Category Archives: Artist Interviews

[Exclusive] Interview with Coast Modern on New Album & Fav LA Tacos

Take a dive into their chill, tropical sound waves

This dynamic duo, made up of Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp, is up to something and that something is their forthcoming debut album which is to become the perfect set list of jams for you this summer! The expected release is to be July 28th, so be sure to mark your calendars for when this special day arrives.

A new track we have gotten a taste of is their recent release “Dive”, which is a single off the upcoming compilation. Billboard said “Here’s another certified jam to add to your summertime playlist, courtesy of Coast Modern.”

The best way to describe their music? I’d say it’s the sound of Weezer’s Island in the Sun meets the Beach Boys in a wistful indie dreamland of sorrow and bliss. When you hear their music, you are transported to a sort of middle world of dimensions where  you really have no cares at all and just let the music take you away in this endless stream of consciousness. I decided to take a dive with the guys and learn more about the makings of their sound and little more about them in general.

The guys are always known to be fun and cheeky, and so I thought it would be fun to ask a few unconventional interview questions to set the right scene.

#tbt đŸ’Șpumped to do this stuff again next month. 👀 u soon‌

A post shared by Coast Modern (@coastmodernmusic) on

When I asked 1/2 of Coast Modern about their sound and the genre he perceived themselves as, he replied “It’s funny that before we signed our publishing deal our record deal, I didn’t even know that alternative was a genre, and that kind of surprised me when that was a thing.” He continued to explain the concept behind their recently released track: “when we wrote ‘Dive’ we were kind of trying to capture that nostalgic, youthful excitement. Maybe it’s like fresh love, maybe it’s like exploration. It’s also just very tropical vibes.”

Coast Modern quite literally tries to aim for their namesake, “modern”, in the sense that they are pushing the boundaries of their alternative pop peers and hoping to create a genre where they lead the way all the way through. In other words, their genre could be considered a misfit of alternative rock bands as their pop/electronic influences seep into their old school, beach house aura.

18892988_1887711078151517_619351911904625705_n.jpg

Similarly, these boys are masterminds behind their brand, utilizing bold, colorful graphics behind their cover art and marketing to match their eclectic sound. Trapp, who writes and produces everything with Atlas as well as sings when they perform live, explained that “early on we knew we wanted something that was bold and had lots of colors. We dug through some artists that were great at that, and luckily the first choice we had, Dai Ruiz, knew exactly what we wanted. She was awesome and we’re glad that we’re still working with her up to this point.”

He stammered for a bit when I asked who were his favorite artists, and justifiably so. “Like I have a thousand answers,” he laughed in exasperation. “Like when I was younger discovering music, it was of course like Led Zeppelin, but I’ve been so inspired in the past couple years by so many artists. Errrr, I don’t even know where to begin. I’d say Dessert, they put out a single last year called “Eyes Wide Shut”, and it comes to my mind because of how fun it was. The most ill party vibes, and I call it “ill” because they played a 90’s hip-hop sample with this very underwhelming melody over it, and the juxtaposition is just very inspiring. There’s also a band called Mini Mansions that I liked and then this collaboration project called Soft Hair that did a song “Lying has to Stop”, and it’s like butter to your ears”, he says excitedly. You could just hear the passion in his voice as he named these artists.

Trapp went on to tell me that his soul song would have to be the classic “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. Why you ask? “Because I got this feeling when I was younger that there is something much deeper than what is sitting on the surface of the lyrics, and  it was the first time I ever got that feeling, so it really stuck with me. Like instead of talking about sitting  on a dock talking about watching time pass, when I heard it, I got this really deep sensation that it’s actually about like going through different lives and eternity, so it gave me this weird out of body experience and it stuck with me.”

I had to ask where their dream place would be if they could perform anywhere, to which he replied jokingly (but pretty seriously) “In space”. LOL. Then he followed that response by saying that he would also like to perform somewhere in Asia, like Japan.

The boys’ history goes way back, but for Colemann specifically, it started back when he was 18 producing for all kinds of rappers and singers, then inspiring to pursue his own music career. The LA scene was a great stepping stone for the boys to get their music out there.

13680444_1740546162868010_7432286684182348188_o.jpg

I asked him what would be his favorite taco place in LA if he had to give us advice. “I really like janky places, not trendy ones, so I would have to say King Taco, Taco King, …” If you couldn’t tell, he likes his regal tacos. “Really the jankier the place, the better it is haha!”

One thing Trapp can’t leave without is his spare guitar, which sits in the back of his truck for whenever inspiration strikes. The guys plan on having more releases and projects coming out down the line in the next 5-10 years, so fans will be on the look out.

After releasing their hit single, “Hollow Life”, the LA-based act has released numerous tracks to keep their musical mojo momentum going. And it only proved to be true as their were garnering air time from notable organizations like SiriusXM Alt Nation and KCRW. They received set time to perform  live at SXSW, and they were able to open on tour with BORNS, The Wombats, and Temper Trap! Quite the resume they have here. Blogs and fashion press would find them and only help build their name and publicity, and they continue to grow and become more well known as people begin to recognize their powerful and well-crafted sound.

I asked Trapp what they are on the verge of, to which he replied, “being a ‘meme’– we want to be a part of the internet. But as much as we want to be a meme, we’re also doing everything we can to like like make life more physical and to make our brand really something that you can touch…”

It was a pleasure speaking with Coast Modern and I look forward to hearing the full-length album!

Find Coast Modern on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Instagram

 

[Exclusive] Interview with UK Electronic Outfit Fenech-Soler at The Middle East

“London’s got me dreaming of you…”

Well, if not London, then at least these vibrant characters, Fenech-Soler, have got you dreaming. UK electronic outfit are back with a technicolor sound they call Zilla and it’s a wonderful compilation of rejoicing for the sounds of music. This recently released studio production includes 12 strong tracks that all embody a different tune & tone to cater to all types of musical tastes!

IMG_6151
@NeeluMedia

With eclectic sounds and positive vibes, the music instills an energy into any room that is lucky enough to host their shining compilations. Zilla is an album that will uplift spirits and will have you jamming along to its metallic dance music. Utilizing elements of techno-pop beats, 80’s melodies, and disco-funk ballads, theses two English brothers create a synergy between synths and sounds!

One of their lead tracks off of the album “Kaleidoscope” now has a wonderful visual to accompany it; you can see it below:

Recently, the boys had a performance at Cambridge, Massachusetts’ well known venue, The Middle East, with opening act Knox Hamilton.

I had the pleasure of talking to Fenech-Soler, pre-show, about their talented creations and to find out more behind them and the music.

When I introduced myself to Ben and Ross Duffy, they were both smiling, excited to be interviewed, which of course made me thrilled to speak with them!

“We are a band from the UK, from a small little village called Kings Cliffe, which is a farming village in Northhamptonshire, England and that’s where we’re from.”

IMG_6301
PC: @NeeluMedia

The dynamic duo went into the story of how this all started for them which began when they grew up around instruments, especially from their musically-affiliated father who was very much into the bluegrass/country world of music. Then as they grew up, they turned towards dance music and Ross started a band, which Ben eventually joined. “After that we were in a lot of embarrassing teenage bands, and then we just started recording music at home ourselves on our laptop and that then transformed into playing gigs and becoming a solo act.”

I was very curious to know where the eclectic sounds of their genre came from. “Ultimately, we were always influenced by electronic music, that was kind of the spark that led us to make Fenech-Soler…if you kind of draw line between the DJ world and the dance music and the band world, that’s kind of where we place ourselves, certainly from a live perspective.”

PC: @NeeluMedia
PC: @NeeluMedia

Their influences stem from notable acts such as Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, and other modular stuff, as well as some late 80s and early disco work and indie-rock tunes. “Those are kind of the melting pots of our musical influences,” says Ben. “We’re bad about being decisive, it may be our downfall,” Ross admits. But what they call their downfall, could easily be considered their expertise in this fun, captivating project they released back in February!

The album was named after their close-friend Zilla, a named they always loved, something they considered different, and a word that not many people have heard before. For them, this musical process/journey has been quite the ride and has been extremely riveting and fulfilling. “We’ve gotten to perform for our friends and family and we’ve gotten to travel the world…We take so much from that.” Fun fact? This electro-rock/pop pair performed at the Russian Summer Olympics once!

PC: @NeeluMedia
PC: @NeeluMedia

I then proceeded to ask Fenech Soler if there was any song from the album that they felt they identified with best, or would consider their soul song?

“Cold Light, is one of the few songs that if we went back to it, we wouldn’t want to change anything about it because we were really in it when we made it. Very happy with it sonically,” recalls Ben. Ross followed up by also noting that his favorite song would be “Kaleidoscope” just because “it felt like everything we were trying to achieve along the process of making the album, it was pretty much the last song we wrote…” Ben then jumped in, “it wasn’t the last song we wrote, but it was definitely the turning point. It was the most emblematic song of the ‘Zilla‘ sound, and right after that, the rest of the record fell in line really quickly.”

FS - Press Photo.jpg

When I asked them the birth of the band name, they both chuckled and Ben replied, “the band name, it’s a weird name, kind of a made up language… People always say it wrong on the radio.” [Fen-eck Soh-luhr] in case you were curious to know yourself.

We then went on a bit of a tangent to discuss the music indsutry itself, and kind of how hey made their way into the scene. “A lot of what we did was find our way through the music industry by talking to people… Music in its essence is subjective, so it’s good to kind of chat and meet people… and it’s super connected.” It is always good to talk about the music with to share each others’ ideas, opinions, and perspectives.

IMG_6147
PC: @NeeluMedia

Where does Fenech-Soler want to perform next? They said they would love to perform on the beach, at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, and in Japan! The two were witty and funny

Like always, I had to ask these guys what they are #OnTheVerge of … and they told me….

After the interview, the guys prepped for the performance and when they entered from stage right in jackets bedazzled and frilled, the crowd went wild, and immediately their music filled the room with color and excitement. Their charisma spread throughout the crowd and the contagious sounds of optimism carried us through the night.

Listen to their album Zilla here now:

FENECH-SOLER ZILLA  ALBUM COVER.jpg

And be sure follow them on social media here:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Site

[Exclusive Interview & Spotlight]: KAYTRANADA & Cadence Weapon Initiate You to the Crew with This Fire Track

Here’s your next banger!

It’s eclectic, suave creation only reminds us that KAYTRANADA is an underrated producer, but it also notifies us that Cadence Weapon is a rapper who slays.

This track is intense, it’s killer-  it’s a mellow rager! This record will have you bouncing throughout the room and will prepare you to lead a riot in your living room hangout!

artist_cadenceweapon.png
Cadence Weapon
kaytranada-tlc-latrelle-remix.jpg
KAYTRANADA

The chilling “woo”s and the raindrop synth tones mesh in this perfect concoction of sound, circling around your intoxicated thoughts. It has been a while since there has been a unique, fresh hip hop sound like this and this is a record that deserves to be heard all around!

“’My Crew (Wooo)” is an anthem. Let’s be honest. It’s underlying message is to unapologetically be yourself, be what and who you want to be, and to forget all of the haters. The artist explains that, “there’s a sense of personal freedom that’s unique to Montreal and ‘My Crew (Woooo)’ is a representation of that feeling. It’s the Brooklyn of Canada. It’s where every artistically minded person goes to freak-out for a few years and find themselves. The music scene in Montreal is very insular, you’re always meeting friends and making music. I met Kaytranada while DJ’ing in Montreal a few years ago and we’ve become friends. ‘My Crew’ is a song about defying the labels that people try to place on artists. Is it underground? Mainstream? Conscious? Trap? Who cares, as long as it sounds dope.”

web-april11-homeboy-2.jpg

What’s dope about Cadence and KAYTRANADA’s collaboration is that the single stands out on its own without any help at all. It’s a breath of fresh air and an intoxicating incantation that keeps you in its trance. The weird beeps and bops and the monotone vocals are what carries the charisma and brings the creature to life. In fact, it is as if these artists are method acting to the sound. His oddity reminds me to that of Earl Sweatshirt’s and Tyler, the Creator’s– both hip hop pioneers.

Of course, I had to get an interview with these musical masterminds. When asking Cadence to introduce himself, he casually and enthusiastically replied:

What’s good? I’m Cadence Weapon. I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada but I live in Toronto now. I’m the former poet laureate of Edmonton. My dad’s from Brooklyn, he was a DJ who played hip-hop and funk on the radio so I grew up around rap. He came to my junior high graduation rocking a DMX 
And Then There Was X promotional long sleeve shirt. I first started playing shows as a member of my uncle’s funk band when I was in high school. Used to hang out in the electronic and experimental music scene in Edmonton, that’s around the time I taught myself to make beats. I made my first album Breaking Kayfabe when I was 18.

Kaytranada_photoCarysHuws2a-970x550.jpg

I wanted to know about how he was able to reach KAYTRANADA and how this dynamic duo came about.

Kevin (Kaytranada) and I ended up DJing a party together a few years ago in Montreal at Cabaret Underworld. This was before he had put out an album or most of the remixes. Every song he played that night was a totally insane beat. Just banger after banger. I asked him after, “Who made all those tracks?” and he was like, “Me!” I was amazed by how immediately distinctive his sound was. We stayed in touch, he hit me with some beats and the rest is history, remarks the man of melodies.

He continued to elaborate to me where the inspiration for this innovative track came from:

It’s inspired by the late night party scene in Montreal. I lived there for six years. I met so many free-spirited creative people while I lived there and it really influenced me to experiment with my flow and just be more open-minded. Montreal is like an artist colony. Pretty much every artistically minded young person in the country lives there for at least a part of their 20s and usually together in the same neighbourhoods. It’s also really cheap to live there so people can focus on making art instead of struggling to make ends meet.

I used to DJ afterparties a lot when I lived there and “My Crew (Woooo)” is my way of trying to harness the energy I felt playing those parties.

KAYTRANADA_MUIC_SUPERVISION.jpg

The conversation already was getting so intriguing, but wait, there was more! I asked him, “what have you been up to the past five years? And where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and very confidently he exclaimed:

Over the last five years, I put out my album Hope In Dirt City, released a book of poetry and toured the world. I spent a lot of time writing in different forms: songs, music journalism and poetry. I was DJing a ton in Montreal, promoting shows, making remixes for people. Then I moved to Toronto and started putting together the album I’m working on now.

When I first made music, I just wanted to make the weirdest shit I could possibly make. I didn’t care who liked it. But now I make music with the experience of the listener in mind. Five years from now, I’d like to have a few classic albums under my belt. I want to produce for other artists, own some companies, manifest my creativity in different ways.

I then wanted to have some fun and ask a few out-of-music questions such as, “what is your soul song?” and “what gets you up in the morning? What is the motivation?”

“Goddess of Love” by Royal Flush. It has this epic, hypnotic quality to it, I’ve listened to it on a continuous loop for hours before.

and…

I look at my actions very analytically and think deeply about how to become better at everything I do, whether it’s rap or just life in general. Striving for improvement is what gets me up in the morning. That and the thought of a Raptors game being on later that day.

4475-4576466-_MG_4199.jpg

I then proceeded to conclude our interview by asking him a question that had been lingering in my head for a bit, “in your own personal opinion, what makes a hip hop track stand out?”

When a rapper’s unique character shines through. It’s easy to just make some shit that sounds like everything else. It’s harder to bring people into your world.

cadenceartwork.jpg

Be sure to follow these guys on social media for more epic music rants!

Cadence Weapon

Instagram

Twitter

KAYTRANADA

Instagram

Twitter

[Exclusive Interview]: Man Behind “Panda”, Menace Unable to Receive Award At Grammys Because of Visa Ban

An elephant in the room

or a panda in the song. Menace, who is the mastermind producer behind Desiigner’s “Panda,” a Billboard chart topper, is proud to know that he was nominated for “Best Track” at the BET Hip-Hop Awards and a Grammy. However, the issue lies in the fact that despite all of this success, this notorious UK producer hasn’t been able to obtain a visa to come to the US.

From Rochdale, Manchester, Menace, or Adnan Khan, is born to Pakistani-immigrant parents. Menace’s team reached out to me to conduct this exclusive interview with this humble musical genius to tell his story and share what he’s been up to in the meantime since crafting the hit. (You can find the interview below). Ever since the tyrant took over office, families and lives have been altered and deterred and broken. We are disqualifying those who deserve to come to share their work with us! We are disqualifying people who deserve to come over, who are completely harmless, who have love here and who have futures to tend to. Life was not meant to be limited and rejected nor was it meant to be dusted off, signed away, and turned down.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 4.41.01 PM.png

It has been over a year now that Menace has been trying to cross the pond with a bucketload of prestigious award nominations and collaborations just waiting to happen for him. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop our twisted and convoluted politics from banning this artist from our grounds. Even with “Panda” going 4x platinum, Menace still hasn’t been able to meet Desiigner in person! How crazy is that? Can’t even shake the hand of or hug the person who helped bring your music to the world!?

While he’s been patiently waiting for his window opening, the 22-year old has not been wasting time and has actually been producing a new project called The Beat Tape Vol. 1. The DJ has been inspired by notable music legends and tycoons such as Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Scott Storch, the producer of hits like 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” and Fat Joe’s “Make It Rain.”

The record connoisseur jumped into this world of hip hop during his pre-teens, more specifically, when he was 12 years-old, and from there, he built himself a disciplined schedule to produce 2-3 beats a day! As he got older, he started selling his completed works to rappers who needed baselines and instrumentals. Before the fame, Menace was a mobile phone repairman and on the side, as a hobby, would crank the tunes, create the beats, and post them to YouTube for all to hear. Eventually, with just a simple listen on YouTube and a call, Menace found himself answering the phone to a manager asking for his permission to use his song on Kanye’s West latest hit album Life of Pablo.

rs-241863-menace_designer.jpg

This young producer, beat maker, business man, and A&R talent representative is thriving, and is still so fresh to the scene with his complex instrumentals that create the perfect formula of sound. It is a crime that such talent can not come to even receive his own award and recognize his appreciation. But of course, he is not the first of these stories. He told The Rolling Stone, 

“It was a couple of days before ‘The Life of Pablo’ was released that we heard about the feature on it. He [Kanye West] wanted to put ‘Panda’ on his album because first of all he was feeling the vibe to the production, and he also wanted to put his new signee [Desiigner] onto his album.”

The sample was found on Kanye’s track “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2.”

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the song yet, listen to the song below:

Furthermore, this electric, hip hop composer, was not completely new to the talents of musical production fame though. Before “Panda,” he was found working with Young Noble, a member of Tupac’s old group the Outlawz! (As noted by Rolling Stone). He began posting beats on his website to build their brand and voice to the general audience of listeners, and from all of this came the beat that ruled the air and sound waves and became the raging hit of the 2016th year…

“You are now listening to the hottest producer with the hottest beats on the net. Menace.”

1551497_701668829905689_8352761666386736472_n.jpg

Here is our exclusive interview:

Neelu Mohaghegh (NM): How did you get involved in the music scene? Specifically, hip hop?

Menace (M): I got introduced into the music scene when my dad played a lot of music. From the ‘80s, like Michael Jackson, I’ve been raised on music. That got me interested in making music. Then I started to get interested in the background music, the production side and that’s one of the main reasons why I produce today.

I got into hip hop in high school. Where I live in Manchester, hip hop is the main genre that everyone listens to. The hip hop I was into was either produced by Dr. Dre or the old school East Coast / West Coast producers. I was listening to it every day. I was downloading instrumentals of big hit songs onto my MP3 player and I would listen to them day in and day out. It was mainly on my commute to and from school. Then onwards, I started to ask around how people made beats, then I googled it and came across a program called Fruity Loops, watching tutorials on YouTube.

NM: Why do you produce music?

M: I love music. It’s not something that I’m doing to show people that I’m cool. It’s a way for me to express something without opening my mouth. When people hear my productions, they can understand how I’m feeling through the music. I can reach a wider audience through my music than through any other medium.

NM: How did you get your stage name?

M: It was given to me back in high-school when I was I was a badly behaved student. Kids and my teachers used to call me a menace. I took the persona and ran with it.

Many more to come

A post shared by MENACE đŸŒâšĄïž (@menacegotbeats) on

NM: What inspired “Panda’s production? And how did you link up with Desiigner?

M: I’m heavy into comic book collecting. One of my favorites is Batman, with the darker feel. When the beat was released on YouTube, way before Desiigner purchased it, it had the picture of Joker and Batman. Desiigner simply purchased the beat. I first found out it was being used on Twitter by someone else. Desiigner posted the song on YouTube and it started to blow up on its own. Eventually, he got signed off of it.

NM: What was it like earning all of those awards for your track with Desiigner?

M: It was a very proud moment in my life. I was very honored to receive those plaques and awards.

NM: Explain to us the songwriting process for you—what’s that like, and what was the sudden success of “Panda” like?

M: You need to have a dope hook – simple but catchy, and a verse that isn’t too complicated. I usually start to develop the hook first, it sets the mood.

NM: In response to the Grammys, I know that you have been struggling to receive your visa in order to come to the states. What has that been like?

M: The wait has been the hardest part. I’ve had to miss out on a few big ceremonies like the BET Hip Hop Awards, for which I was nominated for “Best Rap Song” and I wasn’t able to come to the US to do press.

NM: What do you think of this situation and what can we do to fix it?

M: If there’s enough evidence out there for people to prove that they’re coming here for a reason, like for work, then they should obviously be allowed.

NM: What is your favorite thing to do outside of music?

M: I like to stay active and healthy like go to the gym.  And also I’m very keenly interested in automobiles. If I’m not making music, I’m watching programs on cars or reading about them online. Or going to garages or showrooms themselves. I’m into all types of cars, it’s hard for me to choose a favorite.

NM: What do you hope to see change in the music world?

M: I want to see producers get the same type of shine that rappers do. When a record is produced, there’s the artist and there’s the producers, and it took both of them to make it. They are equal partners in the creative process.

NM: What are your plans for the future?

M: To keep going and become a big brunt in the music industry. To disrupt the music industry.

NM: What is your identity song, or soul song? (It can be your own or some other artist’s work that you just have a deep connection with.)

M: Drake – “I’m On One”

NM: Now, because we’re a college-targeted publication, we always like to ask our artists a tag line to fill in the blank, so Menace, what are you #ontheverge of?

M: Success!

————————————————————

Well, there is no doubt about that- success is in his past, present, and future! Such a talented young man with so much to offer. How many more people will we ban? America, you will lose everything. You will lose culture, you will lose diversity, you will lose any spirit, and you will be nothing without the world around you. Isolate yourself more, and soon you won’t have anything to offer.

Please help this story be heard, please share the love, and let’s bring music and so much more back to this country.

To see Menace’s work, follow him and check him out on:

SoundCloud

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

FRTNK, LA-Based Alt Hip-Hop Group, Suavely Makes Their Way Into the Scene

 

This stuff is made of 14 K hip hop gold.

(Pronounced as “Fourteen K”) this band of nostalgic messes and dreamy grunginess take hip hop down an intriguing and quirky path of sonic success. This Neo-R&B and Alt-Hip Hop group is not only known for their wittiness, but also for their low-key and lax vibes. These songsters and pioneers hailing from the greater Los Angeles area, include artists Benjamin Aragbaye, Bryan Ramos and Barin Butler. They could easily be found to sound like musical influencers and notable artists such as Outkast, The Gorillaz, and perhaps, the lovechild of Frank Ocean and Kid Cudi. As you listen to them chime, you can hear those electronic and rhythmic sounds trickle into their own unique FRTNK fabrications. FRTNK has been hard at work in the studios since September with this Afropunk single “Let Go”, which made quite a noise amongst their musical comrades.

IMG_0154.jpg

All produced in these curators’ California home recording studios, this trio completely produced the music themselves. They also recently released a humorous music video to accompany “Let Go”, which you can watch above! The record itself is about people being able to let go of the things that bring you down, hold you back, and are just not good for you.  What makes the creation of this visual interesting is how they went about approaching its artistic direction. “When we sat down with director Aaron George, we looked at the feel of the song which had a nostalgic 90’s energy, and then we looked at different ways to tell the story of letting go.’ From there the concept built itself and became interesting, artistic and left for viewer interpretation. The video is specifically shot unorthodox and at a different pace to be able to show off the song’s cinematic value”, states the avant-garde artists.

11150308_10153175517500688_7958685622070359219_n.jpg

In addition, they recently released “AQUA”,which you can hear in the SoundCloud playlist below. This track still follows the roots of childish behavior that these men try to convey in their music, adding a sense of wistfulness in the cheery, good sound waves being sung and spoken to the listeners. You can listen to more of their music below as well.

FRTNK-42.jpg

These three musketeers seem to effortlessly combine the elements of the funk of 808’s with new age energy. And only as young as the early twenty’s, they’ve already added value to the music scene. Their first public studio work was a project called Operation AU, back in November of 2011. After another project later, these guys are busting out new paints to begin creating the soundscapes that they wish to illustrate with their music.

Here is my interview with the guys:

[Neelu Mohaghegh (Me: NM)]: Hey FRTNK! So, tell me more about yourselves! What are your names?

[FRTNK]: Benjamin, Bryan, and Barin, the 3 B’s we are from Moreno Valley a small town east of LA.

[NM]: What inspired the group name and how did you guys find each other?

[FRTNK]: The group name came from a lot of places. Mostly from the idea of living life impure but still golden would resonate the most. But we were all neighbors in this niche gated community haha It was an interesting place to say the least.

[NM]: What drew you to this particular genre, alt-hip hop?

[FRTNK]: Honestly we were HUGE N. E. R.D. fans and we kinda cultivated our own style from there. When we pair that up with the urge to rap and want to speak to the people through poetry as a medium we kinda ended up with an eclectic alt hip hop style.

[NM]: Tell us more about your new EP coming up and the songs, what was the song writing process like?

[FRTNK]: The new EP is dope for lack of a better word. It’s just a strong blend of music you can drive to, dance to, cry to, feel to its real emotion you know…and the writing process really depends on the source of inspiration. We can be in the living room listening to production or one of us will send each other a voice memo. It doesn’t matter as long as there is synergy there.

[NM]: What should we expect?

[FRTNK]: You should honestly expect nostalgia.

[NM]: What inspired you guys in the first place to pursue music as a career and as a passion of what you do?

[FRTNK]: It comes down to doing what you love and realizing it’s all you can do. There’s plenty a fields any of us can enter and succeed at I mean music isn’t the only skill but the music, the art, the feeling…it moves us the way it moves listeners, when you have that feeling it just propels you forward you know.

[NM]: How would you explain each of your fashion senses/styles?

[FRTNK]: Benni is like a peacock with a loud style ,colorful Dashikis and bandanas. Bryan is clean with a lotta of patterns and Barin is our choir boy who has a smooth look for his smooth personality.

[NM]: What is the music scene in LA like?

[FRTNK]: The music scene in LA is like a big house party and everyone at that house party wants the DJ to play their song. But the party is fun so enjoy it and you eventually meet the DJ.

[NM]: What is your favorite comfort snack?

[FRTNK]: Yooooooooo…depending on physical condition I have to say Target Archer Farms black and white trail mix.

[NM]: Celebrity crush?

[FRTNK]: Simple. Need every part of Rihanna…what’s her last name?

[NM]: What is your dream venue to perform at?

[FRTNK]: Coachella Stage

What do you guys consider your own individual anthem (which song is your identity song or spirit song if you will)?

[FRTNK]: Benni (Janelle Monae’s “Oh Maker”)

[NM]: Where do you see the music industry going now? Is it thriving, falling, going through a strange transformation?

[FRTNK]: Music industry is going through a strange transformation. It’s kinda reverted to the 60s in terms of everyone having their own niche fan base but there’s so much power in the individual now and labels are in this awkward middle man gambling I haven’t updated my software stage…but either way we’ll be fine.

[NM]: What do you guys hope to convey through your music to the listeners?

[FRTNK]: We hope that people hear the music and relate to it. Interpret the metaphors into their life and realize we have all have similarities in our story, common threads that tie us together.

[NM]: Now because we are a collegiate blog, did you guys go to college? If not, what major would you have taken if you did? If you did go, what did you study?

[FRTNK]: Benni went to school and studied media and cultural study. (Benni) I feel like my major should be called #wokedegree I love the way it opened me up to diversity and understanding.

[NM]: Our slogan is #ONTHEVERGE, so we always ask artists to fill in the blank, so 
 you guys are

[FRTNK]: #ONTHEVERGE of BREAKING THE INTERNET

[NM]:  Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview and I look forward to hearing from you! Keep killin’ it guys!

Follow FRTNK Now!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Soundcloud

12471643_10153804143045688_6690255206916388560_o.jpg

[On The Verge] Episode 9: Just College Things & Interview With Alt-Band Ocean Park Standoff

“You’re either Teen Nick or Disney, you’re either in or you’re out,”

shouted DJ A-Rad as DJ Theater Thug mistakingly mentioned a Teen Nick movie during our entire Disney Channel-dedicated show! THE NERVE!

Today’s show of On The Verge was one for the books, filled with light heartedness and enthusiasm, as we transitioned from segment to segment with a lot of great material and whole lot to say!

We began with our Headlines & Hashtags where we spoke about pressing topics like Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Chad Michael Murray becoming a novelist, HBO releasing a Slender Man documentary trailer, Cavs and FLOTUS, and the recent discovery that Shia LeBouf can rap?  You can read all about this and more from our very own online collegiate  lifestyle magazine, Verge Campus. Check it out HERE for some of the latest updates in the things you care about!

uk_disneychannel_contenttoolbar_videoportal_75f636ea.jpeg

Nonetheless, the most exciting and best part of today’s episode was absolutely our Just College Things piece where all we brought to you was nostalgia, joy, and embarrassment from what was our childhood, Disney Channel. We talked about all of the classics from Even Stevens to Lizzie McGuire, to Proud Family, to That’s So Raven, to Phil of the Future, to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, to High School Musical, to Cheetah Girls, to Smart House, to Pixel Perfect, to so much more! Oh, what a time to have been alive! We went into a full-fledged conversation about how we learned so much from them, the social messages they gave, and how weird kids are today. You can check out some of the fun facts of those Disney Channel favorites we discussed on air HERE.

Of course, we followed all of this excitement with a sound block, so be sure to listen to the playlist below from some of the recent findings and reviews from GoodMusicAllDay!

AND FINALLY, we got to my personal favorite part of the show, the Featured Artist Interviews. We had the honor to interview an incredible emerging act of the L.A. scene, alt-band Ocean Park Standoff . The band, hailing from Santa Monica, CA, consists of lead singer Ethan Thompson, who we spoke with today, and band members Pete Nappi and Samantha Ronson. This dynamic trio of sound formed together to become an incredibly talented and eccentric group. We had a chance to ask Thompson about the formation of their group, their songwriting process, their experiences in the music industry and what is to come for them!

When looking at the Ocean Park Standoff crew, your first impression would be that they are more a rock or indie styled clan, but when you give their two standing tracks a listen, you find that there is so much more to them. They are a curiosity, if we are putting it simply. They are strange and unique, but perfectly catchy for any ear. Their music is contagious, versatile, and charismatic.

And their prowess is demonstrated by the numbers; in just a month of the release of their only two tracks, they have 448, 475 listeners on Spotify! That’s incredible! They were even shocked to find that they reached the No. 1 and 2 spots on the Spotify Viral 50 for the Czech and Zimbabwe playlists! Their two singles are “Good News” and “Photos & Liquor,” both which are beautifully constructed songs with their own personalities and finesse showcasing the band’s capabilities and range. They can go from a typical pop sound, like the of DNCE or Walk The Moon to more of a sultry alternative-R&B vibe like that of The Neighbourhood. With Thompson’s silky vocals and Nappi and Ronson’s musicalities, we are delivered the songs we hope to hear serenade us each and everyday. Their music will fit any mood, and if they keep continuing on this path of fun and innovative music, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing much more of them soon.

14560051_1284691504908930_1287212664585694683_o

These Hollywood Records signees took to their own sound, built it, and it got it to be something incredible. All thanks to the Bulldogs and toothpicks– what are we saying? Guess you’ll just have to listen to the interview HERE to find out 😉

14440940_1270972059614208_2272458579022415929_n.jpg

Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their Official Site, and be sure to check them out on Spotify!

poster

Listen to On The Verge on air every Sunday from 10 AM – 12 PM for your weekly refreshing dose of cool new music and amazing news coverage of the topics you truly care about! Find us at 89.3 FM / 640 AM or on BU Cable Channel 6 or at www.wtburadio.org or our mobile friendly app, the WTBU Radio App.

[Exclusive Interview]: 10 Minutes with Def Jam Artist Jahkoy & His New Project ‘Foreign Water’

“I finally did it, it’s finally out!”

The Def Jam emerging artist, Jahkoy, exclaims this fact with complete joy and satisfaction as he refers to his latest EP release Foreign Water. I had the chance to speak with Jahkoy on this amazing new project that steers away from the path he once traveled on through versatile and all over the place sounds. Instead, he’s taken a detour to a more consistent, evenly-toned, and expressive cocktail of vocals and instrumentals. He’s told us to expect a lot of pictures and videos to accompany the new project as well; so definitely something to stay tuned for.

Jahkoy’s new sound can be described as something along the lines of Drake’s dancehall / rap charisma and Trey Songz’s melodies. It chases your emotions around melancholic, ominous, bright, and upbeat harmonies and lyrics. He’s found a pattern of smooth vocals that work best for him and he knows now who he is. In his voice, we can hear a lot more strength and understanding of vocal boundaries.

14606318_1798085793767949_5426683683366554516_n.jpg

The EP is well constructed and uniquely made. Songs flow and transition into each other flawlessly while each track stills holds a personality of its own. I proceeded to ask Jahkoy questions about this record such as where he got the idea for the cover art and name of the album?

“Well, the idea of the cover art actually came from a random tweet that I got from a fan, where they asked ‘what are you gonna call your fan base?’ And I wasn’t really sure, so what I did was tweeted it out to my fans like ‘What name do you guys feel like I should call you,’ and a lot of the fans said ‘Koi Fish,’ and that name was really popular, so it was definitely from my fans, so shout out to them…”

1477660461_56f4594a275eda0d8a4df5f18dd3e6a9.jpg

He laughed and you could hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he spoke about his fans and the whole creation he had been working on for some time, finally coming to fruition. He continued, “It’s kind of a play on words for the ‘Koy’ in my name. And what we did for the cover was we changed the color of the original color of koi fish, which are usually orange, and we flipped it red… red is my favorite color…The concept for the title was just me, and my experience of coming from Toronto; I’m very foreign, I’m coming from another country and I’m just exploring, I’m exploring everything out there for me. A lot of people always used to ask me where I was from and when I said Toronto, you know a lot of the rising stars are from there like Drake and The Weeknd, all these stars coming out of that city, people would be saying “there must be something in the water.’ That was kind of interesting to me, that was kind of cool. Like foreign water. And now I’m living in LA and I’m foreign, and I’m getting into the foreign experience, and this whole idea is just something to digest like water… haha. It was a crazy idea when I was thinking about it by myself… haha… I even thought it was silly. But I just wanted to have fun with it.”

Jahkoy was very pleased to know that he could let his fans be a part of his creative process. He elaborated on how this project represented his journey of self-discovery in his music and how he came to find who is as an artist.

14355540_1779674365609092_595880938018531691_n.jpg

The breakout contemporary pop/R&B/electro/hip hop artist delved into the fact that his music in the past was much more “experimental” and he had to base his music on a lot of “trial and error of the different sounds that [he] might like.” But now that he’s given that a chance, he’s searching a more profound definition of what it means to be “Jahkoy.” He’s transformed from being a shy kind of guy, mostly coming from a rapping background, to the guy who recognizes his sound and is more settled with himself as he continues to grow. “Now, I have the resources to build the Jahkoy name,” he tells me. He further states “It’s [his music] is not genre related… it’s spontaneous, and you don’t really know what to expect because the music is so up and down… there’s so much to take from it.”

He recently got in touch with a vocal coach and that alone has made him more comfortable with his own voice and artistic style. He  says he feels now more “in control of my voice and I’m strong and confident of where I want to be in the picture.”

We discussed further his collaboration with the Blank Face rapper ScHoolboy Q on the track “California Heaven,” and how incredible it was for him to have that star-struck experience on one of his own songs.

14354994_1778891465687382_7406387932268977138_n.jpg

And as we always do with our featured artists, we always ask them what they’re #OnTheVerge of doing. For Jahkoy? He’s #OnTheVerge of Building an Empire.

His manager chimed in at that moment with to laugh as he jested “Now that’s some Lucious Lyon sh*t! haha” We continued to laugh all together over this Fox TV series reference (Empire– shame on you if you didn’t know that), and then after we collected ourselves once again, I thanked Jahkoy for his time, wished him the best of luck, and said that I look forward to what is to come for him and his music.

He replied graciously, “thank you so much for calling and sharing this with me.”

jahkoy-2.jpg

He’s growing, he’s developing, and now, the once so introverted Jahkoy is hungry to make new music and share it with his fans! Now that’s an artist ready to take on the industry one sound wave at a time.

Follow JAHKOY via his socials to hear more of his music, vibe with it, and stay up to date on what this up-and-coming star will be up to: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud!

jahkoy-foreign-water-ep-stream

 

 

See original article at VergeCampus.com

On The Verge Episode 7 [Halloween Edition]: Ft. R&B/Jazz Singer-Songwriter Una Angel

Boo!

OTV is back again with another ‘Killer’ episode of our official radio & talk show, On The Verge! This is where you get the live action of news and music findings that you actually care about!

As usual we went over our Headlines & Hashtags with some steamy news on celebs! This included the That’s So Raven spinoff, Justin Bieber tantrum, Shailene Woodley arrest/protest, Justin Timberlake voting selfie debacle, and the James Franco’s HC endorsement. Wow, celebs are hitting the radars these days. With some quirky jest and some serious discussion, we got you through the mania that is the entertainment world.

And of course, because it was a show the day before Halloween (so Hallowseve), we decided to dress-up in costume. Only fitting, no? With capes, and furry ears, and Hawaiian shirts, and throwbacks, we were a squad ready to trick and to treat!

For our Just College Things segment, we took you on hilarious adventure of our halloween nights, including one of our intern’s, Kaelyn’s, first “Freshman Year Halloween Party”! Wish we had more time (or that we were allowed) to go into more detail, but that can wait for another time. 😉

After playing some sweet tunes like we always do from your favorites found and reviewed by GoodMusicAllDay, we got into our Featured Artist Interview segment with our special guest, Una Angel. Una is a sophomore at BU from a small town called Durham in North Carolina, but this girl is the definition of urban when it comes to her style and music.

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 22.21.35

We got to ask Una what it is like to be a student and a musician, what inspired to get into the genre that she is now, what kind of genre she would actually define her music as, and how she hopes to make it big in the music world. Her sweet voice is not only displayed in her music but also in the way she speaks, being the perfect character of angelic and sultry all in one.

She went over the process of songwriting in her own mind and the way she hears and sees music from the perspective of creating her new mixtape Put Me On. She also released a new music video for her single that comes off of the new project titled “Her,” which accompanies the broken vibes of love that she tries to express in her ominous lullabies. You can watch this music video HERE.

Finally, as we always do, we asked our jazz-pop star what she is #OnTheVerge of,  and in response she replied, “#OntheVerge of breaking the Top 40.” BOOM!

So there you have it! You can hear the full-length interview HERE and watch the radio promo recap above!

Screen Shot 2016-10-30 at 22.21.15

Check out more of Una’s stuff and stay up to date on her latest projects to come on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, and Official Site.

Listen to On The Verge on air every Sunday from 10 AM – 12 PM for your weekly refreshing dose of cool new music and amazing news coverage of the topics you truly care about! Find us at 89.3 FM / 640 AM or on BU Cable Channel 6 or at www.wtburadio.org or our mobile friendly app, the WTBU Radio App.

poster.png