This is one of the best interviews I’ve ever done! The story of Orca is inspiring and serves as a good example that anything with discipline can be achieved. Despite his visual impairment, he’s determined to provide listeners with top-notch music. Scroll down to learn more about him.
1 – Your journey towards becoming a singer-songwriter is pretty inspiring. Please tell us more about it?
It all started when I was three years old; since my mother tongue is Arabic, I was always fascinated with English music. My parents used to bring different cassettes and mashups of different genres. I didn’t understand what they were saying or who the singers were, but English music always brought comfort and happiness no matter what.
As I grew older, my dad started buying me piano keyboards, the toy version of a piano, and let me play with I even have an old photo from those times. Sometimes my grampa would hand me a mic and allow me to sing along with the songs I loved. My family used to surround me cheer me on while I was singing. I even tried to trace some of those songs.
Still, I couldn’t find all of them like for example, from the songs I could find AQUA’s “Candyman,” “Roses Are Red,” “Doctor Jones,” “My Oh My,” and “Calling For You,” and also I managed to find Shaggy’s album such as ‘Angel,’ and ‘Hot Shot.’
I also used to listen to Westlife, Five, The Backstreet Boys among other artists I couldn’t hunt down all of them, but I managed to find a few.
All was fun and good until I reached middle school. When I decided to start focusing on music and improve my vocal abilities, my family stood against it and considered music a hobby that was not to be pursued. “If you have extra time, then sing but don’t create free time for it.” I should focus on academic achievements and the fact that the kind of music I listen to isn’t accepted where I live. There was also the fact that what will benefit me in life is my education and not my passion for music, and since I’m visually impaired, they considered that I only have a one-way path in life that should cross without looking to either left or right… Yet the dream kept bottling inside, and I kept listening to English music, ignoring any other kinds of music as I grew up.
I did not recognize most Arab artists and only knew those in English. I couldn’t mix with other people because our musical interests and references differed. I didn’t build any kind of audience or connect with my generation. I kept this on as I grew listening and learning while also improving my listening abilities to understand more about the song’s structure and how everything ticks.
But whenever I tried to discuss any type of training with the family, the answer was always no, so I kept self-training until I couldn’t take it anymore all those ideas and scenarios that I needed to share in a song all those stories that I wish to tell and share with others it was eating me inside until I couldn’t take anymore, and I decided to start my journey no matter what, and on January 2021 my first release came out, and I knew that to reach my dream I need an audience a fan base a movement to support me and cheer me on because I cannot do anything alone I have so many limitations when it comes to my disability, but I’m not planning to give up, and I will keep on pushing until someday people can support me and get the message that each of my singles has within its lyrics and its own structure because it isn’t always about the story but on how its told.
2 – Being visually impaired has allowed you to develop higher sensibility in other senses?
That is absolutely true. When God takes away something from a person, he blesses him with something else in return. Throughout my life, I developed a heightened sense of hearing, smell, taste, touch, the sixth sense in a way, So when it comes to my sense of hearing, I consider it to be a blessing and a curse because now I can hear things that are far far away. I’m also able to hear when people whisper to each other when people have phone calls. I can listen to what’s going on the other end and also what other people do in their home if they were close to me, so my solution for this was buying a noise-canceling headset and walking almost every day while wearing it so if people need me they’ll have to call or text to get my attention.
I was also able to develop a heightened sense of direction, so instead of looking for the direction of where a car is coming, for example, I rely on the air around me along with the sound that the vehicle makes, which allows me to walk or move to the opposite direction this ability helped me a lot in my soccer days in which it allowed to evade my opponents and be able to avoid them and also tell where the goalkeeper or the team’s defensive line are standing either from the air around the sound of their breath or the smell of their cologne or body In this world every person has a unique smell think of it as a fingerprint but for blind or visually-impaired people so that we can recognize you when approaching us.
I recognize people via their voice because my remaining sight doesn’t allow me to identify facial details such as facial structure, eye color, etc. when navigating or moving around if it’s a similar area, I rely on my photographic memory of the place so if changes were to occur in that area such as the moving of furniture the chances of me bumping into them are high and when I’m outside of the house I rely on my Kane.
I also consider myself to be a technology nerd. I’m always looking for hardware and software to make my life easier when using what’s left of my sight. For example, when recording and mixing, I use zooming software that makes everything look bigger; of course, it has some drawbacks, but I’m always for the look for new things that’ll help me keep on pushing and release more music
The name Orca was given to me by my teammates and friends thanks to my unique and aggressive playstyle. When playing the sports of basketball and soccer, indeed, I’m visually impaired. Still, I was always able to evade my opponents and score with unbelievable accuracy despite not seeing a thing. Hence, one day they started talking about how I hone onto my target like a dolphin and how I possess an echo-location-like ability. Then they considered the dolphin to be a gentle creature that didn’t fit my playstyle. Hence, they agreed on why we call you Orca instead. Since you possess the abilities and traits of an orca, then I said OK. So there you have back then; they mentioned that an orca has poor sight, but it turned out that this piece of information wasn’t true, so how about I become the first Orca that I visually-impaired it’ll make become even more unique.
4 – Does anyone in your family play a musical instrument or sing?
As far as singing, I’m the only one, but when it comes to instrument playing, I learned piano for a short while and didn’t finish. Still, a relative of mine is a pianist. She teaches piano lessons to those who want to learn another relative plays the violin, so basically, I have a relative who can play different instruments.
5 – How many songs have you released so far? Which one is your favorite?
This is tricky; currently, I have eight releases and have two on standby. You see, I’m struggling financially, and I record two songs per month. Still, I’m only able to release one of them due to my very limited budget. My biggest wish is to gain the support of those who listen to and fall in love with my music so that they can help me release more music and reach higher levels of connectedness with my fans, but as things stand, I only can get one song out there.
The other one will have to wait until the next month, so my message to all of you is to help me and lend me your support, allow me to share my passion with you, and release more unique pieces of music for you.
As for which one of my releases is my favorite, I can’t answer that because everyone has their own atmosphere and a fantastic story to tell. If they were the same, I might have chosen a favorite; even if the style may sound the same at first, each song will sound different in its own way of telling its story, and in my case, I don’t only focus on the music itself I also love to spill my stories into the artwork of each single leaving clues in every detail my goal is to take the listener on a journey where they can enjoy listening and figuring out the message behind each single so that my single can help them relate and connect with their inner feelings.
So, the answer is I’m in love with everything that I create because I always put 400% into every release that I make.
6 – What drove you to drop your new single, “Good 4 You”?
I was driven by the need to let my overactive imagination run free. The basic concept of “Good 4 You” can take different routes and shapes depending on the person you ask. In my case, I connected it to myself and whether I could land the woman of my dreams.
I traveled back in time and remembered the moments when I saw my now wife and the mother of my four children and how I was hesitant at first. I was reminded of how often I did ask myself this exact question.
Still, then I decided why don’t create a single that tells a unique story that its main focus is love, romance, and getting what you dreamt about in the end, and that’s when it hit me from the lyrics to the arrangement and the artwork all combined tells a happy story and creates the answer to this one simple but significant and endless question.
Always believe in yourself and the power of love, romance, and your ability to pursue and think in them. They’ll respond in kind by lending you their power, allowing you to reach the finish line.
7 – To whom would you dedicate this new song?
I’m dedicating this song to my beloved wife, the core of my inspiration and bottomless love. I also dedicate this song to all those who need to listen to it and may relate to it to help them find what they seek, so to all those who believe in love, romance, and your own ability to attract those you love; this is for you.
8 – Which is your favorite place to write compositions? Why?
There is no particular place for writing because I might be inspired anywhere, then the lyrics related to that idea will start pouring in like raindrops. So the times where I sat down and put effort into writing are pretty rare, to be honest.
So when I first started writing, I began as a poet. So whenever I think of a specific feeling, the ideas come to me in droves, then I start writing.
It’s like I become possessed, then my fingers start moving on their own, and when I stop writing, I realize that a masterpiece was created. It might sound weird, but this is what happens. It all comes out of thin air, and then boom, a song is born.
9 – Is your next single another love song?
The answer is no. As you may know, I promote myself as a visually impaired artist/songwriter who creates music that includes 400% love, 400% romance, and 200% of all that is between now.
Usually, I don’t do this, but I’m willing to share the upcoming releases my fans should expect. I’m only sharing the order, but no release dates as they’re a surprise. My upcoming single will be called “Situations.” The next in line is “Sister” and then back to the love and romance with the single “Dreamy.”
I’m always ready to create more music, so lend your support and strength so that I keep on making,
10 – Finally, what advice would you like to share with other indie artists?
I’ve got a lot of advice to offer but let us focus on the main take on things: to all indie artists out there, don’t give up and keep on pushing; this is a long road with many twists and turns.
Be careful of who you trust and who you send your music to. Scammers are all over the place, and they can mess you and your music in a heartbeat, so make sure to deal with only authentic promotional agencies and not anyone who’s offering you a cheaper, easy promo.
Don’t get discouraged if a single doesn’t turn out the way you imagined it would; instead, keep moving forward focus on the feedback you receive. If it’s valuable, take it to heart.
If it’s only hate to give it, a second glance keep improving until you reach the desired level and good luck to you and always remember my philosophy when it comes to music “Always inspire and get inspired because music can fix what words alone cannot.”
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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!
CONNECT WITH BLIND MUTATION NOW!
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!