It’s great to know there are still artists who make songs with a purpose. That’s the case of the acoustic singer and songwriter John Tracy who have just released the lyric video of his new single “Home”. Make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy reading this exclusive interview with the man himself!
1 — Do you believe in the phrase: ‘If you are a good singer, you’re going to make anything sound good’?
That’s a really good question! I think yes, if you are a good singer, you can make anything sound good. However, first, you have to have a great melody to be the foundation of your singing. And then you have to have passion. I’ve met some amazing vocalists who’s notes sounded like heaven. But their delivery lacked deep passion – like they were just singing words and not actually feeling the magnitude of the lyrical content they were delivering.
Vocal chords are muscles that can be trained and developed. But passion comes from a place deep within. The greatest singers might not be the ones who have trained their vocals but who have lived the song they are singing and make the audience feel every word with them.
2 — Are you vocally trained or is it just a natural talent?
I do not have formal vocal training. At the heart of it, I believe my talent is God-given. However, I also think that the passion in my songs comes from the fact that I write about what I live – the ups, the downs, the trials and victories we encounter on the journey. I feel the experiences with every note I sing and I think my audience fully gets that.
3 — Was your family supportive of you choosing to do music?
I chose music later in life after having a corporate career. My passion for creating music started in my late teens, but my parents didn’t really understand that desire and didn’t value it as a solid career choice.
I did what any good son does – joined the family business, climbed the corporate ladder, got married, had the house, the two kids, the dog, all the while suppressing this burning desire within. After about twenty-five years of that, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I walked away from the family business after a series of unfortunate events made me realize I had no future there. I think it was actually the best thing that happened to me and to my wife and girls. I finally am pursuing the thing I was created for and our little family unit is closer than we have ever been. My wife and daughters were completely supportive of this life and career change and I am grateful for their unwavering encouragement!
4 — What are the main topics of your songs’ lyrics?
I like to say I write “real music” for “real life.” My songs are about our journey – the things we all go through. I sing about love, loss, family, relationships, good times and hard times. I think that’s why people find them so relatable – it’s all of the things they are going through. I also think that’s why I get responses from them like: “you’ve helped me heal,” “you’ve helped me feel less alone,” “you’ve given me hope,” etc.
5 — Are you releasing a new album next month? What can we expect from it?
I am so excited to be releasing a new album in June – June 15 to be exact. It’s titled “Quintessential” and I think this is really my best work yet.
The definition of “Quintessential” is “of the pure and essential essence of something” and “of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something.” I think the overall theme of the songs we put together on this album is the quest to find that pure and essential essence. Perhaps that’s in the love and peace in “Home,” or in the comfort of listening to the “Midnight Moon.” Maybe it is in finding the joy in “Blue Sunny Skies,” or the longing for that healthy relationship in “The Shallow Game.”
We previously released “Midnight Moon” and “Home” as singles, but I’m excited for the world to hear the album tell its story in its entirety.
6 — Are you planning live shows anytime soon?
You know, we just relocated to Richmond VA and finished a long renovation. It was all consuming, but now with the release of this new album, I’m ready to get back out there and share the music.
Actually, my favorite shows are House Concerts. I love the intimacy you get to have with the audience without the barriers found in traditional venues. I’m looking forward to getting that tour together for the second half of this year.
7 — What can you tell us about your new song “Home”? Why is it so special to you?
I’ve written a lot of songs about family, my wife and my girls. But I had never written a song about the idea of home before. I just seemed like a song that wanted to be written. My home is my sanctuary, my safe place. I think a lot of people feel that way about the space they call home.
I love how the ideas of this song came together to fit the melody. It almost wrote itself, which doesn’t happen all the time. I always labor over the lyrics, making sure every word counts. With this song, they just seemed to flow easily, which made it fun to write.
And then the production just seemed to top it off and put the perfect bow on the package. Add to that the awesome lyric video and you almost have that perfect trifecta.
8 — What message do you want to share with this single?
Great question! I think the biggest message I want to get across is to treasure what you have at home. It’s easy to go out in the world every day and get caught up in the race, isn’t it? But home is where you have all of the things that really matter.
9 — Do you have a favorite place at home?
Haha – I was just talking about this with someone the other day. Sure, I have a studio in the house with all of my guitars and gear. My wife often accuses me of spending too much time with “her” (what she calls my guitar). But for me, it’s the couch in the living room. We ended up having to get a new sofa when we moved to this new home. I think my favorite place is sitting right there, in front of the TV, watching our favorite shows with my wife curled up next to me. It’s definitely my happy place!
10 — Finally, is there anything else we should know about John Tracy?
I count myself fortunate to be able to live out my dream. I’m grateful for the fans (and now new friends) I’ve gathered along this journey and look forward to meeting many more in the years ahead. I create music because I want to make other people’s lives better.
Someone recently asked me what my “why” was. It wasn’t hard to put down in words. I believe people want to feel. We want to feel alive. We want to feel hope, excitement, peace, joy. Sometimes we just want to cry. I believe that music is the catalyst that can awaken that in all of us. That’s why I write music filled with stories of real life – to help us have that vehicle to experience life with all of our emotions ignited.
We are all here together, in some crazy way connected with each other, trying to live that life that leaves a positive impact on humanity.
We aren’t all creatives. Not all of us can create music or write songs. However, we all have our purpose in life – that one thing we were created to do, so we’re able to enrich each other’s lives. I believe music is my “one thing” and hope that with it, I can make your journey a little better.
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Find John Tracy on all of your favorite streaming sites.
Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.