Nicole Russin-McFarland is an incredible multi-talented person. She’s a film director, music composer, journalist, model and more! During her tender youth art was coursing in her veins. She spent her childhood studying classical music and today she’s well prepared as to pleasantly surprise everybody with her art. Last year, the world first heard her compositions with the release of The Eyes of Old Texas soundtrack, so if you want to discover more about Nicole and her interesting life please read this interview.
1 – You’re very well known for your classical music compositions. Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I love all kinds of film scores, whether they are traditional (Hans Zimmer) or experimental (The Social Network by Trent Reznor). Because none of us are ever perfect, you can never stop learning. Sometimes, I’ll listen to a particular century of classical music on the radio. It just depends. When I was in school and taking lessons, I had to play Rachmaninoff a lot, so I’m kind of sick of his work! LOL! Though I now love working with crazy chromatics, which I have a lot of saved up on themes I want to use.
2 – Tell us a little about your composing style/method.
I love chromatics for some reason. Also lately, when I’ve been doing themes for a particular film project goal I have in mind and doing really rough drafts, I’ve been fascinated by themes that start and end on the same note. Of course, because our first movie uses “The Eyes of Texas” – that’s how it’s called The Eyes of Old Texas, for the old song – I didn’t have much room to play with. But on the track “I Know What to Do,” I proudly made it really evil with lots of brass. Usually, the song is this really sweet and happy school theme song. I’m glad I got to make it angry for once.
3 – What’s your favorite and least favorite movie soundtrack?
I just love Gladiator’s score. It was one of the first ones I bought, and ironically, with an Eminem album and I want to say Christina Aguilera. That goes to show you how eclectic I am. Some of it almost sounds like it could’ve been out of a 1940’s or 1950’s drama. And then we have that really amazing theme that isn’t really in the movie a lot but plays when Maximus just confronted Commodus in the arena. When you remember a theme that much, you know someone’s done an outstanding job. I mention Hans Zimmer at times, so let’s have some backstory on him. Remember Pharrell doing both of the Despicable Me soundtracks? Pharrell actually did more than the “Happy” tune. He did a lot of the music, and Hans Zimmer was his boss on those films.
Alexandre Desplat is pretty much the other standard gentleman when it comes to great film scores. I advise people to check him out.
As far as least favorite film score, I don’t like those generic scores that fade into the background you usually hear on romantic comedies. Or any comedy. Throw in random clarinet here because Ryan Reynolds needs to break up. Stuff like that. A good score makes you remember the music as much as the movie.
4 – Have you only made soundtracks for animated/cartoon films? Why you love this movie genre so much?
No. Animation just happens to be what we are starting out with. I as a film director want to eventually branch out of that to doing both animation and live action. I have a lot of ideas, but due to the way filmmaking works, you don’t one day come out with your masterpiece as your first film. Nobody will watch it. You need to be established first – and that’s why I chose animation with my film’s co-executive producer because we both love animation, but at the moment, we also both have side occupations we’re trying to work on. He’s a celebrity chef and NYC restauranteur in addition to being a rocker. His rock band was the first professionally touring metal band in China. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the books side of Lucky Pineapple Books + Films heavily established so I can have a bigger staff of people running things in the near future while I work on my movies. And, I’m currently animating this film…MYSELF. I have a lot to take on before I move onto scoring live action.
5 – Did you feel ready to call yourself a music composer after the release of ‘The Eyes of Old Texas’ soundtrack?
Of course! You are a composer when you release your first work to the world professionally. I would’ve loved to have called myself a composer when I was 11 to 12 though. Technically, I enjoyed composing then, and some of the themes I want to use in my future film scores are from that time period of my life. When you write a good theme, or at least a theme that sticks in your head for that long, it’s all how you do the rest. You really only need the theme. What you do with it can range from any kind of sound or emotion. You’ll see this a lot if you look at some of your favorite films. Indiana Jones is a great example of this my teacher made us study for our homework assignment. I guess unlike everyone else, I was paying attention in class! We had to play that and see how the same theme changes. The other day, I rematched the movies on TV as they had a marathon and I saw, “Yeah! That’s true!” The theme shifts around the whole movie beautifully, but it’s the same theme. You do so much with a simple basic theme.
6 – Are you currently working on a new movie soundtrack? Please let us know something fresh about it.
I have things saved on my computer and iPad I want to work with, but because I’m not done yet with finishing The Eyes of Old Texas – in both the animation process which is hard, and in how we’ve recently filmed backgrounds locally in Peru, Argentina, Chile, and are hitting Brazil – I want to focus on finishing the movie for now. As I said, the main importance is completing the themes, anyway. When the time comes to use them, I will be fine as I have the basics down.
7 – What do you love most about what you are currently doing?
My mind gets really bored by knowing what will happen next. For my mind to be happy, I have to train it like I’m doing puzzles. What that means is I have zero tolerance for doing the same thing over and over again. Of course, making a movie and composing classical music does involve some repetition, but nowhere near what most “regular” jobs involve.
For example, journalism I did not related to food or cinema. When I wrote about divorce and depressing relationship articles ages ago for one place I did journalism for, I hated it. Not only was it so awful to interview people about depressing subject matter, it felt like the same thing nonstop. I really wasn’t using my brain. I was sitting there taking notes and rewriting what people said about horrible things happening to them. Later on, I did this again, but the subject changed to stuff like, “Someone wants to take away my apartment.” Or people suing someone. I currently once in a while do food or film related journalism, at least interviewing someone in fashion, but because those people talk more about positive topics and creativity involved, and often business, I’m more interested. So not all journalism is bad and deadly.
8 – Have you ever being criticised for being a female music composer?
I’ve never had criticism about my gender with the job, but I have dealt with lots of sexist comments. I always explain it like this to people. When a young boy says he wants to direct movies, people give him a camera and how to book. When a girl says the same thing, they ask her to be an actress. Which is what happened to me all the time from 11 up to 27 until I, for lack of a better gesture, began speaking my mind when people told me to do. I’m not opposed to acting. If ever Will Ferrell called me up to be in Zoolander 3, I would love it. I love being funny and telling jokes. But acting is a choice someone makes. People often are really disrespectful when you express your interest in making movies or composing music. They ask you, “Why?” But men or young boys don’t get the why question. And, the other thing is, when I say what I want to film or compose, people have other suggestions for me. A women’s themed film CAN be good, like In Her Shoes, or it could be a disaster like most of them out there. And that’s what people generally, especially women, suggest I make. As far as music, women also like soft, dainty songs that don’t really have any particular strengths. Yet, I don’t.
9 – Which music composers or film directors would you like to collaborate with?
As far as music composers, James Horner died, so I can’t really collaborate with him. With my first soundtrack, we blended Brian Tsao’s rock music into chunks of it. I’d love to do that again with him forever…collaborate on film and music and see it sell big like a John Williams score! Or something putting classical over a shocking genre, like country or rap. Weird stuff like that always sounds good because it’s like how this horrible sounding fusion cuisine item on the menu may taste delicious! Being adventurous is the way to go! With film directors, I’m open to anybody who is serious about their work and blending music into it. The person doesn’t have to be famous. They can be an up and comer who’s made a few movies but wants to be the new Tim Burton, for example, and has that drive. Pedro Almodovar could be a fun gentleman to compose for though. He really uses music a lot in his work. And his work is crazy. I love that he defies standard genres. I’d say any DreamWorks cartoon too. I would jump for joy and dance in my room if DreamWorks Animation hired me to direct cartoons and compose the scores for them. I love Shrek so much and How to Train Your Dragon. The attitude!
10 – What are your future plans for 2016?
I want to do anything in my power in 2016 to make Lucky Pineapple Books + Films a force to reckon with. Everyone has to start from somewhere. And as I cannot rub in enough about my love of working for the “next Steven Spielberg” or whoever that “next” is, I hope people will see how I feel… when they look at me. Our culture is weird because we want all our actors to look unnaturally young and/or not to work with anyone over 30 for roles written for women in their 30s and 40s as Anne Hathaway has discussed, but we cling on the established film directors and composers. I love the guy, but honestly, at some point John Williams will no longer be with us. Nor with our favorite film directors. What do we have left? People who don’t know what to do anymore because most of their film directors of this generation 40 years old and under are taking the initiative of going on their own like these film directors did when they were young. It’s hard. I’m not denying that. But I’d love to establish myself on my company in that demeanor people had when they ran out and made the biggest movies they could at age 20-25. We don’t have that anymore. Nowadays, people lack drive.
Matthew J Van Howe Opens Up About His New Electronica Album In Interview
On his brand new album, Matthew J Van Howe explores Ambient and Electronica sounds. In addition, you’ll get delighted with chilled vibes as it is filled with beautiful synths. Well, it is up to your imagination and ears to define the ‘Emergent Narrative’. Learn more about this interesting project below.
1 – First of all, what makes ‘Emergent Narrative’ different from your previous records?
To begin with, this album has no vocals which is quite different from my previously released music. One of the design rules I set for myself in ‘Emergent Narrative’ was that I wanted no hooks that would be stuck in your head and to make each track unpredictable so that you would need to follow the song and the album in the moment.
Brian Eno and Liquid Mind for their ambient music for sure. Classic synth influence came from Wendy Carlos and John Carpenter. Hans Zimmer and Ryuichi Sakamoto influenced cinematic moments.
3 – What message are you trying to send with these new songs?
As the title suggests, I want people to listen and tell their own stories as they progress through the album.
Personally, I like “Scarlet” a lot. It has a depth of complexity horizontally from a higher-pitched synth in 3/4 time looping with the 4/4 time of the rest of the piece only connecting every 12 measures which complete a cycle almost like months in a year. It appeals to my mathematical side and the analog to years in a lifetime is poetic in a sense.
5 – How long did it take you to produce it?
From start to finish I’d say a little over 2 months.
6 – Do you think music videos are important in order to promote your career these days?
Interesting question. I think in general, people don’t actively listen to music as much as they used to so as far as promotion I think videos are a good tool. With the resurgence of Vinyl, I think that is changing. This album was designed to be actively listened to and not watched, so I don’t think a music video fits the intent or design very much.
At present, I have not tried TikTok. I am interested in apps that are centered around music, however.
8 – Did you ever consider giving up or retiring from the music industry?
I did stop making music for a while to pursue making movies and also board games, but I’ve returned once again and it makes me happy.
9 – How many synths do you own? Which model is the best?
I own about 4 different synths. On the album, I used a lot of the ARP 2600, Prophet 5, and Arturia’s digital emulation of the Fairlight CMI. In my opinion, they have these lush textures that I used to create rich, gentle soundscapes.
10 – What else can we expect from Matthew J Van Howe in 2020?
I am mastering a 25 song improvised piano album entitled, ‘Memories I Would Otherwise Forget’ that will be out later this year.
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DENNII Opens Up About Latest Track, “Back 2 Love” — Interview
Allow Electro Wow to introduce you to DENNII, a rising European music producer and DJ with enough talent to impress. Frankly, “Back 2 Love” is the kind of housey track that will grow on you in mere seconds. We had a chat about his latest single, so scroll down and read the full interview right here!
1 – How are you feeling with the release of “Back 2 Love”?
I feel great about it, cause’ I’ve spent a lot of time to find something that fits me and emotion that I wanna bring, something different, enough club oriented but still radio-friendly and unique on the market.
2 – What artists inspired you to produce it?
There are a lot of artists I am amazed by like Tchami and his basslines, Matroda and his power to always bring something new, Chris Lake, Hugel to name few. I am always trying to stay true to myself and my sound to keep it simple, catchy and unique.
3 – What message are you trying to send with this song?
There is no message really in it, at the moment when my friend sent me the vocals I enjoyed it cause’ there are a lot of heart-breaking moments’ in our lives and I founded myself in it and hope that people are also going to. It went great, lyric about broken love and energetic background. My next single “Burn” is gonna send strong message and it’s out 1st of April.
I really don’t know, one of my friends gave me these vocals, he said he bought it from some ghost singers and didn’t know what to do with so I took it and worked great for me.
5 – What made you come together and work on this track?
Music. As I told before, I really don’t know whose vocals are, but I would like to find out.
6 – The music video looks amazing I like how the camera captures the reaction of your fans. Where was it filmed? Please tell us more about it.
The video was filmed by one crazy guy who likes to spend time with his camera more than his girlfriend I think. Different places, different venues, clubs, and festivals. So he wanted to do it with his material and I said yes. Some of the material is from my show’s here in Switzerland, some in Croatia.
7 – I know you are about to release your next single, “Burn” in April. What can we expect?
I am leveling up with this one, which really describes me in all ways. Energy is also stronger and bigger, the message from this one is that you always have to go further, no matter what, you have to fight for something. I think a lot of people is going to find themselves in it.
My “Music Like Religion” sessions I am publishing on my Mixcloud profile, it’s the best of what I have at the moment on my playlist for live shows. Every month I publish one. Besides my radio-friendlly tracks are also the IDs that I work for live shows which are more energetic, party-oriented tracks which I am releasing in April too.
9 –Is there any live show you would like to announce?
There are few, but I am still in negotiations with the agency I work for. The Castle Club, Thun CH, I’ll be a resident in April and May. Summer festivals in Switzerland, Kalypso Club in my homeland Croatia, Zrće Beach.
10 – Finally, what would you like to achieve as an artist in 2020?
I just want to enjoy what I am doing and make people also enjoy it. I hope I will fulfill expectations from everybody. Thank you a lot for having me.
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Eric Remington REVEALS ALL About His Music Project Lavender Galaxy — Interview
This interview lets you discover more about Eric Remington aka Lavender Galaxy. Without a doubt, his new music project caught my attention mainly because it’s a blend of funk-infused, chill, energetic Pop melodies. Scroll down to read all!
1 – Thanks for your time, how do you feel as an artist after 13 years hiatus?
Oh, man… I feel like a huge void has been filled. Words really cannot describe the feeling of making music gives to me.
2 – What does your new project Lavender Galaxy mean to you?
Lavender Galaxy is a new beginning for me. A dream fulfilled. A dream lived.
3 – What themes are your lyrics about?
Finding the love of your life, finding happiness in what seems a dark place, hope, and living your life to the fullest. “Lip Gloss” was the song that started this whole project. I always like to surprise my wife, and she can be a tough one to surprise, so I made her a song… “Lip Gloss”. The lyrics in “Lip Gloss” are all about her and the fun we have together.
4 – Your self-titled album sounds pretty good, how did you come to collaborate with all the vocalists?
Well, I worked with quite a few vocalists and writers until I found the right people to fulfill this vision… to get the right sound. Once I found Marvin, Antonia, and Nekane, I knew this was it. The internet is a never-ending resource of untapped talent. If you need a bass player, look online. If you want someone to sing harmonies with you on a track, you’ll find one.
5 – How did you get your creativity flowing while recording this material in the studio?
Ideas usually happen in the damnedest places. Most time you just hear something that starts that creative fire. Sometimes it’s just a word someone says, something I see, or simply just a strange thought that transitions into a lyric, which transitions into a song idea.
6 – Do you have a favorite song? If so, what makes it so special?
I have two favorite songs. One is “Pills Of Pain”, which I wrote almost 15 years ago. It was my late cousin Mike’s favorite song, whom I lost to drug addiction, and I’m currently working on remaking and releasing it in honor of him. The second favorite song is “Time With You”, which is by one of my best friends, Jeremy Hartman. Damn tune still chokes me up when I hear it 15 years later because it reminds me of when we were all learning to make music together, and all the things we lived through together.
I actually just released the music video for “Paradise”, which is an anime based story I wrote, which actually sets the stage for all the other Lavender Galaxy videos. They’ll all be tied together in some way. The video for “I’d Follow You” just finished filming and is expected to be released before the end of March. The video for “Here You Are” is starting filming soon and is expected to be released later this month or early April.
8 – How does this album differ from your previous music projects?
Lavender Galaxy is a lot more upbeat and fun. My older works had more of a saddened and darker tone to them. This is some serious night and day differences from way back when.
9 – What about an album remix? Do you like this idea for the future?
I’d consider it, for sure. I love working with other musicians. In fact, Jenn Desantis did a short remake of “Paradise”, which I loved so much that I asked to put do a little mastering on it. She’s got a spectacular voice and I’m seriously considering collaborating with her in the future.
10 – What’s next for Lavander Galaxy?
Where do I begin? You’ll find out in 2021.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Kēvens
There is nothing new in the fact that greedy corporate interests represent a threat to our Mother Earth. Climate change is a critical issue that will get worse in the next years if we don’t take action and protect our planet. In this interview, I had the pleasure to chat with Kēvens, who worried about the environment, created a music video entitled, “World Is Burning”. Open your mind to his words, and let’s raise awareness together for the conservation of nature. Learn also about the artist’s career below.
1 — Do you really feel the world is burning?
I certainly do. I learned long ago if your neighbor’s wall is on fire, it’s your problem too. What happened in Australia will happen again somewhere else, I pray not but it’s up to us to be vigilant and do everything in our power to reverse global warming. That window of opportunity is closing fast.
As a Florida resident, the last few hurricanes we went through have gradually intensity and I have a nauseating feeling that’s not going to stop.
In 1992, I experienced my first cat 5 hurricane and it was devastating. Now due to increasingly careless human activity on the planet, primarily the burning of fossil fuel that pump (CO2) in the atmosphere, methane, and other greenhouse gasses, the atmosphere and oceans have been heating up, glaciers melting way faster than originally predicted. Yes, World Is Burning 🥵
2 — Why is it important to create awareness through music?
Music is a language everyone can speak, it is the best platform for sonic expressive communication I know. If you have something serious to say, put it in a song.
3 — How do you respond to those who deny the reality of climate change?
I simply tell them the climate crisis is real, whether they believe it’s manmade or the Earth’s natural cycles, climate change is happening. In the end, no matter what, Mother Nature will heal herself, but we may not be able to recover.
4 — Where do you find the most inspiration to write your lyrics?
I’ve been asked this question the most over the years. My source of inspiration comes from The Almighty through life’s experiences.
5 — Can you tell us more about your life’s mantra?
My life’s mantra is “Positivity is a Necessity “ When I was much younger I had a best friend, Anthony Booker, who died tragically. I felt at a loss since we had plans to take our band Le Coup at the time to higher heights.
Years later after countless trials and errors in the music industry in addition to personal failures in love relationships, I discovered meditation. Through that new outlet, I came to know the power of positive thinking.
In 1997, a gentleman by the name of Jason Donavan (of Zenfest) hired my group, to perform at The Florida Zen Music festival. After my performance, DJ and Producer, Francisco Mendez said to me, there is trouble brewing by the main arena, the audience is being rowdy due to the heavy police presence. He urged me to get on stage and “do my thing”. Mind you, this is the rave era when parties got shut down regularly.
I went on that stage, while a member of Rabbit in The Moon (DJ Monk) was spinning. I did a little toasting to the drum and bass track he was spinning to get in sync with the audience before I decided to address them. I told the masses, “Most of us have travelled from far to be here. We don’t want to cause any trouble with the authorities, we just want a chance to dance and celebrate life!” They responded with loud screams of joy, to my surprise.I went on to say, “We don’t want this party to get shut down, so let’s raise our voices and tell the Police ‘Positivity is a Necessity’ “. At this, the crowd started chanting along with me — there was little to no music playing, just me and thousands of “strangers” raising their voices in peaceful resistance. That was the first time I used my motto in public and saw its effect. After that, things cooled off, and the event continued without any more tension with the authorities.
6 — Would you describe your musical style as drum and bass?
I would say that drum and bass is the foundation of my musical style. The drum and bass I am talking about is not the modern one but from the early reggae dub days.
7 — Over the years you’ve performed in different music festivals. Which one is your favorite? Why?
I have three special moments that comes to mind and want to share them with your audience.
A.- Being the closing act at the Ultra Music Festival Soundstage in Miami back in 2003 Bringing an all live band to an EDM scene was a challenge back when I did it in the rave days and it’s still is today. Closing that night validated me as a headlining act and changed the way I promoted my brand.
B.- Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in New Mexico. Over 500 tribes come together to dance, I had never seen anything like that before, so many spiritual dancers with costumes and songs, a treat for the mind-body and soul and experience of the Native Americans no books can teach you. To have been invited to perform in that arena was a true honor, one I will always carry with me.
C.- My all-time favorite to date is in a little town called Takamatsu Japan, the festival was One Love Fest. It was the very first time I performed in a foreign country as a Headliner. Although it was a small arena, I will never forget that experience. I ended up doing three encores, on the last one, the people in the front row rushed the stage, lifted me, and attempted to carry me. It was surreal, I never experience fans with that loving intensity until that point.
There are a few things I always do:
A.- Pray for a strong spiritual connection with the audience, that’s most important to me always.
B.- I like to be alone and silently visualize my intro, a strong intro set the pace.
C.- A quick check with my stage manager making sure the band is dialed in, dancers ready and my wardrobe person is the last person I interact with before walking on stage.
9 — What are you most excited about right now?
At this very moment in time, I am very excited to have lent this song to The Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI) with the support of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos, Nigeria in a campaign against Climate Crisis to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of United Nations.
10 — Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
With guidance from The Most High, in 10 years my brand will be well established globally for years, inspiring young and old towards taking positive action in improving the human condition.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Keldamuzik
“Magic” by Kelda Williams aka Keldamuzik is a sexy RnB jam you should definitely add to your playlist. With a total of 4 albums, this is the first single off her upcoming 2020 record via Digz Media Group. Her passion for the entertainment industry has taken her to divide her time among, TV, film, and music projects. Discover more about this new track and her artistic career down here!
1 – First of all, what got you into music?
I started writing a lot of poetry, I decided one day this needs to be converted into music because people were digging it! I always had a passion for writing and performing, I can’t imagine my life without doing this.
2 – How do you think growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area has influenced you as an artist?
Heavy influence for sure, from all the artists that come from the Bay to the culture, it has definitely had a major impact on my career lyrically and musically.
4 – How would you describe your music to someone in just three words?
Fly, unique, inspiring.
Because I can apply myself to any type of music and I’ll still be me, I can be on a rock song and someone will be like, yeah that’s Keldamuzik!
6 – Have you ever signed a record deal or do you prefer to stay indie? What are the pros/cons?
I have signed a record deal, it was an indie deal. The pros were that you had access to bigger resources to further your career, the cons were they have many other artists just like you and when they get to project they do, if they don’t, then they don’t and you’re just left on the shelf. I rather stay indie and have my marketing teamwork behind me under my label.
7 – Why is your new single entitled “Magic”?
I wanted something catchy for people to listen to. “Magic” is a fun and radio-friendly song and it has a global appeal.
8 – What is your favorite line from this song?
My favorite line is “Ya candy rain just fell on me”… haha, I don’t know why but I like that line a lot.
9 – Is there any funny anecdote while you were recording the music video for “Magic”?
Hmm…Well, my producer and I were just thinking of something sexy and catchy so we were like when a couple comes together it’s like making “Magic” yeah magic! And shout out to Mrs. Thesis for writing this, while I write all of my rap songs, I get help when it comes to my Pop and R&B sounds.
10 – What else can we expect from Keldamuzik in 2020?
More music, more movies and more content that will be on my channel Keldamuzik Presents which is on Apple TV and Roku… check it out!
CONNECT WITH KELDAMUZIK NOW!
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