Adrian Hibbs is back with his new single in over two years. Catching up with the former keyboardist and back up singer for Panic! at the Disco, I discovered his own musical evolution through “The Ostrich”. Definitely, listeners can expect funky and dark notes all in one magnificent song. Learn more right here!
1 — Before you went into the studio to record your new single “The Ostrich”, how did you envision it?
Originally the first sessions began back in 2010, I was working with James Gadson (drummer) on a bunch of stuff for a full length and it was never released. It took me years to locate the recording sessions from back then but when I found them I ended up re-recording all the parts and self-producing them only keeping his original drum takes.
2 — Did you achieve what you imagined?
By the time I found the old sessions I had written and released several EP’s, Singles and an LP. I had pretty much forgotten the sessions still existed and it took me years to get my hands on them but when I did I decided to scrap all the music on it and start over but only keeping Gadson’s drums and using my friends to re-record a new record. Some of the songs from the 2010 sessions are on the record but are updated with 10 years of experience. The songs still feel relative and I am glad that much time had passed.
3 — What made you want to release this track in October, the month of Halloween?
Ha, well I wish it I could say I planned it to roll out with the holiday but it was a coincidence. It’s been about 2 years since my last release because I’ve been so busy performing with my solo format. I could have easily kept editing and changing arrangements but it’s time for them to be released and time from me to move on.
Originally it was an instrumental Jam that I would play live at gigs, then after a painful breakup end of 2017, I started to write lyrics about an ostrich that lies.. I think the metaphor is obvious enough but if you need more explanation just google an ostrich with its head buried in the ground… The more I looked into that being true reaction from fear I discovered it was a myth but it was too good so I kept the ostrich theme.
5 — Who is doing the vocals?
Over the years I have been working with Rod Castro for guitar parts, he happened to bring his 10-year-old son over to my studio during the session and I had this two paged children’s rhyme about an ostrich so I randomly had him try out the vocals because it wasn’t working with my voice. I had a few different people come thru and record them but his sons were better for the mix and gave it a unique element that wasn’t planned. He didn’t want record at first, he was pretty shy and Rod had to keep telling him it was ok to say the things I had originally written down.. There were more graphic details that he was too uncomfortable repeating so I worked with what I had and cut up the bits.
6 — How many different synths did you need for this track?
I used two, mainly a moog little phatty and the original microkorg. I had my friend Lex Sadler in town who is a phenomenal bass player and mentor of mine, he did three full takes to James Gadson’s drums on my moog. I went in and edited the parts, then had Tom Lea come over and record viola and violin and eventually Rod Castro to lace it with the guitar.
No, most of the stuff I have produced has always had a dark element, I did a track for a UK artist Chenai Zinyuku about 2 years ago and I used the same group of guys, the song ended up KCRW’s rotation and was eventually picked up by a label in Rotterdam (Maktub).
8 — If you could use this song as the main theme for a movie that already exists, which movie would you pick? Why?
Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal. I love the way this film was shot and there is an amazing scene with him telling his boss how they are going to date followed by him punching a mirror as he appears to have a downward spiral, I think an instrumental would be great in the back round as it’s a bit of a menacing orchestration.
9 — Are you planning to release a music video anytime soon?
Yes, I’m compiling a list of all the blog rejections from this release and the rest of the songs for the album and will have some great quotes that will read as the song plays… Anything for comedy.
10 — Finally, what can we expect from Adrian Hibbs in the next months?
In addition to releasing my solo stuff I have a new project that I am producing and performing in called “Plasty.” It features an extremely talented singer and writer Chloe Pappas. We just performed at the Kaaboo festival and have releases coming out next month, Plasty has elements of dark dance music, nu-disco, and pop, I am surrounded by analog synthesizers and Chloe stands nearby destroying on a mic.
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Quickfire Interview With: Joe Hawes
UK DJ and Producer Joe Hawes has been working his way to being a firm figure in the Future House scene. Living and breathing all things music from a young age, Joe’s natural talent for drumming led to him developing a love for creating all sorts of rhythms and beats. He has gone on to release some major hits such as “Shakin” and “Always”. Having played some major clubs and festivals we decided to catch up with Joe for a quick short fire round.
1 — “Nowhere” or “Shakin”?
2 — Big Room or Future House?
Future House all the way!
3 — Drumming or DJ’ing?
Oooh, that’s a tough one but I would say DJ’ing.
4 — Originals or Remixes?
6 — Big nights out or chilled nights in?
Big nights out!
7 — Ibiza or Miami?
Ibiza, never been to Miami… yet.
8 — UK music scene or US music scene?
US music scene.
9 — Melodies or Basslines?
10 — Don Diablo or Martin Garrix?
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The New Division Reveals Details Of ‘Hidden Memories’ Album In Interview
Prior to the album release, John Glenn Kunkel aka The New Division shares with us full details about this fresh project. Lovers of electronic music, New Wave, and Synthpop are the proper target audience that will enjoy ‘Hidden Memories’. Get all the facts down here!
1 – Thanks for your time, why did you pick ‘Hidden Memories’ to be the title of your album?
It’s a bit of a running joke at this point but I normally don’t approach songwriting with any concrete meaning. I like to pick words that go well together and sometimes that ends up making sense but other times it doesn’t. When I look back at any song I’ve written I always feel like that process of word picking ended up being something I meant to say deep within my subconscious. I chose the title ‘Hidden Memories’ because when I write songs, I know I’m trying to make meaning of a certain nostalgic feeling, even though I’m not fully aware of what that emotion is. My ‘hidden memories’ are in the songs I write, and within a year from now, those songs will take me back to what I was feeling when I wrote them and shine a new light on other past memories.
2 – What were the three most important aspects you took in mind during the recording process?
Given that I wrote this album over two years, it’s hard to say. I know that I wanted to go back to my older sound back from the ‘Shadows’ era (my first LP). I also wanted to blend melodic techno, synth-pop and indie rock as much as possible. I knew from the start that this record had to sound slightly different but I also wanted to preserve the “new division” feel without compromising my own sound.
3 – Is your sound influenced by vintage bands or 80s classics?
I’m not sure its really influenced by either. I’m really more influenced by whatever I’m currently listening to which can be a wide range of music. No doubt, I’m a huge fan of Depeche Mode, New Order, and all of those classic new wave era bands, but I also really appreciate a lot of dance music. I think my inspirational ‘anchor’ sits with creating music that’s very melodic but also has a dark tone.
4 – Do you admire the work of any contemporary artist these days?
Most definitely. I mean the list is quite endless as there’s so much good music being put out every day. It’d be hard to pinpoint anyone down specifically but I generally admire what everyone else is doing, within the style/influences I mentioned earlier. It’s a really interesting time to be alive music-wise because everyone’s sort of doing their own thing without much care as to whether or not it will be successful – people are just making music because they understand it’s fun and it’s a great outlet for pleasure.
5 – Analog synths or digital synths, what did you use on this album?
90% digital synths no doubt. I love analog synths but a lot of times I’m starting songs out of a coffee shop or outside the studio. It’d be great to have the time and resources to tweak with analog gear, but I just kinda prefer to sit in front of a computer and load something with two clicks, do a couple of sound choices and call it a day.
6 – What’s your most favorite track on ‘Hidden Memories’? Why?
“Ride” is probably my favorite song because it was one of the last ones I wrote and it really tied the album together. I feel like even though this record doesn’t really have a ‘narrative arc,’ sonically that song just brings everything together.
7 – What’s one thing you want listeners to take from this album?
I’m not sure I’ve really thought about that too much. I just hope they like it and can feel what I felt while I wrote the songs. Euphoric!
8 – Are you planning to release a music video or a tour in 2020?
Yes, there’s a tour likely happening in the fall of 2020 and potentially a few overseas dates although nothing is confirmed at the minute. Music video-wise, there’s one coming out when the album releases but no plans for any others at the minute.
9 – What about remixes?
Yes! Super excited that we’ll be releasing loads of remixes this year from a lot of talented artists.
10 – Finally, do you believe all your new songs carry a tangible message?
Not really. The message is whatever it makes the listener feel. Whatever I do is open to interpretation, as far as I’m concerned!
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Getting To Know Bahamian Rapper VK da General — Interview
Vargo Knowles aka VK da General is a name in the urban music industry set to shine in 2020. Hailing from the Bahamas, he talks with us about his recent single “Top Of The World”, which was recorded by two of the best producers in NYC. Moreover, this interview will give you a better insight into his artistic career. Discover more down here.
1 – First of all, can you describe your music style?
With my style of music, I talk about “real life” situations, the good, the bad and the ugly.
2 – Is it true you started your music career as a Reggae artist?
No, I never was a Reggae Artist, always a Hip-Hop Artist. But I do love Reggae and the whole dancehall vibe.
3 – How did you find your way into Rap and Hip-Hop?
Growing up I always listened to the Notorious BIG, the way his lyrics flow got my attention, and I was on the chubby side, so listening to him and seeing him perform, made me felt like the sky was the limit, and I could be on a stage performing for thousands of people.
The most unique aspect of my lyrics is my wordplay, the way I line up my punch lines to make people say “wow, did you hear what he said”.
5 – Who would you like to dedicate your track “Top Of The World” to and why?
I would dedicate “Top Of The World” to all the underdogs, everyone who started from the bottom, because once you dream it, you could achieve it, there are no limits.
6 – What’s your favorite line/verse?
My favorite verse is when am naming some of the great men who came from humble beginnings and made history, achieving what many deemed impossible.
7 – Can you share with us any funny anecdote while shooting the “Top Of The World” video?
I honestly can not think of any funny moments while shooting the music video. Overall it was a very dope/ great experience.
There are so many great artists I would like to collaborate with, like Jay Z, Rick Ross, Drake, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Meek Mill. I would like to collaborate with Davido, with that Afrobeat, Popcaan with the dancehall twist. That’s just to name a few.
9 – Can you give us more information about your next single or projects?
Well, we have already recorded a number of songs, with 2 of the best producers in New York Budda and Grandz and our aim is to promote one single after the other. We are in the process of planning a US tour.
10 – What are 3 things you couldn’t go a day without?
I can’t go a day without Praying, spending quality time with my 3 sons/kings and writing lyrics.
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The Golden Coast Interview On Debut Electronic Album ‘Elevenses’
California-based music project, The Golden Coast shares with us all the details of their debut album, ‘Elevenses’. Combining organic and electronic sounds, all the eleven tracks feel like a hypnotic delight to the ears. Scroll down in order to discover more about it, but make sure you play the album from start to finish for the best listening experience.
1 – First of all, why is your debut album entitled ‘Elevenses’?
Elevenses is a small morning snack break, typically some sort of sweet bread or pastry served with coffee or tea around 11 am. While the origins of “elevenses” as a type of meal appears to be European, this album is deeply American, so I used Homer Simpsons’ pink donut for my album art to emphasize those cultural roots.
This album for me is all about the psychology of play and reward, the sweets or metaphorical carrots that get us through a long day at work, and the nature of reality. Can we choose or create our experience? Humans often try to get themselves or other people to do stuff with incentives, usually because they are envisioning a future state with a different experience than the one they have right now. If I work harder I’ll get that promotion. If I run faster I’ll wear smaller pants. That desire for a different reality, a different experience, makes humans do a lot of crazy stuff. Or at least it looks crazy from the outside.
There is a dark and a light side to reward. We can be hijacked by our natural human reaction to pleasure and reward of any type. Or we can understand our reaction to these enticements and design our own experience.
2 – What led you to choose an electronic music style?
I’ve always been attracted to electronic music. Some of my earliest memories are of my father getting his first Mac Plus and the whole family gathering around and driving him nuts while he tried to install DAW software, probably Pro Tools, which took hours. I remember the first time he got a Yamaha keyboard. My mind was blown by the sounds that it could make. I would just listen to the sample songs on repeat. His interest was always in simulating the real instruments, so he was measuring everything against its comparison to the “real thing”, but I was attracted to the electronic sounds, the artificial stuff was really attractive to me on its own. I didn’t need it to be anything else. I’ve learned a ton from hip-hop and trap about weaving together both organic and more synthetic sounds to create a coherent space with both. For me, hip-hop was like finding the answer to a question you’ve had for a long time.
3 – What is the inspiration behind this material?
I work as an experience designer in Silicon Valley. I am fascinated by the challenges that we encounter in experience design as we work to understand what people want and how they experience the world. The farther you dig into the nature of “reality” you realize that experience design is all happening within the individual. I fell down a rabbit hole this year studying the nature of experience, how we can control and design experience and what influences the reality that we individually encounter. This album is my attempt to design emotional experiences that let the individual listener attach their narratives, their reality framework, to the work. Ideally, they can use this music to make the world they want to live in.
4 – Do you have any favorite track?
“Eight”. But every time I listen to the album I hear something different in a track that I hadn’t quite heard in that way before and I’m surprised, even though I made them.
5 – How long did it take you to finish your debut album?
Twenty years or a week, depending on how you slice it. I had some time off this year and was able to focus on music, but nothing quite gelled. Towards the end of the year, I had another ten days off and this time around everything just clicked. These songs came together quickly and formed a cohesive unit, the timing was just right. I guess I had learned enough about the nature of reality to be able to design what I wanted.
6 – Is your music designed to stimulate listeners’ imagination?
Definitely. Primarily. I’m very interested in what listeners bring to the music. The songs can be both open and very layered, and I’m interested in seeing what people bring into that open space.
7 – How much importance do you give to UX Design in your music project?
It’s a strong facet of the project. I am very interested in the philosophical aspects of experience design. What is the nature of reality in which we are designing, because that’s pretty relevant if you want to make something that actually works. What drives us? What incentivizes us? Do we live in a purely materialistic world or is there more than meets the eye? Elon Musk’s favorite theory is kind of wacky, but once you start to examine the scientific frameworks and chase down the logic, the idea that we might live in some type of hologram or matrix doesn’t seem that far out. And it opens up a world of possibilities in designing your own experience, charting your own path.
Homer’s pink donut is a nod to the inherently artificial nature of the work experience in America. In Silicon Valley, the drive to succeed and chase sweet rewards, and the dark results that can produce, is particularly pronounced.
8 – Is anonymity an important factor as artists?
I think anonymity is useful because we are associative creatures. The less detail I provide about myself, the more the music becomes what people need it to be for them. We can bias experience when we saddle things with a bunch of associations.
9 – What elements are part of your visual identity?
I bring a lot of pink into my visual identity. I like pink because it can be a little jarring and scary but is also quite rewarding in the right combinations. It’s a surprisingly polarizing color and people attach a lot of unnecessarily gendered associations with it. Out here on the west coast, the light quality will often take on this amazing pink hue at sunset that is just intoxicating. It is a magical experience. And the pink donut is so American, and so associated with the idea of work.
10 – Lastly, are you going to release a music video or a live performance anytime soon?
I’m collaborating on a dance video with the Desi Hoppers, the 2015 winners of World of Dance. I’m hoping to release that in the next two weeks.
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Behind The Scenes Of Ken Bauer’s “Feels Just Right” — Interview
Swedish DJ and Producer Ken Bauer has a string of successful releases under his belt over the span of his career and has recently been making the transition into the Future House scene with each single. His latest collaboration with J-Rob MD with “Feels Just Right” has certainly cemented his place as one to watch in 2020 as the track has garnered incredible support from DJs, labels, and tastemakers from all over the globe.
1 — First off, great track! Where did the inspiration for “Feels Just Right” come from?
Well, you have to ask Justin for that as he came up with the idea. I now feel stupid for never asking that myself!
2 — You worked with J-ROB MD on this track, how did that partnership begin?
Justin reached out to me a year ago asking if I would be interested in collaborating. I checked out his previous stuff and I was blown away with his talent and musical skills. He had just recorded this song and liked my EDM sound and thought it would be a great match and I instantly agreed with him.
3 — Did you find working together on this collaboration easy?
To be honest, no, as he lives in LA and I live in Stockholm it took us a while finding a good way of working together. Both due to technical challenges as well as the time difference. However, we sorted it out and we had a lot of fun on the way. It did, however, take much longer to finish but it was worth the wait.
5 — Do you have a favourite part of the track, if so what?
Yes, I did an epic outro but unfortunately, we had to cut it out because the track became too long.
6 — How has the initial reaction been?
So far so good, with a lot of plays and support on both radio and blogs.
7 — What was it like working with Sirup Music?
Amazing. The team at Sirup is so professional, enthusiastic and encouraging. They had great ideas and has been very supportive during the planning of the release and after the release.
8 — How would you say your musical style has developed over this past year?
When I went into 2019 I came from the Electro House genre but I am leaving 2019 and entering 2020 leaning more towards Future House/Trance. I really love the genre and feels very much at home with it. During 2019 I got to know @MusicByLukas who is very active in this genre and he is supporting and inspiring me a lot.
9 — Can we look forward to any more future collaborations with you two?
You definitely can, we have a new great track coming up and I will play it to the A&Rs at Sirup Music in the New Year. Hopefully, they agree to release it and find a good release window for the song.
10 — Finally, where can people go to download ‘Feels Just Right’?
The easiest way would on Spotify at but for your readers’ convenience I have made it available here as well.
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