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Interview | Questions & Answers With A.Def

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A.Def

A.Def explain the powerful message on “OP8 of the Masses”. Hip-hop artists Nick FuriouStylz and X24 released a new single that refers to the excessive use of technology. Learn more about their views, the pair’s early beginnings, and much more than that, exclusively here!

1 — Where did you get the idea for your artistic name?

NF: Both X24 and I grew up with Attention Deficit Disorder. We have always shared in the reality that are both high energy, eccentric kind of guys.

X24: Yeah… The name was initially Attention Deficit, but I got sick of writing it out. Sort of telling…

2 — How did you come together to work on this project?

NF: We had united forces early on in our Hip-Hop careers in the early 2000s. X was from Santa Fe and I was in Albuquerque but my brother went to the same high school as X. The first-ever real project was called Desert Planet Arrakis. Which featured X, AKA motive, Nick, AKA The Lyrical Gunslingar, and my brother, Kauz Kat. It was a lot of fun and we learned so much but it was a young man’s game with young men’s expectations.

X24: This is around the time when the whole DIY Hip-Hop scene was really in full swing. We were in our late teens but took it all so seriously! I moved to Oakland in 2001. When I move back to New Mexico, Nick and I decided to make a song, and sort of unofficially formed A.Def.

NF: A.Def really came about and took shape over the next couple years with renewed vigor and interest and a focus on being silly, yet cutting edge.

X24: It’s a little crazy that it’s taken us this long to create an album. I mean, we both have solo music, and Nick has other bands and projects as well. A.Def has a life of its own, however. We haven’t lived in the same town since I left Albuquerque in 2001, but we have such infectious energy when we get together to create.

3 — Do you define your music style as Hip-Hop or is it something else?

NF: We truly define what we do as Hip-Hop, both culturally and musically. The stuff that’s coming out in the ethers these days, to me, really isn’t Hip Hop in the true sense. We want you to nod ya head.

X24: We just wanna make stuff that we like. Genre notwithstanding, when we get together, we really try to allow each other to experiment and create whatever we’re feeling. We don’t necessarily like the same music or things, but we always allow each other the space to express how he feels.

4 — Do you agree with the phrase, “Religion is the opium of the people”? Why?

NF: Yes and No. The opium we are referring to in OP8ofthemasses is the lack of affection and a general malaise associated with how technology has coveted all societies. The gradual deadening of what is to be human.

X24: The song clearly references that quote, but it’s not about religion or faith. Like Nick said, we see technology, especially social media, mobile gaming, etc., as literally opiating the masses.

5 — Is your new single “0P8 Of The Masses” a protest song?

NF: More of a wakeup call to humanity. A call to action before it is too late to reverse the course of a bleak future.

X24: But it’s also hopeful. Ava’s character at the end poses a hopeful future and question. It leaves us with a bit of confidence. And though the video ends in a repeated loop, the question “Where is your light?” is what the listener/audience is left with.

6 — Was it easy to agree when it felt done?

NF: Yes. We both work really well with one another. Taking away only what’s necessary to co-create some great art.

X24: Agreed… I think with any artistic venture there will always be differences envisioned initially. But we really trust each other and, despite some minor speed bumps, always trust in the partnership.

7 — How can you interpret the story behind its music video?

X24: The story really centers on the idea that we’re all leeward towards and trapped into the technology of our modern world. But it’s a double-bladed sword. We make music with electronics and computers. We benefit from the technology. We also feel, in many ways, isolated. I think, in a lot of ways, the story is more of a visual representation of the lyrics of the song. The concept and theme are very present in today’s world.

NF: The lyrics centered on the actions of the characters. The blissful sleep, the awakening, the escape, and ultimately the loop takes them right back to where they began. Technology has both helped and hindered humankind and we feel a gentle shift in the world in consciousness, awareness, empathy, and ambition. Our world is no doubt to blame but how does one ever truly get out or “escape” this matrix?

8 — Is there any funny anecdote that you remember about filming this clip?

X24: Too many to count! We shot the video in an old and dirty basement. It was very cold out, and the heater was broken. The crew were all wearing coats while we were working. There was a lot of conversation between Tim McC, the director, Nick, and myself about the best way to visually represent the song. Thank God the crew and Ava were such heroes, putting up with us as we bickered about the details of the shoot.

NF: We didn’t have a huge budget. At one point on the big shoot day we offered the crew a coffee drink or whatever from a coffee shop. I remember X and I going and reading off a pretty funny order and really entertaining the barista lady. Then we comically juggled 8 or so drinks, both hot and cold, in the car and back to our location barely making it without a disaster. Fun times.

A.Def interview
9 —Why did you collaborate with Ava Del Cielo on this release?

NF: Ava is an obvious “double threat” talent and we agreed that she would bring her unique style and talent to the project. We also gravitated toward a stand out co-star. Ava definitely puts her stamp on the antagonist in the story.

X24: Ava’s amazing. From our earliest conversations about featuring her on the song, before a video was ever envisioned, her enthusiasm and energy were so infectious. She was an obvious choice!

10 — Finally, what is the overall concept of your forthcoming album?

The Soundtrack of a Dystopian Future — We are really excited about the project! Ranging from playful to poignant, aimed at self-awareness and dark, socio-political, storytelling. We are also collaborating with some great musicians and playing with all sorts of sounds. What we are getting into is amazing! It can be difficult working on an album when we don’t live in the same city, but every time we get together, we both bring so much energy to the party. We can’t wait to share it!


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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

Blind Mutation Discusses Experimental Music Video “Shadows”

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Blind Mutation music

If you’re into hypnotizing Ambient Techno tracks, then Blind Mutation should be on your radar. Her latest experimental music video “Shadows” was awarded and this exclusive interview explains it all!

1 — If I’m not mistaken, electronic music is your passion. How does this interest has come about?

I actually think my dad’s taste in music really influenced me a lot. He used to put on a lot of quality electronic music for me when I was a child, from classic Depeche Mode to more underground experimental electronic How to Dress Well. So, my interest in electronic music started growing from a very young age. When I became a teenager, my mental health started to get worse, and I started to relate, and thereafter, listen to darker and gloomier electronic music like dark ambient, triphop, or hard warehouse techno. That’s basically how my music taste was formed, and why I love electronic music.

2 — When exactly did you become Blind Mutation?

In theory, I think I became Blind Mutation pretty much as soon as I started producing and composing music which was 2 years ago. I began writing tracks with an emphasis on cinematic melancholic sounds that translated my deep intense emotions, and I still continue to do it exploring more and more ways to express my feelings through music. But, officially, let’s say, I became Blind Mutation when I released my first DJ Mix called “WAVE/PHONK MIX” on SoundCloud almost a year ago.

3 — Musically speaking, who is your biggest influence or inspiration?

I love to answer that question 🙂 I would say that my influences/inspirations have been changing throughout the years. When I was 14-16 my favorite band was Coldplay. I loved their not-that-well-known tracks which were more on the electronic/ambient side, like my all-time favorite “Midnight”. As for now, I very rarely listen to Coldplay. Now I am more into experimental dark emotional stuff like Techno, Dark Ambient, IDM, and Trip-Hop. Some of my inspirations/influences at the moment are Aphex Twin, Arca, Trentemoller, Clams Casino, Hans Zimmer, I Hate Models, and Crystal Castles.

4 — Congratulations on winning Best Experimental Video at the Indie Online Film Festival. Did you ever expect this result?

I was hoping for it 🙂 But I don’t really like expecting something to happen, especially when it comes to receiving awards. Because if you think you would win the prize, and then you don’t, you would probably get upset. But if you don’t really think about it and just let it happen, you get more excited if you win, and don’t really care if you don’t get an award 🙂

5 — Tell us more about how your collaboration with All Around came about.

We met a little more than 4 years ago in college in LA. He was a directing major, and I was an acting major. We’ve been very good friends since that time, and we’ve done small projects together here and there in college and just for fun. Then, when I switched from acting to music and started releasing my DJ Mixes, he began doing all the visuals for them. So, when I was ready to release my debut track “Shadows”, I knew that All Around would be my director, cinematographer, and editor. We have a similar vision when it comes to art (music/video/films, etc.), and so it’s very comfortable and fun for us to work together.

6 — Would you interpret this clip as a short horror film or is it something else?

Shortly, I would say, yes, it could be interpreted as a short psychological horror film. To elaborate: it’s interesting that when we showed the music video to our close surroundings, a good amount of people said that “Shadows” looked more like a short horror film rather than a music video. “Shadows” indeed has a much slower pace than a usual music video. In terms of cinematography, it’s also shot more like a film rather than a music video. But I think I would still call “Shadows” an experimental music video rather than a short horror film, because, in my opinion, it still has a dynamic of a music video, and our initial idea was to create a music video not a short horror film.

experimental music video
7 — What tools, instruments, or software were part of the production process of “Shadows”?

Well, the track itself was produced, mixed and mastered in Ableton. As for “Shadows” music video production, My friend All Around who I collaborated with, has an amazing RED Komodo camera, the music video was shot on it. Also, my face, chest, neck and my arms had to be bandaged in the shot all the time. We needed special bandages, the ones that stick to the skin and to each other. We had 3-4 shooting days, and not all of the bandages could be reused. So, I had to buy lots of them. Was driving from one CVS to another buying the entire available supply of those specific bandages 🙂

We also had a chance to work with an amazing super professional makeup artist, Darya Kholodnykh, who did the make-up for the “demon’s” hand that appears in the music video. She managed to find a creative way to make the hand look realistic and creepy although we had a very small budget.

8 — What can we expect from Blind Mutation next? Are you keen on exploring science fiction themes?

I love science fiction, and I would like to explore themes connected to it in the future. But as for now, I think I’m more focused on expressing my inner feelings and emotions through my music, and treating producing/composing/creating DJ mixes more as a therapy for myself. I’d love to dive deeper into the psychological aspects of our lives and have an influence on people’s emotions and their unconscious through my music. That’s what my next release will hopefully do! It’s a dark ambient track called “I come with the rain”, and it’s coming out in the beginning of January! I’m also working on a new dark warehouse techno DJ mix which will also come out around the same time.

9 — What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I’ve always loved to think about this. I am very interested in psychology, so I would definitely study it in college, and then probably become a psychotherapist (do not mistake with psychologist or psychiatrist), I would do scientific research and come up with new more effective therapies.

I would also love to direct and shoot (be DOP and operate camera) my own film(s) in the future! It’s a big dream! Plus I got my first degree from a film college, so I am familiar with that stuff. By the way, I’m also super interested in graphic and game design! Would love to try doing that in the future too!

And just to top off the list with more geek stuff: if I had another life, I would become an astrophysicist to study and explore space.

10 — Lastly, do you have any specific goals for 2023?

The most important and clear goal is to get the artist visa in order to be able to stay and work in the U.S. Speaking of my artist goals, I would love to get my first DJ gig in 2023! I would also love to explore new music genres in my productions (like trip-hop or hard dark techno)! Finally, I have so many things I still have to explore and discover in terms of production, mixing sound design, etc. So, another very important goal is to just continue learning!


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Interviews

Bubba Brothers Talk Last Summer And Tribal House EP ‘Basstribe’

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Bubba Brothers
Bubba Brothers
continue to take the Electronic Dance music world by storm. Their latest release, ‘Basstribe’ was well received by listeners all over the world, marking a new milestone for the duo. Alongside impressive releases and powerful live shows, the duo recently celebrated their anniversary by playing at important venues all over the summer.

We found time to talk with them about their summer season, what they were up to and what was coming for them.

1 — Hello Bubba Brothers, how are you?

All good thanks. 😊

2 — Summer is now over, what have you been up to this past season?

This was a fantastic summer… we had great moments. A big thank you to all our fans all over the world.

3 — You released your EP ‘Basstribe’ around summertime, can you tell us more about what it was like working on this production?

It was really exciting; the timing was perfect and it was great to see and hear DJs playing the tracks live around the planet, so yes… ‘Basstribe’ was really fun. 😊

4 — Have you got any summer highlights?

So many… playing in Ibiza, having Oxia at our anniversary party, and sharing the decks… many good moments. And as said, we are very grateful for that.

5 — Which artists were on repeat for you during this summer?

Hahaha… great question! Tube and Berger, Dennis Ferrer, Kolsch, Themba, and many others. 😊


6 — Did you develop new projects or ideas during this season?

Yeah… just came back from Iceland, and a new track is already in the horizon. So, stay tuned! and also 2 finished tracks will be launched in a few weeks.

7 — What’s the last thing you learned over the summer?

To stay focused and humble. Keep your feet on the ground.

8 — Aside from performing, what other activities did you enjoy doing during the summer season?

Like any Portuguese, the beach and anything that involves the sea is our thing 😊 Missing summer already.

9 — What are you looking forward to doing next summer?

Playing in Europe as much as people book us and I hope they will do, a lot!

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Country-Pop Singer Taylor Sanders On New Song “Firecracker”

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Taylor Sanders

Taylor Sanders gained great popularity for her stunning renditions of hits by artists like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. Last month, she released her Country-Pop single “Firecracker, whose lyrics put female empowerment at the forefront. Learn more about this song in our latest interview.

1 — First of all, what makes you smile, and what scares you the most when creating new music?

It makes me smile when I create a clever line or the lyrics just feel exactly right, then you know you’ve got something that really vibes.

At the same time, writing can also be scary from the uncertainty of effectively relaying my message where the listeners can understand. That’s why I love co-writing because I get to bounce ideas off others first.

2 — What are your goals in the music industry?

I want to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, go on a world tour, sell out the Madison Square Garden, write and record a theme song for a Marvel or Disney movie, have a number-one single, and win a Grammy!

3 — What do you enjoy the most about writing lyrics?

My thoughts can roam free.

Taylor Sanders
4 — How long have you been working as a singer?

Almost my whole life! I started singing when I was 5. At the time, I sang the national anthem at my kindergarten graduation because my teacher noticed I was singing it in class, and she went to my mom to ask her if I would sing for our graduation and my mom didn’t even know I knew the song or could even sing. After that, my mom put me in vocal lessons when I was 8.

5 — What’s the inspiration behind your latest single “Firecracker”?

A.) I wanted to write a song about me and my personality to introduce myself to the music world and talk about self-confidence and letting your light shine.

B.) I wanted to tell a story of how my husband and I really met. We met at a pool party while in school and I realized he matched that ambitious energy I carry.

6 — What came first the vocals or melody?

“Firecracker” as a title was pretty much determined from the get-go. When I was introduced to the co-writers, they were like, “Wow, she’s a firecracker!” and I guess that felt good and stuck. It was kind of perfect. The lyrics and melody came together all at once. The producers and lyric writers were all in 1 room and we all fed off each other to push the song concomitantly.

7 – Tell us more about the top-notch team that was involved in the production of this single.

My cowriters and producers have written songs for Jennifer Lopez (“Waiting for Tonight”) and Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood. These are icons I looked up to and I couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration.

8 — If you could choose a location to perform your new track “Firecracker,” where would it be?

The Grand Ole Opry, of course. But then also I see it being performed at a big rockin’ New Year’s Eve party right before the ball drops at midnight. I can see it so vividly, all the lights and fireworks going on with the song as I sing “Light it up, light it up!” That would be epic!


9 — Who would you dedicate this song to?

I dedicate it to my husband, not only for inspiration but also because he is such a big supporter of my dreams and really wants me to succeed. He’s a northern boy and so when we first met, I told him I was moving to Nashville after school and if he wanted to be with me, he’d have to come along. So, he’s here riding this crazy roller coaster with me.

10 — Where do you see Taylor Sanders in the next 5 years?

I hope I’ve built up a community of people who can appreciate the art I’m putting out there and that it can help brighten and change lives. I want to be valuable to people and bring enjoyment into their lives during hard times. I also hope to get into acting as well, and for my personal life, I see myself starting a family.


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