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Half an Orange Open Up About New EP ‘Mostly We Grow PT. 2’ In Interview

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Exclusive Interview: Half an Orange Talk New EP ‘Mostly We Grow PT. 2’

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.

half an orange music
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.

half an orange duo
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.

half an orange mostly we grow ep
6 – What was the hardest moment during the recording process?

“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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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

Exclusive Interview: APKLYPZ On His Debut Album ‘Dystopionics’

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APKLYPZ Interview
In an exclusive interview with APKLYPZ, the American video producer based in Pensacola, Florida gives us some insights on his debut album, ‘Dystopionics’. If you’re into electronic music and psychedelic art, then you’ll like the way he showcases his creativity. Find out more here!

1 — First of all, what made you want to start making tracks and videos?

I have been playing music since I was 10. It has always been my main artistic focus and the medium I feel most viscerally connected with. A video career opened up and took over my life in a good way, and I always knew I would circle back around to making music. APKLYPZ is the manifestation of that.

2 — What’s your favorite part of your job?

I get to work with a lot of talented smart people and that’s always a blast. But definitely my favorite part is seeing an animation I made or a video I worked on out in the wild. I work from a small home studio in Florida, very disconnected from the larger tech world in which I work. I can work on animations for an event for months and it feels very personal and intimidating in a way. Then flying out to the event and seeing those animations plastered on taxis and buildings and billboards makes it kind of overwhelming and a big rush.

3 — Why do you define your music style as “the soundtrack to the apocalypse on LSD”?

LOL, I think its a bit cheeky but an apt description at times. For my day job, I make very “perfect” art, sleek corporate non-offensive art. I love it. But of course, there is a side of me that likes the grunge, the imperfect, the macabre, Metal. And of course psychedelic culture and art as well. In my warped mind, all the songs, the videos, the names, all come from a different world. I try to write music for that world.

artwork
4 — What can listeners expect on your newly released album ‘Dystopionics’?

Glitchy beats and haunting earworm melodies all laid out in a glitchy psychedelic dystopian landscape. And a closing track that might surprise some listeners.

5 — How long did it take you to produce this material? Did you collaborate with other artists on this project?

APKLYPZ is me at every role. I do bounce ideas and tracks off my wife and friends for notes but beyond that, it’s me at all stages for the music and video + marketing, which I am terrible at.  This project took about a year start to finish.

6 — Why is it entitled ‘Dystopionics’?

I wrote the music and created the art really for the place or world I had in my head. My years in video make me a very visual thinker, even when writing music. So for me, I like to envision a “scene” and write music to the emotion of the scene that fits in that world. At some point in a late-night mixing session, I got high enough to think of ‘Dystopionics’ and I thought it was a great name that captures the tone of the tracks.

7 — The new music video for “Time” looks amazingly trippy. What’s your inspiration behind these visuals?

The music videos are fun. This is where I can kind of stretch my other muscles and start to create visual representations of the idea. For me, “Time” was always going to be a glitched-out degrading world if I made a music video for it. Once I got that chance I worked for a couple of months trying to create the visuals. I am really happy with how it turned out and so far I think the response has been pretty positive.

9 — Have you ever produced soundtracks or videos for sci-fi movies or TV series?

That is something I would love to do but I have not. I work mostly in corporate video and have to handle audio duties on many corporate documentaries. Even as a video guy, I am an audio guy.

10 — Are there any surprises for 2020?

Yes, I am already mapping out my next release… it will be pretty different.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

2 – Are the lyrics based on a personal story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 – Are you planning to release remixes?

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

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

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

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

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


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Roberto Rodriguez

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

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

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

2 — How do you approach creating a new production?

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

3 — What do you love most about this track?

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

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

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

5 — What has the reaction been like so far?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

1 — What was the concept behind the EP?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catchy, groovy and uplifting.

5 — What do you love about each track?

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

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

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

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

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

8 — What was it like working with Motive Records?

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

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

9 — Where can people download their copy?

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

10 — What’s next for Withus?

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


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