Exclusive interview with Jordan LaFaver! He is an American musician, producer, and record executive known for his work as frontman of Diary of Snow and founding Snowbound Records. Today I had the pleasure to know more about himself as a solo artist, and he reveals everything about his music and his life… Go read what Jordan shared with us, you’ll be impressed!
1 – Many people will know you from the band, Diary of Snow, What would you say are the differences between being a solo artist and being part of a band?
I had this terrible moral dilemma for the longest time when it came to DOS. I was dedicated to only making meaningful music that would speak to people on an emotional level, but every once in awhile I just wanted to make a fun pop record. Back then I viewed that as selling out, so I buried that part of me until I couldn’t stand it anymore.
Everyone needs to cut loose every once in awhile, so being solo gives me the freedom to just write for fun and make something for the people who pushed me to do pop for years. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll return to Diary of Snow (it’ll always be where my heart is), but for now, this is a long overdue vacation.
2 – Were you surrounded by music growing up?
I was, but probably not what people would expect! My parents listened to a lot of gospel music and I barely recall listening to anything non-Christian when I was really young (except for a Spice Girls cassette tape my dad had for some reason). My grandmother had an old piano that she played around me all the time, and I credit that to my love of music.
I taught myself how to play by ear when I was very young, and my family bought me my own keyboard when I was old enough to appreciate it. That keyboard would be the first part of the amateur recording studio I would set up in my parent’s basement when I was 14, where I would record the first draft’s of Diary of Snow’s first EP.
3 – Did you take singing lessons?
Nope, but to this day I still want to. I tried to take piano lessons twice and both times the instructor got frustrated that I could play fluently by ear, but not understand a single note of sheet music. Ironically I never wanted to be a singer, I grew up dreaming of being a keyboardist for a Christian rock band, but when I purchased my first copy of Autotune I loved the way it sounded and aspired to sound good without it. From that day forward it’s just been trial and error, and a lot of practice. I love singing now.
4 – What sort of artist do you want to be? Please define your music genre.
This has always been a difficult question because I want to do two different things; be a solo artist, and be the lead singer of an alternative-rock band. Depending on which project I’m focused on, my genre will change, and I think I’ll always want to do both. As for what I’m doing right now, I’d like to be comparable to Bryson Tiller and The Weeknd. My album is a mash-up of a few genres but primarily R&B.
5 – Your debut EP is due in this year. How close is it to being finished?
Admittedly, we jumped the gun in announcing the EP this year. Originally I wanted to put out something new as soon as possible (the last Diary of Snow album was released over three years ago), but I had forgotten how rushing that same album had caused me to regret it in the first place. When I announced the EP, I only had four prospective songs. That number is now closer to twenty, spanning multiple genres.
I’ve decided to take the rest of 2016 and really hone my sound, build some buzz, and release a full-length solo album in 2017. That said, I do plan on releasing a few singles this year to keep people interested! I also plan to shoot at least one music video and start a Youtube series documenting the progress of the album on our Snowbound Records Youtube channel.
6 – What inspired you to create the song “Lipstick Stains”?
For years I wanted to release a semi-sexual pop record, but I lacked the confidence to ever achieve it. Whenever I tried it sounded hilarious because you could tell I didn’t take myself seriously. However, I spent the entire year of 2015 losing weight, getting in shape and completely transforming myself into a different person; one who wasn’t afraid to make records like that.
When I showed the first demo of Lipstick Stains to my producer, I played it off like a joke. The thought of the old me doing a record like that was hilarious, so I pitched it as a comedy song. Unexpectedly, he absolutely loved it and pushed me to finish it as a legitimate single. 6 months later, we released it and the wave of support was overwhelming! I felt incredible, and decided that day to pursue a full solo album.
Yes, but also no. Right now I’m not signed to anyone, but I operate under my own Snowbound Records to bring attention to my label that I would love to develop someday. The benefit of being unsigned is I can feely negotiate my own royalties, book my own shows, pick and pay the producers I see fit for each song, and handle my own promotion and social media.
The obvious downside is that every cent required for all those services comes from my own pocket. Promotion, production, copyrighting, touring, and all the other aspects of being a serious musician are incredibly expensive, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars since my last album working on this one.
Being a part of a major label would drastically help with getting my name out there (and take a lot of pressure off me), but you do lose a degree of creative freedom and certainly the ability to choose who you work with. I’ve been offered contracts in the past but every time, it would have put me in debt and the labels cared nothing for me as an artist. For at least this first album I plan to remain solo. Whatever happens after will happen, but I’m very excited and I can’t wait to see how people react to it!
8 – What’s the most surprising thing that has happened to you in a live show?
Once in New Hampshire, while I was a keyboardist for a friend’s band, I started playing Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” while we were setting up between bands. Several people up front started laughing and belting out the words, so I finished playing the entire song while they sang it!
Also when I did my first piano show in Bangor, Maine, I got a standing ovation at the end. I never expected it, but that was definitely one of the best days of my life and motivated me to pursue a career in music.
9 – Is there any local artist that you admire?
Local is a tough word because in the past 6 years I’ve lived in 5 different places, but I’ll speak for my home in Northern Maine. I’ll always be the biggest fan of my producer and artist Erik Mason, who is not only a successful, full-time music producer (and my best friend), but also a very talented singer and rapper. Through dedication alone he’s moved up in the music industry, and I wouldn’t have anyone else handling my vocals for this album!
I also need to give a shout out to my friends in the band Turner, who are far better live performers than myself, and just released their first music video!
10 – Where can we find you on the Internet and social media?
Blind Mutation Discusses Experimental Music Video “Shadows”
If you’re into hypnotizing Ambient Techno tracks, then Blind Mutation should be on your radar. Her latest experimental music video “Shadows” was awarded and this exclusive interview explains it all!
1 — If I’m not mistaken, electronic music is your passion. How does this interest has come about?
I actually think my dad’s taste in music really influenced me a lot. He used to put on a lot of quality electronic music for me when I was a child, from classic Depeche Mode to more underground experimental electronic How to Dress Well. So, my interest in electronic music started growing from a very young age. When I became a teenager, my mental health started to get worse, and I started to relate, and thereafter, listen to darker and gloomier electronic music like dark ambient, triphop, or hard warehouse techno. That’s basically how my music taste was formed, and why I love electronic music.
2 — When exactly did you become Blind Mutation?
In theory, I think I became Blind Mutation pretty much as soon as I started producing and composing music which was 2 years ago. I began writing tracks with an emphasis on cinematic melancholic sounds that translated my deep intense emotions, and I still continue to do it exploring more and more ways to express my feelings through music. But, officially, let’s say, I became Blind Mutation when I released my first DJ Mix called “WAVE/PHONK MIX” on SoundCloud almost a year ago.
3 — Musically speaking, who is your biggest influence or inspiration?
I love to answer that question 🙂 I would say that my influences/inspirations have been changing throughout the years. When I was 14-16 my favorite band was Coldplay. I loved their not-that-well-known tracks which were more on the electronic/ambient side, like my all-time favorite “Midnight”. As for now, I very rarely listen to Coldplay. Now I am more into experimental dark emotional stuff like Techno, Dark Ambient, IDM, and Trip-Hop. Some of my inspirations/influences at the moment are Aphex Twin, Arca, Trentemoller, Clams Casino, Hans Zimmer, I Hate Models, and Crystal Castles.
4 — Congratulations on winning Best Experimental Video at the Indie Online Film Festival. Did you ever expect this result?
I was hoping for it 🙂 But I don’t really like expecting something to happen, especially when it comes to receiving awards. Because if you think you would win the prize, and then you don’t, you would probably get upset. But if you don’t really think about it and just let it happen, you get more excited if you win, and don’t really care if you don’t get an award 🙂
5 — Tell us more about how your collaboration with All Around came about.
We met a little more than 4 years ago in college in LA. He was a directing major, and I was an acting major. We’ve been very good friends since that time, and we’ve done small projects together here and there in college and just for fun. Then, when I switched from acting to music and started releasing my DJ Mixes, he began doing all the visuals for them. So, when I was ready to release my debut track “Shadows”, I knew that All Around would be my director, cinematographer, and editor. We have a similar vision when it comes to art (music/video/films, etc.), and so it’s very comfortable and fun for us to work together.
6 — Would you interpret this clip as a short horror film or is it something else?
Shortly, I would say, yes, it could be interpreted as a short psychological horror film. To elaborate: it’s interesting that when we showed the music video to our close surroundings, a good amount of people said that “Shadows” looked more like a short horror film rather than a music video. “Shadows” indeed has a much slower pace than a usual music video. In terms of cinematography, it’s also shot more like a film rather than a music video. But I think I would still call “Shadows” an experimental music video rather than a short horror film, because, in my opinion, it still has a dynamic of a music video, and our initial idea was to create a music video not a short horror film.
Well, the track itself was produced, mixed and mastered in Ableton. As for “Shadows” music video production, My friend All Around who I collaborated with, has an amazing RED Komodo camera, the music video was shot on it. Also, my face, chest, neck and my arms had to be bandaged in the shot all the time. We needed special bandages, the ones that stick to the skin and to each other. We had 3-4 shooting days, and not all of the bandages could be reused. So, I had to buy lots of them. Was driving from one CVS to another buying the entire available supply of those specific bandages 🙂
We also had a chance to work with an amazing super professional makeup artist, Darya Kholodnykh, who did the make-up for the “demon’s” hand that appears in the music video. She managed to find a creative way to make the hand look realistic and creepy although we had a very small budget.
8 — What can we expect from Blind Mutation next? Are you keen on exploring science fiction themes?
I love science fiction, and I would like to explore themes connected to it in the future. But as for now, I think I’m more focused on expressing my inner feelings and emotions through my music, and treating producing/composing/creating DJ mixes more as a therapy for myself. I’d love to dive deeper into the psychological aspects of our lives and have an influence on people’s emotions and their unconscious through my music. That’s what my next release will hopefully do! It’s a dark ambient track called “I come with the rain”, and it’s coming out in the beginning of January! I’m also working on a new dark warehouse techno DJ mix which will also come out around the same time.
9 — What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I’ve always loved to think about this. I am very interested in psychology, so I would definitely study it in college, and then probably become a psychotherapist (do not mistake with psychologist or psychiatrist), I would do scientific research and come up with new more effective therapies.
I would also love to direct and shoot (be DOP and operate camera) my own film(s) in the future! It’s a big dream! Plus I got my first degree from a film college, so I am familiar with that stuff. By the way, I’m also super interested in graphic and game design! Would love to try doing that in the future too!
And just to top off the list with more geek stuff: if I had another life, I would become an astrophysicist to study and explore space.
10 — Lastly, do you have any specific goals for 2023?
The most important and clear goal is to get the artist visa in order to be able to stay and work in the U.S. Speaking of my artist goals, I would love to get my first DJ gig in 2023! I would also love to explore new music genres in my productions (like trip-hop or hard dark techno)! Finally, I have so many things I still have to explore and discover in terms of production, mixing sound design, etc. So, another very important goal is to just continue learning!
CONNECT WITH BLIND MUTATION NOW!
Bubba Brothers Talk Last Summer And Tribal House EP ‘Basstribe’
Bubba Brothers continue to take the Electronic Dance music world by storm. Their latest release, ‘Basstribe’ was well received by listeners all over the world, marking a new milestone for the duo. Alongside impressive releases and powerful live shows, the duo recently celebrated their anniversary by playing at important venues all over the summer.
We found time to talk with them about their summer season, what they were up to and what was coming for them.
1 — Hello Bubba Brothers, how are you?
All good thanks. 😊
2 — Summer is now over, what have you been up to this past season?
This was a fantastic summer… we had great moments. A big thank you to all our fans all over the world.
3 — You released your EP ‘Basstribe’ around summertime, can you tell us more about what it was like working on this production?
It was really exciting; the timing was perfect and it was great to see and hear DJs playing the tracks live around the planet, so yes… ‘Basstribe’ was really fun. 😊
4 — Have you got any summer highlights?
So many… playing in Ibiza, having Oxia at our anniversary party, and sharing the decks… many good moments. And as said, we are very grateful for that.
5 — Which artists were on repeat for you during this summer?
Hahaha… great question! Tube and Berger, Dennis Ferrer, Kolsch, Themba, and many others. 😊
6 — Did you develop new projects or ideas during this season?
Yeah… just came back from Iceland, and a new track is already in the horizon. So, stay tuned! and also 2 finished tracks will be launched in a few weeks.
7 — What’s the last thing you learned over the summer?
To stay focused and humble. Keep your feet on the ground.
8 — Aside from performing, what other activities did you enjoy doing during the summer season?
Like any Portuguese, the beach and anything that involves the sea is our thing 😊 Missing summer already.
9 — What are you looking forward to doing next summer?
Playing in Europe as much as people book us and I hope they will do, a lot!
CONNECT WITH BUBBA BROTHERS NOW!
Country-Pop Singer Taylor Sanders On New Song “Firecracker”
Taylor Sanders gained great popularity for her stunning renditions of hits by artists like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. Last month, she released her Country-Pop single “Firecracker,” whose lyrics put female empowerment at the forefront. Learn more about this song in our latest interview.
1 — First of all, what makes you smile, and what scares you the most when creating new music?
It makes me smile when I create a clever line or the lyrics just feel exactly right, then you know you’ve got something that really vibes.
At the same time, writing can also be scary from the uncertainty of effectively relaying my message where the listeners can understand. That’s why I love co-writing because I get to bounce ideas off others first.
2 — What are your goals in the music industry?
I want to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, go on a world tour, sell out the Madison Square Garden, write and record a theme song for a Marvel or Disney movie, have a number-one single, and win a Grammy!
3 — What do you enjoy the most about writing lyrics?
My thoughts can roam free.
Almost my whole life! I started singing when I was 5. At the time, I sang the national anthem at my kindergarten graduation because my teacher noticed I was singing it in class, and she went to my mom to ask her if I would sing for our graduation and my mom didn’t even know I knew the song or could even sing. After that, my mom put me in vocal lessons when I was 8.
5 — What’s the inspiration behind your latest single “Firecracker”?
A.) I wanted to write a song about me and my personality to introduce myself to the music world and talk about self-confidence and letting your light shine.
B.) I wanted to tell a story of how my husband and I really met. We met at a pool party while in school and I realized he matched that ambitious energy I carry.
6 — What came first the vocals or melody?
“Firecracker” as a title was pretty much determined from the get-go. When I was introduced to the co-writers, they were like, “Wow, she’s a firecracker!” and I guess that felt good and stuck. It was kind of perfect. The lyrics and melody came together all at once. The producers and lyric writers were all in 1 room and we all fed off each other to push the song concomitantly.
7 – Tell us more about the top-notch team that was involved in the production of this single.
My cowriters and producers have written songs for Jennifer Lopez (“Waiting for Tonight”) and Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood. These are icons I looked up to and I couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration.
8 — If you could choose a location to perform your new track “Firecracker,” where would it be?
The Grand Ole Opry, of course. But then also I see it being performed at a big rockin’ New Year’s Eve party right before the ball drops at midnight. I can see it so vividly, all the lights and fireworks going on with the song as I sing “Light it up, light it up!” That would be epic!
I dedicate it to my husband, not only for inspiration but also because he is such a big supporter of my dreams and really wants me to succeed. He’s a northern boy and so when we first met, I told him I was moving to Nashville after school and if he wanted to be with me, he’d have to come along. So, he’s here riding this crazy roller coaster with me.
10 — Where do you see Taylor Sanders in the next 5 years?
I hope I’ve built up a community of people who can appreciate the art I’m putting out there and that it can help brighten and change lives. I want to be valuable to people and bring enjoyment into their lives during hard times. I also hope to get into acting as well, and for my personal life, I see myself starting a family.