Tag Archives singer-songwriter

BANDS INTERVIEWING BANDS: Atlantic Canyons and Arthur the Artiste*

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Atlantic Canyons Arthur the Artiste

Singer-songwriter Arthur the Artiste* and dream-pop vocalist Atlantic Canyons dive into each other’s inspirations, upcoming projects, and love for making music. 

AA:  To me, artists are like the superheroes of the modern world. And every hero has their origin story. So what is your origin story, Atlantic Canyons? 

AC: I love this question and how it recognizes how much our background and history drive us as artists. 

I grew up as a second-generation Asian American kid. There’s an unspoken message that immigrant parents communicate to their kids every day, it boils down to this: “We sacrificed everything to come here and give you opportunities that we never had. Do not mess this up.” It’s a lot of pressure to put on the next generation! I think my origin story is one of following a path of expectations. I burned myself out trying to make my parents happy and I ignored my own needs. I worked hard as a kid to get good grades to please my parents. I wanted to study music at a conservatory, but when I graduated, I went to engineering school to make them happy. 

After that, I went to law school to prove myself to other people. I got a job at a top-tier law firm. I had a great salary, but I began to realize I had put a price on my own soul. I was so stressed out that I had started drinking. I still hadn’t fully appreciated that I was killing myself trying to meet the expectations of others. It wasn’t until the pandemic started, and I was forced to slow my life down that I began to realize what I was doing to myself. It allowed me to focus on my own needs and reconnect with my childhood love for music.  

In a way, I think my album, See the Hue, speaks to my origin story. I didn’t do this on purpose. I think I just needed to express the feelings of frustration that had built up throughout a lifetime of trying to please other people. The album carries these themes of isolation and external pressure and the emptiness of false success. Having released these feelings through music has healed me as a person.

AC: Why do you make music? 

AA: For me, music is about self-discovery. When I write I have one rule: trust your gut. So everything I do musically is born out of my first instinct. It’s almost like it doesn’t come from me; it comes from my subconscious. But that’s also just as much a part of me as the rational voice in my head. So what ends up happening is that in my music I see another side of me. I don’t necessarily understand what I produce or write, but it’s honest. And I don’t know what’s going on in other people’s minds, but by exploring the dark recesses of my mind, I hope to connect with other people who might be feeling the same emotions I do. I think that’s a good thing. So people don’t feel alone. 

AA: Where do you see your next project going in relation to your most recent EP: See The Hue?

AC: Oh, this is a difficult question to answer! It’s hard to predict. With See The Hue, I was able to get certain thoughts and emotions out and expel some past traumas. It felt good to express through art things that are difficult to convey in words. I think completing the album was therapeutic and healing for me. I’d like to think that I am moving on to my next chapter and that the next project will reflect that sense of hopefulness and inspiration. 

 

AC: Tell me about the artwork for Project Dreams?  (How does it tie into the Hero’s journey?) 

AA: I love this question! Originally, in the midst of the pandemic, I had asked my sister to paint an idea I had for my artwork. I told her I wanted a yellow brick road, like the cover album for Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but with a purple spacey sky, so she painted it. Rudimentary, but there were cliffs and countryside with a purple night sky in the background. When it came time to actually design the cover for my album I commissioned the artist who made the artwork for my first three singles. She’s amazing. I showed her the painting and told her I wanted something that looked like an alien world. I gave her a picture of me and my dog to photoshop walking down the yellow brick road. 

I see my cover art as an opportunity to visually articulate the sonic themes of my album. And I wanted people to be able to get lost in the world of my album cover—like I did as a kid when looking at book covers. Who are these characters? What are they doing? What is living in that world like? 

AA: I like to think of my instruments as the side characters in my album’s story. Who are the side characters in your EP?  

AC: I love the way you see things in a narrative format. Your theater background really shines through and gives you such a unique perspective, and I love that!! 

My strongest performance instrument is the violin. Although the violin has never been the centerpiece of any of the songs, I have a lot of strings peppered in. But when it comes in it’s pretty noticeable— like a character that really speaks and has an impact. I fully appreciate the strings as a solid supporting character. Moving forward, I am thinking of bringing strings into a more prominent role in my music.

A surprising favorite for me was the tambourine. I never thought to use tambourine until this album. I used it in One More Minute and Sorry, and those are Alt-rock-type songs where it makes perfect sense to include it. That was how I first got it in my head that the tambourine should have a significant role. As I got bolder with including it, I added it to songs that I never would have expected to use it in, specifically, See The Hue and Haunted World. It became an inside joke between me and my friend/co-producer as we were polishing up the album that tambourine was the secret sauce to the whole thing.

AC: Are you an introvert or extrovert? What’s your Myers Briggs indicator?

AA: I’m an INFP-A. Just took the test! The last time I took the test, which was before going to college, I was INTP. Not surprised I changed given that I’ve become much more artistic since. While I consider myself an introvert, a lot of people who have met me in recent years or who don’t know me well think I’m an extrovert. In a sense, they aren’t wrong. I like to party, I go out, I am a performer, and my hair/fashion calls attention to themselves. I guess that’s because I’m also a Leo. But I see myself as a shy extrovert. I don’t necessarily like being alone but I’m comfortable with it. I much prefer to be around people, but I’m too shy to make friends easily, so I’m kind of stuck in this weird middle ground between extrovert and introvert. Maybe that’s why my music is the way it is. 

AA: Let me throw it right back at you. What is your Myers-Briggs personality? And what is your astrological sign?

AC: I’ve changed over the years, but now I’m an ENFJ-T (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging – Turbulent). So, we are both Diplomat personality types! Diplomats are known for their empathy, diplomacy, and passionate idealism. 

On the astrological calendar, I’m a Virgo. While I’m not big into mysticism, I have to admit that the Virgo profile describes me pretty well. 

FOLLOW: 

Atlantic Canyons 

Bandcamp / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify / Apple Music

Arthur the Artiste*

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify / Apple Music

Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com
Photo credit: Andrea Levesque (left) Keith Levesque Photography. Arthur Forcione (right) 

Cat Evers Releases New Single, “Woman In Black”

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Brooklyn-based, alternative R&B artist, Cat Evers, has released her new single. “Woman In Black,” is a lo-fi song with goth-influences about a relationship and the journey of internal turmoil and healing that follows.

The new ethereal single features soft, and slow cascading beats intertwined with ambient vocals that encapsulate the story of this woman’s journey. Fronted by powerful lyrics, the echoing chorus is almost trance-inducing, closing in a little more each time it repeats. The song incorporates a sense of longing and loss in every aspect. The track shortly distracts the listener from these painful emotions through a melodic guitar solo. 

Recorded in Brooklyn recording studio, Liquid Sounds, “Woman In Black” is supported musically by Leon Sierra on bass, Mark McIntyre on guitar, and Miles Wilkins on piano and synth. Together, they tell a story using the color black to symbolize power, sophistication, death, and evil spirits. Inspired by the main character in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the single captures the chaos and heartbreak of a woman who slowly descends into madness through infidelity. Drawing musical similarities to the ambient pop artist, Baths, in terms of tone and depth, Cat perfectly masters this tune that’s laced with darkness and mystery.

Cat Evers first started writing music as a young girl growing up in Malibu, California. Raised by her grandparents from age five, her unconventional youth culminated in a devoted relationship to music and emotions through words and melodies. She found solace in BANKS’ dark and mysterious lyrics, Adele’s vocal expression, Hayley William’s playful extremities, and Hiatus Kaiyote’s Neo-Soul sound. Each influence has heavily contributed to a style that originates from within her, piecing together bits of alt-R&B, Pop, and Soul to form a cross-genre experience that is driven by story. 

Having studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, she has played her original music at local New York venues such as Pianos, Nublu Classic, and The Bitter End. Last June, Cat released her first single titled “The Weight,” which she finalized with her band across different states and countries during quarantine. She has also previously received a Music Achievement Award from the City of Malibu and has studied with Los Angeles-based mentors, Adriana McPhee and Ron Anderson. Cat is now recording and based in Brooklyn, New York.

Listen to “Woman in Black” on Soundcloud.

Connect with Cat Evers and her music through the links below.

Spotify, Instagram, Bandcamp, Website, Facebook

For all media inquiries please contact mavery@gramophone.media

 

BANDS INTERVIEWING BANDS: Shayna Adler & Brittany Bexton

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Our latest edition sees a meeting of minds between Folk/Rock singer Shayna Adler and Nashville singer/songwriter Brittany Bexton. Their in depth conversation touches on topics such as faith and the challenges faced in the industry by female performers.

Shayna Adler: As a woman, what’s it been like to navigate the music industry and build a career for yourself? Do you feel like you’ve encountered any obstacles or difficulties? 

Brittany Bexton: It’s definitely been difficult as a woman, especially when I was marketing my music primarily country. The industry still has a pretty big good ol’ boy mentality that is not very inclusive of women. I’ve definitely had booking agents and managers turn down working with me over time either “Because I was a woman, and they couldn’t make any money off a woman.” Even after multiple people personally recommended me to them. And I’ve had managers tell me they loved everything about me but my age. I was in my mid twenties when the comment was made. There is a huge double standard with that for men. but I also think it’s character building. The way I see it is there is a market for my music, and I will get to the people that want it, regardless of obstacles. That’s part of why I just started touring. I wanted to do something to get out there that didn’t require the gate-keepers so to speak. I booked my own shows with a fill in gig here and there that a booking agent friend would throw my way. I played 50-100 shows every year booking myself, so that was pretty crazy. But the experience was great. The way I see it, as long as you make music that means something and matters there will be a market, and regardless of still running into challenges, I know I’m where I need to be and my music will somehow get to the people that need it. 

Brittany Bexton: What was the first song you wrote? How would you say you’ve grown most as a songwriter over the years? How has your style morphed? 

Shayna Adler: I wrote this song called “Turn the Page” in 2008(?) that’s literally just one chord throughout LOL. Not many pages to turn there…But hey! You have to start somewhere. I think my songwriting has become more intentional, and has evolved into full stories with characters. If I know exactly what I’m trying to say, what the message is, etc., the songs come really easily. I spend more time determining that over a notebook or “notes” on my iPhone before I even pick up a guitar. The music, sound, and chords follows the moods, settings, and meanings of the stories. It definitely wasn’t that way when I started. 

Shayna Adler: Tell me more about your connection of music and faith. How did you begin to bring the two together? How has that influenced your songwriting?

Brittany Bexton: I grew up singing worship and hymns in church, but I have always written songs more about my own personal experiences, struggles and growth. I have written some worship tunes over the years too, but have always felt like my job as an artist is to talk about the human condition and point people back to God. The new album’s theme being Christian wasn’t really planned ahead. But, the couple of years that I wrote most of the songs on the new project, I was going through a lot of personal growth and healing. A huge part of that healing was rebuilding my faith after trauma. When I started to listen back to the songs I had been writing, they all had an inspirational tone, of empowerment, and faith. It’s still a bit of a journey for me figuring out next steps, and what that means as far as my touring goes for the next couple years. Lately I’ve been writing a lot more worship, mainly for comfort through the times. I’m not exactly sure what the next project will hold. But I think this one came out when it was needed most in the world. 

Brittany Bexton: What is your favorite song to sing off of your new “Wander” Album? What song on the album is the most personal for you? 

Shayna Adler: I can answer both questions in one song—it’s definitely “Dear Capricorn.” It’s immensely personal. It’s quite fun to sing, too! That song sums up a plethora of experiences meeting new potential “love interests,” but especially the ones that didn’t go anywhere…and all you remember is the intense feeling of hope, and butterflies in your stomach. It’s a subject I always wanted to write about, but the catalyst was experiencing that unrequited rush of blood to the head again with someone. It’s so bittersweet. That song was written after a lifetime of experiences and one 5-minute conversation.

Shayna Adler: What band or artist is your biggest musical hero?

Brittany Bexton That’s so hard! I’m not good at picking one! The truth is I don’t have a musical hero so much as a number of artists and writers I really respect who have shaped my music over time. Singers like Aretha Franklin, Carol King, Patsy Cline, and Bonnie Raitt. And writers like Jewel and John Prine. I can tell you that two of my all time favorite songs as a writer are, “Angel From Montgomery” by John Prine, and “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. Both of those songs are so rich; I feel like I get something more out of them every time I hear them, and soak up the lyrics.

Brittany Bexton: What has been the hardest part for you about being an artist? What’s the part of it that brings you the most joy? 

Shayna Adler: The part that brings me the most joy is connecting with people, and feeling some pride in that my music is offering them something fun to escape with. I really miss that about live shows: looking out into the audience and making eye contact or even talking to them from stage, and meeting everyone afterwards. It definitely soothes the soul to sit here and write or play songs by myself, but I think getting to share it all with other people is what makes it special.

Over the course of this year, I’m increasingly finding less time to enjoy the creative side of being an artist, because of the general management of everything. It’s really challenging to keep that balance. I find myself spending 8+ hours a day on my laptop between social media, managing my website, editing videos, emails, marketing, etc. I really miss just sitting and playing my guitar and being able to just focus on that alone, rather than squeeze it in when I’m either not awake in the morning or dead tired at night.

Follow Shayna Adler

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shaynaadler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shaynaadler/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shaynaadler/?hl=en

Website: https://shayna.world/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6HQfEJ7EPuK775DilxBNdB

Follow Brittany Bexton: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brittanybexton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brittanybexton/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittanybexton/?hl=en

Website: https://brittanybexton.com/home

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0BlAK8GVkrloYGu0aWmp2a

 Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com

(Right) Shayna Adler. Photo credit: Anna Azarov (Left) Brittany Bexton. Photo credit: Photo credit: Brandon Oursler

Figure Skater Turned Song-Writer Aneesa Sheikh Celebrates Debut EP

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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 Aneesa SheikhDon’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! 

Read more music interviews at ClicheMag.com

Images provided by Clutch32 Publicity 

Lexy Panterra Takes Her Power Back With EP ‘A Gemini Valentine’

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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!

 

Read more music articles at ClicheMag.com

Image Credit: Ron Mey

 

Singer-Songwriter Rebecca Crews Steps into Spotlight with New Single “Destiny”

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Being the wife of a celebrity may seem enchanting and exciting, but it can also lead to judgments and people jumping to conclusions when you want to break out with your own career. So that’s why Rebecca Crews, wife of megastar Terry Crews, decided to pursue her music career under an alias, Regina Madre. But now, she’s stopped hiding her true identity and with that, released her heartfelt ballad, “Destiny”, which is a powerful story about choices. We chatted with singer-songwriter Rebecca Crews about her experience performing as Regina Madre, the emotions and feelings that she got after completing her new single “Destiny” and her support for health-centered causes.

 

Cliché: What attracted you or inspired you to want to want to become a singer?

Rebecca Crews: I started singing when I was 8 years old in my church choir. I started playing the piano when I was 9. I started writing my own music when I was 10. Then I started my own choir when I was 13. Later on, as my children got older, I began to feel the creative flame burning again in my heart about performing. My last two songs have been played on the radio.

How much work and motivation did it take you to start working towards that goal?

It was a lot. It took me a period of time to define the genre that I wanted to go down. My primary gift is as a songwriter. As a songwriter and musician, you love all types of music. I have written country songs, gospel, contemporary Christian music, pop, R&B, and jazz. I love artists like Carole King, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder.

Can you describe the emotions and feelings that you got after completing your single “Destiny”?

The funny thing is that I wrote the song 10 years ago. I always say the songs are like fine wine and they get better with age. The emotions around the song were very powerful. When I am writing songs, it’s often with tears and with snot because I am pouring out my heart from something that I live through. In this case with “Destiny”, it was a real heartbreaking decision to put myself on the back burner to raise a daughter that I didn’t see coming. So that’s why I wrote this song.

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song?

The message of the song is that your failures aren’t final and that everything can be achieved if you just see yourself as worthy, even though you may have done some things that you didn’t think were worthy.

How does the song reflect your own personal experience?

To me, it was a song about failure because as much as I love my family, I started my family before I planned to. My passion for family and all that encompasses brought so much wholeness to my life.

What was the experience like performing as Regina Madre? Why was being anonymous important for you?

I have done some performing as Rebecca. I didn’t do a whole lot of gigging as Regina because I was trying to hide my identity. I didn’t want to be judged based on the merit of who I was married to. However, I wanted to be judged on, “Do you like the song or do you not like the song?” I felt it was the best way to get support. I am very thankful because people really resonated with my music.

It was important to me because I just wanted to test the market without people knowing what I did for a living.

What made you decide that now was the right moment to start using your real identity in your music career?

I have challenged that notion a couple of times. The reason I came forward was that I wanted to do bigger promotions and press included. We found that hard to do without revealing myself. I looked at all the ways that I could disguise myself and it didn’t feel authentic. I thought I would probably crack up and give myself away.

At this point in your life, who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

My amazing husband, Terry Crews. He was the one who taught me to not give up. He is relentless. He also encourages and motivates people around him. I didn’t know what was possible until I watched him bulldoze his face into Hollywood. He just wouldn’t quit. He is a megastar to me.

Over the years, you’ve been a huge supporter of health-centered causes. Can you describe your relationship with American Heart Association, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, and Padres Contra el Cancer?

American Heart Association was very near and dear to us because my mom is a survivor of a heart attack and stroke. My mother was hospitalized in 2013 and she had a 98 percent blockage in her carotid artery and a 99 percent blockage going into her heart. She is a testament to the early warning notifications. As for the Padres organization, we were grandfathered in through Eva Longoria’s charitable works. What was important about Padres was that they were targeting a community that was underserved and undervalued.

Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?

We are going to be doing some new recording so there will be new music in the new year. I hope to be releasing new singles in January and February. There are also some fun television things that I will be doing. My husband and I did an episode of The Bachelor which will air in January where we are advising the bachelor and his contestants on how to pick a strong woman. We will be doing Family Feud. We are also working on a book.

Lastly, we still believe in our brand as a family aside from the acting and the music. We are passionate about families and couples making it. We would like to see the divorces go down in this country because people don’t know how to stay and work through certain things.

 

Read more Entertainment articles at ClicheMag.com

Singer-Songwriter Rebecca Crews Steps into Spotlight with New Single “Destiny”. Image Credits: Piper Ferguson

Singer-Songwriter Tom Odell Releases “Half as Good as You” Duet with Alice Merton

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One of the latest duets released in the indie singer-songwriter scene is a catchy new single, “Half as Good as You” by Tom Odell and Alice Merton. The song is irresistibly relatable, and not in a bad way. This song isn’t just a shameless guilty pleasure, it’s a legitimately good tune. Odell initially intended the song to be a solo work for his third album, but soon came to realize that the song could be stronger as a duet. And boy, was the decision the right one to make. The finished product is one that could become every hopeless romantic’s new favorite, merely because of the raw emotion behind the subject matter of the song.

“Half as Good as You” is Heartbreaking, Hopeful and Terribly Relatable

Have you ever experienced a relationship that just couldn’t work out no matter how hard you tried? Most of us have. Even if you haven’t, it’s hard to deny that “Half as Good as You,” is a song that parallels closely to the complex relationships in today’s busy atmosphere. Clearly, Tom Odell had this in mind when penning “Half as Good as You.” The song focuses on a relationship that will undoubtedly never work out. But what makes this a refreshing tune is the realization that no other person will quite compare to the one of the past.

While the lyrics are rather fatalistic, they’re also painfully honest. Odell and Merton voice separate verses and eventually come together in the conclusion that if they “ever find anybody half as good” then they guess “maybe that will do.” It’s sad, but also somewhat hopeful, without neglecting the truth. 

Odell and Merton Met at a Musical Festival Before Collaborating on “Half as Good as You”

"Half as Good as You"

Photo Credit: Tim Bruening, Billboard

Tom Odell is a singer-songwriter out of London, while Alice Merton is an up-and-comer out of Germany. So how did these two come to do a collaboration? The singers met each other in Munich at a music festival last year. Merton confessed that she was a fan of Odell’s since he released his first EP. “I loved his music. So when I found out he wanted me to be on a song I couldn’t really believe it.” Merton isn’t too well-known in the U.S. yet, but her pop-rock tune, “No Roots,” has held a number one spot in France and number two in Germany. If you’re already a fan of Odell, chances are you’ll love this collaboration. It’ll be easy to find yourself falling in love with Merton’s honest, powerful voice. The two singers mesh so well in “Half as Good as You” that you just may find yourself wishing for an entire album of Odell and Merton duets.

 

Listen to the song via Tom Odell’s Official YouTube page:

 

Read more Music articles at ClicheMag.com

Singer-Songwriter Tom Odell Releases “Half as Good as You” Duet with Alice Merton. Featured Photo Credit: RCA Records

Bands Interviewing Bands: Jeff Michaels & Ten Two

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Whether his music is being played during some of television’s most popular reality shows or inspiring people in the aftermath of Boston’s worst terrorist attack, singer-songwriter and pianist Jeff Michaels has been entertaining fans with thought-provoking lyrics examining today’s biggest social and political issues while infusing them with his unique brand of humor. Jeff’s dedication to the independent music scene has been a lifelong cause and several of his songs have been licensed to over a dozen television shows, appearing in episodes of The Real World and Teen Moms (MTV) and the T.O. Show (VH1). Jeff was also a member of pop band Luce, whose music appeared on major motion picture soundtracks for How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey) and 13 Going on 30 (Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Andy Serkis)!

 

I introduced him to California native and Florida resident Ten Two, former frontman of the alt-rock band Still the Sky’s Limit, who is now embarking on his debut solo journey. With so much in common, and yet so incredibly different, these two artists got to talking for our latest installment of Bands Interviewing Bands.

Jeff Michaels: I always like finding similarities with other artists who, at first glance, might seem completely different. The first thing that struck me was that a large part of your bio talks about your name, Ten Two. I love that you came up with a cool way of using your initials from Johnny B, as being the tenth and second letters in the alphabet. How long did it take you to come up this, and did know you it was going to be your new name the moment you did?

Ten Two: You know, I can’t remember the exact moment I came up with the moniker Ten Two, but what I do remember thinking is that I want this project to be as personal as possible, and I also didn’t want a long band name. I knew it was going to only be me and my acoustic guitar (at least to begin with). When it did hit me, I knew it was the name I was going to go with. My previous band, Still The Sky’s Limit, had actually begun as a solo project as well, but I expected that to grow into a full band, so it was a bit of a different mindset going in.

Ten Two: I’m very intrigued by how the relationship with your songwriting partner, Chris Teffner, came about. Being that you two are almost completely across the country from one another, how did that collaborative effort begin?

Jeff Michaels: Completely across country, and nearly complete opposites in musical styles when we first met, it truly is a wonder! Chris is a native of Vermont and we met when I was looking for a guitarist for my band in Boston. He grew up on heavy metal cover bands and I had my doubts he would like my mild piano rock, but he stepped into rehearsal and the moment we met him, we knew he was something special. I was bummed when he moved away, but we’ve actually done more working back and forth than we managed to accomplish when he lived nearby!

Jeff Michaels: Similar to myself, you’ve moved from California to the East Coast. Have you been in the music scene down in Florida long enough to say how it compares to the scene in Orange County, CA?

Ten Two: For me, growing up in Orange County, California, there was absolutely zero music scene in terms of my style of music. I grew up adoring the sounds of New Jersey and New York for the most part, centered really in the feel of bands like Taking Back Sunday and The Early November. Sprinkle in Dashboard Confessional and that about sums up my adolescent music enlightenment.

Orange County is (or at least was) extremely centered in the Hardcore scene; which just isn’t my go-to style of music. We’d have to drive to San Diego, which is about an hour and a half south from where we grew up, to find a scene somewhat conducive to our tastes. But what happened is we were given the opportunity to tour across the country, and when we arrived in Orlando we found that there were quite a few bands similar in style to us, and a ton of producers that specialized in the very same. So, when I was offered the opportunity to move to Orlando, my immediate thought was it would be a perfect location to finally have a true shot at jumping into a music scene that is what I’ve grown up enjoying. Definitely two drastically different focuses in Orlando, Florida and Orange County, California.

Ten Two: You make a new holiday single every year. Was that a conscious effort, did you know you would continue releasing one each subsequent year from the start, or did it just happen organically and built upon itself?

Jeff Michaels: Not at all. This was actually an idea my dad had years ago, and I struggled for many years to write a holiday song. They aren’t easy, if you’ve ever tried! There is so much clichéd holiday music, and I wanted to try and write something really cool, like “Father Christmas” by the Kinks. The first holiday song I released was “Too Cold for Santa,” in 2012, which I thought was great, yet my wife told me was far too depressing for the holidays. I managed to write a new one each of the last few years, and think I’ve finally gotten the one I wanted in this year’s release, “It’s Been a Long Time, Christmas.”

Jeff Michaels: In deciding to start your new project, Ten Two, you mention the decision involved an “end of days in the realm of performing music.” Why is this? Did you not think you would ever front a band with your new project?

Ten Two: The decision was really to either put music behind me or continue moving forward. I had played a very long time in bands that never had any sort of traction, granted Still The Sky’s Limit was by far the best and closest to gaining traction. The decision to continue on was a very easy choice to make, because I just love writing, performing, recording, sharing, and experiencing everything there is within the realm of music and creative expression. I just knew it would once again be a great challenge, but I also knew I was more than ready for it.

Ten Two: I can see the Dave Matthews influence in your former pop band Luce. What was the catalyst that saw you branch off from the band?

Jeff Michaels: Man, that’s a great question for many reasons! Luce was my first professional gig as a keyboardist, and I always thought they could’ve gone into even more of a DMB sound. They ended up replacing me after our very first cross-country tour with a trumpet player who also played keyboards, so it was really an economy of scale. I was also working on my own material at the time, so it was a natural progression which lead to forming my own band.

Jeff Michaels: Your new album Forth is coming out January 5th. Can we expect a tour and more from Ten Two in 2018?

Ten Two: There will be at least four different music videos to accompany the album. One is ready so far, just waiting for a proper release of it, and the three others will be filmed at the end of December. I would love to tour; it’s my favorite thing to do in the world. I just have to figure out the logistics of it, but definitely will be playing shows locally until I can figure out the touring.

Ten Two: it’s been a great pleasure learning about your musical journey, Jeff. I’m definitely going to be keeping up with all that comes from your neck of the woods going forward! What’s next for you?

Jeff Michaels: I’ve written a new album that I am just starting production on shortly that will hopefully be out next spring. As mentioned, I’m getting away from my band sound and really peeling back the layers to see what I can accomplish with songwriting when it’s naked and raw and right there in front of you. I’m hoping this album leads to some new performing opportunities. I’d love to tour Europe and play house concerts, so if anyone is reading this and interested, hit us up!

Follow Jeff Michaels:

Twitter | Website | FacebookYouTube | “It’s Been a Long Time, Christmas” on iTUNES

 Follow Ten Two

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com

Bands Interviewing Bands: Jeff Michaels (left) photo credit: Julie Young. Ten Two (right) photo credit: Ramses Ochoa

Positive Vibes with Singer/Songwriter Sabryna

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There are a few moments in our lives where we take a step out of our comfort zone, smooth the wrinkles off a decent outfit, and pray our nervousness reads minimum, all for the sake of saying a simple hello to someone new. For artist Sabryna, she’s taking the full plunge and going straight ahead with her intentions, but in a different way: lending her voice through music. Her single “Try It” is the latest release by the New Zealand artist, who is ready to lay everything out on the table for her fans and listeners.

 

Since calling Los Angeles home, Sabryna is no stranger to different places, people, and experiences. She says having an open mind and an open ear is the key to why her music is bringing everyone together. “I think the beauty of travel is learning that even though we might live in different countries with different cultures, at the core, we are all the same,” she said.

Just Like You

How relatable an artist is, especially in today’s music scene, determines who stays on the playlist and is worthy of being a place of comfort or support. “We all want the same things and feel the same things,” Sabryna said. “To me, that’s super inspiring. I want to write songs that are internationally relatable.”

New Learning Environment

In today’s environment, if you’re using your college experience while seeking your true passions, it’s truly an accomplishment. Having attended Berklee College of Music, Sabryna welcomed all with open arms. “Berklee exposed me to so many different styles of music,” she explained. “I learned a lot at Berklee, but more so from my peers than in the actual classroom.”

What’s a more perfect music lesson than a jam session? Sabryna said, “I remember playing and jamming out with my friends after class and trying to absorb everyone’s different style and creativity.”

That was the moment that changed my life and I haven’t looked back.

Following the music is something Sabryna is used to, even if she needed a little push during her guitar lessons at age 8. “One day in class, I was singing along to my guitar and my teacher heard me and told my mom I needed to really pursue singing because I had a special gift,” she explained. “That was the moment that changed my life and I haven’t looked back.”

Flash forward to 2017 and Sabryna is working with artists such as Candice Pillay, Dem Jointz, and Hannibal Hector and uses their experiences to guide her and develop the artist she wants and believes herself to be.

“Candice is a super talented songwriter,” she told us. “She taught me a lot during my first year in L.A., and I definitely look up to her.”

When asked about the others, she continued, “Dem Jointz is dope. He is a one-man band and helped orchestrate my session with Usher, which will go down as one of the most memorable sessions in my life. I will always be thankful for that. HNNBL is my brother. We recorded my entire upcoming EP together and I loved every minute of it. I’m grateful to him for helping me develop my sound.”

Try This, Hear Her

With “Try It” featuring Josh Pearl, Sabryna releases this song as a way to reveal herself to her fans. “It’s like our first date,” she explained. “We’re both getting to know each other, testing the waters, and it’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.”

Artists wouldn’t be anything without their fans, and Sabryna continues to emphasize the importance of her connection to them. She hopes that with each release, it’s something both fans and herself can be proud of. “I hope my fans can get to know me better as I continue to put out more music this year,” she said. “We can grow together, but most importantly, have FUN together!”

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Positive Vibes with Singer/Songwriter Sabryna: Photographed by Shawn Artero

Bands Interviewing Bands: Autopilot and Frank Moyo

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It’s not often we get to put together two artists from outside the US, but today’s artists are both Canadian, and both just unveiled incredible releases. Saskatoon natives, Autopilot (RIYL: War on Drugs, Broken Social Scene) just released two new singles “Hurricane” and “Crooked Lines” and are currently on a major US tour through late November. Meanwhile, Toronto singer-songwriter Frank Moyo (RIYL: John Mayer, Coldplay), just dropped his debut EP Waves. The two got together for a chat about the art of songwriting, the perils of food poisoning right before a gig, and more.

Frank Moyo: What was the first song you ever wrote, and what was it about? 
Autopilot: The first song I wrote I think I was 12. I had an amp with a lot of reverb and an old analog 4 track recorder. I’m not sure what the topic was, but I know I still have the tape in a box somewhere.  This was just the start of a lot of songs I’ve written in the past.
Frank Moyo: What was the latest song you wrote, and what was that about? Has your songwriting drastically changed since your first song?
Autopilot: The latest songs we have been working on have been a lot different than most of the early songs. From tones to the vocals and lyrics, I think writing is a process that you change and progress at.

Autopilot: What’s your writing process like? What influences you besides music, and how do you think that affects the outcome of your songs? 
Frank Moyo: My writing process usually starts with a lick on the guitar or piano and then lyrics will follow. My lyrics are sometimes already written and I will try to incorporate them into the notes I am playing, but sometimes the music actually commands the lyrics that I write, therefor forcing me to write lyrics that make sense with the music being played. I find a lot of influence for my writing in books and movies that I watch. I read frequently and love to draw influences from my books. I love Italian cinema as well, and as of recently, I have used many films by Fellini, Antonini, De Sica, and other neorealist directors as influences on my writing.
Frank Moyo: What are the major reasons why you began to pursue music? What influenced you most to pursue it as a career? 
Autopilot:  A big influence was when I read a book called On A Cold Road.  I was playing music already, but after reading this book, I knew that music full time was what I was going to do. Written by Dave Bidini of the Rheostatics, the book is full of stories about bands on the road and crazy tours. It’s definitely a great read and made me think of music as something I could do out in the world and not just in my basement.
Autopilot: What’s your biggest musical influence that’s not immediately obvious when listening to your music?
Frank Moyo: I would say Daft Punk and Phoenix. I love their music, but a majority of my music is down tempo with an acoustic jazz twist. Daft Punk have always been a great influence, just because of their song structure and how well it can play with my emotions. Phoenix has always been a band that I aspired to be like, but my music seems to be going in a direction a bit outside of the Phoenix alternative synth pop/rock genre.

Frank Moyo: Before a show, or before a practice, do you have any rituals or things you do to zone in and concentrate on your music?
Autopilot:  When on tour, the best part of any down time we get before a show is checking out the city, as we’ve had the opportunity to play in a lot of interesting places.  When it comes down to right before a show, we pretty much just dive right in.  It’s pretty natural when we start to play,; we just forget about everything and get lost in the songs.
Autopilot: What’s the craziest experience you have had on the road or before a show? 
Frank Moyo: The craziest experience I had before a show was when my band was performing at the Opera House. We were backstage and another band we were playing with had brought cheesecake for everyone to enjoy. Apparently, the cheesecake was expired and we ended up having to play the show with a mild case of food poisoning, which was not very fun.
Frank Moyo: Explain what would be considered a dream show for yourself. Where would it be? And what band would you dream to open for?
Autopilot: We would like to play with a lot of bands, but I think a dream tour would be with a band like War on Drugs, Modest Mouse, or Grouplove. Doing a few months on the road with one of our favorite bands would be awesome.

Autopilot: What is your favorite venue/show you have played? 
Frank Moyo: Toronto is full of great venues, some big and some tiny. The biggest venue played was most likely the Opera House and Lula Lounge. Some of the more intimate shows at smaller venues were some of the most memorable. Places like the El Mocambo and The Painted Lady were the more emotional and fun to play.
Frank Moyo: Lastly, what does music as a whole mean to you? Are there any specific reasons why you chose to pursue it? Does music represent a different side of you?
Autopilot:  To me, music is an outlet to express everything from what I think to how I feel. I live and breathe music, so I guess you could say that’s what it means to me.  Without music, I’m not sure what I would do all day – I think I’d be lost.  I don’t think that it represents a different side of me, it’s just who I am.

Follow Autopilot:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Bandcamp
Follow Frank Moyo:
FacebookTwitter | Instagram | YouTube
Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com
Bands Interviewing Bands: Autopilot and Frank Moyo. Photo credit: Autopilot (top) by Nicole Romanoff and Frank Moyo (bottom) by Takahiro Sakamoto 

Bands Interviewing Bands: Hydrogen Skyline and Jess Chizuk

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One is the keyboardist in an electro-rock trio, and the other is a solo indie-folk songstress. One resides in Colorado Springs, and the other hails from Buffalo. Hydrogen Skyline‘s Norman Hittle and singer-songwriter Jess Chizuk may be on different ends of the genre spectrum, but as this latest edition of Bands Interviewing Bands shows, all it takes to strike up an enthralling conversation is a shared love and passion for the music. Norman and Jess discuss their starts in the industry, the recording process for their respective new albums and much more.

 
Hydrogen Skyline: Have you always been a solo singer/songwriter? And how did you get your start in music?
Jess Chizuk: For the most part, yep! I started writing lyrics when I was very young, maybe about age 11, and took guitar and singing lessons shortly after to turn them into real songs. I started performing as a solo artist quite literally only a few months after learning to play guitar. Since then, I’ve been in a few bands and other projects, but I always come back to playing solo whenever I can.
Jess Chizuk: How did Hydrogen Skyline get together? And did you know you wanted the Indie/Pop/Rock sound right away?
Hydrogen Skyline: We got together simply by happenstance. Asher [vocalist] and I are married, and I was having band practice pretty frequently in our downstairs studio, and one day she basically said she’d like to try out–which as you can imagine was awesome! Getting Mark [Young, guitarist] into the band was a bit more difficult. We had to be really cutthroat and sort of lure him into being interested, leaving his former band(s) to join up with us.
As far as intended genre, we didn’t really start out aiming for indie-pop/rock. In the early part of this millennium, I desired to play in a progressive rock/metal band. Something between Opeth, Type O Negative, and TOOL. What ended up happening is I got guys together that wanted to play more melodic styles of progressive music (i.e. the Mars Volta and Porcupine Tree). Anyway, each year we continued to be more “mainstream” in our style of music, and eventually we just accepted we wanted to make music we all liked and that ended up being more what we have going on today. Though, I secretly still want to have my progressive rock side band!
Hydrogen Skyline: Why did you pick Lehigh Valley Line as the title track over something like “Eyes on the Horizon” (which is my favorite track)? Is there some sort of special meaning or theme that song has that relates to the rest of the album?
Jess: There’s a number of reasons, really. Initially, both “Eyes on the Horizon” and “The Distance” were top album name contenders, but it turns out those names have been used over and over again by tons of other artists, which I didn’t like. It’s already hard enough to gain traction as a new artist without people confusing your album with someone else’s. Lehigh Valley Line is actually based on a true story; the Lehigh Valley Railroad used to run through Buffalo, NY (which is where I’m from) and had a pretty big impact on the area when trains were commonplace. A lot of the tracks have subtle references to the area in them, but this one is pretty much centered around this cool piece of history. I thought it would be neat to pay homage to the city that the album was created in, while simultaneously being able to give it an entirely unique name that had never been used before.
Jess: I think “Seize the Day” is my favorite track off Photovoltaic, but a lot of the tracks have really interesting themes and lyrics. How many band members are involved in the songwriting process, and what’s that process like?
Hydrogen Skyline: Our writing process involves all three of us. The long answer is: we typically start by sitting down with our instruments and working on some ideas or chords one or more of us have an interest in. Then we start formatting a rough structure for the progressions (usually v-ch-v-ch-b-ch). At this point, we try to make some unique adjustments in rhythm and really iron out the ranges of the instruments. When we have a solid idea for the music, I take it and work on some vocal melodies. Then Asher and I hash out those ideas and make adjustments. When the melodies are ideal, I go from there to writing some rough lyrics, usually about a concept Asher and I agreed on. After that, another round of modification, and when we feel the vocals and lyrics seem to work together to convey the emotion we want, we pull all the instruments out and rebuild the song around the vocals. And in pre-production, we do that whole process all over again!
Hydrogen Skyline: On your website’s biography, it states that you have won several awards in your area! Congratulations! What would you say is the award you were most honored to receive and why was it important to you?
Jess: Thank you! Every one of them has been a significant honor in one way or another. It’s really hard to put any of them above any other one, but I think the first one was probably the biggest deal for me. About two years ago, I sent in one of my tracks “China Plates” to a small, local songwriting competition. I honestly didn’t expect a response from it, but I ended up winning, and as a result got to record that song in one of the best studios in Buffalo with several Buffalo Music Hall of Fame musicians, which was an incredibly big deal for me at the time. I think getting that first really positive response spurred me on to work towards everything else I’ve achieved so far. I’m not sure I would be where I am today had I not won that first award!

Bands Interviewing Bands: Lachlan Grant & Seth Lael

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Separated by just under 11,000 miles, New Zealand’s Lachlan Grant (left) and San Francisco’s Seth Lael (right) had the opportunity to get to know one another in our latest Bands Interviewing Bands. These two singer-songwriters share their creative process, their struggles and triumphs within the industry, and a question that’s always on every artist’s mind—how to fund their pursuits. Check it out below.
Seth Lael: How does technology affect your music creating process? In the book “How Music Works,” David Byrne says that technology dictates music. Is this true for you?
Lachlan Grant: Great book! A very inspiring read indeed. I agree with David Byrne and his philosophy towards music technology. Being born into the technological boom of the 1990’s, I grew up using computers and was able to develop a fluent understanding towards technology from an early age.
At around the age of 16, I developed a strong desire to understand and learn the art of guitar playing. To my benefit, I was able to access useful information as soon as I turned on my computer. I would simply search a ‘tab’ of what song I wanted to learn and work it out from there. Tablature provides a way for everyday people to learn and play the guitar or (other fretted instrument) without needing to understand music theory. Thus more and more people became able to learn independently.
The impact of technology enabled me to teach myself to understand music without the aid of a teacher and after developing the basic fundamental skills through tablature, I was then motivated to learn and understand music theory. I still write songs in a notebook and work them out on my guitar, but because I came to understand music theory I am able to compose scores for my songs on a computer program called ‘Sibelius.’ I start by notating the guitar and vocal parts and I then compose bass lines, string sections, vocal harmonies, drum patterns, etc. to build a complete song. I can then export a MIDI file from Sibelius into an audio engineering program called ‘Logic’ and begin building a song. Without the impact of technology, I would not be able to implement my creative process.

 
Lachlan Grant: As a songwriter, how do you find the encouragement to continue writing when no one seems to be listening?
Seth Lael: I think songwriters should write music that they themselves like and write for the joy of writing, no matter what people think. I view this as a fundamental value over fame or fortune when writing. [I also think] if songwriters do want to get their music in front of listeners, they should study the craft of songwriting and hold off on putting it out into the world until they are confident that someone will want to listen.
Seth Lael: When did you decide you wanted a career in music? Was there a specific moment when you realized this? 
Lachlan Grant: My decision to pursue a career in the music industry came when I was in my final year of high school. Like most teenagers, I had no idea where or how to direct my life, but knew for sure that I loved playing music and that nothing else made me happier. Upon these thoughts and feelings, I chose to commence a Bachelor of Music at Otago University in New Zealand and completed it three years later. After finishing my degree, I took what I had learned about songwriting and embarked on a nomadic lifestyle towards mastering my craft. It was this moment when I realized I had completely committed myself to establishing a career in the music industry. Still trying.

Lachlan Grant: As an independent artist how do you find the financial support to continue creating art while keeping up with the on-going costs of establishing your career?
Seth Lael: The only reason I was able to do my recent second album to a standard that I wanted was because the album was partially funded by my pre-orders on Pledgemusic and my part time job as a sound mixer. I’ve realized now more than ever that there are start up costs just like other businesses when pursuing a musical career. Thinking more like a business owner while running my current campaign has really helped me to feel comfortable investing in it as well as having a more professional attitude.
Seth Lael: In my 20 years of playing in bands I find that using “hired guns” to play with can be very beneficial in saving rehearsal time, reliability, and overall chops. Having charts and recordings are imperative. I’ve hired drummers and bass players to show up to gigs already knowing the material. That being said it is hard to replace the vibe you get from playing with someone that is really into your project or you’ve been playing with for many years as friends. There is a magic you get from having a real musical relationship that has been built from years of playing together but, we didn’t all grow up like the Beatles so you may have to hire the town drummer.
Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Bands Interviewing Bands: Lachlan Grant & Seth Lael. Photo credit: Lachlan Grant (left): Dean Opie Seth Lael (right) self-portrait