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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Producer Richard Robson Shares Intimate Details Working With JES In Interview
For many years, music producer Richard Robson has collaborated actively with JES on most of her greatest hits. Certainly, he can analyze the artistry of the prolific singer from a broad viewpoint. Get to know him better through this interview, where he reveals exclusive details regarding his past works, the recording process, and much more. Personally, I think the good chemistry between them is what brings good results to their projects. Learn more below.
1 – Do you remember the first track you produced for JES?
Were working over the internet on some ideas for her debut album ‘Disconnect’. JES texted me about a song she had a song for Tiësto’s ‘Elements Of Life’ album called “Everything” and asked if I could help her finish off the vocal production. There was a hard deadline for the album and they needed the song the next day. We worked through the night sending clips back and forth exchanging ideas over text and calls and just managed to get it all finished in time. Even under all that pressure, JES was only worried about whether she felt it was living up to her own expectations. It was very inspiring to work with someone who was able to focus on the creative aspect of the music and not succumb to the stress of the deadline!
2 – How did it come about?
I was introduced to JES through two producers that I worked with on a few different projects in London. They were based in LA and had started working on her debut album for Black Hole. They asked me to contribute some production ideas from my studio in Barcelona. Through that introduction, I started working over the internet on tracks for the album, as well as collaborations with JES and other DJs. We had been re-working together for a long time before we finally met in LA!
3 – What kind of gear you got in the recording studio?
We have a great studio in LA now which we’ve been developing for the last few years. It has a smaller writing and production room, a medium-sized mixing and mastering space, and a third large recording room and control room. There’s a good selection of equipment across the facility and our partner in the studio is Avalon Design, so we have a great selection of Avalon equipment. We like to use a wide variety of gear for inspiration so there’s never one formula or chain. A few of the mics we regularly use for vocals are, Neuman U47, Telefunken AK47, Brauner Phantom Custom and we use mic pre’s from Avalon, UTA, API and Neve, Retro Instruments. We mainly record and produce in Pro Tools, although we also use Logic and Ableton as well for production and writing. Aside from the analog equipment we also use a lot of software and I particularly like the Universal Audio, FabFilter, Valhalla and Waves plug-ins on her vocals. We also have a wide range of instruments as JES often starts writing her songs on piano or guitar.
4 – In your opinion, is there any specific genre or instrumentation that fits JES’ vocals so well?
JES has a wide emotional range in her voice so she’s versatile with different genres. Her voice blends very well with acoustic instruments and synths, which you can see in songs like “Fall Into You” where the song modulates from being very acoustic in timbre to being very synth-heavy in the drop.
5 – Why do you think JES has taken a Dance Pop direction lately?
JES loves to keep re-inventing her sound so she releases a lot of different music. If you check out her catalog on Apple Music/Spotify she has over 700 releases across a wide variety of genres. We both enjoy the challenge of working in different genres, it stretches you as an artist and helps you to grow. It’s very important to keep developing your style to stay inspired to keep your creative energy levels up.
6 – Are you still inspired to produce fresh Trance music?
Totally! It’s always a huge thrill in the studio when a song starts to come together and everyone can feel that it’s something special. Recently we were working on her Beatport #1 collaboration with Aly & Fila “I Won’t Let You Fall” and after trying a few different ideas for the chorus JES just sang it down in one take and we all felt it immediately. The excitement when the music hits you and everyone feels the goosebumps never wears off!
I’ve lost count, but there’s a lot of them out there under some of my remix names like Twisted Disko, Hampton Chills, and Coco Chanel.
8 – Which one is your favorite? Why?
That’s a hard one to answer, but I often hear people say that they love the Twisted Disko Remix of Allure ft. JES – Show Me The Way. We’ve also got a beautiful chill-out remix of We Belong To The Night coming out before the end of the year so look out for that one too.
7 – Can you reveal to us your creative process when it comes to making new songs?
We don’t have a specific process or formula for new songs. The deciding factor is always that we both have to agree that it’s a good idea, which doesn’t always happen! Some of the songs have come from an inspiring sound or chord progression. Sometimes JES writes the whole song on piano or guitar and we’ll start working on it from those core parts. We always try to focus on the song before the production gets underway and make sure that we both believe in the song 100 percent before we get into producing it.
8 – Do you also participate in the songwriting phase?
Yes, we’ve written a lot of songs together including some JES’ best-known tracks like “High Glow” (Taxigirl/Tiesto), “Awaken” (JES) and “Show Me The Way” (Allure & JES).
9 – How flexible is JES when making decisions? Who has the last word in the studio?
The producer’s job is to deliver the perfect outcome for everyone. The artist’s vision needs to be realized in a way that satisfies them, and the label needs to get what they want as well. JES is always driven by the sense and emotion of the song. She has a great instinct for that, so I would always follow her lead and try to find a way to make everything else work around it. The emotion is the most important part, everything else has to fit around that.
In JES’s own words… Never Give Up! There’s a commitment to both the craft and the art that gives her songs a timeless quality that goes beyond being caught in a particular style or era. Fashion is always changing, but quality can transcend that and JES maintains that crucial quality in her songs which means they’ll always reach people and have a place in their hearts.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Velvet Code
I got the chance to interview Velvet Code, an award-winning Canadian artist whose powerful vocal range shines on his latest single “Mary Offered Ladybugs And Love Yous”. The song is taken from the 2019 album ‘Dreamer’, receiving over 100K streams on Spotify. Interestingly, he has collaborated with the one and only, Wendy Starland, responsible for discovering Lady Gaga’s talent in her early days.
Marlon Wurmitzer (real name) reveals he’s taking a different musical direction in the years to come, and much more… You can learn everything about below!
1 — As a Toronto-based artist, what is your favorite aspect from the local scene?
It’s pretty exciting if you are in the west end and have a way of finding out where the cool parties are. It’s quite secretive, so you have to make some friends who will bring you to one and then jump from one party to another. Places in Kensington are always the coolest. It’s a sign of the times, like the 80s, where the cool parties are the ones that are not advertised.
2 — What initially drew you towards Electro-Pop as your music style?
It’s not always Electro-Pop, but this last album was definitely in that direction given my fans were hoping for one like this. I was a big fan of Goldfrapp in 2004 and that drew me to Electro-Pop initially. From there, I grew into my own flavor of the sound.
3 — Musically I think you share a lot of similarities with Erasure and Depeche Mode. Do you agree?
Erasure, yes, but whenever I hear Depeche Mode, I wonder why, as I’m not nearly as dark as they are. I think my use of synths differs from them as well. Perhaps my older material could fall into that category, but I don’t think you’ll find my new upcoming material similar.
4 — Which modern bands or singers currently inspire you?
DJ/Producers are inspiring me these days, as I’m moving more into an EDM world with my new material and performances. Producers like Ben Gold, Calvin Harris, Cosmic Gate, Hardwell, and Dada Life, are in my sets all the time.
5 — The lyrics in your most recent song “Mary Offered Ladybugs And Love Yous” feel so deep. Was it hard to write these verses?
I usually find time alone and immerse myself into the song before writing lyrics. It’s a difficult process, but as long as I find the space and it’s uninterrupted, I’m fine. It took a few weeks.
6 — The music video looks amazing. How many days did it take you to film the visuals?
Two days of filming, but months of planning. A lot of great people were involved in the creation. The team at Route Eleven which won two Juno Awards including for their latest Grimes video, some amazing designers, and my stylist, Marek, for this video who brought those stylists together, Marek. Most notably though, Peter Lilly and Neil Patrick Hansen who orchestrated the shots. I’m grateful for all those who contributed.
7 — Did you choose the location and the concept of this clip?
I was heavily involved in the creation of the concept, yes. The location was chosen by the Route Eleven team.
8 — How would you describe the feedback from your loyal listeners so far?
My fans which I consider my family, were excited when I came out with my first album in almost 10 years. I wanted to keep it real, while taking things a step further into a new reality, one of hope and aspirations. I look forward to moving deeper into the positive side of things in my next album, as the world needs more of that.
9 — Where do you see Velvet Code’s music headed in the future?
I am experimenting with new sounds now and expect to release new material in early 2020. Progressive, Trance and Electro are what to expect, and I really interesting live show set up. Stay up to date on my Instagram for details on that!
10 — Lastly, if you could offer up one piece of advice that might help new artists, what would it be?
Never quit. As artists, it’s our service, our duty to create and to entertain. Things will get hard, but if you persevere, you will eventually make it.
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Half an Orange Open Up About New EP ‘Mostly We Grow PT. 2’ In Interview
Half an Orange return with something fresh! As the EP title suggests, ‘Mostly We Grow’ underlines the difficult maturity stage of life. Besides their usual acoustics and electronic music elements, these artists tell personal stories through lyrics, which give it a special touch to the entire production. In this new interview, they opened up about their ‘Mostly We Grow’ project, and its second part, which steps ahead of its listeners’ expectations.
1 – Your debut EP reached 5 million streams on Spotify. Do you expect to obtain the same results with this new project?
Both parts of ‘Mostly We Grow’ make up one EP. Originally, we planned on releasing ‘Mostly We Grow’ altogether. However, when esport star Ninja reached out to help us release the debut single off the EP, “Old Friends”, we had to change our strategy. Ninja had been playing our music on his channel and wanted to help us promote our new songs by starring in a Half an Orange music video. It was a massive opportunity we didn’t want to pass on. There was only one problem, the full EP wasn’t ready to be released and Ninja’s schedule required the music video be done soon. We decided to release the EP in two parts in order to give us time to finish the second half of the EP while the first half was being released.
It ended up being the right call. The debut single off ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 1’, “Old Friends”, was our most successful song to date. The music video, uploaded to Ninja’s YouTube channel, was viewed over 2 million times. Our socials and streaming numbers all exploded. In fact, our Instagram following quadrupled in a single day. We won numerous film festivals across the country (including markets like LA and New York) for creating arguably the first and biggest music videos to star an esport athlete. It was an absolute blast working with Ninja. This momentum helped promote ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 1’ and continued through ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’.
We expect our numbers to keep growing with ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’. The release of ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’ was our highest stream total for a single day. Spotify has been a huge supporter of ours. Their playlists are constantly helping new people to discover our music. Rocket League is playing one of the singles off ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’, “Mark Twain”, whenever someone turns on the game. The game has such a massive userbase that our song will be heard 5 million times per day inside Rocket League. We’ll be working with Sirius XM and Monstercat to host the weekly radio show “Call of the Wild” on Sirius XM channel 52. Live Nation partnered with us to release the first-ever animated DJ residency which gets music from ‘Mostly We Grow’ in front of venues across the country.
Even more important than numbers, our fans seem to love the EP ‘Mostly We Grow’. We receive daily messages from fans saying how they use the EP to keep them sane and happy whenever they’ve had a tough day. People are even getting tattoos of their favorite song lyrics off the EP. It has been incredibly touching to see the community’s response to our songs and stories.
2 – What are the similarities and differences between ‘Mostly We Grow PT. 1’ and ‘PT. 2’?
The songs on ‘Mostly We Grow’ revolve around the challenges and realities that hit you while growing up. “Old Friends” is about losing loved ones as you get older. “Sunscreen” is about the friends who helped protect you as life throws more troubling times your way. Our song “Blink 182” is us saying we wish we could sit around and listen to Blink 182 songs all day instead of moving on to new phases of our lives. Growing up is scary and often lonely. It’s important to grow and learn as a person but the idea of your life-changing is still terrifying.
Because the EP is about growth, we gave ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 1’ and ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’ different album covers. In ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 1’ we (as our astronauts) are holding a flower that is small and struggling to live. In ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’ the album cover is the same, but the flower is now blooming and fully grown. We wanted the album cover and our songs to always show hope that you’ll be ok despite how much life is changing around you.
3 – Do you have a favorite song from this new release? If so, what makes it special?
One of our favorite songs off ‘Mostly We Grow Pt 2’ is “Mark Twain”.
“I wrote this song the afternoon I found out my dad had cancer. He and I went to a river near our house to sit down and take in the information he had been given from the doctor. While we were sitting near the water, he told me he felt like he was already dead. When I got home I found a bunch of dark and creepy sounds and began writing a song about how it would feel to already be dead. The song’s title, “Mark Twain”, comes from the author. In his book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, his characters watch and attend their own funeral, seeing what it would be like to be dead.” – Michael from Half an Orange
4 – How do you approach the songwriting process?
We have a rule that at least one of us has to write for one hour a day. Normally we write for a much longer time, but the one-hour rule ensures we never miss a day. Sometimes we write together. Sometimes we write separately. Writing is like therapy for us so normally we write whatever we are feeling. When a close friend passes away, we write about it. When we have had a hard day, we write up it. Writing about what we’re dealing with gives us a sense of calmness and closure.
Our first stages of the writing process are on piano or guitar. We’re focusing on finding lyrics and composition. We try and keep it as organic as possible by writing the lyrics on paper and avoiding the computer or our phones. Before releasing music as Half an Orange, we wrote folk music together so writing organically is more comfortable to us.
For lyrics, the goal is to be honest and share a story that has happened to us. We want the listener to feel like they’ve been transported somewhere with us. Hopefully, they can relate to the story and emotions in the song.
After getting the composition and lyrics of the song down we both work in our studio to begin production. We record ourselves playing instruments and singing. During the process, we are trying to get the emotion and feel of the song down. We brainstorm different ideas and experiment with all kinds of instruments, melodies, synths, and samples. Most of our songs are acoustic or piano-based, but it’s not uncommon for us to spend more time on the percussion. We try and get the majority of the recording and playing of the song done together in the studio over a couple of days. The whole process from writing, composing, and producing takes about 2 weeks. We then spend another 2-4 weeks polishing the song and crafting the mix.
5 – How long did it take you to produce this new material?
We are heavily involved with every step in our song’s life cycle. It takes about a month for us to create a song. Another 1-3 months is spent on the music video for the song. We animated the music videos for “Buzz Lightyear” and “End of the Moon” ourselves. Both music videos took 2-4 months to make. “Old Friends” with “Ninja” was a 5-6 month project. After the song and music video are made we spend another month working on the release strategy with our label. ‘Mostly We Grow’ (parts 1 and 2) took over a year to put together. It was a fantastic journey that taught us a lot about ourselves.
“When Andrew and I were in the studio for “Mark Twain” I was singing it in my ‘normal’ voice. He pushed back and said it felt weird having a song about being dead but sounding like I was alive. We experimented with ways for me to sing in a style that let the listener know I wasn’t my normal self. The high creepy vocals were developed that day in the studio and are actually me singing without auto-tune. It took us forever to get the vocals down and singing in that style was really taxing on my vocal cords. The song’s subject matter made singing it over and over again emotionally draining.” – Michael from Half an Orange
7 – Who would you love to see remixing your new tracks?
WRLD remixed our song “Buzz Lightyear” and it was fantastic. The first song we ever released as Half an Orange was remixed by Holmsey. We’d love to have both of them hop on for another remix. Producers like Tokyo Machine, Tails, InukShuk, and Ephixa would also be awesome in re-creating our songs and stories through a remix.
8 – Are you planning to release a music video anytime soon?
There mostly likely won’t be any more music videos for ‘Mostly We Grow’. Please enjoy the current music videos for ‘Mostly We Grow’: “Buzz Lightyear”, “Old Friends”, “Given Up”, and “End of the Moon”. We made really fun visualizers for Blink 182 and Sunscreen. With Live Nation and Monstercat, we are releasing the first-ever animated DJ residency. It’s an hour of fully animated video content using songs from ‘Mostly We Grow’. We premiered an early access version of the show at Live Nation venue Bogart’s in Cincinnati Ohio and are preparing more shows for it.
9 – Last question, will there be a third part of ‘Mostly We Grow’ in 2020?
If fans keep getting tattoos of ‘Mostly We Grow’ Pt 1 and Pt 2 we’ll probably have to.
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Exclusive Interview: Apostola Talks New EP ‘5minsfame’, Lyric Writing & More
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: KOPPS Discuss New Song “Get Juicy” + Upcoming EP
KOPPS‘ good sense of humor is as likable as their music. Sure enough, they can convince thousands of curious listeners with their eccentricities and original ideas. Hailing from Rochester, NY, these artists have caught my attention with their newest track, “Get Juicy”. Check out our exclusive interview with the band in order to get first-hand details about an upcoming EP, and this sex-posi song.
1 – Can you tell us the story behind your new single “Get Juicy”? How did the idea come up?
We sometimes come up with a word or phrase as a joke and it later becomes a song. That’s kind of what happened with “Get Juicy”. Kyle brought the phrase to a writing session and we already had a track started without a concept, and with all the wet and farty production sounds happening, we knew it was going to be a match.
2 – How did you start picking what visuals will go on the cover art?
We could have easily gone with the female/hypersexual/juicy innuendo but then had a thought about using a hairy dude to get this across instead. “Juicy” to us represents any of the major bodily fluids and actual drinkable beverages, so why discriminate? In this art, we combine the idea of pee with the idea of blue raspberry fruit punch, and we think it gets across nicely.
We are launching a couple of pieces of CONTENT for it, I will say that… 😉
4 – Is blending elements of pop, rock and electronic music or is this sound part of your signature style?
I think we all have a very different and individually eclectic sense of taste and this comes through in our writing and ends up landing at “Our sound.” We have written songs and said to each other ok this is cool but it’s not really a KOPPS song. It’s something we know when we hear it, and sonically for it to be “US” enough… things need to be interesting.
5 – When will you release your next EP?
Likely spring or summer 2020!
6 – How different is this upcoming project from your debut EP ‘Fuck Jams’ (2012)?
I would say its quite different but also similar. We have grown production-wise from a grittier sound to something a hair more polished. We have moved from very alternative-dance to more of an alt-pop sphere, which is fine because we all love pop music to some degree. Back in the “fuck jams” days, I was also finding my footing as far as my sound in this project as a vocalist, which is reflected in some songs sounding vastly different from others. My voice is pretty versatile and we were playing with that a lot back then. I started off as a youngster really focusing on soul music, but always loved 90s dance and a ton of Rock too, and I feel like as with everything else about our sound, the way I vocalize combines those elements. In the last 3-4 years, I think I have really solidified what I want to sound like vocally for KOPPS.
7 – Do you feel fans or the music industry put too much pressure on your creativity?
I will never be upset with FANS for wanting to be engaged with what we are making. From day 1 our stuff has been on the highly creative end visually and sonically, so it’s always a fun challenge to see wtf we will come up with next. The most high-pressure thing to me is the internet and Instagram, feeling like you need to churn out low-quality content constantly to keep your audience engaged. It doesn’t give space sometimes to sit with creative thoughts and really work on something for a long time that could be great. I think we struggle with that at times and the pace of everything.
8 – If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
9 – Finally, what would you say it’s your major goal within your music career?
We would like to inspire freedom, empowerment, and escapism in our fans. I want to be a 5-star entertainer really and captivate people who come to shows…I want to eventually play to huge audiences consistently and feel the energy exchange. It is a literal drug for everyone involved.
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