Adrian Hibbs is a true artist in every sense of the word. Recently, when I was exploring his songs I quickly got hooked by his original funky style. Besides that, he’s a man with many skills, especially as a keyboard player. Well, after reading this interview article you’ll agree with me his music is cool, and his personal stories too.
1 – What was the very first instrument that you laid your hands on?
When I was about seven or eight my Grandmother taught me some boogie-woogie licks on a Casio keyboard I was obsessed with but it was the fourth grade where I joined the school band as an alto sax player. The competition was fierce lol but I made the band and had recitals thru out grammar school and junior high. I really didn’t get serious with piano until I was 16 and dreamed of going to Berklee College if music which eventually happened. I was self-taught on the keys so I had my obstacles in music school. Singing & writing came later in my 20’s after I left Berklee and moved to NYC.
2 – Was there a moment in your life that allowed you to discover who you are and enabled you to translate it into your music?
The high school I attended had a very large theater that I would sneak into. I loved setting the lights blue, rolling the nine-foot grand piano on stage and playing by myself for hours and hours. I miss that environment and it was a part of my life that definitely had a huge impact on me. I still enjoy exploring empty churches or old theaters and there is always a piano, hidden, waiting for my confessions. Looking back though I think that I knew I wanted to give people the business from a young age, always inspired.
3 – How would you describe your sound?
I’m such a sucker for the classic soul artists before me and over the years it merges with modern production… Kind of a neo-funk / soul mash-up. I tend to collab with people who share a divine love for Stevie Wonder, Prince, Earth Wind and Fire and a lot of bands from that era. As a solo artist, I have the ability to rotate chairs in my band. Also living in LA grants me access to some of the greatest players in the world and each of them has an influence on me and shapes the sound but if I had to describe its genre then “Feel Good, funky soul”
4 – What ideas were put on the table before producing your new single “Voodoo”?
Most of the time I start writing with a bass and drum groove. I had been playing with melody ideas for weeks and weeks over the two changes in the Verse (B-7 / Bbmaj7) and knew I was onto something but it was a hard range for me to sing in. I had my close friend Lex Sadler lay down some more bass for me and then the song kind of evolved on its own.
It was a bold move for obvious reasons but to the objective listener (who will enjoy the most) the feel of the instrumentation with the lyrical content made sense to title the track with the hook. You know that pull someone has on you? That’s their own Voodoo that they’re putting on you.
6 – How did you discover the talent of Myra Washington? Where did she record the vocals for “Voodoo”?
Myra and I first met during a recording session for a FIFA World Cup commercial that aired for the Brazil Games. We are also both session vocalists and played phone tag for about a year until our schedules aligned. When she came over for the first writing session last April I had a track in mind for her because Voodoo was actually taken by another artist (who will remain nameless) but I could tell the original singer ( for Voodoo) was not super excited about the track. When Myra heard it she stopped me and told that is was hers so that was that. Her enthusiasm won her the track in the beginning but she made it her own after we started punching her verses right in my apt in Hollywood. I made most of the track here then went to a few different studios to get the drums right and some final mixes then I sent it off to mastering back east.
I have been grateful to tour all over the world with some incredible artists and bands but most recent I have been stepping in as a keyboard player for an Australian band ‘The Intergalactix’. They are so much fun with a huge indie- electro/funk sound. I’ve been working with them for about two years touring both the east and west coast and Canada. The last time we went out to support “Strange Talk” also from Australia and every moment felt like a comedy. The border agents did not like us so we missed a few sound checks getting to the Toronto and Montreal shows but let’s just say what happened in Canada stays in Canada lol 😉
8 – What has been your favorite performance show so far?
That is a hard question. I can’t say I have a favorite because all the experiences are so different but the best shows are usually a product of a well-rehearsed band, I’m always more confident when I don’t have to cut parts live and make sure they’re playing all the parts that were written. Over the years my whole setup changed from just playing keyboards then singing, now I’d love to not play keys and just sing…. We’ll see, I’m nervous, the keyboard standing or sitting is a crutch on stage so I look forward to having a bit more freedom to move around a bit. I think my favorite shows will be in the future.
Believing that I have something to offer this world. It’s our job (as artists) to reflect what we experience in life and then report it back thru songs and live shows and it I feel extremely undervalued most of the time, I live for the moment, for the performance, the rest of the time is preparing for that moment which only lasts for about 40-50 minutes. You really have to mean what you’re saying because there is a lot of noise out there. I don’t want to feel like I’m adding art for art’s sake, especially since so many people are hustling their creative talents. Man, I could go on and on here but this is how I am feeling today, ask me tomorrow and I’ll vent about digital streaming or pop music (haha). Honestly, though, anytime I have that self-doubt monkey on my shoulder I ask myself right then and there “What the f*ck else is there to do?”
10 – What can your fans be expecting from your future releases?
I have another record with Myra “Silk Blue Birds” scheduled early May and then a few other artists I am excited to feature. Chenai out of the U.K. and Maiya Sykes to name a couple so I’m pretty busy finishing these other cuts. I want to get back to performing soon, I’ve taken a lot of time off to focus on production and it’s been a transitional period for me cause my performance was full time to a screeching halt since last winter. I really needed the time to focus on these songs but I’ll surface, soon.
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Exclusive Interview: Maybon On His New Track “Joyride” And Music Production
I had the pleasure to interview Norwegian electronic artist and producer Maybon about his radio-friendly Dance-Pop number “Joyride,” which is a collaborative effort with Rainage and Skylike. This new track provides a surging dose of ear-worm inducing, feel-good vibes in mere seconds. In addition, he opens up about his music production preferences and more. Continue reading below.
1 – When you started producing music?
I was so young the first time I played around with production. I think the very first time I opened some music production software, I was maybe around 10 years old. I didn’t understand much, but I managed to create some simple melodies. It was not until later when I was 14-15 years old, that I started more seriously with music production.
2 – What different emotions evoke your new single “Joyride”?
“Joyride” is a song that gives me a feeling of happiness and it takes me back to good memories during the summer. This is really nice as we enter these darker and colder times here in Norway.
3 – What did you learn from this collaboration with Rainage and Skylike?
I learned a lot about their workflow, as well as the techniques they use when they’re working. Like how to create different patterns and rhythms on the guitar, from the initial chord progression.
4 – Is there a message behind the lyrics of “Joyride”?
The message in the lyrics is to think back to better days when you are feeling down.
5 – Where was this new song recorded?
The song was written at our school (Limpi) in Lillehammer and was later recorded properly at Need Music in Oslo.
6 – Do you have any favorite set of equipment, tools or software in the studio?
This switches once in a while, but right now I’m really enjoying Roli’s Seaboard. This is a keyboard that is unlike no other, and you can get unique music progressions right away. It works flawlessly with Logic Pro X, and other plugins like Pigments, Equator, and more. Also, I have my trustworthy Roland JU-06, to give me those smooth and warm synth patches.
7 – What’s the process you go through finding the perfect sound?
For me, it’s always a lot of tweaking, but I also believe that if you end up tweaking for too long, the foundation is not good enough. So to me, it’s about knowing when to change the melody or idea, and when to settle with the sound that you have made.
8 – What’s an unexpected collaboration you dream of? Why?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Calvin Harris lately, and seeing the way he manages to switch between styles and still making bangers is really inspiring to me. A session with him would be CRAZY!
9 – How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
During the next 10 years, I hope to see myself as a well-established producer with a nice studio, and a vast range of songwriters to work with.
10 – What makes you want to keep producing music?
The endless inspiration from the endless opportunities! A lot of songs look alike these days, but you can really dig deep and create something new by experimenting without boundaries.
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Meet Nathan Daniels, A Brilliant Musician In The Balearic Islands — Interview
Nathan Daniels is a brilliant composer, producer, and musician based in the Balearic Islands. The new single “I Choose” walks a fine line between modern RnB and Soul with Pop nuances. In this exclusive interview, you will discover the way this South African artist works and essential information about his instantly-catchy anthem that recently topped the UK iTunes R&B Charts. Happy reading!
1 – For newcomers, how would you best describe your sound?
I offer feel-good-music with influences of Soul, R&B, Motown, Funk, Sophisticated Pop, and Jazz.
2 – What do you think motivated you to write a song like “I Choose”?
I came to realise that not only is there more gratification in giving than receiving, but even if you do decide to do the right thing, it does not exempt you from life’s challenges. I think that these challenges are designed to help you become a better you.
3 – How would you interpret the story behind the music video?
The music video aims to speak about the obstacles one faces when taking on a project, or setting in motion a strategy for reaching a goal. Once we start we are fired up and much sooner than later we hit obstacles that leave us frustrated and demotivated. But if we keep our eyes on the prize it helps us to refocus, and we find what we need to overcome them and we come out better on the other side.
4 – Who are your main inspirations?
My wife (she has a killer attitude for staying positive no matter what), John Legend and Lionel Richie (Composing & Songwriting), Brian McKnight (stage presence) & Michael Bublé (how he manages his career).
5 – Do you have a favorite place to write your songs?
I would exactly say I have a favourite place but my favourite time to write is in the middle of the night when everything is quiet in the house.
Yes. I have been fortunate to have quite a few weeks of daily shows back to back.
7 – How is life in sunny Spain? Is there an active music scene?
Spain is a fantastic place to live. The Mediterranean cuisine is exactly what the body needs and sunsets are breathtaking. Living on an island makes all the above even more amazing. The music scene is quite active and if Latin music is your style then it’s definitely the place to be.
The Brothers Of Soul started performing around 2003. Since then we’ve been entertaining tourists of all ages. We have some followers that came when they were kids, bringing their kids to see our shows and I find that really wows me when I think of it. Of course, the music we offer (Motown and Soul hits) does the job of putting everyone in a fantastic mood, but I sincerely think that the connection we make with the audience is a wonderful experience that makes them come back for more.
I’ve started on my next single that should be out around the end of November and then I’m enjoying the holiday season with my family. I’d like a beautiful snowy destination… maybe even learn how to ski.
10 – If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
A bit of a tough one. I love people and creative solutions. I guess I’d be doing something motivational. Another passion of mine is helping others discover their hidden talents and help them sharpen it and see the masterpieces unfold. I might even have been a great landscaper, or maybe that’s just my wife’s way of getting me to mow the lawn regularly.
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Learn More About Studio 54 Music Label + New Single — Interview
Studio 54 Music’s label boss reveals interesting details that will positively surprise Disco fans. I won’t deny there’s a certain degree of anonymity behind this project, however, he shares the basic information to meet all your wishes. The new single produced by hitmaker Greg Cohen and The Crush Boys titled “Salt In The Air” is a must-listen. I must confess my parents partied once at the legendary club, and I’m glad to see they’re finally rising up again with this cool initiative. Learn more below.
1 – Whose brilliant idea was it to launch the Studio 54 Music label?
The label is keeping it a secret until further notice. 😉
2 – What’s the vision of this record label?
Disco is back in the mainstream music circuit and has never left the underground, so the vision for the label is to continue fueling this fire, by releasing and promoting an array of modern funky dance music by key players in the 2020 dance music scene.
3 – Is there a team of old-school producers and DJs working behind this new project?
There are old producers involved, but the label is a cross-collaboration between Disco music’s new generation and original veterans.
Yes! Send demos to firstname.lastname@example.org
5 – Besides the record label, did you unveil a radio station? Please tell us more.
Yes, we are in direct partnership with Studio 54 Radio on Sirius XM which launched in November 2008, is executive produced by former resident Jellybean Benitez, features weekly shows by him and another resident, Robbie Leslie. In addition, every Friday we have the Nu-Disco Hour hosted by Danny Valentino which highlights the new school music scene, and Sunday nights at 10PM ET, check out the Mark & Myra show, hosted by original Studio 54 doorman/gatekeeper, Mark Benecke, an original head of PR, Myra Scheer.
6 – Why people must listen to the label’s latest single, “Salt In The Air”?
Dropping this Friday, it’s the feel-good Disco-Pop vibes that people need during these unprecedented times, mixing up new school R&B and Hip-Hop vibes with tightened up Disco sounds.
7 – What’s the next release of Studio 54 Music?
TBA soon – save the date – November 4th, 2020.
8 – It seems Disco never died, do you agree?
Disco is with us forever; it’s this soulful, uplifting, beautiful type of music, where if produced right, is timeless. There simply would be no House Music & Hip-Hop if it wasn’t for Disco, so it’s rooted and present in those genres forever.
Not opposed but not super keen. Disco can be listened to anywhere, but it’s best enjoyed on a funky dancefloor with a big sound system. We want to make a little more special than just having a stream of one of our DJs playing in their living room.
10 – Do you have plans of re-opening the legendary nightclub again?
You will have to wait and see! 😉
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Exclusive Interview: Beca Talks Her Original Single “Calm Before The Storm”
I really enjoyed this interview with Beca. Currently, she’s promoting an original single called “Calm Before The Storm”. Indeed, the title says it all. It is meant to motivate listeners to break past the limitations that they or others have put on them. This is one of many tunes Beca has released throughout her career along with 4 EPs and an album. Discover more exclusively on Electro Wow.
1 – Thanks for your time, what makes your new song “Calm Before The Storm” different from your previous singles?
Thank you! “Calm Before The Storm” deals with bigger picture issues, while most of my previous songs have been more inspired by my inner world. We’re living in a very chaotic time, and I think this track gives voice to a lot of relevant issues. The song is a call to action and asks the listener “are you coming with us?” It’s about the never-ending quest to stand up for what’s right and never back down, no matter how hard that can be.
I co-wrote this song with Danny Ross, who I also worked with on my previous single “Taking Time For Myself” which came out earlier this year. Little did we know we’d soon be facing a pandemic, increasing social injustice around the country, wildfires close to home and other major climate change issues, and an imminent threat to our country’s democracy all at the same time. On a personal level, I’ve had to overcome some mental health challenges this past year and this song serves as a reminder to keep going.
2 – I think it has a good narrative, what gave you the idea to come up with these lyrics?
Danny was in town from NY and we wanted to write about having inner strength and resilience in the face of self-doubt, with all the crazy things going on in the world. And that was before all hell broke loose! I’d been feeling really drained and wanted to find a way to express something uplifting. And today more than ever with Covid, being confined, and all the stress of our political landscape, it continues to be an ongoing battle. We were improvising ideas on the keys and I came up with the bridge idea that depicts a hopeful light peaking through the clouds. The rest of the words flowed pretty seamlessly.
I want people to listen to this song and feel more confident about overcoming whatever challenges they’re facing. I want women (myself included) to speak up when they’re not being listened to or respected. A lot of us are more stressed and exhausted than ever, and it can be especially hard to find our power. But it’s more important than ever so we can show up for ourselves and for others.
5 – I’m loving those infectious synth-based sounds. Was Danny Ross responsible for the sound design?
Yes, he was, and he absolutely killed it on the production! He’s a tremendous talent and it’s been a joy to work with him. We have a great time and don’t take ourselves too seriously while also being creative.
Yes! I’m so excited to be releasing a remix on 10/23 by NICOLAAS, a producer out of Winnipeg who’s worked with the likes of Kitsune, Chela, and Kraak & Smaak. He reached out to me last year about wanting to collaborate and this is one of the gifts that came out of that interaction. I’m a big fan of his music and you’re all in for a treat.
8 – Is fashion still an important part of your music project?
Always. Earlier this year, I composed and produced a song for fashion designer Asher Levine for one of his campaign launches which you can watch below. He creates otherworldly LED outerwear that is completely mind-blowing and has dressed Doja Cat and Lady Gaga. I’m lucky to have such talented and fabulous friends.
9 – When the songs are recorded do you tend to play them the same way on stage or do you adapt them?
It depends on the situation. In the past, I’ve had a lot of fun integrating other versions of my songs such as remixes or stripped down instrumentals. Other times I’ve performed the tracks as on the record in a theatrical way with dancers, lights, and costumes. I like to go big or go home. Though lately with the quarantine, I’ve been spending a lot of time composing in my home studio.
10 – What are your plans for the future once the pandemic is over?
At this point, I’m taking things day by day. I miss traveling and seeing my family and friends who live far away so I plan to visit them as soon as possible. I’m also looking forward to working more with bigger creative teams and live musicians in the same room like we used to. It’s always more fun interacting with people in person. In the meantime, I’ll be here in my bubble doing projects that are meaningful to me and trying to make a positive impact, however, I can.
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Inbar Starr Opens Up About Debut EP ‘Take It’ In Interview
Israeli artist Inbar Starr talks about her first original EP, ‘Take It’ in this exclusive interview. From winning the Jamie Cullum song competition to singing with Taboo of the Black Eyes Peas, Inbar’s gorgeous vocals and smooth R&B style feel so comforting. Her debut EP is a captivating collection of 7 tracks that offers a window into the life and mind of this talented, eclectic, and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter.
1 – First of all, what do you enjoy the most about releasing your first EP?
It’s definitely nice to finally release this project that I poured my heart and soul into. I think I enjoy the part of letting go. I have created this piece of art that will now belong to everyone else and will be there for them to interpret it their own way, to express feelings, healing, and whatever they desire. I’m excited about that. It’s no longer mine to possess which frees me to continue to create and birth other songs and stay in a creative flow.
2 – Where did the inspiration for this EP come from?
The inspiration for this EP came from life experiences. All of these songs are based on true stories or things that have happened. Some of them were very therapeutic for me to write and kind of helped me process some of the things I went through and helped me move on when I needed closure. I hope it brings as much comfort to whoever listens to it as it did for me to write it.
3 – Why did you decide to name it ‘Take It’?
Great question! ‘Take It’ is the title track of the EP and I love that song so much. It was a very therapeutic experience for me to write it. I mainly loved the message behind the song which is to remind us that we are all unique in our own ways and no one can take who we are, even though some people will try and push boundaries with you and try to make you feel small and insignificant. ‘Take It’ is a triumph of staying authentic and true to yourself and knowing your worth and that there’s no one else like you in the world!
Assuming you mean production-wise, the approach was to bring the songs to life the best way that I can while honoring the vibe of each song and the meaning behind it. There wasn’t one approach. We just kind of went with what felt good/right for the songs and brought the best studio musicians and friends to play on it. You know what? I have an even better answer – the approach was to have fun! And so we did.
5 – Which song features your favorite lyrics on this EP? Why?
I really loved the lyrics from “Used To Know You Better.” The song talks about two people drifting apart and the analogy from the sea that describes how much vulnerability and acceptance there was in the relationship before it ended:
“Deeper than the waves we used to go
No matter how the tides were really low
I remember how I thought I used to know
Know you better”
6 – During the creative process, do you usually start with a melody and let the lyrics come to you? Or is it the other way around?
It’s both. Sometimes lyrics will come first, sometimes a melody will haunt me and beg to be written and occasionally a whole song just comes together, which is rarer, but very magical!
7 – If you could change something from this EP, what would it be?
I’m happy to say I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s my heart and soul and I feel very whole and at peace with it. The only thing I might have changed is maybe to have released it sooner.
Since self-iso started, I’ve been diving deeper into the production world, learning more about it, and how to become a better producer on my own. I’ve also been writing songs and collaborating with other songwriters and musicians via Zoom. I also wanna be honest and tell you that I have been watching a lot of Netflix, YouTube, and going through that emotional roller coaster we are all experiencing. And that’s ok. Not every day feels creative to me and I think it’s part of life. It’s important to remember that there’s no light without darkness and that it’s ok if after all this is over, I haven’t yet created my best work or become a well-known artist/producer – though I’m getting there 😉
9 – Finally, what’s next for Inbar Starr in the coming months?
Since touring is not happening right now, I plan to produce and release more singles soon and as much as I can.
I would also love to collaborate with some of my favorite musicians in the (hopefully) near future and go on as many tours as I can, which will lead to bigger tours and festivals when the pandemic is over.
I also want to wish good health to everyone out there. Stay safe and I hope to see you at a future show/tour and may we all come out of this stronger.
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