Chase Lifted

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Canadian Hip-Hop Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Record Producer, Chase Lifted
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
Sonicbids Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Chase Lifted
Photo Credit: “Laugh” by Danielle Thompson for NXDYStudio

It is our pleasure to present to our online readers an interview featuring Canadian Hip-Hop Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Record Producer Chase Lifted. The magic behind his music comes from the passion he yields when he is making music that his loves. Lifted has definitely crafted a unique sound that certainly separates him from other Hip-Hop Artists in the music industry. Are you ready to learn more about this young and gifted entertainer? Here is his full story in this fun-filled spotlight. Enjoy!

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I have a chance to review your press kit, and I am must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Chase: Ever since I started making music people told me my sound was different. I think I get a kick out of standing out in sometimes oddball ways. I think that when you do what feels right to you first and then present it to the world, it will always be unique, but it starts with knowing yourself. Specific to the sound, I love unusual instrumentals like old school drum loops over new wave synths or rhyming on a Disclosure beat like I did not too long ago. I just try to hit ‘em with something new and say unexpected things.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

Chase: I’m naturally drawn to music. Music is a place where I feel at home. It’s where I’m most creative and I love the concept of a lifestyle driven by inspiration and art. I want to live an ever-changing experience.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

Chase: It’s always been a huge part of my life. It’s quite literally my life’s soundtrack. When I hear a certain song, it can take me back to the feelings I felt years and years ago as if I was actually that younger version of myself. On top of that, I can’t think straight in silence. I love connecting with a beat as a listener and as a creator.

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Chase Lifted
Photo Credit: “The Calm” by Danielle Thompson for NXDYStudio

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

Chase: Performing live is a completely different experience from recording sessions. You get instantaneous feedback for every move you make or don’t make. It helps me grow by seeing and hearing the reactions I get from certain lines. Then I can take that back to the studio and accentuate certain parts that the crowd liked. More than growing as an artist it helps me grow as a person. I’m free up there.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Chase: My dad told me if I make a mistake just keep going! I’m there to entertain and put on a show so what’s the use of tripping on a mistake…pun intended.

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

Chase: I have fleeting moments of nervousness before a performance. It’s important for me to tell myself that I’m going to be great up there. Essentially I just need to get out of my head and the best way to do that is to be around people, fun people. Especially my close friends and fam. That way we end up talking about random stuff and the time passes without even noticing.

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?

Chase: I never force lyrics. I get writer’s block when I’m stressed or if I’m depressed about something. If that’s the case, then I just do something else. Most times I’m good and if I hear the right beat that I feel from the inside out, I’m golden.

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Chase Lifted
Photo Credit: “Zen” by Danielle Thompson for NXDYStudio

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

Chase: Is this the part where I’m supposed to name drop lol? Naw I’m playing but uuummm, most recently Bizzy Crook told me to take my time with the music and make something real and everything else will fall into place. I live by that because some of my best songs have come after rewriting it a bunch of times. In the booth too, it’s important not to compromise and keep going ‘til you get that “money” take.

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

Chase: If you love creating or playing music, then try it out. Couldn’t hurt. See the reception you get, work on your craft and the deeper you get the easier it will be to realize if this is really what you want to do. But at some point, better sooner than later you have to decide if this is it for you.

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

Chase: I love that there’s so many genres and sub genres of music. It’s creating a generation of crossover fans. Most people I come across these days listen to just about everything. I think that allows for more experimentation and helps the new sounds I come up with more acceptable. That’s my thing. If you put me in a room with any combination of Hip Hop artists I want my sound to stand out in the midst of flamboyant, egocentric rappers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that it’s just not me. I talk about topics everyone can relate to but with a unique perspective. I make sure that I always show my vulnerabilities along with my triumphs, because I’m human.

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

Chase: Music for me is like a pulse. It’s a feeling. I can really only enjoy songs that fit the mood I’m in at the time. That’s why I listen to so many genres, mostly Hip-Hop, Electronic and Indie Rock. It helps me tune the world out when I need that time to myself. And it bring us together whether it’s at a concert or a house party and everyone is singing in unison. I love that.

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

Chase: Because we’re all born instruments. Open your mouth and make a random noise, that can very well be the next hot Big Sean ad lib or Timbaland sample.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Chase: The way the Internet is these days it gives people more access to information right, so it changed the way people consume music and in turn changed the way the music industry functions. Most people will support their favourite artists in some way or another whether it’s buying music, tickets, merch or whatever it is but at the end of the day people will do what they want. Can’t force anything.

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

Chase: I’ve had some hits and some misses like any creative. I’ve released about a dozen songs so I’m still growing and but my newer songs, some of which are unreleased, are really focused on fitting the right emotion. I’ve found out which ones touch people the most by performing them and feeling the crowd reactions.

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

Chase: That depends on what the song is about or where the beat tells me to go. A lot of the time I’m a telling story based on specific girl that I was involved with on some level…who always goes unnamed. Wouldn’t call anyone out like that. Sometimes it’s about a wild party night I had and I’ll draw on the experiences I had with those friends. Or it could be based on a memorable part of a conversation I had with someone.

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?

Chase: I’m a way better songwriter than I am freestyler. I’m mainly a songwriter. I could be walking down the street with a wandering mind, or maybe in the shower and a random line will pop into my head. From there, I build on it and keep the rhyme pattern going. I try to think of as many bars as I can before I stop and write it down in my phone because that kills the natural creative flow.

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

Chase: I think you have to be obsessed to really make it. And you have to be willing to put in the hours. No sleep.

I promote on all the social media platforms, facebook, twitter, instagram, soundcloud all that good stuff. Also with branded merch and word of mouth. I think the best promo comes from other people, not the artist themselves.

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

Chase: Kid Cudi hands down. It’s one of my biggest goals to do a song with him. He’s my favourite artist. I just connected with him from the first time I heard his music. He’s one of those talented artists that are so unique because he’s being himself. I don’t know what else to say I mean, he’s evolved so much since he started. The sign of a true artist.

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

Chase: Other than Cudi, I love Childish Gambino, Chance The Rapper, Portishead, Outkast, Crystal Castles out of Toronto, N.E.R.D, Wu-Tang, The Pharcyde, Kanye, Drake, Disclosure. There’s so many to name but those are some of my favourites.

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Chase: Stevie Wonder. He’s exemplifies greatness with no excuses.

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?

Chase: Yeah you can find me at chaselifted.com. I have my latest music of course. I post photos of people that I come across with a lot of swag. I try to show the culture of Toronto.

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

Chase: I’m cool with it but I’m not satisfied. I want to get to the point when I can live off touring and recording.

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

Chase: Matt Groening, because I’m going to watch Futurama on Netflix after this.

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Radio Drive featuring Kevin Gullickson

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Alternative Pop/Rock Band, Radio Drive Featuring Kevin Gullickson
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Radio Drive featuring Kevin Gullickson
Photo Credit: Joanna Neitzell

Alternative Pop/Rock Singer/Songwriter Kevin Gullickson has created a masterful sound that highlights the contemporary positive energy his music represents. He has creatively formed the one man band known as Radio Drive which showcases all of Gullickson’s music under one umbrella. Gullickson spoke to our online publication recently about his music, his musical influences, and other fun facts in this super stellar spotlight. Here is what formulated 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:

Kevin: Positive-energy, contemporary, Alternative Rock.

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

Kevin: By far the Beatles and Stones were my first and biggest musical influence. In addition would be, Led Zeppelin, U2 and more recently ColdPlay. Those are the biggest and main influences. I tend to favor the British sounds. Along the way I’ve listened to a wide variety of music, all sorts of different styles.

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

Kevin: Yes, my latest single “A Taste of Heaven”.

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?

Kevin: I’ve been listening to lots of indie artists on Reverb Nation. I’m amazed at so much amazing music to be heard there. As for major label artists, among other songs I listened to this last week were Goyte’s “Somebody that I used to know” and Lorde’s “Royals”. I love the simplicity in those songs. They’re so real and authentic. I love it when an artist comes up with something so totally new and different.

Along those lines of real and authentic music, I was also listening to a band I’ve loved for years, “Yes”. I hadn’t listened to them for years and decided to watch some of their live concerts on YouTube. I renewed my appreciation for their sound and music. They were, and still are, some amazing 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?

Kevin: I draw my inspiration from quite a few places, mainly relationships and watching people in their relationships, sometimes made up, sometimes real. For example, my song “A Taste of Heaven” was about the time in New York City when I first moved there and shortly after met my wife. It was a simple and care free time for me, so many new things going on.

Another song “Two Simple Words” is about a father and daughter that I know who haven’t talked to each other for 4 years, a very sad situation that could be easily changed by each of them saying two simple words: I’m sorry. And of course, I have my share of love songs, songs about devotion, commitment to each other, belief if one’s self, loving life, and so much more.

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Radio Drive featuring Kevin Gullickson
Photo Credit: Matt Nali

I try to keep my songs in a more positive vein. It’s great when people write about problems, but I like to take it a step further and offer a solution from a new perspective. I like to build people up and make them feel great.

Sometimes my songs are simply based off a riff. I’ll sit down to the guitar or piano and start out on something, then work a song around that.

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

Kevin: That would be Paul McCartney. That would be the ultimate for me.

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

Kevin: Being with family and friends, eating good food, watching movies, enjoying ourselves. I love going to the beach, camping, getting out into nature. My family and I just got back from a weekend camping in a state park here in Minnesota. We had a great time.

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

Kevin: That’s a good question that got me thinking. I could be silly and answer scientifically: Food, oxygen, water….(I like to joke around). But seriously, I tried to come up with specific things, but could only come up with categories. So here goes: 1. My wife Kimberly and my two children, 2. My instruments – guitar & keyboard, 3. Writing music and connecting with people through my music. 4. Good books, movies and music, 5. My computer and the Internet.

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?

Kevin: The bands I’ve been in have been a pretty decent bunch and never really got into trouble. Although, there was a time when I was in a band called “Speed Limit” and we were traveling in Iowa for a gig. We noticed their speed limit signs were huge, way bigger than the ones in Minnesota. So on the way home after the gig we pulled off to the side of the road and unbolted one and took it home. We used that as a big back drop for the band from then on when we played (except when we played gigs in Iowa…lol…)

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

Kevin: No, I wouldn’t. Although, oddly enough, my band name now is “Radio Drive”. I got the name from a street in Woodbury, Minnesota. That street has a real big sign “Radio Drive” that would make a nice addition to my stage show. I never realized until now how I seem to derive band names from road signs.

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

Kevin: If I was not involved in music I would love to be either an author or making movies. Whatever I do needs to be in a creative field.

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

Kevin: Love, respect and honor. Show it to others and they will love, respect and honor you right back. Even if they don’t, still show it to them.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Kevin: I will be able to do whatever is on my heart. I will have the financial resources, the network connections and team to accomplish all my goals and to help others do the same.

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

Kevin: I’ve had some great times playing in New York City, Hollywood, Minneapolis and met a lot of great people along the way and some incredible times. Although the one night that stands out is after a gig in Rochester, MN when someone came up to me and said that my music had such an impact on them that they decided not to end their life by suicide. That very day they had planned to end their life, but after my concert they decided not to. My music gave them hope to live. Something like that is priceless and I will never forget that.

Facebook Official Website:
https://www.facebook.com/RadioDrive

Official Website:
http://www.radio-drive.com/

227 total views, 2 views today

Melanie Dewey

 
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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie Country/Pop Singer/Songwriter, Melanie Dewey
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

 photo FrontAlbumArt-BetweenTheLines2megabytes_zps29163e6c.jpg Album Art Photo Credit: Peter Pascucci: Graphic Designer and Photographer

Indie Country/Pop Singer/Songwriter Melanie Dewey is a delightful bundle of musical joy who brings to her fan a fun, funky, sexy, edgy, and passionate feel to her music. It is her beautiful lyrics and angelic voice that certainly are the added points to why this online publication loves her music. When it comes to music that touches the heart and soul, Melanie Dewey’s music certainly fits this bill. In this ultra-cool spotlight with our publication, Dewey shares her passion for why she feels she was meant to be a musician. Here is her fantastic story.

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I have a chance to review your press kit, and I am must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Melanie: Thank you Isaac! What a great first question. I think one thing that sets me apart from other artists is my diverse musical background that has shaped me into the artist I am today. Starting with the pop punk and rock music of middle school, to the jam bands, classic rock and electronica music of high school, to being exposed to country and pop music in college, I have really found inspiration from all over the musical map. I do think I’ve roped elements in from each of my favorite genres over the years, to ultimately create a new, unique sound. On my debut album “Between The Lines” I have everything from a blues ballad, to a ukulele folk song, to several upbeat synth-pop country songs. However, I have often received the compliment that though my music is diverse, I still have a style and sound that ties every song together.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

Melanie: Some of my inspiration has stemmed from other people believing in me; my fans and loyal supporters, and also my wonderful parents. I also get inspiration from my eclectic handful of idols: Hunter Hayes, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, and jam band Papadosio. However, the biggest thing that inspires me, is being surrounded by talented musicians. I was in bands all throughout high school, writing songs with some extremely talented kids. I remember a specific moment in my senior year, when I was sitting in our rehearsal space with my band at the time, and I had to make a decision about which college to go to by the next day. I had applied to be an opera major at most colleges because that is what my vocal training was in, and I was deciding which opera program to join. That particular rehearsal changed everything. We sat down and wrote a beautiful song called “Sweet Melting Wonder” and I remember thinking “This is what I was born to do! Not sing opera!” So, I called my parents and told them I wanted to go to the University of Miami because I knew at least if I went there, I would have the option to switch into songwriting. I switched into the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music minor almost as soon as I got there, and ever since, teachers, peers, fellow songwriters, band mates, and other people that I have met and played with have continued to give me the fire to fuel my passion and dream.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

Melanie: Quite frankly, writing and listening to music are both deeply spiritual experiences. Music is important to me because without it, I wouldn’t understand half the emotions I have pent up inside of me. I probably would bottle them all up, and not be able to make sense of them. Music combines words and thoughts or musical ideas with melodies that speak to the soul, and often brings you closer to understanding the mysteries of your mind. Mostly though, I have found that as a songwriter, I am able to work through these mysteries on my own and learn how to encase my complicated thoughts into simple concepts. One song at a time, I am turning confusion, pain, and any other negative emotions into something beautiful.

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

Melanie: Performing is an absolutely necessary part of being an artist. Forcing yourself to go onstage, face your fears and play through them is what ultimately makes you feel confident and gives you the drive needed in such a critical and harsh field. There have been times when I’m onstage, in the middle of the song, and my anxiety will creep in and I’ll start having a panic attack on stage. But I never stop, I keep going, and once I get through it I feel victorious on the other end.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Melanie: If I make a mistake lyrically, often I’ll just do my best to fix it and act as if it didn’t even happen. If I make a mistake musically, I’ll do the same. However, if I mess up SO badly that I need to apologize, I’ll usually just say something funny in passing. I might sing “I’m so sorry, I forgot the words to this verse, la la la” to the melody of the song, or I’ll lightheartedly laugh and make up for it. I have learned that if ever you make a mistake, the correction absolutely needs to be light hearted or else people get distracted from you bringing negative energy into your performance.

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

Melanie: I always get butterflies and anxiety before a performance or a competition. If you think about it, stage fright is just irrational fear for the unpredictable future. I always try to bring myself back to the moment by reminding myself to take it second by second, and that I am fine right now, and that’s all I can control. We can’t predict what will happen on stage. All we can do is do our best, take deep breaths, and take the performance moment by moment.

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?

Melanie: Writer’s block can be extremely challenging. I have gone through periods of time, as long as an entire semester where my writer’s block was so severe, I maybe wrote one satisfactory song. In these situations I’ve learned, the best thing to do is just keep writing. Sometimes you have to move on and try writing a different song if you’re not quite feeling the other one. You can always come back to it when you’re in a different mindset. I’ve successfully finished several songs that way. My song “How To Be A Woman” that ended up on my debut album is an example of a song that I started, got writers block during the process, and then finished about a half a year later. In a collaboration situation, usually it’s harder to have writers block, because you have someone else to bounce ideas off of. You aren’t completely alone staring at a blank sheet of paper trying to battle your own mind.

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

Melanie: I remember sitting down with Sarah McLachlan’s tour manager, who I met through a mutual family friend. He told me that if I want to be successful, I need to play as many shows as I can to get my name out there. That is a piece of advice I’ve never forgotten. I’ve gotten tons of advice here and there from my mentors at school, but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you need to have something that visually sets you apart from others. Believe it or not, music, can be quite a visual business. You need to have a look that goes aesthetically with your sound. It’s sort of strange to think about it, but every successful artist has enticing visuals as well as great music.

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

Melanie: I would say… Life is short, so live it singing! Really though, life is too short to not at least try to pursue a dream if you think you have what it takes. This world is a world of systems, and going outside of the system can create insecurity in so many ways. However, most of the greatest, influential people in this world have done just that and thrived. My biggest advice? Work your tail off. If you love every minute of the grind, then being a full on artist is a great career for you. If you can’t handle every aspect all at once, then figure out which part of the industry compels you the most and focus only on that. The average amount of work I do every day runs about 6-8 hours. This breaks down into tasks like practicing my instrument, honing my songwriting craft, working on press releases, sending e-mails to various people, routing tours, contacting radio, etc. So, if all of this ends up being too much, then you can always step back, and choose an area in the industry to focus on.

 photo shedproofcopy2_zpsf4cd2f91.jpg Melanie Dewey Photo Credit: Marnie Carter

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

Melanie: I describe my music as “lyrically driven country with a dash of alternative pop and blues rock.” In the country realm, there isn’t a lot of genre mashing happening just yet, which I think would help me stand out. By combining blues with synth pop, and country storytelling, I aim to give listeners a fresh take on country music. I think that country music is at a place right now where new ideas and voices are just waiting to be heard and introduced to radio. With the rest of the popular music world going electronic, country is slowly but surely catching on and I think and hope that my music will fit this revolution.

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

Melanie: Music affects everything I do. This is mostly because it’s a spontaneous art form. Inspiration can come at very inconvenient moments, and as the artist, you have to roll with it. I have written some of my favorite songs in the shower, singing the lyrics over and over until I can jump out and write them down. I’ve even been struck with inspiration while driving, and had to pull out my phone and voice record my thoughts. Sometimes I’ll wake up from a deep sleep to voice record or write down an idea! But, the nature of being a musician is out of the norm, and can affect relationships, as people may think I’m being inconsiderate to them when inspiration hits. For example, my mom will be humming a song right when a great melody comes into my head, and I have to tell her “I’m sorry, I need to concentrate mom! I’m trying to write down this idea!” It’s hard for other people to grasp the need to act on inspiration right in the moment, especially in the fast-paced, highly scheduled, business-oriented world we live in. It can certainly make life exciting and spontaneous though.

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

Melanie: I think that if people didn’t have music in their lives they will have a hard time coping through rough patches. Music, along with art in general, is the one thing that can make life seem beautiful even in the hardest hours. Without it, we would be a big bunch of sad confused people.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Melanie: I think that sometimes, in the long run, it’s not terribly bad for the artist if it ultimately gets them exposure, but it also can be extremely crippling to young artists, because they end up not being able to support themselves and having to ultimately give up their dream. A lot of artists WANT to give their music away for free, which is their choice and in those cases, it’s fine to download it. However, people tend to have a stigma nowadays that music should be free, and they forget that, good music and production has taken countless hours of hard work to get to that point. That’s hours and hours of hard work that we musicians have sacrificed away from working a normal job, just so we can better ourselves and give back to the community with our art. I personally have a spotify premium account, and if I find an independent artist that I really like, I will buy their album on iTunes and support them. Because, the truth is, my ten dollars is about 1/1000th of the money they probably spent to make their album.

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

Melanie: I have found that the same songs that touch me the most when I am writing them, are often the ones that speak to other people the most as well. Every time I have played my song “Little Bit” live, I have brought people to tears. That is the only song of mine that gets me choked up during a performance. So in conclusion, I do think that there is a certain feeling one gets when they write a good song and they just know that it is going to make a big statement. I have always known in my gut when I have written a “hit,” and so far, the audience has always responded as I have predicted.

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

Melanie: I know this may sound strange, but I always start with myself. All of my songs are a reflection of how I feel about certain situations. So, I try to ask myself first and foremost, how I truly feel about a topic before I write about it. Mostly I’m inspired by, and write about “love,” whether it is an ex-boyfriend, a current love interest or any of the other “sub-topics” that fall under the love umbrella. But other times I’ll write stories about my family, or things that happened to me. On my debut album, I have songs about four different guys, a song about my family history, but the rest of the songs are about my feelings about a topic, and were brought about by self-reflection. Upon sitting down at the drawing board in any situation, I always take a minute to ask myself what the emotion I’m feeling is. If it’s angry, sad, happy, or whatever the occasion, I’ll find a key to match that emotion on the piano, and then I’ll start writing.

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?

Melanie: I think that the best songs, without a doubt, always come to you naturally and are often written in just fifteen minutes. They are usually a result of an emotional flow that happens out of pure inspiration, and this process is unparalleled by the other, more meticulous process. There is no such thing as a perfect first try though, and even these songs have to be polished. Usually, when I start with a concept and start crafting lyrics around that concept, is when it takes more time. This is the way people often do things in co-writes. Either way, there are lots of approaches to writing songs and I personally don’t think that any one way is better than the next. Without the various approaches there would be no diversity in the art form!

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

Melanie: Without a doubt the most important thing to being successful in the music business is being able to communicate in a way that makes people want to help you and listen to your music. Not only onstage, but also offstage. Onstage, you want to connect to people in a way that they have not been touched before. So much so, that they want to come back and see you again, or tell others to see you. Offstage, you want to make sure when you are promoting your music to not be too pushy but to make your stuff extremely available to see. I personally message every single facebook friend I have when I am putting out something new, because I want them to know that I value their opinion on a personal level. The same goes for when I have a show. I will personally invite everybody in the area, so they know that I want them there. Everybody has different ways of connecting with people, but regardless, it’s without a doubt the key to success.

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

Melanie: That’s a really hard question! There are a lot of people that come to mind, but the first is Hunter Hayes. I think he’s really doing a great job of redefining country music and is such an unbelievably talented writer and musician. I would also love to do a rap/pop collaboration with Twenty One Pilots or Macklemore and Ryan Lewis because I think they’re both very brilliant production teams in the alternative/indie pop realm. Finally, just to satisfy the “tween” in me, I would kill to write a song with Bert McCracken of “The Used,” as his songwriting style is one of my favorites of all time, and I thoroughly enjoy everything he puts out. Of course, if I were just being commandeered for a duet, and not so much for writing, I would love to work with Miley Cyrus. I admire every single one of these artists because they’re all doing groundbreaking things in every genre. They aren’t succumbing and becoming something that other people in the industry want them to be, and for that I have endless respect for them.

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

Melanie: Strangely enough, when people ask me who my all-time favorite artist is, I always say Papadosio. They are an electronic jam band, and though my music would suggest otherwise, they are my biggest inspiration. I would die happy if I could write a masterpiece similar to something that they have composed. In my eyes, they are musical geniuses comparative to a modern day Pink Floyd. They have mastered the art of the “build up,” and to me, there is nothing better than a perfectly structured song, with perfect synth choices, and a good climax! Aside from them, in the same jam band genre, I love Phish, The Disco Biscuits, Jimkata, OTT, and Zoogma. Jam bands/djs in this genre serve a very different purpose for me than any other kind of music because they bring me to a spiritually fulfilling place. When I want a quick emotional fix, I’ll turn to my pop goddesses and country royalty. In country music, I love Hunter Hayes, Edens Edge, and The Band Perry. In modern pop I love Ellie Goulding, Miley Cyrus, and Zedd. To tie it all together, some of my favorite artists of all time are Fleetwood Mac, Ben Folds, Vanessa Carlton, Coheed and Cambria, Pink Floyd, The Used, and Bob Dylan.
To list my favorite albums is hard. I chose these because they, top to bottom are flawless in my eyes, and they have remained so for years. My top ten albums as of right now are:
1.) Phish- Hoist
2.) Papadosio- TETIOS / Observations (TIED for second place!)
3.) Eddie Vedder- Into The Wild Soundtrack
4.) Gorillaz- Plastic Beach
5.) Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
6.) Vanessa Carlton – Harmonium
7.) The Used – In Love And Death
8.) Eden’s Edge – Edens Edge
9.) Barenaked Ladies – Maroon
10.) OTT- Skylon

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Melanie: As I’ve probably made clear in previous questions, I have a very large spectrum of musicians that I respect. To name a few: Papadosio’s entire lineup for coming together to write and form a powerhouse band; Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham for having such perfectly diverse songwriting styles, for putting them together to form Fleetwood Mac, AND for sticking together despite band drama; Ben Folds for his perfectly crafted lyrics; Vanessa Carlton for sticking with music even after losing a record deal, and continuing to thrive; Hunter Hayes for being such a powerful voice to the youth and standing up for bullying. Mostly though, I have a lot of admiration for pop artists, such as Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus. People have so many bad things to say about pop artists for “not being talented” or for being too extravagant. But in reality, these chicks have more endurance, heart and strength than almost anyone else in the world. Anyone who can get on a stage in front of thousands of people every night, be okay with not having a home for months on end, and can still sing, deserves a round of applause. I love these women for being who they are, AND taking backlash from the paparazzi for it. They are very smart women, who know exactly what they’re doing, and are doing it better than anyone else!

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?

Melanie: As of right now, I’m just a few short weeks away from launching my website! On my website, you will find links to every single social media account I have, which will allow you to be connected to me in any and every way. You will also find tour dates, merchandise, a blog, photo and video galleries, a biography, and more! The website will be: www.MelanieDewey.com. Until then, you can keep up with me on facebook at: www.facebook.com/melaniedeweymusic.

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

Melanie: Yes! I have a full website, a music video, a full album out, merchandise on the way, a summer tour lined up, and more! I’m building my bio one day at a time, and I am confident that I’ll only grow from here. I try to work hard enough each day, that at the end of the day I know I couldn’t have done anything differently, and I’m satisfied with the large amount of work I’ve done. However, I always know that there’s so much more to be done in the future. It’s really a never-ending grind, but I’m content knowing I’m doing everything I can to be the best I can be.

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

Melanie: I would like to dedicate this interview, along with everything else, to my two awesome parents, who have stood by me for 22 long years and have supported me in everything I do. They surprised me with a piano when I was just 7 years old, and since then, they’ve supported every single show, every single campaign, and every other musical thing I’ve done. They’re my reason for being able to do what I love and for that I couldn’t be more grateful! Thanks mom and dad!

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The Running Chickens

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie Band, The Running Chickens
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Stevolaz & Budo are The Running Chickens

Great music comes from all over the globe, and this next band certainly proves this with their incredible sound. We are delighted to present the music of The Running Chickens. The talented duo, Stefano Dentone (Voice, Acoustic & Bass Guitars) and Marcello Dondero (Acoustic, Electric, Slide Guitars, Dobro & Mandolin) fit perfectly as the two musicians create a special blend of feel good music. We spoke to Dentone and Dondero recently about the band’s music and other fun facts that will make you an instant fan. Here is what developed from our marvelous 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:

The Running Chickens: ROCK, ROOTS, BLUESY, DREAMY, ATMOSPHERIC.

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

BUDO: The Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd, Mad Season.

STEVOLAZ: Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band…

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

The Running Chickens: We don’t have a single favorite song to play… mostly it depends on our mood… sometimes it is in our song; sometimes it is one of the other artists.

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?

The Running Chickens: At this time we’re listening Matt Corby, Jeff Aug, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Grayson Capps… but always we follow with interest the most famous Steven Wilson, Moe, Phish, Umphrey’s Mc Gees, North Mississppi Allstars, Jonathan Wilson… and superstars like Ryan Adams, Derek Trucks, Gov’t Mule or Ray LaMontagne.

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?

The Running Chickens: Inspiration is a strange thing and it depends by many factors: joy, anger, fear, disappointment, feelings, sadness… Everything could be an inspiration for the creative first step!
There is a moment when we combine our ideas… different perspectives come together in one… in that time we have “the promise” of a new song it’s a draft, it is not yet a finished drawing. Perhaps this is the most exciting moment, because we can give free hand to our imagination.

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

BUDO: Phish, Gov’t Mule.

STEVOLAZ: Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Neil Young.

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The Running Chickens Live @ Woodnight Rock Festival 2013

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

The Running Chickens: When we don’t play guitars, we are very normal people :-)… so we love running or go to the beach… we love drinking a good wine or a good beer… spending time with our women or friends… watching old movies on TV… very ordinary things!

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

The Running Chickens: Our women, our dogs, our guitars, our beers (or wine), the sun.

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?

The Running Chickens: Once we played in a very hot venue. The temperature was so high that our brains had gone haywire!!! We played our songs as always, but with strange arrangements… we were in a trance because the hot, so we improvised… almost like a jam session! At the end of the show, the audience was excited for the new things that we proposed!!!

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

The Running Chickens: Almost everything not really all that we have done. We made our share of mistakes.

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

The Running Chickens: Actually, we are the indies… we aren’t professional musicians we’d like to be able to live with the music! In any form, but with the music.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
The Running Chickens: Being able to do it by yourself.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

BUDO: teaching the guitar to my son.

STEVOLAZ: I have no expectations… I learned to live day by day.

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

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The Chickens playing live during 2013/2014 tour

BUDO: A few years ago, at the end of a show, I was approached by a very old man… He looked at me in the eyes and told me with pride: ”… you must not be afraid to play! You are the number one!!!”. I never knew who he was, but I’ll never forget him!

STEVOLAZ: Once we were playing outdoors and the police came to stop the concert… The crowd began to shout and protesting a few minutes later the police gone away and we start playing a crazy rock and roll stuff! It was exciting!!!

Photos used in this interview provided by The Running Chickens

Official Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Running-Chickens/365470056902431

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Laurelle

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie R&B, Pop/Hip-Hop Performer, Laurelle
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA

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Laurelle
Photo Provided by Laurelle

We are pleased to introduce to our readers of this online publication the sensational sound of R&B/Pop/Hip-Hop Performer LyndsiLaurelle” Hicks. Coming from a family background Laurelle is taking music to a bold new era. She does not shy away from pushing the envelope when it comes to making a statement with her music. In this recent spotlight with Laurelle, she reveals the many sides of who she is. 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:

Laurelle: Unique, futuristic, fun, dynamic, and self-expression.

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

Laurelle: I would definitely have to say Mariah Carey. The range of her voice is out of this world, and she has always managed to re-define herself through the years, and make amazing music that makes you feel good, and fun to sing along too. lol

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

Laurelle: I really love my new song All The Way because it is such a different, but yet fun direction than all the others. This song combines a lot of different elements of music from R&B, to pop, and hip-hop. But one of my all time favorites would be Time. It’s a rejoice song that speaks about triumphing, and overcoming trials in your life. Something I feel everyone experiences one time or another.

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?

Laurelle: So I really love all types of music, and I am kind of all over the map when it comes to music, but one band I am really loving right now is majic. They have a new song out that is called rude, which has an island feel, but with a modern twist. I also am feeling Kendrick Lamar, but that’s not to exclude all the greats. I also have to show love to Iggy Azela, and a new breakout artist Sam Smith. His voice is gorgeous. And you can never go wrong with Beyonce, Rihanna, Jlo, and many other of the mainstream artist out there.

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?

Laurelle: I draw inspiration from my own personal experiences and things that people might experience on a day to day basis. I also sometimes write based on my current mood. It’s a great way for me to get out what I feel in an expressive way, and in a way I feel that comes across more transparent to the people. My favorite part about the process is receiving the tracks from my producer, and then listening and interpreting the sounds I hear.

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

Laurelle: Right now I would definitely have to say Beyonce. I mean the way she performs is electrifying. I feel like she would push you to put every ounce of your being into the show, and push you to your limits. That’s what being a great performer is all about.

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

Laurelle: I love spending time with my family and friends. Without the support from them, I don’t think I would be as far as I am now. So every chance I get I love to just be goofy and silly with them.

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

Laurelle: Oh my! lol That’s hard. lol. So 1. I can’t live without sweets. lol I am a sweets fanatic. 2. getting my eyebrows done lol. I sear I have the bushiest eyebrows, so Im constantly getting them done lol. 3. Going to the movies. I actually have a movie go-er card, and am constantly getting free stuff. 4. having retail therapy. lol. I think every girl can relate. lol 5. going out and exploring new and exciting things.

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?

Laurelle: You know thankfully I haven’t had any real run in’s with trouble yet. lol. but I guess if I had to say the only real problem was my music stopping mid way. lol

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

Lorelei: You know, honestly no. I have been through a lot to get to where I am at now in my life, and I am thankful for all the things that have happened good, and bad. I think these things have helped shape me into the person I am now with my music and my personal. Life is about making mistakes, so you should never regret anything because what came to pass was what was suppose to happen. Like my mom always says no use crying over spilled milk.

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Laurelle
Photo Provided by Laurelle

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

Laurelle: I am a talker and have no problem talking someone’s ear off. Lol, I have always dreamed of working in E entertainment as an entertainment journalist/broadcaster. And then in hopes to one day own my own channel.

Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Laurelle: I have quite a few but one that I love from my dad is to never expect things, or people act a certain way to towards you in life. That way you will never be disappointed, or let down when they don’t do or act in a way you feel you would. You can’t be responsible for other’s actions, but you can be responsible for your own. So always watch your actions.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Laurelle: Owning my own businesses, along with still performing, and enjoy having a family of my own.

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

Laurelle: One of the best moments I had, was after performing with a band I was once apart, a young teenage girl came up to me and told me how much she loved my sound, and then advice about what to do as far as direction, and where to start in her career. She then told me how nervous she was to sing because of what people may say, but she then proceeded to sing for me. That honestly was one of the best feelings to know I touched her life.

Facebook Official Page:
https://www.facebook.com/lyndsi.hicks.9

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Blee

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie Hip-Hop/Reggae Artist, Blee
Early Fall (August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Blee
Photo Provided by Blee

It’s our pleasure to present to our online readers a soulful fusion of Hip-Hop, Reggae, and Dance Genre with the fantastic music of Indie Hip-Hop/Reggae Artist, Blee. It is this innovated combination of different genres that has resonated something within us that we cannot get enough of listening to Blee’s music. The young, gifted, and talented artist recently spoke to us about his music and other great things we are proud to present in this newest spotlight. Here is what formulated from our wonderful online meeting.

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:

Blee: Fusion of Hip Hop, Reggae & Dance music!

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

Blee: Bob Marley, 2Pac, Buju Banton

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

Blee: Yes, there is a song from Chapter 3 that I can’t get enough of called ‘What Year Is This?’

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?

Blee: Right now my playlist is completely random with songs from the likes of John Denver to The Eagles to DMX. In terms of Hip Hop right now, though, listening to a lot of Brother Ali and Talib Kweli. Reggae is also on daily rotation in my headphones as well. Would definitely recommend checking out Chronixx and Proteje who are currently spearheading a revival in Roots Reggae and making some great music in the process.

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?

Blee: My process writing process is normally guided by the instrumental.  It’s very rare that I would write lyrics first and then try to build an instrument around it. I love it when I am dreaming of a song and try to remember it when I wake up. I normally have my phone nearby, ready to record a voice note of the melody, but so many songs have been lost in that gap between dream and consciousness…. still the magic continues.

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

Blee: It would have to be Nas and Damien Marley.

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

Blee: On the rare occasions that I find myself with spare time, I like watching documentaries, particularly anything that looks at how we can improve as a civilisation and a society. Love ‘The Zeitgeist Movement’ series and do what I can to promote and push those idealogies forward. We should be doing a lot better as an intelligent species in terms of wealth distribution and quality of living standards for all people. I also enjoy a bit of gaming when I get the chance….more into RPGs like the Final Fantasy series.

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

Blee:
Human interaction
A home cooked meal
Pen and paper
Privacy
Freedom

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Blee
Photo Provided by Blee

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?

Blee: Well, when I’m in a new city, I like to take a solo tour to take in the environment at my own pace. There was this one time, I won’t mention where I was, that I was just walking and talking with this guy who I assume thought I could supply a particular type of product. Anyway, somehow we ended up in a fairly abandoned area where there were some of his associates obviously waiting to be supplied as well. When I revealed that he made the wrong assumption, things got a little tense but I managed to muscle myself out of there.

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

Blee: Well to be honest, I still do tend to do my little solo tour of new cities I visit, but I guess I’m just more careful about who I talk to.

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

Blee: Well, I do have a 9 to 5 that I’m holding down at the moment alongside my music that helps to pay the bills, but I think if the music wasn’t in my life, I would be in the medical research field.

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

Blee: Respect Your Legacy, (which is the title of Chapter 2 of The Black Lion Chronicles), it has many interpretations, but to me it serves as a reminder that no matter what the problem you face in life, love is the only solution worth exploring.

Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….

Blee: In my lab on my own island working on some top secret experiments.

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

Blue: It would have to be once when I decided to do a random open mic session with a guitarist I was working with. We did an acoustic version of one of my songs called ‘I Love You’ which is a song dedicated to my son and after the performance this guy came up to me and shook my hand with an iron grip to show his appreciation for the song but was so overwhelmed with emotion that he ended up hugging me. It turns out the song resonated with him so much he was moved to tears. There something about seeing a grown man with a pint getting emotional that sticks with you. It’s moments like these that keep me creating.

Official Website:
http://bleebox.com/
http://www.bleeworld.com

129 total views, 3 views today

Carnival Seasons

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie Rock Band, Carnival Seasons
Summer (July/August 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Carnival Seasons
Photo Provided by Carnival Seasons

We had the great pleasure to speak via online to the Indie Rock Band Carnival Seasons about their highly energetic, super-charged, and aggressively crafted rock/metal sound that makes them stand apart from others in the Indie Music Scene. We were delighted to learn from members Nick Reese (Singer/Songwriter), Danathan Nguyen (Lead Guitar), Andrew Melancon (Rhythm Guitar), Daniel Kristoff (Bass, Drums, and Keys), and Alex Stoll (Drums and Bass) on how the band works perfectly together to blend all of their influences into a sound that is creating a nice buzz in the Indie Music Circuit. One of the best parts to the band’s music consists of Nick Reese’s amazingly strong Rock Voice that adds to the magnificent flavor of the band’s signature sound. Here in this in-depth spotlight, we get the 411 on exactly who are the Carnival Seasons.

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I have a chance to review your press kit, and I am must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Alex: It’s funny, because our music has a little twist of so many different genres and styles. A combination of Daniel’s jazz inspired bass groove, Andrew’s aggressive metal/rock influence, Danthan’s blues style influence, Nick’s versatile vocal range, and my own take on the drums, it really becomes something different, you know?

Nick: Thank you, I am glad you liked it. Our energy and edge. We hail back to the old days of rock music and I think it really shows.

Andrew: I believe that we can give a tougher side to an indie scene, which, to me, is kind of lacking in that area.

Daniel: I think that with a lot of the bands shifting towards a more electronic sound, that being centered on more of an organic rock sound does set us apart from others.

Danathan: I think we place a focus on an older rock sound that isn’t the first thing people would think of when they hear the word “indie”. At the same time, we’ve touched upon the more pop side of things.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

Alex: When I watched the 2005 Green Day Live in Milton Keynes’ show, It really got me inspired to play music. It really made me want to be in a band and play for people. Tre Cool and Travis Barker are my idols! Tre for his cool fills and Travis for his smooth speed, But recently with twenty one pilots coming into the industry, their drummer inspired me to smack the heck out of my drums, really give it all I got you know?

Nick: It all really started when I was transferred to another school in my freshman year. Everyone there played instruments, and sang. It really opened up the world of music to me, and would cause me to buy my first guitar.

Andrew: Well it started when I first got into rock and roll. I thought about how much fun it would be to play up on stage in front of thousands of people. I really was inspired by the music.

Daniel: The first time I started playing music I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do I’d rather try and find a way to do what I love than do something I regret doing.

Danathan: Being able to make music with my friends and perform in front of people has been my inspiration.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

Alex: Music is important to me, because it shows the true character I am, not as a performer, but as an actual human being. It teaches me how to express my emotions and my creativity. If I’m playing just some same old simple beat with no expression, or just standing in one place, not moving around, people aren’t going to think much of me. Music is my best way to tell and share myself with other people. What your own life was like or how personal something was to you. It helps you step out of your comfort zone and go above and beyond!

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Carnival Seasons
Photo Provided by Carnival Seasons

Nick: It’s important to me because it fuels the culture of our world. A song heard in England can bring out certain emotions, that same song heard in China will garner those same emotions. It’s the language of the world.

Andrew: It is inspiring. It is moving. I can’t think of any other art form that has connected people the same way music has. I can’t live without it.

Daniel: I think music is important to me because I can convey what I want to convey when words aren’t enough It has allowed me to connect more with the people who like the music I play.

Danathan: Music is important to me in many ways, but the most significant for me is that it speaks to me in a way nothing else can. Some things can only be expressed through music.

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

Alex: It’s helped me be more confident as a both a musician and as a person.

Andrew: Well, for starters, I’m not really nervous in front of crowds anymore. The more I play, the more comfortable I am. Also, I’ve learned to not beat myself up for little things that go wrong. I guess you can say I’ve grown more relaxed.

Daniel: I try to not draw attention to them also I never stop playing and then fix it later.

Nick: It made me come out of my shell. I used to be so afraid to be myself, always thinking that people wouldn’t like me. Once I got on stage for the first time I realized that I could truly be myself, be happy.

Danathan: It’s definitely taught me how to take more control over my instrument and to have more confidence in how I play, which is something I’m always working on.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Alex: Just shake it off and keep playing what you are playing, don’t let it throw off your entire performance as well as the rest of the group’s performance as well.

Andrew: Like I said, if it’s little, I’ll generally brush it off. But if it’s a recurring mistake, even if it’s miniscule, I’ll take a step back, work on my playing, and fix it. I generally don’t get nervous, but if I am, I’ll just try to relax. Let go of my surroundings, and focus on the performance.

Nick: I take them in stride. I can’t always be perfect, but I do my best to bring a certain quality to the performance. If I make a mistake, I can usually pick up on it before it happens, feel it coming almost. I just work around it.

Danathan: I just move on, keep playing, and not think about it… until after the shows over.

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

Alex: I do indeed. I find it normal to become nervous before I play. If you’re too cocky and over confident, you may go out too relaxed. Being too relaxed could mean you could make a lot of mistakes. You have to be focused. In order to overcome my nerves, I escape my own reality, and just focus on what I’m playing, locking in with the others surrounding me.

Andrew: I’m not really nervous in front of crowds anymore. The more I play, the more comfortable I am.

Nick: I wouldn’t say nervous and much as I’d say excited or anxious. I am incredibly impatient when I’m excited and it only fuels my fire to perform. I can’t really remedy them, I guess sort of distract myself to pass the time. A game of Tetris or something like that.

Daniel: Yes, there are times when I get nervous but I feel that my passion for what I play and a strong drive to give the fans what they want and what I think they will enjoy overcome that nervousness.

Danathan: I do get nervous on certain levels. I don’t think I’d want to continue doing this if I didn’t have the same feeling every time before hitting the stage; it’s the thrill that makes it so much fun. Playing the first song or two usually helps me overcome that.

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 collaborative situation. If you have in the past, what do you do to get over it?

Alex: You’d really have to ask Nick about that. I handle mostly the drum aspect but I do sometimes help Nick brainstorm when he gets stuck.

Andrew: That’s a question for Nick.

Daniel: Usually lyrics flow pretty naturally when I’m in the right mood.

Nick: Of course. I get it all the time, but what I usually do in that situation is just write anything. You know keep the gears turning even if it isn’t something I will actually use. I write songs every day, most of them I will never use for anything.

Danathan: I do. I like to take a break from it and come back to it later. When you leave it alone for a while, you usually return with a new mindset and ideas.

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

Alex: Really get the feel and understanding of your instrument and that it’s not just an inanimate object, but your companion. Always strive to be better then you are.

Andrew: Don’t expect anything. There are no guarantees. Don’t think that someone’s gonna have to hand you a record deal or whatever just because you’ve got an album out. You’ve gotta’ put in work. It’s tough, but if you persevere, it’s worth it.

Nick: Try to learn from those who have already done it. That’s how I got an edge above many of the other musicians around here. Knowledge is power!

Daniel: The music business is probably one of the toughest businesses to get into but with enough passion hard work and a plan you will eventually find a niche for yourself in the music business.

Danathan: I’ve never received any advice about pursuing a career in music.

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

Andrew: Don’t immediately try to pursue a career. Just have fun. If you and your band are good enough, see where it takes you. Bottom line is, if you’re not having fun at the start, you’re not gonna have fun in the end.

Alex: Have fun. Don’t let the negative things said by others impair you. Prove them wrong, also know that sometimes they are actually giving you that push or strive you need to show them who’s boss.

Nick: To be smart about it. Always understand every aspect possible, because if you don’t you will encounter situations that will leave you baffled, and scratching your head in confusion. Expect something and nothing at the same time. That way you will always feel surprised.

Daniel: I would tell them that if you plan on pursuing a music career you need to find people that you work well with in and out of music.

Danathan: Write good songs and hone your craft. Do what makes you happy.

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

Andrew: I’d say our music stands out because it’s diverse. We all come from different backgrounds, and it shows in our music. Well go from heavy hard rock to progressive rock to punk and then rap it all up with a soft/alternative jam.

Daniel: I think that there are certain genres of music that will always remain popular and I feel that the genre I play will always be relevant to the music industry.

Alex: Of course. I feel as if we are one of the very few bands in our area that has stayed relevant or have stuck together, no matter the problems we ran into. Many of the bands we’ve played with barely lasted 6 months, because they felt that it wasn’t working out for them anymore. No matter the issues we’ve faced, we managed to pull it off, keep doing what we love doing, and showed everyone that we won’t stop for anything. For us, our music isn’t just that same punk rock beat with the same 3 to 4 power chords. Each song is unique in its own way. Different tones. Different beats. Different rhythms. If you listen to our music you will notice that they have little to no similarity to each other.

Danathan: I think our type of music is definitely relevant. There are so many great rock bands out there. I think our music stands out from the rest because our songs don’t all have one particular sound and one song may be surprisingly different from another.

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

Andrew: Music is always around me. I’m always hearing the music amidst the dissonance of daily life. Music is my life and I can’t go without it.
Daniel: When I listen to a song, I really like I usually I can’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. Music can take your thought process anywhere depending on the type of music.

Nick: It takes me out of it when I need to, or highlights it into something better.

Danathan: Music connects everyone; it’s a universal language and that’s something important in a world of so much diversity. It’s how I’ve made many of my friends.

Alex: It can bring people together and I love that.

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

Andrew: Because everyone can enjoy it. Because it’s entertaining. Because it evokes different emotions. Music is a part of every culture and is a product of human creativity. Music is, well, music.

Daniel: I believe that music is something everyone should enjoy because there are different types of music for different types of people.

Nick: I think it is incredibly important, especially right now. Music is becoming so soulless, contrived, drained, and bland. We are trying to develop the sounds of old with a new take on it. People are actually saying Rock is dead, and that may be true but it’s not because people are uninterested, but because people just aren’t bringing anything to the table.

Danathan: Most definitely.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Alex: I think bands should be happy that people are willing to give their music a shot. They just want to be able to listen to it before anyone else could get a hold of it.

Danathan: I prefer having a tangible copy of my music. I still buy CDs when I can. That being said, I’m neutral about downloading. People should be able to listen to music conveniently and whenever they want, and at the same time, musicians should be compensated for their work.

Nick: I am honestly against it for obvious reasons. People tell me “Well how will I know I like them if I can’t hear it first for free?” That’s what live shows are for! Get into the band that way. There are too many excuses for why people download.

Alex: Music is like telling a story from your life. You want to embrace it, show the world what you are made of, and the struggles you’ve been through. Some of the more popular songs on the radio today just feel slapped together and emotionless.

Andrew: Well. No matter what laws are put in place, piracy is piracy and it will always be around. Am I against downloading, No. Will it stop anytime soon? No.

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

Daniel: I think most people enjoy the music I play but when someone feels the same way I do about the music I play I feel that’s more of a special occasion at the moment.

Alex: I find a lot of the songs touch me deeply. But I feel as if in order to be touched by the song, the audience has to feel it first. When the audience feels touched by the songs, that’s when you know you’ve done well.

Danathan: I hope they do. I’ve had people tell me that one of our songs, “Dry”, speaks to them. Whether people think one of our songs is catchy or they emotionally connect to one, it means the world to me.

Nick: I’d like to think so.

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

Daniel: When I’m in songwriting mode usually the lyrics flow naturally but when I find it harder to wright lyrics sometimes I think about experiences in my life.

Danathan: You’d have to ask Nick that question.

Nick: So far I love to write conjoined stories. This record we put out follows the same young man through every song. A crucial time in his life is performed for you on the album. I base him off myself, people I know, or I have met. Even with that album out of the way I find myself creating a new protagonist/antagonist for my songs, there is no doubt the next record will be a story as well.

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?

Danathan: Anything I do in respect to songwriting usually will come in the form of a bridge or small ideas. Again, you’d have to ask Nick that.

Alex: I pretty much focus on the drum side of things. You’d have to ask
Nick for real details.

Nick: I prefer to not have an opinion of myself. I let my bandmates decide for me regularly. If they like it, I know I am on the right path. But there are times where I go with my gut and tell them to trust me, because I’ll have something I want to come across as is. I am a mixture of both really, it could be a process or it could be right then and there. It really all depends.

Daniel: I try to let it flow naturally I don’t really have an opinion of myself as a songwriter yet.

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

Alex: Being able to bring it both in the studio and especially live. That’s where people really get to form an opinion of you. We promote mostly over the internet and word of mouth.

Nick: Like I said before. Knowledge is power. I learn everything about the music industry, because it gives me a more than significant edge over the average musician. We use Facebook and good old fashioned word of mouth.

Andrew: I think I bring sturdiness to the live shows over all sound, and good energy. But I am still learning.

Danathan: I believe success is subjective. Success for me was releasing our first album. This came from a lot of patience, hard work, and persistence and I think those things are crucial to achieving any goal. We promote by using our Facebook and personally asking people to check out and share our music and come to our shows.

Daniel: I think being business savvy, hardworking, and creative leads to success.

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

Nick: I really love what Young The Giant is doing right now, their second record is honestly just as, if not more amazing than their first. I’d also like to work with The Black Keys or Jack White. They are doing some incredible things right now and to be honest I would probably listen to what they have to say, rather than actually contribute haha.

Alex: Hmmm. Probably Taking Back Sunday or Panic At The Disco. I would sure love to be involved in their energy and how much passion they put into the lyrics, songs, and instruments.

Andrew: Surprisingly, Daft Punk. They’re both very talented, and I really enjoy their music. I’d be interested to see what we can create together, and what I can learn from them.

Danathan: I’d love to work with The Black Keys. They have such a cool vibe with each of their songs and their groove is great.

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

Andrew: Jimmy Page was my first guitar hero, Hetfield is my inspiration for rhythm guitar, Guthrie Govan is one of the best and one of the most versatile guitarists around, Abasi, is one of the most innovative guitarists around, and he’s a pretty nice guy (yes, I’ve met him), and Petrucci is my favorite guitarist, because I love his music.

Alex: Travis barker from Blink 182. Josh Dunn from Twenty One Pilots, Mark O’Connell, and Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday. I don’t have a favorite album in particular, I’m open to a lot and each album is unique in its own way.

Nick: Brian Setzer from The Stray Cats has always been a favorite of mine. Ah so many to choose from Jack White, Albert Hammond Jr, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Dave Abrussee, Eddie Vedder, Julian Casablancas, I could go on forever. The Strokes, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Muse, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, The Shins, Smashing Pumpkins, again I could go on. I’ll keep this one my 8 favorites. Pearl Jam – Ten, Led Zeppelin – Zeppelin 2, CCR – Green River, The Killers – Hot Fuss, The Strokes – Is This It, The White Stripes – The White Stripes, AC/DC – Back In Black, and AC/DC Highway To Hell.

Danathan: Some of my favorite musicians and groups are John Mayer, Taking Back Sunday, Radiohead, Eric Clapton, and Switchfoot. A band I wish that was still around is The Academy Is… My favorite records include Continuum by John Mayer, Santi by The Academy Is…, Disraeli Gears by Cream, In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot, and Louder Now by Taking Back Sunday. I could really go on but those are the first that come to mind.

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Alex: Definitely Travis barker, Not only is he a talented musician who gives 110% in what we he does, but he is also a great father to his kids. Always picking them up from school, taking them on his tours, etc. He is a hard worker and a very humble person. He inspires me to be the best that I can be.

Andrew: Guitarists: John Petrucci, Jimmy Page, Guthrie Govan, James Hetfield, and Tosin Abasi. Groups: Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Metallica, Rush. Albums: Metropolis PT. 2 Scenes From A Memory, Dark Side of the Moon, Zeppelin 2, Octavarium, Master of Puppets.

Nick: I admire Jack White because of his connection with the old blues. He keeps it alive in his music, but only a trained ear will hear it I suppose. B.B. Kind is amazing that man, is almost 90 and plays 100 shows a year! Dave Grohl is one of my all-time heroes; the guy just persevered through the fame of Nirvana and created his own just as creditable project. Eddie Vedder because of how honest he is as an artist and songwriter, I always felt a sort of kinship with the man, maybe it’s a shared love of the ocean?

Danathan: I admire John Mayer because he’s not only a great songwriter but also a very skilled guitarist. I have many other influences but to talk about them all would take a while.

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?

Alex: We use our Facebook page as our website mostly.

Nick: We use our Facebook page as our home base I guess you could say.

They will find all things Carnival Seasons there Music, Photos, Merchandise, Videos, Etc.

Andrew: Facebook, word of mouth. Skills: luck.

Danathan: We don’t have a website yet, but you can find us on Facebook.

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

Alex: I am truly happy as of before and now. Could never be happier knowing that everything is slowly graduating and increasing. I see many good things happening in future. No doubt.

Daniel: Not yet.

Andrew: Not yet.

Nick: Not really there is far too much to be done for me to be happy just yet.

Danathan: I am. However, I’d love to have more people hear our music.

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

Alex: Definitely to my mom and the rest of the band. Without all of them, I wouldn’t be pushing myself to do what I love doing to this day, stepping out of my comfort zone and having so much more confidence than I’ve ever had in my whole 21 years.

Nick: I’d like to dedicate this interview to everyone who has supported us throughout our 3 year life as a band. My appreciation for them is unparalleled.

Andrew: To anyone who ever doubted me.

Danathan: I dedicate this interview to my friends, especially the ones that have listened to our music or have come out to shows. They’re the people that make it seem worth it at the end of the day.

Daniel: I dedicate this interview to all of my loved ones.

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

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Changing Faces Beauty with Miracle Hempel

Buy clinical skin care at Beauty.com!

Chemistry.com

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T
I
P
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Summer 2014
Bi-Monthly Beauty Tip

Summer Time Basic Essentials

 

Changing Faces Beauty

with Miracle Hempel

Miracle Hempel is a makeup artist located in Honolulu Hawaii with more than 8 years of experience in a variety of settings. She loves to bring spice to any style with makeup using looks from fresh and natural to the latest beauty trends. Providing her clients with the basics is very important during her routine to promote longevity in beautiful and healthy skin because what is underneath is what really brings your beauty to the surface.

For questions, comments, bookings, or consultations, please send inquiries to:beautychangingfaces@yahoo.com.

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Early Summer 2014 Edition

Ohhh LaLa Morange
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By: Miracle Hempel
Published: June 24, 2014 8:01 PM EST

Miracle Hempel’s
Fun Summer Make-Up Tip:
July/August 2014 Edition

Learn more about her
Latest Make-Up Advice!

Access Page For Full Article Here:
http://juniorscave.com/Changing_Faces_Beauty.html

202 total views, 4 views today

Holworthy Hitz

 

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Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie Rap Artist, Holworthy Hitz
Early Summer (June/July 2014) Edition 
MusicSUBMIT Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Holworthy Hitz
Photo by GrandSlam

Holworthy Hitz has a story he wants to tell, and he is using music as the perfect outlet to let others know about his life. Hitz is passionate about getting his message out to the masses and honing in on his craft. Hitz also has a deep respect for Jay-Z and is developing his own business side of the music industry that he hopes will set him apart from others. In this spotlight with the Indie Rap Performer, Hitz reveals his amazing story with our online publication.

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I have a chance to review your press kit, and I am must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Holworthy Hitz: Appreciate the interview and your time. What I know will set my music apart from others is it’s unique. I bring a lot of energy with my music. My music is very passionate and real. You won’t just get one style when it comes to me. It is a message. I represent Orphan life is…it is a way of life, it is more than music.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

Holworthy Hitz: My inspiration for pursuing a music career is not seeing my father alive since I was 12, my dead brothers, my son, my family, and my hood.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

Holworthy Hitz: Music is important to me because it is an outlet for people like me. I release stress writing music. I send messages writing music. It can open doors for my peers.

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Holworthy Hitz
Photo Album Cover Provided by Holworthy Hitz

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

Holworthy Hitz: Being on stage always helped me grow as an artist because one always learns new things about the music people like. It gives me confidence and it drives me to keep going.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Holworthy Hitz: I actually don’t remember a mistake I made during a performance as far as choking on stage but if I slip or the mic cord gets tied up, I never panic. I’ve learn to be professional.

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

Holworthy Hitz: I never get nervous before a competition because I’m confident, this is my specialty.

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 collaborative situation. If you have in the past, what do you do to get over it?

Holworthy Hitz: Of course, I have writers block usually when I’m not focus and thinking about other things. I would stop and pick it up later…it’s natural. In a collaborative situation, I would have a clear mind before going to the studio period because it’s business and business does not care about emotions and writers’ block. Sometimes the artist I’m collaborating with would send me the beat days ahead of the studio time so that works also.

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

Holworthy Hitz: The advice I receive is, “be yourself and stay confident”.
“Work hard…don’t make excuses”. One thing I never forgot was ‘’it’s bigger than music’’.

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

Holworthy Hitz: I feel like if you’re nervous about a music career the only way to break that is to try. Music in these days is different. Anything is possible now. Learn more about the music business before you jump in.

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

Holworthy Hitz: My type of music will always be relevant because it is passionate lyrical music and things people go through every day in life. So 100 years from now when I’m gone people will still relate.

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

Holworthy Hitz: Music affects me deeply. It is the reason I’m still alive. It affects the world around me because the world around me is the people around me and they get motivated by my music.

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

Holworthy Hitz: People should enjoy music because like I said it is an outlet for the listener and the one who makes the music.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

Holworthy Hitz: Downloading music online is a great way for people to get the music who are not in your city or state. You want the world to hear you not just your area.

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

Holworthy Hitz: Yes! I do find my songs touch me and my friends and my fans the same. I make music for the people; I talk about my life and theirs in my music.

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

Holworthy Hitz: In songwriting mode, I’m not thinking about anybody…I’m thinking about lyrics, melodies, and harmonies. I’m mostly thinking about the song I’m writing.

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?

Holworthy Hitz: My lyrics mostly flow naturally but there is a thought process involved on where and how to say words in my song. It’s not as easy as people think. I don’t just put down words I send a message and make sense.

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

Holworthy Hitz: The skills that are important are the knowledge of the industry you’re in and how it works. Nowadays, when you know more, you can do more. I promote my music online through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and through Gmail as well as to radio station and online magazines like you guys.

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

Holworthy Hitz: If I had the opportunity to work with an artist, it would be Jay Z. The reason would be because of his experience and business knowledge. I can learn a thing or two from him. If it were a group to choose from, it would be the LOX. Guys like Styles P, Jadakiss, and Sheek Louch I grew up on listening to their music, and they were a big part of my motivation. I relate to a lot of their music.

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

Holworthy Hitz: Well as you heard…The Lox is my favorite artist because I grew up listening to their music; I have been listening to their music since I was around 12, 13 years old.

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Holworthy Hitz: I admire Jay-Z because he is not just an artist, but he is a business man. He understands both sides of this business and became successful from it. His ambition to be better is like no other.

Isaac: I agree! He is my all-time favorite rap performer.

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?

Holworthy Hitz: Yes, I do have my own website. It is Orphanlife44.blogspot.com.
If you go on that website you will find all my videos I did. You will be able to download new and old music and book shows from my website.

Isaac: Excellent.

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

Holworthy Hitz: Right now I’m happy that I’m alive. As far as my career, I’m happy I’m taking the steps like going to school for audio and production, my work ethic has picked up, and I’m starting to think more like a business man. Deep down inside I know I can and will be greater. So I’m happy but not satisfied.

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

Holworthy Hitz: I would like to dedicate this interview to all the Orphans and lost children. My dead brothers, Boston, my whole hood, Holworthy St., Humboldt Ave, and Homestead St . Also, my family, my engineer, camera man and friend, Grandslam. He works beside me and put a lot of work ethic into this project.

368 total views, 3 views today

Melissa Fielding

 

Junior’s Cave 
Music Interview 
with Indie NYC Singer/Songwriter, Melissa Fielding
Early Summer (June/July 2014) Edition 
Sonicbids Weekly Music Series

 

by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
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Melissa Fielding
Hide & Seek Me Photoshoot
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Photographs taken by Alexis Lambrou
http://www.alexislambrou.com

Indie NYC Singer/Songwriter Melissa Fielding is a musical colossal of pure talent. She sings and writes music that matters and speaks to a generation. It is her connection to everyday themes such as love, loss, loneliness, happiness, and insanity to name a few that sets her apart from other Indie Performers.  We were delighted to get an opportunity to interview an amazing performer in this week’s spotlight. Here Fielding shares her story with our online publication. Here is what transpired from our online encounter.

Isaac: It is a pleasure to speak with you via this important online conversation. I have a chance to review your press kit, and I am must say that I am impressed, excited, and thrilled about your music. What do you think you will add to the Indie Music Genre that will set your music apart from others?

Melissa: Hi, yes, thank you so much! I feel like I add a fresh perspective on a lot of universal themes—love, loss, loneliness, happiness, insanity. I have experienced all of these just like so many other people, but I try to write about them in new ways and different styles. One of my songs is about depression in the form of soldiers dancing in my head. Another song is a very surreal take on the feeling of belonging. And then of course, I have some straight up love/loss songs that can break my own heart over and over again. I write about what I know, but I try to do it in a way that’s new yet still relatable for the listener.

Isaac: What has been your inspiration for pursuing a music career?

M: My main inspiration, outside of my music ones, would be the people in my life—particularly my family. As a two year old, I would sing very loudly in inappropriate places (like the library). And instead of snuffing out that desire to sing, my parents encouraged me to develop it. They’ve supported all of my decisions to pursue music at every step of the way. And my brother has been my champion, telling anyone who will listen that they need to hear my music. I’ve loved music since a very young age; my family gave me the courage to develop that.

Isaac: Why is music important to you?

M: Music is the best and most effective way for me to release my emotions—which, anyone who knows me will tell you, I have a ton of. I need that catharsis, be it through listening, playing, or writing music. It’s what makes the tough days easier and the good days more enjoyable.

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

M: I’m still coming into my own as a performer, even though I’ve been doing it for ten years or so in some capacity or another. Each time I get on stage, I still feel awkward and fumbly, but that might just be because I am still awkward and fumbly in my everyday life (I trip a lot). It helps me to grow because I don’t let that stop me from getting up there. I try new things, some of which actually work, and then take it from there for the next performance.

Isaac: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

M: Just keep going really, which is obviously easier said than done. But letting mistakes trip me up would ruin what is otherwise a great time! I want a great show for the audience—the people who made it a point to come see me or decided to stay while I was on. I want to have fun and a mistake or two aren’t going to ruin that! Besides, a few mistakes give it that authentic live feel, right? Hahaha.

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

M: Almost always have and probably always will, at least a little bit. I just do my best to focus—practice, breathe, know where I need to be beforehand. And then when that doesn’t work, I talk to someone I find comforting who ultimately helps me to remember how much I love this. The rest sort of mellows from there.

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 collaborative situation. If you have in the past, what do you do to get over it?

M: When I was in college, we had this assignment where we had to write a song based on something we found on a ripped out page from the newspaper. I got this huge advertisement for some department store, so not a ton to work with, but I wrote probably one of my favorite songs out of that exercise. These days, I like to read Charles Bukowski to try to spark something when I’m a little tapped out. Sometimes it’s just as simple as taking a break—letting your mind reset by coming back to it later.

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

M: Develop thick skin—not everyone is going to like you, some people might hate you and make sure you know it. Don’t let that stop you; be persistent. And the obvious, write good music, hahaha.

 photo MelissaPortraits01_2_zps237fadab.jpg
Melissa Fielding
Hide & Seek Me Photoshoot
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Photographs taken by Alexis Lambrou
http://www.alexislambrou.com

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

M: Definitely the same things I was told—don’t just give up. Also, take criticism constructively, not defensively. Listen to what others have to say, and use what you think is helpful. Remember that you don’t have to take anyone’s advice, but be open to it. And play your damn heart out. Just really lay it all out there.

Isaac: With so much diverse music currently out, do you feel that your type of music is still relevant or important in today’s music industry? What do you feel makes your music stand out for the rest?

M: Yeah, definitely. No matter what the medium is, people will judge a work largely on being able to connect to the story it is trying to tell. If there is still a story worth telling that others can relate to, then it is definitely relevant today. I pride myself on my lyric writing, particularly. I feel like my music stands out because the lyric is both relatable and atypical. I try to play with line structures, rhyme scheme, both consciously and unconsciously, to sort of mess around a little bit with what the listener might expect. I like to take something familiar and make it different, a little stranger if I can. Strange is good in my book, hahahaha.

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

M: As I mentioned before, I can be all sorts of emotional; music helps me to work these feelings out in a constructive way.  And it’s just downright enjoyable. I love to listen to music all of the time, for every mood. And the beautiful thing is that I can do that, no problem. I have music for when I’m happy, sad, angry, energetic, relaxed, etc. and it’s all amazing.

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

M: The incredible thing is that no matter who you are or what your life is like, there is always going to be some sort of music out there for you. And it really helps to express whatever it is you want or need to express without having to necessarily say anything. It connects everyone in a way that nothing else really can.

Isaac: What do you think about downloading music online?

M: Downloading music and listening to music online, in general, is the new way to get music directly to the fans. Hardly anyone I know actually buys CDs anymore, which is sort of sad in a way, but it’s also 2014 so it makes sense. Digital is the new-wave, and I think some of the laws need to be adjusted to suit this changing environment. Especially with platforms like Spotify and Pandora, which are great for getting music out there, but not so much for revenue and making a living… We need new laws that fit the needs of the listeners without hurting the artists.

 photo MelissaPortraits16_zps45873a0c.jpg
Melissa Fielding
Hide & Seek Me Photoshoot
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Photographs taken by Alexis Lambrou
http://www.alexislambrou.com

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

M: I hope so, haha! Overall, the response seems to be that most people, at least feel my intention behind the song if they don’t actually feel anything themselves.

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

M: A lot of my songwriting stems from my personal experiences, so it really just depends which ones I’m drawing from at the time. My exes get a lot of thought time, haha. And any love currently in my life too, be it family, friends, or a guy. Sometimes I think about myself, particularly when it comes to songs about, ya know, losing my mind temporarily.

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?

M: I have a lyric book that I carry with me most of the time, plus at least 10-20 little notes and voice memos on my phone. I find that for me, forcing myself to write for X minutes per day just makes me a tiny bit resentful. So instead, I like to jot down small notes here and there until I can take a full 2-3 hours at home a few times a week in front of the keyboard or guitar and just try to pull something out. When I’m lucky, the lyrics just sort of come out… but I never stay lucky long enough to get a full song. Usually a verse and a chorus will come to me, and then I’ll sit there just staring at the page thinking “Awesome! But, uh… now what?”

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

M: Persistence and the ability to network. Can’t be afraid to meet new people and get their information—make those contacts! Promotion is key, and I use all of my social media outlets to promote my music and my shows… but these are all things I’m still working on.

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

M: St. Vincent is super dope. She’s just got this air about her that screams “cool;” her performance style is super interesting and the music is just killer. Also, definitely Lucius. They’re just amazing—their whole look and sound is incredible. I’ve seen them live twice and both shows are still in my top 10.

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

M: This is a hard list to keep concise, haha. Fiona Apple, Adele, Amy Winehouse are all top picks. And obviously St. Vincent and Lucius. I also really love the Beatles (particularly “Abbey Road”), Bon Iver, Regina Spektor. I miss the Civil Wars, and Death Cab for Cutie will forever stay in my heart. Oh, and Robyn. Her album “Body Talk” is everything I could ever want when I need to dance.

 photo MelissaPortraits10_zpscb4cf889.jpg
Melissa Fielding
Hide & Seek Me Photoshoot
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Photographs taken by Alexis Lambrou
http://www.alexislambrou.com

Isaac: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

M: Adele. She’s easily my biggest musical inspiration. I mean, she’s just so incredibly talented. She doesn’t let anything stop her, and remains super grounded despite her insane success. Plus, I love her cackle. That laugh gets me every time.

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?

M: Yes! Today is completely a part of the digital age, so an online presence is definitely important. My website has all my music, information on upcoming shows, photos, videos, contact information, etc. It also has all of my social media information—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.—which is a great way to connect. My website is www.melissafielding.com.

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

M: I’m very happy with where I’m headed. I’m just starting out and still getting myself/ my name out there. It’s tough, and it can get frustrating, but it’s so exciting and beyond worth it. I’m looking forward to everything that’s still to come.

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

M: Really to anyone who has listened to my music and though, “Yeah, I could get down with this.” I make music as much for myself as I do in the hopes that others will also enjoy it. Particularly dedicated to my family & friends for their nonstop love and support of this crazy ride.

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