Eric Kamen

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Musician, Composer, & Producer, Eric Kamen
Photo Provided by Eric Kamen
Early Fall (September 2014) Edition 
Miles High Productions Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Eric Kamen

It is with great pleasure that we introduced to our online readers of this publication the wonderful and talented Musician, Composer and Producer, Eric Kamen. The New York City born-and-bred musician, composer and producer has transformed his long enriching career in the music business to create something refreshing, new, and innovative. It is his blend of several music genres consisting of World Music, Flamenco, Urban Flamenco, & Latin Music that certainly makes him stand out from other musicians. We speak to Kamen about his music and discover some cool fun facts from him. Here is what transpired from our online encounter.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words or less:

Eric: Urban Flamenco!

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Eric: Jimi Hendrix, Paco de Lucia, Babyface (as an R&B producer), Bach, and Vivaldi.

Isaac: What is your primary reason that drew you to World Music, Flamenco, Urban Flamenco, & Latin?

Eric: I adore R&B as well as music from the Middle East, North Africa, Spain et. al. I couldn’t choose one over the other … so I am striving to meld them together.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Eric: I have never taken my Urban Flamenco ‘on the road’. Up to this point, it has been a ‘laboratory experiment’ LOL … the laboratory being my home studio. I feel like a ‘mad scientist’, trying to merge R&B, Hip-Hop and Old World acoustic music. I am seriously considering putting together a band and going on the road with Urban Flamenco. Apart from that, like most musicians, my favorite song to play is – the one I am presently working on! LOL! It’s true – many/most musicians frequently feel that their latest song is the ‘best thing they have ever done’.

Isaac: Which non-musical influences do you consider are important to your music?

Eric: I detest the hatred amongst the various cultures of the World … and anything I can do to bring people together, in my own humble way, is the worth the effort to me! My major countries are presently Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil et al. I have lots of fans and friends in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, and Germany. I am VERY proud of this! In my own small way, I am succeeding at breaking the cultural barrier which exists across countries, cultures and religions. If I can reach and out touch some 14 year old kid in Pakistan who is just learning to play the guitar, piano … or whatever, and help them appreciate that we are truly all the same – it was worth the effort! By the way … My own country, the US, is about #12 – obviously mostly from NY, CA and the states bordering Mexico.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Eric: You will be disappointed but Beyoncé is my favorite current artist! I have to watch Single Ladies every night or else I can’t consider my day complete! As a composer/producer, I pay a lot of homage to Kanye and Timbaland. I study them and what they do, as I study Bach or Ottmar Liebert They are geniuses … and most people over 25 or 30 don’t really appreciate it. To add some rationale, what Beyoncé, Kanye and Bach all have in common is that they were/are all trying to ‘break the mold’ and create something new. While I will (duh) obviously never be another Kanye or Bach, I too am most attracted to the notion of creating something new. It requires an immense amount of personal courage, intellect and talent.

Isaac: What does it mean for you to play the guitar? Describe when you first began to have a passion for the guitar?

Eric: You ask really good questions! As a young adolescent, I started to appreciate that the only thing that really made sense to me were the Arts. School seemed dumb and a waste of time. The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix et. al. were what was relevant to me back then. I spent 40 years working in Corporate America and, while I admittedly was quite successful and eventually became a Managing Director at a ‘bulge bracket’ US Securities firm, from the start, none of it really made any sense. The people with whom I worked seemed slow, unimaginative and frankly timid – afraid of change. I would sit through 2-hour meetings and be thinking to myself – ‘what in God’s name are these people talking about?’ The only aspect of Corporate America which had any appeal for me was product invention and innovation. My skill at this is what propelled my corporate career. Trust me – it was not my ability to do the annual budget … or craft a water-tight $100 million contract LOL. In summary, playing the guitar (and piano!) represented reality, groundedness, creativity (and a connection with my parents (both of whom were musicians).

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process.

Eric: I am a very analytical person (and a Virgo). Music, being an art as well as a science does require both sides of the brain, but to compose music, I have to find a way to become less analytical … and more emotional. I have developed a technique which, at least, works for me. I call it ‘speed writing’. I have to put my brain aside, focus only on how I am feeling in the very moment, I lay down 10 or 12 musical ideas … often only 20 or 30 second snippets – in an hour or two, dump them onto a CD … and then don’t listen to any of them for 2 or 3 weeks. After 2 or 3 weeks, I listen to them again, and it is obvious which are boring and derivative and which have a touch or ‘fairy dust’ on them. I chose the ideas which have the fairy dust and then apply my analytical mind to further developing them.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Eric: Gypsy Kings, Ottmar Liebert, Sting, or Enya.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Eric: I am a history buff and a news junkie. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to rant and rave about current events (especially when I am ‘under the influence’). I have considered starting up a Poly Sci blog …. And I may actually do it at some point. Apart from that, I love cooking (I learned my basic cooking skills in Paris when I lived there at 21 years old) reading (especially non-fiction, mostly science. philosophy and history).

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Eric: 0. My wife, 5 children and 2 grandchildren 1. The World at War (TV series) 2. CNN international (Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Chistiane Amanpour, et al) 3. eCigs (I haven’t had a ‘real’ cigarette in 5 years) 4. A really good Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner 5. Voice Recognition on my iPhone 5. I have not actually typed (on a keyboard) an email or text for several years! I speak them.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Eric: As I mentioned previously, I don’t presently have a band to play Urban Flamenco. It is all done in the studio. I spent MANY years playing out with Rock bands when I was younger, and needless to say, I have many recollections; mostly sordid and not for public consumption. One of the ‘groupies’ from those years turned out to be my first wife! She came up on stage while we were on a break, while I was tuning my bass, and the obvious happened LOL. We spent 33 years together as a couple and had a sensational child (who is now a grown man with his own child!). The divorce was sooooo expensive that this clearly warrants being referred to as ‘the most trouble I got into’ LOL. The good news is that the love amongst us all remains even though we are both re-married and have gone our own separate ways.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Eric: My first impulse is to respond – no, not at all … but not in the way you would imagine. When I was younger, I wanted to be a musician, but after a period, I became a Corporate software engineer (i.e. a programmer) and manager, and did not re-join the music community for 15 or 20 year, at which point I became an R&B and Hip-Hop producer (well prior to becoming a Urban Flamenco artist in 2005. Having said that, it is admittedly not so clear. The penchant for creativity which I bring to music is also the same creativity I brought to software engineering … and I have to admit, I loved those years as a programmer … not to mention, I earned a lot of money, traveled around the World multiple times over. So – I think my answer – one cannot and should not try to control one’s life but simply go with the flow … and que sera sera.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Eric: I think about this question all the time! I think I would like to be some type of ‘Life Coach’ (although I am not officially qualified). Having had 2 wives and 5 children, a corporate and artistic career, I have seen it all! I know more about psychotherapy than I should LOL. I understand the corporate world and the job market like the back of my hand. I think I would have a lot to offer someone who is somewhat ‘lost in life’. I have always had a penchant for being a care-taker.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Eric: Be true to yourself! Don’t live your life based upon what your parents or your peers think or want you to do!

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….(fill in the blank) …

Eric: older and more wrinkled, LOL … but hopefully still as sexy as Mick Jagger!

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Eric: I think gaining 500,000 friends in a few weeks on Myspace (back in 2005) with my first World Music CD (Native Unit) was probably it! Native Unit was my first attempt at creating a merger of R&B and Flamenco. It felt like a big risk … and was instantly a big success with fans. It has remained that way ever since! Native Unit had a much greater impact than any of the R&B singers or rappers I was producing at the time. That experience changed my sense of self … and the trajectory of my artistic career.

Official Website of Eric Kamen

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma Manga

Entertainment Earth

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Noreé Leggett’s
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma Manga: Latest Review
September/October 2014 Edition
Learn more about her
Newest Review Here!
(Access Page Below)
                                                                                                           
@ http://www.juniorscave.com/noreeleggett.html

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Moronai Kanekoa

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Junior’s Cave Interview Exclusive
(Celebrity Interview with
Rising Actor,                                         Moronai Kanekoa)
September/October 2014 Edition

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Moronai Kanekoa

Rising Actor Moronai Kanekoa made the important decision at the age of 23 to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor. Kanekoa has always had a passion for film and television so moving towards entertaining others seemed like the most logical choice. We discover in this new spotlight with the young and talented actor his amazing journey of self-discovery of who he is and what he wants to do with his life. Kanekoa also shares his fondest memories growing up in Maui, his big move from New York City to Los Angeles, and where he believes he fits in with the pool of great actors in Hollywood. Here is his ultra-cool story for your reading pleasure.

Isaac: Moronai, we want to welcome you to Junior’s Cave. What has been the standout moment so far in 2014 with your acting career that you would like to let us know about?

Moronai: The stand out moment of 2014 would probably be when I performed a one-man show called The Legend of Ko’olau at the Hawaii Theater on Oahu this past May. Not only did I have my family in the audience, but some high school friends from Maui came to see it as well. There were even some faces of college friends in the audience that I hadn’t seen for years. For me, it was a special moment to share with them not only for them to see what I had been working on for that show, but also what I’ve been working on in the past 10 years as far as acting training and schooling. For most of them, it was the first time they had seen me on stage.

Isaac: Sounds pretty awesome!!!

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Moronai Kanekoa

Isaac: What have been your fondest memories growing up in Maui? What makes it special?

Moronai: One of my fondest memories growing up on Maui was going to the trash dump with my family and scavenging for anything that was still in good condition. I laugh about it now with my brothers and sisters, but really it’s those kinds of activities with my family that bonded us and kept us close.

Isaac: Fitness is obviously important to you. You have an amazing great shape. What are your main reasons for staying in shape and being healthy? Do you believe it adds to your skill set as an actor?

Moronai: I started exercising and going to the gym when I first went to college and I couldn’t stop. Although at times I have to force myself to go, I always feel better afterwards. As an actor, you have to stay in shape. Your body is your instrument. If your instrument is rusty, you have to polish it. I’ve also found working out to be a great stress reliever. And as an actor, stress is a part of everyday life.

Isaac: At what age did you decide that you wanted to become an actor?

Moronai: I decided to become an actor at 23. I had never done any acting before and I scrapped the idea of going to med school so I said what the hell, let’s go for it. So I did.

Isaac: Why do you believe you pursue acting with such deep passion? What is it about acting that fulfills you the most?

Moronai: Personally, acting is cathartic. It helps me relieve stress and experience things that I normally may not be able to. Also, television and film has always been a way for me to learn and connect to other people around the world. Now, I want to do that for other people.

Isaac: You moved to Los Angeles a few years ago to work on a Masters Acting Program at USC. How pivotal was it for you as an entertainer to move to Los Angeles?

Moronai: It was very important for me. I was living in New York City right before moving to LA and the fast pace and stress of NYC was getting to me. LA was really my only other choice. When I auditioned for grad school, I actually only auditioned for schools in Southern California. And when I got into USC, it was a perfect fit. Apart from being the hub of the film and television industry, LA is also more laid back and closer to home. It all made sense.

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Moronai Kanekoa

Isaac: What do you feel has been your biggest acting achievement professionally for your career so far and why?

Moronai: For me, getting through my MFA Acting program at USC was a huge achievement. That may not necessarily be on a “professional” level, but definitely on a personal level. I always tell people that the 3 years I spent there was a “positive traumatic experience”; one that has definitely changed me and, hopefully, for the better. :-)

Isaac: Have you ever taken a role that you were not passionate about but needed the work?

Moronai: Definitely! Hey, I need money. And at the point where my career is at right now, I’m not in a position to say no to too many things.

Isaac: Have you ever worked on a project and once you saw the finished product was unhappy with either the project or your performance in the project?

Moronai: Yep. Mostly my performance. That’s all I really take responsibility for. If the project didn’t turn out as well as I hoped, it sucks, but I don’t feel like there’s much I could’ve done to change that. On the other hand, if my performance sucks, well then I better do something about that….and quick, so it doesn’t happen again.

Isaac: When you are looking for a part; what are some of the important attributes that you look for in one of the characters you are going to portray?

Moronai: I definitely look for conflict. People who are torn between two things…ideas, other people, beliefs, etc. They’re always the most interesting for me.

Isaac: Do you feel that you can tackle more controversial roles? Are you afraid to portray a character that may not be liked by the general viewing public?

Moronai: I’m actually not sure about that. It’s never come up for me. I think if the controversial role deals with something that I think should be addressed or something that affects me in a personal way, then I feel like I wouldn’t care what anyone else thought…except maybe my family. I’d probably run it past them first.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one director in a film, who would it be and why would you want to work with this director?
Moronai: I would definitely love to work with J. J. Abrams. I love his films!

Isaac: He is a pure genius in my opinion!

Isaac: With some many comic book movies being made, have you ever wanted to portray a comic book character and if so who would you want to portray in film and why?

Moronai: YES!! I would LOVE to play a comic book character! And I don’t even care which one. Well, of course I’d like to be Superman, but that’s already been done. Or even Green Lantern. Again, already been done. I grew up reading comics and especially collecting comic book cards. There’s probably no other role that I would rather do more than play a comic book hero. That, and play a vampire.

Isaac: Pretty COOL!!!

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Moronai Kanekoa in Steam Room Stories

Isaac: Let’s talk about one of your new acting projects working on the set of: Steam Room Stories. How did you come about getting a part in this popular hit Web Series?

Moronai: I actually first met JC when I auditioned for him for the movie, The 10 Year Plan. After doing that movie, we’ve kept in touch and a few months ago he asked me if I wanted to be a part of Steam Room Stories.

Isaac: What drew you to wanting to be a part of this series?

Moronai: I hadn’t done anything like it before, so I said why not. Plus, I’m a fan of JC. He’s a wonderful and talented man, so when he asked, of course I was going to say yes.

Isaac: What do your family and friends think of your involvement in the web series?

Moronai: I actually don’t know. I never asked them. I don’t even know if they’ve seen any of the episodes yet. I’m sure they’re ok with it though. They’ve always been supportive of me and my decisions.

Isaac: I have been watching the series since the beginning. Where you a fan of the series before joining the cast? Have you seen any of the previous episodes?

Moronai: So actually I hadn’t seen any of them before JC asked me to be a part of them. He wanted me see an episode before I did it, so the first time I saw it, I was actually with him.

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Moronai Kanekoa in Steam Room Stories

Isaac: At the end of the day, what do you want others to take away from your acting performances?

Moronai: Any time I perform, I just hope people in some way relate to my character and enjoy what they’re seeing.

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Moronai Kanekoa (right) in Steam Room Stories

Isaac: Elaborate on some of your current projects that you are working on that you can let our readers know about.

Moronai: I’m still doing that one-man show called The Legend of Ko’olau. It’s based on a true story about a man from Kauai who contracts leprosy and runs away into the mountains with his family to avoid being captured and taken to a leper colony on Molokai. It’s a very heart-breaking story that deals with a lot of universal themes like the importance of family and home and what you’re willing to do to protect that. It’s also a great way to learn more about the history and culture of Hawaii.

Isaac: Complete this sentence for us. “2015 will be the year that Moronai Kanekoa…”

Moronai: 2015 will be the year that Moronai Kanekoa finally learns how to cook. I’ve always been so much better at eating than cooking.

Isaac: :-)

The Official Website of Moronai Kanekoa
http://www.moronaikanekoa.com/

All Photos Courtesy of Moronai Kanekoa

368 total views, 9 views today

ShaDo

 
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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Rising Hip-Hop Artist, ShaDo
Early Fall (September 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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ShaDo
Photo Courtesy of ShaDo

Hip-Hop has a new lyrical flow master and his name is ShaDo. The young and gifted poetic is representing the Hip-Hop Industry and showing others how it should be done! If anyone thinks Hip-Hop is dead, then look to ShaDo to help resurrect it from the grave. In this recent spotlight with our publication, we speak to ShaDo about his music, his influences, and what he believes he has to offer to the Hip-Hop Industry. Here is his story for your reading enjoyment.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

ShaDo: Encouraging, fun, soothing, poetic, & soulful.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

ShaDo: My significant musical influence would have to be Childish Gambino, He was always someone I looked up to. He really showed me that you don’t have to be like everyone else to be successful. This really allowed me to dig in to a deeper side if my life and become unique with my work. Looking at Gambino, he was always different with his art whether it was his story lines, or his style. Gambino taught me there are no limits that are set, you are the only person to limit yourself.

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ShaDo
Photo Courtesy of ShaDo

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

ShaDo: At the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Meek Mill. To me, these artists are beyond great. There are plenty of other artists who belong on the radio but I really tie into these three artists. My writing style is a mixture of them. I like to think of myself as poetic with a dark twist such as J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar and aggression and emotion I bring to my art like Meek Mill.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

ShaDo: I draw a lot of my inspiration from my past as a kid. My mom had a very hard life and raising me didn’t make it easier. She was always on the run with three jobs, always on the clock. She was a single mother trying to provide for me. Of course, in the moment, as a kid I didn’t really pay much attention to it, but now it really makes me realize how hard and cold this world can be. She showed me that even though life is tough it’s not an excuse to not be successful. My mother always had determination and ambition in her veins and she inspired me to always raise the bar with each song I created.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

ShaDo: I would definitely open up for Childish Gambino only because I feel like he’s helped me so much with my dream and vision and he has no clue how much of an impact he’s made and inspiration he has given me.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

ShaDo: I really enjoy spending time with my son, my family, and very few close friends I would also consider family. I always hold those moments close to my heart because without these loved ones around me I would be nothing. Every single one of them plays a big part in my life.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

ShaDo: My son, he inspires me to always push myself to be the best so I can provide for his future. My mother, she has been a great idol and one hell of a mother to me. Music, it’s how I deal with my problems, even just listening to music knowing that someone can relate to your struggles is uplifting to know you’re not the only one. My phone, it’s how I communicate with everyone. God, he’s brought me through a lot not to mention giving the gift to write and create music. Without him protecting me and keeping me out of trouble, there’s no telling where I’d be at this point in my life.

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ShaDo
Photo Courtesy of ShaDo

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

ShaDo: I haven’t managed to get myself into trouble. Of course, I still have a great time but I try to stay focused and determined…

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

ShaDo: Most def…but I still have a lot to learn.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

ShaDo: Something involving the science of the human body, it has always interested me how we are perfectly designed to love and function with almost no effort.

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ShaDo
Photo Courtesy of ShaDo

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

ShaDo: Wish it…Dream it…Do it!

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

ShaDo: Ten years from now I hope to see my music continuously growing. I hope to see me giving my son the life I never had. I hope to see my family happy and proud of me for chasing my dreams. I hope that I can continue to relate to so many people and their stories through my music.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

ShaDo: One of the best moments while performing is looking out to the audience and seeing everyone’s eyes on you. Watching you, your every move. Seeing their mouths move to the words of your song. Seeing bodies move to the beat. Something about it is very peaceful.

Official Website:
http://www.iamshado.com/

ShaDo – Million

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Steam Room Stories: The Review

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Junior’s Cave Review Exclusive
Steam Room Stories:                           The Review of the Popular Web Series
September/October 2014 Edition

Review by Isaac Davis, Jr., BGS, MBA

Steam Room Stories: The Review of the Popular Web Series

The Internet is a great outlet for talented people working in front and behind the camera to showcase their projects. One project that is fun to watch is the hit Web Series Steam Room Stories. It is a smart, witty, and sometimes pushing-the-envelope-of-hot-topics type of series that features hot guys in a variety of hilarious skits taking place in….well , the steam room. The best part of this show is the ambiguity of the featured guys’ sexuality as they embark on some risqué homoerotic topics that keeps the audiences guessing if the guys are straight, bi, gay, confused, or just plain curious.

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A Scene From The Popular
Web Series: Steam Room Stories
Photo Copyrighted by Steam Room Stories

There are so many great episodes that are just so much fun to watch. The highlight for me is how the show is brilliantly written and the hilarious interactions between the guys in the steam room. In a recent episode, the guys are in the steam room discussing how men like to name their penises. I won’t go into much detail about this episode but let’s say that when viewing this episode it will have you in stitches. This episode also introduces the arrival of a new cast member, Charlie Merlo. If you are a fan of shows like The Talk, The View, or other formats, then think of this show as an extension of that type of set-up but with a hilarious twist.

We are recommending this show to everyone who enjoys watching hot shirtless guys engage in raunchy hot topics set in a steam room. New episodes air on the 1st and the 15th of every month.

Recommendation: Very High!

Official Link to the show:
https://www.youtube.com/user/steamroomstories

 

389 total views, 7 views today

F.A.V.O.R. Valentine

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Junior’s Cave  Music Interview                                                                                  with R&B Singer/Songwriter, F.A.V.O.R. Valentine                                       Early Fall (September 2014) Edition                                                                 Junior’s Cave Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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F.A.V.O.R. Valentine
Photo Credit: Jimmy Washington

We have a special treat for R&B music lovers around the world. Meet R&B Singer/Songwriter F.A.V.O.R. Valentine who showcases major vocal ranges that will drive the ladies crazy when they hear Valentine sings his soulful ballads. Heavenly influenced by many of the iconic soul singers of the music industry, Valentine prepares to show the world what he has to offer the R&B community. Here is his story that will shed some light on who is F.A.V.O.R. Valentine.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

F.A.V.O.R.: I would say soulful, sultry, universal, timeless and meaningful.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

F.A.V.O.R.: I would say R. Kelly!

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

F.A.V.O.R.: Yes it’s called “See You Again”.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

F.A.V.O.R.: I’m listening to Jasmine Sullivan and Bruno Mars.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

F.A.V.O.R.: I draw my inspiration from life experience and my favorite part is being able to sing what I’ve written.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

F.A.V.O.R.: I would say Cee Lo

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

F.A.V.O.R.: I love to cook

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

F.A.V.O.R.: Family, God, a piece of mind, Stability, and Knowledge.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

F.A.V.O.R.: I would say getting stuck in the airport for a week on a buddy pass.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

F.A.V.O.R.: Yes! But I would have gone about doing it in different way however it made me who I am today.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

F.A.V.O.R.: I would say culinary arts because I love to cook and entertain.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

F.A.V.O.R.: Staying true to whom you are and not letting anyone tells you no.

Isaac: Ten years from now what will be doing?

F.A.V.O.R.: Somewhere on the Grammy touring living out my dreams.

Isaac: As a send great off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

F.A.V.O.R.: Opening up for Freddie Jackson in Columbia South Carolina.

Official SoundCloud Music Page:
http://www.soundcloud.com/favor-valentine

277 total views, 8 views today

Noshir Mody

 

Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Fusion Guitarist, Noshir Mody
Early Fall (September 2014) Edition 
Sonicbids Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Fusion Guitarist Noshir Mody
Photo Courtesy of Noshir Mody

Fusion Guitarist Noshir Mody masterfully commands his instrument that releases beautiful and intoxicating sounds that makes him a true gem to listen to in the music industry. Music without words tells wonderfully picturesque colorful stories that are heavenly to the ears. The talented and gifted guitarist has this amazing gift with his guitar displaying a beautiful tone, versatility, and inventive ideas. In our third online conversation with Mody, the artist gives our online publication updates on what he has been doing, a little more about his personal life, and the gift of his music. Here is what formulated for our delightful spotlight.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Noshir: Melodic, narrative, improvisational, engaging and immersive.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Noshir: Right now I’m very taken up with the work of Trilok Gurtu and Keith Jarrett. It’s always hard for me to narrow down this list to a few names as over the years I have heard and been influenced by a lot of great music and musicians. I seem to have most significant influences during specific periods of my life. When I started playing guitar, Al Di Meola was my biggest influence and then for a while after that, all I listened to was Satriani and Vai. Following that period, I was absorbed in the works of John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Zakir Hussain, Joe Zawinul and Miles Davis. More recently I have been intently listening to and enjoying the works of Ulf Wakenius. I don’t think there is any one artist that has been the primary influence on my sound or style.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Noshir: “Under A Starlit Sky” – I love how our performance of this song has matured. I recorded this song on my 2008 solo album “In This World With You” but when the group performs it now – the result is quite explosive, with a big dynamic range and sections that develop in tension and intensity. Performing in these improvisational settings without locking down the arrangements makes the songs appear to have a life of their own. They continue to grow and develop as different musicians and approaches are used in presenting them…

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Noshir: Currently, I’m engrossed in the albums “21 Spices” by Trilok Gurtu with Simon Phillips and the NDR big band and Keith Jarrett’s “Sleeper” with Garbarek, Danielsson and Christensen. I am also loving Dhafer Youssef ‘s “Abu Navas Rhapsody” and on the singer-songwriter front I am enjoying “The Ash and Clay” by The Milk Carton Kids. Great albums in my opinion, that deserve to be heard and enjoyed.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Noshir: My inspirations come from living life. Nothing out of the ordinary, the simple but meaningful moments – I’m sure all of us encounter them – moments of love, loss, laughter, conflict, imagination, hope, etc. It’s magical for me when subsequently melodies or harmonic progressions with varied rhythms appear, as if on their own, and recreate the sentiment of that moment – I love that part of the process.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Noshir: Sharing the stage with Trilok Gurtu or Zakir Hussain would be amazing-

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Noshir: I love the process of discovery – be it through meeting people or travelling or being introduced to new cultures and cuisines. I guess I would be seeking out venues for new experiences.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Noshir: In no particular order…love, loved ones, purpose, sustenance and art.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Noshir: Oh this is going back many years – I was inebriated and took the stage at a producer’s showcase and I have no idea how the rest of the night developed.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Noshir: No. I was much younger and had just gone through some tough circumstances and looking back I guess it was a pathetic play for attention. I got none and in fact ended up alienating people more than attracting any sympathy or empathy.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Noshir: I actually stopped performing and recording for almost seven years. Even though I was successful professionally, it somehow did not feel right. There was a void. I have a background in engineering and I’m good at it so that’s an obvious choice – however not having music as a means to express myself would present a pretty dull existence for me.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Noshir: At this stage of my life I try to keep it simple – use your common sense and be compassionate.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Noshir: ….still persevering to make great, thought provoking art.

Isaac: As a sendoff, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Noshir: I have had many moments as a performer that have been very meaningful and memorable to me but I don’t really think of any of them as my greatest moments. One special moment that I can recall is after one of my shows with the quintet, at a jazz club in midtown Manhattan, a very distinguished looking lady approached me to thank me for the show and to take a picture with me. She turned out to be an ambassador to the United Nations and as her friend took the picture, she informed me that she was going to put that picture up on her wall, right next to the one with her and Chick Corea. That made my day.

Official Website:
http://www.noshirmody.com/

Official Facebook Music Page:
https://www.facebook.com/NoshirModyMusic

Ist Interview with our publication:
http://www.juniorscave.com/Noshir-Mody.html

2nd Interview with our publication:
http://blogs.juniorscave.com/2012/01/25/noshir-mody-part-2-2/

224 total views, 1 views today

Blest

 
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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Hip-Hop/Rap Musician, BLEST
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Blest
Photo Courtesy of Blest

As I sit in my favorite black chair this Saturday Morning getting ready to start my day, I am completing this amazing interview with Rap/Hip-Hop Musician, Blest. I am listening to his new music titled Gangsta featuring Kat Dahlia and enjoying the lyrical skills of this masterful poet. It is his deliverance of words, sick beats, and catchy hooks that really make him stand out from the others in the Hip-Hop/Rap Game. The interesting part to this mulch-talented musician is the diversity of skills he possesses that make him a huge contender/major competition in the music industry. In this spotlight with our publication, we get the 411 on exactly who is BLEST and what he is bringing to the table of the Hip-Hop/Rap Genre! Here is what transpired from our online encounter.

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

Blest: I would have to say, “It’s that Southwest sound”.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

Blest: I have a wide range of influences from artists of all walks of life. But the two that stand out have to be Tupac and Linkin Park. I can listen to their music for hours. I am also a fan of EDM, being from El Paso the two most dominate music scenes are rock and EDM. So naturally, I will be influenced by my surroundings.

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

Blest: From my mixtape Unleashed “Let It Go” is by far my favorite track. The beat is from a Drake song, I didn’t find out until after I recorded the track, by then I didn’t care. I had to put that song out, we even did a video. It should be coming out soon.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

Blest: I’ve been listening to Blest! I am currently working on another album, so I listen to my mixes a lot and come up with ways to make the track better. As far as underground artists, I do not really have time to discover new artists as I would like to.

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Blest: My inspiration comes from the beats I pick. I try to feel what the producer felt when the instrumental was made. From there, I use past experiences and emotions to come up with the lyrics. I use things I’ve seen, things I’ve been exposed to both good and bad and use it as fuel. It becomes an emotional rollercoaster, when you spark raw emotions and convert it to words. Some songs come out amazing and others will never see the light of day, but that is the process. Writing for me is therapy, it keeps me sane.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Blest: I would have to say Jay Z. The guy just always seems to be relevant and is doing great things in business.

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

Blest: Promoting. Keep in mind, not only am I the artist but I am also the label, manager, promoter and every other aspect of the game. But when putting in 15 hour workdays, a good workout at the gym is usually a good way I blow off steam. I’m also a huge boxing and UFC fan, nothing like watching a good fight with some cold beers. During fight nights I like to make it into a party, get a chance to hang out with friends and family.

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

Blest: My family, my music, my money, my fights and my dreams.

Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

Blest: When I first started touring, I would usually throw money out to the crowd. After a very successful show, I threw out about two thousand dollars to the crowd. That shit nearly started a riot! I mean people stopped watching the show and started rushing to where the money was at. People were fighting and pushing, we had over 1200 people at the show so it was crazy. The club owners were not happy, ever since then we no longer throw money out to the crowd.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

Blest: Fuck yeah I would! I love this business. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, you sacrifice and sacrifice and when you are about to give up something amazing happens. I love writing, I love the creation process. But most of all I love the competition and the hard work it takes to get your music out to the masses.

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

Blest: I would probably have been a fighter. Growing up I did a lot of boxing, Aikido and in high school I wrestled. I don’t know why but I have always been drawn to competition, the harder the challenge the more I wanted to be a part of it. I’ve also done the corporate shit, the everyday grind and honestly that is a suburb hell.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Blest: “It could be worse.” I feel as long as I have my health I can overcome anything. If I have a bad day or I lost money or my album is not moving, whatever it is I remind myself someone out there has it worse. I’m not saying I feel better about myself from someone’s misery, but I am saying is be grateful that “your problem” is not as severe.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Blest: Whatever I want to be. As long as I’m alive and breathing the sky is the limit.

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

Blest: The day when nobody showed up for my first show. I was so pissed and broke and at that moment I was like fuck this went on stage and poured it all out to an empty room. That’s when I knew this was no longer a hobby.

Official Facebook Music Page:
https://www.facebook.com/gspresents?ref=br_tf

302 total views, 5 views today

NJ Taylor

 
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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Up-and-Coming International Pop Artist, NJ Taylor
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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NJ Taylor
Photographer: Antoine La Rochelle

Up-and-coming International Pop Artist NJ Taylor is the newest sensation to make her fantastic debut onto the music scene. We had the pleasure to speak to the rising performer about her dynamic music. What we discovered from our online conversation with Taylor will make everyone reading this interview fall in love with the International Pop Artist. She opened up about her experiences of making her debut album, her musical influences, and why she believes she was born to make music. Here is what formulated from this fabulous online meeting. Enjoy!

Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:

NJ: Pop, fresh, guitar, inspirational, catchy.

Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?

NJ: Michael Jackson & ABBA.

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Official Logo

Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?

NJ: It’s too soon to say cause I haven’t performed yet most of the songs from my debut album since we are still in the process of finishing the album.

Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?

NJ: I’m listening to Marvin Gaye and to a playlist of a mix of songs from the Billboard Top 100 and songs I really dig such as Sia’s “Clap Your Hands”, “Hero” by Family of the Year and many more.

You should really watch out for Betty Who! And me of course! Lol ;)

Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

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NJ Taylor
Photographer: Antoine La Rochelle

NJ: Where? Everywhere! And my favorite part is seeing my progress as a writer.

Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

NJ: Katy Perry

Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

NJ: Hmmmm that’s all I’ve been doing for a while now. Since I’ve been working on my debut album, I’ve been writing, in the studio, working on promoting, etc. I haven’t had much time for anything else, which reminds me, I need to start to make time!

Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?

NJ: Coffee, my phone, pen, paper AND sleep (although that’s not a thing)!
Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?

NJ: The most trouble I’ve had while performing was this one time I wasn’t feeling the vibe of the crowd and I let it affect my performance.

Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?

NJ: Yes, but I would have taken it more seriously younger!

Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?

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NJ Taylor
Photographer: Antoine La Rochelle

NJ: I would still be in the music industry because music is what keeps me alive.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

NJ: Live out of hope, not out of fear!

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

NJ: Still doing it!

Isaac: As a great send off, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.

NJ: They are yet to come when I’ll be touring to promote my debut album!

Official Website:
http://www.njtaylor.com/

281 total views, 7 views today

Doug Briney

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Junior’s Cave Music Interview 
with Indie Country Singer/Songwriter, Doug Briney
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition
MTS Management Music Series Spotlight

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Doug Briney                                                                                                                          Photo Submitted by Doug Briney

Back in the Summer of 2013, our publication interviewed Indie Country Singer/Songwriter, Doug Briney about his amazing and growing career. We discovered that he began singing and performing in the church. It was this great venue that taught Briney how to sing in front of a crowd. Briney further his love for singing throughout his high school years which led him to graduate in 1988 from Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College with a focus in Vocal Music Major. Since graduating from Bible College, Briney has established himself as a major contender in the Indie Country Music Industry with his great storytelling of life’s lessons in his music. Check out our 2nd interview we completed with this talented performer as he reveals his passion for Country Music and what’s he has been up to since we last spoke to him.

Isaac: I wanted to talk about your new single which just came out on Memorial Day, May 26th of this year. You are also donating proceeds from the song, “Unknown Soldier” to Veterans’ charities. I would like to congratulate you on a wonderfully crafted and great new single. What has been the biggest inspiration for making such an amazing new single?

Doug: Yes, 100% of the profits are going to Operation Troop Aid. It is a great organization that supports our active duty military as well as our veterans. As far as inspiration, because of deep military roots in my family and my son who actively serves now in the Air Force, I wanted to have a song that honored our military on this album. We came across “Unknown Soldier” and after listening to a lot of other songs that were good but just not the right fit for me, it hit a spot in my heart that told me this was the song.

Isaac: From your last interview, you spoke about that music is your life and you could not imagine doing anything else. Are you still enjoying making music and performing for others at this point in your career?

Doug: I love making music, playing in front of crowds and seeing the instant connection with the fans. I truly don’t see that ever changing.

Isaac: What keeps music new, fresh, and excited for you as an Indie Male Country Artist?

Doug: Playing in front of different crowds, different venues and playing with different musicians all help to keep things fresh and exciting. Working on bettering my performances and improving my skills as an artist are also a few things that keep me excited and driven.

Isaac: How has the whole experience of being on stage performing for what you love to do help you grow as an artist?

Doug: I am probably the most critical person of myself and for me seeing video or listening to audio of me performing, I’m always thinking “that was cool, but what if I did ….?” I love seeing video of the crowds while I’m performing as I can tell if I have them or if I’ve lost them. If the latter is true, then I listen and watch again and ask “what can I do to make that more interesting?” Each performance is a growing experience.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Doug: What’s a mistake? LOL… man, I make so many of those, I have honestly learned just to keep going ahead and have fun with it. If it is a major deal, like starting a song off in the wrong key that is totally unsinkable for me, I stop and laugh about it trying to keep it fun. I have learned if I’m upset or uneasy about it the crowd is too, if I can have fun and make it something memorable then the crowd stays right with me and still enjoys a great show.

Isaac: Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition? If so, what do you do to overcome your fears?

Doug: Honestly, I very rarely get nervous before a show. Usually the nerves hit me after a show. Beforehand, I am usually too busy making sure everything is set up and sound is good, merchandise is out and attractively displayed. So for me there are too many things on my mind ahead of time to think about being nervous. There have been exceptions but they are just that the exception.

Isaac: Do you ever experience writer’s block when you are writing new songs? I can imagine this would be particularly annoying if you were in a collaboration situation. If you have in the past, what do you do to get over it?

Doug: All the time. I find a search on Google for a related subject or rhyming word or whatever usually helps. Other times, I just have to step away and take a break. In a collaboration situation, usually if we can get the first verse and chorus done we have a good momentum going and it usually stays flowing.

Isaac: What advice have you received from mentors about pursuing a music career?

Doug: The best advice I’ve received is the same advice I give, “Stick with it!” Success in this industry is not made overnight but by a lot of hard work and perseverance.

Isaac: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous about pursuing a music career?

Doug: Aside from the previous questions answer, I’d say, hone your craft. If you are a guitarist, take lessons be the best you can possibly be, if you’re a vocalist, then take vocal lessons and practice your craft. Don’t be satisfied with where you’re at, keep trying and striving to be better.

Isaac: How does music affect you and the world around you?

Doug: Depends on the song. I mean there are times I’m very reflective and I enjoy songs that help me reflect, other times I just want to feel good so I listen to music that makes me feel good. I really try to choose music to listen to that helps me go where I want to go.

Isaac: Why do you believe music is something that everyone should enjoy?

Doug: I think music is something everyone who can hear does enjoy. If not, movies, television, commercials, radio, CD’s and about every other form of media out there would not use it. Music can lift our spirits, it can calm our nerves, it can give us strength when we need it most. Music although culturally differs really is a universal language.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Doug: I think that is totally where the industry is going and for many already has arrived. I think illegal sharing is a problem and I don’t know what the answer is for that, but I think that too is here to stay. I buy most all my music online.

Isaac: Do you find that your songs typically touch people as much as they touch you?

Doug: Wow…. that is a cool question. My honest answer is; I hope so. I know it does for some as I’ve heard it and have had some come to me after a performance with tears in their eyes thanking me for a
particular song that meant a lot to them. I love hearing stories of why and how it connected with them.

Isaac: When you are in songwriting mode, who are you thinking about when gathering your thoughts for your lyrics?

Doug: Totally depends on the song. Usually I’m thinking of myself and my experiences. As I write down the words I ask myself, is this a story I’d like to hear, does it sound believable, is it something that the masses will related to.

Isaac: How prolific are you with respect to your songwriting skills? Do you believe it is a meticulous process to create your lyrics or do the lyrics flow naturally?

Doug: My skills are really developing. I’d say I’m pretty novice compared to some and way advanced compared to others. I’ve been blessed here in Nashville to have had writing sessions with some who have had some great cuts and as a result I’ve learned a lot very quickly. For me at this point, it is still a meticulous process, but it is getting easier.

Isaac: What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful in this music business? How do you promote your music and shows?

Doug: Having a thick skin I think is one of the most important things you can have outside of talent. As you start off, you will hear “no thanks” hundreds of times before you get that first “Sure we’d love to have ya.” You have to be able to dust yourself off and keep pressing ahead. Stick with it and before long those “no’s” will turn to more and more “yes’s.”

For promoting shows, I use my webpage, Facebook, fliers, email and most important, personal invites. If available, I also use radio interviews to invite folks out and let them get a taste of what they can expect.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one of today’s hottest artists or group, who would it be and why?

Doug: My dream collaboration/duet is with Jennifer Nettles. She is incredibly talented and as many times as I’ve seen her perform with others she is always able to bring out the very best from them.
Besides that, I simply think she’s AWESOME!

Isaac: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?

Doug: I’m a huge Ronnie Dunn fan, Vince Gill, the aforementioned Jennifer Nettles of course George Strait and Toby Kieth. Groups, I like Little Big Town and Sugarland. CD’s one of my absolute favorites is Vince Gill’s “The Key.”

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Doug: There are really a lot of them. Vince Gill, George Strait, Ronnie Dunn, Reba, Dolly, Alan Jackson….. all really for the same reason, their staying power. They all also have an incredible work ethic and I think it is because of that they have been so successful throughout their careers.

Isaac: The Internet plays an integral role with artists getting their music out to the masses. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Doug: Sure do, www.dougbriney.com fans will find current upcoming shows, a store for downloads and other cool stuff as well as personal information about me and links to all my other social media pages.

Isaac: At the end of the day, are you happy with where you are at professionally?

Doug: Right now, I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved at this point, but am I satisfied, not at all. I have several goals and dreams that I haven’t even begun to be finished with yet. Stick with me!

Isaac: Who would you like to dedicate this interview to and why?

Doug: I’d like to dedicate it to our men and women who serve our country in the military. Why, because I hope that I can be an encouragement to them, you are loved and appreciated. Thank you so much for your service!

326 total views, 2 views today

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