Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Funk musician Sola Rosa shares forward-thinking music video




New Zealand artist Andrew Spraggon, crafting under the moniker Sola Rosa, teases more new music with for ‘For The Mighty Dollar’, featuring regular collaborator and former The Streets singer Kevin Mark Trail. The track is the second single from the forthcoming album, ‘Chasing The Sun’, due for release on 25th September.

The socially-conscious track is the follow up to the recently released single, ‘Searching For Love’ feat. Kiko Bun, which saw support at radio from the UK home of soulful music Mi Soul, with Indie London featuring the single in their ‘Singles of The Week’. Topically timeless, ‘For The Mighty Dollar’ challenges the endless struggle between commerce and the common good.

Long-time Sola Rosa collaborator Kevin Mark Trail gives a poignant message about the track; “money has been placed as the most important thing in the world and the divide between the rich and poor is still very wide. Many governments and corporations are still corrupt. Inequality, sexism, racism and injustice continue to reign. The aim of the song is to get people to think about the life we are living. The Covid-19 pandemic has given us time to question our values and direction, personally and globally, but what do we want? Who are we? What do we need? Where is the love? Could we be living better with each other and the planet as a whole?”

Reminiscent of the iconic funk and soul classics, ‘For The Mighty Dollar’ features solid beats, lush strings, bold horns and powerhouse backing vocals wrapped around a soulful lead. Long term Basement Jaxx collaborator and one of the UK’s top soul singers, Sharlene Hector delivers the BV’s, while Sola Rosa’s live band featuring Peter Leupolu, Michal Martyniuk, Dixon Nacey, Matt Short, Julien Dyne and Spraggon himself build the foundations of the track. The final addition of Mike Booth, Andrew Hall and Hadyn Godfrey on horns and strings from the Black Quartet complete the track.

The compelling short film accompanying the track - directed and edited by Elliot O’Connell/Askew One and shot by Gareth Moon - documents the environmental and societal impact of the COVID 19 lockdown on Sola Rosa hometown of Auckland City in New Zealand. Inviting the viewer to question whether the opportunity to reconnect to a slower pace of life is something that should be preserved, or whether their comfort lies in a return to the normality of a commerce-driven life. Talking about the visuals, the director explains; “the scope of what could be created for this video evolved as we progressed through the various levels of lockdown. It’s a really significant time in the world right now, and so much has happened in the last 10 weeks. The theme of the song is particularly poignant, particularly in this moment. Ultimately all our systems are so interdependent and tightly bound to capitalism and I wanted to bring that sense of increasing anxiety into play - leaving the viewer to ask themselves, is this really what we want?”

Sola Rosa’s history is littered with Number 1 releases, awards and critical acclaim in his home country of New Zealand, with accolades spanning over a decade. Highlights include a #1 album on iTunes and the IMZN Music Charts, multiple bNet and VNZMA nominations and awards for Best Electronica Album, Best Independent Release, Best Producer and Best Dance/Electronic Album.




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Pop-soul singer Becky Bowe dedicates song to her soulmate



Image: Milly Hewitt

Previously featured on renowned Youtube channels (Sofar Sounds & Ont' Sofa) and ranking at number 9 on the UK iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts, Becky Bowe is making her name known around the UK. The songstress’s latest offering is her song ‘Cosmic Heart’ which was recorded via Two Bridge Recordings. ‘Cosmic Heart’ will feature on her upcoming album of the same title.

Speaking on the single, Becky Bowe shares the personal reason behind the song development: “This song is really personal to me. I wrote it when I was 18 years old when I first started going out with my now fiancé. I was so used to writing the stereotypical break up song which always worked a treat however this time round I was feeling feelings that I didn’t know how to put on paper. I then started writing a song about him and about how amazing he is as a person and that’s where the song came to life. This song is just about an out of this world love that you find or have with someone.”

Bowe provides dramatic effect with her new offering ‘Cosmic Heart’, from the soaring choir to the strong conviction in Bowe’s vocal delivery.



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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

EDM producers Sonny Fedora & Dom Dolla share future club hit





Following a string of huge sold out shows together, Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla now team up for new single ‘Moving Blind’ via Sweat It Out / Solotoko.

Having teamed up for their first roadblock US tour in 2019, the start of 2020 saw Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla back on the road by popular demand selling out over 10,000 tickets across The Shrine in LA, Mission Ballroom, Denver and The Midway, San Francisco.

Working on Moving Blind from an NYC studio amidst a busy touring schedule, the duo have already road tested this certified dance anthem, receiving incredible reactions along the way. Ahead of the rescheduled remaining co-headline East Coast dates in November, Moving Blind is set to satisfy the cravings of fans around the globe who eagerly await the chance to catch the duo in the flesh once more.

The accolades between the two are endless, with Sonny dominating both club and crossover realms with his critically acclaimed RISE LP last year, multiple Beatport no.1s and his recent single One Night alongside MK that amassed over 22 million streams whilst landing BBC Radio 1 daytime playlisting.

This new single also follows Dom’s remix for One Night adding further recognition to its release. Meanwhile, Dom’s recent originals  Take It and San Frandisco have amassed over 60 million streams combined, landing Beatport no.1 spots, earning him BBC Radio 1 Pete Tong’s future star and additional plays from R1, Triple J, Beats 1 and more.

With new tour dates in the pipeline, Sonny Fodera and Dom Dolla’s Moving Blind is set to continue the pair’s glowing partnership until clubland unveils its doors once more. Combining their undeniable skill, Moving Blind weaves husky vocal hooks with elastic synth leads and bumping basslines, making for a hypnotic house groover destined to be heard in its natural club setting and intimate home dancefloors alike.




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Alt-pop duo LARRY PINK THE HUMAN gets official song remix




LARRY PINK THE HUMAN have enlisted the London duo Everyone You Know with remix duties for their debut single ‘LOVE YOU, BYE.’.

‘LOVE YOU, BYE.’ (Everyone You Know Remix) flips the lo-fi shoegaze track on its head with beats that straddle both house and breakbeat as atmospheric trance synths run throughout.

‘LOVE YOU, BYE.’ was released earlier this year and was quick to prove a hit at radio with support from Radio 1 and BBC 6Music. It was also added to the X-Posure evening playlist at Radio X, while receiving press support from the likes of NME, DIY, Dork, Daily Star and more.

The band’s follow-up single ‘MIGHT DELETE LATER’ built on the impressive first statement with an anthemic new wave brit-pop sound. It has gone on to be featured as ‘Tune Of The Week’ on the Jack Saunders’ Radio 1 Indie Show alongside plays from Annie Mac and Phil Taggart, while Mary Anne Hobbs and Chris Hawkins are big fans at BBC 6Music.

The ethos of LARRY PINK THE HUMAN is to challenge normal human perceptions, no better demonstrated than with the band members themselves. Jolyon Thomas, whose work as a producer includes such artists as Kendrick Lamar, U2 and Royal Blood, is now stepping out from the studio and onto the stage as a songwriter and performer, while Laurie Vincent – who as a guitarist forms one half of the band Slaves – takes the role of lyricist and frontman.

Their new roles in LARRY PINK THE HUMAN sees the pair continue to prove their artistic dexterity in hit making, They are thriving in the unexpected and are set to reveal even more surprises soon.





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Saint Mars protest school bullying in new song


Photo credit: Nick Fancher

Band Saint Mars remind us that amidst the global pandemic that we face today, social issues have not disappeared, they have actually become worse at this time. Domestic violence, murder and anti-social behavior is at an all-time high in this isolation period. School violence & bullying has obviously decreased due to the circumstances, but in a tech-savvy day & age, there is more than one way to bully.

Band manager Marc Darcange shares his thoughts, “Childhood can be a difficult time...you are totally dependent on adults: if something turns bad at school, you can’t just resign like an adult would...you can hardly escape your condition and it’s often difficult to talk about it because the suffering can be so intense. The problem is often minimized by adults, who think it’s all just childish bickering. Wrong…Because for the most sensitive ones, it may even have fatal consequences. The most incredible thing is when I chose Tryzdin, I had no idea he was also being bullied at school. His parents finally took him out of public school in the United States because of this. I only learned about it later, but it made our approach even more meaningful.”

Recently featured in Relish Rock, the blog adds, “Saint Mars are known to generate buzz around serious issues facing our youth today. Their new release, song titled ‘Ocean Blues’ centers around isolation youth face due to school bullying, and the consequences that result from it.”

They elaborate on their previous statement,“‘Ocean Blues’ is sung from the victim’s perspective, “bruises fade, but scars form” narrate that the protagonist is suffering from psychological trauma as a result of the bullying. They have also lost all hope and joy,  “In this world , there is no shelter from the storm”.”




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Saturday, 11 July 2020

In conversation with dance-pop singer Lily McKenzie




Lily McKenzie is an up-and-coming UK dance music singer-songwriter, who compliments catchy hooks with heartfelt lyrics in her music. Her recent release includes her new song ‘Karma’ which is filled with charismatic RnB flow. To date, McKenzie has worked with and performed alongside acclaimed music producers  Stanton Warriors at Glastonbury 2019. She also features on Crazy Cousinz ‘No Way’ with Yxng Bane and Mr Eazi, the single has over 11 million streams on Spotify alone!

We find out what makes Lily tick in this exclusive:

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I really found a lot of music appreciation in James Blakes album Overgrown. That for me really broke down barriers in terms of vocal and music production. I think that album really influenced a lot of artists coming through at the time- it was so different and innovative.

What are some of your key musical influences?

I'm influenced by a lot of UK music such as Grime, Garage, and UK Funky. But I also grew up listening to a lot of 90's RNB, artists such as Aaliyah, Jagged Edge, Teedra Moses, and Nivea.

If you could paint a picture of your unique sound, what would it look like?

It would look like a massive tree with different branches tangled together all intertwined haha.. Each branch would represent different sounds creating a hybrid of RnB, UK Funky, and Electronic Pop.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I usually start with a melody, I'll get some chords together either by myself or with a producer, then I'll scat some melodies and work out which ones work. I'll then think about what's going on for me, and will usually write about what's on my mind at the time.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Working with a producer that get's me. When you're working with someone who understands your direction but also brings something new to the song is so inspiring - bouncing off of other creatives helps with writing massively.

As an artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

There will always be the issue of money and art. Unfortunately, if you combine the two, especially at the beginning -  you may have to compromise. There are things I would change, but also I think that compromising initially allows us to grow and to work out exactly who we are as artists, and what we want further down the line.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Chemistry with your audience is so important. To watch the crowd dancing or connecting with your art for me is what it's all about - it literally feeds your energy. I can't wait for the lockdown to be lifted and to be back out on stage!

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

When people have messaged to say a song has helped them through a tough time, for me that is the biggest honour. I write from experience, so when I know that someone else, a complete stranger, has connected and it has helped them in some way - it's the most amazing feeling. It's one of the main reasons I create music.

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

I'd like to release a bigger body of work, an album (which I've started working on!),   and I'd like to tour it around the world -  for more people to hear and be touched by my art. I'd also like to do more songwriting for others- and to win an Ivor Novello award!

What's on your current playlist?

My current playlist is very random - everything from Inner city 'Good Life' to Sir 'Hair Down' to The Black Keys 'Sister'.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

I've been working away on lots of new music,  I have more singles coming out and an EP...  Plus some features I'm excited about too!

Famous last words?

This isn't so bad- really glad it doesn't hurt! Lo




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Friday, 10 July 2020

In conversation with dance-pop singer OLLIE


Oliver Mazurtšak aka OLLIE is an electronic pop musician from Tallinn, Estonia. His recent releases include his single ‘Paradise’ with the charming vocals of singer Mariliis Jõgeva. As a teen OLLIE began playing the guitar competitively and has cited bands like System Of A Down, Linkin Park, Toto, and guitar legend Steve Vai as highly influential. Into his late adolescence, OLLIE would broaden his horizons by pursuing pop music as a career & releasing debut ‘Bonfire’, which gained a wide range of support.

We find out more about the multi-talented musician in this exclusive.

What are some of your key musical influences?
A famous rock band called System Of A Down was the initial inspiration to take up guitar playing. These days I'm a huge fan of modern pop music. I love the attention to detail, and I always give it my best to be up to par with the industry leaders.

If you could paint a picture of your unique sound, what would it look like?
I suck at painting.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
Every song is different, but a rule of thumb for me is to finish the melody and lyrics before I start production. You can't build a house on a shaky foundation. So if the songwriting is good enough, it will inspire a row of great ideas. If I lack ideas, it's usually because the songwriting isn't good enough, so I go back and try to perfect the foundation.

What gets your creative juices flowing?
Intentional boredom and the urge to move forward, that builds up when I stay put for a while. I can't stand it. Then a shot of espresso and you won't hear from me for the next 10 hours.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
My fans are very important to me. My goal is to give them the best experience possible and the more you give, the more you get back - kind of like an energy cycle. On stage time flies, I can never believe that it's already the end of the show. Seeing my fans respond to my music is addicting. There is no better feeling than hearing everyone sing along.

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Reaching my listeners on an emotional level is very important to me. I want to help my listeners feel that they are not alone. By doing that, I feel less alone myself. Of course the more people I can reach the better.

What's on your current playlist?
You can find everything from yodelling to metal music in my playlist.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
I have many upcoming releases for 2020 and I can't wait to share them with my fans. Quarantine gave me way too much free time, so I had no way to excuse myself from creating. No regrets, in my own way, I’m grateful it happened. Chaos has a way of knocking everything into place

Famous last words?
Life is short. Don't worry about small things.

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Producer Lucas Nord shares new bittersweet song



Lucas Nord has released his new song ‘(Can't Be Myself) Without You Ft. Melo’ via Physical Presents. The song features on his featured on his forthcoming album release Boy Restless. ‘(Can’t Be Myself) Without You’ provides the indie dance music groove that you would expect from a Lucas Nord track.

Lucas Nord shares: “With this song, I wanted to make something a bit less moody and something a bit warmer, funky and fun production-wise. Melo played these chords and the title and hook kinda just popped up in my mind straight away. It was one of those songs that just writes itself. Think we wrote the entire thing in like an hour and the same with the production - everything just happened very fast and felt very natural that day. The whole concept of the song just stemmed from the title and about how even if you’re in a bad relationship or situation you don’t feel like you’re complete without this other person. Which is kinda cute and tragic at the same time haha.”

Nord provides warm soundscapes that have a bittersweet message of the thought that the absence of a significant person in your life will dampen your parade, or cause sorrow.





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