If you haven’t watched the “Breathe” music video yet, it’s time to do it! Singer-Songwriter YOVANNI opts for haunting black and white visuals that match with his expressive lyricism. Below, in an exclusive interview, you can discover more about the Miami-based artist and his new single.
1 — Hello YOVANNI, how many years have you been active in the music industry?
Hello Modern Citizens. Thanks for taking the time to learn about my musical world. I have been in the music business for over 20 years! I have been both an artist and a Production Manager for other labels. It has been such a journey to experience the changes that the music industry has gone through. I was around where people still shopped around cassette tapes and now is nothing but a link on your computer. I love it! So much more simple and mainstream for everyone. Now we all have a chance to shine. There is an audience for everyone.
2 — Can you describe your music for people who might not be as familiar with you?
Whenever I meet anyone and they ask me what kind of music I make, I tell them that it is a stew of pop, rock, funk, and electronica. I am a mix of George Michael, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Freddy Mercury. I was raised in musical theater but rebelled and decided to pursue pop rock music so that I could sing my own songs.
3 — Did someone in your life encourages you to become an artist?
I grew up in the 80’s where music and entertainment were breaking into the mainstream market. MTV made it possible for me to learn about music through icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. These three artists were my main dish all day long. I listened to music on my walkman wherever I was. Even in class I would sit in the back of the room and just listened to my music while the teacher was not even paying attention. I loved the sounds and the imagery that came out of the 80’s generation.
4 — Are Madonna, George Michael, and Adam Lambert still your main influences? If so, why?
Madonna and George Michael have always been my number one teachers and as I grew up there became few recording artists that even captured my interest until Adam Lambert sang “Ring Of Fire” on American Idol. It is very hard to impress me. I do look forward to seeing who else is gonna be able to make get into the groove. One thing I love about music is that it is always evolving and now there are so many choices on the menu to taste.
My new single “Breathe” is about taking a moment out of the chaos of your life and realizing that if you try to calm the chatter in your mind, everything will be ok and yesterday was nothing but a cloud. We all have daily struggles in our personal lives. We all cry and laugh. After every storm, cities rebuild and lessons are learned. “Breathe” for me represents moments in my personal life and the life of people I have met on my journey here on earth.
The “Breathe” music video is a production where the only location to consider was my bedroom. I am healing from a leg injury that left me unable to walk or go outside for months. I had to get creative, so I built a set in my bedroom that represented a church. I used my mom’s old saints and statues and filmed myself. The other scenes of other people were created using licensed stock footage. For example, there are a couple of scenes dealing with suicide. That was something that I had to go through with an ex who tried to kill himself in front of me. Other scenes represented moments in my life, like the time when I was homeless for a brief moment. I had to make sure that the scenes in the video represented issues that we all have to deal with.
7 — After watching this clip, I can assume you are fan of film-noir style movies? Is that correct?
While I was in the studio recording the music for “Breathe” I already had a vision of the style of video I wanted to produce. I loved the BW Film Noir style because there is such a range of emotions when you combine classic lighting and shadows. Film Noir represents a mood of melancholy that the song expresses. If you watch a classic film from the early days, you see such a beautiful emotion being portrayed in shadow and light. I really wanted to haunting sounds of the song “Breathe” to look like a classic BW movie.
8 – Have you considered remixes for your latest single “Breathe”?
I am and will always have dance music in my blood! I really enjoy working with DJ’s who are also producers that can re-create a song into a hot groove to dance to on the dance floor. I come from the EDM world. There are new amazing remixes that are now available worldwide of “Breathe”. My manager Nelson “Trigga” Martinez is great friends with legendary DJ Producers such as Bimbo Jones, Dark Intensity and the Klubjumpers. The clubs are now able to have an anthem that they can groove to on the dance floors thanks to all the Dj’s who are spinning the remixes!
The next upcoming months for me are really gonna be very important to my personal and artistic growth! I have been finalizing final production on my next single and I really wanna start giving birth to my next child. There is a huge catalog of music that I recorded last year and I am really aiming to move forward in my life and release my stories for all the modern citizens who are willing to listen and welcome me as an artist in this crazy game of life.
10 — Finally, do you have a favorite place to write lyrics?
I can write lyrics anywhere but if I had to choose a favorite place, it would be in the studio. I really like being in a studio environment. I enjoy jamming with other musicians or just listening to a musical score that I can have a conversation with and write a story to sounds. But I have to feel inspired and I always gotta try to find a personal connection either if I am writing for myself or other singers.
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Interview: Adrian Hibbs Opens Up About His New Single “The Ostrich”
Adrian Hibbs is back with his new single in over two years. Catching up with the former keyboardist and back up singer for Panic! at the Disco, I discovered his own musical evolution through “The Ostrich”. Definitely, listeners can expect funky and dark notes all in one magnificent song. Learn more right here!
1 — Before you went into the studio to record your new single “The Ostrich”, how did you envision it?
Originally the first sessions began back in 2010, I was working with James Gadson (drummer) on a bunch of stuff for a full length and it was never released. It took me years to locate the recording sessions from back then but when I found them I ended up re-recording all the parts and self-producing them only keeping his original drum takes.
2 — Did you achieve what you imagined?
By the time I found the old sessions I had written and released several EP’s, Singles and an LP. I had pretty much forgotten the sessions still existed and it took me years to get my hands on them but when I did I decided to scrap all the music on it and start over but only keeping Gadson’s drums and using my friends to re-record a new record. Some of the songs from the 2010 sessions are on the record but are updated with 10 years of experience. The songs still feel relative and I am glad that much time had passed.
3 — What made you want to release this track in October, the month of Halloween?
Ha, well I wish it I could say I planned it to roll out with the holiday but it was a coincidence. It’s been about 2 years since my last release because I’ve been so busy performing with my solo format. I could have easily kept editing and changing arrangements but it’s time for them to be released and time from me to move on.
Originally it was an instrumental Jam that I would play live at gigs, then after a painful breakup end of 2017, I started to write lyrics about an ostrich that lies.. I think the metaphor is obvious enough but if you need more explanation just google an ostrich with its head buried in the ground… The more I looked into that being true reaction from fear I discovered it was a myth but it was too good so I kept the ostrich theme.
5 — Who is doing the vocals?
Over the years I have been working with Rod Castro for guitar parts, he happened to bring his 10-year-old son over to my studio during the session and I had this two paged children’s rhyme about an ostrich so I randomly had him try out the vocals because it wasn’t working with my voice. I had a few different people come thru and record them but his sons were better for the mix and gave it a unique element that wasn’t planned. He didn’t want record at first, he was pretty shy and Rod had to keep telling him it was ok to say the things I had originally written down.. There were more graphic details that he was too uncomfortable repeating so I worked with what I had and cut up the bits.
6 — How many different synths did you need for this track?
I used two, mainly a moog little phatty and the original microkorg. I had my friend Lex Sadler in town who is a phenomenal bass player and mentor of mine, he did three full takes to James Gadson’s drums on my moog. I went in and edited the parts, then had Tom Lea come over and record viola and violin and eventually Rod Castro to lace it with the guitar.
No, most of the stuff I have produced has always had a dark element, I did a track for a UK artist Chenai Zinyuku about 2 years ago and I used the same group of guys, the song ended up KCRW’s rotation and was eventually picked up by a label in Rotterdam (Maktub).
8 — If you could use this song as the main theme for a movie that already exists, which movie would you pick? Why?
Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal. I love the way this film was shot and there is an amazing scene with him telling his boss how they are going to date followed by him punching a mirror as he appears to have a downward spiral, I think an instrumental would be great in the back round as it’s a bit of a menacing orchestration.
9 — Are you planning to release a music video anytime soon?
Yes, I’m compiling a list of all the blog rejections from this release and the rest of the songs for the album and will have some great quotes that will read as the song plays… Anything for comedy.
10 — Finally, what can we expect from Adrian Hibbs in the next months?
In addition to releasing my solo stuff I have a new project that I am producing and performing in called “Plasty.” It features an extremely talented singer and writer Chloe Pappas. We just performed at the Kaaboo festival and have releases coming out next month, Plasty has elements of dark dance music, nu-disco, and pop, I am surrounded by analog synthesizers and Chloe stands nearby destroying on a mic.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Zeb Samuels
“Lost In My Dreams” is the first single release taken from the highly anticipated debut album ‘Hope & Light’ from Deep Heads label boss, Zeb Samuels. Scroll down and discover all about this fresh talent.
1 — First of all, what made you fall in love with music?
I think one of the first memories I can recall, is hearing my brother play Phil Collins and really liking what I heard.
I must have been about 4. Then as an 80’s kid, Michael Jackson was the first artist I was fanatical about, at the age of about 6. I vividly remember getting ‘Bad’ on tape and playing it to death and trying to dance like him at any opportunity.
2 — How did you become a multi-instrumentalist? Do you have a favorite instrument?
I started playing the piano at about the age of 6 and then Trumpet when I was 9.
I then took up the drums when I was about 11 I think.
Then I gave it all up and started DJing when I became a teenager, but massively regret it now.
I then picked up the piano again in 2016 and would say this is my instrument of choice.
I don’t really think about it, to be honest. I consider myself as someone who makes what I feel and want and hope that it’s received as a unique listening experience.
I think some music I make is definitely for a small niche of people and maybe that would define it as underground, but I haven’t released that much music, so not sure where it sits.
4 — What’s your goal: artistic success or commercial success?
I just want to be able to write and create music that I feel happy with personally. I love the process of writing and creating and just hope that I can continue to do this as long as I live. To me, joy and happiness are within the process, not the reception. Although, of course, I want people to enjoy what I make, but this is secondary.
5 — Why is your debut album entitled ‘Hope & Light’?
I felt like the overall tone and message I wanted to communicate was of hope & staying positive in the face of adversity.
The writing has a lot of messages and content about my feelings of struggle and pain, but I try to write and focus on the resolution of these battles.
6 — Can you tell us more about the topics and subjects behind your new songs?
I guess the last question sort of answers this, but also touches on a lot of my relationships I have been through.
Some of the songs also just represent a thought process that doesn’t necessarily have a specific topic and just act as a canvas to lay down my thoughts and feelings.
7 — What made you want to work with Faded Tapes on your second single “First Written”?
I have known Joe for a while now, through Occult. He sent me some bits to listen to that we could potentially collaborate on.
I love his lo-fi approach to music and contacted him for some music, as I have always been drawn to his sound.
8 — Why did you opt for an animated music video?
I have always liked the idea of making myself into an animation of some sort and came across the illustrator/ director Rachel Seropian.
I fell in love with some of her work and thought it would be a perfect style for my music. The organic feel of her work really projects visually the way I want my music to be seen and was over the moon with the finished video.
9 — What was the main message you wanted to send to fans with “First Written”?
10 — Finally, what can we expect from Zeb Samuels in 2020?
More music. 😉
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Quickfire Interview With: Klox
Hailing from Montreal, Vincent Dupont aka Klox is making his way through electronic music and Pop as a Producer. This interesting interview will allow you to discover basically everything about himself and his new artistic project.
1 – You’ve been Producing since…
First off, I am a singer and songwriter but last summer, after moving to Montreal, I decided to build my own studio and learn the basics of producing. That’s when I realized what I wanted to do as an artist. So, I would say I’ve been producing since summer 2018.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
Music has always been part of my life. I remember listening to old Rock records when I was a kid and dreaming about being on a stage playing guitar and singing in front of thousands of people. I started playing guitar and singing when I was 16 years old and I got in the music realm without really noticing it, probably because I was really passionate about it and knew I had something to say and music seemed to be the best way for me to say it.
I then started writing songs and a couple of years later, I decided to make a career out of my passion and started living off my music, starting with a French Pop/Folk project. Fast-forward a couple of years later and here I am, launching this new project in a new music genre and being pretty excited about it!
3 – Your sound is…
As I said, I spent the last few years working as a songwriter/singer and producing is kind of a new thing for me. So, after hundreds of Pop songs written, I think Pop music really has had an influence on my style. I try to blend EDM elements with my Pop songwriting and influences. That’s why I consider my sound to be Future Pop music.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
I started producing electronic music because I was kind of obsessed with the way Flume treats sounds and music in general. I don’t know if he’s had that much influence on my sound, but I’m definitely inspired by the freedom he allows himself with his work when he’s in the studio.
5 – Fans should listen to your new single “Back Together” because…
Well, it is my first single, so it’s the best way to discover where my career is heading at the moment. I have worked on several tracks in the past year and this is the one that seems perfect to launch this new project. I think it shows what I am influenced by as a songwriter, but also as a producer.
6 – If you want to know who Klox is, listen to the track…
I think “Back Together” is a good track to start with. Not saying that because it is my first single, but because it reflects who I am as an artist. I want to be involved in every facet of writing, recording and producing and this is what I’ve done with “Back Together”. In fact, you can even hear me sing a few lines on the track!
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Too early to tell, but the last year has been really great. I produced the tracks you’re going to hear in the next few months and had the chance to meet and work with really talented artists. It’s only the beginning, but it’s a pretty nice one!
8 – Your dream is…
Of course, I would like to have the chance to play my music in front of big crowds all around the world, but I have a simpler dream: I want to keep making music as a living. If I can achieve that and call myself an artist for the rest of my career, I’ll be more than happy. It is the best job in the world and can be really hard sometimes, but in the end, it’s all worth it. I want my career to last.
9 – Your next release is called…
“Back Together”. It will be released this fall and I think the following track will be a beautiful and smooth song named “Lost In The Cloud”… To be continued. ☺
10 – Your all-time favourite track is…
It has nothing to do with what I’m doing right now, but I would say it is “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis.
11 – Your favourite venue/club is…
A venue in Quebec City called Imperial Bell.
12 – If you weren’t a DJ and Producer you’d probably be…
I’m already a singer/songwriter so I would probably focus on that. But If I had to stop making music, I think I’d probably work in advertising as a creative or become a video editor. Something like that.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I would find a way to make music even if I went deaf…
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Get better as a producer and hopefully have my music heard all around the globe! I’d like to travel the world and have my music played everywhere.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Will probably go out for a coffee, work on a couple of song ideas, eat and watch the Office TV show and go to sleep! It’s been a long day. ☺
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Katrina Stuart
Katrina Stuart has a passion for music from an early age. Currently, the Canadian-born singer resides in LA and is gaining notoriety with radio-friendly Pop songs. In the following interview, we talk about her career and the new single “Blue Roses”, which is accompanied by an amazing video clip.
1 — Thanks for your time, how do you think you’ve grown as an artist since you first started making music?
I feel like I’ve grown as an artist since I first started making music because I now song-write on everything and I also feel like I have found my sound and my message after so many years.
2 — Who would you say are your main influences?
It’s hard to choose my main inspirations as so many different people inspire me in so many different ways but Alicia Keys and Justin Bieber were definitely some of the first.
I began singing at a young age and then around 10 years old I started taking singing lessons for a couple of years. I still like to take lessons to this day because I believe there is always room for improvement!
4 — What’s the biggest challenge you face when it comes to launching a new song?
Probably the biggest challenge I face when launching a new song would be self-doubt. Sometimes I will start to pick at little things and then get nervous for my fans to hear. I just always hope they will love it as much as me.
5 — I’m really enjoying your new single “Blue Roses”, who do you want to dedicate this song to?
There isn’t one specific person I would dedicate “Blue Roses” to. It is more for anyone in a tough relationship that needs to get out of it.
6 — What is the inspiration behind “Blue Roses”?
While we were in the studio, the concept for “Blue Roses” came up and we wanted to figure out the best way to say it. I think it’s very common that people in relationships or even friendships try to solve issues with gifts or flowers but I want people to realize that these gifts aren’t going to fix your problems.
7 — Are there any upcoming shows?
I actually had my “Blue Roses” release party last Saturday and we premiered the music video there! I performed the song with a band and dancers!
8 — What is a fun fact for your fans that you are unlikely to find on the Internet?
A fun fact that my fans may not know about me is that I don’t like chocolate ice cream LOL.
Outside of music, I like to relax with my friends. We usually make silly videos and dance and sing to the 2000’s songs.
10 — Finally, what advice would you have for aspiring young artists?
Some advice that I would give to aspiring young artists is to stay true to yourself. So many people get lost on this journey and it’s super sad to see. Also, remain humble!
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Notelle
You’ve probably heard Notelle before as a featured vocalist in many EDM tracks. Today the Nashville artist follows her own personal path as a soloist. Taking this into account, she’s promoting her new single “Beyond The Grave”, which she has described it as dark, creepy and weird. Isn’t that interesting?… Well, scroll down to discover more!
1 — First of all, where do you take inspiration from when making music?
I’ve always been drawn to dark art, you know, things like folklore and legends, Edgar Allen Poe and hauntings. There’s something about it that has always been so alluring to me. I try to incorporate that chilling feeling into my own work.
2 — Where did it start for you? Do you remember what first got you into wanting to create music?
I think I’ve been interested in music as far back as I’ve been able to be interested in anything. I’ve always played the piano and never wanted to practice my assigned songs, I always wanted to come up with my own, just little melodies and piano parts. I showed my first completed song to my parents when I was around 13? I don’t know, maybe younger. I had a piano teacher who made my “homework” to write a song. It was probably total garbage, but he seemed excited about it.
3 — When and why did you decide to become a solo artist?
I’ve been a featured vocalist and topliner for years, but I really wanted to explore more creatively. As a songwriter for other people, you have to write within the lines they give you for their projects. It’s been incredible, but I knew I had other songs in me that would never find a home in someone else’s project, so I knew I needed to make my own. That was probably about a year and a half ago. It’s still fairly new!
The spookier the better! I think creepy stuff is cool as long as it’s not particularly gory. I can handle some gore, but I think the eloquent side of “darkness” is way more interesting. I wanted to go in that direction for “Beyond The Grave”…like an educated haunted house.
5 — What is this song about?
I wrote the first verse about another person and the connection you can feel. It feels like it’s inside of your body, far deeper than the word “love” can describe. That type of emotional draw to someone can end tragically, kind of like Romeo and Juliet. I wanted to describe that feeling of borderline obsession, almost feeling like someone else is your possession because you care for them so much. The darkness in the chorus lyrics…
“Let me be your prayer, your virtue,
If you leave me, let me grieve you,
Sweetest love is the love we take,
I’ll hold you from beyond the grave”
….it’s almost as if the speaker is saying “I will love you even after you no longer love me, I will love you even after death.” It’s tragic, unstable yet eerily passionate.
6 — How long did it take to produce?
The melodies, lyrics, and direction of the track…(the bizarre poetic intro into the bass house “drop”)…I came up with that during the first session. It took a few more evenings to really smooth out the production because there are some fairly complicated time changes between sections.
I think the Nashville Pop scene isn’t necessarily influencing my sound, but it is influencing my drive and hustle. The amount of creative, talented people in this city is absolutely insane. Although I don’t think I look to many local artists as a sonic inspiration, their creativity as a whole and overall desire to succeed…it’s infectious and revives me from time to time when I feel down.
8 — What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned over your career?
Humility. Humility. Humility. There is nothing less attractive to me than someone who can’t stay humble. One of my favorite books makes the point to separate amateurs and professionals. Professionals often feel like amateurs, amateurs often feel like professionals. If you think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread…you’re going to stop learning and you’re going to stop growing, and that will be the death of your career.
I think one of my favorite collaborations was with a DJ named “Nurko”. I’m not the featured vocalist on it, my co-writer, Luma, is. However, it was a great song just as a piano-vocal demo, we gave it to Nurko (Jack), and he brought it to life. It holds a special place in my heart. I’m ALWAYS open for collaborations – if you see this and you want to work…slide into my DMs. (@notellemusic)
10 — Finally, what do you have next on the horizon?
I have a long trip to LA planned this fall so I’m excited to get out there and hop in the room with some new producers and co-writers. I want to push my own sound and write with new artists. Time to mix it up a bit!
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