Living in New York City all my life I often take for granted the draw that it has for musicians all over the world. The opportunities here to perform and build an audience trump most places I have come across. Even with the competition of thousands of artists if you find a niche the crowds will find you and embrace your music. That NYC draw helped bring together our latest discovery Eric & Aileen.
Aileen McCallum is a classically trained pianist originally from Portland, Oregon. Eric Elven is a singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Although they were only a state apart on the west coast it took both of them moving to New York for fate to step in and have them meet in the spring of 2009. The blend of Aileen’s masters degree in piano and collaborative performance mixed with Eric’s experiences of leading bands for a long while combine to create a fresh and original musical style. Their sound is heavy in Folk and Jazz with a close intimate feel meant for a cozy dark venue. It sort of wraps around your soul with no sign of letting up.
Last month the duo released their debut EP From This Blank Page. The 6 song record shows the group in their own original space. The opener “Borders” with its pretty piano start and the vocals that seem to come from a dark place will set the relaxed tone right off the bat. On “I’ve Got Good Friends” a bouncy bass beat drives the song forward as sounds seem to come in from every angle to contrast the deep monotone lyrics. Eric & Aileen tackle the Stevie Wonder classic “Superstition” with their very own unique take. The slowed down beat can’t hide the funkiness of the song. From start to the finishing touch of “Feuillet D’Album” this is a beautiful record that will make any listener appreciate a musician who has mastered their instrument. Get sucked in for yourself at: http://www.ericandaileen.com/
Becoming a successful artist nowadays requires much more than just some raw talent. Even being an expert in one area will not get you to the place you need to be. To get to the next level in your career you must combine a bunch of separate talents to create a persona that can handle the different aspects of a star. Our latest find Aki Starr has his feet planted in many aspects of the music business.
The San Francisco, California native is at first a singer/songwriter with immense talent trained by vocal coach Seth Riggs but adds acting, modeling, dancing, and even producing to his repertoire. His music has seen some success being featured on TV shows such as Malcolm In The Middle, Desperate Housewives and Knock First. One can definitely see the influence of the multi-talented Michael Jackson when looking at Aki Starr. The showmanship stands out and is mesmerizing to his fans.
The latest release by Aki Starr is the larger than life “Illusion”. The big time dance track is ready to hit the clubs and airwaves with seismic force. The accompanying music video is a testament to the epicness of his rising fame. Enjoy the video below:
Keep tabs on what is next for Aki Starr at : www.akistarr.com
One of the hardest parts of music promotion is getting noticed. Sometimes an artist has to take it to extremes to cause a stir. We recently discovered the controversial music video by Dre Buchanan. Take a hard look at it below:
Those are some shocking visuals and there seems to be multiple ways to take it in. I think that is the point though. Keep up with more controversial and ground breaking artists at: www.ivyleaguestudio.com
Something we have not had much of a chance to review as of late is a good instrumental album. It seems that many times the vocals are pushed forward as the main ingredient in a song lately even if they may be the weakest part. Our most recent find Tommy West chooses to show off his immense talent without the need for a lyrical story.
The artist, composer, and producer calls the music center of Nashville, Tennessee home. His style is not the country mainstream that hails from his locale but instead a guitar heavy mixture of exotic sounds that seem impossible at times. There are some epic 70’s rock sounds paired with layers of instrumentation, odd tunings, and melodic fret performances that will make a jaw drop. Tommy West claims that the music flows from a spirit of compassion, humility, harmony, and unity. This is very evident as you hear his guitar explode as well as gently weep.
The latest record by Tommy West is the supercharged Frequencies Of The Sun. The 11 track album is set to take the listener on a journey through time, space, and guitar mastery. He brught in the talents of Jeremy Warren (drums), Chris DeRosa (drums), Don Barrett (bass), and Dave LaGrande (keys). Right from the start of opener and title track “Frequencies Of The Sun” you know you are in for something different. The whining guitars play against a driving rhythm that seems to attack all the senses at once. The professionalism is immediately evident. Tommy slows it down a little with “Blue Marble Happy”, a playful bouncy song that puts a pep in your step. The ballad sound of “Torn” with its pretty piano opening morphing into some phenomenal guitar work will show the expanse of directions this man can take your ears. By the time you reach the semi-psychedelic closer “Rainbow Bridge” your mind will be melted with amazement at what true music is. We recommend you take the time to listen to the complete record in one sitting at: http://biggreenuniverse.com/
Once the bite of creating music has a person it never truly leaves. It may take a break for a while but once a musician, always a musician. Time moves on and life happens but once you start creating music again you will be hooked. Luckily we had the chance to hear Jim Miller’s music again in his latest project Red Monday.
The band is the result of a spark that began to burn after a concert was put together to honor and reunite some of Chicago’s rock royalty of the 1970’s and 1980’s who had played the legendary Haymaker Club. Seeing these bands again pushed Jim Miller into writing again and reuniting with old acquaintances and musicians called for a fresh start. This coincidence, or some may say Fate, has led to the formation of Red Monday. The restart consists of Rick Harris (Lead Vocal), Mike McCarron (Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals), Jeff Kylloe (Bass)
and Jim Miller (Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, and Backing Vocals). These are not youngsters but they can certainly rock. Times have changed and now they can get a professional album recorded and promote it with the help of the internet.
The band recently released their self titled debut Red Monday. It is a 12 song testament to the fact that the skill of songwriting never leaves and is as easy to pick back up as riding a bike. The opener “She’s On Fire” sees each band member come together to provide one cohesive unit of skilled rock and roll. The soulful vocals stand out here. The lead single “Time (It’s About Time)” is a slowed down number with a little blues influence and pretty harmonies. Red Monday has released a sexy music video for the track too. Enjoy it here:
The band goes back to classic rock n roll on “Sanctuary” and “You Move Me”. The guitars will capture your attention and drive the songs forward. The full album will evoke strong flashbacks and emotions. By the time you get to the closer “Somebody Else” you will be ready for its mellow melody to ease your excited mind. Take a listen for yourself at: http://redmondaymusic.com/
With the pop music scene so crowded and artist that seeks success must develop their own signature sound to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. Sometimes it is even more than the music that needs to stand out. Personality and personal style can bring an artist to a higher level as well. Our latest discovery Aixelie seems to have all of this going for her.
The singer-songwriter from the UK has used her uniqueness to create her own personal style of music and image. Aixelie is a rare talent with additional skills as a beatmaker, producer, model, actress, and DJ. All of this rolled together creates a new kind of artist. Her music draws influence from electronica, house, pop, R&B, EDM, and even scat jazz. When you throw in her distinctive voice something totally different is created.
Her last single “Coconut Water” gained Aixelie a strong fan base and over 1 million Youtube views of the music video. Building on that momentum the newest release “Make Up Tonight” has recently hit the airwaves. The song features all of Aixelie’s talents with a catchy and exotic beat that captures attention throughout the dancey track. It will bounce around your mind for a while after the song is over. Enjoy the video below:
Keep up with this rising pop star at : http://www.aixelie.com/