Having released her brand-new single “Like It’s Yesterday” last November, the American singer V. Contreras showcases her awesome vocals with a soulful tone. She’s rapidly making a huge name for herself, and for this reason, I was very eager to learn more about this talented female artist. Read the full interview below!
1 – Where did your music career really begin?
I guess in the back of my parent’s car. We took tons of long road trips to Idaho to visit our Grandparents and that is where my parents introduced my Sister (Tamara Gee) and I to various artists, mostly incredible singers like Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt, Barbara Streisand and Heart. That’s when I fell in love with music and singing. In terms of when I had my first opportunity in a professional setting, my first paid gig was The Sound Of Music when I was 10 years old and played the role of Brigitta, the strong-willed von Trapp daughter. I think my most vivid memory was that I was so nervous that I threw up backstage on opening night before the curtain rose.
2 – What is the best way to have a great singing voice like yours?
It’s like anything – learn great technique from an awesome teacher who has a teaching style you connect with and practice, practice, practice!
3 – Are you of Hispanic descent? Do you sing in Spanish too?
I am about 10% Spanish. The name Contreras is my Husband’s name. I have always felt very connected to the Hispanic culture, I think due to the culture’s contagious lust for life, laughter, and Family as well as the hard-working nature of the Hispanic community. Yes, I do sing several jazz standards in Spanish and some in Portuguese. We are likely recording my song “Like It’s Yesterday” in Spanish very soon!
4 – What is the inspiration behind your new single “Like It’s Yesterday”?
The melodies to this song came to me very quickly. The tune found itself in my mind on a walk and I could not get it out of my head for days. The lyrics didn’t come so easy. I tried so many times to sit down and write lyrics but I don’t usually find genuine lyrics or music when I’m trying to. I don’t think we find words or melodies; they find their place in us. So, I let the song sit for a couple of months. During this same time, I was witnessing the demise of my music mentor’s memory. Following a session with him, I started thinking about what his wife must be going through and the lyrics to the chorus made themselves present. However, the verses that came to mind were more in line with the demise of a relationship. I think subconsciously I didn’t want the song to be quite so sad.
5 – Why is the music video filmed in black and white?
When Angel (Colmenares) first heard the song, he created an inspiration board and the bulk of the photos were in black and white. When I received his initial storyboard, I played the song while looking through his images and the tone of the photos just felt right. We filmed the video in color so that we had the flexibility to use color or black and white. But, it just looked too happy and because it was fall, the colors were almost too gorgeous that they were distracting. We wanted it to be dark and for the listener to have no choice but to focus on the lyrics of the song.
I love this question because I recently received a direct message on Twitter from a new fan that was profound. He was a kind young man who wrote to simply say that he loved LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY, especially the lyrics and that it made him feel ok for a moment. He shared that he recently became widowed and that watching the music video made him not feel alone for those five minutes. Although his story was heartbreaking, it is hard to explain how incredible it feels to be able to aid in someone else’s healing process through music.
7 – Do you only sing Ballads?
Ha! No, not at all. This is the first big ballad that I’ve ever recorded. The only ballad on my last album is a creepy understated tune called BURN. It’s a song that I love but is not torchy, has very little vocal range and has got a lot of attitude. My new album is full of mostly upbeat and mid-tempo R & B songs.
8 – What’s the normal process V. Contreras goes through to decide which tracks to work on?
I’m a purger. I am not the type of person who can say “I’m going to write a song today.” I store ideas in my mind and don’t write sometimes for months and then let it go. I wait until the gate feels good and ready (like I’m going to crack) and then lift it and let the songs take over my life. Basically, I turn into a hermit and no one can get a hold of me and my social media posts stop and I can’t think about anything else. It’s a bit exhausting and exhilarating all at once.
Once I feel like I have a good solid group of songs to choose from, I take all of the songs that I’ve written (and feel emotionally connected to) and cut them down to 20 songs or so. At that point, I run all of them by Martin Feveyear who produces all of my music. I trust him like Family. Together, we pick the top 10-12 for the album. We have never disagreed on our top picks which always reminds me of how in tune we are.
9 – Where did your last performance take place? Can you share with us any funny anecdote?
My last performance was at the LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY music video release party which took place at a speak easy hidden in the back of local clothing boutique called Do The Extraordinary. The vision of this store is to create a local, handmade lifestyle brand that merges edgy, urban design targeted at a generation of world changers.
It’s basically a bad ass clothing company that sells gorgeous, edgy clothes and accessories made right there in the building by local Seattle designers. In the back is a hidden speak easy with a stage and a sexy lodgy vibe. There is a lot of taxidermy in the space. I have been a pescatarian for 20 years so that was a bit weird for me.
Funny anecdote, hmmm well I love tequila so the LIKE IT’S YESTERDAY signature cocktail was Casamigos, St. Germain, club soda and egg white. It was delicious but a bit strong for anyone and so the hashtag from my show has like 100 photos of people doing strange things with the taxidermy animals in the space. 😀
10 – Is there something else you would like to tell your fans?
As always, I just want to say thank you. If it were not for you, I would be geeking out making tracks in my studio too scared to share them with the world.
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Discovering Lucii’s Musical Journey And Her New Song “Narcissist”
In this exclusive interview, Lucii shares more about her journey as a musician, the meaning and inspiration behind her new single “Narcissist,” and her plans for the future, including incorporating a live band into her performances and releasing a new album.
1 — How did you first become interested in music and what led you to pursue it as a career?
So I always sang and made songs on guitar as I was growing up but never thought I was good enough. I went to a rave at 17 and really loved it so I started DJing and producing and started to use my vocals on my tracks and it turned into a career!
2 — As a member of the LGBTQ community, how do you feel your identity influences your songs?
I feel like Idk I just write songs about girls, but I think cause I’m female writing about a female gives this extra sparkle of divine femininity.
3 — How do you aim to use your artistic platform to uplift and inspire others in the community?
I just want to make people feel something, music is a form of expression sometimes easier than talking. Mac Miller helped so much with my mental health and I just wanna be that to someone. Make people not feel alone, especially the LGBTQ community.
4 — Please tell us more about the meaning and inspiration behind your new single “Narcissist.”
I was in therapy and was describing this person to my therapist and she said (her name is Andrea and I shout her out in the song) “well that person sounds like a Narcissist” I NEVER heard of that word in my life so I started writing that night “you’re a Narcissist says my therapist” and that’s how it came about. I just wanted an angry song about a Narcissist so I made it.
Probably “thank god for Andrea I should send the bill to ya for all the times I’m in the chair wondering how I got here” Andrea is my therapist and I just think that’s a BA.
6 — How has your experience been as an electronic music producer and how has that influenced your shift into the Pop genre?
I feel like it influenced my Pop music a lot because I want my songs to have energy even if they’re sad, I want that emotional wave rollercoaster to feel like dance music gives.
7 — Are you planning to incorporate a live band into your performances?
YES!! I cannot wait to start playing with my band. I can’t wait to be closer to my audience and just play my songs, that is my dream and I can’t wait to do that soon hehe.
Details on the upcoming album will be announced soon.
9 — What message would you like to send to aspiring LGBTQ musicians looking to break into the industry?
I would say just fucking go for it we NEED you. Look at fletcher she is breaking boundaries right now she is a full-on amazing Pop star and watching her grow has just been so inspiring and made me realize I can do this, I can make the move from being a DJ to being a live performance act.
10 — How do you see your music evolving in the future?
I see myself going through eras, I really love how Taylor Swift each of her albums feel like a chapter to read from ‘1989’ to ‘REPUTATION’ and OMG ‘Folklore.’ All of them are AMAZING but I just want to give that feeling with every one of my albums, as you listen to it and you’re transported back in time to a feeling.
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Exploring An Experimental Album With XENOBYT — Interview
Are you a fan of electronic music with a hint of nostalgia and horror? Look no further, as XENOBYT‘s new album ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’ is exactly what you’ve been searching for. In this exclusive interview, the up-and-coming artist gives you an inside look at the inspiration and creative process behind his original work.
1 — How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
I try to make music that people can vibe to. Something you can put on and get lost in while driving or doing something mundane. There is something fascinating about using a synthesizer, which for a long time was considered the sound of the future, but using it to make music that reminds us of the past. I like to think that if you like Horror and synth music and enjoy the groove of the song over the technicality of what’s played, you would enjoy what I am trying to do here.
2 — Which artists are you most influenced by?
When I was younger, I was a huge Metalhead, but my dad was a big tech geek and loved messing around with a synthesizer and listened to a lot of Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder. So I had an early appreciation for it. I was big into Horror movies and really dug the soundtracks that John Carpenter was doing, and Brad Fiedel’s Terminator 2 soundtrack was another of my favorites. But I didn’t decide to start making this kind of music until I heard Carpenter Brut and Perturbator for the first time.
3 — What drew you to the experimental genre and what sets it apart from other electronic music styles?
I went to college for sound design, so I love taking a sound that people are familiar with and messing with it to make something completely new. And I try to incorporate that into my music in ways that aren’t done very often. Classifying yourself as experimental kind of takes the chains off and resets expectations of what your fans expect to hear when they listen to your music.
4 — What inspired the title of your new album ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’?
Usually, I come up with a simple horror theme for an album before I even start writing the songs for it. The last album, New Retro Witch, was about witchcraft and this album was about malevolent spirits. The concept of getting hired for a certain time to caretake a haunted mansion resonated with me and the things I had going on in my life at the time. I was facing a lot of old trauma I had buried and this concept paralleled with what I was dealing with in my own head, so I based the title of the album around that idea.
5 — How does this material differ from your previous works?
I wanted this album to be heavier than my last album from the start. I wanted to incorporate more Rock and Metal vibes into it but keep some of the same beauty and melancholy that I really liked about New Retro Witch.
Because of the more personal nature of this album, I didn’t really do any big collaborations on it, which is something I normally try to do.
6 — How long did it take you to complete this project?
I started working on this album in the Spring of 2021 and had 9 songs written for this album by the end of summer, but I wasn’t happy with it and scrapped all but 3 songs. I kind of fell into an artistic rut after that and sat on it until February of 2022 and wrote, mixed, and mastered the remainder of the album over the spring and summer.
7 — Could you tell us where ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’ was recorded?
I have my own recording studio here in Austin and I did all of the writing, mixing, and mastering for this album there.
8 — How did you approach the design of the artwork?
During that artistic rut I had mentioned earlier, I got really enthralled in AI Art Generation and went as far as learning how to and coding my own AI Art Generator. I made a bunch of stuff with it that actually helped inspire me to finish the album. While I am a big fan of collaborating with other artists, I was really proud of the fact I made this art-making machine and how it helped me get back on my grind. I wanted to showcase what it was capable of with this release.
“Deluge,” because there is a sad and dark story behind it. I suffer from depression and PTSD and had a bit of a mental breakdown last summer. That song was created live while I was in the midst of that breakdown. I felt like I was drowning, and I wanted the song to sound like I felt. But I also wrote the song I wanted to hear to feel better, and it worked. I still put it on when I am feeling depressed, and it still makes me feel better.
10 — Are you open to collaborations? If so, what are the requirements?
Absolutely! I am always open to collaborating with other artists. My only requirement is ensuring proper credit is given to everyone involved.
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Empowerment & Authenticity: An Interview With Tash Blake On “Mannequin”
With influences from icons like Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga, Tash Blake is not afraid to break boundaries and bring fresh energy to the music industry. Her debut single “Mannequin” carries a powerful message of rebellion and authenticity. Read the full interview here.
1 — First of all, what makes Tash Blake an artist?
I am constantly thinking about what is missing from the music/visual world and want to contribute my vision, writing, and voice to provide my personal expression in a way that may resonate with how others are feeling but may not be able to express.
2 — How do you combine your passion for dance and musical theatre into your current projects?
I always strive to incorporate choreography and dramatics into all my visual projects. Whether it’s through storytelling or fashion, my goal is to use body movement and character to elevate the art every time.
3 — Can you tell us more about the message behind your debut single “Mannequin”?
“Mannequin” is all about the types of language and power structures that demean and are used to control others and then the recognition and rebellion against them so as to take the power back from whoever or whatever has suppressed your power as a human being.
4 — In what ways does the music video enhance or support this message?
In the video, it was really important to me to feel powerful, sexy, confident, and badass.
5 — What did you enjoy the most about shooting these visuals?
I always adore expressing myself through dance and fashion, and I got to do both! Additionally, I love working in black and white imagery to highlight form and shape.
6 — Was it difficult to translate your personal experiences with manipulation and the pursuit of authenticity into the lyrics?
It was extremely easy to write about my experiences in the lyrics. I was beyond ready to talk about my past, operate in the present, reach for the future, and help others grab their power back.
7 — How does the influence of Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga manifest in your music style?
I have always adored the way these women didn’t play by the “rules.” They were always being themselves and consistently breaking boundaries. I like to be disruptive and break from the norm. Additionally, each of these women were incredible visionaries and performers, and I thoroughly want to bring that experience back to videos, music, and the stage in full force.
8 — Do you have any upcoming live performances scheduled?
I’m currently working on my live show and I’m so excited to share it with you. The stage is where I feel most at home.
9 — What are your most ambitious aspirations as an artist in 2023?
It’s a goal of mine to be playing at a festival this year like Tomorrowland! I would also be so grateful to perform at club venues and interact with and entertain fans.
10 — Finally, what will be your next song about?
I have always felt this deep desire and need for strong love even if it ends up hurting me, I’d rather feel something than feel nothing at all. “Inject Me” expresses exactly that. Throughout the song, I talk about performing and I pulled inspiration from both how I crave such an intense love before I die and how the industry can be a magical yet dark place where you can feel very loved, but overwhelmingly alone and I have always been fascinated by that contradiction.