Music is inspired and used for an infinite amount of things. When music is the main component in a good cause there becomes an aura around it that makes it more important. Musicians are a very charitable group so it is no surprise to find artists helping out a cause that they feel strong about. Our friends Collaborateurs have gotten together to release a record to help out the Gathering Of the Mountain Eagles.
The group of talented musicians have each brought their heart and soul to the new album Put It On The Sleigh. The 14 track record is a Christmas album of sorts with new originals and some covers. The album’s content may have some tongue in cheek humor but the cause is serious to the Collaborateurs. They are using it as a fund raising project for a charity called Gathering of the Mountain Eagles, a group that organizes special events and trips for wounded veterans and their families. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up at: http://www.gofundme.com/collaborateurs . Watch the video here:
The music on the album is both fun and with a real message to it. The opener “Overboard” is a fun jab at the craziness of the Christmas shopping season and the money we spend on it. The season is everywhere as explained in “Florida Christmas”. The song is sunny beach music with a head swaying melody that immediately puts you in a good mood. The group shows off their instrumental skills for the beautiful piece entitled “What Child Is This”. The horns and piano bring a relaxing peace to the season. The album closes strong with “Radiate” bringing all the fun and funk together for an epic piece of songwriting. The emotion in the vocals will draw the listener in and leave you wanting more. Go listen and help for a good cause at: http://www.collaborateurs.info/
We have been a fan of UK pop singer Junior Turner and his big voice for a while now. Finally we had the chance to sit down and get a behind the music talk with him. Enjoy the interview below:
Back in 2010 you were a relative unknown who happened to enter a song contest for BBC Children In Need. After having won the competition how did your musical career path change?
I had been singing since the age of 13 in local pubs and clubs, also around the UK and abroad. Then I had a spell of bad health after suffering multiple blood clots including one in the lung which left me fighting for my life after a short flight to Spain to work there in cabaret lounges aged 18. So eventually in 2010 aged 26 at the time, which I thought my singing days were over, I was asked as part of this pilot idea from the BBC to enter into this project they were running, after I bumped into an old friend. So I did and kind of thought nothing of it. Then all of a sudden it was a like a light switch went on recording studios, video shoots, radio interviews …. social media became part of my life, emails galore complete madness. But it wasn’t until it all stopped and I took it all in that I then realised this was my dream come true and I wanted more. I liked the challenge, the buzz, the attention and now I had opened the door I wasn’t giving it up after a flash in the pan opportunity
Your music brings in a lot of different genres, how would you describe it?
A lot of music critics often talk of my diversity and it is something again I tend not to think about in terms of it being deliberate or planned. I write the song with a very basic melody and then build outwards and it seems to take place and form its own genre during this process. I am blessed that having been brought up around so many varied genre’s given my fathers profession as a local disc jockey when I was young meant my ears were surrounded with many names and styles. This in turn became almost second nature to me in terms of when I began to sing I would only ever cover songs when I could do the genre and original version justice. So I taught myself and created my own tools and comforts in each genre which then in turn became part of my box of masks so to speak when writing songs I would turn it into a genre where perhaps I had heard something similar in my younger years and knew that given other songs had sounded similar and worked then perhaps that song was best of being in a certain genre.
You seem to find songwriting inspiration through supporting causes. Tell us about that?
My first two releases were by chance and opportunity given the BBC release and the time given to me in a studio was utilised quickly leaving me an opportunity to record some demo tracks I had written. One of those tracks was instantly picked up and used by UK war veterans charity help for heroes. So yes my musical career began with supporting causes that appealed to me and I am forever grateful that nearly 5 years later I am still going strong on this path and intend to be around a lot longer too
How does your songwriting process work?
I tend to either write retrospectively after an event or happening or very rarely I find myself seeing or hearing something of interest which in turn becomes the subject of integrity leading to me writing a full song about it oddly ha ha. But I would say 85% of the time I like to use my songwriting as my diary or my release of emotion as I am not one to talk of my troubles or worries. That being said though at the same time my happier moments alike are also captured in music in more or less the same way. I like to work on a subject and build out, normally subject becomes chorus with one melody followed by verses with an alternative melody and a middle 8 section with a 3rd melody of sorts. But sometimes as with Better Day I decided to throw caution to the wind and jokingly when looking for a middle 8 turned into Will Smith of Prince of Bel Air with a ‘tongue in cheek’ rap part for humour which in turn became part of the song. I am a perfectionist overall though and won’t settle until I am happy and more so my trusted fellow few have heard it and are all of the opinion it is right then it can be despatched upon the world and school of thought to be scrutinised and hopefully embraced, adopted into their lives but overall enjoyed and liked.
Who would you say influenced the Junior Turner sound?
Again going back to an earlier question my father worked as a professional disc jockey during my younger years leading up to when I first began to sing so I was always surrounded by music of many genres and artists. So as any normal person would I sort built an array of artists that I liked and certain sounds that made me tick or affected my emotions. My motto which I have is “Melodies make feelings” and if it moves you in which ever way then it is a good piece of music and its destiny has been fulfilled. So again in terms of my sound then it has to be a sound that I know will carry my motto into another persons ears and feed through their mind and heart leaving behind some sort of satisfaction and comfort from the way they choose to adapt and relate to it
Your voice is one of your biggest assets, does it come naturally or did a lot of training go into its development?
I am blessed to have been able to sing from around the age of 12 I began to discover my voice. I was always in school plays in lead roles from my junior years right through to later education and always loved the adrenaline it brought. So when I discovered my voice it kind of went hand in hand. I am however as I have grown older and more mature and wise, a bit more fastidious when it comes to looking after and taking care of my voice. Vocal warm ups and exercises are a must nowadays. Hopefully this will mean I can compete at the top end of my game a little longer and let me make the sort of songs that make people sit up and take notice
A lot of attention has been paid to your music in the US. How are the fans different from your local fans?
The USA has been very kind to me with several state radio chart number 1’s and then obviously this year the award for Best Pop Song in Hollywood was simply mind blowing but at the same time left me in a precarious place in thought of my future benchmark had been raised and there was no chance of me being able to if need be, be complacent and think 2nd best could do. Now I was aware the worlds eye was growing in terms of it viewing of me and all I do. So in terms of the USA it has been kind to me and kept me on my toes and making sure my tools are sharpened at every coming. The local support for me is phenomenal I love where I am from I am very down to earth but at the same time the people I have behind me here both locally and in the UK are hitting every ball with me and wanting me to do well which again keeps me on my toes. However when it comes to radio airplay and such it is a little harder given modern day restraints with formatted playlists and major label preference for choice of music put onto those playlists. This leaves perhaps a one in a million chance of an indie artist breaking that mould. However this can be turned into a great target to try and aim to break even if it does seem impossible it keeps the fire burning in the belly and one eye on the dream to keep you working hard at what you do.
Your star is rising, what is next for Junior Turner?
Firstly thank you for that statement, I am very naive when it comes to my position in life or profession so to hear such words is always nice. In terms of what is next is hopefully to continue with the success I have had and gain more, grow my, I hate the word ‘fans’, so wont use fan base but the general awareness of my music to become bigger and wider afield. Also for the reviews and such from people like yourselves to firstly remain positive but more importantly for me to talk of progress and improvement being made. If that happens then I am happy to continue, know I am going in the right direction and if I can use that to make my cavalry to go to war with the music world then surely common sense would say that my time in the big time cant be too far away. However should the pinnacle moment never be reached, not knowing now what that may be, then I could walk away tomorrow and say I have lived the dream and did it to the best of my ability.
Keep up with the newest music ny Junior Turner at: http://www.juniorturner.co.uk/
In today’s fast paced music industry an artist must be much more than just a person who sings songs. Many hats must be worn to put all the pieces together to achieve the recognition that a songwriter desires. Our latest find Gentry Fox seems to be the complete package in one.
The underground rapper hails from the small town of Rock Springs in southwest Wyoming. Gentry Fox relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2011 to expand his connections and has built quite a reputation for himself. He gets involved in everything including producing, DJing, acting, directing, and web design. All this comes together in Gentry Fox’s record label and artist collective SUB\ROK Records where he is the President and CEO. His style is passionate and intelligent rap with samples galore to show his point. Stories are told with an aggressive edge.
At the end of the summer Gentry Fox released Rare Demo Shit (Vol. 1). The 10 track record is a selection of 10 previously unreleased demo songs written and produced by Gentry Fox during the years 2012-2014. Samples abound right from the opener “Revengeance” where the setting is set for what is an entertaining ride. The influence of DJ Shadow came to mind for me with the way the samples are manipulated to create a fresh sound on tracks such as “Fatalis” and “Overground”. The mellow beginnings of “Ascension” drew me in and Gentry’s fast paced storytelling locked the door as I was sucked into his world. The lyrics hit hard and force any listener to root for this hard working entrepreneur. The closer “Forever” is another banger with a melody that mesmerizes as it enlightens. There is something big here. Get on board the rise to fame at:
As the costs for music production have come down due to home studios being more prevalent, the need for top notch production have gone way up if you want your music to be noticed among the masses. This is even more important in the hip hop game due to all the studio tricks that are now being used in the genre. Luckily Jilla has found a good match for his music in Darrious London.
The artist from Rockford, Illinois is more than just a rapper. Jilla brings a refreshing sound to the rap game and seems focused on working as hard as it takes to reach success. On his latest single “Doubt That” Jilla brought in the talents of producer Darrious London to take the track to an even higher level. He brought out all the stops. Check out “Doubt That below:
Keep up with more from Jilla at:
As much as we like to experience exotic and imaginative music there is always something that attracts me to straight up alternative rock. The raw energy and power draws me back to my early days of falling in love with all that music could be and could do for me. Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam molded my early years. It is great to see hard working bands like The Sweetlips keeping the torch burning.
The three-piece stoner/alt-rock band from Australia NSW provides that early 90’s attitude with a fresh touch keeping it the music as relevant today as it was back then. The Sweetlips are made up of Daxton Monaghan on guitar & vocals, Kirt Mallie – Bass and Richie Catlin on drums. From their beginnings in 2012 the band has stretched out making new fans throughout Australia through touring and festivals and are now ready to expose their music to even bigger crowds.
Last year The Sweetlips released a powerful record through the Foghorn Records label. The 10 track From Out Of Nowhere is a great introduction to these rising stars. Right from the guitar and drum opening of “Little Child” you know you are about to experience an energetic listen. The raw power jumps out at you. On “Method Of Science” The Sweetlips show off a melodic beauty within a robust rock sound. The chorus will suck in any lover of rock music. The group can slow it down when needed too as on “Sun Raiser” which pushes along in a mellower tone. The intensity returns on the in your face “Tie Me Down”. The throwback track reminds of some classic rock staples. Overall this is a fantastic record for those looking to bang their head up and down and release some steam. Keep up with The Sweetlips at: http://the-sweetlips.com
In April 2004 two Belgian born Italian souls came together for a simple, quick 30 minute improvisation for a lounge track called ‘L`estate sta finendo’. They became known as Settemani/ S7MANI
Born of two different backgrounds in musical terms the pair created the excellent Album Primaditutto: S7mani. Considered as a sound created by two musicians with homes in disparate musical spheres, the sound was considered unique, different and ground breaking. Over the last decade the band has recorded a quite astonishing 300 songs and created their own world, where they work together on projects – Studio S7.
S7MANI pride themselves in the freedom they allow in their music – there are no boundaries in the recording studio and they believe that’s what helps them come alive. Fun and feeling the soul of the music are at the centre of their creative processes – and even if the resulting music could be consider pop or lounge music – S7MANI don’t like to place their sound in a box. For S7MANI passion and feeling are at the fore of making music.
S7MANI like to improvise when it comes to creating music – focusing on creating music in the moment rather than writing it down and that’s very apparent in both their albums. The philosophy being that destiny will create the final sound.
The stylish and innovative sound showcases the bands abilities and their influences – as disparate as they are often deemed to be. Deemed as the perfect music for fashion by some Settemani’s sound certainly has that lounge music appeal, but with a little bite too. There’s something a little more interesting about their sound than the run of the mill lounge music that we hear regularly and that’s what’s fantastic about the new album.
Visually, this cutting edge can be seen in the band’s YouTube videos TikTak, Irragiungibile and also Mondo Speciale all of which are capture the band’s music in the stylish manner it should be seen in.
The band has evolved since its formation in every way from their video presentation, name and even their sound – this willingness to adapt, change and progress has seen the band become increasingly popular and also meant they’ve worked with a number of great musicians including Carlo Nardozza, Michel Bisceglia, Massimo D’ambra, Erik Knockaert.
So, if you like lounge club music with Italian flair then we’d suggest giving S7MANI’s new album Secondnoi a listen.