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.
Dan Stutter Shares Insight On Debut Electro-Pop Album — Interview
Meet Dan Stutter, an indie music producer, singer, and songwriter from Berlin, Germany. Find out more about his Electro-Pop album, “My World Is All I Know” in this exclusive interview.
To sum up, he wisely fuses digital synthesizers and drum machines with relatable lyrics, while evoking so much emotion. Plus, each track feels like a wonderful recreation of nostalgic rhythms. Mastered by Listen & Feel, here we have an amazing record that deserves way more attention.
1 – What has been the inspiration for your debut album, ‘My World Is All I Know’?
I believe these days everyone is overloaded with information, media influences, daily work, and personal responsibilities. It is often hard to be able to focus on the things that are really important to oneself. This is when you get unhappy and unsettled with yourself. Everyone only knows and creates his own small part of the world and I realized how important it is to own it.
2 – We know you grew up in Germany, how did your homeland influence your sound on this album?
Germany has a long tradition of electronic music. I like other music styles too, but when I first listened to Kraftwerk it really opened up another dimension of sound to me. Moreover, I like Techno and House music, which has been very much present in German club culture. I guess I, therefore, like the idea of continuing the tradition of electronic music from Germany.
3 – Can you tell us more about your creative process when writing those intimate songs?
Some songs really come to my mind spontaneously. The melody of love is a stranger formed doing groceries in the supermarket. I recorded a sketch on my mobile phone. Sometimes I have a certain topic or emotional experience that I want to transport, e.g. “The Devil Called Me A Monk”. Then I have a basic idea of the lyrics before I write the song. Most of the time, however, I first compose the music in my studio and then write the lyrics fitting the melody. Some songs I finish in one night such as the title track and some I change over the passage of several weeks. It is always exciting to see how it goes.
4 – What were some challenges you face in your home studio?
I like to work in my home studio and certainly, I have some limitations in comparison to a large studio. Especially recording the vocals posed some challenges.
5 – Overall, ‘My World Is All I Know’ is beautifully melancholic. Which song do you think best describes this mood?
This is a difficult question because as you mentioned the whole album is melancholic. “Love Is A Stranger” tops this mood probably. The song tells about an unfulfilled romance between two lovers who simply cannot seize the chance they have been offered and let it pass by.
6 – How long did it take you to complete this project?
Although I used some earlier sketches for some of the songs the album was mainly written, produced and recorded between April and October 2019.
7 – If you could produce your dream music video, what would it look like?
I do not have a dream video per se. It is important that the visualization corresponds with the mood of the music and refers to the lyrics. I personally prefer atmospheric landscapes or large city views at night, but of course, I would also not mind having some hot looking girls dance around me… But that’s rather something for rappers… I admit I sometimes envy them for this. 😜
8 – Are you planning to release visuals for any of your new songs?
I am planning to create visuals for 2 or 3 tracks. At this moment, I am in correspondence with several artists who might be able to support me on this project.
9 – How many synths does it take to produce such a great album?
I only work digitally, so I exclusively use software except for my voice of course. There are several software-based synthesizers and drum machines /samplers that I use, some of them are even freeware. In recent years software instruments have become really potent and sound great with a decent interface. I especially embrace the fact that I only switch on my computer and everything is set up the same way I left off. This is a very efficient way of production and saves time.
First of all, I hope that listening to this album brings joy to people. That they like what they hear and it makes them feel good to listen to it again and again. I want to believe that a lot of people share similar thoughts and emotions and can relate to the album’s main theme. I am melancholic about life sometimes, but never bitter or negative, and always hopeful to find confidence and love. That is what I want the listener to take away.
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Man Parrish On The Meaning Behind ‘The Art Of Pop’ — Interview
It’s an incredible privilege to interview an influential figure in the history of American electronic music like Man Parrish. He is ready to impress this decade with a brand new album, ‘The Art Of Pop’. A collection of re-invented Pop classics from the Godfather of Electro along with some great vocalists. Be the first to discover the most important details of this fantastic project exclusively here!
1 – Can you reveal to us the artists that inspired you to compose your new album ‘The Art of Pop’?
Wow! That’s everyone in the ’70s, 80’s and 90’s! I absolutely LOVE pop music [always have] and these tracks, 24 of them, are the top picks that I enjoyed growing up. Let’s do some “name dropping”!
Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Dead Or Alive, Telex, Bowie, Eurythmics, Erasure, Robert Miles, Bananarama, Ramones, Yazoo, Buggles, Freeze [a,e,I,o,u], Giorgio Moroder, Michael Jackson, Irene Cara, Donna Summer, Madonna, The Normal [Warm Leatherette original version] … I could go on, but these are the artist we used for inspiration on this new album “The Art Of Pop”. I would like to mention that these are NOT remixed but true REMAKES of the original tracks from scratch. No sampling here. I went back to the original synthesizers that the original artist used and re-programmed their sounds. Of course, I added my own new stuff to make it fresh, but you’ll definitely recognize a few familiar things and be surprised but some new twists and turns!
2 – What does the “Art Of Pop” represent?
“The Art Of Pop” is really about paying respect to a genre that most people take for granted. Yes, I know… people roll their eyes around many pop tunes because they are so cheesy or un-cool, but in fact, a well-crafted pop tune is quite difficult to create. You’re bound by “pop” guidelines, time [like 3 minutes 46 seconds] and song structure. It’s crafted to sound effortless, but it’s quite difficult. That’s why many groups have only a few pop hit songs. This for me was a big challenge to keep the original feel AND still keep the pop aspect. I’m paying homage to a genre that most people don’t consider important.
3 – Can you reveal to us your favorite tracks from this album?
I programmed, played, produced and mixed everything, so it’s like asking, “what’s your favorite child”. But a few that I really like are “Share Your Body Down” [Michael Jackson] because it’s a dangerous one to redo. When you do a monster hit, you risk ridicule, This one really works! Also, Telex Moskow Diskow, Flashdance, Warm Leatherette, Situation for starters..!
Varies on my project. This one, since I knew the tracks were LISTENING! I know that sounds stupid, but if you can’t REALLY listen, break down not only the parts but the feeling and movement of the music, you can’t re-create it with any quality. Once I FEEL the track, I usually do a scetch on my MacBook Pro in Logic. Sometimes laying in bed! Once I get a good demo idea, then I got to my big studio and start layering sounds and playing parts to make up the track. THEN, and this is important, I sit back, make-believe I never heard the track [usually a day later] and edit anything that rubs me the wrong way. It’s a hard one because I love this part and that, but I’m not making this for myself. I’m making this for you to enjoy. Editing is critical. Then it’s mixing and mastering.
5 – Did you collaborated with other artists?
Always, but in this album, it’s Steven Jones, Corey Tut, myself and Mikey Redvenom for vocals. I did the rest.
I have a place in Manhattan and in Florida. I love Florida because I can escape the craziness of the city, think and focus on work. So both places. I can work pretty fast, but these 24 tracks took about 6 months [with a week here and there for rest] to finish.
7 – How different is ‘The Art Of Pop’ from your previous records?
Most other works have original content. This is the first album of ALL remakes. I’ve matured musically and I don’t think I would have been able to have done this 5 years ago. I’m quite proud of the “interpretations” that came out. Funny, these things have their own life. They seem to take on a personality and develop and I go with that flow and help it become realized. I know that sounds weird, but it’s how it works for me.
8 – Are you planning to drop a music video?
YES! We secured some amazing footage for VOGUE. It’s not Madonna, but it’s a twisted version of the original Vogue video. I think it’s going to be really cool.
Since streaming came about, indie artists find it expensive to tour. Like $100,000 just to rent venues and sound systems and lights. That not even including a crew and hotels, transportation and food! YES, I WOULD LOVE TO TOUR, but we don’t have that kind of money. But if anyone wants to fund us, we’ll work out a very fair deal!
10 – Any words of advice for those fearing with rejection in the music industry?
Yes… F*CK them if they reject you. It’s not meant to be. Seriously. Don’t go against the grain and try to force something the universe is trying to keep you away from.
I know many artists that pursued big or glamorous deals, either to be rejected or pushed themselves in those situations, only to fail.
In today’s online world, you can be massive WITHOUT a manager, big label or producer. Do your THING, and if it’s pure and true to yourself, the world will notice. Now… Will that be instant or 10 years later, who knows, but it will be yours, pay you back for your hard work and YOU will be in control and never ripped off. Listen to me, I’ve been doing this for 45 years! One more thing. If you think you’ll sit back and be discovered, you’ll fail. EVERY successful person, no matter what profession puts in long hours of work. Think of it this way [and here’s the real key] … The energy in – Energy out. Put in a lot of work and you’ll succeed. Just show up and wait to be discovered, and you’ll be waiting forever. No matter what you do in life. Much love to you, and now that you have the real info, go out and conquer the world!
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Avery Raquel Discusses “Pieces” Remix Hitting The Billboard Club Music Chart
Here’s an interesting interview with singer-songwriter Avery Raquel, regarding her most recent Billboard chart success. Of course, I’m talking about “Pieces”, which got an amazing remix treatment from Stonebridge & Damien Hall. You can read the full interview below and discover a music star in the making!
1 – First of all, did you expect it to enter the Billboard Club Music Chart?
I try my best to go into projects with no expectations at all. I never want to get my hopes up. But that made the charting position even more exciting! I’m sitting at 30 right now, from 50, in just six weeks, which I am pretty proud of.
2 – What music elements do you like the most on this Stonebridge & Damien Hall remix?
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from these remixes, sound-wise. They’re all very different from the original, so it was definitely strange to adjust. But I really enjoy how they stayed true to the song, yet made it their own. The StoneBridge mix uses a lot of the original elements, like the horns and melody. Since its a dance mix, its primarily electronic which was interesting to hear on a song that was recorded with only live instruments.
3 – How did this remix collaboration come about?
It was my producer’s (Greg Kavanagh) idea. I didn’t think I was ready to hear my music presented so differently but after noticing so many other artists coming out with remixes to expose their music to a wider audience, I thought, why not?
Greg sent a couple of tracks to StoneBridge, who has multiple Billboard hits with artists like P!nk and Ariana Grande, and ”Pieces” caught his attention.
I am so happy with how his remix – and all the remixes! – turned out and how well they’re doing with radio and club DJs.
Very positive. Everyone seems to be very open to hearing these re-imagined versions. The support is comforting! And I’ve reached a new set of fans now as well!
5 – As a contemporary soul singer are you planning to explore more EDM rhythms in the near future?
The music that I write is, and probably always will, Contemporary Soul / R&B. I’m certainly leaning more towards mainstream these days, so I think there is a possibility for more remix projects in the future.
6 – What about taking a completely new music direction? Would it be too risky?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking a new music direction, but personally I believe it should be gradual. For example, it might be risky if a country artist switched to Jazz. The fans may get confused and move on. Certainly, some artists have been very successful in making the switch. I myself moved from Jazz and Blues to R&B / Soul and am now leaning more towards Pop.
Though the music industry today focuses a lot on genre, I think the music should stand on its own. I think an artist must stay true to who they are, and never stop paying attention to the audience. Appealing to the audience is very important.
I was so lucky to have them apart of this project, and they have been nothing but supportive! There is honestly so many great EDM producers and DJ’s that would be great to work with, like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Dave Audé. The list goes on!
8 – What message do you want listeners to get from your song “Pieces”?
The emotion for this song came from being at the end of a relationship that had gone bad. I think the main message is that if you feel the need to remind yourself to be happy, then the relationship is toxic.
Like I say in chorus, “sometimes the pieces just aren’t always meant to fit.” – Two people, though maybe still in love, may not be right for each other, and that’s okay. I feel each partner in every relationship requires a certain amount of self-respect. Know when to back down, because sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.
9 – Is your ultimate goal as an artist climbing daily on the music charts?
Personally, I think climbing the charts is great. It means you are receiving some form of recognition for your work, but my main goal is to really make good music that connects to people, makes them feel and respond. I know that if I’ve touched at least one person emotionally with my music, then I’ve done a great job! That’s more rewarding to me.
10 – Any news or announcements we can look forward to?
I’m writing a lot more, and plan to release new music soon. Not sure if it will be a full album. I’m thinking maybe release a few singles? I currently have 4-5 songs in the bag. I would also like to perform more! I’m planning some small tours in Canada and the United States for Spring and Summer 2020.
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Kinesus Talks New Single “Tomorrow Goes On” & Much More In Interview
Check out this interview with Kinesus, the emerging producer with grand ambitions shares with us the most important details of his single “Tomorrow Goes On”. Based in Las Vegas, he also describes the music scene, announces the release of his debut album, and much more…
1 – How long have you been producing electronic music?
I started off making hip-hop beats in 2001 and begin to transition to electronic music sometime in 2010. It’s been so long ago; I don’t remember exactly when and how it all happened. I guess what I discovered is that I mostly enjoy composing, creating a melodic atmosphere and combining cinematic elements. Electronic music really gives me more freedom with that. I still have a love for hip-hop and trap beat, and you’ll hear parts of that in some of my music.
2 – For readers who are not familiar with your sound, yet what best describes your style?
I really like to be imaginative with my sounds. I get inspired by all types of genre, every music I ever listen to, I find myself extracting soulful details that I can reconstruct in my own ways. Sometimes it’s hard to tie any one of my songs to a specific genre because the effect of that fusion is unique on its own. What I try to do though, the best that I can, is to tell a story with my sound.
3 – Where did the inspiration mainly come from for your new single “Tomorrow Goes On”?
Believe it or not, what inspired me for “Tomorrow Goes On” was a lot of indie dream-pop music! Most of the songs I listen to feel energetic, melodic and upbeat. It’s the kind of music that lifts your spirit even when you’re having the worse day of your life. This track was about being in that state, and still having the energy to keep going, staying positive and being optimistic about life.
4 – What really sets this track apart from your previous compositions?
The virtual guitar you hear in the beginning was something new for me. I haven’t done anything like that before. The rhythm and the groove were not something I’m used to making. But it’s the guitar that I started playing around with that was the drive for the entire track.
5 – What software, instruments or tools did you use for “Tomorrow Goes On”?
I recorded the virtual guitar in Pro Tools and then used FL Studio to add the rest of the sound together. There were a bunch of different VST instruments on the track, but most of it were from Native Instruments Komplete bundle.
6 – In your opinion, Is Las Vegas a good place for underground electronic musicians?
You know what, I have to be honest, I don’t know the answer to that yet. I want to think it’s a good place to be in because all the major electronic music producers you heard of has performed here. There’s quite a lot of inspiration though when you’re around the strip and you see names like Steve Aoki, Zedd, Major Lazer, Calvin Harris, and all the big names who’s been around. I will say this though, Las Vegas is the home for electronic music for many many years to come. C’mon, EDC, that’s not going away anytime soon!
The music scene out here is phenomenal! It’s not just electronic music, you have performers from all musical backgrounds. There’re always music festivals here for everyone and you can find a wide range of genres; reggae, jazz, classical, blues, rock, Latin, experimental, even world music. Plenty to discover. It’s great for me since I love discovering new music. You bring any kind of music to Las Vegas and you can’t go wrong. People here love to be entertained, and music is the center of entertainment. The Blue Man Group and Jabbawockeez are great examples of that.
8 – What type of listeners do you want to attract with your music?
I haven’t really thought about that – I mean, no group in particular. I think if listeners can enjoy music without lyrics and find that it resonates with their emotions, their imagination or their dreams, then my music is for them.
9 – Have you ever produced film scores?
For short films and school projects, yes. I would love to produce film scores for a feature film or video games one day. A composer I really admire in that field is Junkie XL. He started off with electronic music and has now become one of the best film composers today. Of course, there’s also Hans Zimmer. These guys are incredibly talented. If I have a chance to score, I think I’d like to do something like Steve Jablonsky, he’s my favorite composer.
‘Retrogram’ is an album that will be a launchpad for my music career. I’ve been producing music for a very long time, mostly staying under the radar and sharing it with a small community – what most music hobbyist would do, I guess. Now, I think it’s time for me to get out there; expand, reach more people and share my music with the world. It might seem a late that I’m just starting now, but I once heard a quote somewhere goes like, “It doesn’t matter how old your music is, if someone never heard of it, it is new to them.” So, this album will be a compilation of some of the best work I’ve done in the past and a few extra surprises. ‘Retrogram’ will be available this year in July.
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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Country Duo Poppyiris
Unquestionably, timeless romantic songs are the specialty of Poppyiris. In this exclusive interview, you can know them better. Moreover, if you want to chill and listen to Country music, you might enjoy their latest offering entitled, “Why The Hell Knot”. Scroll down and happy reading!
1 — Thanks for your time, where are you located?
Poppyiris is a duo from Nashville and Los Angeles.
2 — What are you known for?
Deedee: I am known for writing Country songs and Broadway Musicals. One of my musicals, “Waiting For Johnny Depp” was selected by Tony Award-winning producer Ken Davenport to be featured in the Rave Music Festival this past summer in NYC. The show is definitely gaining momentum across the country. I co-wrote it and starred in it and won Best Actress for my performance at The Valley Theatre Awards here in Los Angeles.
Mike: I am in high demand as a session singer in Nashville and I share the stage with a lot of cool cats. I recently performed with Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. I am very fortunate to make my living as a musician.
Poppyiris is known for our timeless love songs and our harmonies. People love each of us as performers in our own right but together, they kind of go wild over the union of our voices.
3 — What do you do for a living?
Deedee: Write songs, books, teach songwriting and perform.
Mike: I am a session musician and a bass player. I tour with a lot of amazing artists including the legendary Loretta Lynn. We are also both session musicians who sing on other people’s albums.
4 — How much experience or expertise do you have in music?
Deedee: When I was 21 I started singing commercials in New York. You could hear my voice on commercials like Avis Rent A Car, Heinz Ketchup, IBM and Toshiba. I was also the jingle voice for a Japanese radio station for years. If you combine the list of people we have shared the stage with, it is a list of the who’s who of American Music.
We have collectively shared the stage with Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Chris Cagel, Stephen Bishop, Glen Campbell, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, and the list goes on and on and on.
5 — Studies
Deedee: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from Hofstra University and a minor in music.
Mike: I came to Nashville the week after HS graduation… My cousin is a professional bass player here and had already gotten established in the Nashville music community… I got here on a Monday and on Tuesday he got a call about a new artist needing a bass player who also could sing harmonies, he told them about me and on Thursday (less than a week of being in Nashville) I was on my way to Las Vegas with my first artist gig.
6 — Music influences
Billy Joel, The Beatles, Kenny Rankin, Dan Fogelberg, The Police, Brett Eldredge, Loretta Lynn, Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks, and Keith Urban.
7 — Aspirations or hopes
We want to open for a major Country act like Reba, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum or Eldredge, on the road! We want a bunch of Grammys and CMA awards as well. We wouldn’t mind starring in a few movies too!
8 — Achievements or awards
Deedee: I’m pretty proud of winning the Los Angeles Music Award’s singer/songwriter of the year
Mike: I won Tasmanian Independent Country Music Awards International Artist Of The Year last year.
9 — How would you describe your music style?
Contemporary Country with an R&B influence.
10 — Other details about your life and personality
Deedee: I have written a book called The Lemonade Maker about turning obstacles into opportunities and I love public speaking and singing about the subject. I enjoy helping mankind become more causative over his problems and less a victim. Life is all about learning to handle the punches in a positive way.
Mike: My parents were always very supportive of my music with the lessons and making sure my bills got paid when times were tough!
I never take for granted that kind of support. It takes a village to make a great artist.
Deedee: Yes, my mom and dad were exactly the same. Always there to back me up on all my music endeavors. We couldn’t do it without the support of family and wonderful friends.
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