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Interview | Questions & Answers With YOVANNI

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yovanni
If you haven’t watched the “Breathe” music video yet, it’s time to do it! Singer-Songwriter YOVANNI opts for haunting black and white visuals that match with his expressive lyricism. Below, in an exclusive interview, you can discover more about the Miami-based artist and his new single.

1 — Hello YOVANNI, how many years have you been active in the music industry?

Hello Modern Citizens. Thanks for taking the time to learn about my musical world. I have been in the music business for over 20 years! I have been both an artist and a Production Manager for other labels. It has been such a journey to experience the changes that the music industry has gone through. I was around where people still shopped around cassette tapes and now is nothing but a link on your computer. I love it! So much more simple and mainstream for everyone. Now we all have a chance to shine. There is an audience for everyone.

2 — Can you describe your music for people who might not be as familiar with you?

Whenever I meet anyone and they ask me what kind of music I make, I tell them that it is a stew of pop, rock, funk, and electronica. I am a mix of George Michael, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Freddy Mercury. I was raised in musical theater but rebelled and decided to pursue pop rock music so that I could sing my own songs.

3 — Did someone in your life encourages you to become an artist?

I grew up in the 80’s where music and entertainment were breaking into the mainstream market. MTV made it possible for me to learn about music through icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. These three artists were my main dish all day long. I listened to music on my walkman wherever I was. Even in class I would sit in the back of the room and just listened to my music while the teacher was not even paying attention. I loved the sounds and the imagery that came out of the 80’s generation.

4 — Are Madonna, George Michael, and Adam Lambert still your main influences? If so, why?

Madonna and George Michael have always been my number one teachers and as I grew up there became few recording artists that even captured my interest until Adam Lambert sang “Ring Of Fire” on American Idol. It is very hard to impress me. I do look forward to seeing who else is gonna be able to make get into the groove. One thing I love about music is that it is always evolving and now there are so many choices on the menu to taste.

yovanni breathe
5 – What is your new single “Breathe” really about?

My new single “Breathe” is about taking a moment out of the chaos of your life and realizing that if you try to calm the chatter in your mind, everything will be ok and yesterday was nothing but a cloud. We all have daily struggles in our personal lives. We all cry and laugh. After every storm, cities rebuild and lessons are learned. “Breathe” for me represents moments in my personal life and the life of people I have met on my journey here on earth.

6 — What locations were considered for this music video?

The “Breathe” music video is a production where the only location to consider was my bedroom. I am healing from a leg injury that left me unable to walk or go outside for months. I had to get creative, so I built a set in my bedroom that represented a church. I used my mom’s old saints and statues and filmed myself. The other scenes of other people were created using licensed stock footage. For example, there are a couple of scenes dealing with suicide. That was something that I had to go through with an ex who tried to kill himself in front of me. Other scenes represented moments in my life, like the time when I was homeless for a brief moment. I had to make sure that the scenes in the video represented issues that we all have to deal with.

7 — After watching this clip, I can assume you are fan of film-noir style movies? Is that correct?

While I was in the studio recording the music for “Breathe” I already had a vision of the style of video I wanted to produce. I loved the BW Film Noir style because there is such a range of emotions when you combine classic lighting and shadows. Film Noir represents a mood of melancholy that the song expresses. If you watch a classic film from the early days, you see such a beautiful emotion being portrayed in shadow and light. I really wanted to haunting sounds of the song “Breathe” to look like a classic BW movie.

8 – Have you considered remixes for your latest single “Breathe”?

I am and will always have dance music in my blood! I really enjoy working with DJ’s who are also producers that can re-create a song into a hot groove to dance to on the dance floor. I come from the EDM world. There are new amazing remixes that are now available worldwide of “Breathe”. My manager Nelson “Trigga” Martinez is great friends with legendary DJ Producers such as Bimbo Jones, Dark Intensity and the Klubjumpers. The clubs are now able to have an anthem that they can groove to on the dance floors thanks to all the Dj’s who are spinning the remixes!

9 — What can we expect from YOVANNI in the upcoming months?

The next upcoming months for me are really gonna be very important to my personal and artistic growth! I have been finalizing final production on my next single and I really wanna start giving birth to my next child. There is a huge catalog of music that I recorded last year and I am really aiming to move forward in my life and release my stories for all the modern citizens who are willing to listen and welcome me as an artist in this crazy game of life.

10 — Finally, do you have a favorite place to write lyrics?

I can write lyrics anywhere but if I had to choose a favorite place, it would be in the studio. I really like being in a studio environment. I enjoy jamming with other musicians or just listening to a musical score that I can have a conversation with and write a story to sounds. But I have to feel inspired and I always gotta try to find a personal connection either if I am writing for myself or other singers.


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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

Quickfire Interview With: Joe Hawes

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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”?

“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?

Originals.

Joe Hawes
5 ⁠— Clubs or Festivals?

Festivals, you just can’t find an atmosphere like it.

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?

Melodies.

10 ⁠— Don Diablo or Martin Garrix?

Don Diablo.


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The New Division Reveals Details Of ‘Hidden Memories’ Album In Interview

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The New Division

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

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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.

bahamian rapper
4 – What’s the most unique aspect of your lyrics?

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.

vk da general rapper
8 – Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

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’

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Golden Coast

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

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Ken Bauer 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.

Electro Wow Exclusive Guest Mix: Ken Bauer
4 — How does this compare to some of your other releases?

I would say that this track was written in a more EDM POP oriented way compared to my other more club-focused tracks.

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.

https://sptfy.com/8Z0m
https://soundcloud.com/kenbauersweden/j-rob-md-ken-bauer-feels-just-right-radio-mix-1


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