Category Archives: Concert Reviews

[Exclusive Interview]: Summer Days with Hit-Makers A R I Z O N A

“It’s ok to be you in whatever moments you are experiencing”

Zach, lead vocalist of the pop-electronic trio A R I Z O N A, said this humbling and empathetic statement as we chatted about who and what the band was in the grand scheme of things. A R I Z O N A is no ordinary pop band. In fact, their sonic value spreads farther than that, and you’ll see why.

Made up of Jersey boys: Nathan Esquite (Guitar), David Labuguen (Keys), and Zachary Charles (Vocals), A R I Z O N A has made waves in the music domain in an era that just began to accept the kind of producer-like music that dominates the airwaves today. 2018 in itself has been one of the greatest years for the band to date (and it’s only halfway through!). They just released 2 new hit singles titled “Summer Days” and “Freaking Out”,have made numerous placements on New Music Friday playlists, have had countless amazing collaborations, and have embarked on Panic! At The Disco’s “Pray For the Wicked”North American arena tour (which includes Hayley Kiyoko in the lineup as well)!

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

They have received recognition from publications like FORBES who said “A R I Z O N A the band, not the state, is the underdog you’ll want to root for…” and EARMILK who noted them as “A trio ready to become your new favorite with their captivating songwriting and production”.

They aren’t wrong. After accumulating more than half a billion streams worldwide and completely selling out their first and own nationwide headlining tour three months in advance, it’s safe to say that these talented young men have made their own sonic mark on history, and rightfully so. Their debut album GALLERY was released last year in 2017, with hit singles such as “I Was Wrong”, “Cross My Mind”, “Oceans Away”, and “Electric Touch”.

How to best explain their music is to imagine yourself in the “getaway car” or in the final scene of The Breakfast Clubwhere you, the outcast, throw your fist in the air in success or the museum montage in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: thoughtful, nostalgic, heart breaking, and beautiful. It’s music for dreamers. It’s for you to take to the dance floor to dance with yourself when no one else wants to and That’s. Totally. Ok.It’s the music you would want to celebrate to whether that party be in your own room or on the beach with others. The carefree flow of the music adds an element of authentic joy, and that’s what makes their upbeat, 80s-like records so digestible. It’s a song for everyone, you just can’t deny it.

Now, with the new music, there is so much more emotion that you can feel intensify in each track. Their exotic lullabies now transform into more profound streams of consciousness that then become the lyrics and beats memorized in your head. From vocal feelings to guitar riffs to songwriting power, “Summer Days” and “Freaking Out” represent two types of emotional strife that some human beings carry as they live out their lives. They each have the guttural essence of rock intertwined with the silkiness and metallic trance that comes with electronic-pop music. It’s an electric touch that keeps you dancing even through all that is melancholy. “And she’s just dancing, to make the cold nights feel like summer days” or “I’m just freaking out, I’m seeing sounds, I’m freaking out”. You can’t escape the grasp of those hypnotic guitar solos, or the endless synthetic tunes, or the charismatic vocal croons. A R I Z O N A always has a way to draw you back into the song, where you will undoubtedly feel better.

A R I Z O N A Cover Art for “Cold Nights // Summer Days” Project

So, how did this all begin? How did the hitmakers come together to produce such vibrant music and lead it with success? I had a chance to find out, speaking to the guys before their show at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, July 25th. I’ll preface this by saying that it wasn’t just a one-sided conversation, and the fact that I came an hour earlier to just make sure I was on time, did in fact, turn out as a blessing in-disguise.

When I got there, Dan, their tour manager and long-time friend, greeted me and brought me to where the guys were all hanging. There I met both Nate and Zach as well as their amazing team who all were very welcoming (Dave was on his way). I hung out with them in the green room and there the conversations wandered around practically everything that you could talk about with someone in just an hour. To this crew, Boston is not an unfamiliar place, as you will see later, Boston was a second home for them for quite some time. We talked about cities, school, passions and goals, and upbringings, so we really made sure to cover all grounds, and that was just before the interview even started! I had a chance to really connect with the guys, and in the end, interview included, I felt like I wasn’t on the job anymore speaking to a mysterious collective, but rather was just catching up with old friends.

Once Dave joined us, we jumped into the questions. As I listened back to our interview that I recorded to write this article, I couldn’t help but chuckle at how funny they are and how great their responses were. They sat in front of me on a long, comfy blue couch, ate cookies, and kept the conversation light and real. The Atlantic Record artists were once just regular dudes from New Jersey, but at some point in time, once upon a time, they all met.

“It’s like 3 different journey’s that kind of converged together”, Dave laughs as he reflects back at the genesis of the band. Zach goes on to explain how he wasn’t ever immersed in music at all at the time, but he had some influences in the house from his father being a horn player and his mom a multi-instrumentalist. “My mom gave me her guitar and dad bought me a keyboard. I was supposed to go into the military, but I was doing music on the side anyway. I loved computers and tech, so I sort of learned that being a producer was a thing along the way”, explains Zach.

Dave came from an immigrant family who raised him in a “typical, Philippine” way. He sums it up as “I was classically trained, forced to play the piano, hated it, then came to love it”.

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

Zach describes his encounters with Dave as kind of a comical situation: “Nate didn’t really meet us until Boston. Dave and I met when we were in Jersey at age 13 and 14 in school together and we were kind of frenemies. We were sort of both the producer guys in school, so there was this kind of competition”. At the time, the two were both interning for a man named PJ who ran his own studio, and who is now a part of their team as co-songwriter and co-producer for their music. Nonetheless, the frenemy-status continued even in the studio as one tried to out-work the other. Later on, PJ moved to Los Angeles and Zach would fly into visit and work with him, while Dave stayed in Jersey.

Later on, Zach and Dave would get in touch again to create a friendship they finally wanted. “It’s like a great distrust for each other, turned into massive trust. It was really weird. At some point, we were like ok let’s just cut it out”. The guys all laugh as Dave makes his point. Dave would soon go to college at Emerson, and Zach would then come out to Boston to stay with Dave in the city. Further down, Nate would become Dave’s roommate in the building above Bolocco on Boylston Street (Boston, see!).

“We became best of friends”, Zach smiles. “Nate didn’t like Zach at first”, Dave elaborates on how Zach would eat Nate’s food and how that bothered him a lot. Nate jokingly replies “yaaaa” in unhappy remembrance for his lost tortillas (RIP). Eventually Nate became close with them though, jamming and hanging out with them. “He folded into the circle”. As college winded down, their ways were parted as Nate moved to LA with Zach to once again work under PJ at his studio mixing and mastering unsigned artist’s music, while Dave continued a path in advertising post-grad.

“We all re-became best friends with 4 people”. Their lifestyles were very settled, but that was the issue. “You do it for a while and for my age I felt like I was doing really well, but I felt kind of unsatisfied. Like you give your creative away. I felt torn apart so harshly” Dave acknowledges. At that time, where all four were working their 9-5’s, Nate and Zach were creating demos on the side, and then sent their first track “Let Me Touch Your Fire” to Dave. Dave was extremely impressed and asked who the track was for, to which Zach then replied “I think this is for us man”.

“I think we all started to collectively burn out, and when you burn out there’s no real solid vision of a way out, and then it’s all just gut instinct after that and to follow that is tough” Zach explains. Nate and Zach began dabbling in their own work outside of the work they were doing for PJ’s clients in the studio”.

“We kind of found our footing in making these A R I Z O N A records, moved to England, then back to Jersey, then sent “I Was Wrong” to PJ. PJ then chimed into our conversation to say that when he had first heard that track, he said “What are you doing? This is amazing!” We all laughed collectively at the enthusiastic comment. PJ would be the one to then hop on board with the guys to help them co-write their songs for their first album GALLERY.

“We realized, there’s no backing for this project, there was no one telling us ‘Go A R I Z O N A, this is a great idea, you guys are amazing!’, but we realized that we really enjoyed doing it” Zach emphasizes.

Summer of 2015, the guys spent it making a couple of songs in Dave’s basement back in Jersey, and through a FaceTime when Nate was wearing an Arizona Iced Tea hat, were they inspired to dub the band A R I Z O N A.

The roundtable discussion continues as PJ chimes in to tell me “it is amazing for the master see his students becomes the masters, and how there’s now this sense of producers taking their own thing and running with it”. He explained the guys as having a “foundation of real songwriting and real production”. It was all through this humbling experience and understanding that they had to stumble around and work for their art and passion .

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

However, they had the necessary resources. With Dave having a deep background in advertising, Zach in computers/design, Nate in performance, and PJ in music, they all had skill sets to bring to the table. “Everything that makes a brand we all just happen to do”, Zach admits. “We had everything right here, it was just a matter of having the courage to actually do it”. PJ also made sure to remind us that none of this happened over night, and that most of it was “a perfect storm” to get them to this state of professionalism and understanding. PJ says, “There were so many happy accidents … there was a lot of preparation that went into what it is now, and grinding, and then the right opportunity came along”. When the going got tough, the tough got going.

Zach continues, “just a common misconception is that just because you blow up on streaming over a summer, there wasn’t 10 -15 years or so of experience in the training and grind work that gives you the ability to do what this is. If it was overnight, that day was 15 years long”, they all chuckle. “Conceptually speaking, the four day-one fucking guys, when this happened [when success came] we were all at the end of our ropes, and now it’s the four of us in the green room together”, Zach looks at his bandmates in realization and relieved disbelief.

To speak briefly about the show itself, seeing A R I Z O N A perform live only furthered my love for this band’s quirky and enthusiastic personality and their music. They really seemed to be having a great time on stage and they sounded amazing (no seriously, they sound incredible live). They were great at commanding the crowd with just the overall feel-good nature of their music, people stood up to dance in the stadium and wave their hands in the air. Nate performed barefoot while wearing his Mexican flag cape and mask, killing it on the guitar, Zach had his perfectly kept hair and energized movements across the stage, captivating us with his powerful voice, and Dave grooved behind the keys and crushed it on the drums; it was just a good time!

Now, for this next cycle of music coming out, A R I Z O N A is making you jump into an even greater sound experience somewhere between the 80’s and a modern electro-pop vibe. “We love the vibe and the ethos and the persona of these dudes like The Police and The Clash  and Duran Duran. They didn’t give a fuck and they didn’t have a whole lot of resources to do what they wanted to do. They relied on being super bad ass and making music, and out of it came incredible music because it was coming from their vibes”, Zach says with the uttermost certainty. “So we wanted to do that as our evolution of our second album. If we had to channel anybody, let’s channel those guys but in an A R I Z O N A way”.

Exciting news for fans, the guys will be releasing a new single this coming Friday that will be another of their tracks off the new album that includes “Summer Days” and “Freaking Out”. What to expect? It is something “definitely way up that vibe”; a recipe of both the 80’s and A R I Z O N A. The guys are also excited to announce that they have begun their series of Tour Vlogs  and their first one has already gone up on their YouTubechannel! So be sure to check those out!

“This tour has been absolutely fucking insane, we did MSG [Madison Square Garden] last night which is fucking home for us Jersey guys… it’s been a very exciting back half of 2018”, they all nod in unison.

I had to then ask the guys some fun questions to get on that true level of friendship with them. For example, I asked if they could be from any era, which would they go back to (I also asked this because Zach was a big history buff), to which Nate responded the 70s, Zach answered the 80s, and Dave said somewhere between the 80s and 90s. They all agreed that Dave probably belonged in the 90s though with all of the breakdancing folk.

They all dohave nicknames, so besides the bromance banter they exchange such as honey, sweetie, baby, etc., they all talk via radio. So on call Zach is considered Pathfinder, named after his first vehicle he had to build for himself. Dave is known as Pacman because of the Philippine boxer Pacquiao, and Nate for the most part is incognito because he never carries radio (but it used to be Taco Cat according to Dan).

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

Another fun question I asked was if they could give their band a spirit animal, what would that be?

Nate: “A dragon!”

Dave: “A very particular kind of Dolphin. If the Russians trained these dolphins to be like spies, they’d have attack surveillance dolphins and we are a combination”.

Zach: “Man, I should have gone first, damn, because I can’t top that. Wait, I got a good one! A capybara. I always wanted a capybara, because they are basically massive guinea pigs, and I wanted to give it a very normal name. If it was my task to give A R I Z O N A a mascot, it would be a capybara named Alex”.

Nate: “I feel like I should clarify I didn’t mean a majestic dragon, I meant more like a Mulan dragon, like an Eddie Murphy Dragon”.

What are these dance music hit makers’ go-to dance moves?

Zach: “Bachata!”

Dave: “I’m at a keyboard always, so it’s usually some sort of hip movement. I’ve been told by my trainer I have very flexible hips. I do also the old school Jersey Shore frolic, which I’m very adept at, and I do this subtle neck and shoulder movement. It’s kind of like when you see Pharrell [Williams] bouncing to his tracks. He’s one of my heroes”.

Zach: “Nate does this shuffle point move with the shoulders”.

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

Some of their top artist influences include:

Zach: “The Police for me, all the way, I love them”.

David: “The Neptunes, and The Black Eyed Peas, because it’s rap for people who don’t like rap, it’s pop for people who don’t like pop, it’s rock for people who don’t like rock…” (I hope you go this reference.)

Nate: “Jeff Buckley”.

And what do they want their fans to feel or think of when they hear their music?

Nate: “Ice cream is a good one”.

Zach: “Having a good time”.

Dave: “Have you ever seen an 80s prom photo? With that fruffy shirt”.

Nate: “So, basically what you think of when you think of  ‘Time After Time’.

Zach & Dave: “YES!”

Zach: “The way the song “Time After Time” makes you feel is how you should feel the entire time”.

A topic I really wanted to attack was on the release of their recent single “Freaking Out”, which delved into a deeper message and meaning on mental illness. “‘Freaking out'” was our journey through sort of this heavy anxiety, which then obviously plays well with depression, and you just get very low. It was our awareness song for people that suffer from really bad anxiety and depression and self-doubt and things like that…to the point that the world around you starts looking different, and feeling different. And I think that by using a medium like music and creativity to sort of glorify terrible things, it’s not as backwards as it sounds, because you essentially get this feeling that it’s ok to go through things like that, and that it’s widely experienced and you’re not alone in that and I think that ‘Freaking Out’ is for that sector of human emotion.”

He continued to justify A R I Z O N A’s place in their fans’ music worlds. “The ethos of A R I Z O N A is that it’s ok to be you in whatever moments you are experiencing, you know? So, there’s no first person in A R I Z O N A . It’s not about ‘we’re amazing, we’re awesome, we’re cool, we’re a great band’, it’s about ‘we make music that channels our uncontrollable emotions as a person’. When something great happens to you, you can’t help but feel good and want to kick it, and when something terrible happens to you, you can’t help but feel so low sometimes. So in our music it’s our outlet of that, so all of A R I Z O N A is for the listener to be within themselves when they are experiencing that stuff.”

With all of this being said, I asked the guys what it meant to them being a trio and how significant it is that they are a trio rather than solo acts. For A R I Z O N A, the best part of being a trio is that there really are no two ways about it.

“I need these guys”, says Zach. “Being a group , we’re best friends, we’re family”.

“None of us can really see ourselves ever as solo artists”, agrees Dave.

“I think that translates to the best part of being a ‘trio’, and then even further more, including the entire tour team, like being a group, which by the way, all of these homies are from Jersey”, he waves towards the team in the room. “We didn’t hire any dudes, these are all homies from back home. The best part about being being a trio as a band or just rolling as a crew from Jersey like we do, is that we’re best friends”, Zach confidently elaborates.

“We’re family”, Nate and Dave say in unison.

Zach concurs, “Always”.

PC: Neelu Mohaghegh

So, all in all, this was one of the best interview experiences I had with artists in my time of doing this role because it really felt like I was welcomed to the family and the conversations flowed naturally. From being a fan of their music since GALLERY, it truly was an honor to be able to talk to the guys.

What do the guys say they’re on the verge of?

Nate: “I’m on the verge of eating all these cookies”.

Zach: “on the verge of playing another amazing arena tonight”.

Dave: “I’m on the verge of trying to figure out how to escape how humid it is outside”.

They’re #OnTheVerge of some incredible achievements, experiences, and projects to come, and I’m excited for them. No doubt, their work will become music that will be our feel-good “Time After Time” track, our favorite ice cream flavor, and the music that always crosses our minds. A big thank you to the A R I Z O N A guys for their time.

The tour hasn’t ended yet, so there’s still a chance to see these guys in action! A R I Z O N A have also been performing at summer music festivals nationwide, most recently hitting Bunbury and Bonnaroo. They will next be showcasing their lively production at  the main stage at Lollapalooza this summer, for a second year in a row on Saturday, August 4th. The list of remaining tour dates are below:

  • JUL 28 – PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC
  • JUL 29 – Infinite Energy Center – Duluth, GA
  • JUL 31 – BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL
  • AUG 1 – Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL
  • AUG 3 – Toyota Center – Houston, TX
  • AUG 4 – American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
  • AUG 5 – Bok Center – Tulsa, OK
  • AUG 7 – Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
  • AUG 8 – Vivint Smart Home Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
  • AUG 10 – KeyArena – Seattle, WA
  • AUG 11 – Rogers Arena – Vancouver, Canada
  • AUG 12 – Moda Center – Portland, OR
  • AUG 14 – SAP Center – San Jose, CA
  • AUG 15 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
  • AUG 17 – Gila River Arena – Glendale, AZ
  • AUG 18 – T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV

Be sure to keep updated with the guys on InstagramTwitter and Facebook to see what’s new for A R I Z O N A:

Listen to more of their music below:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hOGhpa8RMSuDOWntGIAJt?si=4U3vYl9OSgapPtcrmZDDVw

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G-Eazy in Boston: From The Middle East to Agganis Arena

From only 80 people at The Middle East Upstairs to a sold out arena at Agganis, G-Eazy has captivated the hearts and souls of many, the beautiful and the damned.

On Sunday, March 18th, G-Eazy took a stop on tour to the city of Boston to perform at the venue located on Boston University’s Campus, Agganis Arena. Overall, the show was an impeccable musical encounter where all the lights, the sounds, and the wardrobe changes perfectly displayed the feelings of darkness and intensity.

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With a packed set list, G-eazy delivered as desired for the crowd who were majority day one G-Eazy lovers. You could that not only the floor GA was dancing, but so were the people standing in the bleachers, waving their arms and singing along as the rapper so commanded. It was as if he put everyone in the room on some kind of drug, hypnotizing the crowd with his erotic, hard-edged tracks and riffing off each song meticulously. He sounded on point the entire night from his slower songs like “Fly Away” to his bangers like “The Plan”. You could feel the emotion in his voice and the power in his will to be in front of the crowd.

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G-Eazy was here for a good time, not a long time, but what he did with that period exceeded expectations. He even threw it back to basics, singing some of his older singles, which of course riled up the crowd in the most exciting of ways. The man of the Bay Area, though so large and famous now, never forgot to keep thanking his fans in the crowd, and specifically shouting out Boston’s name as one of his favorite stops on tour. During the show, it was noticeable how extensive his discography was, but also how incredibly impactful his music has been all over this journey. Every song he performed was a masterpiece of his own and it has been amazing seeing how far this one rapper has come since his genesis in the music industry.

Already, the RCA Records artist has announced another tour that will be stopping by in Mansfield, MA on August 26th. So, if you missed him last time, this is your chance to make up for it, and if you went already, time to go again!

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For the set list, look below:


The Set List Was:

Intro

TB&D

Pray For Me

Legend

The Plan

But a Dream

That's a Lot

Lotta That

I Mean It

Order More

Sober

No Less

SKOD/You N Me

Fly Away

Leviathan

Got Damn

Random 

Buddha

You Got Me

Calm Down

Say Less

Eazy

Encore---

Him & I

MMI

No Limit

Olivia Noelle Impresses Crowd in Boston at House of Blues

 

Video by: @breakyourboundaries

There is a new songstress in town that is about to hit the music industry by storm.

With her passion and love for the music, you can already predict a bright future for Olivia Noelle. Born in Queens, NY, but raised in Oregon, Noelle has been working on her music and perfecting it to prepare herself for this amazing opportunity to tour for her first time.

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@breakyourboundaries
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@breakyourboundaries

As a new addition to the Columbia Records roster, Noelle has worked with one of her good friends and producer Lauv (Like Me Better) to make some amazing music! Similar to queen bee’s like Demi, Dua Lipa, and Anne Marie, this artist is a force with her strong and emphatic vocals, and her witty, charismatic lyrics. The best way to describe her sound would be “Left of Center”– somewhere in between the worlds of Urban and Pop Music.

Some of her influences, who she has mentioned in the past, include Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Outkast, Whitney Houston, the Spice Girls, and the Backstreet Boys.

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@breakyourboundaries

Noelle is lucky to have come into an era that is so filled with unique and exciting methods to portray music as she is able to share her music now with so many. She has received notable recognition from publications like Refinery29 and has collaborated with well-known apps like Aaptiv to show off her recently released singles! With only 3 singles out, Noelle has been able to garner her success and bring her fans along for the ride of her journey to fame!

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@breakyourboundaries

Now on tour, Noelle has been opening for the electronic duo, Hippie Sabotage. I had a chance to see her perform live for Boston, MA at the House of Blues, and the responses from their crowd were amazing. Every person I spoke with never knew of her before this show, but after they were hooked. You could see the impressed looks on their faces as they moved and jammed out to her dance-worthy singles. Most of the audience even expressed how they would go see her again if she were to come out to Boston again! The entirety of the show, she looked like she was having a blast, singing out to the crowd that would be the first stop on the tour. She was humble and thankful after every song and you could feel the energy and effort she put into each record as she performed it live. This was her moment! A symbol of women power, there is no question that Noelle is going to be a breakthrough in the music scene.

I even made a jacket for her recently released single “High for Me” ft. Kid Ink, which hit New Music Friday and garnered over 450K streams on Spotify and she was a sweetheart to comment and wear it when I met her backstage! With a heart and personality made of gold, Noelle is easily going to be an artist anyone can relate to and love.

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@breakyourboundaries

Be sure to check her out on Spotify, Instagram , Twitter, and Facebook for more on Olivia Noelle!

 

Transported To the Universe of Odesza at the House of Blues Boston

Ever had that feeling, for a moment, when your heart has been torn apart and then is put back together again?

Those were the effects of the sheer beauty that was and is Odesza. Last night at the Moment Apart tour, Boson witnessed an event to never forget. With a sold out show at the House of Blues in Boston, MA, Odesza blew the crowd away with its magic.

(Clearly, because one show wasn’t enough, they perform again at the same venue the following day!)

The lights went out and nothing but stars were left on the backdrop of the stage, as theatrical and orchestral sounds gradually grew louder, images of satellites, and asteroids, and other interstellar characteristics filled the space. When the duo jumped on stage, it was almost as if we blasted off to infinity and beyond. The rest of those two hours, I wasn’t sure what hit me but it felt like being in a spaceship, headed to somewhere unearthly. It was elsewhere in this universe where lights consumed adoring fans and where souls became the music.

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Odesza is made up of two gentleman, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, who originated from Seattle, Washington. After finishing college, these two decided to pursue their passions in this field of manipulating sound back in 2012, and since became the rising producing pair they are now.

They released their album A Moment Apart earlier this year, which received critical acclaim from many and all! This is what set them on this journey for their Moment Apart Tour. The music is exotic and the sounds are electronic yet global. They create songs that are fragmented and melodic. The overall project exists to reveal stories of matters untold. Every single off the Odesza album feels as though they hide a secret, and as you close your eyes, you are transported to Odesza’s planet where these mystifying things are.

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The concert was just this galactic experience – out of body, outside the box, and between the stars. It was a lullaby and daydream all placed together in this hopeful roll of imagination.

Ok, I’ll stop with the imagery. However, honestly, this duo has blown away minds with their work. With music that seems almost too good to be true. The compositions make you feel as though you are living a movie.

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These were some of the photos I captured of the night, but truly it does the show no justice. With Naomi Wild appearing on stage, the lazers, and the space theme, it was so much wonderfulness to take in that it was blissfully overwhelming. The guys of Odesza even were having a great time on stage, dancing and shouting to the crowd. If there was any word to describe the night, it would be “fantastic”. Fans who attended responded with statements such as “mesmerizing” and “taken to another level”. Everyone was in a good mood that night, because how could you not be?

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All in all, the results of this concert were undoubtedly incredible. From the sound quality, to the drum line, to the lights, to the band and the artistry, there was no going back to reality after this trip. Thank you, Odesza, for a truly memorable time and have the chance to dream for a night.

Check out their album A Moment Apart on Spotify now below:

 

 

 

San Holo Releases New Single “One Thing” Today, Now on New Music Friday

He’s got the One Simple Thing

A lullaby that whispers a beautiful melody through an intricate composition comes the newest San Holo tune “One Thing”.

“Wandering, searching all the world for one thing” sings the light vocals of the female artist as San Holo creates a stunning track about constantly looking for the one simple thing that makes us tick or that one person who makes our world go ’round.

With a simple melody, but an uplifting atmosphere, the song about aspirations is motivational and inspiring and absolutely worth adding to your playlists. It’s got just right amount of rhythm, number of beats, and vocals to make the song a beautiful wandering daydream.

I had the chance to catch up with this incredibly talented young artist on his tour when he made his stop to Boston last Friday, performing at the well-known venue Royale. If there is any way to describe San, it is that his music is not the only thing that is great, so is the man behind the music. He is such a kind, genuine, and sweet man, and I am honored to have been able to sit next to him and chat and to be able to take pictures of his incredible show that almost sold out the entire space that could fit 1000 people!

San Holo is originally from The Netherlands, where he began his musical career, working with some of the best in the business, bitbird, Heroic, and Sony, he has been able to get his footing right in the music industry.

His hit single “Light” skyrocketed to over 83 million streams on Spotify, and continues to grow each day. He is so humble as an artist, and the connection he has with his touring team is incredibly heart warming. I loved the way they were able to interact with each with ease and calmness that it felt that though bumps always arise for big shows, nothing was going to mess with their positive state-of-minds.

San performed “Light” as both his opener and his closer, adding a perfect layer of symmetry to the night. He hyped the crowd both at the beginning and at the end of the show, leaving them showered under a hues of technicolor LED lights tones and melodies endlessly playing in their dizzy heads. He also then performed his newest single “One Thing” before it’s release to the crowd, and they absolutely adored it.

Check out the song above now, which is also on New Music Friday!

Here are some images below from the show:

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I hope to see San again when he comes to a city near me, and I am excited to hear more and more of what he is to release in the coming year and next year to come.

Be sure to check him out now on SpotifyInstagram, Twitter, and Facebook !!!

[Photo Story]: R.LUM.R Cambridge Performance at the Sonia

Close Enough to Fame

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This would be considered the fourth time  I see R.LUM.R perform and I will probably keep on going. Since I first heard his music, I was hooked, and truly have never believed in an artist more than Reggie. As friends now, I really hope to keep supporting him as he continues to venture on into the industry and achieve so much more.

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With already his own headlining tour, a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and numerous co-writes and collaborations, the artist is on a golden path to fame. He recently released his album “AfterImage” this past summer, and since then has been crushing it with the streaming game. With already 26 million streams on his single “Frustrated”, he has proven that people are devoted and in love with the fabrications this designer of sound creates.

The other night, R.LUM.R performed at the Cambridge’s Sonia, and I was beyond excited to see the crowd and the energy that filled the space.

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With a smile across his face, he sang all of his greatest hits, as well as performed some of his notable covers including The 1975’s “Somebody Else”, Frank Ocean’s “Thinking ‘Bout You”, and Bonnie Raitt’s “Can’t Make You Love Me”.

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With a stunningly simple stage set up with diamond lights that changed into various hues of color according to the mood of the song, the crowd danced, sang, and moved to the sonic waves of the room.

R.LUM.R, barefoot on the stage, performed with force, charisma, and class. He commanded the crowd with happiness, throwing up his shaka  for all to reciprocate the gesture. All were hanging loose and free and all were shouting statements of adoration.

Once again, it was a stunning and mind blowing performance with some of my favorite tracks, including: “Tell Me”,“Bleed Into the Water” and “Close Enough”. When it came to “Bleed Into the Water”, the crowd was getting so into it, they were bumping, grinding, dancing, swaying, and singing– it was a wonderful atmosphere of euphoria.

Truly an experience to not miss, from someone as talented as R.LUM.R. I am excited to see where he will go from here!

Be sure to check out his music HERE, to follow him on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and to check out the tour dates for when he comes to your city HERE.

[Exclusive]: Behind the Scenes with Jaymes Young at House of Blues Boston

*Video Credits to Brittany Chang*

 

Press play while you read this article:

“My name is Jaymes Young, I’m originally from Seattle, Washington, and I make music.” Meet the mastermind behind one of the most beautiful album’s of the summer, Jaymes Young (also James McFarland). Though a man from Seattle, he moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to continue doing just what he said he does, to make music.

“When I grew up, there was a lot of music in the house, my parents played all kinds of music. I mean I was just inspired by the variety and they listened to music while they cooked, while they cleaned, every time we were in the car. So, I think that was the first catalyst.

Today, Young is a  Please Rewind/Atlantic Records recording artist with a full-length album on his list of completed achievements. The album is titled Feel Something (released June 23, 2017), and it’s an alluring rendezvous to the erotic desires and haunting dark corners in love. The album is now available on Spotify and the album has thus far accumulated over 30 million streams since its release!

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So, we had the chance to catch up with Young before his opening act for the pop-duo phenomenon Oh Wonder, at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. This sensual songster, caught us by surprise because we knew his emphatic and vivid lyrics from his music, but instead we were introduced to a very soft-spoken, down-to-earth man.

A man who has had recognition from sources in the industry such as EARMILK stating, “The release of Feel Something will no doubt solidify him as a major player in the pop market in years to come”, and Ones To Watch claiming that “The album name and title track, Feel Something, fully encapsulates the core essence of his music–raw and honest interpretations of life and love bundled in a quality alt-pop sound.”

We wanted to learn more from the strikingly stunning voice behind the music. “I think, I had been living in this house for almost 2 years, during part of the writing process, and I was sort just striving for different sounds than the sound that I previously reached out for. It wasn’t necessarily one artist or one experience, it was kind of a myriad of experiences and kind of looking for styles and sounds that I hadn’t really done before”, admits Young.

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Neelu Mohaghegh

So, from the curation of this project, curiosity built as to which song was the one that resonated with the artist himself. “That’s hard, the title track was literally just the most explanatory for the whole album… It set the stage, and it explained everything I wanted to say during that whole writing process.”

With his live show only a couple hours away, we wanted to hear what exciting novel concepts and plans Young and his team had planned for his adoring fans. “I mean we’re doing a shorter set than usual (35 minutes), we’re changing it up a little bit. The songs are not exactly as they are on the album and same with previous releases. Some of them are, pretty close, but we’re kind of taking a different approach, we kind of wanted to make the music feel really organic and be perceived differently live.”

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Brittany Chang

And those were exactly the emotions we experienced during his set. His music captured an aura of its own, commanding the full-packed crowd (it was a sold-out show that night!) and making heads sway side to side and bob front to back. The music wasn’t exactly the way it sounded off the studio productions, but it was exquisitely redefined  and revamped for the sake of truly immersing oneself in the music. It was as if the whole room was cast under his spell and were really experiencing the performance with him. It was mystifying to say the least.

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Neelu Mohaghegh
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Neelu Mohaghegh

“I’m doing what I love for a living so that’s the best part for me, but of course there’s its pros and cons. I don’t think I could do anything else”, confesses Young on the topic of what is the best part of being in the music industry.

I then asked him what one word would be to describe him, and he told me very honestly, “Hungry”. #Tourlifestruggles.

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Brittany Chang
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Brittany Chang

We followed with what would be one thing he would want to do, that he has not done yet or where would be a place that he wishes he could perform that he has not yet? “Oh Wonder is doing a show in Israel, and we’re not on that, but that has always been on the bucket list.”

So, to be a little more spontaneous and in the moment, I asked him “If you had to write a song, right now off the top of your head, what would it be called?” He replied, “Fuck Traffic”.

We ended the interview with our favorite wrap-up question… of course. Jaymes Young is “#OntheVerge of … writing a lot of new music”!

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Neelu Mohaghegh

Oh Wonder soon followed after the amazing performance by Young, and the crowd was most certainly well-prepared for a night filled with more music to come. Young has much more in store though, so that being said, stay tuned for more this year from the alt-pop creative. Thank you, James, for a wonderful time.

 

 

 

Listen to him now on Spotify and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Website, and Twitter.

[Ones to Watch]: Live Nation Presents Allie X & Buddy – LA

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ONES TO WATCH STRIKES AGAIN FT. ALLIE X & BUDDY

Back at it again with Live Nation’s incredible event that showcases some of the most talented up-and-coming artists today! Ones to Watch has to be one of the best ideas in the music industry and for it. On the hunt for new talent, OTW scouts search and seize those they find have incredible musical skills and potential and bring them to this one night where they are seen by many within the music business world!

Last wednesday, (August 2nd), OTW presented us two artists of different genres who truly have a passion for their art and a talent that will most likely blow up on the charts at some point!The crowd that night was ecstatic as all filed in to get their free shirts from Bella X Canvas and The Shirt Agency and to get their free beverages from the bar. The room decorated with chandeliers looked fantastic under the lighting and the glass windows showed off a perfect sunset to start the night.

To set the scene, the event unfolds before our eyes on a simple stage of mics, seats, a drum set, a rug, and a “One to Watch” projected backdrop.

Artist 1: Allie X (Electronic-Pop):

Allie X is a radiant character hailing from Oakville, Ontario. Her real name is Alexandra Ashley Hughes. She originally came from a classical piano, opera, and musical theatre background, and it wasn’t until 2014 when she started to outgrow that scene to enter into the world of pop and electronica. Her first ever released single was “Catch”, which Time magazine had written about. Her music can be described as whimsical, positive melancholy, and enchanting. They’re hypnotic in their own way with her strong, yet serene vocals and she just manages to shock you with that electric feel. She will remind you of Betty Who, Charli XCX, and upbeat Lana Del Ray, and Ashe.

In 2015, she released her debut EP CollXtion I and in 2017, she released her sophomore EP CollXtion II. She has drawn quite the crowd through the power of her music and with her inquisitive nature and her fascinating personality, she draws attention to herself. She exposes a whole new side of the nature of pop to her fans and listeners. Truly a talent, she is one to watch.

Listen to her music below:

Artist 2: Buddy (Hip-Hop/R&B):

The second artist at the event was Buddy, a young man from Compton, CA who will remind you of artists such as Mack Wilds, Tunji Ige, and Saba. Simmie Sims (aka Buddy) has a cutting-edge sound to offer the hip-hop world. He was known for his impressive rap battles in the LA scene and starting at the age of 11, Buddy was performing in various showcases, and writing and performing for a rap collective. He was found out by DJ Casanova who then decided to take the budding rapper under his wing to help construct his style and discover his musical persona.

Soon after, Pharrell would find Buddy and mentor him. Together, the two produced Buddy’s single “Awesome Awesome” with the Neptunes. Buddy spits fire and will remind you of the skillful, witty tricks of Vince Staples, but he will also remind you of the fun, light-hearted stylings of Smino. He’s a new taste for hip hop. He recently collaborated with KAYTRANADA to create his EP Ocean & Montana. He will also be on a US tour with KYLE this fall, so be on the lookout for this one to watch.

Listen to his music below:

 

 

 

Find more emerging artists, here at OnesToWatch.com!