Allow us to introduce you to your new favorite female-fronted powerhouses – Bruvvy. The band is reimagining rock ‘n’ roll with a fresh millennial perspective. They are reinvigorating the classic, raunchy, over-the-top energy that comes to mind in association with bands fueled by guitar riffs and rebellion.
As a trailblazing first impression of their “Little Heat” EP, available August 2021, Bruvvy is throwing us head-first into their universe with their single “U Think This Song Is About U.” They are spicing up the South Florida rock ‘n’ roll scene (literally) in their unruly restaurant takeover for the music video.
The video tells the story of vocalist Liz Varum’s emotionally destructive stint in the service industry. The setting is more than just a backdrop; it is the exact muse that inspired this punchy track. The storyline follows Varum’shumble beginnings in the kitchen to the full circle moment of filming a music video in her previous employer’s eventful dining room.
“The lyrics were written throughout the longest, shittiest work day of my entire life. I was covered in sweat and kitchen grease (which was airborne, and slowly making me breakout), getting emotionally abused by my boss, and the only tips that were ending up in my pocket were coming from a guy that wanted nothing more than for me to get on his motorcycle with him,” explained lead vocalist Liz Varum.
Behind the powerhouse vocals and groovy guitar melodies is a universal message of greed tarnishing work ethics.
I wondered for a second if anyone would notice if I took a handful of cash from the tip jar. I learned that day that when the sole motivation behind work is money, everyone is, at some point, reduced to a thief,” said Varum.
Since their first show in 2019, Bruvvy introduced the South Florida music scene to their powerful stage presence, their “anything goes” performance style, their raw realness, and most importantly, the friendship that keeps them glued to their listeners and to one another. This is not a rock n’ roll revival; it’s a rediscovery of the very spirit that possesses us to jump, scream, sweat, and connect.
As she uses music to call attention to important issues like #MeToo and #TimesUp, Japanese artist MIREI celebrates new album, Take Me Away. Her English debut album uses kaleidoscopic sound to produce a potent backdrop to her lyrical reflection on the painful push for authenticity in a deeply conformist culture. “‘Take Me Away’ is about how hard it is to feel like you belong, especially when you’re dealing with things like anxiety and depression,” she says. By the end, the singer encourages us to embrace our own truth. Finding collaborations with Dai Burger, DJ Sliink, and DJ Shiftee, she perfects this amazing rendition of ‘No Ordinary Love’ which she gave a portion of its proceeds to NAACP. Get to know this influential, inspiring artist as you hit replay on her music.
Cliche Mag: Tell us about your cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” – why this track and why now?
MIREI: Because of COVID-19 my tour and all my gigs were canceled and I was stuck at home. It was frustrating but also gave me time to dig into some music. I felt a new connection to Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” while sheltering in place. This was certainly no ordinary love or life. The song just hit differently – originally it’s a simple love song but now listening to it, I just think about how people are finding new ways to give love to each other while we’re kept apart from each other. The virus has taken so much from us, but not our ways to connect. After I performed it on my IG TV (aka MIREI TV), the fans really loved it and I decided I needed to release it officially with a video to further share the message. That’s why I decided to cover this song, dedicating to all the frontline workers for COVID-19, and also all who are fighting against racial injustices.
Talk about your album Take Me Away
Take Me Away is my first album in English, and it’s inspired totally by my experiences and stories as a young 21 year old woman living in Japan as well as my friends. Growing up in the big city of Tokyo has been such an inspiration and influenced all that I do, but there is a dark side too.I wanted to break the stereotype of cute, east, kawaii girls in Japan. I wanted to break the toxic masculinity around us, pushing us down. There’s more to us and we have something to say!
What inspired your English language debut?
I have to be honest, the internet was the biggest inspiration for me. On social networks like Twitter or Instagram, many people started to voice their opinions and fight for their rights and equality in movements such as #metoo, #timesup, and #blacklivesmatter. We’re all so connected and the internet has empowered us, especially to tell the stories that maybe would go unheard normally. Growing up in Tokyo is exciting but also gave me so much discomfort as a musician and woman. I want to solve those discomforts, or at least start a dialogue on it all. And that’s when I realized it isn’t enough to sing these songs in Japanese… so with English being more of a universal language, I knew more people would listen. I needed to tell the WORLD about what was happening here.
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I love every song from my album so it really depends on my mood each time. Right now I feel like I wanna choose “Let Me Be.” I love how the song is just buttery smooth and an honest exchange from one lover to another. If you love 90s R&B, I’m sure you’ll love this one.
Talk about your tribute to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements
While watching the #metoo movement, I just felt like I could relate and that’s what seems to be the common thread with women around the world. I experienced similar situations, and heard some horror stories from my friends. The story I was shocked the most by was Shiori Ito’s. She came forward about a Japanese journalist who raped her. At first Japanese media tried to hide the news but thanks to the internet, it wasn’t possible to keep it a secret. She could also speak English, so media all over the world had covered it. Finally the civil court found the journalist guilty in December of 2019 after Shiori had initially lost it in criminal court. Here’s the thing though – we still don’t know ALL the stories and we still don’t know ALL the cases, and how many cases have been swept under the rug like this without the same result? So what if she didn’t have internet? What if she couldn’t have the strength to keep fighting and pushing? There are so many hidden victims treated unfairly. I tell this story a little bit in my song “Not A Number” on the album.
Tell us about MIREI TV. How has it changed your work as an artist during shelter in place?
Since we have to keep social distance, it became impossible to do concerts or shows and sing together face to face. As I said, my tour was canceled and that’s so frustrating, but this also gave me the opportunity to keep live streaming. I have my fans all over the world and most of them are living in outside of Japan anyway so they can’t come to the gigs. It has been so awesome to communicate with my fans and talk about many topics together, while also laughing and keeping positive through all this. I go live on Fridays at 7 pm EDT but people are tuning in from so many different time zones! I’m just thankful for this.
Who inspires you lately?
Roberta Flack. I started to do YouTube live in June and since June became Black Music Month, I’ve I’m digging into soul music from the 1960’s to 70’s. It’s all I’ve been listening to these days. “old but gold” as they say. Spotify and YouTube are now suggesting so many nice classic recordings! Roberta Flack’s voice is just so elegant and sexy at the same time, which I’m trying to be in my real life (haha). I’m listening to her everyday, drinking hot green tea. That’s my chill.
What are your goals for your future as a rising female artist?I want to be a musician who voices the things people can’t say easily. In my album, it was about Japan and Women’s rights but there’s so much I want to say. It could be about relationships, racial injustice, or just life. Music has a special power to me and with music I feel like I can be a spokesperson for my fans. Of course I do have a dream to go on a world tour, collaborate with who I love and admire, but at the end of the day I want to be someone who always stays with my fans and listens to their voices. That’s how music empowers me and I want to do the same for them!
Following on the heels of her recent single ‘High’, Boston based artist Gillian shares ‘Static’. The pop singer-songwriter releases the song off of her upcoming full length album, 3 AM, expected this summer. On her previous single she says, “The song took true emotions I was feeling in a relationship and created a story with them,” she recalls, “it’s about how addiction can affect a relationship.” If you enjoyed the poetic eloquence of ‘High’, you will love this next track full of melodic honesty and dance-worthy rhythms.
The artist, just 16 years of age, beautifully documents the ending of relationships, battles with addiction, and facing loneliness. She never holds back her emotions in music, even with her independent debut last summer with her EP, Unfiltered. Even as an unsigned artists, her EP garnered hundreds of thousands of streams. Quickly establishing herself as an artist to watch, Gillian heads into what will be another successful summer.
Her music switches between piano, guitar, tech sounds, and her vocals, bringing a soulful energy into her song that reaches out to us. Gillian effectively puts us in the feels with each note she hits while singing us the truth about life’s ups and downs. You will not want to miss the release of her next album, so stream Gillian’s music today, and be some of the first to support this artist on the rise.
We need inspiring members of society to help us fight for justice, so, Raye Zaragoza gives us the push we need. This award winning singer-songwriting found her footing with her independent debut album in 2017, Fight For You. The album features her quiet, powerful song ‘In The River’. She wrote the song response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The song quickly rose in the ratings, leading her to win a Global Music Award and an Honest Oscar. The artist dedicates her music to the fight for justice and equality for all.
Zaragoza talks about many social issues in her lyrics. “As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life,” she shared. “I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice.” Her next album is due
The powerful artist shares her new project, a music video entitled ‘Fight Like A Girl’, where she shatters the ideas of what a woman can and cannot do.
She said this about the video. “Especially in these strange times, many of us find ourselves glued to our phones and scrolling through social media. I wanted to create a video showcasing so many of the amazing womxn and girls who show up on my newsfeed. Womxn and girls that are using their lives and/or platforms to be their best selves and show the world how they “fight like a girl.” I wanted to create a video that told the stories of diverse womxn and girls, and I wanted to show that ‘fighting like a girl’ is different to every person showcased in the video. Feminine energy is a powerful energy! And I hope that this is a three minute burst of empowering energy for everyone. I know we can all use some of that right now!”
Beyond music, Zaragoza continues her fight. She speaks at panels, recently at Bonnaroo and SXSW, so she can bring awareness and a stop to sexual violence. Engaging with her fanbase, she is sure to help make positive changes in this world. Stream her music here and take part in the fight for justice and equality.
Young artist Emily Vu releases new single “Weekend” while navigating the music industry. She braves the challenges of her career with her bubbly personality and catchy, hypnotic vocals. Her debut single, “What Happened, Happened”, reached over 1 million streams, demonstrating her innate talent. The artist pulls inspiration from her Southern California roots and dreams of working with Pharrell Williams. Get to know her as she celebrates her new music and just released music video.
Cliché Mag: What does your single ‘Weekend’ mean to you?
Emily Vu: My new single, “Weekend,” means everything to me. It’s the first song I’ve made where I felt like I’m coming into the genre I want to continue pursuing.
What has been like as a young woman in the music industry?
It’s pretty terrifying, if I’m being honest. Being so young and new in the music industry definitely makes it easier for me to stepped on and manipulated. I am lucky to have an amazing team that can help me through everything.
After the release of your debut singles, what are your goals for the future?
My goal for the future is to go on tour after I drop an EP. I’d love to start traveling and playing more live shows.
What are your favorite instruments to add onto a track?
You can never go wrong with a synth. Synths are my go-to sound.
Do you draw any musical inspiration from your hometown in Southern California?
Yeah, I believe my music is inspired by Southern California and the music that is popular here.
What do you hope to share with your fans over the course of your career?
I hope to share everything about myself with them! I love being able to be myself with people and having them support what I do!
Talk about upcoming projects that you are most excited for?
I am super excited to release an EP in the future. I have no idea how soon it will be ready to be released, but it will be sometime soon!
Carla Cappa, aka electro-pop darling CAPPA teases new EP with her debut singles “Change My Mind” and “There With You Baby“. The Philadelphia native shares a new video as she prepares for the drop of her next EP. The artist’s hypnotic vocals pair well with her sought-after songwriter skills and hit TV shows like Riverdale and Alone Together feature her music. Every track she works on creates dance worthy nights. Fans can anticipate the release of her feel-good EP this summer.
Cliché Mag: What was the inspiration behind “There With You Baby”?
CAPPA: “There With You Baby” is about going into a new relationship and knowing that it may be a bad idea. It could combust at any moment but you go for it regardless.
What was the experience like creating your upcoming summer EP?
With my previous EPs, I’ve sad down and kind of laid out all of the songs, but I approached it a little differently on my upcoming EP. I basically just consistently wrote songs over the course of 6 months and then picked my favorites. I liked this process a lot better. It felt a lot less contrived. I just put out the songs that I like now.
Talk about your songwriting process.
I usually start with a concept or idea and bring it into a session. Then, the producer will start a track idea and we’ll go from there. I usually bring a few reference song ideas into it so we have an idea as to what to aim for.
How have you changed as an artist since your breakout song “Hush” in 2015?
I didn’t really know what I was doing back then but I kind of liked it better. I just made songs with my friends because it was fun. I think the music industry is just a mess right now as it’s so overly saturated. Back then it was just easier to make music with friends and have it gain traction. Now it takes much more than a song just being good — do you have a label? Money to promote the project? Know people at streaming services? It’s just a whole trickier and sketchier ball game!
Who would most like to work with on a new track?
What do you hope to accomplish this year that your fans can look forward to?
I was really hoping to get out and do small tours and shows. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like right now, but I would love to start actually meeting fans and playing live more. It may just be something that will have to wait until 2021 though!
How do you see the current state of the world impacting the music industry? Do you see it impacting your own work?
Yeah, it has definitely had an impact already. A lot of people are out of jobs. A lot of the stuff I had going on sort of went into a halt for a while. Very few industries weren’t affected by it. I’m just trying to maintain a positive attitude and know that the whole world is going through it together!
Figure Skater turned song-writer Aneesa Sheikh celebrates debut EP and more. Her accomplishments do not stop there, as she continues to work for her Non-Profit Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E. after winning the title of Miss Michigan Teen USA 2020. She began her passion for music at the age of eight while watching her sister skate to Santana’s, “Black Magic Women”. She can play multiple instruments and hopes one day to earn herself a Grammy or two. Just by her senior year of of High School, this young woman is beaming with success, and inspires us to keep reaching for our dreams. Get to know Aneesa and what she is working on now.
Cliche Mag: Growing up you were a committed figure skater. Do you ever see the sport and your music influence each other?
Aneesa Sheikh: Absolutely! Figure skating is a dynamic sport that embodies musicality, expression, and athleticism. Skating is very similar to dancing, it’s just executed while balancing on a 10-millimeter iron blade and, of course, ice. When learning choreography for a new skating program, I appreciate rhythm and specific music elements more because I have the ear to hear them in the song from my knowledge in music. Being able to move my body to all types of music styles in skating has transferred to perform naturally. The influence skating and music has had on me is being able to concentrate on several different things simultaneously such as playing guitar, singing, while interpreting the music. One of my favorite ice skating programs was a medley of Santana, I loved this program because I could hear so many music components which I could interpret on the ice, all because I knew how to play the Santana Medley on my electric guitar.
Talk about your non-profit Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E.
Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E. is an acronym for Music, Inspires, Reaches, Accepts, Captures, Loves, Equally. I started it because my music was a miracle to someone very close to me. This is where I turned a passion into a purpose. Music4M.I.R.A.C.L.E.’s goal is to spread music therapy and give hope to those who are victims of a medical crisis, or any tough time. I have been able to perform at many charities such as St. Judes, the Healing Notes Foundation, and many rehabilitation and nursing centers. During Covid-19 I virtually Skyped with many institutions and sang for patients who have been isolated from any outside visitors due to the effects of Covid-19.
What was the motivation behind your debut single “ Bad Thing ”?
My motivation behind “Bad Thing” was to open the eyes of teenagers to toxic relationships in a way that they will listen to: music. As a teen, I have seen many other teenagers in a relationship with that “Bad Thing”. My cowriter originally came up with the idea, and I felt as though it will appeal to many teens.
You are quite an accomplished young woman. What have been some of your favorite moments?
Thank you! If I had to choose, my most favorite moments would be completing my gold tests in skating, singing at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Charity show, performing on “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour”, walking in Nicole Miller’s Fashion show, and definitely winning the title of Miss Michigan Teen USA 2020!
What influences your music and your songwriting process?
Memories, experiences, and things I observe in the world. For example, my new song “Tough Times” has the message of “Tough Times Don’t last, but tough people do. My father was my influence behind this song and a lot of my music. The song was written while at home due to Covid-19 and I felt as though the world was facing a tough time and they needed to hear this message of hope and again what better way to spread a message than in music.
What is the process of writing your debut EP like?
What may look very simple to many people is a series of several small steps. Writing an EP is not taking ten minutes to write a song and then the next day walking into a recording studio and the song being ready to be released. Writing my debut EP has been a series of cowrites. Typically, out of every ten songs, one will be chosen to go on the EP. Recently, I’ve chosen about 5-8 songs and the order to release them. The first song I plan to release is called “Tough Times” that I wrote with my producer, Justine Blazer. I called her with the idea of “tough times don’t last, but tough people do” and then we bounced lyrics and melodies off of each other. I practiced the song for two weeks and then recorded the lead vocals. As an artist, I love to do my own harmonies, so after I record the lead vocals then I record harmonies, which take a while. After this, there are so many other components that have to be completed. This is the never-ending process for a singer/songwriter!
What is out of your comfort zone that you would love to do one day?
One doesn’t grow in their comfort zone. I push myself outside of my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I am a very adventurous person; however, I have a fear of heights. One day, I would like to step way outside of my comfort zone and bungee jump off of “AJ Hackett Macau Tower bungee jump” which is the highest bungee jump tower in the world.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams are to live a life where I utilize every talent and skill I have to help others and help myself. Whether it is through my music or voice, I want to help others live a courageous life without regrets. My dream is to continue learning every day like a sponge soaking up knowledge and sharing it. I also dream of having several Grammys and publications!
LA-based artist Leah Kate releases new single “bad idea” along with a self-made lyric video. Amid stay at home orders and social distancing policies, Kate taught herself how to edit and create the lyric video to her single. Her honest, independent talent is clear as she captures the young female experience through music.
The artist shared this about her new single:
“We all have imperfections, and can have distorted thinking caused by love or desire, and that’s okay. This internal conflict is real, it is normal, and it is something we all find ourselves needing to address at some point. Sometimes doing something that seems like a bad idea can be exhilarating and fun, and it ultimately helps us to learn about ourselves and grow. I want my listeners to feel a sense of comfort when they may be in a similar situation… to know that they’re not alone, and can bring a little light to the situation.”
She draws inspiration from her own life as she searches for confindence and self-identity. All the while sharing her journey with us through an IDGAF attitude that leaves us dancing to her songs. The artist shared, “I am a big advocate of following your gut and listening to your heart.”
With over 2 million followers on multiple platforms, this relatable Pop/R&B vocalist is on the rise as a strong singer-songwriter. Lexy Panterra takes her power back with EP ‘A Gemini Valentine‘ where she opens up about her love life, particularly her on-again-off-again relationship with Brooklyn Beckham. After a sold -out North American tour with Dani Leigh, she released the EP, hoping to get out from under the pressure of the Industry’s standards. Redefining herself as an artist, the singer anticipates the release of her new single on May 8th featuring her alter ego Virgin Lex. Get to know Lexy as she delivers an uncut version of herself in upcoming projects.
Cliche: Who has been an impactful collaboration for you in the music industry?
Lexy Panterra: I feel like I’ve been slept on in the industry because of my rise to success. But I can’t wait to change everyone’s thoughts with the new project I’m releasing. Virgin Lex is coming for them, and by them, I mean everyone.
Who do you hope to work with soon as your music career continues to grow?
I would love to dream up a song and video with Doja Cat!
Your songs seem to draw inspiration from love and relationships, what messages do you want your music to deliver to your fans?
My EP, “A Gemini Valentine,” was for their feelings. I want people who listen to my music to feel like someone understands them and their story, and will support them through the power of songs. However, the new project I’m dropping is about me being ME, and introducing my alter-ego that people don’t get to see that often. I think people will really enjoy getting to know the uncut version of me.
Where else do you find inspiration for your music?
I channel intense feelings through my music. Sometimes it’s anger and bitterness, but it’s mostly through my daily experiences, mixed with a little imagination! Shit gets wild!
What artists inspired you to become an artist yourself, and who continues to?
I do love Rihanna. She is goals. I also grew up listening to Disney songs, and I always wanted to sing those types of songs. I love Britney Spears. Her vibe, mixed with the Spice Girls and Aaliyah and Brandy, super inspiring. I’ve always wanted to be on stage and perform.
Your most followed song on Spotify is “Deep End”, released in 2016. How has your music evolved over the years up to the release of your EP “A Gemini Valentine”?
“Deep End” and “So Good,” released in 2018, have been two of my most successful songs. However, my ex-manager wanted to take them down when I split with him, which was really tragic. I’ve been through so many ups and downs, and dealing with negative people always makes this process way more complicated than it needs to be. But that said, a bad bitch always prevails. The one thing I can say is I am super happy in my life and where I am.
What drove the creation of “A Gemini Valentine” and what was the process of producing like?
Every song was written at a different time. Probably over the span of three years, I made a lot of records – I just had to release them, I couldn’t take it. I hate sleeping on records now. I have so many more I want to share, but getting over the fear of being judged is tough.
Do you have a favorite track from the EP?
“Room.” It was easy for me to write, and it just gave the God-damn vibes. I can’t explain it. But that’s a song I would listen to at anytime, even if it wasn’t my song.
“A Gemini Valentine” feels like your most intimate body of work so far, yet maintains the rhythm of older work that you cannot help but dance to. Are there genres of music you hope to explore, and where would you like to see your music in the coming years?
Absolutely! A new project I’ve been working on for a long time is about to be released. My alter ego, Virgin Lex, is coming to the scene, and dropping a new single on May 8th unlike anything else I have ever done before. I’m excited to know what you think! I love all music, and I love creating all types of music, so you will definitely see me exploring more.
“Want Him Now” on the EP slows down the pace of typical pop songs while still delivering a punchy beat. What stylistic choices did you make for this song and why?
What’s funny is that “Want Him Now” is the only song on the project that I didn’t write. I loved it at the time a lot when I first heard it, because it described exactly what I was going through in my relationship. It matched my emotions so well. I typically won’t sing other people’s records, but the team on that track did such a great job on it, and I couldn’t resist. My voice, however, made it a little more pop-esque than the original version.
The world has changed drastically over the last few months, how do you find music helping people in times like these? How has your writing process been impacted?
My writing has changed so dramatically during this time, and you’ll definitely see that reflected when I drop my new song on May 8th. This time at home has given me the space to dig deep and finally explore parts of myself that I never had the time to. I have so many passions, but so little time! I aim preparing for a whole new chapter. I’ll tease it by saying, follow along via Instagram with the hashtag #OF
You’ve produced and accomplished a lot in the last few years with the new EP and several music videos, what are you most looking forward to in 2020 for your music career?
Being my damn self for the first time, and not going by the industry’s made up standards. I’ve been following other people’s thoughts on who they think I am as an artist for far too long – I want to be define my own self and write my own story. Since I was 17, I felt like a rag doll being pulled in so many different directions. But I’m finally taking my power back and, at last, freeing myself of the past. I feel so free, happy, and the most real and passionate I’ve ever been!
Set for release in March 2019, Captain Marvel is the first Marvel comics universe film to be scored by a woman composer. The lucky lady, Pinar Toprak, recently wrapped up scoring the first season of the Syfy Network’s show “Krypton.” In addition, she composed some additional music for DC’s “Justice League,” which according to Variety, helped her land the job as the composer for “Captain Marvel.” This is a triumph for female composers! Toprak is also the first woman in history to score the music for a major comic book film. With Brie Larson starring as the female lead, “Captain Marvel” will be a feminine powerhouse of a film.
Pinar Toprak is a Composer to Watch
Educated at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and Cal State Northridge, Toprak reigns from Istanbul, Turkey. A musically gifted lady, to say the least, Toprak has worked on video games, film, and television scores. She has also notably worked in Hans Zimmer’s studio as a programmer. Toprak is more than elated, expressing her gratitude on social media site Instagram: “It’s an incredible honor to be a part of the Marvel Universe. So many thoughts racing through my head. And the main one is gratitude. I have so many people to thank for helping me on this journey but first and foremost, my incredible agents Laura Engel and Richard Kraft for believing in me from day one and Dave Jordan and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.”