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Jordan LaFaver Interview 2016

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Jordan LaFaver
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.

7 – Would you like to get signed to a big record label? Why?

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?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jordanlafaver
Instagram: www.instagram.com/diaryofsnow
YouTube: www.youtube.com/snowboundrecords

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

Exclusive Interview: Jenna x On Debut Single “When The Party’s Over..”

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Jenna x - When The Party's Over..
Jenna x
emerges in 2021 with “When The Party’s Over..” which is an incredible debut single that plays equally as well at the party, at the afterparty, or the next morning. Definitely, the best asset is her melodious singing voice. Scroll down and learn more in this exclusive interview.

1 — First of all, how would you describe your sound?

My sound is constantly evolving within Pop, but it’s more cinematic. I envision each of my songs as a scene from a film and try to capture everything that would be there—the temperature of the sunlight, the scent in the air, the city sounds, and the words that are being spoken.

2 — Why did you pick “When The Party’s Over..” as your debut single?

It was the exact type of sound and message that I wanted to release as my debut single. I also think that it’s a good representation of me as an artist because it’s a song that I really tried to be honest with myself about, as well as the other parts of myself that I am revealing, like my inner thoughts, emotions, and philosophies.

3 — Is this song based on a personal experience?

Yes! The party in my song is both literal and figurative—I, like anyone else, have gone to a party or a large gathering just to fill the emptiness I was feeling inside, only to leave with a greater sense of loneliness. I’ve also felt like I have nowhere to go emotionally, which is the figurative part of the song.

4 — What’s your favorite line from it? Why?

The entire chorus is my favorite part, especially the “will there be anyone to watch me die / someone just shows me how to cry” part. I think they really capture the essence of the song and are the parts where I am the most direct with what I want to say. The second half of the chorus is almost like a cry for help you can’t ever let out.

Jenna x
5 — What came first, the melody or the lyrics?

For me, they usually come together but for this song, the lyrics came first. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the song to be about lyrically and then used the melody to fill in the blanks.

6 — Given the situation the world is in at the moment, do you miss partying?

I’m not the type to usually enjoy large parties, but I do really miss gatherings with my closest friends. But who knows—by the time this is all over I might be dying to go to a huge party.

7 — What makes you different from other singers?

I like to think of my music as very visual—I always try to paint a picture with my music and focus on what the music is painting. Each sound is like a color I use to paint the song, and the way they are delivered are the brushstrokes.


8 — Who did you grow up listening to?

I think I had a lot of phases where I was into different types of music and different artists. I grew up listening to singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I was always fascinated with how brilliant and revolutionary their melodies and lyrics were. Later in my teens, I had A Great Big World’s albums on repeat. A part of me is also in love with classical composers, like Elgar and Rachmaninoff. The second movement of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.

9 — When you’re not at the studio, how do you usually spend your time?

Usually prepping for studio time! But if I’m not working on music, I’ll watch movies or binge a show. Right now I’m on season 4 of Criminal Minds, and it’s been sucking me in. I’ve also been really busy these days with my new release and everything that goes along with it, but I’ll still find time to video chat with my friends and listen to my favorite albums on repeat.

10 — What are your plans for the upcoming months?

Working! I have an EP coming out in February, so I’m prepping for the release and other music that I’ll release during this year. The upcoming EP is part two of the story of loneliness I started telling with “When The Party’s Over..” and the more colorful, visual part of the story, so I’ll be working a lot on perfecting that. I also hope to be wherever I can be with my music, doing whatever I can to express myself through it.


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Dar.Ra Talks Latest Single And Confirms New Album In 2021 — Interview

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new album 2021 interview dar.ra
Following the release of his latest single “Rise Like The Sun” along with its proper EP, Dar.Ra also plans to drop a new album in 2021. ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has been confirmed to be out by the end of January. In this exclusive interview, the British artist talks about the recent single, the most important details on the upcoming album, but also his various side projects, which include his own radio show.

1 – Can you reveal to us the name of your upcoming album?

I have two new projects out, a single called “Rise Like The Sun” with 6 killer remixes. One from Columbia and one from Sri Lanka from a killer Producer called Vidula who did the “Lights” remix from the new kinda normal album.

I did the other mixes which have a tribal House feel and an Ambient 6 am Chill Out mix. All mixes have a Sunshine title, from UK Sunshine mix, Indian Sun mix to Australian, Indonesian, USA, and Columbian mix. It’s all about not being dictated too in your time here and “Rising Like The Sun” every day of your life.

The other project is more of an alias back vibe and is a compilation of slower more Ballad type songs that I have had released over the years. I am doing a radio show called The Kusha Deep Radio show which is going out around the world through various Radio outlets and I did this show which featured some of the laid-back tracks I’ve done and I thought it would make a great album of torchlight songs. The album is 12 tracks long and is titled ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ and is out later this month.

I am also working on a new album of songs for the spring with a new single planned for the first quarter of the year release.

2 – Were there specific things that helped you get creative?

I’m always inspired by life, it’s hard not to be unless you shut off from what’s going on around you. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, I had two singles out “Stand Up For The Heroes”, “Rise Like The Sun” and the ‘Whisky n Honey’ EP plus two remixes out. I also started doing a new project which is now syndicated around the world called The Kusha Deep Radio Show, which started off playing tracks that I had out over the past 25 years.


I also started doing a TV show with a Washington DC-based journalist MJ Godfrey which is a cultural review show looking at things happening in the UK and the USA. I’ve also written the next album to follow up on 2019’s ‘New Kinda Normal’. If you stay open to ideas and let them flow it’s a natural vibe for staying creative.

3 – Are you discovering new sounds on this new record?

I explore different sounds all the time, I’m getting known for merging styles and creating new hybrids like Rock Step a vibe that featured on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album which mixed the elements of Rock and EDM together which you can feel on tracks like “Nightstepper,” “The Beat” and “Heart Shape Pill.” There’s also a genre called Gothic Soul which you can hear on tracks like “The Lights” and “Whisky n Honey.” I was feeling the Latin vibe on “Rise Like The Sun.”

I wanted something uplifting that holds no allegiance to what’s happening in the charts but has a classic Santana vibe mixed with that Gothic style vocal.

The actual record itself is truly global, the mixes and mastering were done all over the world, the drums recorded in Italy, the Horns in Portugal, the rest in the UK. I love that about the technology vibe that you can work with people everywhere now.




4 – How many tracks will there be on the album?

The album ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has 12 tracks and “Rise Like The Sun” single has 6 mixes on it. The new album will have around 12 tracks on it as well, value for money I say!

5 – What themes will the new album explore?

The new album has some wide themes such as loyalty on a track called “No Time For Tears” which has a cool Rock vibe about it. There’s a track about power struggles with relationships on “Don’t Make Me Beg.” There’s a track about migrants looking for a safe place to call home on “Renegade Serenade.” At the moment, it’s looking very love-oriented in one way or another.

Dar.Ra - Rise Like The Sun - UK Sunshine Mix
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists?

I do work with other artists when the vibe is right. I’m doing a track with a producer called KDX in the UK, a Deep House kinda groove.

7 – What makes your latest single “Rise Like The Sun” special to listeners?

It’s honest, it’s real and it’s played with passion.

8 – What exciting projects can we expect from your label Kusha Deep Records?

All the above and more.

9 – Can you tell us more about your 2021 tour? 


We were supposed to be doing a US tour last year, not sure how things will pan out this year but would be good to get out on the road again for a bit.

10 – The global pandemic forced the music industry to try innovative things. What do you think about private live zoom concerts?

I played Rock the Lockdown back in May and we had a few thousand people all rocking out to the set. I also did a US online tour in the summer which broadcast shows into the venues from my studio. I’ve been doing lots of interviews from Brazil to America, Australia, and the UK online which is ace as you don’t have to drive anywhere. Less hit on the climate and you can hit so many more people with a live stream if it’s set up properly.

Nothing will take the place of a jam in front of people, but I think the live stream is here to say alongside the live gig. I love technology though so it’s all good in my book. Be safe out there and looking forward to partying with you all soon!


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Quickfire Interview With: SOUNDQ

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SOUNDQ Interview

Hailing from Krakow, the cultural capital of Poland, Kuba Kubica aka SOUNDQ carries the flag of innovation when it comes to producing electronic music. The interview below is very clear and gives you a deep insight into his art. Scroll down to read his answers.

1 – You’ve been composing songs since…

Year 2000. The year when computer records got screwed by the two 0s was the year when I started programming a dodgy Korg workstation.

2 – You got involved in the music realm because…

I found it liberating not to have to depict anything. To be able to express what I feel without saying or drawing what it was.

3 – Your sound is…

As incomplete as I am. There’s always at least one element causing some imbalance. You’re never quite sure if it all won’t fall apart.

4 – Your biggest inspiration is…

I am most creative when I’m deadbeat and stressed out. So, in a way, pressure inspires me – or rather makes my creative juices flow faster.

5 – People should listen to your new track “Bad Lot” because…

It offers a glimpse into a complete world – fatalistic, sexy, and dangerous.

6 – If you want to know who SOUNDQ is, listen to the track…

“Bad Lot.” And if you’ve heard it already, give “This Heart” a spin.

7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…

Crossing the Ural Mountains in -30 degrees Celsius to play a death metal gig in Jekaterynburg.

8 – Your dream is…

Long forgotten the moment I wake up.

9 – Your next release is called…

“Disco Turista Antifascista.”


10 – Your all-time favourite track is…

That’s a tough one. I’ll go with “My Kingdom” by Future Sound of London.

11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…

I love coming up with ideas when I’m traveling. Not a lot of occasions for that in 2020 though.

12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…

An Instagram influencer pretending he’s a XIXth Century French flaneur. All dressed in epoch clothes doing product placement for travel gear and shit.

13 – You’ll only stop making music if…

I don’t think I have it in me to stop.

14 – In a few years, you want to be…

Able to go out without a mask, play gigs, laugh together with large groups of people. Travel to big cities and get lost wandering through them.

15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?

It’s evening already, so I’m going to be busy writing music till late.


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