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?
Interview With Legacy: Rap, Poetry, New Music & More
Get to know Legacy, a skillful rapper who dominates the art of poetry like none other. Hailing from Arizona, his songs are gaining a lot of traction with almost 15K streams on SoundCloud. If you are looking for fresh Hip-Hop talents, then scroll down to read this interesting interview.
1 — Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a rapper?
Honestly, I don’t think I really decided lol. I was writing some poems one day and started learning how to time the syllables to the instrumentals I would find on YouTube and it became something I couldn’t stop doing.
2 — How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make?
My hometown influences everything I do, it’s why I’m anxious, depressed, and happy all at the same time. Every day can be good or bad, someone can give me a dirty look one day or trash talk me and I remember the instance and add it to the stories.
3 — What’s so special to you about poetry that you seem to love so genuinely?
Poetry requires you to face the darkest emotions. It makes you think about and actively reflect on everything you do and say. So when I’ve had a bad day, instead of bottling it entirely, I can vent through a verse – which in turn people hear and support my efforts to make it through my everyday life.
The inspiration lives in the lifestyle, the good experiences, and the bad.
5 — Do you think a good rapping performance comes from a good rapping technique? If so, what’s yours?
In my opinion, if the fans/listeners are connected to what you’re saying emotionally, and mentally, your performance has achieved its goal. People like having people they can relate to, all I’m doing is bringing those emotions into a poem and instrumental.
6 — Please tell us more about your song “Bad Feelings”. What’s the message behind it?
“Bad Feelings” is actually quite old and I’m just now really pushing for the exposure while my page is still young. However, the message never dies. What I really want people to take away from this song is that no matter what happens, no matter how hard it gets, just keep doing your thing. Time will make it better. Set goals. Keep dreaming. The longer you wait the harder it gets.
7 — As an artist, how do you deal with criticism?
Criticism is everywhere. You can walk a certain way and be judged for it. Listen to the bad things, only sometimes, when they help you improve. And hold the good things close and carry them with you. The good comments and feedback are almost a shield to the bad. They help you realize that one bad comment is one of many other really good ones. So all you can do is keep moving.
8 — Are you afraid to experiment with different music styles?
Yes, and no. It depends on the meaning of “style.” Like, I hate my singing voice but I’m not afraid to try out other flows and techniques.
9 — What are your current projects?
The “Mindset EP.” I’m dropping two more tracks as of right now to finalize the project. “Motion” and another untitled track that I’m working on in collaboration with my newest partner “Yung Cubb”.
10 — Finally, if you weren’t an artist today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Being a pro-CoD player. 💀
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Exclusive Interview: BLACKOYOTE On “Money Honey” Soundtrack
The soundtrack from BLACKOYOTE for Isaac Knights-Washbourn “Money Honey” short-film is something that deserves your attention. Rich electronic sonic textures + hypnotic beats have always characterized his productions. Learn more right here.
1 — What is your personal philosophy towards working with soundtracks?
My favorite approach depends a lot on who I’m going to work with and the work itself. The most usual, and perhaps what I like the most is to enter a phase in which the film already has a structure and even some shootings. Then, with the director, I can analyze and propose the places where I think music can enter and how music should be. In these cases there is a great interaction with the director and his ideas and expectations. Sometimes it is more complicated, more hard work, but often the work is enriched and enhanced by the team’s ideas. The other way, which was how it happened with Money Honey, I compose the musical theme for the idea of the film and themes for characters and then where and how it enters is done by the editing team with the director. In this case it is a much free approach and more about creating music for ideas and sensations and less about creating to the image and movement. I like both very much. They are different challenges.
2 — Is this the first time you compose music for a film?
No. I have been making music regularly for video and film for many years. No as BLACKOYOTE alter-ego but with my real name. My first soundtrack was in 2011 for the short film Ínsua (http://www.jasg.net/Insua.html).
3 — How did your collaboration begin with the Director and Producers of the short film, “M0ney Honey”?
This was one of the atypical cases. My meeting with Isaac Knights-Washbourn was completely by chance. After a long day of work, I went to have a drink with some friends and I sat next to a friend of a friend from New Zealand. The conversation was flowing, he was in Portugal filming a documentary, and we had many common interests, especially in electronic music. He asked if there was a way to hear my work and said that one day he would contact me. I thought it would be the same as a lot of cases where people talk and to nothing happens. After a few months he sends me an email with the proposal. It was as random as this.
4 — Can you tell us more about the sonic elements that were involved in this soundtrack?
Isaac sends me references about the film’s environment and one of the things that caught my attention was that the film was going to be shot entirely on film, which would give it a natural texture from the analog that reports naturally for a sense of old. So sonically I tried to recreate that texture using analog synthesizers and arpeggiators, a well-textured reverb, and then that altered piano that always reports to the past. I tried to build a balance between old contemporary.
5 — What was the main source of inspiration for this project?
Usually what I do is listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of films that have this style that I want without much concern. It stays in the back of my head, growing. That way ideas come out more easily but without being too glued to the references. In this case I have an idea that I heard a lot of Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works Vol II and Dreu’s 1979 for example.
Not even close. In a good way. Just because everything was very fluid and always fit naturally. My ideas effortlessly stuck to Isaac’s ideas. There is no merit in this. Just a great connection. So there was no special challenge.
7 — How long did the writing and preparation take?
Between the first drafts and the final versions it was about a month. It was a quick process.
8 — Why is this soundtrack relevant to the film?
I think that question would be better answered by Isaac but I think that music helps to put the viewer in the same spirit as the characters. More than a description, it helps to get the sensations. It helps to understand the anguish and the worrying spirit of the precarious situation that suddenly some families are in New Zealand because of the real estate pressure but through a teen skater’s survival instinct.
9 — Was there a brief for this project or they gave you full creative control?
Issac gave me complete freedom. He gave me directions of the aesthetic environment and things he liked but without imposed them. It was only agreed that it would be a theme for the film and variations for the characters. But it was all very fluid.
10 — Lastly, what new projects you got on the horizon?
The pandemic has spoiled a few plans. In the meantime, I finished the soundtrack for a feature film The Last Bath by David Bonneville, which has no release date yet. I would still go with some concerts from the previous album IO and start with a small tour of the presentation of the film-concert East Atlantic that I did in collaboration with the video maker Miguel C. Tavares. I hope that everything resumes with the coming of 2021.
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RIZ Opens Up About New Single “Tribe” & More In Recent Interview
RIZ has always had a passion for music. His latest single, “Tribe” is a Rock/Heavy Metal masterpiece accompanied by powerful vocals. I got a chance to interview him about this song and his upcoming album, plus, some additional details related to his career. Make sure to keep up with RIZ on socials below.
1 – Was there a lot of Rock music in your house growing up?
My big brother turned me on to great bands like KISS, Black Sabbath, and Styx. But being raised in The Bronx right when and where Hip-Hop was born a lot of that influenced my music. My parents being Indian had a lot of Indian music playing and I think that influenced my sense of melody.
2 – What made you go from a psychic to an independent rock artist?
My life is a crazy story but it’s all true. I started off as a musician when I was a teenager but I was also very psychic, my senses eventually became so sharp that it became my life and I moved to LA and have been teaching meditation, workshops, and doing group psychic readings non stop for a decade: but something was always burning inside of me – my love of music especially hard rock and metal. Can’t take that out of me ever!
3 – How did your new song “Tribe” come about?
I wrote this song while in the quarantine lockdown here in LA. We couldn’t really get together to rehearse in person so we did it on Zoom and recorded all our parts in a secret studio location! I have a big tribe of friends online and wanted to write a song that represented the strong spirit of the people uniting.
4 – Do you think “Tribe” has a good message behind its lyrics?
“Tribes” lyrics are about what I believe in and what I have taught as a shaman for over a decade, that your freedom starts with your mind and your passion.
5 – Was it difficult to shot the music video?
We did this video on Zoom and then had a friend add some special fx to have fun with it. The shoot was easy, our crowd was everyone in their houses just rockin’ out to the band! Getting them all together was really my wife Oriah’s magic, she’s the director of most of my videos!
This whole album was recorded during the lockdown here in LA! The good part of the lockdown was none of us could go to work so we really got to focus on our music like never before! The musicians who play with me are killers! The album drops 8/20!
8 – When is the release date of this album?
‘The Bronx Bomber’ is the name of my album which releases on August 20th this summer which is also my birthday! The term ‘Bronx Bombers’ refers to the baseball team in The Bronx, New York City where I grew up. I wasn’t a huge baseball fan but I always loved that term it was so badass!
I can’t stop writing songs. It’s how I see life, through music. I have a wild imagination and being a psychic I’m very sensitive to my environment so ideas come to me all the time!
10 – Finally, how do you see yourself careerwise in the next 10 years?
At least 10 albums done and lots of live shows under my belt meeting our fans all around the world!
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Bobby Shann
Bobby Shann is an artist who is known for his outstanding productions that feature infectious grooves and steady beats that are perfect for the dancefloor. His discography includes releases such as ‘Call Me Papi’, ‘Break It Down’, and more recently a stunning collab with Blas Cordero titled ‘Double Vision’. We caught up with Bobby to find out his methods behind the music.
1 — Talk us through how you started your journey to learning how to produce?
It all began back in the days when I first got in touch with the hip-hop culture, through breakdancing. I wanted to start making my own beats and my producing career started. I just spent my time playing about with the software, I’m still learning. I think I will keep on learning; everything is a lesson.
2 — Were there any books or videos you used to help you?
Not really, I just got on with it! Nowadays there is also a lot of tutorials which can really help you out.
3 — What software do you use, and would you recommend it to beginners?
I use Ableton. As I started with more complex daw’s I would recommend Ableton even for beginners. It’s the best way to learn efficiently.
4 — Do you have any tips for finding a creative spark?
Well, I think the best way to get creative is to be yourself and not being afraid of creating what you have in your mind. Don’t ever let others’ opinions affect you. Just do your thing. That’s all I can say.
5 — Which top 3 plugins would you suggest?
To be honest the only thing I can suggest is to find out by yourself which plugins your sound fits and if this sounds good for you, then amazing! I don’t think there are any rules.
6 — What are your opinions on mixing and mastering your own tracks?
It could be good but also bad. It depends on the technical knowhow you have and especially having the ear for that. I love to see the technical aspects behind it all and learn about it. It can be fun, and you have the possibility to make the songs really sound like you want it to be. But sometimes there is also complicated parts I would wish an engineer would take all the effort. It really takes a lot of time. Sometimes it can also become annoying listening to your own track the whole time which could have a different impact on the song.
8 — What are the essential skills that a producer should work on first?
Just be yourself and do what you love don’t follow any rules you’ve heard about producing or whatever. It should sound like you. Music is the art to express yourself so do it.
9 — What piece of advice do you wish you had received in the beginning?
Oh wow, lemme think about. I guess you can always take advice from people It doesn’t matter when and how. What’s important is that you do what you want to do and have in your mind. The best process to learn is making mistakes and your own experiences.
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Exclusive Interview: Konami Homi On His Album, ‘Neon Dynamite’
Electro Wow speaks to Konami Homi about his fresh 16-track album, ‘Neon Dynamite’. This article serves as an introspective exploration of the new project which somehow reflects the mayhem of everydayness. Add to this, interesting lyrics and melodies to fit in people’s current moods. Learn more down here.
1 — What led you to release the album ‘Neon Dynamite’?
What leads me to release ‘Neon Dynamite’ was the current state of the world. I feel like ‘Neon Dynamite’ is a representation of the uncontrollable emotions the world has as well as myself. We hold so much inside to uphold an image of being “human” and I feel this album was a release of those built-up emotions. An explosion of emotions if you will.
2 — How did you get linked up with Achilles, Ray Harvey, A.Cain, and Flex Cabana?
We were all friends already and are building a business together so it was only right that I involve people on the album who were basically family to me. Connection is always important.
3 — Are you looking forward to collaborating with similar artists?
I’m very excited to work with other artists in and out of my genre. I think what makes music great is when you step away from things that make you comfortable and I know there are great artists out there who can push me and vice versa.
4 — In your opinion, how different is this album from your first EP, ‘Animality’?
It’s extremely different sound-wise, I definitely let loose on experimenting with different melodies and such. I think they both hold similarities in the message but ‘Neon Dynamite’ was a much more freeing feeling in the creative process. I let go of myself and got lost in the music which brought out a more raw vibe.
5 — Why did you decide to release a futuristic-looking video for “Neon Ghost”?
Because I feel like the energy of the project is futuristic, when I listen to it I imagine a world of robots and chaos, not too much further from our current reality. I like imagining the future especially when the future isn’t always set in stone.
6 — Which other genres or styles would you like to try in the near future?
Honestly, I would love to try more Rock, I’ve always liked Rock artists and their rebellious ways of thinking. Rock honestly inspired a lot of this project too so it would only be right.
7 — Are you looking to promote your music on new apps like TikTok?
I currently have my music accessible on TikTok but I don’t really use it too often. I definitely would love to see people creating videos to my songs though, that would be a beautiful sight to see.
No, not at, I think as an artist what makes us “real artists” is our ability to evolve in any situation. This COVID-19 should be pushing us to get more creative in ways to promote and push our music.
9 — As an artist, how are you dealing with this pandemic?
I’m honestly dealing with it as any other day, you can’t let fear and ignorance blind you from your purpose. Move smart, pay attention, and stay focused on what’s important. There’s nothing we can do to stop a situation like this so instead we must embrace it and learn from it.
10 — Lastly, can we expect more singles or remixes in 2020 and beyond?
Most definitely, I’m actually already working on new projects and singles. I have two singles dropping this month and most likely I’ll be dropping something new every month so people should definitely stay locked in if they want to see what’s coming next.
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