I had the absolute honour to interview Mr Hudson. The artist who is ahead of his time is back with a futuristic album entitled ‘When The Machine Stops’. This 11-track project is probably his best work to date and it revolves around modern isolation. As a music fan, I wanted to find out the intimate details about his career. Scroll down for more info.
1 – You’ve been Songwriting and Producing since…
I was nine and wrote a song called “Will You Be Mine” always the sensitive soul.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
It’s the closest thing to a religion that I have.
3 – Your sound is…
Sad robot music.
5 – Fans should listen to your new album ‘When The Machine Stops’ because…
It’s the best thing I’ve ever made.
6 – If you want to know who Mr Hudson is, listen to the track…
“There Will Be Tears”.
7 – Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Meeting Elton John on the beach and taking him to the studio to work on MBDTF with Kanye.
8 – Your dream is…
9 – Your next release is called…
“When The Machine Stops”.
Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.
11 – Your favourite venue/club is…
The Greek Theater in L.A.
12 – If you weren’t a Songwriter and Producer you’d probably be…
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I lose my hearing.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Sitting on a plane to London.
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Exclusive Interview: Discover Nigeria’s Promising Hip-Hop Artist FascoJ
Believe it or not, there’s growing talent in Nigeria. With this interview, you will discover everything about FascoJ. The promising Hip-Hop artist just dropped his debut album ‘Curves’, and has a desire to expand his horizons. For the very first time, FascoJ shares with us his own story and latest music project. Scroll down and read the rest.
1 – Tell us about your musical journey. How did you become FascoJ?
My musical journey has been an exciting experience in my whole life career and perspective for me. Because if you asked me these questions when I was young, I would say I wanted to be a doctor or rather a pilot or even a soldier…But then I fell in love with music. In 1999, when I was only 4 years old I had grown siblings who will play music all day after school and I had no choice but to watch and listen to them, while I had my friends watching cartoons at such age, my elder siblings inspired by the whole thing they watched all day which was Hip-Hop, RnB, Pop music and a few Rock and Country music as well.
My real name is John Fasanmade Adeoye (Born on March 11th, 1995), better known by the stage name of FascoJ. I used to be called “Jaguar” in elementary school, and when I got to middle school a group of friends started calling me by my elder brothers’ last name which was David because they saw how much I was inspired by his music through him. I went from “FascoD” to “Don John” in high school but after my first live performance on stage I opted for “FascoJ” as my artistic name. Actually, it came from my first and last name altogether.
Well, I grew up in a country called Nigeria, somewhere in Africa where most people listen to Afro-beats, Apala, Fuji, Reggae and so on… There wasn’t much of Rap, Hip-Hop nor RnB music. Many artists in the country never thought of it as a thing for Africans, but when I was growing up I felt inspired by my elder siblings and the music they used to listen. I found a lot much more interest in the foreign content of music from the sound to the lyrics and I turned them up into poems in my poetry classes at elementary school. I was in love with American and Canadian-type of music. So, I decided to try something a little more different and that’s how I found my style of music a little bit different from other artists in my country. It’s been really exciting for me finding my passion in the Hip-Hop/Rap field of music.
3 – Is Nigeria a good place for Hip-Hop artists? How do you see the music scene over there?
Currently, now in the Nigerian Hip-Hop and Rap field, we have a handful of artists, not to mention citizens that were born outside the country in foreign lands and came back to Nigeria to implement their style. Nearly in 2011, we already had artists playing this genre but I’m not going to lie to you, the promotion has been tough knowing that 70% of people in the country weren’t used to the Hip-Hop style, so it’s a struggle in that field to get fans. However, with experience, effort, and perseverance we’ve been able to acquire about 30% of fans in that area and with our efforts, I believe in the next years to come, there will be a new generation to inspire others in the Nigerian music industry.
Growing up I used to love music, to be more precise, American Hip-Hop, Rap, RnB and Pop musicians were my idols. To cite some artists, 2pac, Biggie, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg , Ice Cube, Xzibit, Big Pun, JayZ, Nate Dogg, Eminem to Ja Rule , Nelly , Bow Wow, Chingy, Lil Romeo, Cassidy, Ludacris, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Bossie Badass, Ashanti, Brandy, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Kelly Rowland, Micheal Jackson, 50 Cent, The Game, Lloyd Banks, Chris Brown, Buck, Lloyd, Omarion and including the recent artists on the scene like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Uzi Vert, Wiz Khalifa, Currensy, Berner, Dave East, Young MA, and I could go on for days mentioning them all…
But my first album ‘Curves’ came through me as that experience when entering an unknown field in the music industry where Hip-Hop and Pop wasn’t a people thing, so I thought of all the life curveball quotes would throw at me that time, knowing that this material wasn’t inspired by half of the populations’ in the country. So, I named it “Curves” because life has thrown curve balls and the struggle to find your voice heard in such situations at the time was not easy but with effort, hard work and perseverance I was able to go through success.
5 – Which is your favorite track? Why?
Fortunately, I love every single song on the album so it’s hard to pick one because they all have different melodies and tunes to the heart. But, it was right after I released the album ‘Curves’ and I started dropping singles when I stumbled on my favourite track “No Time” outside the album and I played it over and over till I was in love and even obsessed with it… “No Time” was a great collaborative song for me not with any much specific story in mind, but really something most people listen to because of the bravery and confidence most people usually need when going through hard times of knowing you’re worth and people around trying to ride you down, bring you down in scenarios where you know with all you got, you’ve got to stand for yourself and persevere no matter what the danger or issues are. At the end, everyone is worth it, so the message of this song is to raise people’s hopes and not to belittle anyone for what they want to believe in.
Apart from the fact my music is so different from what most people are used to listen to in the country, It’s exciting for me because the journey wasn’t easy and I was inspired by my own potentials trying to comply both, rapping and trapping, and even the singing aspect is a little bit more with explicit lyrics in the contents. Of course, this felt amazing and creative to what’s known in the Nigerian music industry. So, yeah, it’s an exciting album from my view.
7 – Did you collaborate with other artists on this record?
Yes, I collaborated with a few of my colleagues from childhood friends to intuitional colleagues we all had the same taste and perspective of music, which was amazing. Exploring with them our potentials, I was able to learn more of what the Hip-Hop fans are interested in, which made things a lot much easier to work with at the time we produce the album and the singles. It was such a great experience.
In the current era we live in, social media is everything to me and as someone who has been in the fandom since I was 9 years old, social media has really helped me out in getting myself out. It helps me to find out and listen to other people’s opinions on their music tastes, which inspires me a lot as well in doing what I’m doing now.
9 – What’s next for you?
Well, currently at the moment I started my projects on the ‘Curve’ album. Since last year, I have been dropping song after song and haven’t really set up a music video project on any of the singles yet. So, I think shooting visuals for my songs in order to get more recognition and publicity of who I am as an artist in the world and doing live performances are the next big things on my mind.
10 – Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Well, one sure way to gain a level of success in the music industry keeps relation to the phrase “never ever stop making music” as simple to not stop “being one”. Most artists give up after an overnight success, but in reality, goals are likely to be reached through years in the making.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Zaritza
With innate talent and good training, Zaritza is an artist to watch out for. Influenced by classical Russian composers and contemporary European electronic producers, her pop music links the new with the old. Scroll down to discover much more about her latest single “Slot Machine”.
1 — First of all, why did you decide to make music in America and not in Russia?
Despite growing up in a very isolated village geographically, I was lucky to be exposed to a variety of music that enriched my life and influenced my own creativity. Much of the music was, of course, Russian, including traditional folk music and the great Russian classical composers — Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Glinka and, by far my favorite of all classical composers, Rachmaninoff. In addition, my father introduced me to American/British pop, rock n’ roll music, ranging from the Beatles to Motown to my all-time favorite rock band, Queen. This music from “the West” was so magnetic; it opened up an entirely different world of musical possibilities for me and led me to focus on pop/rock and later electronic music as an artist in my own right. So when I first came to America as a teenager, I immediately felt energized and inspired to explore the music scene here without compromising my values and my authenticity! I first arrived in America from Russia many years ago, I was extremely fortunate to be introduced to and spend a little time with one of my musical heroes, the legendary songwriter, performer and producer Nile Rodgers, who generously gave me musical and career advice that continues to help me to this day.
2 — What’s something you miss about your homeland?
Aside from my family who is now spending more time with me here in the US, I miss Russian nature – seeing miles of beautiful fields, birch trees, getting lost while mushroom picking, all the simple but often magical things and surroundings of suburban Russia.
3 — Are you musically trained or self-taught?
My arts education, on scholarships, included nine years of both dance school and music school, where I trained in my greatest passion, classical piano. Every year I competed in regional dance and piano competitions, frequently placing first. At age 15, I started composing my own music, combining Russian classical with modern forms popular with my generation. After immigrating to the US, I took piano, music theory and musical theater courses at Rhode Island College, and later studied voice with Kathryn LaBouff, chairperson of the voice department at the Juilliard School.
I would hope that my audience connects to my music in their own individual way, finding some reflection of their feelings, desires, experiences or struggles in my lyrics or at least in the tapestry of sounds each tune shows. I love hearing when people find their own meaning to my lyrics and interpret them through their prism of emotions.
5 — What was the creative process behind your new song “Slot Machine”?
I wrote the initial idea on piano (my most common way of writing demo ideas) and then I took it to my friend Chris – collaborator of my new music, a guitar player in all of my live performances in last two years and just an incredible musician overall – and we’ve worked on producing the song together and experimenting with different sounds for a few months. Then, I finished remaining lyrics with my other collaborator/producer and long-term friend Steve who has helped me bring more wild and daring ideas out of me and put the last touches to the song.
6 — What is the deep meaning of a “Slot Machine”?
The title is obviously a play of words, referring to gambling, feeling lucky and free to experience pleasures and deepest desires, even in one night. The concept of the song was originally about exploring sexual fantasies but then it formed into a stronger statement of female sexual confidence, desires, and expression.
7 — Is there any funny anecdote while you were filming the video?
The video shoot was quite ambitious with different scenes involved that all had be done in one night, almost 14 hours of non-stop setting and shooting, so it was very intense and dramatic at times. But the most challenging and funny experience of all was a club dance scene where I had to wear a very heavy costume with chains and belts attached to it, plus the boots! Through sweat and struggle, I was dancing for hours and cursing at myself for creating such crazy wardrobe ideas 🙂
I do support feminism in many ways that are essential for women to function freely without any constrains and additional challenges that men don’t often face. With “Slot Machine”, I express my desire for women to be less oppressed with regard to their sexuality, to always have a choice and power. I’ve always believed that feminism is about embracing female sexuality and celebrating it, as opposed to denigrating sexually aware and empowered women.
9 — What can we expect from Zarita in the next months?
I am currently in the production of my next EP, which has even more focus on my electro-pop influences and a strong emphasis on the visual aspect for my live performance – including choreography, dancers and video elements. I also am planning on a small UK/European tour this coming Spring which might even take me to my native country, Russia!
10 — Finally, how much have you grown up as an artist through the years?
As you always wish to evolve as a human, I certainly hope to grow as an artist as well! Through pain and happiness, disappointments and inspirations, loss and gain, self-criticism and self-praise, you learn more and more about yourself which is essential to artistic growth!
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Exclusive Interview: Meet Cambodia’s Fast-Rising Electronic Producer SANDAP
SANDAP was born in the Land of Smiles, Cambodia. With his latest EP ‘Silent Start’, he wants to share his personal stories through enigmatic sounds. That being said, there’s a good mix of oriental music and contemporary occidental electronic beats in almost all his projects. From an early age, he became interested in creating music. Today his main goal is to spread good vibes through this art. Learn more about SANDAP below.
1 — What’s a song that made you fall in love with electronic music?
Around 2007 I discovered “D.A.N.C.E” from Justice, at this moment I really understood the power of music on a crowd. I danced so many times and shared so many goods moments with my friends during my childhood with this track, and I think that it’s the beginning of my passion. After that, all I wanted was just doing the same thing. Daft Punk was also a big part of my inspiration with the song “One More Time”. It was the perfect mix of emotions and musicality that I just love and live for.
2 — When and where did you learn to produce music? Are you also into DJing?
I started to learn piano and guitar when I was 5 years old, and it became really fast for my two best friends. In 2007, I got my first computer that owned Garageband. At this time I discovered the world of production and it was a big creative liberation. I was able to talk about my own intention and not just reproduce songs from other artists. My teacher was the internet and my classroom was my bedroom. I learned all the skills by my own experience and also by listening to others. It became a game for me and maybe two months after I tried to convince my parents to buy me Logic Pro.
I do not consider myself as a DJ, I’m just a simple electronic producer.
3 — Can you educate us on the electronic music scene in Cambodia? How would you describe it?
Cambodia is an undeveloped country, most people just discovered the Black Eyed Peas recently, as you can see, we are a little bit late. There are very few Cambodian Producers, but we have many more DJs. I’m Cambodian and I represent Cambodia in my music but with occidental basses. Currently, the scene in Cambodia is slowly in development but I think that in a few years we are going to see talented Producers from this country.
4 — What do you love most about your recent EP ‘Silent Start’?
My favorite track is “Rina” cos this song is going to the narrative direction that I wanted. The other tracks are more like ambiance songs.
5 — Did it take you a long time to produce the whole record?
I released this EP working on other projects in parallel, I had to take 2 months to finish it.
I liked working on it because it was the first time that I made an entire project including several tracks belonging to me.
6 — Which artists have influenced this project?
The Cambodian music style is my first inspiration. Mandragora and PANG are also two artists that inspired me for this EP.
7 — The music video for “Rina” looks like a true cinematic experience. What did you want to portray with these visuals?
The music video of “Rina” is an introduction to all the universe that I will like to bring later, I talk about my origins (Cambodia), but also links that are dear to me. It is an happy and proud country that I present, a country that has suffered for many years and whose culture has been forgotten. I speak of my memories of childhoods, it is also the title of the last track that I released “Childhood Memories” available on youtube. My music is a message that says I do not forget my past and I’m really proud of it. This video clip has been shot with the idea of capturing a moment, it is a positive and light vision of a daily life that is the daily of many people in Cambodia.
8 — Are you currently working on new videos or new tracks?
I work on many new tracks, the next music video will be shot in Cambodia and it will talk about my first steps and my first days.
9 — Do you consider yourself an underground artist?
I do not consider myself as an underground artist but more like a narrator of my own life.
All you will have to learn about me will be told in my future track over time, this is why I create and share.
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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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