With top-notch vocals and meaningful lyrics, Apostola is ready to showcase her talent to the world. Her latest project comes in the form of a 4-track EP titled ‘5minsfame’. Over time, songs have been used to portray a critique of society. In this case, the European singer-songwriter raises awareness as she crafts her narratives and tells relatable stories that revolve around fame, betrayal, and romantic heartbreak. Learn more below.
1 – Why is your new EP titled ‘5minsfame’?
I think when people hear the title, they must automatically assume that it implies that I am seeking my own ‘5 minutes of fame’ – but it is actually referring to the subject matter in the first track. That particular song is the most lyrically serious track on the EP and deals with a pertinent issue in society today; the fact that almost everyone is trying to become famous, gain attention or make a fortune by ‘going viral’, often with no valid reason. The rise in social media and our dependence and obsession with technology has created generations that do not know what it means to live in a world where you are not always accessible and where you do not have to reveal your every emotion, meal or location to everyone – all the time. For me, it is a deeply sad song. I wrote it after I read several stories of young people injuring or killing themselves in the pursuit of fame and attention because they felt they needed to do something very extreme to get noticed.
2 – Tell us about the recording process.
The hardest part was narrowing down all the songs I have to just four tracks, and I changed my mind a few times because every track is special to me for some reason or another and it felt like having to pick a favorite ‘child’! We wanted to get a good balance of tracks, but also to select those where the lyrics would resonate with listeners as I consider myself equally a singer and songwriter, so the lyrics are very important for me. In regard to the recording process, I was fortunate to have a very talented producer who works from state-of-the-art, new facilities and I was the first artist to record there when they opened, so that felt symbolic for me too (new studio, new EP, new beginnings!). I have to confess I have a weakness… I struggle to get the harmonies right because I can’t get the original vocal melody out of my head, so that was the most time-consuming part for me. Other than that, it was smooth sailing and a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back into the studio again!
3 – Did you collaborate with other musicians?
My producer is actually a member of four, popular local bands and is an extremely talented musician who plays various instruments and sings himself. As such, we didn’t need to bring further musicians in as he had it covered! We collaborated very well together as we each have different strengths and perspectives but at the same time, we were (mostly!) on the same page regarding the direction of the tracks.
4 – Who have been your main influences for this EP?
I can’t say that I had any particular influences for the EP tracks, but I have other female artists who I greatly admire and who are constantly a source of inspiration for me in general: Madonna; Tori Amos; Lady Gaga; Pink; Katy Perry; Natasha Bedingfield; Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado; Lisa Stansfield; Jessie J; Christina Aguilera; Anastacia; Tracy Chapman; Bjork; Annie Lennox; Dina Carrol; Belinda Carlisle; Gwen Stefani; Fergie… and many more! Most of them write their own tracks, and they are all so unique in their own inimitable way.
5 – What’s your favorite song off ‘5minsfame’? What makes it so special?
My favorite is track 2 – ‘Parade’. I think this is because it is the first track we chose to record, and I feel that this was my best vocal delivery on the EP. I also love the intro as the first line ‘hear the drums in the distance, hear them marching far away’ doesn’t indicate that it is a break-up track. And I love the beat! It was exactly how I envisaged it. I guess that someone might wonder why it ended up being track 3! Well, the first track has the most powerful message and I wanted to lead with that because I feel it is so important. The second track is probably the most ‘commercial’ and it didn’t feel like ‘Parade’ would fit there as I think it is more indie in its format.
6 – Do you believe people can relate to your lyrics?
Yes, I think so. Whilst I believe the lyrics give a story or message, they are not over-complicated and so they are easy to understand and to feel. I am actually a bit surprised that the lyrics of ‘5 Minutes of Fame’ have not resonated more with people, but then I realized the irony; that people cannot hear the message because they are actually living that scenario and perhaps don’t recognize our society through the lyrics – it’s too close to the bone! All the tracks I write are pretty self-explanatory – there are no hidden messages or weird phrases so I hope that people will feel that I am an artist who writes about relatable issues.
The first track ‘5 Minutes of Fame’ is more a plea than a dedication; a plea to all young people who are feeling the pressure to be fully invested in their social media pages and to live their lives to please their ‘followers’ – and even friends and family. I would urge them not to seek this attention and validation from strangers – they don’t need it! And it will eat them up in the end. Of course, it is not their fault as they do not know any different. I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up without all this technology and exposure, and that I got to live my childhood and teenage years in the ‘real world’ rather than a virtual one. This is a blessing that today’s youth will never be able to enjoy.
Tracks 2 and 3 – ‘I Won’t Wait for You’ and ‘Parade’ are polar opposites in that the first one is a strong female anthem and the latter is heartache. Whilst I don’t personally dedicate them to anyone, I think they will resonate with some people for their content. And finally, the sweet ‘My Sanity’ is dedicated to all the good, kind, supportive people out there who are someone’s rock, and to my own personal rock, who knows who he is!
8 – What would you say is the main difference between this EP and your past projects?
As an independent artist, it is very difficult to record properly if you do not have a good home studio or the funds to record at a professional studio. Whilst my previous EP and album were done in studios and are all my own original music, the quality of the recording wasn’t where it should have been, and that was to my detriment. As such, I pulled those tracks (confined to the vaults!) but hope that I can re-record them in the future. In regard to content matter, I can personally hear growth in this new EP, which is natural considering that I am that much older and wiser now and my priorities and views have shifted. I have been told by my nearest and dearest that my content matter is getting darker (they have heard a lot of my other tracks and a lot of them are indeed a bit depressing!), but again, this is because I see the world differently now. That is why we included the final track ‘My Sanity’ to the EP because the first three songs were not ‘happy’. ‘My Sanity’ is the sweet and positive ending to the more painful subject matter!
9 – What are your plans for 2020?
At the moment my actions are two-fold; promoting the EP and getting it as much exposure as possible in this saturated industry, and looking ahead for the next releases. I have already started remixing the EP which I hope will be out in early 2020, and at the same time, I am narrowing down the tracks for the next EP or album (not sure at this stage whether to stick with EPs or to go for the album!). If we are going to be honest, the process for independent artists is much longer than it is for signed artists and it is a marathon, not a sprint. As such, my expectations are realistic in regard to how much exposure I can gain and how long this will take.
10 – Lastly, what’s the secret behind you singing so well?
Thank you for the compliment! Everyone has a different opinion of what makes a good voice so it very much in the ear of the listener. I haven’t taken any singing lessons – the practice has been a lifetime of singing for the love it, but I suppose that subconsciously, listening to certain female artists over the years has probably influenced it somewhat as I can impersonate a handful of other singers quite well, which is my party trick! I do feel though that this EP hasn’t showcased my full vocal range so I will remedy this on the next release in 2020!
I would also like to thank you for the interview and for giving independent and emerging artists a platform and exposure – every little help and every snowball starts with just a few snowflakes!
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Exclusive Interview: Jenna x On Debut Single “When The Party’s Over..”
Jenna x emerges in 2021 with “When The Party’s Over..” which is an incredible debut single that plays equally as well at the party, at the afterparty, or the next morning. Definitely, the best asset is her melodious singing voice. Scroll down and learn more in this exclusive interview.
1 — First of all, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is constantly evolving within Pop, but it’s more cinematic. I envision each of my songs as a scene from a film and try to capture everything that would be there—the temperature of the sunlight, the scent in the air, the city sounds, and the words that are being spoken.
2 — Why did you pick “When The Party’s Over..” as your debut single?
It was the exact type of sound and message that I wanted to release as my debut single. I also think that it’s a good representation of me as an artist because it’s a song that I really tried to be honest with myself about, as well as the other parts of myself that I am revealing, like my inner thoughts, emotions, and philosophies.
3 — Is this song based on a personal experience?
Yes! The party in my song is both literal and figurative—I, like anyone else, have gone to a party or a large gathering just to fill the emptiness I was feeling inside, only to leave with a greater sense of loneliness. I’ve also felt like I have nowhere to go emotionally, which is the figurative part of the song.
4 — What’s your favorite line from it? Why?
The entire chorus is my favorite part, especially the “will there be anyone to watch me die / someone just shows me how to cry” part. I think they really capture the essence of the song and are the parts where I am the most direct with what I want to say. The second half of the chorus is almost like a cry for help you can’t ever let out.
For me, they usually come together but for this song, the lyrics came first. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the song to be about lyrically and then used the melody to fill in the blanks.
6 — Given the situation the world is in at the moment, do you miss partying?
I’m not the type to usually enjoy large parties, but I do really miss gatherings with my closest friends. But who knows—by the time this is all over I might be dying to go to a huge party.
7 — What makes you different from other singers?
I like to think of my music as very visual—I always try to paint a picture with my music and focus on what the music is painting. Each sound is like a color I use to paint the song, and the way they are delivered are the brushstrokes.
I think I had a lot of phases where I was into different types of music and different artists. I grew up listening to singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I was always fascinated with how brilliant and revolutionary their melodies and lyrics were. Later in my teens, I had A Great Big World’s albums on repeat. A part of me is also in love with classical composers, like Elgar and Rachmaninoff. The second movement of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
9 — When you’re not at the studio, how do you usually spend your time?
Usually prepping for studio time! But if I’m not working on music, I’ll watch movies or binge a show. Right now I’m on season 4 of Criminal Minds, and it’s been sucking me in. I’ve also been really busy these days with my new release and everything that goes along with it, but I’ll still find time to video chat with my friends and listen to my favorite albums on repeat.
10 — What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Working! I have an EP coming out in February, so I’m prepping for the release and other music that I’ll release during this year. The upcoming EP is part two of the story of loneliness I started telling with “When The Party’s Over..” and the more colorful, visual part of the story, so I’ll be working a lot on perfecting that. I also hope to be wherever I can be with my music, doing whatever I can to express myself through it.
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Dar.Ra Talks Latest Single And Confirms New Album In 2021 — Interview
Following the release of his latest single “Rise Like The Sun” along with its proper EP, Dar.Ra also plans to drop a new album in 2021. ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has been confirmed to be out by the end of January. In this exclusive interview, the British artist talks about the recent single, the most important details on the upcoming album, but also his various side projects, which include his own radio show.
1 – Can you reveal to us the name of your upcoming album?
I have two new projects out, a single called “Rise Like The Sun” with 6 killer remixes. One from Columbia and one from Sri Lanka from a killer Producer called Vidula who did the “Lights” remix from the new kinda normal album.
I did the other mixes which have a tribal House feel and an Ambient 6 am Chill Out mix. All mixes have a Sunshine title, from UK Sunshine mix, Indian Sun mix to Australian, Indonesian, USA, and Columbian mix. It’s all about not being dictated too in your time here and “Rising Like The Sun” every day of your life.
The other project is more of an alias back vibe and is a compilation of slower more Ballad type songs that I have had released over the years. I am doing a radio show called The Kusha Deep Radio show which is going out around the world through various Radio outlets and I did this show which featured some of the laid-back tracks I’ve done and I thought it would make a great album of torchlight songs. The album is 12 tracks long and is titled ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ and is out later this month.
I am also working on a new album of songs for the spring with a new single planned for the first quarter of the year release.
2 – Were there specific things that helped you get creative?
I’m always inspired by life, it’s hard not to be unless you shut off from what’s going on around you. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, I had two singles out “Stand Up For The Heroes”, “Rise Like The Sun” and the ‘Whisky n Honey’ EP plus two remixes out. I also started doing a new project which is now syndicated around the world called The Kusha Deep Radio Show, which started off playing tracks that I had out over the past 25 years.
I also started doing a TV show with a Washington DC-based journalist MJ Godfrey which is a cultural review show looking at things happening in the UK and the USA. I’ve also written the next album to follow up on 2019’s ‘New Kinda Normal’. If you stay open to ideas and let them flow it’s a natural vibe for staying creative.
3 – Are you discovering new sounds on this new record?
I explore different sounds all the time, I’m getting known for merging styles and creating new hybrids like Rock Step a vibe that featured on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album which mixed the elements of Rock and EDM together which you can feel on tracks like “Nightstepper,” “The Beat” and “Heart Shape Pill.” There’s also a genre called Gothic Soul which you can hear on tracks like “The Lights” and “Whisky n Honey.” I was feeling the Latin vibe on “Rise Like The Sun.”
I wanted something uplifting that holds no allegiance to what’s happening in the charts but has a classic Santana vibe mixed with that Gothic style vocal.
The actual record itself is truly global, the mixes and mastering were done all over the world, the drums recorded in Italy, the Horns in Portugal, the rest in the UK. I love that about the technology vibe that you can work with people everywhere now.
4 – How many tracks will there be on the album?
The album ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has 12 tracks and “Rise Like The Sun” single has 6 mixes on it. The new album will have around 12 tracks on it as well, value for money I say!
5 – What themes will the new album explore?
The new album has some wide themes such as loyalty on a track called “No Time For Tears” which has a cool Rock vibe about it. There’s a track about power struggles with relationships on “Don’t Make Me Beg.” There’s a track about migrants looking for a safe place to call home on “Renegade Serenade.” At the moment, it’s looking very love-oriented in one way or another.
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists?
I do work with other artists when the vibe is right. I’m doing a track with a producer called KDX in the UK, a Deep House kinda groove.
7 – What makes your latest single “Rise Like The Sun” special to listeners?
It’s honest, it’s real and it’s played with passion.
8 – What exciting projects can we expect from your label Kusha Deep Records?
All the above and more.
9 – Can you tell us more about your 2021 tour?
We were supposed to be doing a US tour last year, not sure how things will pan out this year but would be good to get out on the road again for a bit.
10 – The global pandemic forced the music industry to try innovative things. What do you think about private live zoom concerts?
I played Rock the Lockdown back in May and we had a few thousand people all rocking out to the set. I also did a US online tour in the summer which broadcast shows into the venues from my studio. I’ve been doing lots of interviews from Brazil to America, Australia, and the UK online which is ace as you don’t have to drive anywhere. Less hit on the climate and you can hit so many more people with a live stream if it’s set up properly.
Nothing will take the place of a jam in front of people, but I think the live stream is here to say alongside the live gig. I love technology though so it’s all good in my book. Be safe out there and looking forward to partying with you all soon!
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Quickfire Interview With: SOUNDQ
Hailing from Krakow, the cultural capital of Poland, Kuba Kubica aka SOUNDQ carries the flag of innovation when it comes to producing electronic music. The interview below is very clear and gives you a deep insight into his art. Scroll down to read his answers.
1 – You’ve been composing songs since…
Year 2000. The year when computer records got screwed by the two 0s was the year when I started programming a dodgy Korg workstation.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
I found it liberating not to have to depict anything. To be able to express what I feel without saying or drawing what it was.
3 – Your sound is…
As incomplete as I am. There’s always at least one element causing some imbalance. You’re never quite sure if it all won’t fall apart.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
I am most creative when I’m deadbeat and stressed out. So, in a way, pressure inspires me – or rather makes my creative juices flow faster.
5 – People should listen to your new track “Bad Lot” because…
It offers a glimpse into a complete world – fatalistic, sexy, and dangerous.
6 – If you want to know who SOUNDQ is, listen to the track…
“Bad Lot.” And if you’ve heard it already, give “This Heart” a spin.
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Crossing the Ural Mountains in -30 degrees Celsius to play a death metal gig in Jekaterynburg.
8 – Your dream is…
Long forgotten the moment I wake up.
9 – Your next release is called…
“Disco Turista Antifascista.”
That’s a tough one. I’ll go with “My Kingdom” by Future Sound of London.
11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…
I love coming up with ideas when I’m traveling. Not a lot of occasions for that in 2020 though.
12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…
An Instagram influencer pretending he’s a XIXth Century French flaneur. All dressed in epoch clothes doing product placement for travel gear and shit.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I don’t think I have it in me to stop.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Able to go out without a mask, play gigs, laugh together with large groups of people. Travel to big cities and get lost wandering through them.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
It’s evening already, so I’m going to be busy writing music till late.
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