Interviews

An Interview With Taps On His Release Of ‘Dance All Night’

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Tapiwa ‘Taps’ Mugadza, known professionally as Taps, is a Zimbabwean soul and pop singer who began his musical journey at the age of 15. Before making his move to America to study at the Musicians Institue in Hollywood, Taps completed in the Zimbabwean Idol competition where he won third place overall. From there, he went on to work with world-renowned producers such as T-Collar, Moose, Pip Kembo, Boi-1da, and Quincy Jones, writing all of his own music.

With his single release ‘Dance All Night’ out now, we took some time to hear more from Taps. Read below to learn more about Taps, the story behind his latest single, and what’s to come.

Tell us a bit about yourself for those who may not know!

I am an artist from Zimbabwe who is now based in Los Angeles.

When did you fall in love with music? On top of singing, do you play any instruments?

I fell in love with music around 5 years old. I play piano and all guitars!

You grew up as a kid in Zimbabwe, at what point did you move to the US?

I moved to the US when I was 20 turning 21.

Tell us about your latest single ‘Dance All Night’

My latest single is a glimpse into what life was like as a kid for me when we would go camping.

Your latest single ‘Dance All Night’ is heavily connected to your story of growing up in Zimbabwe. Would you say living in LA has had an impact on the music you’re creating?

Absolutely, I think your surroundings definitely have a huge influence on what you create.

Living in LA can be very competitive when it comes to the entertainment industry as a whole. How do you navigate that on a day to day?

It is so easy to be influenced by the hype so I try by all means to stay in my lane and do what I am good at.

What is your favorite part about being in the music industry?

My favorite part is seeing the lives that are impacted by the music I make. Personally, I think it’s the best when people tell you how songs have gotten them through certain situations.

What is the message that you are trying to share through your music?

When I think about all of my music, the message I am trying to share is to enjoy life. Enjoy where you are at! It doesn’t need to be complicated.

What would you like to accomplish with your music?

Eventually, I would like to go back and rebuild a couple of homes that I grew up in. On top of that, I hope my music influences people to be their very best!

For those who are aspiring to be a singer/songwriter, what is the main piece of advice you would give them?

Always be true to who you are! There will always be a lot of hype, stay focused, and don’t lose yourself in it.

How soon can we expect some new music from you?

You can expect new music from me in the next couple of months. Keep up with my Instagram @tapsempire for all the latest updates!

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Photo Credits: James Davis II

Artist Lexxi Saal Is The Crossroad of Soul and Pop in Latest Single “Bang!”

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Lexxi Saal is an emerging LA-based recording artist whose music is bliss pop perfection with a raw attitude. Her newest single, “Bang!” is absolutely addictive – the kind of song that encapsulates all the drama with a martini. As a songwriter, Lexxi Saal has penned for notable pop acts such as Ava Max, and numerous CPOP and KPOP artists. It doesn’t stop there though: you may have heard her songs on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Hills, Dynasty and more. 

I had the chance to talk with Lexxi about her newest single, and the inspiration behind her music and more. 

Congrats on the release of “Bang!” What was the inspiration behind the track? 
The inspiration behind the track was wanting to incorporate “going out with a bang” somewhere in the story line, and the rest just started flowing. “Bang!” has a cinematic feel to it.

What was the creative process for this song like? 
Cinema and soul are a power combination. I love adding the drama and hard hits to portray the song in a cinematic way. 

What has been the most exciting part of releasing “Bang!”?
Being able to put the music that I believe in out is such a freeing feeling. Every time I have a release I get excited for my listeners to hear my sound as it evolves throughout each song I write. 

Who are some of the artists you draw inspiration from? 
I am inspired and musically influenced by Amy Winehouse and Leon Bridges. I am a sucker for some soulful raw talent. 

What has been the most surreal moment for you in your musical career so far? 
Being able to collaborate and be in the room with such talented people is something I am so grateful for and makes the moments of creating music that much more special. 

What’s next for you and your musical journey?
I am writing and releasing more music. Also working on an exciting project that I can’t wait to share with everyone SOOOOOON. 

Stream “Bang!” on Spotify and more!

Follow Lexxi Saal Online:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Youtube
Website

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by PRESS

Synth-Pop Artist I Am Boleyn Releases Euphoric Single “Until the Summer Ends”

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Synth-pop UK artist I Am Boleyn has dropped the perfect track for August.Until the Summer Ends” is simply put: 80s synth-pop perfection. Influenced by the likes of Robyn, Mo and Goldfrapp, “Until the Summer Ends” is an effortless single that captures the importance of living in the now, since in the end: there’s nothing left to lose.

Spending her time between London and Stockholm, I Am Boleyn grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, went to Oxford University to study history, and has been writing songs since she was young. Growing up with music being at the forefront of her life, it was always written in the stars that this artist is destined for great things. Always turning to music as an escapism, I Am Boleyn shares, “I think that music is one of the most powerful, emotional tools we have”.

I had the chance to talk about the latest euphoric track with I Am Boleyn and the inspiration behind it. 

How did “Until the Summer Ends” come to be? What inspired the track? 
I went to Sweden in May this year to do some recording – I traveled on the first day I
could. It was amazing and strange to be traveling again and to go to a country that
had such a different Covid experience to most places. It made me think about how
much we long for connection. Summer for me encapsulates that feeling of freedom
and closeness we have all be craving.

What genres or artists have inspired your music?
I fell in love with Lana Del Rey and Florence the Machine’s first albums. They felt so fresh
and urgent. Recently I’ve been listening to The Midnight and Annie who have
definitely inspired the synth mood of the track.


How does the song fit into your pandemic experience? What are you walking away
with after living in isolation? 
One of the biggest lessons for me after isolation is to not hold on too dearly to plans. They
are probably going to change so don’t worry too much about it!

What do you hope listeners take away from the song? 
Mainly I hope that they feel happy listening to it – we really had fun making it and I want the
nostalgia of it to make people smile.

What has been your favorite reaction to the new single? 
My manager was so excited when he heard it! That was great to get that feedback. I can’t
wait to see what everything else thinks.

How have you incorporated your feminist values into your music and career?
There are lots of ways to stand up for your views and be counted – I don’t shy away from
calling things out and also speaking my mind if I’m asked in interviews. Another
small way to uplift women is to use your platform – whatever its size – to support
them. It’s really important to support other woman’s work. Repost their song, go to
their play, tell a friend about their new business. Women have been encouraged to
see others as competition within the desired male framework and it’s nonsense!
Women are very powerful when they help each other.

What’s on the horizon for I Am Boleyn? 
I have my first gig in ages on September 22nd at Old Street Records in London! I am so
excited to sing live again.

Stream the new single “Until the Summer Ends” on Spotify and more! 

Follow I Am Boleyn Online:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube

Website

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Russell Higton

Fortuno Points Us In The Right Direction In “RIGHT WAY”

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Fortuno Points Us In The Right Direction In “RIGHT WAY”

“The group’s knowledge of classic R&B sounds gives them a slightly nostalgic quality, but the three-piece are perpetually looking to the future.” -CLASH

“Each one of these talented individuals do an amazing job of adding their own personal flare and style to an impressive piece.” -Lyrical Lemonade

“They have extremely strong roots but also a lot of motivation to keep reaching for authenticity, overcoming obstacles as they come.” -Rising Shrine

Listen Acting as a reinforcement of a much-needed mantra, LA based trio, Fortuno, explores the unequal yet undeniably beautiful path toward success and self-exploration in their new single, “Right Way(out now!)

Eli, Ellis, and Tobi share a lot. Beyond being bandmates, the trio shares a taste for nostalgic tunes and ambient sounds as well as a passionate and genuine connection to their craft. That said, each of them has their own specific paths both as artists and as humans. That’s where “Right Way” comes in. Simultaneously chilling yet warm, the final single off their upcoming EP speaks to the unique path each person must go down for their personal development. Echoing a sentiment that the guys’ hold onto themselves, the single shows that once you figure out that there is no “Right Way,” you end up finding yourself exactly where you’re meant to be.

Fortuno
For Fortuno, the right place is LA. In 2018 on the shoreline of southern Maine, music majors and local cover-band-mates Tobi and Ellis joined forces with their former high school classmate and current USC jazz guitar star, Eli. Together they celebrated and struggled, as young adults do, and eventually made their way to Southern California to dive headfirst into a full-blown music career. Not only was this the best decision they collectively made, but it also clearly created inspiration for their music. Their upcoming EP is a mosaic of their years of moving and committing to a “make-it-work” mentality, and “Right Way” is both a gift to listeners as well as a gift to themselves. Like a mantra, the lyrics remind Fortuno of the good, the bad, and the ugly, yet the result is a harmoniously haunting hymn fashioned with modern trap elements and a soundscape of comfort.

With Eli and Ellis on production and Tobi on the mic, the trio has danced throughout the Los Angeles music milieu since their debut and through the speakers of the millions who stream their songs. Playing at The Roxy, The Peppermint Club, and shows with Sofar Sounds, Fortuno cemented their unique sound as one that is here to stay in the So-Cal scene. Their single, “Home” has amassed nearly 1.5 million streams while their previous songs have garnered applause from music industry legends and local fans alike.

Listen to “Right Way” and stay up to date with all things Fortuno from the links below. Thanks for your time in checking this out!

Fortuno

SPOTIFY

INSTAGRAM

WEBSITE

YOUTUBE

Read more music press releases at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Brianna Ortiz

RISING R&B ARTIST SANI KNIGHT RELEASES NEW SINGLE “TOO DEEP”

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August 18, 2021 – Today, R&B artist Sani Knight released his emotional new single “Too Deep.” It is the second single of five that make up Heaven Seems So Far Away, slated for release later this year. The first track, “Dark Place,” caught the attention of Sparky, Mundane Magazine, Cliche Magazine, and more. 

“Creates a futuristic vibe that could be found aboard a spaceship as easily as in a club basement . . . with a cloud of angst and gloom” – Sparky

Sani Knight is an 18 year old Los Angeles-native, whose sound is the product of his environment and experiences. He fell in love with music at age 10 after discovering The Weekend and Eminem, and combined that with Middle Eastern and electronic influences. His latest single is about “realizing you’re in an unhealthy relationship once you’re too deep to let go.”

He’s a self taught pianist hoping to bring Middle Eastern representation to popular music. With an organic approach to his writing, all songs are honest, dark sentiments brought to life with those he works with – producer Bosquet (1/2 of Pixel Terror) and creative director Nikoli Party (Wallows, Foster the People).

Advance listen of Heaven Seems So Far Away available upon request.

Read more music press releases at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Nikoli Partiyeli

Cliché Sits Down With IVA to Discuss her Amazing Career

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A little about IVA: IVA is a Swedish-American crossover artist who has traveled the world, won numerous awards and has inspired countless aspiring artists through her vast experience and knowledge. Cliché caught up with IVA for a little Q&A we know you’ll love.

If you had to choose one, which title would best describe you?

A rare crossover artist, a songwriter, a bandleader, an art-song

interpreter, vocal teacher or an opera singer.

 

Good question – I think the most important role I have is as a rare crossover artist. I cross over from opera into popular music, I write my own songs and I mentor many students as well, crossing over from artist to teacher. 

 

You’ve had such a storied career so far. What is your most proud moment and why? 

 

My most proud moments have come through my teaching. I thought that some of the awards I have received or performances I’ve given were highlights until I began to see my students thrive and learned how letting them be seen was their true desire. That was also my desire, yet sometimes working as an artist has been quite lonely. I am surrounded by love now and my students and I have the joy of discovering music and their unique talents together. 

 

Tell us about your chance encounter with the casting director of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and what was it like to sing on the show.

 

At the time I was dating a man who was a big fan of Conan O’Brien and played with the idea of being a comedy writer. I was at the gym and there was a woman next to me in a Conan O’Brien jacket and sweats. I asked her where she’d bought them and she said she worked on the show. I asked her how someone got a job as a writer on the show, and she said one needed an agent but that she would be happy to arrange tickets for my boyfriend and I. I thought this would be my Christmas present to him. When I called her, she said they needed an opera singer to be part of their “staff talent show”. (Thank you, Cecelia!) That was incredible luck for me and I went in the next day to tape. We had a quick rehearsal and I made up a classical song that could go outside the range of human hearing. There was a dog in the audience cheering me on. I was worried it would be Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (“for me to poop on”) but it was a cute golden retriever in a top hat with opera glasses. I had a blast, and the casting director and I are still friends 🙂

 

What is your true passion in life and what are you currently doing to partake in your passion? 

 

My true passion in life … hmm … I think it’s to bring peace to people. I thought it was music, but it’s actually the peace that I find in music. I want to share that with the people I love, and really with as many people as I can. When I make music, I have a feeling of being whole and truly myself. I want to share that feeling with my friends, my family, my students and hopefully my listeners. This can be a tough world, and there is solace in knowing who you are — which is a feeling. May everyone know that feeling. 

 

What do you enjoy most and why? Writing songs, performing or composing concerts or something else? 

 

Concerts are my favorite. I get nervous and the rehearsing and preparing can be quite intense, but it is worth it to be able to share myself with many listeners. I have been told that I’m quite a deep thinker and willing to share my innermost thoughts, and being on stage singing my own songs seems to be the perfect way to share. 

 

Do you have plans for another album? 

 

Yes. I have recorded the first single and have many more new songs which I have been performing online during the pandemic as well as live now that we can play out. 

Is there an artist that you’d love to collaborate with?

 

I’m quite inspired by Florence and the Machine, as well as Maggie Rogers. I’d also love to sing with Josh Groban … I think our voices would complement each other. And my greatest wish is to write and sing with Paul McCartney. He is my musical spiritual father, and has been since I was five years old. I know I’m not alone in this, but a woman can dream, right? 

 

How has Covid-19 affected your life and career over the past year?

 

Phew … it’s been lonely as I live by myself. I’m an extrovert and I love to be with other people, so the pandemic made it really hard for me to feel the joy of laughing with another person. Thank God for the internet. I was able to make videos for “Adam and Iva” a comedy duo I have with my friend Adam Ollendorff, have online concerts and teach my students. I learned the guitar online as well with my teacher Geoff Bennington. And I was able to spend a lot of time with my father as my mother passed away right before the pandemic. Those were silver linings. I donated to Philabundance, a Philadelphia non-profit that provides food to the community. I was lucky to still be able to work, and I wanted to share that with people who couldn’t.

 

What is your favorite venue to perform at?

 

That is a tough one – I loved singing at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and in the beautiful big park in the center of Stockholm called Kungstradgarden. I also loved performing on the Philadelphia Waterfront Stage and on the waterfront in Karlstad, Sweden for the Swedish American of the Year award events. I’d love to perform in Central and Prospect Parks in New York as well. And perhaps someday at the Philadelphia and Metropolitan Operas. I think my absolutely favorite place is the World Cafe Live. They’ve hosted me many times and I hope to return with my new music once the dust of Covid clears. 

 

How did you first get involved in music and the creative arts? Did you have someone that you looked up to growing up or someone who strongly influenced you? 

 

I grew up in a musical family. My grandparents played multiple instruments and sang, and my father had a huge record collection he played on Saturday mornings for us. Our across-the-street neighbors were classical music lovers and exposed me to a great deal of music as well. When I was nine, a woman named Evelyn Swenson, a friend of my grandparents, invited me to sing at Opera Delaware where she was conducting and composing children’s operas. She gave me my start on the stage, and I was hooked. 

 

Do you consider yourself an Opera singer or Pop singer and why?

 

I consider myself more of a pop singer. Currently I don’t sing in staged operas, and I love writing my own music. However, I’ve decided to tie these together as I am working on an opera called “Inside Out”. It’s about my experience as a victim of domestic abuse from an intimate partner. It was one of the most confusing and terrifying experiences I’ve ever been through and I was confounded by how it consumed me for many years. I finally left the relationship and have healed over many seasons to be able to write this opera. I feel stronger than ever, in fact. I know myself and what matters to me and I better understand the darkness in this world. That is part of why I’d like to bring peace and self-knowledge to others as I’ve experienced for myself. Both the victims and the abusers benefit from healing and self-awareness. Life can change – we can change. But we need to accept and understand where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through. I hope my opera can transform a difficult experience into an enlightening one and change the conversation about domestic abuse from being a cultural norm to being seen as the dangerous disease that it is, a disease for which we must, we will, find a cure. 

 

What can we expect from you in the near future? Are you working on any projects?

 

See above 🙂


How can fans best connect with you?

 

Connect with me on my website at www.ivavoice.com


Follow me on
Instagram, you’ll find many home and live performance videos there, and you can see my fur baby Moxie there. 

 

Facebook and YouTube are great places to connect with me as well. My music can be found on all major streaming platforms: Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. 

Read more music interviews at ClichéMag.com
Image provided by Shervin Lainez

An Interview With Pop Songstress Lisey Tigra and Her New Single, “Criminal Mind”

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Hailing from London is Lisey Tigra: your not-so-typical cookie-cutter pop star. With an angelic voice against dark pop fantasies – Lisey’s music takes you through a ride of introspective emotions and deep lyricism. Her sound is meticulously crafted with inspiration that draws from 90s club music to R&B and punk. Her most iconic release to date, “Criminal Mind,” is an enchanting pop track that radiates confidence.

We had the chance to catch up with Lisey Tigra to discuss all things “Criminal Mind” and her upcoming EP Crime Scene

Q: What’s the story behind “Criminal Mind”?  

Lisey Tigra: I wrote ‘Criminal Mind’ when I was twisted over a guy and I was finding it really hard to get over him. Then one day I had a realization that I didn’t actually want to be with him, I wanted to be him. He had certain qualities of courage, bravery, and strength to walk his own path that I felt like I was lacking at the time. Those qualities inspired me in a way that felt like love but in reality, it was admiration – I wanted to embody those qualities that I  saw in him. That’s what I mean when I sing ‘I want your criminal mind to be mine’. Once I  managed to become more courageous, strong, and brave in my own life I was instantly over him because I became whole on my own. There was no void left for him to fill.

Q: What do you hope fans get out of “Criminal Mind”?  

LT: My hope is that when people listen to this track they feel empowered to become the person they want to be. Also to realize they can embody whatever qualities they desire to have and become whole within themselves. Most of the time we are projecting onto other people and latching on to things that represent what we feel like we are lacking. Once we make ourselves whole we can truly love from a place of actual love rather than from our ego. 

Q: What has been your favorite reaction to the new single?  

LT: My favourite reactions have been to the music video which has been described as an ‘enchanting, awe-inspiring piece of audiovisual art’. It is definitely my proudest  moment yet.

Q: You’re coming out with your first EP soon. What sounds can we expect from this release?  

LT: So this is actually the last single from my first EP Crime Scene which I’ve been releasing single by single over the last year. It includes “Maybe It’s Worth It”, “Deceive Me”,  “Crime Scene” and “Criminal Mind”. In a few weeks, the full EP will be released with an extended version of ‘Maybe It’s Worth It’, and remixes of “Crime Scene” and “Criminal Mind”.

Q: You’re a big feminist advocate. How have you used your music/platform to lift female voices?  

LT: My music is written to empower and inspire the young generation to be strong-minded, independent women. I write about certain struggles we face as women in society and certain emotional ‘traps’ that we sometimes fall into, and try to unpack them in a way that other girls can become aware of them. I have many conversations in my DMs with girls that relate to my lyrics and we have long, insightful discussions into why we are sometimes driven to have certain patterns of thought caused by guilt and unworthiness  — things that we have been conditioned to constantly feel by society. I learn so much from hearing other women’s experiences and it inspires me to write even more.

Q: Who would be your dream collaboration?  

LT: Rina Sawayama. I’m obsessed with her.

Q: What are you most looking forward to as we transition into a post-pandemic world?  

LT: Live shows! I can’t wait to play live again. I will announce some shows really soon. 

 

Take a listen to “Criminal Mind” below, and be sure to follow Lisey Tigra on her official Instagram.

Follow Lisey Tigra Online:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube

TikTok

Website

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by PRESS

Overall Management Founder Rosabelle Eales on Shaping the Future of Music Management

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Fully enamored with the music industry, Rosabelle Eales eagerly jumped headfirst into music management at 23 – as a founder of her own company, Overall Management. What resulted was a thriving coalition of artists and collaborators. Rosabelle plans to expand Overall to include a record label and management service for other creatives. She feels an overwhelming sense of pride and respect towards her Overall family and everything that they’ve been able to accomplish together thus far. Check out Overall Management on Instagram and Twitter.

Cliché: What originally sparked your interest in music management?
Rosabelle Eales: I have always been a lover of music, and as someone who isn’t terribly talented it felt like the best way for me to be involved in something I love so much. 

Why did you specifically want to create a grassroots, women run music management company?
I don’t think it was ever really a cognitive decision to do either of those things, I guess I saw a hole in the market for a management company run the way I wanted to see one run – so I created it. 

Tell us all about the ethos and mission behind Overall Management. 

We are good people fighting for the good people. My entire company is built off this principle and that we work to empower the voices of both our clients as well as those around us. 


You were only 23 when you founded the company. Was it daunting to be so young? Who did you look to for advice? What words of encouragement can you offer to other young women business owners? 
I think it’s more daunting looking back on it than it was in the moment – I’ve been blessed to have a great group of friends and mentors around me and also learned to really trust my intuition at a young age. The best advice I can give is that there is always enough space at the table, sometimes you just need to pull up your own chair. 

How would you describe your dynamic with Overall’s talent?

Super collaborative! We are all a family & everyone supports each other. 

What do you look for when searching out new talent?

I don’t know if I ever “look” for new talent, we kind of just find each other. All the clients at Overall and I have similar values and goals which allow us to best support and work together. 

What would you say has been your proudest moment at Overall thus far?
I know this is a little bit of a cop out, but every day I’m proud. I’m proud of my clients, team and the incredible people who we get to work with on a day daily basis to bring amazing music into this world. 

Do you have any plans for the future of Overall that you can share with us?

Currently we are working on launching Overall Recordings which will be the record label component of the company as well as Overall Creative which will serve as management to creative directors, videographers, photographers, designers ect. 

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Overall Management Founder Rosabelle Eales on Shaping the Future of Music Management. Photo Credit: Lindy Lin.

Montis Talks New Single and Being an Independent Artist

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Having enjoyed a broad musical upbringing, Montis has launched his musical career with optimism and ambition. His new single, “Lemon Sugar,” features improvised live sax as the beating heart of the track. In the future, he hopes to get signed in order to be able to better network and collaborate with other artists. For now, he’s dreaming of playing his first set. Listen to “Lemon Sugar” below.

 

Cliché: Who were your musical inspirations growing up?

Montis: There was always great music being played in my house, artists that I didn’t really appreciate until I was a little bit older. My dad in particular had quite eclectic tastes – he listened to some really good artists, who I’m sure influenced my music, artists like Sade, Dave Brubeck and Kate Bush. My mother is Nicaraguan so I was also exposed to a lot of Latin American music, artists like Manu Chao and Buena vista social club were often playing whenever we had family round. There’s something about the energy and rhythm of Latin music that I found quite infectious and it’s something I wanted to try and incorporate in my own music. More recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Jazz influenced indie music coming out of London at the moment. King Krule, Jerkcurb, Puma Blue, and Oscar Jerome are all great examples.

How would you describe your sound? 

 I always find it really hard to answer this question, I think that people often put me in with other R&B artists, but I don’t think that my music fits in with any specific genre as such. I tend to use jazz chords in most of my songs and I love using effects which add a vintage feel to the music. Most of my songs are guitar led since it’s my primary instrument, so the guitar has always been a key element of my sound. But actually I think I’m still finding my sound to be honest.

How has COVID impacted your development as an artist?

As is the case for most musicians, it has definitely had both a positive and negative impact on me. I have been able to really focus on getting better as a producer and songwriter. I have also had time to engage with other art forms. A friend of mine introduced me to David Lynch at the start of lockdown and Twin Peaks has become one of my favourite series. I also started looking into some of the street artists in new York in the 80s, Keith Haring and Jean Michael Basquiat for example. I found their attitude towards art so inspiring and it really made me consider the importance of aesthetic in music.  However, I wasn’t able to practice performing the songs I’d written over lockdown which has made me quite nervous about performing live. But there have been a lot of artists who have spoken about this issue which has made me feel a little better about it. 

Talk about your newest single, “Lemon Sugar.”

 I actually wrote it a long time ago. I produced the demo myself, but at the time I had only just started on Logic. I wanted to sit with it for a while before I released it, I couldn’t say why but it felt like the right thing to do with the song. I have been really lucky because a close friend of mine, Jimmi Herbert (a very talented musician and producer), wanted to help me with the track before I had really figured out the production software I was using.  So I almost had a mentor with the production of this song. I was listening to a lot of Jazz around the time I wrote the track, which is why I wanted to put live sax on it. I approached a jazz saxophonist with the idea that I would just send him the track and that I wanted him to improvise over it a few times and then I would just pick my favourite take. I think this process worked really well, the sax is the most immediately recognisable element of the track. It was also the first time I worked with a visual artist for the cover art, I approached an artist (Poppy Vinciguera) working out of Brighton who coincidentally went to my secondary school. I was really happy with the way it turned out, I think in the future I’d like to work with visual artists much more, whether it be designing merch or something, it’s definitely something which I’ve realised the importance of with the release of “Lemon Sugar.”

What’s your songwriting process like?

I still don’t have one set way of doing things. I’ve not been writing songs seriously for very long to be honest. I usually start with the track and then write lyrics afterwards, but it really depends on the mood. Sometimes I’ll start with a poem and then I’ll make a track with that in mind. I don’t think there’s a correct way of doing things, and I know loads of musicians that have their own way of doing things. For “Lemon Sugar,” I actually had the song finished, and I later went back and rewrote the lyrics because it didn’t feel like they applied as much as they did at that particular point in my life.

How does it feel being an unsigned artist during COVID?

I don’t think it would’ve been a great time for me to get signed, I don’t like to think about it too much though. I’m just trying to focus on getting better as a musician at the moment and hopefully people resonate with what I’m making.

Are you looking for any particular quality in a potential label, or would you want to stay independent?

For the moment I’m happy independent, but I think that if a label could help me get in touch with other artists and producers that would be a really great thing. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with other musicians, I’ve only really just started working with other artists and I think it’s maybe the best way to develop your own skills as a musician. 

Now that the pandemic is easing, what are your hopes for your career over the next year?

I want to put together a really special performance. I have enough tracks for a set now, so I want to get together a group of really tight players and put on a great show. Aside from this I would like to have an album out by this time next year at the latest. I have only released singles up until this point, so I feel an urge to work on a coherent, well put together project. An albums album, something you would listen to cover to cover. So many of the albums I love are written this way – To Pimp A Butterfly, Blonde, The Dark Side of the Moon. I love the idea of people taking time out of their day to sit down and listen to a project the whole way through, the way I listened to those albums. I don’t know, maybe it’s a bit optimistic but that would make me so happy.

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Montis Talks New Single and Being an Independent Artist. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Montis.

Summer Mckeen Talks about Her New Music Community : Keen On

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If you have been immersed in the world of Social Media, you may have heard of Summer Mckeen. Summer is an Influencer, Actor, Model, Musician and Business Woman. She has 2.25 Million Subscribers on Youtube and 1.8 Million followers on Instagram. Summer shares with us all about her deep love for music and how it led her to her newest business endeavor.

You started doing YouTube in 2012, nearly 10 years ago, how has your content and YouTube as a whole changed since then? 

It honestly hasn’t changed too much as far as content goes. It’s so cool because you can go back on my channel and watch me grow up, but other than the progression of becoming an adult, I don’t think much has changed! I think I’ve become more comfortable with sharing the failures of life and showing how growth only comes from failure. I’ve kind of gone from the “girl next door” to “the big sister” figure on my channel. I just want to live and grow with my subscribers in a positive way. 

Photo By: Mia McCarthy

Many people around the world look at you as an inspiration. Do you have anyone that inspires you? 

I think where I find my inspiration is constantly changing. I have found inspiration in my peers, my family and through whatever it is I spend my time on outside of YouTube. Inspiration is everywhere! 

One of your newest business endeavors is Keen On, can you share with us what it is all about and what inspired you to start it? 

Music has always been a huge part of my life. Even since I was super little, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t constantly listening to music. I’ve taken piano lessons, voice lessons, had musically talented family friends, gone to as many concerts I can, and even recorded a song that is now on Spotify. I would die if I didn’t have music! Because of my passion for music, I brought it onto my YouTube channel through “music playlist” videos where I share all the songs I listen to. This resonated really well with my followers, which translated to earning over 100k followers on Spotify. I knew I wanted to use my platform for something I was passionate about, and music just made sense. My goal for Keen On is to highlight smaller artists and give them the platform they deserve, bring like-minded, music-loving people together, and introduce people to new sounds. I can’t wait for what’s to come for Keen On… we have plenty of projects in the works. 

Photo By: Mia McCarthy

Who are some of your favorite musical artists? 

My all-time favorite will always be Kevin Parker (aka Tame Impala). His sound is unlike anything I’ve listened to before and my appreciation for his insane talent is through the roof. I’ve been listening to him forever. I also love Mac Demarco so much that I’ve taken every chance I can to see him in concert… I’ve seen him four times now! A few others I love are Her’s, Flume, MGMT, Beck, STRFKR, Beach House, Sure Sure, Kacey Musgraves and SO many more! 

You have worked with brands like Maybelline, Billabong, and Gucci, but how different is working on a community like Keen On, that you created? 

It’s a totally new world for me. Usually, I work with pros on the teams of these huge brands that have been in the business forever and know exactly what they’re doing. But with Keen On, I am supposed to be the pro. I’m so lucky to have a team that helps me with everything, but at the end of the day, everything is ultimately up to me. It’s a huge learning experience with every step we take, but it feels so amazing to know I started something that has infinite potential! 

What’s next for Keen On?

We’re working on a number of things, but nothing that I can say juuuust yet. We have so much planned for Keen On this year that you’ll get to listen to very soon . Cannot wait! Stay tuned, because Keen On has so much coming up! Follow the IG @keenon so you won’t miss a thing! 

Follow Summer Mckeen on Instagram | Tik Tok  | Youtube 

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Images Provided By: Mia McCarthy

Julia Rizik Pushes the Boundaries on New EP ‘Self Destructive’

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Julia Rizik is no stranger to pushing the limits. After her successful debut as a country music star performing at festivals like Stagecoach and Country Thunder, she took time in 2020 to reflect on her artistry. Through this, Rizik decided it was time to push herself out of her comfort zone. Her desire for creative freedom drew her to find a home within the alternative, R&B pop sound. Her latest body of work showcases her passion for this genre and her transition as an artist. 

Julia, a multi-talented artist, used her time in quarantine to confront her feelings about her toxic relationship and the inevitable heartbreak. By writing in search of therapy and clarity, Julia culminated her debut indie-pop EP “Self Destructive.” The five-song EP highlights the typical emotions attached to heartbreak and self-reflection that we all face. The title track “Self Destructive” drops April 23rd followed by the music video release on April 28th. Ahead of these exciting releases, we caught up with Julia Rizik to discuss her evolution as an artist, her upcoming EP, and much more! 

 

Cliché: What inspired you to become a musician? How did you get your start?

Julia Rizik: I got my start in music at an open mic night when I was 11 years old. It was that night that I realized music was my calling. I was on stage, staring at the audience, and for the first time, I felt complete. 

 

Where do you draw inspiration from when you sit down to write a song?

I write about everything. I have such a crazy songwriter imagination that I could turn anything into a story to write about. Most often, though, I’m writing about my own experiences with love, heartbreak, anxiety, etc.

 

Julia Rizik

Is there a music genre that attracts you the most as a listener?

As a listener, I’m most drawn to Motown. I know that’s an old genre, but I truly think it’s the greatest of all time. I think Motown changed music forever, and we have so much to learn from its singers and songwriters.

 

Tell us about your upcoming EP, “Self Destruction.”

Self Destructive” is a 5 song project telling the story of my life over the last two and a half years. 2018-2020 was a transitional period for me, and I learned so much about myself during that time period, “Self Destructive” just follows that period of time. 

 

Who are some of your musical inspirations and idols?

Hmm, where to start! I really love the artistries of Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, The Weeknd, Post Malone, a few others. I feel so inspired by their voices and songwriting, especially. 

 

What can we expect next from you?

Well, my new EP is coming soon, and I’m so anxious for the release. I’m hoping at some point this year, it will be safe to get back on stage. I miss performing so much. My plan is to keep writing and releasing music & connecting with listeners & creating those bonds. I’m so grateful to be here doing what I love.

 

 

Read more Interviews at ClicheMag.com

Images Provided by Mikaela Rizik

Cooper Phillip’s New Pop Anthem of Empowerment

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Cooper Phillip’s “Not Perfect” is an empowering track narrates embracing your true self and knowing your self-worth. Cooper Phillip has garnered acclaim from the likes of Hollywood Life, Earmilk and PopDust to name a few. She is also known as an Instagram influencer and has gone viral on Spotify and YouTube, receiving over 15 million streams to date. 

Watch her Empowering Music Video Here

Photo By: Alena Soboleva

Russian born, Los Angeles based pop soul artist Cooper Phillip succeeds in capturing the undivided attention of listeners across the globe. With her intense drive, soaring vocals and passionate songwriting, Phillip is elevating herself to the top of her genre. 

Born in a small town in Russia to a family of accomplished classical musicians, her early years were shaped being raised by her grandmother and aunt while her mother, a master violin player, toured around the world with various symphonies. This separation led Phillip to take comfort in music where she was enamoured  by the vocal stylings of Ella Fitzgerald. A young Phillip taught herself Fitzgerald’s songs inside and out, noticing every nuance of phrasing and jazz intonations. Phillip eventually enrolled at the prestigious Moscow State Classical Academy where she studied classical piano, music theory, harp, jazz, blues, ballet and voice. The songstress worked diligently to expand her vocal range and control, taking everything that came in her path and feeding off of the challenge. 

Recognizing her daughter’s talent and charisma, Phillip’s mother gave up her flourishing career to accompany a young Cooper on tour throughout Russia. Determined to pursue an international career in music, Phillip moved to New York City at the age of 17. With barely a dollar to her name, the singer worked and hustled, performing in weddings and clubs and sleeping in the storeroom of a restaurant where she sang. It wasn’t easy but she would not be deterred. After a few years in the city, Phillip jumped at an opportunity to sing at an important gig in Los Angeles. She never went back. 

Phillip’s music features an underlying theme of strength, grace and empowerment. “I believe we underestimate ourselves often and our fear takes over. My goal is to show people that they are stronger and can do much more than they think they can”, she admits. Using true life stories, hardships and experiences, the songwriter emits authenticity and courage throughout her music. 

Cooper Phillip has seen success with her previous single garnering over 10 million listens online. She has also developed an impressive and loyal fanbase, particularly on social media and has performed at some of Los Angeles most prestigious venues. 

Cooper Phillip | Instagram | TwitterFacebook | Website 

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Photos provided by: Alena Soboleva