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 Spotify, Apple 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?
Sophie Tweed-Simmons has music in her blood. As the daughter of KISS rocker Gene Simmons, she’s taking it upon herself to ensure she too makes her mark in not only music but philanthropy as well. Between an upcoming EP and running her own charity, Sophie’s Place, Tweed-Simmons is rocking at life with a sincere passion for everything she does. We caught up with the star and asked some questions about her music, her life, and what she’s looking forward to in the next few months.
Cliché:When people listen to The Galaxy’s “Dangerous” that you’re featured in, what do you want them to know or feel? Sophie Tweed-Simmons: Immediately, I felt a sultry vibe when I heard the track. I think it’s a song about being more adventurous than you normally would be; it’s about maybe crossing the line with a friend or having a forbidden romance. My imagination always takes it to the extreme. I guess I want the listener to feel confident and a little dangerous, for lack of a better word.
Can you tell us about the EP you are currently working on? I’ve been writing songs my whole life and I have hundreds saved up. It was time to think about releasing something. I can’t avoid my passions anymore. The EP will be songs that are all stories from my life, feelings, or relationships—the usual tortured artist thing, but I think I have a very unique perspective on life.
I would say I have songwriting roots, an indie pop production sound, and a jazz-inspired vocal style.
Does having a famous musical father influence your career? Of course. I grew up with music in the house and learning instruments. I was encouraged to work hard and make my passions into careers. Most of all, I would say it’s his work ethic that influenced me, not so much the music itself.
Charity and advocacy is a huge part of your life. Can you talk a little more about Sophie’s Place and how it came to be? Sophie’s Place is near and dear to my heart. It is a safe place for children to go 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We are here to help those who are suffering from mental, physical, or sexual abuse, and we are here to advocate for the child. We help thousands of children and the hope is that, one day, Sophie’s Place can expand to more cities and help where we are needed.
Do you have any artists who influence your music? Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Adele, Max Martin, Joan Jett—a few very obviously amazing vocalists and songwriters in their own right. I am a strong believer of artists also writing songs—if not for themselves, than for other people. I think artists have a voice and they need to use it.
If there is any way to define your sound, how would you describe it? I would say I have songwriting roots, an indie pop production sound, and a jazz-inspired vocal style. Pretty specific, but I know what I want. I need people to feel something when they hear my music. Music should be a release or a chance for your brain to go where it otherwise wouldn’t.
Other than the EP, do you have anything in the works that people should be looking forward to in the coming months? More single releases with other artists, collabs, and some upcoming capsule clothing collections.
Over the years, Megan Davies has learned to not care about what other people think. Now, the folk-inspired singer/songwriter has evolved from singing cover songs on YouTube to sharing her own original music with the world through her Bad Poetry EP, out now. From the inspiration behind her new EP to how YouTube launched her career, Davies tells all.
Cliché: What made you get into music? Megan Davies:For me, it started with an obsession with the guitar when I was 11 or 12. I really couldn’t get enough of it. I listened to music constantly and tried to figure out how to play what I was hearing. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve always felt very connected to that instrument.
How has YouTube helped advance your music career to the where it is today? YouTube has totally changed my life and my career. When I started my channel, I was working a 9 to 5 job number-crunching in the music industry. YouTube allowed me to build an audience for my creative work. It was never an overnight thing—in fact, it took about 2 years to be able to quit my job—but it happened and I’m so grateful every single day.
How would you define your sound? I play a lot of acoustic guitar and my songs are written on the acoustic guitar, so there’s definitely a folkier vibe at times. However, I always describe it as raw and passionate, and lately a lot more pop than acoustic.
That’s my favorite part about music—how it can connect people indifferent places.
Your EP, Bad Poetry, was recently released. Can you tell us a little about it? The Bad Poetry title was taken from one of the songs on the project. It’s about learning to not care about what people think. As an artist starting from an online platform, it’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past. Bad Poetry is acknowledging “who cares if all this is bad poetry?” As long as it’s true to me, that’s what really matters. Since I’m known mostly for my covers, it felt refreshing to put my own songs and words out there. It was scary, but also important.
Do you have a favorite song on the EP? My single “Black and White” is my favorite to play live. It’s about being in your mid-20s and still not knowing exactly who you are, but becoming more comfortable with that. It sings like a conversation and it feels very natural and honest on stage.
What do you hope listeners will feel when they listen to the EP? I hope people get to know me and my songs and can relate them to their own lives. That’s my favorite part about music—how it can connect people in different places. I love touring for that reason because I get to meet all these wonderful people who get what I’m saying.
Do you have anything in the works that fans anticipate in the coming months? I just toured with Boyce Avenue this fall. It was a blast, but I’m excited to announce I’ll be headed back out for a headlining US club tour this January!
Stand Atlantic fans, rejoice! We at Cliché Magazine are partnering up with Rude Records and Stand Atlantic for a giveaway you won’t want to miss. StandAtlantic, made up of Bonnie Fraser (vocals), Jonno Panichi (drums), and David Potter (bass), recently released their “Sidewinder” music video in anticipation of their EP of the same name, out September 15. And we’re giving away one physical copy of the EP and a Stand Atlantic t-shirt for one lucky fan!
One (1) winner will receive: – One physical copy of Stand Atlantic’s SidewinderEP – One Stand Atlantic t-shirt Prizing provided by Rude Records and Stand Atlantic
How to Enter: – Complete the required action(s) below for entry to the giveaway – Earn extra entries by adding us on various social media
Selection: The winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter.com and will be contacted within 48 hours after the giveaway has ended. The winner will be given 72 hours to claim his or her prize before he or she must forfeit it to another winner.
Sydney-born singer-songwriter Phoenix Melody is on a mission to give her listeners more than just music, but something with a deeper meaning. From her teary-eyed celebration on Australia’s X-Factor back in 2013 to her eclectic cover songs and soon-to-be-released EP, Phoenix Melody is a name you won’t soon forget. Here, she spills the details on how she’s embracing every twist and turn on her musical journey.
Cliché: When did you find your passion for singing and what inspired you to sing in the first place? Phoenix Melody: My passion for music and singing developed as a toddler. Seriously, I’ve been singing since I can remember. I’ve always been “that kid” who sang and danced to anything and everything. It was a way to express myself, and I grew up in a musical family, so it was natural for me. I guess what inspired me was seeing how happy it made the people around me, especially my parents.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience auditioning for Australia’s X-Factor? Auditioning for X-Factor was definitely an unforgettable experience. I had my family and my best friends with me for support since I was nervous. I had never performed in front of such a large crowd before and I was terrified of the idea that three super talented, world-renowned artists (Redfoo, Ronan Keating, and Dani Minogue) were judging my performance. I was thrilled when I received three yeses. The sense of relief and disbelief that my talent had been recognized was overwhelming to the point of happy tears! I knew in that moment from the judges and crowd response that I was in my element and I was there serving my purpose.
Dress: Madison James, Bracelet: Jessica Elliot, Rings: Nissa Jewelry
How would you describe your own sound? My sound is an infusion of R&B/pop, with soul and rock elements. I love meshing old school with new school, whether it be a drum or bass line or in the lead vocals or harmonies.
Can you give us some insight on some of your original pieces and where they can be found? My original pieces are pretty much diary entries. They’re very personal to me, but I think they speak volumes to many different people. They’re a representation of my growth as a person over a number of years and a self-reflection of who I was, who I am, and the things I aspire to be. I think most people are going through the motions of life trying to figure themselves out. My music really reflects my personality. I’m laid-back, but also super outgoing. Overall, I’m all about finding that balance and enforcing positivity.
Knowing yourself allows more room for positive thinking and less room for negative energy.
What projects are you working on right now? I’ve just finished my EP and I am preparing and working on my release in Australia this summer. I’m ecstatic that all the pieces are finally coming together and you guys will be able to hear my original music. I’ve worked really hard for this and put my heart and soul into each of my records. My official launch party will be in my hometown of Sydney, Australia, which I’m absolutely stoked about, before releasing my music in the UK and US. You will hear your girl having some air time giving the lowdown on the record, so keep a listen out because I don’t want to give too much away just yet!
What artists do you look up to the most and why? I look up to artists who have initiated change within the industry and those who have used their following positively and have done good things with their careers—artists like Michael Jackson, Tupac, and current artists like Eminem, J. Cole, and Rihanna. I look up to people who have been crucified for their authenticity, but continue being themselves, opening people’s minds and hearts, and forcing a change in acceptance. I think it’s extraordinary that artists are able to contribute to a new way of thinking through music.
Dress: Madison James, Ring and cuff: Charles Albert, Bracelet: Jessica Elliot
Who would you love to collaborate with someday? I’d love to collaborate with Bruno Mars. He’s a living legend, that dude. He’s so incredibly talented and started from the bottom. I’d love to work with Justin Bieber and Drake, as well.
If you had the chance to perform anywhere (award show, event, etc.), where would it be? Okay, this is a tough one, but I’d probably have to say the Super Bowl. Halftime killing it on stage? Sounds like a great gig, if you’d ask me!
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career? I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to stay true to myself. I grew up with my dad always telling me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, do whatever I wanted to do, and to never let anyone tell me who I am or what to do. Although it may have backfired a little for my poor old man when it came to me doing the dishes, his reinforcing words of “dreaming the inconceivable” by “knowing myself” stuck. This industry is easy to get lost in, but I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by people who love me for me, support me, and see my vision. They don’t want to change me and my team embraces me for who I am, and that helps me grow. Love is so important. Knowing yourself allows more room for positive thinking and less room for negative energy. I am all about vibes, so I keep my circle small.
Dress: Madison James, Shoes: AMI Clubwear, Choker: Phoenix’s own, Bracelet: Jessica Elliot, Rings: Nissa Jewelry
What are three things you’d want your fans to know about you? I’m human, just like you. I’m real to the core. I’m honest; I truly do this to connect with those who have ears for my music. I do this because I’m passionate about it and I want to be the voice for those who don’t have the confidence to say, “Hey, I’m me. Do you.” I was rejected because I was different, but also embraced for the same reason and I never let it get me down. I allowed myself to become strong from my experiences and here I am. I’ve made my mistakes, I’ve owned them, and I’ve learned from them. That is so important in life: taking responsibility. I like to think I work on myself daily, to be a good example to those who need someone to look up to.
Lauren Giraldo may seem like your average 19-year-old. She loves music, social media, and hanging out with her friends. However, this young star has taken her passion for acting and singing and turned it into a full-blown career. Between releasing her first single “Only Lovers” in January, filming her new series Lady Bits on Fullscreen, producing a docu-series, and gearing up for her first tour, Giraldo is anything but an ordinary teenager.
Growing up in Miami, Florida, Giraldo has always loved being on stage. The actress performed in musicals throughout her childhood and was able to cultivate her passion for acting and singing by performing in several musicals.
“I grew up performing musical theatre and have always loved to act and sing,” Giraldo recalls. “I grew up doing musical theatre throughout school. I was in shows like Annie and Oklahoma!”
Giraldo’s career started in 2013, with the introduction of Vine. She quickly gained millions of followers on the social media platform who tuned in to see her propose to strangers and invite people for group selfies. In 2016, Giraldo starred in Vine’s original series Camp Unplug, a humorous take on famous Vine stars going to camp for a social media detox. Since then, and now after the recent shut-down of Vine, the actress and singer has focused on several projects for other social media platforms, including hosting Lauren Against the Internet, go90’s clip-show.
Choker: JewelryBar USA, Romper: L’ATISTE BY AMY
With Giraldo’s experience and outgoing personality on stage, it was only a matter of time before she landed a movie role. She recently wrapped up filming indie movie Hope Springs Eternal, a dramedy that follows main character Hope Gracin as she navigates life after the remission of her once terminal cancer. Giraldo plays Zoe, a character much different from herself.
“She is the cool girl,” Giraldo says. “She’s very mean and is the most popular girl in school. It was an interesting character to portray since we are very different.”
Acting in a feature film was a much different experience than performing in web-series’ and musicals, but Giraldo loved the opportunity to really transform into her character, as well as learn about the movie industry hands-on.
“It was very fun to dive into my character and experience being on set for a feature film for the first time,” Giraldo explains. “Everyone in the production team on set was very talented and I learned so much from them. I can’t wait for everyone to see the finalized product!”
It’s important to always remain yourself in everything you post online and be confident in yourself.
So does the actress have her sights set on a dream role? Not exactly, but if she could go back in time, she would definitely push Lindsay Lohan aside to become America’s most loved not-so-mean girl.
“I would love to play Cady Heron from Mean Girls. I love a woman that can implement change,” Giraldo tells us. “Any role where I am playing a woman of power is inspiring for me.”
Aside from all of her acting projects, Giraldo has kept busy with debuting her first single and recording her EP. She describes her sound as “something everyone can vibe to.” Having been passionate about music from a young age, this big step in her music career is a dream come true for Giraldo.
Pants: Nasty Gal, Choker: Wren and Glory, Top: L’ATISTE BY AMY
“It has been my dream for so long to release original music that I am truly passionate about,” Giraldo explains. “I have poured so many emotions into my EP and shared a lot of my personal experiences and I cannot wait for all of my fans to hear my sound. Recording my debut EP has been the most exciting and rewarding project I have worked on in my career. It is so exciting to see all of my hard work come to life.”
Following the release of her new single, Giraldo will be going on tour throughout February and March. She will be stopping in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Canada. “I am so excited to be heading out on tour to meet and perform for all of my fans,” Giraldo says.
If acting, singing, and managing over 5 million followers across her social media channels wasn’t enough, Giraldo has stepped behind the scenes for her next project: producing a Latina docu-series. While she can’t release details just yet, Giraldo tells us that this new project is special to her because it is based in her hometown.
“I am currently working on executive-producing my first series and it has been such a great experience stepping behind the camera and being able to take on a new role,” Giraldo says. “The show is currently in the casting phase and it is based in Miami. The location hits very close to home since I grew up in the city surrounded by my family, my Colombian and Spanish roots, and Latina friends.”
Recording my debut EP has been the most exciting and rewarding project I have worked on in my career.
With so much going on, Giraldo has to make sure to stay organized, but finds time to relax with her friends when she can. Her hobbies aren’t unlike that of a normal 19-year-old, and Giraldo likes it that way.
“I love discovering new music to obsess over and be inspired by, exploring different restaurants, taking long drives, and just being social and going out with my friends,” Giraldo says of her time off work. “I find a way to balance my work and personal life, but it can be tricky at times.”
The young actress spends a lot of time acting and performing, so she finds it important to stay grounded, not just by keeping up with her friends, but by reminding herself to stay confident and to always be her authentic self. With over 630K followers on Instagram, and a huge presence online overall, staying genuine can be hard to do, but Giraldo says her fan base makes it easier.
“All of my followers are very accepting and I keep a very open relationship with them,” Giraldo says of her fans. “It’s important to always remain yourself in everything you post online and be confident in yourself.”
Dress: For love and Lemons, Fur: Revolve, Shoes: Cape Robbin
To aspiring actresses, singers, and producers, Giraldo has simple, but powerful advice: “Don’t view it as a completely unattainable dream. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and go for your dreams.” She also explains that her best role model is herself, and that self-motivation is key.
“I’ve always set goals for myself and used self-motivation to pursue my dreams and achieve what I want,” she says.
To catch up with Giraldo, be sure to look for the release of Hope Springs Eternal this year and visit www.laurengiraldo.com to see if her tour is stopping by your city.
A group who is unafraid to blend various sounds, New Orleans-based band Blonde Roses will soon become your new favorite artist after one listen to their new single “Bullet.” A tight-knit group, Blonde Roses is a band that intertwines alternative, Southern blues, and rock. With Molly Portier’s amazing vocals, Harry Rosenberg on the guitar, Anthony Mikhael on the drums, and Albert Moliere on the bass, they can do no wrong. Their single “Bullet” promises refreshing revival paired with a hauntingly arresting music video with a vengeful twist. Along with their mixtape The Wooden Wings, the passionate group shows great promise as they embed personal strife with thrumming emotions in their music. Here, the group chats about their recent single “Bullet,” their creative process, and what we can expect in the near future.
Cliché: I love the name Blonde Roses; I feel like it fits perfectly. How did you come up with it? Blonde Roses: Thank you! We really took our time coming up with our name because we wanted it to be just right. We wanted it to be totally “us.” The name Rose is not only my middle name, but also a name that a lot of our family members carry in some way. It’s really special for us to be able to honor them—our biggest fans. And, well, I’m blonde.
When and where did you guys meet? And when did you decide to do music together? Before we were Blonde Roses, we went by the name The Wooden Wings. I started off this project when I was 15 years old playing acoustic coffee shop gigs. It got to a point where if we wanted to grow and progress in this project, we needed a band that could take us from coffee shops to bigger venues and bars. We were all really close friends prior to doing music together, so it felt really natural to work together creatively. We’re all on the same wavelength. Being able to continue writing and performing as not only bandmates, but best friends, is such a blessing.
Tell us something about yourself that you would want your fans to know. That’s a really tough one because I feel like we’re pretty open with our fans. If anything, we’re quirky and awkward and we embrace it. Never compromise or change who you are because of what people may think of you. Stay true to you.
Do you think having been born in Louisiana has influenced and changed how you make music? The music culture is so rich down here, it’s hard to not influenced by it. We are now more than ever really embracing our southern Louisiana roots. We’re really proud to showcase where we come from and who we are in our music. Our newer material is a lot more gritty and raw, and I can definitely say that stems from our influences right here at home.
I like how you guys blend different genres together. Will you continue with this trend or branch out and try another method? I think it’s really important for artists to continue to push themselves out of their comfort zone creatively, and that’s why we love mixing and blending the different genres we listen to on a daily basis. The music we listen to falls all over the spectrum, so it really pushes us to take the things we love about each and make it our own.
Never compromise or change who you are because of what people may think of you. Stay true to you.
I heard you are heavily impacted by ‘60’s and ‘70’s music. How has that shaped your sound? Also, has the fashion of those times influenced your wardrobe choices? We all grew up listening to music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It was such an unapologetic, honest era of music. Music is at its best when it’s unfiltered and raw, and that is something we strive to do. I think it definitely has influenced my wardrobe choices to an extent, but I love mixing and matching styles from different eras.
For those who have not seen it yet, can you tell us the message behind your visually compelling music video for your single “Bullet”? Our director, John Paul Summers, really wanted to do something different and daring with this project. We both agreed that it should play out like a mini-film rather than a typical music video, so we wanted to dive a bit deeper into the lyrics and really find a cool storyline to accompany them. “Bullet” was inspired by the cherry tree, which symbolizes the fragility of life. My character is stuck in this endless loop of destruction, but sometimes you end up really lost before being able to find yourself again. It was really important for us to make this character a really strong, independent female anti-hero, even if she is a terribly broken. She, in a sense, is acting as a “protector” for women who have been wronged by men.
The video for “Bullet” is so intense and femme fatale! Did you have fun making the video? It was definitely a learning experience for me, that’s for sure! I had never dabbled in acting before, so playing such an intense character for my first time in front of a camera like that was super scary but also super awesome. Our director and his crew were incredible to work with.
What music are you guys listening to now? Do you guys have similar music tastes? Our music tastes definitely vary, but we have some core influences we all love and admire. To name just a few: Muddy Magnolias, Grace Potter, LP, and Gary Clark, Jr.
You recently were touring all around Louisiana. How was the experience? Having the opportunity to travel with your best friends and do the thing that you love…there really is nothing like it. Because of how close we all are, almost like family, we’re really comfortable with each other on stage and can easily play off of one another’s vibes. Playing live is truly one of the most exhilarating feelings.
What is next for you guys? We are currently hard at work finishing up our debut EP set to be released early 2017, so stay in touch with us! We can’t wait to share it with you guys!
One can say that life has imitated art for Alexa San Roman and Dane Petersen of Heirsound. Both singer and songwriter came together from California and New York in 2014, literally merging together to create music. Alexa explains, “The release of Merge is the bridge between our old musical styles and the future of Heirsound.” We chatted with the duo about how they formed, the importance of visuals to accompany their music, and the overall ideas and inspiration that helped create their new EP, Merge.
Cliché: You started your previous band [Love, Robot] when you were 15. Was it easy to transition and leave that behind and start a new chapter with Heirsound? Alexa San Roman: It definitely wasn’t easy, but it was something that I felt needed to happen. It was a milestone moment for me. Having grown up through my experience in Love, Robot, it was definitely emotional to close that chapter, but it was the right decision for me to progress.
Dane Petersen: I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was definitely exciting and even refreshing to have a blank slate with open possibilities.
You two are from opposite coasts. How did you initially become familiar with each other and form a musical bond? DP: Like so many things, the Internet played a part in our initial meeting as a mutual friend introduced us over social media. We just always kept in touch and talked music. There was a mutual respect for what we’d be working on individually for a while before we began working together. The musical connection and our process have been developing ever since.
The six songs on your EP Merge are represented by the basic colors of the color wheel. What inspired that idea? DP: Really, all it took was sitting down with the songs and taking a good listen. To us, each song had a kind of mood or identity to begin with, so when we’d close our eyes, the colors would just come to mind quickly. At that point, matching them with their corresponding song followed shortly after. We knew we could do so much with this visually as well, which is another big part of who we are, so the whole idea was exciting to us.
Alexa, you produced and edited the video for “Hoods Up.” How did you come up with the video treatment and how important are visuals for you both? ASR: Well, we had the game plan to have the six EP songs all tie together with primary and secondary colors, which set the stage for “Hoods Up” to be purple. I just kind of always imagined that song to have a weird, effect-based video, so the treatment kind of just happened as we filmed. We tried a bunch of different poses and positions throughout the filming of the video and wound up with something unique. I think someone could see a screenshot from the video and just know “that’s Heirsound” based on our positions. Visual is pretty equal to the audio in my mind; they go hand in hand. I hope to be fortunate enough to release a visual for everything we ever do.
Your sound is described as alternative pop, but I saw a great cover you guys did of The Internet’s “Just Sayin.” What other genres influence your sound? DP: Hip-hop and R&B do play parts in certain inspirations for sure. Our tastes are actually rather eclectic, so we do wind up blending a few different influences in one way or another while writing.
Besides the release of your EP Merge, what have been some other highlights for your band this year? DP: Playing our first few shows were highlights for me. We get to connect with so many different people who come from all over just to support us at one intimate show. Seeing the word spread has been rewarding, but it’s the people who support us by coming out to a show or all our friends around the world who we haven’t had a chance to meet yet that make doing what we’re doing continuously more exciting.
What’s up next for Heirsound? DP: We’ll continue to spread the word with new content for your ears and eyes. There’s always something going on behind the scenes with us. We’ll play some fun shows as well.
ASR: We are really looking forward to writing and recording our first full-length album, which we’ve already started on. We can’t wait to continue on and to connect with the people who have been touched by our music.
Singer/songwriter McKail Seely is bursting onto the music scene with her unique folk-rock vibe. Between her incredible voice and moving lyrics, she’s an artist to look out for. We got the chance to talk with her about her EP Ride of Life, as well as her journey into the music industry and what inspires her.
Cliché: When did you first know you wanted to be a singer/musician? McKail Seely: While performing as a singer/dancer for a production team, a friend of mine would come to rehearsal with his guitar and sing songs that he wrote. That was what really inspired me to start up guitar lessons, and shortly after, I was writing my own material. I was about 13 years old at the time.
You have a very folk-rock vibe. Who or what inspired you to find your voice and identify with this style? When I was starting out as a songwriter, I turned to Bob Dylan’s music to show me the ropes, but it wasn’t until I watched a documentary on Bob Dylan that I began to fall in love with folk. I admire the fact that it’s so simple, yet so impactful. Storytelling is such an important factor with folk music and I hope to continue that tradition. As for the rock aspect, I listened to bands such as DMB, Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Counting Crows as a kid. I love the drive and grit that these bands brought out from time to time, especially within their vocals.
You moved from Salt Lake City to L.A. in 2012. What was the hardest part of leaving your hometown behind to begin this new journey? That hardest part has definitely been living apart from my family. My family means the world to me and I’m not one for long phone conversations, so it can feel distant at times.
Be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with.
What’s the most exciting part of the success you’ve had so far? The most exciting part has honestly been meeting incredible people within the industry and collaborating with some pretty cool cats. I was also able to open for the legendary Leon Russell and that indeed felt like a dream come true. Leon has worked with almost every legendary musician and isn’t too bad of one himself. [Winks]
What’s the most difficult part about trying to make it in the music industry? The most difficult part would probably be gaining fans and, most importantly, keeping them. It seems to be more and more difficult these days to keep people’s attention, so therefore, artists have to work very hard on releasing content that keeps people entertained.
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you could tell us about? In late 2015, I released a record called Ride of Life. I recorded four of the songs on the record with producer Zak Fox Jablow in Chicago. Most recently, I released a music video for the single “Last One” on YouTube.
What advice would you give to someone trying to make it in the music industry? The one piece of advice I’d give is to be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with. It’s said many times before, but it’s important to stay true to yourself.
SYMON, a 23-year-old California native, has known that she was meant be a performer since she was a young girl. “Growing up in the ‘90s, a lot of pop stars were incredibly inspiring to me,” says SYMON. “I remember studying Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and the Backstreet Boys and thinking, ‘This is what I want to do when I grow up.’ I want to sing. I want to make people feel amazing and I want to entertain.” She has crafted a “pop sound with a lot of island and urban influence,” and with her new single “Say” breaking into the Radio Top 60 charts, she seems to be well on her way. We chatted with the pop sensation about her inspirations, her upcoming EP, and her cool connection with Demi Lovato.
Cliché: What was the inspiration for your single “Say”? SYMON: Having the name Symon, I would always play with the title “Symon Says,” which is an international phrase. I thought, “What better a way for people to get to know me than to have my own name in my debut song?” It’s the perfect introduction! It’s a feel-good summer anthem and definitely good to dance to.
Give us a glimpse into your songwriting process. Is it planned out or more spur of the moment? It varies. Sometimes it can be from a word someone says in a conversation to me and I’ll run with that for a concept. Other times it’ll be writing to a track or starting a melody first. [It’s] always different for me!
Where were you when you first heard “Say” on the radio? I had just landed from New York City and headed straight to the studio to make some edits on my single “Say,” which currently wasn’t out at the time and wasn’t planned to come out for another month. In New York, I had taken my first radio meeting with legend Kid Kelly from Sirius XM. I left the studio late at night, turned on my car and radio, and started hearing this song on. I thought, “Oh no! This song kind of sounds like mine!” I looked down at the screen to see MY NAME! I screamed so loud! I called my mom and hysterically cried… it was me! Kid Kelly surprised me and added it so fast on Sirius XM Hits 1! It was a total dream and a crazy moment that I will never forget. Love you, Kid Kelly!
As a teen, you opened up for Demi Lovato’s tour. What did you take away from that experience? Opening up for Demi was quite an experience. Not only was Demi Lovato an incredible artist to watch, but she was so lovely to everyone. She was a wonderful example of how to act, perform, and slay! I take that with me in my career. Thanks, Demi!
If you could work with or write for anyone in the music industry, who would you choose? If I could write with anyone in the music industry, I think it would be Sia. If I could collaborate with an artist on the track, I think it would be G-Eazy.
Who are your musical influences? My music inspirations vary because all music truly inspires me. I love Rihanna, TLC, Kygo, No Doubt, Sia, and songwriters such as Max Martin.
What can fans expect from your EP? Do you have a title and release date set? Fans better get ready to have the windows down, stunner shades on, and a tropical drink in hand listening to my EP! It’s a lot of fun and is so me. I currently do not have a title or release date, but I do know it will come out the end of August or September, so get ready!
What’s one thing you want everyone to know about who Symon is? I want everyone to know that I love mac & cheese. [Laughs] Get ready for some amazing, feel-good music and a lot of fun. Follow me on my socials! Let’s connect! I’m on Instagram @officialsymon, Snapchat @official-symon, and Twitter and Facebook @officiallysymon.
Singer/songwriter Dana Williams is often described as the modern-day Ella Fitzgerald. After the recent release of her EP Let’s Fall, Williams somehow managed to fabricate a timeless romantic tale that, similar to Lana Del Rey, is captured through soulful vocals mimicking the essence of decades past. Rather than cluttering her music with heavy instrumentals that tend to be evident in most of what we hear today, Williams’ confidence is showcased through the simplicity of her tracks. She creates this refreshingly modest and humble sound glazed with honest words and an enchanting voice, and seems to do so in an effortless fashion. We got the chance to talk to Williams and discuss how she got into music and where she plans on taking it in the future.
Cliché: With your father being Michael Jackson’s guitarist, you were exposed to the insides of the music industry at a very young age. How did that influence your take on having a music career of your own? Dana Williams: I think that it has made me a bit more cautious in a lot of ways, especially as a woman. But also, because I was around music so frequently at a young age, I feel as though music is very much a part of me. It is what I live for.
Was music always what you wanted to pursue, or was there a time you saw yourself heading in a different direction with your career? I have always wanted to pursue a career in music to some capacity. I have always written music and poems, and at one point I was really interested in writing poetry as a career. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I could also be a performer, since being the center of attention has not always been so appealing to me. So, I have sort of created a synergy between all of my passions: writing music, writing poetry, and performing.
Were there ever any instances where you second-guessed whether you wanted to pursue music because of something you witnessed at a young age? The music business is very unpredictable. It has big ups and just as big downs. And it isn’t for the faint of heart. There have been times when I thought I could do something else and it would be easier. But at the end of the day, I am happy doing what I love, and that’s what makes it so satisfying.
You’ve collaborated with well-known actress and singer Leighton Meester quite a few times on your YouTube channel. How do you choose the songs, and do you plan on continuing to use this platform in the future? We just send songs back and forth and when there is one we both love, we go for it. We work out the chords and harmonies and it’s a lot of fun. Yes, we do plan on collaborating more in the future.
How do the experiences of covering music differ from performing your own? When I perform my own music, it is my own story I am telling. When I am performing a cover of someone else’s music, I have to make it my own. So, it is still a bit creative in that, I am making it sound and feel more like something I have created. It’s a really nice way to step out of my own head temporarily and try something new.
What were some of your greatest influences while working on your EP, Let’s Fall? I was listening to an eclectic group of performers from The Caravells to Mazzy Star to Patsy Cline and always Ella Fitzgerald. This EP is sort of a story of a young woman finding herself through the experience of new and old relationships and the lingering question of the unknown.
Having released Let’s Fall on iTunes December 2015, are there any projects you are currently working on, or do you have a goal that you hope to accomplish next? I have been writing a lot again and I am excited to see where it takes me. I am working on a bunch of collaborations this year and of course will continue to put out video content more consistently.
My favorite part of the end of each year, aside from the seemingly endless feasts and festive atmosphere, is the flood of new music. Every year around this time my iTunes (and debit card) become overwhelmed with the endless downloads of new tunes. This week in particular though marks the release of Bethan Leadley, or as the internet knows her ‘musicalbethan’, second EP titled Inside Her Head. Her latest installment of music has headed in a noticeably different direction than her previous EP and I couldn’t be more excited.
On the surface, these four tracks show us how influenced she is by both pop and punk music – two vastly different sounds which she masterfully weaves together to create a semi-rock album. Catching up with Bethan, I asked how she goes about writing music like this. “Usually it’s either me with a keyboard or guitar and usually a line will come into my head and I’ll then think of a melody for that particular line and then work everything around that,” she said. “Then once we get it over into producing we work in all of the electric guitar, drums, and heavier stuff that gives it that rocky sound.”
While it’s easy to just take these songs as the belt out sing-along eargasms that they are, I suggest you sit down and really listen to the lyrics, all of which are painfully honest and personal, and showcase what a talented songwriter she actually is. Going through the whole EP, Bethan gave me a little breakdown of what inspired each song. “Your Storm is about depression in relationships, Fall For You is about a crush on your friend, and Inside Her Head is about my homelife and past. Then If It Still Hurts Me is about being used.”
As a quasi ‘big sister’ to more than two hundred thousand followers on her YouTube channel, Bethan shared that she felt a responsibility to not hold back. “I think because I have a teen audience a lot of them would be going through this sort of stuff now or soon. I’m hoping it may give them a bit of guidance and help them know they’re not the only ones.”