Get ready for an illuminating interview with American Pop artist Shaelyn Avalon, where she spills the beans on how she brought her latest single, “My Time,” to life. Not only that, but she’s also revealing interesting details of the awesome music video that goes with it.
1 — What inspired you to write your newest song “My Time”?
“My Time” in particular is about overcoming so many things, people, struggles, and just sort of grappling with fighting off all of these things throughout the course of my life, but especially through 2022.
2 — Did any specific experiences influence the songwriting?
I just overall felt tugged in so many directions, hence the vines. I think that was my favorite thing we got to really bring to life symbolically. Different life events threw my life out of control – loss, surgery, and survivor’s guilt. I was overcoming different types of abuse all at once as well as struggling with CPTSD and finally arrived at a place where I can show up for myself and defend myself. I was gaslit and taken advantage of in the past because I was so vulnerable after losing my mother. Fake friends, people wanting to exploit me for their own agendas, I went into a cocoon and just took a break after being so overloaded. It didn’t feel like I was in control of my own life for a long time and all I wanted was to prove them wrong. This song became more than that though. Once all the toxicity oozed out of my life, it became a launching point for more music.
3 — Can you share your favorite lyric line? What makes it special?
“Killed my light inside but somehow I still survived” – there are so many things that made me feel dead inside the past two years. Two days after my surgery my mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack. I had to just keep surviving hit after hit with that. From 2020-2021 I was unable to really focus on music because of my health problems, but something I never publicly addressed is I did have a stalker at the time, and he was dangerous enough for me to have to file a restraining order against. It was a time I should have been able to focus on honoring my mom’s death, and instead I was receiving packages at my door that had hidden cameras, disturbing and sometimes violent texts, and being scared of walking home alone. It was all too much. The fact that I’m still in one piece is nothing short of a miracle.
4 — Do you believe the music video fits the overall narrative of this single?
Absolutely yes. I took a lot of time creating my storyboard for this song, working on getting every detail just right, and ultimately finally feeling like I had accomplished what I wanted to with visuals, costumes, and hair.
The hair took a couple of tries to get right. I actually dyed my hair from blonde to copper for this video specifically, and then I got sick, I postponed maybe twice and then finally I got the shade of red right, I was healthy, and the video came out even better than it would have if we had gone with my original date.
The fairy in a forest idea was mine, and it was very important to me that we didn’t cut any corners with how we made the vines move. It needed to look like they were fighting me and I was fighting back. Breaking free from the vines is symbolic of me breaking free from all the things that caused me pain, both emotionally and physically.
5 — How many shooting days were involved in creating the music video for “My Time”? Where did the filming take place?
We shot this video in just one day, in about two hours. The video took many more hours to plan, promote, and edit, then there’s playlisting the single, and sending it off to my publishers. There’s a lot that goes into just one project that I’m very much a part of. I don’t just go and shoot the video and it’s over, I’m there editing along with my team and giving notes throughout the day, doing press, and all that fun stuff. I’m a bit of a workaholic with that aspect of things so I’m working on bringing on a larger team to help me keep a better work/life balance moving forward.
6 — Can you describe the significance or symbolism behind the costume you wore in these visuals?
The fairy costume was my favorite music video outfit I have EVER worn. I wanted to pay homage to my past EP ‘Wonderland’ with the fairytale theme and built off of that. I also was heavily inspired by The Winx Saga, which was a show I clung to when I was really struggling to remember who I was in the early days of my grief. Powerful women that are also vulnerable inspire me to be the best version and the most hopeful version of myself.
I want to give them something to enjoy, but also I want to give them something bigger than myself. The message can be taken so many ways and I know for me, personally, I have never loved a song I wrote more than this one and one other unreleased song on the album. They feel like the perfect blend between nostalgic and assertive. This is definitely a power anthem. I want to show that it’s okay to be angry and that sometimes that anger is justified. Our bodies regulate emotions to protect us from harm, if I hadn’t gotten angry and stopped taking all the things that I was being dealt with, I could not have come to this place I’m at now.
8 — Are you currently working on a new album or planning live performances?
Yes, the album is currently called ‘Redemption,’ this is chapter one so chapter two is gonna really build on that and so on. It’s all very exciting to see these stories that mean so much to me, both influenced by my imagination and through books and movies I love, come to life in a way that I didn’t think would be possible unless I was signed with a major label. If that happens or not is yet to be seen. I am hoping to find one that lets me exercise my creative vision and believes in me when the timing is right.
9 — Do you feel 2023 is truly your time to shine?
I feel like this is the year I’m really gonna get to put my plans into action that I’ve cooked up over the past year. I’ve plotted my return like a boomerang and really have had more fun creating easter eggs for fans, teasers, and recording than ever. It’s so cool to have all my material stocked up and now finally be at peace and get to be in the creative process of retelling instead of in the thick of it all. What I’m most looking forward to is seeing fan responses to the music video and then seeing them connect all the dots between the upcoming videos and songs. My longtime fans know the timeline, they know the guys I’ve dated, the places I’ve been, things I have struggled with – and I have no doubt in my mind that my relationship with them is gonna really thrive in this era. This is as much for me as it is for them. I disappeared for almost two years. It’s “My Time” now.
10 — Finally, if you could stop time for a day, what would be the first thing you would do or explore?
I would go to New York and Paris to live out my Gossip Girl fantasy. The whole day would be spent at the spa, then shopping, and finished with a celebratory Blair Waldorf-style party.
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Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.