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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Jesse Sarvinski

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Jesse Sarvinski Interview 2016
In the first week of his new album release “Higher”, I caught up with recording artist Jesse Sarvinski to see what inspired the album and what makes him tick…

1 – What music did you grow up listening to?

My parents pretty much always had the radio dialed to the country station so that was kind of the foundation of my music listening but I was exposed to a lot. My older cousin kept up with the current stuff and listened to the pop station, I spent a lot of time with her so I listened to a lot of that too. Country is really good at telling stories, kind of letting the narrative unfold in a really cinematic way. Pop music is all about the hook, the chorus that really gets stuck in your head. Later in my early teens I got more into rock, reggae, and alternative, much of which was classified as grunge back then. The first few albums I owned were pretty random though. It was something like Ace of Base, No Doubt, Green Day, Real McCoy and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill – which had a profound effect on me. I remember hearing “Hand In My Pocket” for the first time and immediately asking “WHO IS THIS?” She was a great storyteller. But even like Ace Of Base for example, the beats were so solid. The music just got into your bones and I really love that too. I grew up on everything and I still to this day listen to everything. If it’s a good song, it doesn’t matter to me which particular genre it belongs to.

2 – Who taught you to sing? What inspires you to write songs?

I don’t know if I was ever actually taught. It was just kind of like this “I want to sing so I’m going to” type of thing. My voice was shit when I first started out because I was primarily interested in getting my thoughts out and a lot of times there was no resemblance of a melody and it could have been so off key that it was painful but I just told myself, “Bob Dylan was off key. Johnny Cash was off key. Lots of people are off key.” I made it about what I was saying but never stopped trying to develop my voice. I remember a lot of people asking me “Have you ever thought about being a songwriter, like, JUST a songwriter?” And I would be like “No, I’ve never thought of being JUST that, but thank you.” I kind of knew that I was never gonna be the guy who was doing all these complicated runs with his voice and being some Luther Vandross character and I just accepted that. As I got older I started training my voice much more and working with a coach and it’s kind of like working out at the gym. You have to do it on the regular and if you do, it can only get better and better. I’m inspired by a lot of things, sometimes it can be that I’m out to dinner with friends and someone will say a phrase or a sentence and it will ring a bell in my head, and I think “that’s a really good idea for a song,” and then I’ll run with it. Sometimes it’s a real experience I’ve had, maybe let’s say with a relationship, and there are those things that I think but that I really don’t necessarily want to say to that particular lover so I write about it. Or maybe it’s just a heightened take on an emotion that I’m feeling for one night. It’s always just a snapshot. That’s the great thing about a song. It’s not forever. Like just because I may write something that’s on the melancholy side, doesn’t mean I’m a melancholy person in general but in that moment I was feeling melancholy so I wrote about it. It’s all just catharsis.

3 – How do you stay fresh and on top of new sounds, and trends?

I don’t anymore. Trends come and go but speaking your truth will always be in style so I try to just go with that and if I like something then I do it. A friend of mine is a pretty well-known songwriter and I remember her telling me one day “just go with your gut.” So that’s what I do. And that seems to work best. If you try and analyze and say “oh I gotta do this, be like this person, give it this feel” you will miss the mark. You can be inspired by something but mimicking never ever works. My songs usually start with a beat. A producer will give me a beat and I write the lyrics and melody on top of that based on what the music emotes for me.

4 – Why is your new album called ‘Higher’?

I’m a seeker. I’m always happy to be where I’m at but I’m also aware that there is always more to be experienced so I’m constantly trying to rise towards whatever that may be. Many of the songs on the album are about those types of journeys. We’re kind of on this staircase and you don’t just get one step upward and think, “Okay, well I’m here now. I guess I will just sit at this step for the rest of my life.” For me it’s more like, “Alright. I’ve accomplished that. Now what!?” I’m always making little tweaks to make things better for myself. I also believe in a Power that is beyond what is just inside me and I’m constantly aware of signs that there is something higher at play than just the world we see with our eyes on a day-to-day basis. There is something out there and you don’t even have to give it a name. It’s just a light inside all of us that is working toward some greater good. Those themes are woven throughout.

5 – What’s the hardest song to sing off the new album?

“Inferno”. It’s so high. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote it. Hah. Also, “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”. That song is pure raw emotion for me.

6 – How do you overcome performance anxiety?

Sometimes I’ll have a little bit of whiskey butI like to be pretty clear for the most part. I love being on stage, you kind of have to if you want to be in this business. There’s always a bit of a thought process beforehand though. I want the audience to enjoy themselves so I think about that. I get really silent within for a minute and just think about connecting with people like we are all old friends at a house party.

7 – Do you think artists should give their music away for free?

I think that if people knew how much money the artist put into making that music they would be more inclined to buy it. But people just don’t know. They aren’t aware of what went into that song. I don’t get upset about it or anything. “It is what it is.”But I do often think about how I can’t go into a restaurant and ask a chef to prepare me his favorite meal for free because he loves food and he’s good at it. I don’t go to a tire shop and ask my mechanic to work on my car for free just because he is passionate about automobiles. I don’t get free haircuts. Why? Because that person went through training and certification and hour after hour of perfecting their craft to make me look stylish. So isn’t it funny how it’s so different with music? MUSIC! The thing that every single person in the world loves, that can take you from sad to happy in an instant or transport you back to a time in your life that you remember fondly. For me, I look at it like this; I’m taken care of. Always. I always have enough. I get to do cool things and play my songs for people and that’s pretty cool. For me, it always comes back around. What I give, I get back.

8 – Everyone has a secret, What’s yours?

Everyone has multiple secrets but mine wouldn’t be secrets if I told you them now would they?

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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

M.D. Chau Opens Up About Music And New Song “Stand Next To Me”

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M.D. Chau

M.D. Chau is a recording artist and music producer previously known as “Minh.” Today he shares a beautiful single titled “Stand Next To Me,” which carries a message of hope for humanity and a better world. Learn more about him in this interview.

1 — When exactly did you change your artistic name?

With the “Stand Next To Me” release, I decided to change my artist name to M.D. Chau. The main reason is there are so many Vietnamese artists named “Minh” and I just couldn’t come up with some clever name that was congruent with who I am.

2 — Musically speaking, are there any differences between Minh and M.D. Chau?

I think the difference is I’m no longer chasing fame or wealth in my music endeavors. I do well in business and I really don’t need much from the industry or even people in terms of approval or accolades. I want to make honest music and use sounds I personally enjoy. Under “Minh” I was trying to find “my sound” mostly because the industry forced that kind of thinking. Now, I don’t really care about any of that. And the music I make, I don’t need it to become popular.

3 — Do you still see yourself pursuing music as a career or a hobby?

The world may correlate or validate a “career” in art with monetary gain and not for the frequency of works being released by the artist. I don’t look at it that way. It’s always been a career for me and will continue to be, but it’s part of my entrepreneurial career – it’s a creative venture within the whole of my entrepreneurial life and my goals.

4 — Are you ever stuck for what record to make next?

Not personally, as far as creative direction or ideation. If something is not being created, it usually has to do with the time and resources I need to get what I want to create out. I have two songs now in the works and I’m letting it sit a bit so I can come back to it with an evolved perspective. One is called “Good To Me” and one is called “Broken Inside”, both of which I wrote in the studio when I decided to just book the room and see what comes out.


5 — Do you ever worry about staying relevant?

I think everyone does and I do too. I would say that it matters less the older I get and the more I realize how true that opening line from “Ted” the movie is… “No matter how big a splash you make in this world whether you’re Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber, or a talking teddy bear, eventually, nobody gives a shit.”

6 – Your latest single “Stand Next To Me” is awesome! What are the lyrics about?

With the lyrics, I wanted to draw attention to the one thing I think we all have in common as humanity, no matter what our differences are… we want to see our families do well and not hurt. I feel like if we can all get around that, we might just gain enough empathy to come together and figure out a middle ground and stop hurting each other’s families. Because of all this hate and division, that’s all it’s doing. I hope the song can somehow be used to bring us together. If I can get the resources and connections I need, I’d love to do an essay and songwriting contest about unity in middle schools and high schools across the country with a scholarship prize with the theme “Stand Next To Me.”

7 – Who or what inspired you to write this song?

All the Asian hate crimes happening as well as the injustices happening to pretty much every race across our globe. I also always had a vision in my head of all the moms in the world that work so hard for their families, including my mom. And when we act like horrible human beings, we shame them – we shame the family that has been sacrificing so much for us. For another person, it may not be a mother – it may be their father, uncle, grandma, etc… we have to do better as humans, for our family’s sake.


8 – Did you collaborate with a gospel choir? Tell us more about your experience.

The pianist on my song is also an incredible music director, Rashad Howard. He’s played for some big names in music. He also plays in churches, so when I wanted a choir sound, he got some choir singers from a church he plays for and that’s what we came up with in the studio in a session. They did an incredible job!

9 – Are you already working on your next single?

Yes, there are two I’m working on that I mentioned in the previous question. But, I’m also thinking about re-doing some of the songs from when I was “Minh” and released five albums. Some of those songs I think deserve a new musical effort behind them.

10 – If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I don’t think artists and songwriters are being compensated enough to make a living, yet songs permeate every aspect of our lives. I wish entrepreneurs could figure out a way to reward artists in their ventures that use music as a vehicle. I don’t think you can expect consumers to step up. I think business people need to consider the hard work behind every piece of music released for their use. I think artists also need to understand that if there’s not a marriage between art and commerce, none of us would be inspired by any of the artists that have influenced us – and that’s true in every artform! Many artists are too difficult when it comes to commercializing their art and they don’t reach someone that probably really needs a piece of what is coming out of them.


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Cultural Vultures

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Cultural Vultures

Danny Schneider aka Cultural Vultures is hoping to become the opening act for Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas via Audacy’s new competition. The winner will perform in the biggest concert of the year at the Hollywood Bowl. Get to know the artist better through this interesting interview.

1 — Did you begin playing drums or guitar just as you hit your teens?

Guitar has been my go-to instrument of choice, although I love the piano as well. Drums have always been intriguing to me and love beats and movement. Music takes me to a different place. It opens up parts of my brain that normal thought can’t access.

2 — How have you changed musically over the years?

Well, when I was younger I would listen differently than I do now. I would definitely not overthink or overcomplicate a song and just love it for what it was. Now I’m listening to all of the delicate intricacies that make a song. The arrangement, the melodies. Figuring out the key by just listening. I try to pick out all of the subtle instruments in the songs that you don’t know you are hearing. The melody in a lyric, etc.

3 — What do all your songs have in common?

People have gotten away from albums. Now people listen to a single song because of the platform they are on. I’ll write an entire album and although each song is separate there is a flow and they are all connected by sound. My songs as a whole usually tell a story collectively throughout the album. I will also use the same theme musically. For instance, in my songs, I have a huge orchestral element that I wrote for each song. All of the songs on the albums will have this because even though it’s a Rock song, to me it has to flow with the album. Like a DJ in a club, the transition from one song to the next should be seamless.

4 — Which musician other than yourself have you ever wanted to be?

I don’t think anyone wants to be someone else. There are musicians I admire Like Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, Bjork, and Tricky. I’d say in my opinion Prince was the greatest guitarist the world has seen. Even better than Hendrix. Prince’s biggest downfall was he was brilliant in every instrument so it overshadowed how incredible a guitarist he was.

5 — Is “Catch Hell For Comfort” your all-time favorite song from your catalog?

I am proud of that song and it’s been the one most people know me for. It’s not my favorite though, there are a few I’ve written but haven’t released yet which inspire me and make me giddy at times. As far as ones I’ve written and released I’d say “Time”, or “Surreal Sister” would be my favorites. Time builds on itself like you are walking up a mountain, then in a moment it’s like you are caught in an avalanche and you are falling. “Surreal Sister” to me is a beautiful yet fast-paced song that I love.

6 — Who would you dedicate these lyrics to?

There are those in my past who’ve moved me or made me feel certain ways. I’ll just say they are real truths I’ve experienced in my life and leave it at that.


7 — Are you currently signed to a record label?

I was the first artist signed to WatchMojo’s new record label SoundMojo. They primarily released my music videos though not my albums. So I would say as far as that is concerned I’m not signed to a label.

8 — We know you’re running to open for Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas at the Hollywood Bowl. Please tell us more.

Well, I was picked with several other bands to open for both of those bands but it’s a voting thing. I would need my fans to vote on Theopenact.com for it to happen. We will see what happens. I just love performing and getting lost in the music on stage.


9 — Do you have any special ritual to prepare your voice before performing live?

Haha, usually I’ll sing loud in my car trying to stretch those vocal muscles. Typically I’ll sing a lot of Mad Season songs, I’ve always loved Layne Staley’s voice.

10 — What else can we expect from Cultural Vultures for the rest of the year?

Well, I’m doing a couple more music videos, a live studio performance, and working on the fourth album. We will see what’s next, I’m always ready to keep working and living this adventure.


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The Two Fake Blondes Drop A String Of Hot Remixes, Full Interview Here

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The Two Fake Blondes

The Two Fake Blondes is a husband-and-wife duo based in Seattle, Washington. Since the release of their debut album ‘Out Of The Darkness,’ they’ve been gaining momentum across the electronic music scene. In this interview, we discuss their recent remixes and much more…

1 — Why did you decide to release a string of the remixes?

We really wanted to continue to breathe life into our album, and we thought – what better way to do that than calling up a few of our awesome friends and asking them to offer their own interpretations to songs off of our album via a remix?!

2 — How did these collaborations take shape?

When ‘Out Of The Darkness’ was released last fall, we already had three out of the four artists in mind that we wanted to get involved on remix duty. So in that process, we reached out and asked them to choose a song from the album that stuck out to them. Each of them came back with a song choice and really meaningful reasons on why they chose the song that they did. On the fourth remix, Sherm actually reached out to us explaining how much “Alone” spoke to him on a personal level and how instantly he knew he wanted to remix it.

3 — From a production standpoint, were things done drastically different with each remix?

Yes, each remix was drastically different from the original, which we loved! The most consistent aspect was Hannah’s vocal, but otherwise, everyone tapped into their own magnificent creative workflow and delivered remixes that blew us away. We couldn’t be happier with each one.

4 — All of them sound pretty dope, which one is good for clubs and festivals?

We’ve got Sherm’s Tech-House remix, which is guaranteed to go off at the clubs. Yabe’s Deep House would be a sick poolside party track. Deadman’s Future House remix would surely blow the speakers out on a festival stage and finally, you’ve got Neon Feather’s epic Synthwave/House track that you could listen to literally anywhere. It’s such a good range!

5 —How would you describe your role during the creative process?

When it came to these remixes, we just took our hands off the wheel and handed the keys over to the remixers. Because we were fans of each of their music already, (and had already worked with some) we knew we wouldn’t be getting anything less than fantastic from each of them. We did make tweaks for the final mixes, but otherwise, it was all them.


6 — What philosophy guides your music career?

Hard work and joy. We love to hustle and work hard, it’s literally in each of our DNA – it’s so fun for us! We love seeing results, we love reaping the rewards BUT at the end of the day – are we healthy? Are we burnt out? How is our marriage? We also try to see everything we do music-wise through our fans’ points of view. There’s nothing that makes us happier (when it comes to music) than being up on stage sharing incredible moments with the audience and getting to chat with them after. We’re here to give them an escape and hopefully enhance their lives in some way, big or small. We try to recreate that with our social media experience as well. We love our music fam!

7 — Do you believe being a husband-wife duo makes things easier while working together at the studio?

We’ve built our relationship on mutual respect, trust, and communication. We had no idea how much these traits would translate into the studio! We both also know each of our strengths so we don’t need to step on each other’s toes. We take credit for everything together equally, even if at the end of the day we know who did what. Haha! Ego is always left at the door when we head into the studio.

8 — Have you ever worked on solo projects separately?

Yes, Pete was just Petey Mac for a long time, producing House and Tech-House. Hannah was actually a Country music artist (Hannah Michelle Weeks) for almost two decades!

9 —So far, what’s the best feedback you’ve received about your debut album ‘Out Of The Darkness’?

Besides the positive comments from our fans on social media and personal stories from our remixers, I think the coolest thing has been seeing how many “saves” the songs are getting on Spotify. We all know, you really really have to like a song to make the effort to hit that heart! We’ve had so many amazing blog write-ups as well and feel so abundantly grateful for our supporters in the press.

10 — Musically speaking, what are your plans for the upcoming months?

We are actually having a baby in about 6 weeks! We are going to take some time off of social media and really soak up these last few weeks before parenthood begins – we cannot wait to meet our baby boy! For the rest of the year, we will be writing and working on brand new music for 2023 and working on booking our Summer tour for 2023 as well.


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