Boy Spit”?

Firstly, let’s just say I always had a vision of seeing at least one song of mine being played in a club or a live fest or something where I see people going bonkers together by bouncing, headbanging, jumping or simply vibing TOGETHER. I felt ‘Look A Boy Spit’ is that song.
Secondly, I wanted to make a “simple” song. A song which is groovy, simple and hard at the same time.

What were your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, around creating “Father’s Day” Featuring HYKE?

I created this song in 1 month, including the music video. The aim was to make a song which was momentarily relevant. Then I just simply saw/noticed Father’s Day was an upcoming global event in June. and I had just met HYKE around that time. The moment I met and heard him I was like I have to make a song with him.

Father’s Day: In simple words, how me and Hyke are like ‘fathers’ to our competition when it comes to the ‘rap/hip hop game.’ Since this was the theme, I had to choose a feature who could actually stand up to this title, so I featured HYKE in this.

Hip Hop is so much about narcissism; and like I said earlier, I like to stand out and be unique, so I made a narcissistic song in a very unique way.

Tell us a bit around the creation process of “WTFAT” produced by Kato on the Track.
Nothing, just because I look weird. I come from the city of Ajmer where people still struggle to understand English so forget listening or understanding rap/hip hop. I have a choti , a tied long goatee beard and loose clothes. Of course people will stare at me. (I started empathizing with the ladies since they get stared at every single day for literally anything.) But I present myself like this for myself and simply because I like to, not for others. So sometimes there’s a limit to which I can ignore those stares, it’s damn annoying, irritating and frustrating, especially when I’m having a bad day. So this song was a result of these emotions only. The music video depicts the same too. I honestly don’t like that song anymore, I feel it’s almost borderline cringe but it’s cool.

Have you faced adversity in the music industry?

I’ve been rapping for a long time now and there’s a reason why I still haven’t reached that level of success that I desire. Making good music was honestly never a problem, it was being heard, that too by the right people. I’m an English rapper from Ajmer! I feel this demographic stuff has been and still is the biggest challenge yet. If I had been in a city like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai or Goa, I would have been way more successful than I am now. Period. I am very ambitious, and I haven’t even scratched the surface (according to me). I feel like giving up nowadays since I don’t see that needle moving pretty significantly; but then I think what will I do? The only thing I know well is making music.

There have been and still are a lot of challenges, but that’ll take a whole new interview.

What are your musical aspirations?
They’re countless but I’ll name a few:

I wish to make a song or be on a song with every single inspiration of mine. Like Tech N9ne, Kendick, Busta Rhymes, Royce Da 5’9, Joyner Lucas, Eminem, Kenny Beats, MGK, Tyler The Creator, T-Pain, Kxng Crooked, etc etc.

I wish to make a song with the present new wave of legends like J.I.D, Denzel Curry, IDK, Token, etc.

I wish to experiment and finish songs with some of my fav artists like Sia, LSD, Diplo, Skrillex, Bruno Mars, Borgore, Krizz Kaliko, Pharrel Williams, Doja Cat, Yelawolf, etc.

I really wish to make some joints with a few Indian hip hop artists that I really like, like Hanumankind, Tsumyoki, PAV4N, Seedhe Maut, Ahmer, Prabh Deep, Divine, KR$NA, Sez On The Beat, etc.

I wish to top the billboard charts. I want to have at least 1 song which blows up in the entire world, so much that people might call it “pop.”

I want have a freestyle session and or interviews with the best radio personalities and legends/shows like Sway In The Morning, Funk Flex, Breakfast Club, LA Leakers, NPR Tiny Desk, etc.

I wish to perform at the best venues/stages in the world like Red Rocks, Madison Square Garden, O2 Arena, Brooklyn Bazaar, etc.

I wish to see my music in a Marvel movie. I wish to see my music in any movie that I myself also genuinely like. I want to get rich enough from music to invest in a business. I wish to travel to USA and the whole world for or due to my music. I want people to associate me with the best rappers of the country and world furthermore. I want my idols to do the same.

And so many more…

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

Absolutely. Let’s just say no one has ever heard and tasted this flavor before. No one is ready. For every single person who genuinely loves hip hop and music generally, it’ll be a treat for them. My next song, “Rajasthani” most probably comes this month, July, and it’s the best song I’ve ever made and has a beautiful music video too.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

Firstly Im’a say thank you for interviewing the best hip hop artist in India, people got to hear my story and music. But jokes apart I really appreciate you hitting me up for this interview.
And to the people who know me, I wanna say just look out for your boy because I’m coming with the best non-cliché, non-generic and the most flavorful unique music this year; and to the people who don’t know me, you should really know me.

Would you like to shout anyone out in this interview?

Shoutout to PAV4N man, probably the only Indian artist who has inspired me and one of the most underrated hip hop acts in the world easily. Shoutout to Hanumankind, Tsumyoki, Kidd Mange, R Trip and HYKE for keeping it a 100. Shoutout to KR$NA too; pretty jealous of with him since he’s the first one to chop it up with 3 of my top 5s man it ain’t a joke, much respect. Shoutout to Divine for bringing Mass Appeal in India, no joke, I really respect that grind. Since I’ve touched the subject of grind, shoutout to Seedhe Maut, Prabh Deep, Ahmer and Mo Joshi for Azadi Records, the best Indian Hip Hop label easily. Shoutout to Kayan, I’m in love with her.., I mean her music of course. Shoutout to Yung Raja for sure, I wish to make a song with him so bad. Lastly shoutout to my fans and the people of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and every single person for supporting the Indian independent music scene wildly.






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