US singer Shaelyn Avalon just released the lead single for her upcoming second studio album, ‘Redemption.’And nothing is better than real emotive songs based on true events. That said, “Hot Mess” is worth your time to listen to it.
She opens up her heart for us to feel a transcendental episode of her life. The full interview is here!
1 — Where did you get inspiration to write the lyrics for “Hot Mess”?
I started writing “Hot Mess” when I was in the hospital getting bloodwork done. The car crash I got into at the beginning of 2021 (as a passenger) caused me some major injuries that I had to get CT scans and MRIs. When they told me there was a large mass in my stomach that could rupture any minute I felt like I lost my life. I’d modeled for years in order to help support my music and felt pressure since I was 19 to be a certain size and weight. My weight started fluctuating because of the cyst that had been preexisting before the accident. I struggled with an eating disorder because of it and always blamed myself. My self-esteem took a huge hit and so did my faith in God. All I wanted was for things to go back to normal, to go back to me and what felt right. I would imagine what life was gonna be like after I got the cyst out and when I got my body back. I was upset that my plans for my career got put on hold for a full year.
2 — If you could travel back in time, and repeat one event, what would it be?
I would hug my mom again and more often. I never got to say goodbye to her when she passed. I would have taken more photos with her too. She was very against being posted on social media and we have rarely any photos together from when I was an adult. In all of them, I’m young and it feels like I’m looking at a stranger in the photos. We were thousands of miles away from each other when she died suddenly from a heart attack and I had to hear it from her husband over the phone, who had separated she and myself when I was in my preteens and moved in with my grandparents. I was still recovering from my surgery and the heavy crying hurt my sides where I had been cut open so much that I tried to numb myself so I wouldn’t be in so much pain.
3 — Is this the saddest song you’ve ever written as an artist?
It is…and it isn’t. I’ve always seen it as a more angry song than sad. There’s a longing in there but it’s a song based on survival. I was angry at everything – my life for changing so suddenly, one thing after the next, it didn’t feel real and I didn’t feel like I had any autonomy over my own life or decisions. Doctors, chiropractors, and nurses constantly told my grandma and my mom they couldn’t come with me to my appointments because of stupid restrictions and then made me deal with having them handle my body however they wanted. It felt icky and gross. There was a lot of invasive prodding that made me feel like I was a science experiment and not a human being. I had to have ultrasounds and all these warm liquids shot into my body through an IV for them to do more scans, only to be sent home hungry since I was not allowed to eat until they told me to and then I’d be so fatigued I could barely stand each time I came out. I was accused of being pregnant, and that’s when the eating disorder got REALLY bad. I felt so much shame when people would try to tell me I was wrong about my own body. I had just gone through a breakup before the accident so I obviously was super single the whole time I was going through this. The good news is I’m sterile now so nobody will ever be able to accuse me of that again *laughs.*
I hope it helps others who have hospital trauma and makes them feel seen, or that it helps people that are severely depressed like I have been. It can be so frustrating to feel like you’re the only one with a heavy load on your back. In the year I struggled with getting diagnosed I met so many wonderful friends online who also had invisible disabilities. It can feel like you’re on a journey nobody understands. This is the song that says “I understand, I lived through it too. It’s gonna be okay even if there is no quick fix.” Although none of us deserved it in the first place.
5 — The guitar riffs sound brilliant. What emotions does the instrumentation evoke for you?
A lot of angst, redemption, taking back my power after losing it for a whole year. It made me daydream a lot about what it would be like to tour with this song when I first got the track from Jason Pettey. We connected online and he sent me three tracks I really love and then I recorded them with Jerry (Danielsen) like I do most of my songs. The other two are on the album as well. The first time I sang it I felt like myself again.
6 — What’s the current status of your upcoming album ‘Redemption’?
These new songs are very unlike what I originally envisioned for my first album but are what was needed. The story (as of now) walks with the listener through the trials tragedy can cause and the ups and downs afterward. My loss was very unique in the timing of it all and how it happened. I still carry a lot of guilt for being the one that lived. I wasn’t supposed to make it through my ovarian cystectomy if the liquid in the cyst burst. I kept thinking God was somehow letting my mom die because he let me live through a surgery I was scared I would die from and they were only two days apart. It made me feel alone. The only reason I kept going at such a fast pace the first two months after she died was because I was mad I was robbed of having a mother through such a difficult time in my life, which is now mixed with a lot of sadness, wistfulness, and sometimes forgetting she’s gone. I’m obviously still in a lot of pain so I don’t think that fire inside me is gonna go out anytime soon. I think the album looks a little like that, the bottled-up stuff only my best friends, my grandparents, and my boyfriend see. It’s also the happy moments that came through the pain, the nights my friends took me out so late I wouldn’t have to cry alone in my small apartment in LA before my boyfriend and I moved in together, and the adventures and sweet moments my boyfriend and I share. In a way I feel older than my peers because I’m now parentless and can see trivial things as just that – trivial. It makes me appreciate the innocence I carried when I first started singing. It’s a mess but it’s like a Monet painting, it looks beautiful from the outside I think, like growth.
This chapter in my life, however long it may be, is about rebuilding from the ground up. It’s about taking my body back, taking back the right to say no, going out and doing everything I couldn’t do or people told me I couldn’t do for so long, and feeling alive again. I was severely depressed for so long that I just want my life to be as happy and beautiful as possible now, regardless of how that looks to others.
8 — Can we expect dark ballads or something else?
A lot of those, and some things that are usual Shaelyn. That’s the thing I’m learning about myself and about music, it doesn’t all have to be the same genre to fit an album, the same way I don’t always wear the same style of clothing or how I can be happy one day and sad the next. Grief made me feel like I was allowed to feel the ugly feelings and still be loveable. That’s definitely why God sent me my boyfriend and why me and my best friend have become even closer since I called her crying on the phone and she came straight to my place with a bottle of wine and tissues. Now Lainey is like my sister and Dane is my rock. They are the people that will never let me get hurt and have given me a safe space to evolve and change as I navigate life after loss.
9 — How does this album differ from your past productions?
I am letting myself be a human first and an artist second, even when I relapse into perfectionism and want to be extra hard on myself I have my family and friends to remind me that I went through a lot. Definitely a lot more than the average 24-26-year-old deserved to go through in a short period of time. I’m gonna let this one speak for itself. I think the themes will be obvious in each interlude and will feel more immersive than ever.
10 — Finally, what new things did you learn after recording your recent project?
I learned to stick with my gut feelings about parts of songs that I absolutely have my heart set on and to put more feeling into my music. I am still learning every day. I want to be fearless and stop holding back, especially since my mom passed so young. It really made time seem more fragile and like I shouldn’t waste any of it.
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Discovering Lucii’s Musical Journey And Her New Song “Narcissist”
In this exclusive interview, Lucii shares more about her journey as a musician, the meaning and inspiration behind her new single “Narcissist,” and her plans for the future, including incorporating a live band into her performances and releasing a new album.
1 — How did you first become interested in music and what led you to pursue it as a career?
So I always sang and made songs on guitar as I was growing up but never thought I was good enough. I went to a rave at 17 and really loved it so I started DJing and producing and started to use my vocals on my tracks and it turned into a career!
2 — As a member of the LGBTQ community, how do you feel your identity influences your songs?
I feel like Idk I just write songs about girls, but I think cause I’m female writing about a female gives this extra sparkle of divine femininity.
3 — How do you aim to use your artistic platform to uplift and inspire others in the community?
I just want to make people feel something, music is a form of expression sometimes easier than talking. Mac Miller helped so much with my mental health and I just wanna be that to someone. Make people not feel alone, especially the LGBTQ community.
4 — Please tell us more about the meaning and inspiration behind your new single “Narcissist.”
I was in therapy and was describing this person to my therapist and she said (her name is Andrea and I shout her out in the song) “well that person sounds like a Narcissist” I NEVER heard of that word in my life so I started writing that night “you’re a Narcissist says my therapist” and that’s how it came about. I just wanted an angry song about a Narcissist so I made it.
Probably “thank god for Andrea I should send the bill to ya for all the times I’m in the chair wondering how I got here” Andrea is my therapist and I just think that’s a BA.
6 — How has your experience been as an electronic music producer and how has that influenced your shift into the Pop genre?
I feel like it influenced my Pop music a lot because I want my songs to have energy even if they’re sad, I want that emotional wave rollercoaster to feel like dance music gives.
7 — Are you planning to incorporate a live band into your performances?
YES!! I cannot wait to start playing with my band. I can’t wait to be closer to my audience and just play my songs, that is my dream and I can’t wait to do that soon hehe.
Details on the upcoming album will be announced soon.
9 — What message would you like to send to aspiring LGBTQ musicians looking to break into the industry?
I would say just fucking go for it we NEED you. Look at fletcher she is breaking boundaries right now she is a full-on amazing Pop star and watching her grow has just been so inspiring and made me realize I can do this, I can make the move from being a DJ to being a live performance act.
10 — How do you see your music evolving in the future?
I see myself going through eras, I really love how Taylor Swift each of her albums feel like a chapter to read from ‘1989’ to ‘REPUTATION’ and OMG ‘Folklore.’ All of them are AMAZING but I just want to give that feeling with every one of my albums, as you listen to it and you’re transported back in time to a feeling.
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Exploring An Experimental Album With XENOBYT — Interview
Are you a fan of electronic music with a hint of nostalgia and horror? Look no further, as XENOBYT‘s new album ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’ is exactly what you’ve been searching for. In this exclusive interview, the up-and-coming artist gives you an inside look at the inspiration and creative process behind his original work.
1 — How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
I try to make music that people can vibe to. Something you can put on and get lost in while driving or doing something mundane. There is something fascinating about using a synthesizer, which for a long time was considered the sound of the future, but using it to make music that reminds us of the past. I like to think that if you like Horror and synth music and enjoy the groove of the song over the technicality of what’s played, you would enjoy what I am trying to do here.
2 — Which artists are you most influenced by?
When I was younger, I was a huge Metalhead, but my dad was a big tech geek and loved messing around with a synthesizer and listened to a lot of Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder. So I had an early appreciation for it. I was big into Horror movies and really dug the soundtracks that John Carpenter was doing, and Brad Fiedel’s Terminator 2 soundtrack was another of my favorites. But I didn’t decide to start making this kind of music until I heard Carpenter Brut and Perturbator for the first time.
3 — What drew you to the experimental genre and what sets it apart from other electronic music styles?
I went to college for sound design, so I love taking a sound that people are familiar with and messing with it to make something completely new. And I try to incorporate that into my music in ways that aren’t done very often. Classifying yourself as experimental kind of takes the chains off and resets expectations of what your fans expect to hear when they listen to your music.
4 — What inspired the title of your new album ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’?
Usually, I come up with a simple horror theme for an album before I even start writing the songs for it. The last album, New Retro Witch, was about witchcraft and this album was about malevolent spirits. The concept of getting hired for a certain time to caretake a haunted mansion resonated with me and the things I had going on in my life at the time. I was facing a lot of old trauma I had buried and this concept paralleled with what I was dealing with in my own head, so I based the title of the album around that idea.
5 — How does this material differ from your previous works?
I wanted this album to be heavier than my last album from the start. I wanted to incorporate more Rock and Metal vibes into it but keep some of the same beauty and melancholy that I really liked about New Retro Witch.
Because of the more personal nature of this album, I didn’t really do any big collaborations on it, which is something I normally try to do.
6 — How long did it take you to complete this project?
I started working on this album in the Spring of 2021 and had 9 songs written for this album by the end of summer, but I wasn’t happy with it and scrapped all but 3 songs. I kind of fell into an artistic rut after that and sat on it until February of 2022 and wrote, mixed, and mastered the remainder of the album over the spring and summer.
7 — Could you tell us where ‘Nine Nights In The House Of Harrow’ was recorded?
I have my own recording studio here in Austin and I did all of the writing, mixing, and mastering for this album there.
8 — How did you approach the design of the artwork?
During that artistic rut I had mentioned earlier, I got really enthralled in AI Art Generation and went as far as learning how to and coding my own AI Art Generator. I made a bunch of stuff with it that actually helped inspire me to finish the album. While I am a big fan of collaborating with other artists, I was really proud of the fact I made this art-making machine and how it helped me get back on my grind. I wanted to showcase what it was capable of with this release.
“Deluge,” because there is a sad and dark story behind it. I suffer from depression and PTSD and had a bit of a mental breakdown last summer. That song was created live while I was in the midst of that breakdown. I felt like I was drowning, and I wanted the song to sound like I felt. But I also wrote the song I wanted to hear to feel better, and it worked. I still put it on when I am feeling depressed, and it still makes me feel better.
10 — Are you open to collaborations? If so, what are the requirements?
Absolutely! I am always open to collaborating with other artists. My only requirement is ensuring proper credit is given to everyone involved.
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Empowerment & Authenticity: An Interview With Tash Blake On “Mannequin”
With influences from icons like Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga, Tash Blake is not afraid to break boundaries and bring fresh energy to the music industry. Her debut single “Mannequin” carries a powerful message of rebellion and authenticity. Read the full interview here.
1 — First of all, what makes Tash Blake an artist?
I am constantly thinking about what is missing from the music/visual world and want to contribute my vision, writing, and voice to provide my personal expression in a way that may resonate with how others are feeling but may not be able to express.
2 — How do you combine your passion for dance and musical theatre into your current projects?
I always strive to incorporate choreography and dramatics into all my visual projects. Whether it’s through storytelling or fashion, my goal is to use body movement and character to elevate the art every time.
3 — Can you tell us more about the message behind your debut single “Mannequin”?
“Mannequin” is all about the types of language and power structures that demean and are used to control others and then the recognition and rebellion against them so as to take the power back from whoever or whatever has suppressed your power as a human being.
4 — In what ways does the music video enhance or support this message?
In the video, it was really important to me to feel powerful, sexy, confident, and badass.
5 — What did you enjoy the most about shooting these visuals?
I always adore expressing myself through dance and fashion, and I got to do both! Additionally, I love working in black and white imagery to highlight form and shape.
6 — Was it difficult to translate your personal experiences with manipulation and the pursuit of authenticity into the lyrics?
It was extremely easy to write about my experiences in the lyrics. I was beyond ready to talk about my past, operate in the present, reach for the future, and help others grab their power back.
7 — How does the influence of Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga manifest in your music style?
I have always adored the way these women didn’t play by the “rules.” They were always being themselves and consistently breaking boundaries. I like to be disruptive and break from the norm. Additionally, each of these women were incredible visionaries and performers, and I thoroughly want to bring that experience back to videos, music, and the stage in full force.
8 — Do you have any upcoming live performances scheduled?
I’m currently working on my live show and I’m so excited to share it with you. The stage is where I feel most at home.
9 — What are your most ambitious aspirations as an artist in 2023?
It’s a goal of mine to be playing at a festival this year like Tomorrowland! I would also be so grateful to perform at club venues and interact with and entertain fans.
10 — Finally, what will be your next song about?
I have always felt this deep desire and need for strong love even if it ends up hurting me, I’d rather feel something than feel nothing at all. “Inject Me” expresses exactly that. Throughout the song, I talk about performing and I pulled inspiration from both how I crave such an intense love before I die and how the industry can be a magical yet dark place where you can feel very loved, but overwhelmingly alone and I have always been fascinated by that contradiction.