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Exclusive Interview: Discover Nigeria’s Promising Hip-Hop Artist FascoJ

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FascoJ

Believe it or not, there’s growing talent in Nigeria. With this interview, you will discover everything about FascoJ. The promising Hip-Hop artist just dropped his debut album ‘Curves’, and has a desire to expand his horizons. For the very first time, FascoJ shares with us his own story and latest music project. Scroll down and read the rest.

1 – Tell us about your musical journey. How did you become FascoJ?

My musical journey has been an exciting experience in my whole life career and perspective for me. Because if you asked me these questions when I was young, I would say I wanted to be a doctor or rather a pilot or even a soldier…But then I fell in love with music. In 1999, when I was only 4 years old I had grown siblings who will play music all day after school and I had no choice but to watch and listen to them, while I had my friends watching cartoons at such age, my elder siblings inspired by the whole thing they watched all day which was Hip-Hop, RnB, Pop music and a few Rock and Country music as well.

My real name is John Fasanmade Adeoye (Born on March 11th, 1995), better known by the stage name of FascoJ. I used to be called “Jaguar” in elementary school, and when I got to middle school a group of friends started calling me by my elder brothers’ last name which was David because they saw how much I was inspired by his music through him. I went from “FascoD” to “Don John” in high school but after my first live performance on stage I opted for “FascoJ” as my artistic name. Actually, it came from my first and last name altogether.

FascoJ interview
2 – What do you think makes your music style different from other artists?

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.

FascoJ music
4 – Who inspired you to launch your latest album ‘Curves’?

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.

6 – From your view, what’s exciting about the whole album?

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.

FascoJ curves album
8 – How important is social media to you as an artist?

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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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

Getting To Know Bahamian Rapper VK da General — Interview

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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.

bahamian rapper
4 – What’s the most unique aspect of your lyrics?

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.

vk da general rapper
8 – Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

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’

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Golden Coast

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

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Ken Bauer 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.

Electro Wow Exclusive Guest Mix: Ken Bauer
4 — How does this compare to some of your other releases?

I would say that this track was written in a more EDM POP oriented way compared to my other more club-focused tracks.

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.

https://sptfy.com/8Z0m
https://soundcloud.com/kenbauersweden/j-rob-md-ken-bauer-feels-just-right-radio-mix-1


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SALADIN Talks His Free Bass House Music On SoundCloud + More

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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.


5 – Should music be downloaded freely from the Internet? What do you think of the morality of this?

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?

126 BPM.

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.


8 – Do you recommend Lost Lands and Spring Awakening for festival-goers?

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

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Swordkilla

© [Jacopo Vassallo] /500px

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.

© [Jacopo Vassallo] /500px

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.

© [Jacopo Vassallo] /500px

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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