All Posts By Danielle Canniff

Australian Songwriter and Producer Blake Rose Discusses New Music and His Growing Success

by

Blake Rose, an Australian songwriter and producer who mixes together different genres to create his own pop sound has been up to a lot this past year. From busking on the streets of Perth to having over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, his following is only growing. Starting on GarageBand like so many songwriters have before, he completely writes and produces his music, and has been honing in on this craft since his early teen years. Now, at just 21, he already has an impressive set of accomplishments such as a premiere on Zane Lowe’s Beats1 show and over 6 million Spotify streams on his single, “Lost”. His music features his smooth vocals with honest lyrics and vibrant elements of indie-rock, soul, and alt-pop. Blake recently answered some questions for Cliché about his songwriting, his inspiration, and being stuck in Australia.

 

Watch the music video for “Lost” here: 

 

Cliché: It was only about a year ago that you were busking on the streets of Perth to fund making your music. Can you tell me about the past year and how much has been changing for you? Are there any challenges you’ve had to face?

Blake Rose: The last year has been really cool. A lot has happened but at the same time it’s still sort of chill. In saying that though, at the moment I’m feeling a massive disconnect from my team who are in America as I’ve been stuck in Australia for the past 5 months due to some visa issues so it’s hard to grasp what’s happening over there but I know things are moving pretty fast. The main thing that this past year has entailed was really locking down management, publishing etc. and then getting the first releases ready to go and putting them out. Since “Hotel Room” I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had from Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube so early on and I never expected to have this type of response off the gate. Everything is definitely starting to fall into place and I’m pretty damn pumped to get back to America and hit the ground running.

 

I’ve read that you really started creating music on a 3-month long camping trip with your family. Can you talk about how that all started? What was it on that trip that made you want to start songwriting?

I didn’t start songwriting on this road trip but it was definitely when I began to hone in on the craft and really explore and develop my skills as a songwriter. I brought a guitar with me on the trip as there was A LOT of driving and not much to do so I started filling the time by practicing guitar, writing, and eventually experimenting with music production. I started on GarageBand and made a lot of horrible songs, one was like 8 minutes long so you should definitely feel sorry for my parents who had to listen to it all over again every time I changed a lyric. After a while I very organically and intuitively realized that music is something I want to do full time and began planning how I would approach everything, starting with setting up a home studio, which I did once we arrived back in Perth.

 

You write and produce all of your own music. What does that process look like for you?

Generally the writing and production process for me is pretty blended. I’ll either start with a production idea or a melodic/lyrical idea and after a bit of time working on whichever of those I’ll switch to the other, simultaneously developing both sides of the song. Sometimes though, I will write a full song then produce it later.

 

Who are your own musical influences? Any one in particular you are listening to currently?

The 1975 is a big one, I listen to their music ALL the time. Ed Sheeran was probably my main musical influence when I was starting out. His Multiply show in Perth, Australia was one of the first shows I ever went to and gave me a lot of inspiration. Other types of people I listen to are ColdPlay, Jack Garratt, Kevin Garrett, John Mayer, Between Friends, Matt Corby.

 

Your single “Lost” has over 6 million streams on Spotify. What has the success of that song so far meant for you?

It means a hell of a lot. I put so much work into that song so to see it doing so well is really encouraging. I’m just glad people like as much as I do!

 

What can listeners expect from you in the near future?

Some upbeat acoustic vibes coming your way in the near future but as a whole I will be exploring some interesting vibes and lyrical themes so expect the unexpected I guess!

 

 

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com

Australian Songwriter and Producer Blake Rose Discusses New Music and His Growing Success: Featured Image Credit: Cameron Postforoosh

Electronic Artist Manatee Commune Talks New Music, Upcoming Tour, and Musical Inspiration

by

Grant Eadie, better known as Manatee Commune, grew up as a classically trained musician in Spokane, Washington. After becoming completely enamored by classical music, he moved into the electronic scene. His songs have rich textures and layers that are in part inspired through his upbringing in classical music. He mixes organic sounds from nature with electronic elements that create smooth tracks that have been described as “groovy.” His songs have such a relaxing feel to them while also being exciting and keeping crowds engaged during his live shows. He’s becoming a staple in the electronic and dance community touring with big names such as Odezsa, performing at festivals all over the US, and being named “best electronic artist” by Seattle Weekly. His latest single “Growing Pains” is the final song to be released from his album PDA which releases Friday, May 3rd. 

Listen to Manatee Commune’s latest track here: 

 

Cliché: Can you tell me a little bit about your background as a classically trained musician?  What pulled you into this creative world?

Grant Eadie: When I was a kid I was mildly obsessed with Celtic music. As early as I can remember, I wanted to play the violin and begged my parents to let me take classes.  When elementary school rolled around, I finally got the chance. After that, I couldn’t get enough and wanted to play everything I could and to be the best at it.

In high school, music was literally the only thing I cared about.  So I just soaked up everything I could in my little town of Spokane, WA.  Then I discovered electronic music and my inspiration skyrocketed. I did my best to figure out how to make that kind of music myself and the rest, as they say, “is history.”

 

As a fellow violist, I really appreciate your use of viola throughout your songs, it’s not something you really hear all too often!  Can you tell me a little about your instrumentation and choices behind it? It’s such a great mix of organic and electronic that creates such rich textures.

I think my classically trained background has given me the desire to make rich, four part harmonies and create sweeping, cinematic sounds.  I find that strings usually accomplish that so well, especially when performed live. And I’ve noticed the richness of the sound that comes from human touch and I try to make it a point to at least perform all the parts of my productions, even if they are “synthetic” in nature.

 

Reading about your writing process for your song, “I Can Dream” feat. Effee, and how it all started with a beautiful spring day in Portland, it’s evident that you are inspired by the world around you. What would you say inspires you the most? Do you have a specific writing process or does it happen differently with each song?  

Each song has its own unique inspiration.  More often than not it’s captured in a small field recording that establishes the mood and then I tweak to blossom into a full blown track.  The subtle details in the space inspires me the most. When I can close my eyes and listen to my surroundings and an immense feeling of calm washes over me, I know I got the right “sound”  — like when you notice rain blowing through the leaves or the creak of a porch swing swaying in a gentle breeze.

 

You’ve collaborated with artists such as Marina Price, Effee, Flint Eastwood, and others. Who else would you love the opportunity to work with?

My ultimate wish list would definitely include Chelsea Cutler, Emily King, BAYNK, Chrome Sparks, Raveena and Tom Misch.

 

Your live sets are so interesting to watch because you’re the one making it all happen. What are some of the challenges you face when your performing live? What’s your favorite part about performing live?

A major challenge is maintaining the energy level.  Performing live, triggering visuals and engaging the crowd requires tons of focus.  Keeping all these moving parts well oiled while maintaining my stage presence is both invigorating and a little lonely sometimes.

My favorite part of performing live is hitting the drop with a full room of people and watching the anticipation on the crowd’s faces morph into blissful expressions as their expectations are surpassed and they find themselves lost in the music and the experience.

 

You’ve got a tour coming up this spring with Geographer. What are you looking forward to with this tour? Any stops along the way you are particularly looking forward to?

I’m so excited and honored to be supporting Geographer this Spring.  Not only to be back on the road, but to debut bits and pieces of my new live set to the fans and cities I’ll be performing at for the first time.  Off the top of my head, San Francisco and LA are the 2 stops I’m really pumped about. And I’m going to pull out all the stops to make those shows really special and memorable.

 

Apart from this upcoming tour.  What else can listeners expect from you coming up in the near future?

I’ve got a full length album, PDA, out May 3 on Bastard Jazz with tons of featured vocalists.  Dropping some limited edition, autographed white vinyl too for the project.  The music video for my 4th single off the album, Growing Pains, premieres in May.  Also did a special mixtape for Apple that drops a week or so after the album. Festival dates at Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala and a few others this summer then my headlining tour this fall/winter and a special NYE 2019 performance.  And most importantly, I’ll be documenting the process of growing out my mustache on the ‘gram!

 

Manatee Commune will be on tour this spring. Check out his website to see if he’s coming to a city near you! 

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Electronic Artist Manatee Commune Talks New Music, Upcoming Tour, and Musical Inspiration: Featured Image Credit: Allen Daniel 

American Authors’ Latest Album Combines Familiar Sound with New Elements

by

The third studio album, Seasons, from alternative band American Authors brings out some of their old familiar sounds hailing from the days of their first big hit, “Best Day of My Life”, while also exploring new elements and themes making it a perfect balance of honing in on what they do so well and not being afraid to explore the unknown. Their use of different kinds of percussion and choral elements really drives the album and makes all of their songs more like anthems than just regular old songs. With honest lyrics and melodies that are both catchy, interesting, and emotive, the album creates a cohesive work that is like looking at a cross section of someones life and all of the highs and lows, decisions, and consequences.

 

This collection of songs takes us through all kinds of stages and makes for an enjoyable listen. “I Wanna Go Out” is an ode to those nights where you go out despite knowing you should’ve stayed home but you just want to escape for a little. The chorus is fun and catchy, and the idea of “let’s get wild make a memory” is one most can relate to. A favorite from this album is “Neighborhood” which features Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE. The feeling this song portrays is a special one of both nostalgia and sadness, but also a sense of gratefulness for being in the position to leave and come back to a place, more specifically, your home. The album closes out with “A Real Place”, an honest and raw song, fitting for the title. With lyrics that accept responsibility and that desperately want to right wrongs, this song is a beautiful end to the album.

 

Strong vocals are featured throughout the album and the emotion behind them help tell the band’s stories. Making use of a wide array of instrumentation from guitar, prominent percussion, synths, piano, bass, and more, each song is distinct in it’s own right while retaining a consistent sound across the album. Where some might struggle to achieve this, American Authors has found a sound that is distinctly theirs and is almost malleable in that they are able to work it into all of their songs without sounding repetitive which keeps it fresh and interesting.

 

Watch the music video for “Neighborhood” here: 

 

Listen to more Music Articles at Cliché Magazine.

American Authors’ Latest Album Combines Familiar Sound with New Elements: Featured Image Credit: Spencer Kohn 

An Interview with Classically Trained Cellist Turned Pop Artist HILDUR

by

Classically trained cellist turned pop artist, HILDUR, an Icelandic artist with a ton of talent recently released her single, “1993.” Realizing that she was finally was living out her dream from when she was just a kid, the song takes us through her journey so far and her personal life. HILDUR is a natural when it comes to songwriting and has spent years honing in on her craft, even teaching workshops to other songwriters along the way. With new music coming out in the near future and traveling coming up, we can expect a lot of great things from HILDUR.

 

Cliché: Your latest single, “1993,” was inspired by your realization that you were living out the dreams that you had when you were five years old. What else can you tell me about that song?

HILDUR: This song feels like a fast autobiography, from when I was 5 until today, about the journey from having a dream and my way towards that life. It was not an easy road, so the song talks about the fallbacks and self doubt on the way. I would say it’s one of my most personal songs and the lyrics actually have a bunch of hints about my life. You can find my birthday spelled out there, the sport I used to train is mentioned and then some of my biggest insecurities. But I feel like it’s a very hopeful song too.

 

You started out as a classical cellist, what got you into the singing and songwriting side of things?

I feel like expression and creating something new has always been a part of me.  Whether it was drawing, writing stories, crafts or melodies – it all started at a very early age. My dream to stand on stage and write my own songs, always felt just an inevitable part of it. I remember creating melodies since I was playing the cello but the first actual song I remember writing was from when I was 15 year old and I had taught myself how to play guitar. I have always had fascination for lyrics and stories and I guess I just had the urge to try it out from my point of view.

 

How does your songwriting process work, you’ve said that you are “fascinated” with what makes a melody catchy, is that usually where you start with your songs?

Most of the time it starts with a melodic idea or a concept or a word. But I’ve realized that often the best ideas come when you’re not trying. So when ideas hit when I’m outside walking or washing the dishes or being somewhere in a completely different place, I always record a voice memo and many songs have started from there.

 

Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

I love Nao, Emelie Nicolas, Seinabo Sey, Kehlani, Highasakite, Broods – and the list goes on!

 

You’ve talked about taking the time to really find the sound that you wanted your music to have and not rushing the process. What is it about the style of music that you chose that you feel allows you to express yourself more than any other style would?

This is a tough one, as I feel like you’re always evolving as a human being and thus as an artist too. I always try to write music in the mood I feel like at the time. The good thing though about being a songwriter that writes for others too is that you can use those moments, too.

 

I see that you’ve taught some songwriting workshops. What advice do you give to people learning how to write or honing in on their craft?

Most important thing is that creativity is a muscle that you need to train. Don’t expect your first song to be great. Even though you’ve been playing an instrument for a long time – songwriting is a different craft and needs repetition. Write the bad songs too, get them out of your system and you learn something about yourself or songwriting new every time you write a song. Write with others and absorb, quickest way of learning is from other great writers.

 

What are you looking forward to in the near future and what can listeners expect?

I’ve got a bunch of traveling coming up; London, Sierra Leone and Chicago, I love how music takes me places. Listeners can stay tuned for more songs coming very soon, and I would say you’re in for a treat!

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine. 

An Interview with Classically Trained Cellist Turned Pop Artist HILDUR: Featured Image Credit: Vaka Njáls

Spazz Cardigan Talks About His Music, Nashville’s Music Scene, and More

by

After moving to Nashville just two days after high school, Spazz Cardigan, a classically trained pianist and multi-instrumentalist, began making his mark in the music scene. Writing with hip-hop musicians in Nashville, he began to really hone in on his production technique. With Nashville’s music scene changing, it’s musicians like Spazz Cardigan that help to create the platform for other artists to follow in their footsteps. He answered questions for Cliché about Nashville’s music scene, his background with music including learning many instruments, and his upcoming EP.

 

Cliché: You moved to Nashville two days after high school to pursue music, that’s pretty brave. What was it about Nashville’s music scene that pulled you there and how was it for you in the beginning compared to now?

Spazz Cardigan: When I moved, I had the standard “Nashville” starter kit: go play at some open mic nights, go play a few writer’s rounds and try to network with the country writers, the Christian writers, and the Belmont kids.  That’s really as much as you could do as an alternative artist here for a while other than try to hustle your songs onto Lightning 100 — which is a great local radio station, but they’re very focused on more Americana-leaning indie music than electronic/rap/pop-leaning indie music.  The market was totally different. I found work in those early years by becoming friends with rappers and making beats or albums for them; that was really my scene the whole time I was trying to get my project off the ground.  Now there are venues, showcase nights, magazines, and tastemakers that really cater to pop and alternative, but that took a few years of imagining a scene before it existed.

 

How would you say being a classically trained pianist helps you in your career now?

I’m definitely able to pick up on things quickly.  I can zone in pretty acutely on what I like or dislike in the music I’m hearing and try to avoid that in what I’m making.  It also just gives you a sense of discipline or diligence that I didn’t really share with people when I was in punk or rock bands.

 

What does your creative process look like? What inspires your music?

I’m writing every day, usually with someone new most of the time.  A lot of writers I know are very good with these super witty concepts or tongue-in-cheek lyrics that they’ll bring into a session to write as a prompt, but I’ve always had a weakness there so I try to let myself stay fluid and present with what’s happening around me and just write about that.  Usually it’s politics or music politics that’s on my mind and I’ll try to find a way to channel that into whatever the musical vibe is. I tend to start from creating the music until I discover a melody, then I’ll produce the song in tandem with the lyric writing.

 

You play a ton of instruments. Do you usually teach yourself? And what draws you to these instruments?

I learned just enough piano to start understanding guitar, and took lessons just long enough with both of them that I had a baseline understanding of theory that let me pick up most other instruments.  Except brass and winds; I cannot wrap my brain around the muscular nuance for them — I also can’t whistle! I’m really just drawn to having the option of creating fluidly; if I have a drum idea or a bass idea or a piano idea, I like the freedom of being able to go to that instrument and express the thought so that I can get on with the rest of the process.  It really just comes from some sort of childhood impatience. When I started learning to produce as a kid it came from that same place: I wanted to make a full product on my own so that I didn’t have to wait to express the idea, or have it refracted through someone else’s understanding on my imagination.

 

You’ve said you’ve been gigging since you were 10 and releasing music since 12 years old. It’s basically just always been a part of your life it seems. How have you grown as an artist since those first days? Do you ever get stage fright or are you just used to it?

I take myself way less seriously now than I did at 10, 15, 20, hopefully yesterday even.  I have much more fun with music now than I did as a kid; I was pretty fatalistic with it. It was all or nothing, every show and every song were the crux of my future and nothing was going to go right if I didn’t get that one gig right — and now that just seems like a heart attack waiting to happen.  I’m still serious about the craft, and I have to respect the work and be disciplined and put on a good show or execute my brand carefully, but I don’t think I’m going to die if I miss a note on my piano, y’know?  I can laugh about it more now.

I definitely got stage fright before the first couple of bigger Spazz gigs because a part of me thought the audience must be pulling some massive joke on me.  Rooms that were 250-500 capacity and packed, I mean. Like, there was no way they actually came to my show to listen to my music for an hour. The last few though I was much more comfortable with the process and had so much fun walking out to a full room.  I’ll probably feel a similar kind of “no way” when I play Forecastle later this year and there’s 3 or 4,000 people — but that disbelief honestly makes me perform a bit better and it usually wears off within one song.

 

What can you tell us about the making of your upcoming EP, ‘Vulnerabilia’?

I wrote all of the songs last year, definitely under the influence of how my music translated into live settings.  I produced the EP myself like my first LP, played everything on it, recorded it in my bedroom, and really just wanted to give my band something fun and challenging to play every night that was a steroid shot for an audience.

 

From that EP the single, “S.O.S” has already dropped. Reception so far on the internet seems to be that listeners love it. What’s the story behind that song?

I wrote “S.O.S.” the same week as my last single, “DOIDOIT”, and they both stemmed from me feeling very burned out after a year of working constantly and always tearing myself apart.  I noticed myself having the same breakdown again and again, finding the same solutions again and again, and then getting back to the same situation just a few months later. “S.O.S.” is me noticing that pattern and wanting to get over it, to get out of my own way and move on.  That people are into it, the fans love it, and it kills in a live room — that just really cements to me that it was worth writing.

 

Apart from your new EP what else can listeners expect from you in the near future?

*Deep sigh*.  I really am so excited for the things coming this year that I’m not able to talk about, but I can talk about playing my first festival shows this summer at Forecastle and SunFest.  I’m also opening for Julia Michaels in Raleigh on March 8, and I have a crazy collaboration dropping in the spring.  Otherwise, I’m just keeping my head down and focusing on making more music.

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Spazz Cardigan Talks New EP ‘Vulnerabilia’ and More. Featured Image Credit: Ryan Nolan 

Brother Duo Eighty Ninety Talk Their “808s and Telecaster” Sound, Production Process, and RSVP Link For Upcoming Show

by

Brothers Abner and Harper have been making music almost their whole lives. With their first single, “Three Thirty,” they formed their current project, Eighty Ninety. Receiving a spot on Taylor Swift’s, “Songs Taylor Loves” playlist, with their single, “Your Favorite Song,” the brothers have been on a steady trajectory to success. Writing and producing all of their own songs which have elements across all different genres from pop to indie rock to dance, the duo has crafted their own sound that they self describe as “808s and telecaster.”

 

Eighty Ninety will be  playing a small in-studio show on March 30th at Douglass Recording that will be filmed and live streamed on YouTube / Facebook. You can RSVP here to go in person or RSVP here to watch the live stream.  

 

Listen to “Your Favorite Song” here: 

 

Cliché: How did you get your start creating music together? Was this something you both always knew you wanted to do?

Eighty Ninety: We’re brothers, and have been playing music pretty much our whole lives. We always knew that we eventually wanted to be in a band together. It’s something we talked about growing up. So unofficially, we’ve been playing together for a while now. But Eighty Ninety started when we moved to New York and began working on what would become our first single, “Three Thirty”.

 

I recently saw you perform at the Ludlow House. It was awesome and the crowd was really engaged! What’s your favorite part about performing live?

Thanks so much for coming to the show, and glad you had a good time! Playing live is great because it’s a chance to just channel the emotions of the songs (rather than perfecting them, which is what the studio is for). It feels great and gives us a new perspective on the music that we can take back to the studio. Because of that, playing in-progress songs live sometimes is the final step before we finish producing them. Also, nothing is more motivating and incredible than meeting the people who come to the shows. We did an east coast tour last fall and saw our first Eighty Ninety tattoo — hard to put that into words.

 

You’ve been receiving recognition across the industry, including Taylor Swift putting you on her playlist, “Songs Taylor Loves.” What does it all mean to you and for your continuing success?

Taylor Swift adding “Your Favorite Song” to her playlist was a totally surreal moment for us in a lot of ways. We have so much respect, admiration, and unabashed fan-love for her and her music music (Abner once saw her two nights in a row) that it was definitely a pinch-me moment and also so motivating and inspiring to keep going and trust ourselves to keep making the music we want to make. And having “Three Thirty” connect and go viral the way that it did was amazing in a different way — seeing how many people across the world have listened feels like real evidence that writing and making something so personal can resonate in a universal way. That was really moving. It would be an understatement to say we didn’t expect any of this – we’re so grateful every day.

 

Describing yourselves as “808s and telecasters” is such an interesting and perfect way to describe your sound. Can you tell me a little more about your instrumentation and style?

When we’re in the studio we don’t really think about genre and as a result there are elements of pop, electronic, country, dance, and indie rock in our songs. “808’s and telecasters” felt like a good way to get that across – but also highlights the two things that show up the most frequently. Live, we’re a three piece band (vocals, guitars, drums + samples and tracks) that comes across a little more rock — so that dichotomy is also in there.

 

You write, produce, and mix all of your songs right out of a small space in NYC. What does that process look like for you? How do your songs come to life?

We usually finish a song before we start to produce it. We think of production as doubling down on a song’s emotional core — so we need to be clear on what that is before we start producing. Once the song is finished we talk about a big-picture vision and how we imagine the song coming across. Then we’ll get down the basic (main guitar part or pad) and do vocals until they feel right. After that we slowly build up around the voice and keep pushing until we feel like it’s finished. That last part of the process sometimes takes an afternoon, and sometimes takes weeks.

 

Who are your own musical inspirations, and who are you listening to now?

We’re really inspired by the new artists we see around us – so those two things are one in the same. We have a constantly updated playlist called “Our Favorite Songs” (get it!) that right now has artists like FINNEAS, Muna, Phoebe Bridgers, The Band CAMINO, Yoke Lore, lovelytheband, Des Rocs, pronoun, LANY, Queue, Sorcha Richardson, Aaron Taos, Mallrat, Loote, The Japanese House. And of course Taylor Swift.

 

You’ve said that you love collaborating. Is there anyone specific in mind you want to have the opportunity to collaborate with, and why?

If anyone from that playlist that we just listed wants to collab in any way – our studio door is always open!

 

What can listeners expect from you coming up in the near future?

We’re in the final stages of finishing a new EP. The plan is to start releasing singles soon – and not to stop.

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Brother Duo Eighty Ninety and Their “808s and Telecaster” Sound, Production Process, and RSVP Link For Upcoming Show: Featured Image Credit: Mallory Turner 

An Interview with New Wave Electro Synth Project: The New Division

by

A prominent player in the new wave electro synth genre, The New Division, alias of John Glenn Kunkel, has already released three critically acclaimed albums and four EPs. He is able to combine the themes of happy and sad into one piece of music in a way that works so well, with melodies that get stuck in your head in the best way. He answered some questions for Cliché about his writing process, interest in juxtaposition in his songs, and how working on other projects allowed him to come back to The New Division with a fresh take.

 

Watch The New Division’s latest music video here:

 

Cliché: Can you talk a bit about the instrumentation that you choose to use? What does your creative process look like when writing your music?

The New Division: 90% of everything I do is “in the box,” meaning I work almost entirely in Ableton with a wide range of synthesizers, samplers, and effect plugins. The only things I do outside the box are vocals, guitars, some drum elements, etc.

 

It changes but one thing that’s always remained consistent about my creative process is I write a lot of demos – and I mean a lot. For every LP or EP that I write, I usually end up with about 50 to 100 demos, out of which only 6 or 12 are selected as the ones that will make it on any given record. Some of these demos either end up as b-sides or they end up being used for other projects. Others will probably never see the light of day.

 

As far as how I approach writing – generally speaking, I love starting with synth lines rather than drums as I’m much more melodically driven, as opposed to being beat driven. I love trying out ideas as fast as possible. The moment I lose inspiration or get stuck on an 8 to 16 bar loop for too long, I lose interest and move on to starting another idea. It’s a bit ADD, but it keeps me excited, and I’d rather be working on something I’m in love with in the moment rather than be bored with fixing a kick or a snare for 2 hours.

 

Did you always know growing up that music was what you wanted to pursue, or did you ever consider any other careers?

Yeah, I always knew from a young age that music was my thing. There’s a picture of me when I was about 3 or 4 years old picking up a guitar and trying to play it. It was something that I always had an affinity with – definitely god given.

 

When I was in college, god, I considered everything. From being a nurse to becoming a lawyer. I did work as a political consultant for a while after college and did government relations, but neither of those things were ever going to cut it for me. I was making music on and off the job constantly.

 

There tends to be a juxtaposition in your music between somewhat somber lyrics, and upbeat beats. What is your motivation behind this?

I think it’s a bit reflective of my personality. I don’t know if being a Gemini has anything to do with it – I don’t really believe in that sort of thing – but I’ve always felt drawn towards music, and specifically, artists that can blend happy and somber elements into one piece. I think that’s why I was always attracted to New Order. They had these songs that felt dark but could sometimes contain an emphatic message, or they could write a happy-sounding song that was dark lyrically (Love Vigilantes). That always fascinated me and I think to some extent I’ve tried to blend those elements into my own sound.

 

Your video for your song, “Jealous,” just came out recently and reading the comments for it on YouTube, people are loving it! What was your inspiration for this music video?

Well, given that I didn’t write it, it’s hard to say, but I know that the director, Brad Bischoff, who by the way did an amazing job with the rest of his crew, mentioned it was really how he felt the song came to him visually. Granted, the story blends a lot of different themes but I suppose the main one he wanted to portray is best described in his own words, “the static study of isolation contrasted with a dizzying handheld series of intimacy.”

 

In an interview last year you discussed how you feel more pressure now writing as The New Division than when you first started and how you thought you might need to work on some new projects. Since then, you collaborated with James Meays of Missing Words on the Moonraker EP. Would you say that you still feel that pressure now or is it feeling more natural again?

That pressure has definitely been relieved. Around the time when that interview came out a lot of bad things had recently happened which were all related to the inner workings of trying to get the previous record released. I was feeling pretty discouraged by a lot of stuff that was going on which placed me in a negative state of mind for quite some time. I really needed to step away from writing as The New Division, which I did, and focused on a few other projects in the meantime. Moonraker EP, albeit not the most successful project I’ve worked on, was incredibly fun and I loved every minute of it. It helped me focus on music that wasn’t exclusively my own and it was a lot of fun to work with James on that record. Ever since then approaching music for The New Division feels like the days when I first started.

 

What’s been your favorite city to perform live in? Do you have a favorite venue?

I think New York’s Rough Trade was really exceptional. This last tour we played a lot of great cities but few could top that one off.

 

My favorite venue is the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland. It’s the right size, right sound, and after you’re done playing your hotel room is only 100 feet away.

 

What can listeners expect from you in the near future?

I have a new LP coming out this year which will feature 10 songs that draw inspiration from some of my earlier work but with a very distinct modern sound. As with every new record you put out, this one will be my “favorite.”

 

Read More Music Articles at Cliché Magazine. 

An Interview with New Wave Electro Synth Project: The New Division: Featured Image Credit: Mora May Agency

 

Swedish Duo Smith & Thell Discuss How They Got Started and Their Journey So Far

by

Smith & Thell, a duo from Sweden, began making music together shortly after meeting at a local event in their hometown. With recognition in the industry as “Best New Artist,” and selling out shows including one in New York City, they are quickly rising up in their pop/folk genre. Their song, “Forgive me Friend,” from their latest EP, Telephone Wires has over 1.5 million hits on Youtube. Smith & Thell took time to answer some questions for Cliché about their origins, including getting to know each other musically; their first tour, which included a sold out show in Berlin; and their creative process.

Listen to “Forgive me Friend” here: 

 

Cliché: I’ve read that you met at a local music event in your home town and started creating music together after that. What was it about each other that drew you to one another to create music collectively?

Smith & Thell: At first when we started rehearsing and writing together we realized that we were very different musically. Today we’re happy that we were curious enough to find our differences interesting rather than seeing our differences as something negative. Instead of thinking the other one was weird we really started introducing each other to the music of the bands we loved, broadening each of our perspectives. We would switch iPods for the day and listen to each other’s influences and that really helped us grow. What wasn’t different was our passion and drive for music and as people we found that we were very similar emotionally. When we started writing songs together instead of separately the songs just became better and better.

 

What role would you say winning the “Best New Artist” award from Sweden’s Denniz Pop Awards had in launching your success?

It meant a lot to us. We sent in our song “Statue” as a demo before it was released and it was a real shocker that we won. Winning the award was our first real “industry” win and it gave us some extra confidence to continue to be us.

 

In the past year you had the opportunity to tour Europe. What was that experience like for you? Was there a favorite city on your tour?

It was a real indie tour haha.  We carried our gear on trains and airplanes. We played shows at small venues in Berlin, Hamburg and Holland. Our favorite show on that tour was a small gig at Grüner Salon in Berlin where we realized we have fans in Germany that travelled far to come and see us.  We also played in a container store in Berlin that was so small it only fit 20 people. It was really intimate and special AND we can also brag about selling out a show in Germany.. haha!

 

You both have experience writing for other musicians and artists. How would you say this has shaped how you write your own music?

We learn a lot from all artists we write with. Every artist has their own vision and it’s our job to help them find their musical identity in every new song. It broadens our perspective of what we’re capable of creating and that will push us to think outside the box when we write for our own project.

 

I’ve read that sometimes you create music with very direct lyrics and other times to evoke emotions that you have felt but that you cannot define in words. How would you say you create the music that evokes these emotions? Is there a process to it or does it just naturally happen?

We never force ourselves to write songs for Smith & Thell. The song ideas usually happen when we don’t think about writing. Voice Memos on our phones is our best friend. We can go weeks without writing and then all of a sudden something will bubble up from under the surface and we may write three songs in a day. The process is always different, we don’t have a formula, but we always stay patient and choose not to force it.

 

What has been your favorite song that you’ve written together so far? Why?

Though “Statue” wasn’t the first song we wrote as Smith & Thell it still feels like it’s the first song we wrote. It was the starting point of how we like to write lyrics and something just clicked after that, we felt very free creatively. “Forgive Me Friend” is our favorite song, melody-wise, written up until this point.

 

You just had shows in LA and NYC. How was that for you?

It was amazing to see that we have fans on the other side of the planet, knowing the lyrics to even our lesser known songs. Our NYC show was extra special as it was sold out. That was a milestone for us.

 

What can listeners expect from you in the near future?

They can expect a lot of experimenting with sounds and rhythms. We are working on our second album and we’re in a creative flow at the moment which feels really free and relieving.

 

Read more Music Articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Swedish Duo Smith & Thell Discuss How They Got Started and Their Journey So Far: Featured Image Credit: Shervin Lainez

Artist and Producer Uffie is Back with New Music

by

After achieving success with her hit “Pop the Clock” back in 2011, Uffie ended up taking a hiatus and just recently coming back into the music scene. With a loyal fanbase, Uffie is excited to get back to performing music and experimenting with different sounds. Her new EP, Tokyo Love Hotel, is out now and available to stream on SpotifyApple Music & Soundcloud. Uffie answered some questions for Cliché about her come back.

 

Cliché: Hi Uffie! Can you talk a little about why you took a break and why you’ve decided to return?

Uffie: With a toddler and another one the way, it was important to me that they got all of me.  I’d just lost my mother and it was a period of serious growth and change, one that I am incredible thankful for. I missed music, and started working with some really amazing people who made me fall in love with it on a whole other level. It all came together very organically and I knew it was the right time.

 

Can you tell me about the inspiration behind your new EP, ‘Tokyo Love Hotel’?

There is a lot of exploring love and loss, and different views of feelings… but it’s got some humor.

 

Would you say you’ve noticed any changes in the music industry since you stopped releasing music as Uffie back in 2011? Was it an easy transition coming back or are you still getting used to this all again?

It has changed a lot, and I think will continue to do so. But it feels like an exciting time for the actual music, people feel less “pigeon hole-y”, and really interesting sounds can [be] huge now. With streaming and social media platforms it’s a really interesting time to be an independent artist as well. I feel like people can be as real, honest, and visible as they choose to be or not be. You lose the middle man with how direct you can be with your audience through social media.

 

Coming back from a hiatus seems to be a good chance to reinvent yourself or your sound if you ever wanted to. Did you feel like that’s what you wanted to do and try something new or do you want to keep that same sound that your fans loved years ago?  

I for sure had my rebellious moment of wanting to make a record no one would ever expect from me, haha. And it’s really important to take the time to try a ton of different things… I think my sound will always continue to evolve and change…that is what we do as people!

 

You were listened to all over the world, and now word’s going to get around quick that you’re back. Is there a world tour in the works?

I’m very excited to play and connect with fans – that’s what it’s about at the end of the day. I’m kicking off shows this year, March 1st in San Francisco during Noise Pop fest.

 

It’s clear from the Internet that your fans are super excited to have you back. What are you most looking forward to with coming back? Did you miss performing live as Uffie?

I’m really happy to be sharing music again, and am so touched by how down my OG fans are. Can’t wait to play all this new music live!

 

What can listeners expect from you in the near future?  

Exciting things….

 

Read more Music Articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Artist and Producer Uffie is Back with New Music: Featured Image Credit: Ashely Osborne 

Bennov, Supin, and Videmus Omina at New York Fashion Week

by

New York Fashion Week is an iconic event and every show during the week is unique and carefully crafted by the designers and all those who make it possible. I was very fortunate to attend one of the the Fall/Winter 2019 shows presented by Nolcha Shows. Designers Bennov, Supin, and Videmus Omina sent their models down the runway in beautiful collections that were both cohesive and distinct. The seats around the runway filled up quickly and before I knew it the show was underway. The lights dimmed and the music blared letting everyone know that what the audience was about to see was going to be nothing short of dramatic.

Bennov’s models took the runway first. From flowing, elegant dresses and skirts, to jumpsuits, every look had details that made them all stand out. Keeping materials and themes consistent throughout but crafting several different looks from the same colors and fabrics, Bennov’s collection had pieces that were all connected while also standing out on their own.

Supin took the runway second and “aesthetics is the cultural root of the brand,” specifically, “plain aesthetics.” These pieces were simple and to the point and there was such a coolness about them. These were looks that I could see roaming the streets of cities. Each look distinctly different from the last, there was something for everyone in this collection.

Videmus Omina was the last designer to send their looks down the runway. This was high fashion. Beautifully crafted pieces that are more on the side of avant garde. The amount of time each one of these looks must have taken to create I can’t even fathom. The designer kept some ideas consistent here too, like the use of ruffles and sheer materials. Each look was bold and just incredible to look at.

 

 

Read more Fashion Articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Bennov, Supin, and Videmus Omina at New York Fashion Week: Image Credit: Paul Newland

Sam Setton Discusses His Music with Cliché Including His New Single, “Gum”

by

New York City native Sam Setton was inspired by the singer/songwriters he listened to growing up and began to experiment with his own sounds to find something that finally fit what he wanted to put out in the world. With music that can be described as electro-pop/R&B, he certainly found his sound. His honest lyrics and smooth vocals over electronic beats have been received well, even getting him a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom last year. Sam answered some questions for Cliché about his music and creative process, being inspired by travel, and more of what we can expect from him.

His new single, “Gum,” was just released January 18th and can be listened to here: 

 

Cliché: I’ve read that you started creating music in your early teenage years. How did that come about? What made you want to make it your career?

Sam Setton: It all started with a desire to be able to create my own music that was just like the music I was obsessed with when I was a teenager. I was really into singer/songwriters, so I just started experimenting with writing my own music that was similar to them. It took a long time for me to want to make it my career though. I experimented with different sounds for literally 8 years until I finally sound something I was confident sharing with the world.

 

Can you describe your creative process? How do you choose the instrumentation that you end up using?

My creative process starts with an idea and a few piano chords. I sit down at the keyboard in my bedroom and start crafting a song either based off an emotion I’ve been feeling, or an idea I thought about a few days prior that I jotted down in my notes app on my phone. After a few days or weeks of crafting a song, I usually bring it to my frequent collaborator Alexander Glantz (who produced the track) and from there we discuss the sound we want to go for and just dive into the instrumentation.

 

Who/what inspires or influences you musically?

I’m usually inspired musically by the last few artists and songs that have been in heavy rotation for me. I tend to listen to a lot of different types of music and I’m always discovering new artists – so the inspiration never stops.

 

In 2018, you finally got to perform at Bowery Ballroom, which I have read was a dream for you. What was that experience like?

YES! It was a dream for me because that was a venue I frequented when I was a kid growing up in NYC. The experience was surreal. I had a ton of friends in one section too, so seeing them and the sellout crowd was honestly extremely fulfilling.

Travel seems to be a big inspiration for you. What are some of your favorite places to travel to and what about them has inspired your music?

Yes, travel is a big inspiration source for me. My favorite places to travel are definitely East Asia (Japan, South Korea), Tel Aviv, Israel and South America (Chile is a second home for me because of family I have there). In terms of what about them inspires me… that’s a tough one. I’d say it’s more of the way being away from home makes me feel. Being outside of your comfort zone does wonders for the soul.

 

Would you say that you travel specifically to find inspiration for your music? Where are some other places you want to go?

I do travel sometimes specifically to find inspiration for my music, but not always. I’m keen on going to Jordan, Russia and Australia next.

 

Can you tell me about your new single, “Gum”?

“Gum” is honestly one of my favorites. It came about after being inspired by all of my friends that were in new relationships. I was single and thinking how it’s been so long since I fell in love and I was starting to forget what it felt like. So I started channeling past emotions into the writing and that ended up becoming “Gum”.

 

What can listeners expect from you in the near future?

Listeners can expect a lot of new beautiful music from me, some cool visuals and a lot of killer live shows.

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine.

Sam Setton Discusses His Music with Cliché Including His New Single, “Gum”: Image Credit: Erik Washington 

 

SHAED Talks New Music, Upcoming Tour, and Their Recent Feature in an Apple Commercial

by

Alternative band SHAED has been making music together ever since they all became friends back in high school. Hailing from Washington, DC, the group consists of twins Max and Spencer, and their best friend Chelsea, who is now also Spencer’s wife. The band is first and foremost best friends and their love of the same music is channeled into their creation of music. Chelsea answered some questions for us about their new music, their recent feature on an apple commercial, and more about what we can expect.

    

Cliché: How did the three of you decide to start making music together? Was there a specific moment when you knew that this was the right fit?

Chelsea: The instant we became friends is the moment we started writing songs together. We were in separate projects for the first couple of years of knowing each other which prevented us from working together officially until SHAED was born in 2016.

  

How does your songwriting process work? What inspires you to write your music the way that you do?

We all live together in a small house outside of DC. We try to write together as much as possible. Our inspiration can be as simple as having the ability to walk into our studio every day and freely create.

  

I was first introduced to your music last year when you were on tour with Bishop Briggs and Manatee Commune and I’m very happy that I was! How much has changed for you since that tour?

A ton has changed. We all moved into a house together. Spencer and I got married. And we released our EP Melt.

   

Your song, “Trampoline,” was recently featured on an apple commercial and it’s one of your most popular songs on Spotify and itunes. How important has that exposure been for you? Do you feel you’ve gained new fans you hadn’t reached before?  

The Apple commercial has been a dream. The amount of exposure we’ve received is unbelievable – we have gained so many new fans, especially internationally. It has opened a lot of doors for us which we are incredibly thankful for.

   

   

You’ve gone on tour a few times now. What has been your favorite city or cities to play and why?

We get asked this question a lot and we always struggle to answer. We are so happy that we have the opportunity to travel and each place we visit is wonderful.

  

When performing live do you try to make it sound just like the recorded versions or do you ever like to get creative with the composition or instrumentation when performing? What’s your favorite song to perform live at the moment and why?

We definitely like to change things up. We totally strip down “Just Wanna See” to just electric guitar, drum pad and vocals. That’s our favorite song to play live at the moment.

  

Your latest EP, Melt, has been out for a little while now. I read that leading up to it you were writing every day. What was it about the songs that are on it that they made the final cut?

We wrote a lot of songs for this EP but we picked tracks that were especially special to us. “Melt” was the first song we wrote in our house, “Trampoline” followed after, and “You Got Me Like” and “Keep Calling” were a result of being snowed in during the winter months. Every song we chose just felt like us.

  

It was recently announced that you’re going on your first headlining tour this coming February which must be really exciting! What are you most looking forward to?

It’s going to feel super special knowing that everyone there came to see us 🙂 Seeing and hearing people sing along to our songs is our favorite thing.

  

Apart from your upcoming tour, what can listeners expect from SHAED coming up in the near future?

New songs soon 🙂

   

   

Read more Music Articles at Cliché Magazine.

SHAED Talks New Music, Upcoming Tour, and Their Recent Feature in an Apple Commercial Featured image credit: Nicole Mago