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.”

Song Link: https://lnk.to/red-eyes

Additional Links:

Website: https://www.salekamusic.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saleka/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/salekanight

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgzCFHN4TEQLmAId5CHMFgQ

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.”

CRINGE!

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.

Website: https://scoobertdoobert.pizza

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ScoobertDoobertBurrito

Apple Music: https://geo.music.apple.com/us/artist/scoobert-doobert/1240946356?mt=1&app=music

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scoobertdoobert.pizza/

Bandcamp: https://scoobertdoobert.bandcamp.com/

SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/mrscoobertdoobert

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scoobert_doobie

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/mrscoobertdoobert

Threadless: https://scoobertdoobert.threadless.com/

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mr.scoobert_doobert

Interview with Sexy Pigeon

Photo Courtesy of Darrel Dier and Production by Robin Cause

Hometown:

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.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4gnQSPui3dzrkaFdf18P6U?si=HK2ungjAShy5vLhZ2gHyZg
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/sexypigeon
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sexypigeonmusic/

Interview with Hobsons Bay Coast Guard

Photo Courtesy of Maire Kashyap @eerie_yam

Hometown:


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.

Links:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/Fatkrrent

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fatkrrent/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FatCurrent

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4E98XpRcPeJB8ICcqoyj3N?si=-7P9T286TsWAP5OFvDY6pw

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/in/artist/fat-krrent/1525411746

Fat Krrent: https://g.co/kgs/JxmZqV

In Conversation With Indie-R&B Artist Dilip

Photo credit: Christine Jiang (@cjiaang)

Hometown: Grew up in Cincinnati! Currently based in Brooklyn.

How did you get started in music?

I was 5 years old when my parents enrolled me in Indian classical singing lessons. I’m so grateful because it was the start of falling in love with music as a kid — I also listened to a ton of 90s and 00s R&B, played in an alt-rock band with my friends, and made Soundcloud beats in Fruity Loops.

In college I was in a South Asian acapella boy band called Penn Masala, which was a life-changing experience. With them I had the opportunity to play shows all over the world, record multiple albums and music videos, and above all just bond with a bunch of my closest friends over a shared obsession with music.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

My music is a mix of R&B and indie, with a pop sensibility. You’ll hear smooth vocals over soulful production that often evokes a nostalgic, wistful feeling. People have told me they hear elements of Daniel Caesar, Mac Ayres, Cautious Clay, and SZA in my music — all huge inspirations.

What was your favorite song to work on?

“Dreaming” was the first single from my 2019 debut EP, golden. The main guitar riff came out of a jam session with my friend Max Brawer, and I digitally pitched it up and used it as the centerpiece around which I added all of the other instruments and drums. I wrote the lyrics about trying to appreciate a number of positive things that were developing in my life at the time (romantically, socially, creatively) but wrestling with a lingering feeling that it was all too good to be true.

What made “Dreaming” particularly special to me was filming the music video on my friend’s roof in Williamsburg; and ultimately debuting that video on a giant billboard in the East Village. It was a moment I got to share with a bunch of my closest friends who were there, and I always think of it when I hear the song.

Who is your dream collaborator?

There’s a handful of producers that I would kill for the chance to work with: Lido, Kaytranada, Kenny Beats, BADBADNOTGOOD, and SG Lewis.

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

There’s a Harry Styles quote from his interview with Zane Lowe that I think about a lot. He discusses learning to surf, and how you have to keep practicing getting up on the board so that when the perfect wave finally comes, you’re ready to ride it. Similarly, writing music is a habit I cultivate. I try to maintain a daily journaling routine and consistently write songs. Not all of the ideas are great, but it keeps me sharp so that when the right inspiration comes along, I’m ready to capture it.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

My upcoming single “Pretend” releases on Wednesday June 15th! It’s my first solo release since my 2019 EP, and the first of a series of songs I’m releasing this year. You can pre-save it here: https://too.fm/gmdbrpr

I’m also part of a giant internet experiment with 76 other artists — we’re about to release a giant web3 music project with 45 songs under a single headless artist called Chaos on June 3rd.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

Want to take this chance to express gratitude for a couple of friends and folks who’ve inspired me recently:

Carrom Board has been one of my close friends and musical co-conspirators. We released 4 songs together during the pandemic and he has a bunch of solo work on the way. I’m certain you’ll be hearing many more collab projects from us in the years to come!

Hadji Gaviota went to college with me and I’ve been inspired by the hustle and dedication that I’ve seen him throw into his music career. The music slaps and he’s been building a brand that’s authentically himself.

Raveena has been one of very few South Asian American artists to break through in the indie / R&B / pop space. I was lucky enough to be at one of her very first shows in New York, and have admired how she’s incorporated cultural influences in her music in a way that feels entirely natural. I also love how she’s maintained a very authentic and vulnerable relationship with her fans.

Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/diliprajan/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4vOJKt0gcRpOyBg2cN73nQ

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/17EQ0os411HC9QqvPiZ0pn

Interview with New York-based Musician Akash

Hometown: North Jersey

How did you get started in music?

I got my first set of tablas when I was three years old and have been interested in beats and sounds from that moment. I began writing simple lyrics as sort of a diary of things I was going through, which really helped me express myself. All of my interests always involved music in some way, shape, or form; I didn’t have any choice but to pursue it.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

I would describe my music as a blend of my two cultures. My sound is hip-hop and pop with a touch of classical Indian influence. You really have to hear it to experience it.

What was your favorite song to work on?

One of my favorite songs to record was my latest track, “Priyanka, ” releasing at the end of April. I love writing on Caribbean-style beats, and I got to collaborate with the super talented LeA Robinson, so this one was really fun for me. But my favorite video to work on was definitely “Aaja Soniye,” filmed by Crump Media Works. There was so much going on that day, from dancers to human hamster wheels; it was such a fun and exciting experience.

Who is your dream collaborator?

If I could pick anyone, it would be the late great Michael Jackson. He was so creative and influential. I try to draw inspiration from him whenever I can.

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

One of my good friends and talented producers, Trapperx, told me recently, “making music is the easy part; finding inspiration is the hard part,” which really resonated with me. When the inspiration isn’t there, I try to clear my mind by going for a walk, meditating, or playing tennis.

Have you faced adversity in the music industry?

All the time! It’s challenging to break through the global music scene as an up-and-coming Indian artist. There are so many decisions you have to make that test your morality or put a strain on you financially. A lot more goes into musical success than just making songs. Getting the right people to listen to it, staying consistent, and knowing who to trust with your art are often overlooked but equally important.

What are your musical aspirations?

My goal is to bridge the musical gap between Indian and American music. I want to set an example for everyone that you should always do what you’re passionate about, not what you feel pressured to do. If you work hard enough and stay positive, things will work out for you, maybe not exactly how you planned it, but they WILL work out.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

Yes! I have three songs releasing between spring and early summer, the first being “Priyanka,” coming out on April 29th! I have another project in the works, releasing at the end of the summer. Stay tuned; I know you guys will really enjoy this one.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

Love what you do, love who you’re around, and always be positive.

Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akashlife/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theakashlife

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/Akashlife1

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/66T1y32NNXOz51okoaSu6v?si=HBugCMC7SH6oS32ysyUnYQ&nd=1

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/akash/1458322409

Website: https://akashlife.com/

Interview with Musician Maxime

Hometown: Ottawa, Canada (now living in Montreal)

How did you get started in music?

Took guitar lessons then made little guitar songs on GarageBand. I quickly moved to making EDM. I downloaded a demo version of FL Studio around the start of middle school when I discovered Deadmau5.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

I guess indie-alternative bedroom pop with electronic influences. My songs can be quite different from one another though which I think is a good thing.

What was your favorite song to work on?

“Rubber Checks” was a really fun one cause I didn’t take the lyrics or vocal performance as seriously as I normally do. I didn’t try too hard to be deep or introspective and it came out nice.

Who is your dream collaborator?

I recently discovered someone Genesis Owusu whose stuff I love, they’re great.

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

I found a really good method for me at least which is to find a song I really like and then try to rip it off and then intentionally ‘fail’ by changing around the melodies/chords and starting to put my own spin on it.

Have you faced adversity in the music industry or any interesting stories?

I once had someone with 10,000 SoundCloud followers send me a DM when I had no followers. They said ‘hey my buddy really likes your music’, and the buddy messaged me saying ‘I really like these demos could you send me the (FL) project files.’ A few months later they fully released an exact song from one of those project files, we got it sorted in the end but that was pretty sucky.

What are your musical aspirations?

It would be cool to sell out a show. (Tt would be cool to put together a show in general that I’m proud of haha but I’m working on that currently.) I would also be pretty stoked if I ever got an Anthony Fantano review.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

I got 5 tracks releasing back to back the next few months starting with “rubber checks” which is already out and I am finishing with an EP that puts them all together.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

Shoutout Music Without Any Boundaries, thanks for having me!

Links:
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/maximemusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/maximemakesmusic
Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@maximemusic

Interview with Artist Genuardi

Hometown: Valley Stream, NY

How did you get started creating music?

I guess I started when I was about 7 years old when my parents forced me to take piano lessons. But I knew I wanted to really do music at the age of 15. My dad had a PC in the basement with Cubase on it and I would be down there messing around trying make beats for hours but had no clue what I was doing and the sounds were awful. My dad took notice of the efforts and decided to contact my uncle to get me a setup with user-friendly logic, a mic, a converter a keyboard, and some speakers. The rest is history. I was producing and writing into the night until my mom would come upstairs pissed due to the thumping at 1am on a school night but I threw on my headphones so it was all good. I played trumpet in a few jazz bands all while learning how to produce hip-hop and record vocals and mix by working with a bunch of my friends from high school who rapped and still make music to this day. Sebzxp, Rellz, Globetrotta, and Marvin Dolo. We wrote tons of music and by the time we hit 18 we knew we had a shot of making something out of it.

How would you describe my music to a new listener?

An eclectic mix of hard-hitting beats all the way to acoustic vibes. There is a lot of versatility in my music catalogue so it’s hard for me to describe my music as a whole. But certainly very musical hip-hop/pop with catchy hooks and honest raps. Some sad songs “Chicken Pot Pie,” happy songs “Let Me Down Easy,” funny songs “Prego,” Introspective songs (letter from Orpheus) and more.

What was your favorite song to work on?

I worked on a project called “Holy Vibe” because I got to work and spend time with legend Kay Gee from Naughty by Nature who produced the track and released it under their label Illtown Slugga Music

Who are your dream collaborators?

My dream collaborator is a tie between Kanye West and Doja Cat. I just think she’d be so fun to chill with and Kanye’s music just resonates on a different level of honesty and authenticity.

What are your thoughts on writer’s block?

I actually don’t believe in writer’s block. It’s simpler than not being able to write. It’s just an indication you should put the pen down and live life a little. For the most part though if I’m in the studio I’m ready to go and will write something. I keep a note of song titles and concepts ready to go that I add to in every day life whenever an idea pops into my head. I look at it like backup.

Have you faced adversity in the music industry?

Not really anything adverse. I had a few times where I was working with investors/managers that went south and even got close to signing with Capital but it fell through due to business differences and they had their hand too much in my creativity. That was when I wrote, featured on and co-produced “Sorry I Can’t Stay” for Shane Hendrix. The video was bananas, drove a Ferrari down Rodeo drive, Debbie Rowe (Michael Jackson’s wife) was in the opening scene and then I got buzzed at the party scene which they weren’t too happy about. But ay, can’t blame a 23 year old.

What are your upcoming plans?

I’m releasing singles for now but debating an album later in the year.

What are your musical aspirations?

My musical aspiration is I want to tour the world with a full band, lighting, and effects and go crazy on stage! I want to produce for other artists as well because I love working with others and creating something that’s unique to both of us. I would love to go to different countries and collaborate with musicians from local cities. It would be dope to get it all documented and how their unique instruments were used in the writing of the song. I think that would be sick and super fun.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

As I’m answering these questions I’m getting hyped to continue on this journey and share my songs with the world. I truly appreciate the platform you’re giving artists to talk about our music, respect. We need more people like you!

Check out Genuardi’s latest single ““Letter From Orpheus”

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/4DjltZYRobvAXumDPSlxre?si=fb28f16da596475f

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/letter-from-orpheus-single/1599639292

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/genuardimusic/letter-from-orpheus?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

Song Info:

Right before COVID hit in 2020 I lost my father which really opened my eyes to what’s important in life. Quarantine was tough, I wanted to be around friends and family but instead was cooped up in the house dealing with the loss of my pops. Now a year later, I have turned my attitude around and try to be grateful for what I have and that is the essence of “letter from orpheus.” Conceptually, it is a metaphor pointing to the story of Orpheus from Greek mythology who travelled down to the depths of the underworld in search of his wife who died from the bite of a snake. I took the concept of Orpheus failing to retrieve his wife from Hades in the underworld and paralleled it with the concept of not letting life beat you up and accepting the responsibility of overcoming adversity to fulfill a greater purpose. The track was created with a friend of mine named Kenny Lehman, who produced the hit song “Dance Dance Dance” with Nile Rodgers for Chic back in 1977. The main instruments are a reverse piano, cellos and saxophone being led by an epic drum groove. My favorite part is when Kenny rips a mini sax solo mid-chorus that may very well knock your socks off! I know my fans will dig the orchestral climax at the end which Kenny also helped compose. I took a different approach with this song and am really proud of how to came out.

More Links:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxTc9XO7BnAiry3pjQiAjQ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/genuardi__/

Interview with French Classical Pianist Sofiane Pamart

Photo Credits: Romain Garcin

How did you get started in music?

When I was 4 years old, my mum saw me playing with a piano toy. She figured out that I was working at reproducing the main theme of the movie the GodFather. Then she decided to look for a piano teacher. It actually was not such an easy task as my parents are not musicians themselves.

How would you describe your music to new listeners?

People generally describe my music as emotional, cinematographic and colorful. My first solo album PLANET is like a world tour: each song is dedicated to a city or a country in the world. My second album LETTER is a love declaration to my public, who played a great role by supporting and fuelling my creations. I create piano compositions that are driven by emotions and inspired by the world beauty.

What was your favorite song to work on?

Lately, “ASIA” was one of the best experiences of creation. This single concludes my new album, LETTER, which was created as I was traveling in 6 different asian countries during about 4 months. The energy I discovered in these territories really fascinated me.

Who is your dream collaborator?

I would have loved to collaborate with Pavarotti, it would have been amazing. I’d like to work with Lana Del Rey, Celeste, Sade, Solange, The Weeknd.

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

I can never predict what will trigger a new creation. But what I know is that I take my inspiration from the outside. Inspiration can be related to a special person, a particular discussion or a great movie. Someone or something that give me a particular emotion, which I then need to externalize through music.

Have you faced adversity in the music industry?

The music industry can be very competitive. But this is also because there are so many talented artists, which is great in itself. Adversity is part of my determination. I have no problem with that. I have an athlete mindset.

What are your musical aspirations?

My dream is to reach the world with a piano. I imagine my compositions as a series of stories and emotions that I want to share to all, whatever their origins, experiences and languages. Beyond borders.

Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?

My new album LETTER released on feb11. Then I’ll have an international tour.

Is there anything else you would like to contribute?

I think a natural crossover for me will be to compose music for amazing movies.

Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sofianepamart

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7RB6NE6qcJJDbmchiWq67Q

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

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4RB2EEsmLhQTOSVQQpDzNg?autoplay=true

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sofiane-pamart/739404413

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/us/artist/5335252?autoplay=true

Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/artists/B00GIAJIOA/sofiane-pamart

Website: https://piano-king.com/