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Interview | Questions & Answers With Shadow Puppet Theatre

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Shadow Puppet Theatre
Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Shadow Puppet Theatre is a Rock band making their mark on the international scene. In my opinion, the recent music video for “Mystery Girl” is awesome as well as their 10-track debut album ‘John Doe’. Discover more right here!

1 — Hello guys, where are you right now, and what plans do you have for today?

Hello from the other side of the world! (No pun intended ;-p) We’ve just released our debut album together with 2 music videos, so we’re trying to get the word out and spread the love. At the same time, we are working on a couple of new tracks so that’s pretty exciting stuff.

2 — What elements in your music make it sound so authentic?

We try not to constrain ourselves in terms of style and we like to focus on a vibe and feel, each song has its own story so we attempt to set the mood based on the flow of that story.

3 — Who is in charge of writing the lyrics?

Yours truly, the frontman of Shadow Puppet Theatre.

4 — What subjects do you like to explore through your songs?

Life, love and everything in between, plus the occasional positive message, because why not?

shadow puppet theatre interview
5 — When and where did you officially form the band?

Legend has it that the band was conceived somewhere in the middle of a muddy confluence in April 2016, but took more than a year to gestate.

6 — Why we should listen to your debut album ‘John Doe’, and why did you pick up that name for this record?

Because ‘John Doe’ comes from the heart. Besides, when was the last time you heard a vintage+modern rock band from Malaysia? As for the name, ‘John Doe’ was chosen to represent the nobodies, the unsung heroes, the common people, and serves to remind us of who we are essentially.

7 — How can you interpret the story behind the visuals of your latest single “Mystery Girl”?

If we were to interpret the story for you, that would ruin the fun and the discussion now wouldn’t it? 😉 We shall leave it at “A symbolic tale of anonymous digital love”.

8 — Would you like to share with us any funny anecdote while filming this clip?

During one of the breaks while filming, a couple of rowdy boys entered the elevator we were in. Noticing our eye-catching actress, they drew their attention to her and asked: “where are you heading?”. Conveniently the elevator door opened for our exit, and our actress replied “we are going to pray”, which cracked everyone up.

9 — Do you think there are more opportunities for artists like yourself outside Malaysia? If so, why?

Oh definitely, Malaysia has a modest population of 32 million people, so when you compare that to the >1 Billion English speakers around the world, the numbers speak for themselves. As is, we’ve got a handful of fans/listeners from the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Brazil, so it would be nice to have a global fan base one day, should the opportunity present itself.

10 — Finally, what can fans expect from Shadow Puppet Theatre in the next months?

A Walmart discount coupon and a tax refund. Okay not really but you could expect some free giveaways from us, and if Santa is feeling generous at the wrong time of the year, perhaps a new single and another music video.


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Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Interviews

Exclusive Interview: Nancie Talks Social Media Obsession & New Single “Get Likes”

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Nancie
Nancie
is a multi-talented female artist (DJ, Producer, Singer, and Songwriter) who is making a name for herself in the UK scene. The rising star proves she can put anyone to dance with her new single “Get Likes”. A housey tune that revolves around our exaggerated need for social media. Find out her point of views, plus more right here!

1 — First of all, how would you define your music style?

I love House music; I play House, I write songs to be turned into a House track. House music is what I grew up listening to. In terms of songwriting; I always write about personal events. People say music is a type of therapy which I couldn’t agree with more. At first, it’s daunting to be so vulnerable and showcase something you are going through, opening up for criticism and negative feedback; however, so incredibly lifting to discover you are not alone and that a lot of people can relate to your lyrics.

2 — Tell us about the first song that put Nancie on the map of the electronic music world.

My first song “Get Likes’ signed to Capitol UK Records. It’s very much tongue and cheek about the growing obsession around Social Media.

3 — If you had to choose only one: Producing or DJing, which would it be?

This is like choosing between “Cheese and Crackers”; they both compliment one another. Producing to me is extremely personal as you are creating something that was not there 24 hours before. You are bringing a thought in mind to life. DJing, on the other hand, is like a religion. You see people from all different walks of life, backgrounds, ethnicity, views, values, etc. All come together like a family. In those moments, watching everyone with their friends, hands in the air, singing the songs, dancing with pure joy on their faces. It’s an incredible feeling.

DJ Nancie
4 — What emotions or feelings were running through your head when writing your new single “Get Likes”?

I wrote “Get Likes” in my car on the way to a gig. Before I left, I had a scroll through the usual apps and I realized just how much this society is becoming obsessed with the term “getting likes”. It’s as if your value and worth is now based on how many followers or likes you have. Don’t get me wrong, social media is an incredible platform in which you can showcase your work, but it also is very much a false pretense.

This generation is so heavily involved in what others are doing and finding out what they think they need to do to become the “best” that they forget who they actually are. I wrote this song to show that we don’t need to go to extremes in order for people to like us and that being yourself is the most important thing.

5 – I noticed part of the lyrics is linked to Tinder. Have you ever used this dating app? If so, would you recommend it?

I have used dating apps in the past. It’s hard to find the time to connect with people whether that be on a friendship level or relationship level when you are constantly on the go. I mean, it’s 2019, who hasn’t thought about going on “Tinder” or using “Tinder”. I’ve met some great people through dating apps; friendships that I never expected. It all depends on what your intention is when being apart of a dating app; my intention was to simply meet people I wouldn’t necessarily meet in normal day to day life. If its something you fancy then go for it. The “unknown” is always a thrill.

6 — As an artist are you keeping your social media accounts active on the weekends?

Yes, I do keep my social media accounts active on the weekends, especially Instagram stories. It’s great to show and thank your supporters. For instance, if I am at a gig or in the studio which I most likely am on weekends, I like to show appreciation with posts to the people that came and raved with me or took their time out of their own weekend to work in the studio.

Without these people, I wouldn’t be living my dream. I also like to post when I’m taking my dog for a walk or I’m out with the family having Sunday dinner; it’s important for me to stay grounded and show I am just a normal person regardless of how my life may look “exciting”, when in reality, I love to sit and watch “Come Dine With Me” with a glass of red wine whilst the dishwashers on.

nancie interview
7 — How do you handle criticism and haters online?

To be honest, I’ve learned that there is always going to be criticism and also people that don’t like what you do. The fact people take the time out of their own day to say or write things whether it be positive or negative, I appreciate because it means I’ve made a big enough impact for someone to express their opinion. Not everyone is going to love what you do and you have to accept that, but what you must not do, is dwell on negative feedback, take it in, acknowledge and let go.

8 — As a female DJ, do you still think there is gender discrimination at clubs and festivals?

I do believe it has got better over the years, however, there is still gender discrimination at clubs and festivals. I suppose it’s like any male-dominated industry. For some reason, this society is not fond of “going against the grain”, “being different”, “being diverse”; it’s almost as if people don’t know how to act with something that is classed as “not the usual” or “the normal”. Personally, I still feel the need to prove myself especially being female, however, that could just be me as a person. When you are new to any industry, it is only natural to feel inferior to those that have paved the way for you.


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Interviews

Interview | Questions & Answers With Thamatic

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thamatic

Thamatic is a project whose main goal is to create compositions with meaning, purpose, and vision. Musically, they adopt an experimental approach. This means their songs are a good alternative to the saturated commercial sounds we hear constantly on the radio. Learn more about these talented guys in this exclusive interview.

1 — How many people work behind the Thamatic music project?

Thamatic started out with three core members back in the late 2000s. We’ve had additional members on instruments like guitar, keys, and DJ equipment during those years.

Currently, we have a large team of people who contribute to the project. There are well over 30 team members who offer essential services from instrumentation, graphic art, promotion and more.

2 — When did everything start?

It’s helpful to think of Thamatic like the first season of True Detective where there are multiple timelines. The first round began when John, Mike, and Matt first practiced in the upstairs living room of Matt’s house in 2007. We instantly knew we shared a musical connection. Then we began working on new material for our first live shows and studio sessions. However, relationships began to fray and members split to do other projects.

Johnny
Round 2, 10 years later in 2017, Thamatic reunited to make two of our favorite songs including “Ghost Boy”. We also found new ways of making music and began making electro-acoustic songs based on old songs from Mike. Now we’ve expanded on our craft and are developing both Rock and EDM music. Overall, it’s been like we’re characters of a TV show trying to finish what we started in the past.

3 — Do you consider all your tracks are experimental?

No, the majority of the songs fit neatly into a genre like alternative or electronic. We put down the niche “experimental” because we’re like scientists experimenting with sounds.

4 — How has the city of Chicago has influenced your sound?

Chicago is our home. We know this city and love the music that’s come from here. Throughout the course of this album, we’ve recorded all over Chicago including at Gravity Studios, Swift Road Studios, Bunker Studios, Clear Ear Studios, and Fullerton Studios. Lyrically, Chicago is mentioned in “Ghost Boy” and “Take Us With You”. Most of our music videos highlight the beauty of Chicago like in the “Lorazepam” official music video.


5 — I read your latest single “After School” is the strangest tune you’ve ever produced. Why?

Mike’s vocal delivery is just so weird… in a good way. We didn’t know he had that melody in him. “After School” is a song that definitely wasn’t written with a guitar. It’s exciting to write songs that provide a break from acoustic-based instruments.

6 — What was your inspiration behind the lyrics?

The lyrics so far with the songs we have chosen are pretty self-explanatory… however, very versatile when it comes to the subject. The newer tunes seem to be more aside abstract storylines that deal with the conflicting elements of man, technology and gods before and in future time.

7 — Have you ever considered working with female vocals?

Yes, we’ve already been making demos of songs with several prominent female vocalists.

8 — What’s your favorite music platform Spotify or SoundCloud? Why?

Spotify all the way for Matt and John! Mike loves SoundCloud for releases with his solo songs as well as the community engagement. I think that Spotify is when the music is in it’s most professional form. It’s chiseled in stone at that point.

9 — Your music studio looks great. Which are your favorite tools?

The Rocket 5 speakers with their signature yellow ring. It’s always a pleasure hearing music from those babies. Also, we love our Maschine. It’s the old school one with only orange colors. Thamatic also owns a Misa Tri-bass which is a super rare Midi Guitar/Bass with touch-based frets and a tablet sized screen where the strum board would be.

10 — Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?

Thamatic is perfecting the art. Planning-wise we’ve been really inspired by the Marvel universe and are currently planning this project in phases. Phase one is focusing on the music. Summer will hopefully wrap up all songs on the album.

Phase two will be music videos and branding. Branding is a lot of cognitive work. It needs to be on point to land home with listeners. The 1975 has crushed it with their brand and they have the music to back it up. We are finalizing our image and how we want to be seen by the public.

In the immediate future, “After School’s” sister song “Spacesuit” is being mastered as I type this. “Spacesuit” is a stronger song in a lot of ways. We’d like for the same people who listened to “After School” to hear “Spacesuit” as it fits with our post-technology message and is a pleasing song for the ears.

Thanks you so much Electro Wow. We are honored to be a part of your music website. You are a maven of musical taste.

Sincerely,

~Mike, John and Matt


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Interviews

Matstubs Talks New Platform Designed For Indie Artists — BitSubmit

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BitSubmit

Check out our interview with DJ & Producer Matstubs, who is the founder of BitSubmit. This is a powerful platform designed for indie artists like yourself. A new tool that will speed up the whole marketing process so that your music can get noticed among labels, radio stations, and blogs. Learn more below.

1 – What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since funding BitSubmit?

I have learned that musicians are not putting nearly enough into their marketing strategy. It took me a long time to realize that this industry is a lot more than simply making music. So many artists go unnoticed, even when their music is incredible. Imagine a painter leaving their art in a basement for no one to see. It’s a shame because there’s a ton of music out there that deserves the spotlight.

2 – What benefits and opportunities do this platform offer to indie musicians?

BitSubmit allows artists to easily connect with the very best in the industry. Spotify & Apple Music Playlist curators, YouTube music channels, record labels, Soundcloud promoters, music blogs, radio stations and so on. We made it as easy as possible to send music to hundreds of places in seconds – it’s mind blowing how easy it is to automate releases with it.

Something that holds back a lot of musicians is the money for guaranteed promotion. Sometimes placements can run into the thousands of dollars for a single promotion – that is way too unrealistic for a lot of upcoming artists. We wanted to level the playing field, so instead all artists will get an equal shot at submitting their music to the largest promoters.

independent musicians
3 — How many people are behind this project?

For the first year, it was just my partner and I as we built the platform from the ground up. We built it alongside both artists and networks because we wanted to make sure we developed it right and got everything that was needed. After we launched, we saw a lot of growth and interest in the platform, so we decided to bring on a few more developers and a customer relations team. Every day we work together to make BitSubmit a better platform.

4 — Do you think there are other similar platforms on the web? What makes BitSubmit stand out from the rest?

Sure, there are some others, but they don’t do the job. I am a musician myself under Matstubs, so I’ve tried all the different submission platforms. I came into a ton of things that were straight up amateur… bland websites, hard to use interfaces, low-quality networks. Ultimately it was a waste of money. This is why I set out to create BitSubmit. Not to sound arrogant, but anything that these other platforms do, we do it better. I can only say this because that is exactly what our goal was when developing BitSubmit. Our platform is by far the most simple to use and straightforward. Our networks are the highest quality in the industry. Our artists get results and it’s as simple as that.

5 — As a marketing tool, what’s probably its best feature?

Let’s go through what happens when you don’t use BitSubmit. You make a track… Okay, now you need to think of the top 100 electronic music networks that you want to send it to. That’s going to take you a bit of time to research. Not only that, but you actually have to go and find the contact for each of these networks. More time wasted. Once you finally have all the contacts in your spreadsheet, you need to send an email to every single one, hoping that your email doesn’t get lost in their inbox.

These networks are getting hundreds of emails per day – yours probably isn’t even getting opened. Now you can sit and wait for a few weeks and maybe you’ll get a reply – but most of the time, you’re in the dark. The process sucks. Now imagine doing all of that in 10 seconds. Imagine that you are guaranteed to get listened to. Imagine you can track exactly when each network will listen to you. Imagine getting valuable feedback from them. This is what BitSubmit will allow you to do. Essentially we’re putting your marketing on steroids – and at the same time allowing you to spend more time making music.

BitSubmit platform
6 — How about pricing? What’s the difference between the premium and the professional plans?

The main difference between the plans is the amount of bits you get per month. Bits are used to submit your music to different networks. I would suggest at least the Premium plan for artists that are serious about getting their music out there.

7 — What record labels and blogs are working directly with the platform?

There’s too many to list… EDM·com, Trap Party, ZIAS, Royal Music, NightBlue, Diversity… we’ve got hundreds of powerful outlets. We have local radio stations, internet radio stations, music blogs, YouTube Channels, streaming playlist curators (Spotify & Apple music), Soundcloud promoters, Instagram pages. If the network is quality, then they are most likely with us.

8 — Can you talk about the contest you have recently launched on the platform?

For sure! We’re always giving away awesome things to help our musicians get to the next level. We just recently gave away KRK Rokit studio monitors and a pair of studio headphones. We want to do more for our artists than simply help them market music. We want to help artists get to the next level in any way we can. We write up blog posts with helpful tips, give away cool equipment, and most important give you a world leading marketing platform.

9 – What temporary challenges are the users currently facing on BitSubmit?

There will always be a challenge to get heard. Although we make it extremely easy to make connections, your music still has to be on point. Musicians need to consider the fact that every single one of us has our own bias towards our own music and we may not agree with feedback from others. But handling objective feedback is such an important part of growing as an artist. This doesn’t mean that artists need to give up their creativity or choices when it comes to making music, but if 9/10 people think you’re singing flat, you’re probably singing flat.

10 – Finally, what further improvements would you like to implement in the near future?

We have something big in the works for our artists. I can’t discuss it in detail just yet, but it is going to be extremely powerful for connecting with brands and other alternative outlets. We’re very excited about pushing it. We have a lot of room to grow, but we’re working hard every day to make it happen. We’re excited about the future.


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Interviews

Trst Talks New Remix “My Neck, My Back” In Interview

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Remix My Neck My Back
DJ and Producer Trst is back with a stomping remix of the 2002 classic hit, Khia’s “My Neck, My Back”. He has transformed the track into an absolute roof raiser, he is best known for other tracks such as “Throw Yo Body” and “Bitch Boyz”. Inspired by the likes of Tony Romera, Noizu, & Rex The Dog, Trst is on a mission to bring back Fidget House. Electro Wow caught up with Trst to discuss his latest remix.

1 — What made you decide to remix “My Neck, My Back”?

I loved this song since middle school. I’ve tried remixing this song like 8 times and it always sucked. This is my favorite version that I’m finally proud of.

2 — This song has been remixed quite a bit in the dance scene; did you feel any pressure when releasing this?

Not really, no one has really took the direction I did. It was popular a while ago to remix and kinda faded. I’m bringing it back.

3 — What was your inspiration when creating your version?

UK Grime.

khia


4 — How would you describe the remix to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

Grimey and loud!

5 — What has the reaction in clubs been like for “My Neck, My Back”?

Well I live in San Francisco, so everyone’s always like ‘hey this isn’t DirtyBird!!’. Jokes, but its gone down pretty well so far, its a fun song to sing along to, especially in a club since it’s so explicit and you can scream it.

6 — Is there any remixes out there by other artists that you really love?

Not really, they’re pretty old school Trap.

7 — Do you prefer creating remixes or originals and why?

Both are different processes for me. I like originals just because it’s a more familiar workflow.

Trst interview
8 — What plans do you have career-wise this summer?

Going to NYC and playing a show with Ekonovah (thanks Lunar Lounge) and also then playing a G Code Yacht Party later in July.

9 — Can you give us an exclusive into any other releases you are working on at the moment?

I have a release coming up soon on one of everyone’s favorite French label. That’s all I can say for now.

10 — Finally, where can we go to download your remix of “My Neck, My Back”?

Free download on Soundcloud!

Here is the link: https://theartistunion.com/tracks/6ca8cd


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Interviews

Interview | Questions & Answers With Helsinski

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Helsinski
Hailing from Finland, Juho Vehmanen aka Helsinski, is a promising new talent within the world of contemporary Pop music. Electro Wow had an interview with him to find out all the most important details you’ll probably want to discover about himself as an artist. In addition, I fully recommend you to listen to his newest single “Glow Sticks” below, which seems to be on everyone’s lips.

1 — First of all, why did you choose “Helsinski” as your artistic name?

I think the name ‘Helsinski’ (the capital of Finland is correctly spelled Helsinki) encapsulates some relevant information about me in one word. Obviously it gives away my geographical location which – I think – is always an interesting fact to know about an artist, since it puts them in a cultural framework. The name also suggests that the music is somewhat urban. Helsinski also really sounds like a surname, so it could lead to the correct conclusion that the music is performed by one person only. For some, it may represent a humorous reference to the political concept of Finlandization. All in all, I think it’s a name of many associations.

2 — How would you define your music with just three words?

Urban alternative pop would be my genre description in three words. To put it more informally, I’d use the adjectives soft, nocturnal and relaxed.

3 — Which popular artists can we compare to Helsinski?

I’ve heard some Depeche Mode comparisons. I’m a fan of Die Antwoord, Daft Punk and Air myself to name a few, but don’t think you can really hear those influences in my stuff. I keep surfing Spotify for random stuff for inspiration. My background as a musician is in Pop and Rock. I think Helsinski is a hybrid of a whole lot of stuff. I’m eager to hear those comparisons, though!

helsinski interview
4 – Can you talk about the recording process of your latest single “Glow Sticks”?

After marking the structure and chord progressions with a piano I laid the foundation for “Glow Sticks” with a pretty loose Hip-Hop drum groove that’s partially programmed “in the box” and partially played with real drums and percussion. I’m not too solid of a drummer so I had to cheat a little. The bass part is a combination of overdriven and side-chain compressed synth and an electric bass slapped and played with a pick through a Big Muff fuzzbox.

I put some ambiance pads and a groove-emphasizing synth arp to the background. The shimmering top end consists of granulated delay effects derived from other, already existing elements. Most of the guitars were played by Riku Karvonen, a super talented guitar connoisseur whom I’ve been lucky to play quite a lot with over the past few years. All elements combined, I ended up with pretty 80’s sounding track by accident. But I decided that as an 80’s product myself I have all the rights to sound like one. Vocals are pretty heavily effected with saturation, huge delays, doubling, pitch and formant shifting and vocoding.

5 – What is this song “Glow Sticks” about?

It’s about two self-contained, short-term light-sources who find comfort in each others company in this impossible place called life.

6 – Any plans to drop a video for this single?

Would you like to invest in one? I’m short a couple grand. The revenues will be surprising, I assure you!

7 — What can listeners expect from your next release?

The next release after the single “Glow Sticks” will be a similarly named album of 9 songs. It will be released on May 17th and it’s gonna be great company for a night drive under neon lights!

8 – Finally, what’s your ultimate dream as an artist?

To crystallize my own sound to the max and keep the high motivation on learning new stuff every day. A billboard hit would also be cool.


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