Here’s a new artist that was put on my radar and her name is Rebecca Perl. She recently collaborated with Canadian-Greek DJ/producer Tep No to put together this jam that has a lot of cool facets. Perl’s serene vocals are perfect with the context of the lyrics: being too shy to make the move, but knowing that if you don’t, you’ll miss an amazing opportunity. However, her smooth voice is then interrupted by the intensity of the EDM drop that Tep No intertwines into the song, making it suddenly a playful, sensual track. It actually is interesting because at first, the drop felt to abrupt and sudden. It felt like it came out of nowhere from the calm aura that Perl provided, but then as I listened again and again, it was kind of humorous how it almost felt like it represented “losing your chill” when you’re trying to keep your cool. The drop comes right in at the point when she stutters “Ke-Keepin’ it cool”, as if her heart just explodes!
*Side note: he song is also the perfect workout song, and a great pool party track to dance to.*
The LA-based singer/songwriter is much more of a country-pop artist; however, she surprised me with this collab, as her voice fit the mold pretty well — much like Maren Morris shocked us with her whimsical, amazing single with Zedd “The Middle”!
Born and raised in New York, Perl was artist from the start. At age 12, she picked up her first guitar and taught her self to play it and teaching herself by 13, she learned her love for music was the best way to articulate all the complexities and riddles that love and life had to offer. She practiced, wrote, and found her sound, and then delved deeper when she moved to Austin, Texas. Now that she lives in LA, she continues to write and collaborate with artists. Her first major album Rendezvoushelped her gain her place in the industry, selling out Webster Hall followed by opening for acts like Howie Day, Gavin Degraw, Teddy Geiger, Ryan Cabrera and Olivia Newton John.
She’s on her way to some exciting experiences, and with collars like this one, she may open more avenues of possibility. So be sure to check out her single above and tell us what you think. Tep No shared his reasoning as to why he was excited to work on the track with the songstress, saying, “The song has so much potential, when I first heard it, I thought it would be a perfect fit for a Tep No Records release. I totally relate to the lyrics, about being so shy to ask people out or to make a move at least, so you’re trying to act like the bigger person when really, you’re missing out on the chances you don’t take”.
Tep No also mentioned that there will be a music video coming out very soon, so until then, we’ll be waiting for that!
Be sure to check out more from Tep No and Rebecca Perl on social media:
Era Istrefi, global-pop sensation, has released a new single in collaboration with rapper Konshens titled “Oh God”. Istrefi has been a viral sensation for quite some time since her first single “Bonbon” received 1/2 billion views. She has continued to grow her repertoire of music along with other large artists such as Nicky Jam, Felix Snow, French Montana, Diplo, Will Smith, and many more. The Albanian-native has been considered the “Eastern European Rihanna” by fashion outlet Vogue and was featured on FIFA’s Official World Cupsong “Live It Up”. That song itself has over 20M streams, debuted on the Top 100 in over 17 countries and trended #1 globally on YouTube.
A sexy, fun song, like all Istrefi songs are, is another track for the summer. Though not her best piece of work compared to some of her past songs, it’s still a song that could be well-rounded and shaped by a talented DJ. The pairing of Konshen and her still worked beautifully, and if only the lyrics and the song had a bit more depth and dynamics to it, then it would be a hit track. At the moment, it’s just a good pop song that has you moving your hips to its melody and has you singing the chorus along with the talented vocalist. The music video has a lot of great effort put into it, with beautiful angles and great lighting, making Istrefi look flawless as a sexy, badass mermaid and a glowing vixen of the night. Nonetheless, it isn’t as rich of a record as I would hope it would be, yet it is good to see her still putting out records to keep her fans engaged and connected with her.
“Oh God” is bound to hit the dance floor in clubs around the world though, especially with its huge remix potential. ( DJs be sure to jump on that). In addition to this release, Istrefi also dropped her single “Prisoner” along with a music video.
I believe Istrefi has a lot more up her sleeve, and that with some more interesting and unexpected collaborations, she’s going to find the exact place her sound needs to be in.
Istrefi also comes from a very musically-gifted family. As the daughter of Suzana Tahirsylaj, a well known Albanian singer in the 80s and 90s, she was bound to have the gene that would make her a star. With her music being so international and ear-worthy, she has been able to grow a large fan base under multiple genres of music: pop, reggae, drum & bass, and future bass.
Not to mention, she has released music in both her native language, Albanian, and her second language, English. Her most successful single that I mentioned before, “Bonbon,” is certified Gold in the Netherlands, Germany, and Canada. It has garnered over 500 million YouTube plays, 100 million Spotify streams, and topped the Shazam, Spotify, and iTunes charts in Europe. That’s pretty substantial. She early on signed with Ultra Music, and “Redrum” her first single released through the label was then produced with the help of Felix Snow, reaching #45 on the US billboard Dance charts.
So, all in all, she’s no doubt an artist with an extremely provocative voice and aesthetic, but this song might not be the one. However, looking forward to hearing what she has next coming up for her!!
A surprising new voice is entering the scene, and her name is Chloe Lilac. This young female singer/songwriter is adding her R&B flares to the air waves.
Her voice is seductive and somewhat disenchanted. It’s the nice girl gone bad and the bubbly girl turned mellow record. Lilac’s sound is cynical in that elegant kind of way, and that’s what makes it interesting to hear. I think she has some work to improve on, and will need more time to make that voice the bold one that it can be, but currently she’s on the right track.
The Brooklyn-based artist releases her new single “Stolen Liquor” which is now available on Spotify and you can listen to it above.
The melody to this song is very reminiscent of the “Left-of-Center” female vocalists such as Bea Miller, Fletcher, alyssa, and Wolfie. The lyrics are raw and the voice is emotive in a lackluster way that gives it an edge without being too much. It’s the kind of “bedroom music” you’d listen to after heartbreak.
Most of her music, if you take a good listen, all come from stories she has experienced, so like most artists, she fulfills the role of the storyteller. Her laidback, avant-garde intonations is a nice touch to the mystery that is Lilac’s persona.
She’s been performing for a while, but before that, at just 14 years old, this young rebel began to sneak out to perform on the streets of NYC, and that has led to the attention her music is gradually garnering. Just this past year, Lilac has released a series of singles all on her own and they broke the Top 5 on the U.S. Spotify Viral Chart and charted globally as well.
Lilac has also performed many live shows that have been praised by press outlets such as DIY Magazine, HillyDilly, and Earmilk.
I’m curious to see where this songstress goes and how much more she can attain in 2018, because she’s got a potential to shine I believe.
So listen to the song and be sure to follow Chloe Lilac:
Everyone’s favorite electro-producer is out with a new single, and it’s an end-of-summer jam. The Philippines-born, LA-based producer, Sweater Beats releases “Enemy” featuring Romanian born, UK-based singer Sorana.
What’s the fun addition to the track release is its accompanying music video which will take you back to your more youthful days. It’s a visual that reminds you of the old school Super Nintendo times. Its comical story line follows the songs lyrics to give you a good laugh. The video was created by David Duttonnotoriously known for his 8-bit cinema projects, where he re-created TV shows like Stranger Things and films like Spirited Away & Titanic. In the past, he has also directed music videos for Daktyl, Bassnectar, Mr. Carmack, Zion I, Rexx Life Raj, and many more.
This song in particular really shows the fun side of Sweater Beats’ music with Sorana’s voice accompanied by chanting echoes and a slap-across-your-face beat. There’s this cool creativity in the chorus when all of the vocal layers fragment the sound of the music. Sorana is a perfect fit for the “Left-of-Center” female vocalists that are currently infiltrating pop music today and it aligns well with the quirkiness of this track. “Enemy” is emphatic like an Icona Pop song (which is funny because he just did a collab track with them). “Enemy” is the latest single coming off of his series of records he’s been releasing from his EP “For the Cold”, which has over 6 million streams and has been recognized by outlets like Teen Vogue, Complex, Paper Mag and more.
The song is slightly cheesy, but I think coming from Sweater Beats, that’s the point. It has elements of his experimental synth tones that he’s known for which adds to the playfulness to the track. Evidently, the track is about how you’re in the middle of a love triangle, and realizing your lover’s true colors. Sorana explains in a previous interview that, “The ENEMY is a song about some of us that love to cheat and lie without thinking of the hearts they’re breaking . For them it’s all about the game. I’ve got a lover who’s got a lover it’s something that happened to all of us at some point, so when it happened to me I decided to write about it. Writing about stuff that happens to me always makes me feel better. I loved writing this song with Digital Farm Animals and Jenson Vaughan and I am very, very excited for the collaboration with Sweater Beats. I love what he did with the track and I hope that you’ll love this song as much as we do!”
For those who don’t know, Sweater Beats is a young electronic producer who was initiated into the underground Soundcloud scene early on. As the rise of the community came, he began to build traction by earning praise from many outlets. He then collaborated with some talented emerging artists including Nicole Millar, MAX, RLUM.R, Hayley Kiyoko and many more! He’s definitely gained support from music tastemakers like Diplo, Omarion, and JoJo and in the past has toured with Chance the Rapper, Flume, Chet Faker, gnash, and Hayley Kiyoko! There’s no stopping him now, and he’s on the rise for more to come.
So, if you haven’t yet, ADD this song to your summer playlists and follow Sweater Beats on social media!
A song with a dark undertone and a mesmerizing, cynical aura, “Your Love” is a whirlwind of ferocious mystery. KINGDM, the acclaimed producer/songwriter, brings us this supersonic single this summer featuring the vocals of Soran and Red Cragun. The synth-heaviness intertwined throughout the track grounds you while the operatic, orchestral, and hypnotic electro-percussions seductively move you to the melody. It’s like the song is this erotic train of thought that transforms into this record that is composed of retro-elements, throwing you back into an age of smoky-filled clubs. All of it is a beautiful melange of sound for sore ears.
“Your Love” sounds like it contains a hint of ZHU-like progressions, a touch of THEY.’s vocal forces, and elements of metallic future bass noises that consume night clubs in this era of music. Soran and Cragun’s voices are smoothly and flawlessly combined with the instrumental that is punctured by the heavy hitting bass. It’s definitely the track to add to your summer playlists for those epic and adventurous nights.
If you haven’t heard of this enigmatic producer yet, don’t worry, you will. Zane Lowe and Annie Mac have already praised the young artist playing his music on their stations. His music has also appeared on “over 200,000 Spotify playlists and has been heard on such radio stations as KCRW, Beats 1, BBC1 and BBC2”. Just his debut single alone, “Can’t Get Over You,” reached No. 1 on HypeMachine and racked up over three million streams on Majestic Casual! It was known to be one of the most streamed songs on the channel. A personal favorite track of mine, and a big hit of KINGDM’s was his collaborative track “Baby” which featured the angelic, sensual vocals of Kevin Garrett. He has also had the honoring opportunities to be ranked in some of Spotify’s biggest playlists including U.S. Viral 50 charts, New Music Friday, Weekly Discover, Pop Rising, and Hot Rhythmic.
The artist himself comes from an extremely intriguing background as well! Born and raised in a small northern Italian city, KINGDM began playing piano when he was just five years old! It all started when he heard Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu,” and the rest is compositional history. Here was my interview with the producer on his music and himself to get a better understanding of the thought processes of the artist within. He had such fascinating, profound answers, it was kind of tough to consolidate them, so instead of cutting things away, I have shared our full conversation here below for you!
Neelu (N): Where are you from, how did you originally get into music, and why the choice to pursue it as a career?
KINGDM (K): I’m from Italy, from a city called Varese close to Milan. My grandfather was an accordion player and he introduced me to music at a very young age. He used to teach me the piano on his accordion. When I was about 5, I went to my parents and asked for a proper piano, they looked at me like I was crazy. But I didn’t give up and insisted until I convinced them to buy one. I’m so happy that happened and feel really grateful for their generosity and support because I wouldn’t be here today without it. I think it was that day that I discovered my true life passion.
(N): When you write or compose a song, what is your process?
(K): Songs usually start out in my head. Sometimes, I hear certain sounds, melodies or chord progressions and I capture them through Vocal Memo on my iPhone. Then, I bring to the studio where I work on production on my own and collaborate with others on lyrics and melodies. Some other times I start from a beat, it varies.
(N): If you could choose your next artist to collaborate with (it could be anyone), who would you want it to be with?
(K):The Weeknd. There’s something about his melodies that always drew me towards his music.
(N): *I approve *
(N): What is a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
(K):Up until a couple of years ago I used to have long hair and I truly looked like Jesus Christ.
(N): Did you know that you wanted to go the pop-electronic route all along? Or were you kind of experimenting with genres before coming to this point?
(K):I definitely experimented a lot through the years before coming to this point. But I like to keep my sound open and see it constantly evolving and reshaping.
(N): If you were stranded with only one album left in the world, what album would that be for you?
(K):I never really listen to full albums as I tend to listen to the same songs on repeat, but a collection of Chopin’s compositions would definitely do it.
(N): What’s your big dream (can be anything related to music or not)?
(K):Helping others is definitely the drive and purpose behind my career. I suffered from depression for many years and I was able to completely change and transform my life.
I now have this burning desire inside of me to help people that are going through difficult times and similar experiences and to share what I learnt with them.
My dream is to impact million of people and influence them to be their best selves.
(N): What has been the coolest experience since being in the music industry?
(K):The best experience is writing in Italy with my dear friend Reuben James.
We lock ourselves in the studio for about a week at a time, we make music day and night overlooking at the lake and mountains.
When we aren’t making music we do insane work out sessions, Fifa tournaments and have friends over. It feels like being a kid again 🙂
Its not that easy to find time for the both of us to be in the same city as he’s on the road with Sam Smith and we both travel like crazy, but when it happens its always magic!
(N): What was the inspiration behind the new single “Your Love”?
(K): When me and Reuben wrote this song, we were hanging and listening to 80s classics. Reuben came up with the verse idea when we started the song but the chorus was completely different from what it is now. It was very 80s – big drums and synths, kind of cheesy. The following day we realized the two parts were two completely different songs. So we decided to keep the verse and the minimal and dark approach for the new chorus.
(N): What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
(K):First of all make sure that being an artist is truly your nature not something you have conditioned yourself to believe is what you want to be.
Staying true to your nature is what’s gonna make the difference long term.
If that’s what you want, I know it can sound cliché but you have to believe in yourself no matter the circumstances around you.
You’ll get many doors closed, many fake promises, meet people with their own opinions about your own music and many times you are not going to like them.
Don’t let them get to you, let them go without strings attached but be open minded and keep what is valuable to learn.
Don’t wait for people to make things happen for you. Have a clear vision and plan so that you can attract/keep/let go the right people for your team, a great team is crucial.
Believe in your resourcefulness (determination, your art, courage, capacity of dreaming behind schemes and stereotypes etc.)
Don’t chase resources (meeting people, money etc.). If you make something extraordinary and focus on the first, you are gonna attract the second, it’s never the way around and if you miss the order you’ll waste lots of energies and time.
Keep improving as person in all aspects of your life, don’t forget about taking care of your body, spend quality time and prioritize the people you love and don’t leave them behind or put them second place\ to your career. There’s no joy if its not shared.
Always be yourself and be grateful of what you are and what you have. Don’t try to imitate others just because of their success.
Being successful doesn’t automatically equal being happy, being grateful does.
(N): Well spoken and couldn’t be more true!
(N): Because we are Verge Campus, we always ask our artists to fill in the blank to our little slogan. KINGDM, what are you #OnTheVerge of?
(K): Bringing my music live around the world.
(N): How was the music scene in Italy growing up? How has your classical piano influence impacted your music? Has your culture affected maybe the way you interpret music?
(K): Growing up I studied classical music and I was completely in love with Chopin’s music.
Classical taught me the importance of discipline and persistence.
I didn’t really pay attention to the music scene until I started playing in bands and touring.
I was more drawn towards the British independent and the French Electronic scenes.
(N): What should fans be expecting in the near future? (i.e. project, a music video, a cool collaboration, etc.)
(K): I’m gonna release lots of music, a couple of songs featuring Reo Cragun and remix of “Can’t Get Over You”.
My debut album is also on the way and it should be done before the end of the year.
(N): What’s genre form of music you would like to try and make, that you haven’t done yet?
(K): Honestly, I don’t really think about genres when creating music. It’s more about the sounds, I tend to blend different styles without worrying about fitting in any.
(N): If you could describe your music using 1 word, what would that word be?
One track at a time, the sonic orchestrator and producer is building his own kingdom for all to dance away to. Be sure to check out his music on Spotify and to follow him on socials for more from this talented individual. It was a true pleasure chatting with an artist I believe has an ear for the music and a prowess in the art.
Pop-rock band KITTEN finally did it! They released their highly anticipated EP Pink Champagne, and once again charmed us with their fun, eclectic, 80’s pop sound. For those of you who don’t know KITTEN, they may be your next favorite band, and for those of you who do know them, well here’s some more to love. Pink Champagne is a fun summer project that has you by the heart strings and takes you away to a place you’d rather be with your friends.
It’s the kind of song you’d want at a party and the kind you’d blast in your car. It’s an EP that would soundtrack a day-in-the-life-of montage pretty perfectly if need be. The 4 track EP consists of a range of sounds from fast-tempo to slow-tempo, from hard rock, to bubble-gum pop, there’s a little taste of each in this sampler project. Chloe’s voice is strong and fun and the music backdrops that for her wonderfully. “Pink Champagne”, the lead track is an intense, honest, and exciting track to hear first when you begin the listening process to the project. “I Did It!” is thatsummer vibe song I mentioned earlier, and the track that is most reminiscent of the 80s. “Strange Embrace” is the one that reminds me the most of the power of bands like Fleetwood Mac because the whole production comes together so fluidly in the track. Lastly, “Abigail” is the enchanting slow song that every project needs. It’s a little more on the Halsey-side of sounds, and best demonstrates the group’s total musical range. Every song has a personality of its own that fits human existence pretty well, and that’s what makes this a successful project.
I had a chance to chat with the 4-member band and ask their lead singer Chloe a few questions about the making of the EP, the band itself, and the fun personalities that exists in the group.
Chloe grew up originally in LA and started the band KITTEN years ago as a teenager. After putting together her first track and performing it live in NYC for a bit, she met Dave Stagno who became the keys, guitars, and vocals to her team, followed by Max Tsiring on keys, and Parker Silzer on guitar.
She delved into her past and how music had even entered her world to begin with, saying “My dad was/is a huge music fan, and brought me up on really great records. There was always an instrument in my house, and when I was 10 years old he bought me a bass. I guess you can say the rest is history…”
I was curious to know who this sassy, energetic band found as influences in their field as a lot of their music tends to sound like 80’s, Madonna-esque pop, mixed with a little indie-rock vibe.
Chloe explained, “We definitely all have a shared love of music from the 80s, Madonna included. We don’t deliberately set out to evoke that time period, but it’s hard to avoid when you’re using certain synth sounds and harmonies. While writing our latest record we tried to incorporate aspects of our favorite artists from past eras like Roxy Music, Prefab Sprout, and Pulp as well as newer artists like Ariel Pink, Tame Impala, and Grimes. We could name bands forever, but you get the point haha!”
Of course I had to ask the songstress my favorite question on what word she would use to describe herself, which she quickly responded with “martian”. A very cool answer, for sure. After, I asked if the group could pick a song or piece of work that they have produced to best describe them as a whole, they agreed that their latest EP Pink Champagnedid the job.
Curious about the process of creation, Chloe patiently described it to me like this: “We wrote and recorded the EP at Mixtape Club, a recording studio in Manhattan where Parker worked, over the past year. It was an extremely collaborative process between the four of us. Everyone has writing credit and it was the first time the band self-produced a release. Basically we just made sure that every member was happy with every track, which sometimes made the process slow and challenging, but led to a batch of songs that we can get behind 100%.”
Chloe also gave me a little insight into what her biggest piece of advice to other aspiring artists would be. “Prioritize communication and respectful relationships between members. When everyone’s goal is to be really good and everyone can learn to not take criticism personally, the music gets better naturally”, she humbly answers.
Speaking woman-to-woman, I wanted to know what was one thing she absolutely needed to complete her concert look. “Depends on your height, but platform heels can be pretty helpful.” Here for it.
A little fun fact about each of the band members:
Chloe: I don’t really like cats LOL.
Dave: I deliver pizza for spare cash.
Max: I didn’t know what a sleeping bag was until two days ago.
Parker: I just quit my job! AHHH! Wish me luck!
So what are KITTEN #OnTheVerge of? “We are #ontheverge of being halfway through our first major U.S.A. tour with this lineup. It’s been a crazy, hectic learning experience, but we’re meeting amazing people, making fans, and getting to know the great guys in Blue October (for whom we’re opening).” The band is really looking forward to releasing their full-length record this fall, and jumping right into the next one. With a whole set of new tools and experiences, they are ready to use them in their new material!
It was a pleasure chatting with Chloe and to hear from her and the band about this awesome, emerging act. KITTEN is on the right path, and it’s exciting to see how far they’ll continue to climb the ladder!
Be on the lookout for more, and follow them on socials!
Phé is an R&B singer/songwriter who has just released the charismatic single “Feel You”. Like any R&B song, it’s seductive, it’s heartfelt, and it has you jamming to the tune. There’s a kind of aura that Phé offers in her music that is angelic and forceful. The song has the perfect melody for a summer R&B jam. It puts you in a vivid daydream of your own thoughts.
What is gorgeous about the song as well is that it’s simple. It still contains an electronic undertone to fit with a pop/mainstream vibe, but it also positions itself in a left-of-center, chill hit kind of place that is just ear-captivating enough for you to keep listening. Take it in. The song is like a long deep breath after emotions have knocked you to the point of exhaustion. It’s a song of self-acceptance and self-understanding. By identifying and really admitting to yourself your current state of mind, you can better create and better cope with the pain that you endure.
What is lovely about Phé’s strength and abilities is that she sounds comfortable with her own vocals and that allows her to command her volume and sound. Meet the new Ella Mai, NAO, Emily Sandé, or Sabrina Claudio! “Feel You” is alift up, reminding you that you’re not alone in heartache. Her falsetto elegantly and fluidly traces the wounds.
The R&B crooner whispers in the song:
“We were the answer to the questions I was breathing, now we’re the questions that I just can’t seem to believe in / No I don’t want you back babe, I’m done grieving / Just want to feel your love, need a reminder oh / I just want to feel you, one last time”.
When asked about what the single was inspired by, Phé responded, “‘Feel You’ is based on true experience and was actually a huge part of my healing process at the time. I wrote the first version of the song about 3 years ago, after going through a really hard break up, during a period where I really wanted to be able to heal and move on, but everything around me kept reminding me of this person and the relationship we had. I was really struggling to admit that I wasn’t doing well because I wanted to believe that I was better off or that he didn’t have the power to hurt me, but by treating myself like that and judging how I was feeling, I only made things worse”.
She continues, “So, the song talks about the process of accepting where I was emotionally, recognizing the spaces in my life where this person still seemed to exist, and then trying to disassociate or separate him from those spaces. Beyond that, the song is about just trying to understand the parts of me that wanted to be able to experience and feel that same kind of love again, while also fearing the possibility of allowing myself to get hurt all over by opening myself up”.
Phé is a graduate from Berklee College of Music, where she had the chance to explore her own sound and artistry. Her debut single “Incredible” was a result of those 4 years. I asked her how she got into music in the first place, to which she reflected, “I’ve always been a super musical person! And grew up being very imaginative and theatrical. I always loved performing, whether that was theatre, dance, or music. It didn’t really matter, as long as I got to use my imagination and play characters and perform, I was happy. My little sister and I could make up our own plays and make our parents sit and watch us perform them. And I was always making up songs and singing rather than talking ahah. Music was just how I communicated really”.
Now, the artist resides in LA. Phé explains, “It’s definitely been a huge transition period, and lots of my time here has been about just learning as much as I can — both about the industry, myself, my music, and what I see for myself and my life”. She has had the chance to experience a few internships, working with female artists such Ella Vos and Solange. She had a chance to then tour with Ella Vos for some time as a backup vocalist!
The artist is currently preparing her next couple singles and an upcoming EP titled Crisis. “Just trying to keep creating!”, she exclaims. And she will continue to create, so be on the look out for this rising star as she releases more incredible material.
New York-based emcee, Dylan Owen is a man of many words. He is a man of lyrics, lessons, and lullabies. The man who speaks of wonders that only exist in our heads. He brings them out to dance so that we can gloriously imagine their unique characteristics and the endless forms of life that come with these daydreams. Owen now has a new piece that he shares today, June 1, titled Break Some Ice, which is a life lesson of human nature and human existence. It’s exactly what the title is, to “break some ice”, break through the barriers and seize your moment. This confessional, storyteller has earned quite a loyal fan following.
“I’m from a small town upstate in the state of New York. I didn’t grow up involved in a music scene and we didn’t have too musical of a house. Instead music was kind of always my journal or diary or private way of documenting my life and giving my self-expression a healthy outlet where I could talk about deeply personal things in coded, secretive language. Nowadays I am still documenting my life but also am able to find other people who feel like I do, and hopefully remind those people that they aren’t completely alone in going through their life experiences.” The poet explains to me the humble beginnings of his art and their transformation. He continues, “When I started out I would rap at my older brother’s band practices and during soundcheck at local shows, get seriously into poetry contests in school, and write longform short stories at home on our family computer. That all eventually turned into me recording my own songs and performing them at coffeeshops and open mics and super small shows that I would bring all of my friends out to. Didn’t care where it was, how small it was, what genre bands I was with, anywhere and everywhere I could perform I would. Those early shows and early demo tapes were the start of what this is to me and everyone who listens today.”
Brian Petchersis the fantastic, imaginative director behind this beautiful escapade. His talent is insurmountable and only brings us back to when I last reviewed the young artist on his work for Cam Meekins. His Terrance Malik-eqsue filming coated by a millennial touch makes the piece realistic, relatable, and accessible to the audience that views the experience. Recently, Petchers directed music videos for Moon Taxi and Grace VanderQaal (amongst many others). He has also been nominated for 2 NY Emmys.
“Experience“– that is the one way to describe this visual endeavor. From childhood to manhood, from every thought that runs through that mind as it ages . Owen creates a rhythm and volume that grow as the narrative develops. He forms words that become more and more of a jumbled mess of honesty written in pages of hopeless romantics’ diaries. These pages are thrown into the air to be shouted out to the world. The words are stunning, heartbreaking, and inspiring. All of the stunning behind-the-scenes images you see in the article were taken by Liz Maney, who captured the moments it took to create the video.
Petchers is invincible. His work is unforgettable. His love for lighting, his attention to detail, and his desire to bring authenticity to the angles we see are some of the most unbelievable filming styles I have ever witnessed in my entire life. “Get out there and break some ice, I want to see you drifting” goes the chorus that appears at the conclusion of the piece. Petchers designs this scene with such precision, with pink beaches and soft colors, with bright eyes shining from the smoothed out faces of the characters we grow attached to as Owen reads us his lullaby.
The writer further analyzes the creation of the piece:
“For Break Some Ice…I was inspired to write an overture of all of my upcoming new music. It references a few unreleased songs by theme & some even by name. The song is for anyone who has ever felt frozen with the weight of life. Whatever that barrier might be for you, especially in your twenties when so much feels at stake, you have to find a way to break through it for yourself. Brian heard the song (along with the full album which will follow) and set out to bring my music to life visually. With Break Some Ice, he had this line in the original video treatment that I think sums it up so well: ‘I want the viewer to leave feeling empowered by the prospects of the future and the great big world, but also bittersweet with the notion our lives are a collection of fleeting moments and memories that fade with time – but ultimately to take comfort in the fact that they cannot be taken away.’ So we tried to illustrate that with me growing old watching the most beautiful and tragic moments of my life playing back on a movie projector.”
Break Some Ice is a masterpiece. Something that truly demonstrates Owen’s affinity for words and Petchers’ talent for capturing moments as they truly happen. Watch the full version above now.