Music has a way of letting people express themselves even if they are not extroverts. Sometimes the task of writing songs and lyrics liberates these shy feelings and allows the artist to become a different more confident person. This can somewhat be related to our recent find K-Flicka.
The man born as David Avant Jr. on the West side of Chicago is the force behind K-Flicka. The nursery rhyme lyrics of Third Base’s “Pop Goes The Weasel” drew him to rap at a young age. By the age of 11, Dana was taking the art seriously and formed a group called The Uptown Shorties with some friends from the neighborhood. The constant back and forth freestyle battles sharpened his skills and began his life as K-Flicka. Even though he considers himself shy, K-Flicka found it easy to express himself through his lyrics. His talents were noticed by RIchmen Entertainment and a new source of exposure was gained. After some time in a group called Creativ Grind, and a time away from the scene, he reemerged for a solo career that is getting the proper recognition now.
The debut album Order Out Of K.O.S. has been hitting the street hard. The energy of “Running” grabs the listener right away with its fast moving beat and spitfire vocal delivery. You will find your head bobbing uncontrollably from start to finish. The rolling lyrics of “Mile Hiii” show a fun vibe that will draw you into the story. The darker tone of “Faded” will create a slightly eerie feel with its organ sounds crafting a beat that creeps deep into your mind. K-Flicka is a man who can continuously deliver powerful and catchy lyrics especially with his fast delivery even over the mellow beat of “I.D.G.F.” He can do just about anything in the rap game.
Find an assortment of K-Flicka and friends music at: http://www.richmenentertainment.com/
You want to talk politics and economic issues? Well neither do most musicians. Let’s face it, you can’t turn on the radio and hear too many songs about the real issues, can you? Not too many artists can successfully tackle these issues head-on, but one man is taking it all on by himself. And might I add, he’s doing this quite successfully. Theo, better known as E-MUTE, brings an upbeat vibe to some not so upbeat problems. His new EP, “I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & SocioEconomic Crisis,” dives straight into the changes that need to be made in the world we live in.
How much does money rule your every day life? Well, E-MUTE is here to tell you. The cover for the EP literally has a man flying on a magic carpet that’s not a carpet at all. Spoiler alert: It’s a one dollar bill. And what is that he has in his eye? Well it’s a coin, of course. The first track of the five track EP, ‘I Can Pay For It’, starts out uniquely upbeat for a song that’s going to talk about sheer greed. The song goes on to reiterate how much “I want to drive around a fast car”. And, you know what? It’s great. A fun music video accompanies the track. Enjoy it here:
Theo brings an exciting and fresh sound to the music world, a sound that definitely separates itself from the usual. Pure talent and dedication is definitely seen in the new EP. Another great thing about this EP is that no two songs sound anything alike. The dance rhythm of ‘I Can Pay For It’ sets you up for an exhilarating trip through the next few tracks, and the fourth track on the EP titled ‘Say What You Want To Say’ brings a mellow vibe that manages to combine a sound similar to early Coldplay but make it completely it’s own. Enticing lyrics and an impressive vocal range are the most enticing part of this track, but that’s not to say that the beat of the entire song is anything but amazing. By far my favorite track from the whole EP.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that E-MUTE is going places. The ability to make successful music that does not all sound the same is quite impressive, and E-MUTE has the ability to make that happen. If you haven’t already heard the new EP, definitely take some time to check it out. You don’t want to miss out on any of it.
Find out more about this esoteric artist at: http://www.emute-music.com/
*-reviewed by Kristy Linkous of Indie Band Guru
Steve Lieberman, the man behind “The Gangsta Rabbi,” was recently told that his Leukemia was terminal. Such news would’ve be enough to break the will of many artists, but Lieberman responded to the news by releasing Terminator V617F, his newest album, containing some of his greatest work yet.
Lieberman was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1958. He got his start in music playing the bass guitar, and now plays a variety of instruments, including the trombone and flute. As with many diversely talented artists, it’s hard to peg exactly what genre Lieberman belongs to. His music does have a distorted, punk-rock quality to it, but throw in the flute and the trombone and what you get is something much more eclectic and interesting.
This eclectic mix of electronic grunge and traditional instrumentation is most recognizable in “The Rabbi is Dead.” Lieberman has several covers on the album. In his take on “The Real Me” by The Who, Lieberman converts the orchestral, grandiose energy of the original to his signature punk-rock energy. His cover of “Feeling Stronger Every Day” by Chicago is played in a minor key, making it an ominous track, as opposed to the feel-good tone of the original. “JAK2 V617F” is one of the most meaningful tracks on the album, since the title of the song is actually the name of the genetic mutation that Lieberman’s Leukemia is caused by.
Lieberman’s story, for those who read it, is a truly inspirational one. He is one of many artists who have risen above personal struggles to create truly significant works. In addition to his five-year struggle with Leukemia, he has had a lifelong struggle with Major Depressive Disorder. Yet Lieberman keeps working to create meaningful work. Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” Lieberman is one such person.
Find out more about the legend at: http://www.gangstarabbi.com/
*-reviewed by Grant Looper of Indie Band Guru
When an artist pours his heart and soul into his songwriting it becomes evident very quickly. You can sense the passion through both the instrumentation and the lyrics. One such artist that comes to mind is Ben Knighten.
The acoustic folk singer/songwriter hails from Colorado where he has been getting some good recognition. Ben Knighten was nominated for “Best Folk Artist of 2012” and “Best Folk Artist of 2013” by the Colorado Springs Independent. He is a regular at many different venues in the area ranging from coffee shops to breweries. His music has been described as “addictive, & upbeat, complete with passionate & powerful subject matter”.
Next on the horizon is the release of his third album entitled Light The Way. The 10 track record will be celebrated with an Album Release show at Echo Brewing in Erie on Saturday, March 5th, 2016. Right from the opening title track “Light The Way” the passion is plenty. The minimalistic melody couples perfectly with the lyrics dripping with emotion. There is some great acoustic guitar talent shown on “Stranger” with a slow building beat coming to a powerful climax.
Ben is never afraid to put it all out there as on “Folly” where he opens up about some past mistakes and how he dealt with them. Music is often the answer when in times of heartbreak. The songs can be upbeat as well as on “Brighter”. The peppy track bounces back and forth drawing the listener in close and putting a smile on their face. The album culminates with the full sounding “As The World Spins Around”. There is a full wall of sound created here to surround the listener and make them feel warm and comfortable.
Find out more and take a listen at: http://www.benknightenmusic.com/
A growing artist must remain open to all kinds of influences. There should never be any limitations on the genres and musical styles you listen to for inspiration. Blending what you like into your own original style is the best way to stand out. Jason Rylan is a good example of this.
The Las Vegas, Nevada based singer, songwriter, and producer started taking in influences from early childhood. Both of his parents were musicians who would jam in the garage while Jason laid in the crib taking it all in. Jason Rylan’s sound is an interesting blend of EDM, electronica, dance, and pop together with a little rock taste. The visual arts were also a big interest and he received a degree in Mass Communication from Southwest Missouri State to increase his knowledge. Creating an innovative image is just as important as the music.
Late last year Jason Rylan released his third album entitled “The Charm”. The 15 track record exemplifies his evolution as a creator of music. The opener “Ain’t Nobody” sets the tone with an assortment of samples crafting something that is truly unique. Jason shows some emotion fueled songwriting on “I’m Just Saying”. Even with the auto tune effects the song remains warm and comforting. Many pop influences are heard throughout songs like “Help Is On The Way” and “Killing It” while Jason Rylan adds his own style to make the tracks stand out. The title track “The Charm” ties it all together with a pretty piano intro and a male-female vocal duet that draws the listener into the story. This is high quality songwriting.
Get into the word of Jason Rylan at: http://www.jasonrylan.rocks/
All of us, whether we are artists creating music or just avid listeners of music will have our tastes change and adapt over time. The freedom to explore other genres and styles gives us great power to seek out the feelings and emotions we want. Our recent find Bialuma has had quite a journey in his musical creations.
The artist also known as 32 year old Ryan Hubbard began making music at the age of 15 and was heavily entrenched in the Metal and Post-Rock scenes. This basis allowed him to explore more sounds as he matured. Ryan earned his way to Frankfurt, Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship. While there studying philosophy he began making electronic music and adopted the Bialuma moniker. Now back in Syracuse, New York, he has developed an original sound that is tough to categorize. Think downtempo ambient sounds coupled with electronica and glitch.
Last year Bialuma released a self titled EP to share this new sound with the masses. The 8 track record can take the listener on quite a journey. The deep buried samples on “Bury” fall aside as the dark and slightly ominous sounds creep in to create the tone. More and more sounds are added throughout to create an interesting kaleidoscope of music. “Story Of A Dawn” expands the speakers even further with wave patterns drawing you in as glitchy noises keep you off guard and in tune while waiting to see where the song will go next. Beautiful classical instruments are scattered in for good measure. Now that you are deep in the rabbit hole “Sever” comes along to fully encapsulate you and claim your ears and mind as property of Bialuma. The atmospheric sounds seem cold but there is a prettiness in there that welcomes you into this world.
Indie Band Guru had a chance to speak with Bialuma recently to get into what makes the artist tick. Enjoy the interview here:
Bialuma is quite an interesting moniker, Where did that come from?
I wanted to make up a word so that it wouldn’t refer to anything else but my music. Sometimes when your moniker refers to something else it can come back to bite you. Just look at the band ISIS. Talk about bad luck! The word bialuma comes from the word bioluminescence, which is how some organisms can produce their own light. There’s something about these amazing things in nature that inspires the creative process behind producing my music.
How would you describe your sound?
Someone once called it downtempo IDM. I think that’s a pretty good way to categorize it. This first album is a lot more melodic than the stuff I’m working on now. It layers ambient synths under the kind of non-traditional rhythm hits you find in IDM music. But it’s not as fast. I keep the BPM at 120. If Drukqs took a bunch of xanax and slept with Geogaddi something like my sound would pop out.
You began playing music in the Metal and Post-Rock genres. How did the switch to what you create today happen?
I played in bands all throughout high school and college. After college I got a grant to do research in Germany. I jammed out a little bit with some people there but it wasn’t enough as a creative outlet. So I decided to start composing music on the computer with a small midi controller I had brought over. That’s when I started learning how to make electronic music.
What artists influenced your current sound?
A lot of my music has a dark edge and I’m almost positive this comes from all metal and grindcore I used to listen to. Bands like At the Gates, Emperor, and Discordance Axis come to mind. I think listening to that kind of music and getting into electronic stuff naturally led me to artists like Proem and Autechre. Boards of Canada and Arovane have been very influential also.
Being a Philosophy Instructor is not a side job that we hear often for a musician. How do the two worlds intersect?
Part of why I love making music is that it allows me to get away from the analytic rigor of doing philosophy. I’m passionate about writing and teaching philosophy but it’s missing a kind of creativity that I need to express. I find that with music. On the other hand, doing philosophy involves a lot of rigorous thinking and conceptual analysis. I think this has helped me understand the technical side of producing music as well as the compositional side.
What is next for Bialuma?
I’m currently finishing up my second album. The sound is warmer and more raw than the first since I used more analog recording. I also took a different approach by orienting composition around sound design rather than melody. I plan on releasing a single from that in the next few months. Ideas for an EP project down the line are also on the back burner.
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