Recently, Olga Alex released an amazing remix of her hit single “Holdin’ On (Love I Feel).” She joined forces with leading international DJ/Producer Robbie Rivera and the results exceed expectations. As a matter of fact, it has been featured at the Top 50 Progressive House Charts. In this special interview, you’ll discover interesting details about the singer’s music and career.
1 — First of all, what got you interested in music initially?
Music has always been my biggest passion. I can’t even imagine how my life would be without it. I never looked at my music as a “business” per se. I just follow my heart and do everything I can to deliver my message through the music I create.
2 — Was your family or friends supportive of your career choice?
My career started when I began to sing for my mother. She really enjoyed it but kept criticizing me trying to make me better at my craft, which I of course took the wrong way. She is really one of my biggest supporters. We live on different continents but still speak daily. She is always listening to my new music, gives me her thoughts on my ideas, and watches my Instagram videos before I post them publicly. I really value her opinions and advice. My close friends are all from the same scene. Years ago, we were all in a reality show, and formed a girl band called, “R&B Girls.” It was years ago, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday. The project gained much notoriety within the industry. We were on MTV Russia and even posed for the magazine Playboy there. We have since remained very close friends, and are always super present in each other’s lives and personal music careers. They are very supportive of me in my career choice but I can honestly say I didn’t choose this career, it chose me. This is my life, and it is who I am.
I am very focused on my music career at the moment. Modeling is really just number two. Music demands my full attention, and I wouldn’t have it any other way actually. The Lafayette team has been amazing. They set a very high standard for me and really push me to be my best. The songwriting and the whole recording process is very time-consuming. It really doesn’t leave me much time for much else. People think my life is fun, and music is so glamorous. The truth is there is a lot of hard work that goes behind what I do. The fun part happens when I am satisfied with the end result, which isn’t all that often. I always try to challenge myself to become better. I work until I reach that point where I can say, okay this is it and then I can move on to the next thing. As far as modeling goes, I just recently worked with Vikram Pathak, one of the greats in the photography world, to shoot album covers for my newest releases. What a blast, that was. I am also asked to perform for New York Fashion Week each year, and use this stage as a way to premier my new music. There really weren’t many events in 2020 though due to the pandemic, hopefully, this year will bring new, exciting, and positive things.
4 — Is your music style influenced by your homeland?
No, actually. Not so much. I am a club junkie. I would frequent the hottest clubs in Russia often, but it’s funny. They would only play House tracks from the West. Some of my first records were all electro club stuff, which was very mainstream in Russia back then, and all in English: “One Second”, “No Panic”, “Gorgeous”, and so on. The first two were added in heavy rotation to all of the modern radio stations over there. I released then under my early-stage monikers: Diva Rhys Meyers and Magdalena G. I started to use my real name, Olga Alex, only when I began to make music in the US. My production team actually persuaded me to do it. Olga is my real first name, and Alex is a shortened version of my last name, Alexandrova. Funny enough, I actually recorded my very first Russian song in New York by my publisher’s request. It was called, “Crossroads.” We premiered it in the American TV series, “Shameless,” and it was then picked up by Amazon’s “Romanoffs.” That has been my only record in Russian. I am proud beyond words to be here and to be a part of this US culture. It feels like home to me. The last time I traveled, upon my return home to New York, a female customs agent greeted me and welcomed me back home. She was right, I was back home.
5 — Are you vocally trained or is it an all-natural talent?
I never attended a music school, if this is what you mean by trained. I did take lessons from academically trained singers and teachers here and there, and tune in to Seth Riggs online when I have the time. Today, is a different story though. I work with my producers constantly and they really have an influence in my work and sound. I do like to do things my own way though. I prefer to put my heart into my work and sing from my soul. I like to do it my own way.
6 — How would you describe the sounds of your latest single “Holdin’on (Love I Feel)”?
That’s an interesting story actually as to how that song came about. What happened was, my songwriter friends from Sweden, Alex Jamal and Tomas Grangryd, wrote a song called “Fighting The Urge To Breathe” for me. It was a mainstream successful record, and is out there on all the usual platforms. The mechanics behind the record though were very complex- tons of vocals, lots of background lines, ad libs, and so on. I was approached often for remixes, so I made the record a bit more club friendly, more stripped down. I took the main lyric line from that song, and wrote a completely different melody around it- darker, more provocative, and intriguing. I could immediately tell that this version really resonated with the DJ’s. Cortney Callanan, a friend and label partner of LFS Records, immediately took notice of the track, signed it, and starting commissioning remixes right away. I can always tell when she believes in a project, because she just doesn’t hesitate. She never looks back. I just knew it was going to be amazing, when I listened to the very first mix we received completed by producer Jody Vukas. The bass was pumping so hard it blew me away. I then added a few more ad lib vocals, and the rest was history. The remix package on the record and talent we had work on it was truly legendary: James Anthony, VTONE, Saeed Younan, Eddie Baez, and Robbie Rivera really turned my words into something very special. I hear many people say it sounds like a record from the ‘90s. It’s funny to me, because I know LFS records prides itself on creating this type of sound. I was too young though at that time, and can’t really understand the reference. The song just came out naturally. It is currently charting worldwide on hundreds of shows, and being added daily. I am so floored.
7 — What did you learn by collaborating with the one and only Robbie Rivera?
Robbie is an amazing producer who really thinks outside of the box. His remix is very innovative and Avant Garde to say the least. For me, the best part of the mix was the harmony he created so easily with elements I wasn’t even aware of! He really worked from the heart. You can just tell, and that’s something we truly have in common. Don’t be afraid to go where your heart takes you. Just go there, don’t question it, because the result will be something so powerful and amazing you’d never be able to recreate it again. His mix was very unique and independent from my idea of the traditional mix. He created something completely different, and I feel blessed for the opportunity to work with him..
It’s about a relationship where love meets imagination. The girl drowns in her feelings so deep that it scares her, and she feels like she is in trouble initially. Her emotions take her breathe away. She then regains control, and is able to hold on. It’s definitely a very optimistic track besides being so dark in the beginning.
9 — Do you have a favorite place to sit and write lyrics?
You know, I commute a lot so I use every opportunity to write – whether it’s a bus, or a train, or a park or just a line in the supermarket. I start by compiling my ideas first, and then organize and put everything together completely when I get to the studio. I finish it with music. I was eating lunch with a friend in a restaurant one day, and pulled out my pen and pad because I was hit with inspiration all of a sudden. We ended up sitting there writing a song over margaritas. One of my favorite spots to write is actually on a plane when I travel. The solitude and aloneness are deafening, and it always brings me to that place. The one where my pen just takes off and tells a story.
10 — What can listeners expect from Olga Alex in 2021?
You know, that’s a good question. I have records that are almost done, so we will probably release those, and I really cannot wait to perform again. I miss my audience. I have many new ideas to develop, and I need this connection to grow them organically. I feel very optimistic about this year. It’s like we all transitioned to a new society this past year. We took too long a journey. We have been through too much hurt and pain, and learned from those mistakes. There is now a new sense of hope for us all. 2021 will be a break-through year, especially for us creatives, and I cannot wait!
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Exclusive Interview: COY SWEDE & J.O.Y Collab On “Never Ever”
This is the first time COY Swede ventures into RnB by joining forces with J.O.Y. In an instant, you will be blown away as the quality of his new single “Never Ever” feels like charting song material. Read our exclusive interview with both artists!
1 — How did you end up working together?
COY Swede: Me and J.O.Y also did “Closer” through Soundbetter platform together. And RnB being one of J.O.Y’s genres I knew we could make another magic track together.
It’s very rare I work with the same singer again. But we speak the same language musically and we connected, even more, this time.
J.O.Y: Me and COY Swede first met up online on Soundbetter (the leading platform where singers and producers meet to finish each other work). He wrote me to be his singer for his track “Closer.” From there on we became friends and collab more frequently together!
2 — How would you define RnB music?
COY Swede: It depends on how far you go back in time, 50, 70, or 90, and our time. Genre changes very fast in our time and gets a bit blurred or, some genres evolve into something new.
But for me, RnB is still pure Soul and Blues and also can be a flavour of Chill Pop and influences rhythms from Hip-Hop. That’s my personal thinking.
J.O.Y: RnB was my first love in music! I remember listening to greatness such as Joe, Brian Mcknight, and Craig David and was impressed by the runs, variation of tone, and vocal skills these guys have! This made me do a lot of cover songs of the RnB genre and me ending up having my singing style from them.
COY Swede: For me, it evolves me as a producer. Gives me more experience. I work only with the best singers that share my passion among the independent areas.
Over the years I also have learned how to know what I’m looking for around a genre and theme for the song. What vibe do I want to create.
Marketing strategies change all the time and we Indie artists work really hard with the tools we have.
The most important thing for me is to keep going and deliver the music to my listeners. Show interest in other artists, be helpful if I can, and also learn more about how to get my music out there.
J.O.Y: Doing collabs is one of the best ways to showcase your music and learn from it. You learn to see different kinds of colors of music. You are also forced to go out of your comfort zone which allows you to grow.
4 — What new things did you learn while recording “Never Ever”?
COY Swede: Well, it’s actually the first time I produce an RnB track 😊 I would be very happy if the listeners can connect to it. The bells in the intro are actually recorded by an instrument and then I added some effects using “Thermal from Output.”
Every track I make gives me something new. I’m very happy with the variated bridges in this track to be a little technical. And my challenge was, how to make a short song feel longer than it actually is. We also wanted this song to have a good hook and a chorus to sing along to.
J.O.Y made awesome work with his skills as a singer and writer.
J.O.Y: As a songwriter, you always get to learn a new perspective after each song. Especially here I evolved my songwriting by having the hook be a statement and the verses describing my story. I will definitely write more songs like this, where the hook is simple yet catchy and the verses a bit more complex.
5 — Who is the main songwriter of this new track? What inspired you to write the lyrics?
COY Swede: We worked from a theme I sent J.O.Y. And for the chorus, I recorded a sample of my voice. Then J.O.Y did his magic. Just a note, only the VOCAL is mixed together from 15 stems to give you a perspective. 😉
It’s also a love song for people that found new love and how to carry it forward. But as a songwriter/producer you are open to how a listener feels about it. You can, “Never Ever” know. 😊
J.O.Y: COY Swede presented me with the theme of the song, and explained it to me pretty well. From that on I felt inspired and tapped into some of my experiences to replicate this feeling.
The unique bells in the song maybe is a slight try to call on that upcoming Christmas vibe. Mariah Carey, are free to make a cover if she wants. 😉
J.O.Y: To all the listeners that go through a tough time right now. It’s that season again when tracks like these are needed.
7 — How would you imagine the music video?
COY Swede: No plan at this moment. Maybe a lyrics video on my YouTube channel.
8 — Are you planning to drop remixes for this release?
COY Swede: No plans at this moment.
9 — How do you spend your free time when not making music?
COY Swede: Family first, I love to travel around the world, health, training, and love cooking if I have time. I also read everything that has something to do with space research and am also engaged in earth’s environment and climate.
J.O.Y: Coy Swede nailed it. Family first. Sometimes music can feel like a job where all you think of is music. It’s good to have breaks to enjoy with your loved ones. Also, it’s very good for your creativity and finding new inspiration to write music.
10 — Lastly, what are your future plans?
COY Swede: Next year maybe I will try to do some more DJ appearances. I did one this year 2022 in Stockholm. Maybe together with my music bro Alan Walker or, even Tiesto would be really cool!
It would be cool to finally meet them both in real life, and talk about music experiences and future experimental stuff. You “Never Ever,” know! 😊
One thing is for sure I will keep doing this, and create more music. I would also like to try to make a score for movies or TV in the future, would be cool, if one of my released songs were featured.
J.O.Y: Be more active as a songwriter and have a lot more placements with bigger companies or TV/Film. I want to watch a show and hear my music in the background – that’s something I can imagine would be super cool and surreal.
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!