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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Getting To Know Bahamian Rapper VK da General — Interview
Vargo Knowles aka VK da General is a name in the urban music industry set to shine in 2020. Hailing from the Bahamas, he talks with us about his recent single “Top Of The World”, which was recorded by two of the best producers in NYC. Moreover, this interview will give you a better insight into his artistic career. Discover more down here.
1 – First of all, can you describe your music style?
With my style of music, I talk about “real life” situations, the good, the bad and the ugly.
2 – Is it true you started your music career as a Reggae artist?
No, I never was a Reggae Artist, always a Hip-Hop Artist. But I do love Reggae and the whole dancehall vibe.
3 – How did you find your way into Rap and Hip-Hop?
Growing up I always listened to the Notorious BIG, the way his lyrics flow got my attention, and I was on the chubby side, so listening to him and seeing him perform, made me felt like the sky was the limit, and I could be on a stage performing for thousands of people.
The most unique aspect of my lyrics is my wordplay, the way I line up my punch lines to make people say “wow, did you hear what he said”.
5 – Who would you like to dedicate your track “Top Of The World” to and why?
I would dedicate “Top Of The World” to all the underdogs, everyone who started from the bottom, because once you dream it, you could achieve it, there are no limits.
6 – What’s your favorite line/verse?
My favorite verse is when am naming some of the great men who came from humble beginnings and made history, achieving what many deemed impossible.
7 – Can you share with us any funny anecdote while shooting the “Top Of The World” video?
I honestly can not think of any funny moments while shooting the music video. Overall it was a very dope/ great experience.
There are so many great artists I would like to collaborate with, like Jay Z, Rick Ross, Drake, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Meek Mill. I would like to collaborate with Davido, with that Afrobeat, Popcaan with the dancehall twist. That’s just to name a few.
9 – Can you give us more information about your next single or projects?
Well, we have already recorded a number of songs, with 2 of the best producers in New York Budda and Grandz and our aim is to promote one single after the other. We are in the process of planning a US tour.
10 – What are 3 things you couldn’t go a day without?
I can’t go a day without Praying, spending quality time with my 3 sons/kings and writing lyrics.
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The Golden Coast Interview On Debut Electronic Album ‘Elevenses’
California-based music project, The Golden Coast shares with us all the details of their debut album, ‘Elevenses’. Combining organic and electronic sounds, all the eleven tracks feel like a hypnotic delight to the ears. Scroll down in order to discover more about it, but make sure you play the album from start to finish for the best listening experience.
1 – First of all, why is your debut album entitled ‘Elevenses’?
Elevenses is a small morning snack break, typically some sort of sweet bread or pastry served with coffee or tea around 11 am. While the origins of “elevenses” as a type of meal appears to be European, this album is deeply American, so I used Homer Simpsons’ pink donut for my album art to emphasize those cultural roots.
This album for me is all about the psychology of play and reward, the sweets or metaphorical carrots that get us through a long day at work, and the nature of reality. Can we choose or create our experience? Humans often try to get themselves or other people to do stuff with incentives, usually because they are envisioning a future state with a different experience than the one they have right now. If I work harder I’ll get that promotion. If I run faster I’ll wear smaller pants. That desire for a different reality, a different experience, makes humans do a lot of crazy stuff. Or at least it looks crazy from the outside.
There is a dark and a light side to reward. We can be hijacked by our natural human reaction to pleasure and reward of any type. Or we can understand our reaction to these enticements and design our own experience.
2 – What led you to choose an electronic music style?
I’ve always been attracted to electronic music. Some of my earliest memories are of my father getting his first Mac Plus and the whole family gathering around and driving him nuts while he tried to install DAW software, probably Pro Tools, which took hours. I remember the first time he got a Yamaha keyboard. My mind was blown by the sounds that it could make. I would just listen to the sample songs on repeat. His interest was always in simulating the real instruments, so he was measuring everything against its comparison to the “real thing”, but I was attracted to the electronic sounds, the artificial stuff was really attractive to me on its own. I didn’t need it to be anything else. I’ve learned a ton from hip-hop and trap about weaving together both organic and more synthetic sounds to create a coherent space with both. For me, hip-hop was like finding the answer to a question you’ve had for a long time.
3 – What is the inspiration behind this material?
I work as an experience designer in Silicon Valley. I am fascinated by the challenges that we encounter in experience design as we work to understand what people want and how they experience the world. The farther you dig into the nature of “reality” you realize that experience design is all happening within the individual. I fell down a rabbit hole this year studying the nature of experience, how we can control and design experience and what influences the reality that we individually encounter. This album is my attempt to design emotional experiences that let the individual listener attach their narratives, their reality framework, to the work. Ideally, they can use this music to make the world they want to live in.
4 – Do you have any favorite track?
“Eight”. But every time I listen to the album I hear something different in a track that I hadn’t quite heard in that way before and I’m surprised, even though I made them.
5 – How long did it take you to finish your debut album?
Twenty years or a week, depending on how you slice it. I had some time off this year and was able to focus on music, but nothing quite gelled. Towards the end of the year, I had another ten days off and this time around everything just clicked. These songs came together quickly and formed a cohesive unit, the timing was just right. I guess I had learned enough about the nature of reality to be able to design what I wanted.
6 – Is your music designed to stimulate listeners’ imagination?
Definitely. Primarily. I’m very interested in what listeners bring to the music. The songs can be both open and very layered, and I’m interested in seeing what people bring into that open space.
7 – How much importance do you give to UX Design in your music project?
It’s a strong facet of the project. I am very interested in the philosophical aspects of experience design. What is the nature of reality in which we are designing, because that’s pretty relevant if you want to make something that actually works. What drives us? What incentivizes us? Do we live in a purely materialistic world or is there more than meets the eye? Elon Musk’s favorite theory is kind of wacky, but once you start to examine the scientific frameworks and chase down the logic, the idea that we might live in some type of hologram or matrix doesn’t seem that far out. And it opens up a world of possibilities in designing your own experience, charting your own path.
Homer’s pink donut is a nod to the inherently artificial nature of the work experience in America. In Silicon Valley, the drive to succeed and chase sweet rewards, and the dark results that can produce, is particularly pronounced.
8 – Is anonymity an important factor as artists?
I think anonymity is useful because we are associative creatures. The less detail I provide about myself, the more the music becomes what people need it to be for them. We can bias experience when we saddle things with a bunch of associations.
9 – What elements are part of your visual identity?
I bring a lot of pink into my visual identity. I like pink because it can be a little jarring and scary but is also quite rewarding in the right combinations. It’s a surprisingly polarizing color and people attach a lot of unnecessarily gendered associations with it. Out here on the west coast, the light quality will often take on this amazing pink hue at sunset that is just intoxicating. It is a magical experience. And the pink donut is so American, and so associated with the idea of work.
10 – Lastly, are you going to release a music video or a live performance anytime soon?
I’m collaborating on a dance video with the Desi Hoppers, the 2015 winners of World of Dance. I’m hoping to release that in the next two weeks.
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Behind The Scenes Of Ken Bauer’s “Feels Just Right” — Interview
Swedish DJ and Producer Ken Bauer has a string of successful releases under his belt over the span of his career and has recently been making the transition into the Future House scene with each single. His latest collaboration with J-Rob MD with “Feels Just Right” has certainly cemented his place as one to watch in 2020 as the track has garnered incredible support from DJs, labels, and tastemakers from all over the globe.
1 — First off, great track! Where did the inspiration for “Feels Just Right” come from?
Well, you have to ask Justin for that as he came up with the idea. I now feel stupid for never asking that myself!
2 — You worked with J-ROB MD on this track, how did that partnership begin?
Justin reached out to me a year ago asking if I would be interested in collaborating. I checked out his previous stuff and I was blown away with his talent and musical skills. He had just recorded this song and liked my EDM sound and thought it would be a great match and I instantly agreed with him.
3 — Did you find working together on this collaboration easy?
To be honest, no, as he lives in LA and I live in Stockholm it took us a while finding a good way of working together. Both due to technical challenges as well as the time difference. However, we sorted it out and we had a lot of fun on the way. It did, however, take much longer to finish but it was worth the wait.
5 — Do you have a favourite part of the track, if so what?
Yes, I did an epic outro but unfortunately, we had to cut it out because the track became too long.
6 — How has the initial reaction been?
So far so good, with a lot of plays and support on both radio and blogs.
7 — What was it like working with Sirup Music?
Amazing. The team at Sirup is so professional, enthusiastic and encouraging. They had great ideas and has been very supportive during the planning of the release and after the release.
8 — How would you say your musical style has developed over this past year?
When I went into 2019 I came from the Electro House genre but I am leaving 2019 and entering 2020 leaning more towards Future House/Trance. I really love the genre and feels very much at home with it. During 2019 I got to know @MusicByLukas who is very active in this genre and he is supporting and inspiring me a lot.
9 — Can we look forward to any more future collaborations with you two?
You definitely can, we have a new great track coming up and I will play it to the A&Rs at Sirup Music in the New Year. Hopefully, they agree to release it and find a good release window for the song.
10 — Finally, where can people go to download ‘Feels Just Right’?
The easiest way would on Spotify at but for your readers’ convenience I have made it available here as well.
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SALADIN Talks His Free Bass House Music On SoundCloud + More
Chicago’s Ghetto Rockstar, SALADIN surprises fans with free Bass House music on his SoundCloud page. Lately, luck has been on his side, topping the charts on Beatport and launching many singles on multiple labels. This new decade will be no exception as this authentic producer shows no signs of slowing down. Read our exclusive interview right here!
1 – Thanks for your time, what can we expect from SALADIN in 2020?
Last year was a major success with releases on Revealed Recordings, Tommy Boy Records, Phunk Junk Records, Sirup, and Dirty Dutch to name a few. This year you can expect more bangers coming out of my studio and more tour dates.
2 – When you hear your new tracks “Flame” and “Fuck The Beat Up”, what is the first thing that pops into your head?
Nasty Grimy Music, but in a good way.
3 – How much different or similar are both tracks?
The tracks are pretty similar due to my certain style I have when producing music. I think the fans that follow me will notice.
4 – Why did you decide to give them away as a free download on SoundCloud?
I wanted to give something away to my fans. So many of them have spent money buying my music or buying tickets to my shows. I did this to thank everyone for always being supportive.
Illegally, hell NO! If the artists are offering them as a free download, then that is fine. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of time and money we put into our music. Plus, I truly hate when people rip music online then play those tracks at gigs. It sounds like shit over the sound system.
6 – What’s your favorite BPM when producing music?
7 – In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about Bass House?
A lot of people call it cheesy or stereotypical EDM. I mean it has some of those elements but it’s still got that true House vibe.
If you are really into Dubstep, then go to Lost Lands. If you want more of a variety go to Spring Awakening. SAMF is my favorite festival. Being from Chicago, I love seeing React book so many local artists to play the event. So amazing.
9 – How would you rate your experience as a DJ over these festivals?
It was so amazing to see people out there in the crowd getting into the music I was playing. It’s like I was telling a story and they were there listening to my narrate.
10 – Lastly, what’s your best piece of advice for new producers?
Do NOT give up. Giving up is the #1 reason for failure. Don’t let others dictate you either. You do what is you. Create your own style and flare.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Swordkilla
Here you can learn more about Giuseppe Marci aka Swordkilla. The Italian producer opens up about his beginnings, signature sound, and inspirations. Moreover, discover why Australia became his new home and get all the details of his latest single “A Dreamer’s Tale”. Scroll down for the full interview.
1 – When did you start making music?
Everything started in 1999, thanks to my brother, which was a b-boy, getting involved in breakdance led me to get to know funk and the awesome groove of the break-beats. I reckon Def Cut was one of the most influential producers by that time, for me. In 2006 was the time where I started to have a deep interest in vinyl collection, mainly old school rap, soul and funk, leading me to have an automatic immersion in digging into turntablism and beat-making. That was the year where I completely got involved in that and producing specifically for rappers.
2 – How would you describe the Swordkilla sound to someone who has never heard your tracks?
My latest sound has been blended with raw rap from the past, just to name a few; Onyx, Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Premier. And most recently with experimental electronica and trip-hop such as DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, Dauwd, Bonobo and so on. I would say that if you are looking to that old school beat sound from the ’90s and the newest trip-hop, there, is where you’ll find my current style, large spectrum but surely a good connection of styles and messages.
3 – What inspires you the most, Hip-Hop or Electronic music?
Electronic, as grandmaster Spotify says that I spend too many hours listening to it.
4 – Why did you decide to move to Australia?
It wasn’t in my plan to be honest, till one day. Coming back to Italy was no option. Long story short, I was living in The Netherlands for 4 years, then got eventually tired of it, sold everything as well as my studio, packed 40 liters backpack and went to Thailand and Vietnam backpacking for about a month and a half. In Vietnam, I was running out of money, as mentioned going back to Italy (Sicily) was no option at all, same for The Netherlands, the closest place to make some money was Australia. So, I eventually booked a ticked a few days before my visa ran out in Vietnam, and went to Melbourne, and here I am 2 years after in Western Australia. Not sure if that’s what normal people do.
5 – How different or similar is the music scene in Australia in comparison to Europe?
A bit different maybe “flat” in certain aspects, even if I must say that Melbourne feels like European for certain aspects, especially about electronic music, there is a large community of tech house producers and events managers, one of them is Eat The Beat, which has a large portion of the event organisation in Melbourne, and god they are dope as hell! Same goes for hip-hop, but that does not feel the way I felt it while living in Rotterdam which had still that 90’s and fresh vibe at the same time, in any aspects b-boys/girls, graffiti scene, rappers. No offense, but I still definitely love the music scene in Europe.
6 – How long did it take you to produce your new single, “A Dreamer’s Tales”?
My latest single “A Dreamer’s Tales” has been produced a couple of years ago, which has been modified sometimes. It took about a month to set it all up when I started, sample research, editing, audio manipulation, and mastering. Only lately I decided to publish it, gotta confess that I have many singles that I never published in the past, so once in a while, I dig back my hard drive and pick one.
7 – Did you use the sampling technique on this tune?
Yes, I did, some samples are from vinyl, some found digging online albums in those amazing rare find blogs. I usually love to dig into old school blogs and find rare Japanese sounds as well as jazz and soul.
8 – Is it right to say this track puts listeners in a relaxing mood?
Yes, definitely, this track is meant to give a chilling vibe as well as a message to keep up with your dreams by not letting negative forces to hold you back.
9 – Are you happy with the end result?
I am, but I want to reach more clarity in my tracks, that’s what I’m working on right now. It might take more time to release new tracks since I’m working on a new, better, studied and clear sound for my music.
10 – Finally, what can expect from Swordkilla in 2020?
Many achievements! I’m working on building a promotional agency that helps musicians reach their target audience, and it’s going very well. With music will be the same, I will be taking more time on producing this year, and I’m planning to deliver the best I can from the last 10 years. I’ve been doing this, so feel free to follow my Spotify page for my next releases.
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