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Exclusive Interview: Apostola Talks New EP ‘5minsfame’, Lyric Writing & More

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apostola

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.

5minsfame
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.

apostola interview
7 – To whom would you like to dedicate your songs to?

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!

apostola music
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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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

Ananya Birla Discusses New Tune “Day Goes By” Ft. Sean Kingston In Interview

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Ananya Birla
She’s a popstar, mental health campaigner, entrepreneur and the first female artist to go platinum singing in English in India. I’m talking about Ananya Birla, who got the chance to chat with Electro Wow blog about her latest collaborative single with Sean Kingston, “Day Goes By” + much more. Scroll down to read this exclusive interview.

1 – What do you miss most about open-mic nights in London?

I really loved those little shows. I guess sometimes I miss their anonymity. No-one knowing who I was, no hype, no real expectation. I was also having a tough time back then at college and those nights around London, when it was just me up on stage, was something I used to look forward to the entire week..

2 – Apart from open-mic nights, in what other ways did you promote your music at the early stage of your career?

I’ve always loved performing, but back at that start of it all I kept pretty quiet about it. I was still full of self-doubt, and unsure whether I had what it took to make it work as a career. It wasn’t until I signed on with Universal back in India that I really believed I could do it and started the whole self-promotion thing. I was lucky that one of my first tracks was remixed by Afrojack, which threw me into everything pretty quickly.

3 – Do you consider yourself a natural-born singer?

Music has always been a massive part of my life – nothing in the world makes me happier. I grew up in an incredibly musical household, and was always performing, whether it was playing classical Indian music on the santoor or playing my friends songs I’d written, strumming along on my guitar. It’s a part of me, for sure.

Ananya Birla Interview
4 – I know you just toured along with American rapper Wiz Khalifa. What did you learn from this amazing experience?

It was unreal to be able to share the stage with such a talented artist like Wiz. To do what he does, and make it look effortless – now that’s talent.

5 – What type of listeners would be interested in your new tune “Day Goes By”?

It is upbeat reggae/pop vibes… you can dance with it or chill to it. We had a lot of fun making the track and you can definitely hear that in the final product.

6 – Is there any message you want to share through the lyrics?

I write or co-write all of my lyrics, and they’re all based on my own personal experience. While the topics are universal – love, lust, heartbreak– the feelings in the tracks are all authentic. I want my audience to connect with my music emotionally, nothing makes me happier than when I read DMs from fans saying one of my songs helped them to feel better about something they were going through.

7 – How did your collaboration with Sean Kingston come about?

I met Sean last year when I opened for his tour in India. We got on immediately – he’s such a level-headed, grounded guy. He really vibed with my sound, and we agreed we’d jam together next time I was in LA. So, when I was over, I hit him up and pretty soon after we were making Day Goes By.

8 – Can you share with us any funny anecdote while you were recording the music video?

I gave one of my friends back in India a call on their birthday, and I had told Sean she was a massive fan. Next thing I know, he grabs the phone and is singing Beautiful Girl down the line. She loved it!

9 – Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?

So many people, all over the world. Collaborations with artists from different places really help elevate a song to another level because everyone has such a unique way of working and drawing inspiration. Khalid has been doing some amazing stuff recently, I would absolutely love to collaborate with him. Post Malone, I am also loving at the moment. Since I was a kid, I dreamed of working with Eminem.

ananya birla singer
10 – Last question, as an active mental health campaigner, do you believe music can improve the state of the mind?

There is a lot of evidence to say so. Music has the power to act as a tool for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—and it can also be a great way for dealing with anxiety. I also recently read that heavy metal is particularly good for combatting depression. Personally, music has helped me through some of the most difficult periods of my life.

Music has also given me and many others an amazing platform to speak about an issue that is still not really openly discussed. The more we talk about it, the more likely we are to get rid of the stigma that prevents so many people from reaching out and getting help, and also to make sure these people feel less alone.


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SYNES Opens Up About Chart-Topping Single “The Man I Am”

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SYNES Opens Up About Chart-Topping Single “The Man I Am”
SYNES opens up about “The Man I Am”, a Synthpop ballad that debuted at number 3 on the LGBTQ chart. But behind the catchy melodies, there are also emotive and relatable lyrics. For all those who know him, you’ll agree that all his songs are impossible to go unnoticed due to his powerful and strong vocals. Read our full interview down here!

1 – First of all, what message do you want to convey to your listeners with your new single “The Man I Am”?

I think the message that I want to send my listeners with my new single is don’t be afraid to write about stuff that’s personal. Good music comes from the heart, and great lyrics come from the heart. Art is subjective. Be who you are, and don’t forget to thank those who made you who you are.

2 – Are the lyrics based on a personal story?

Actually yes. The song is written as a thank you to my late mother who died back in 2017. I wrote the song as a story first. Recounting the time I walked into her house after she passed to pick up the pieces of her life. My mother always kept pictures of us kids on her walls and when I arrived there I had to take them down off the walls which was rough. The song starts with the memories of those pictures. In looking at them one by one, I saw the timeline of her and how she was with me growing up. It was beautiful and tragic all at the same time, just like her. It took me a long time to forgive my mother for some behavior over the years. But this song was the catharsis I needed to move on. This song is dedicated to her memory.

3 – What’s your favorite line from this song?

“I try to find the reason why you were so blind, But now I’ll swallow all my pride.” Because this is the moment when I forgave her.

4 – If I am not wrong, I believe your sound is influenced by Depeche Mode. Is that correct?

Absolutely, among others such as VNV Nation, and Petshop Boys, and other great Synthpop acts. I grew up going to industrial and goth clubs so my sound is still very much in that vein.

SYNES interview
5 – Is this the first time you collaborated with Giuseppe D during the recording process of a song?

Actually no, he co-produced both “Something’s Got to Give”, and “It’s Over”. We have been working together since the inception of SYNES. He’s a great producer.

6 – Why do you believe this track is going to keep climbing up the charts? How do you feel about it?

Ha! One can only hope, right? There is so much music out there, it humbles me that people want to listen to my record. I think it’s doing well because it is a deeply personal song that folks can feel connected to. Maybe they have someone in mind as well that made them who they are when they listen.

7 – How many days did it take you to shoot the video?

Actually only one. I was graciously given the space from my college to use and we banged it out in one full 9 hour day.

8 – Are you planning to release remixes?

As of this time, we are not planning on releasing remixes. Perhaps an acoustic or just piano version, but not remixes.

9 – Is SYNES taking a dark direction with his music for the upcoming singles?

I’ve always lived on the darker side of things. I have a hard time connecting to stuff that is overly happy. Not because I’m sad, I just don’t think it’s genuine. Maybe one day I’ll write a love song or a soulful ballad, but since the world is dark, and my world is in a dark place, my writing and art are going to be as well. I think art should reflect the artist’s situation. Anything else feels disingenuous.

10 – Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?

Be on the lookout for new singles, and my album “7” which is coming soon. And keep at it, that little voice telling you shouldn’t is the reason why you should. Remember that!


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Roberto Rodriguez

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Roberto Rodriguez interview
Roberto Rodriguez
is known for his releases on labels such as Red Lizard, Pulsive Media, and Seriously Records and has seen support from major DJs such as Don Diablo, Oliver Heldens and Timmy Trumpet. His latest release “Nostalgia” is a melodic Bass House tune that’s guaranteed to bring the party. We caught up with Roberto to find out more about his track.

1 — Hi Roberto, first off, great track! Can you tell us a bit about the story behind ‘Nostalgia’?

Hey and thank you! This song was created in a summer studio session and was produced in a few hours. I wanted to capture those summer feels in this track.

2 — How do you approach creating a new production?

First of all, there must be nice weather, lots of sunshine! Then I like to have a lot of positive energy and just be in a good mood when I’m producing.

3 — What do you love most about this track?

As in most of my songs, the main melody is what is most memorable.

dj roberto rodriguez
4 — Would you say this is the typical ‘Roberto Rodriguez’ sound?

This is not the typical ‘Roberto Rodriguez’ sound because it does not exist. We are in these times now where every song should sound different and I love experimenting with each release.

5 — What has the reaction been like so far?

So far the reaction has been really positive. I think that with good promotion, this song can do really well on the market.

6 — How would you describe “Nostalgia” to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

“Nostalgia” is a song that can be classified as a light Bass House. It is a track that allows you to let loose and have fun at parties.

"The Way Is Hard", A Vivacious Banger From Roberto Rodriguez
7 — What do you do to spark your creativity?

I listen to music from other producers, watch movies, and meet other people.

8 — What’s your one piece of golden advice to new producers?

Set targets for yourself and consistently strive for the goal. You need to put in a lot of hours to reap the rewards.


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Behind The Scenes Of Withus’ ‘Up Down’ EP — Interview

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Behind The Scenes Of Withus' ‘Up Down’ EP — Interview
Since forming in 2018 they have quickly gained the attention of the industry with their original productions getting signed to some of the hottest labels around and bringing their signature sounds to clubs and festivals all over Germany. Withus never fails to thrill the crowd with an energetic grooving mix of House and Tech House. Their recent EP ‘Up Down’ has been a raging success across the electronic music scene so we caught up with the boys to discuss their Motive Records release.

1 — What was the concept behind the EP?

After releasing ‘Got Me’, which we created with a lot of Ibiza vibes in mind and our Tech House groover ‘Diamonds’ with its Hip-Hop samples on Heulsuse, we wanted to make some classically inspired House again.

Alex found this vocal hook deep down in his folders and we put dozens of FX on it and played around with it for a solid three hours. The second track “Someone” started out with that piano progression. We built a matching bass line and put some very classic House vocals on it.

2 — Which is your favourite track on the EP and why?

Really tough question right there. Every track got its own unique spin to it. It depends on the situation and mood. “Up Down” surely has more of a clubby dance vibe to it, “Someone” is more for the chilled-out party at the beach, when the sun sets and you put more and more booze into the drinks!

3 — What is your creative process like when working together?

It usually starts out with an idea one of us has picked up at some point in the studio individually. Then we both sit down and talk about which direction the track should head. Everybody comes up with different elements, ideas, vocals. There is no certain procedure. Every song comes to life in a different manner.

Withus duo
4 — How would you best describe the ‘Up Down’ EP in 3 words?

Catchy, groovy and uplifting.

5 — What do you love about each track?

“Up Down” is exactly what you want to hear at 1 am in the club with its chunky bass-heavy groove and its super catchy vocal hook. “Someone” is the perfect accomplishment with a deeper vibe, it’s jacking percussion, thumping bass and classic house vocal samples.

6 — Tell us how the reaction to the EP has been?

We’ve got a ton of great feedback. It was really surprising. We knew we made some solid stuff, but we didn’t expect that much appreciation. Seeing the EP climbing higher and higher in the charts and finally peaking at #27 on Traxsource House was stunning.

Withus
7 — Which part of the track do you usually start with?

Like we said, there’s no certain way. Every track comes to life in its own inimitable way. Sometimes we start with kick and bassline, sometimes with a vocal snippet or hook, sometimes with a melody we have in mind or with a percussion groove.

8 — What was it like working with Motive Records?

At that time there was this massive release ‘Give Me Love’ we pumped at our gigs on and off, on Motive Records. So, we sent them our demo. Within a few hours, they replied on Instagram with our songs on blast in the studio and a few days later we signed the contract!

The guys from Australia did a great job and really pushed the release. All the lovely people there are kind-hearted, down to earth and you immediately recognize there’s nothing more important to them than music. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts once again.

9 — Where can people download their copy?

Download your copy of ‘Up Down’ on every store or stream it on every service out there. You can click this link to go to your preferred store/streaming service: https://smarturl.it/withusupdown

10 — What’s next for Withus?

We don’t want to say too much about the next big thing at this point, but we’re currently working with some great artists and material and we’re non-stop in the studio. Right now, we’re in talks with some really nice labels, so see what surprises are coming in the future. Stay tuned!


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Natixx

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Nattix
German DJ and Producer duo Natixx are currently climbing their way through the ranks of the EDM scene with every release they make. With previous releases on Maddox, Spur Records and a whole heap of successful bootlegs, it’s clear that this duo is a match made in heaven and with their “Harmony” release making its way up the charts we caught up with the duo to find out more.

1 — What was the inspiration behind ‘Harmony’?

We actually had no real inspiration. We were just in the studio messing around with some sounds until we randomly came up with the idea. Because it was a really melodic track with lots of harmonies, we decided to name it “Harmony”.

2 — Talk us through your creative process?

We always start with the Melody. After that, we try to build a drop around it and when we are finished with that we start working on the rest of the track.

3 — How has the reaction been to the release?

The track received some really great feedback from all over the world.

4 — What was it like working with League Of Lyons?

Everything worked perfectly fine. We know the owners of League Of Lyons (The Lyonbrotherz) personally so it went really smooth. We loved working for them.

Nattix interview
5 — Can we hear any of your influences in this track?

Of course, with our self-designed synths and orchestral elements we tried to make it as original as possible.

6 — What’s your favourite part of the drop?

In the second half of the drop when the melody goes one octave up.

7 — How would you sum up “Harmony” to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

It is a really melodic and powerful track that is perfectly made for streaming but also for big festivals and clubs.

8 — Where can people go to download your latest single?

It is available on every major store and streaming service.

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