Genre-transcending MJ Songstress’ new sexy song, “Carousel” is out now. The new track produced by Ty Jamz, is every dancer’s pop-locking dream. Behind MJ’s artistic evolution are her career highlights. She has been a finalist on The Voice, a member of Usher’s team, and a contestant on Televisa’s La Voz. In this exclusive interview, you’ll learn many interesting things.
1 – Where does your artistic name come from?
MJ SONGSTRESS has a whole movie behind it. The short and sweet version is MJ are my actual initials. MJ represents the moment where I was ready to fully embrace the woman, the artist, the creator, the fighter, and the leader that I AM! It was a moment of owning who I am, being MJ unapologetically, and creating and moving forward with/from a blank canvas. SONGSTRESS was the icing on the cake. I wanted a name that was unique and that would describe me (a vocalist) in 1 word. One of the magazine articles I was featured in read “Meet the Next R&B Songstress”, and “Songstress” stuck with me. Wala, MJ SONGSTRESS was it.
2 – Can you mention a few artists or albums that have influenced your artistic career?
Where do I start? Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Guy, Earth Wind & Fire, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston etc…
When I create music I go with whatever my current mood, vibe & energy is. I don’t think of any specific genre. Whether I’m in an r&b/soul, latin/pop or house/funk type of mood. I’d like to refer to myself as a genre-transcending artist.
4 – I’m loving your sexy new song “Carousel”, what inspired you to write this tune?
I listen to a plethora of music. I was vibing with my producer, Tyrice Jones, and played him some of my favorite Sergio Mendes songs. One of the songs grabbed his attention, so we looked up a live performance on Youtube, and “Carousel” started to form. The sample we used had such a cool vibe. To me, it sounded like the sample was saying “Carousel”. So from that word I just built around the song idea.
“Your Love is Like a Carousel.” It’s a line that the listener can interpret however they please.
6 – What came first the melody or the lyrics?
This particular song had an easy flow that the melody and lyrics came right out. I just started freestyling whatever came to mind and the first few lyrics “Do you remember when you were just 17 and your heart would beat-beat for the one you have just seen? Oh yes Oh boy Oh my Got me weak in the knees.” It was a smooth, flowy, young love type feel.
7 – Who produced “Carousel”?
My brother from another and partner in crime, Tyrice “TyJamz” Jones.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with Beanie Sigel on “Feel It In The Air” and Wyclef Jean on his “Carnival II” album. Both projects were a highlight for me in my career. I’ve also been working, creating, and building with my producer TyJamz for years. We have a chemistry and a vibe that I haven’t created with anyone else. If it ain’t broke, WHY fix it?
9 – How did your life change since you became a finalist of The Voice?
Both The Voice & La Voz Mexico are a chapter in my life that I look back at as an experience and opportunity that were presented at the time. It was a reminder of discipline, persistence and for me to Keep Going. There’s a lot that goes into the show behind the scenes, so for me, it’s a continuous reminder that I never gave up and to never give up. Once the show was over I focused on my career and my music and never looked back.
10 – How do you take care of your singing voice?
I don’t do anything fancy on a daily basis. I’ve been singing since birth and all my experiences with my father, other artists/bands and tour life have shaped me into a vocal athlete. Singing comes as second nature. However, when I am preparing for a show I speak little to none at all, no screaming or laughing, daily vocal warmups, lots of steam, drink lots of water, clean eating, and lots of rest.
11 – Any plans on a live tour?
I would love to be part of a tour. I’ve been setting intentions & putting positivity out into the universe and prayers for this pandemic to come to a safe ending first.
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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!
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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!
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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.