Rising R&B Artist Shalini Varghese Releases Music Video to “So Complicated”

 

Smooth and optimistic, this girl offers a rhythm for your soul

“Why you always act like you missed me, when you kissed me, and later on dissed me, so complicated…” The song that exemplifies the turmoil of convoluted love is a creation of rising R&B artist, Shalini Varghese. “So Complicated” is a silky, yet raw draft of a tune. With a great beat and a simple piano chord progression, Varghese sings over a minimalist instrumental. She sounds almost as if she performs in a live concert setting, carrying each riff with confidence and clarity.

In the music video, we find a motif of the flower she carries around, hear dialogue between her and the mystery man, and follow her through sensual bedroom & bath scenes of dim lighting and candles everywhere. Attempting to set the mood of broken desire, Varghese’s first music video is a chance for her to build her brand and image in the eyes of the listeners. The warmer tones in the scenes remind you of the comfortability of loving your significant other, but the song brings you back to the point, that they complicated the situation to begin with, and that you’re tired of playing games.

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She’s the new connection between Erykah Badu and Norah Jones. A jazzy and edgy vocalist on the verge of paving her path to success with her music. Currently preparing herself for the release her debut EP, she has been in the works of defining her artistry to her fans and spreading the word melody by melody and tune by tune.

Varghese is also known for having a wide vocal range, able to hit tenor and alto octaves, yet is naturally a soprano. She has also produced songs and collaborated with artists in the EDM sector as a featured vocalist on these tracks, which can be heard on her SoundCloud.

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Show her some love and support by listening to the song HERE now and stay tuned for when she releases her first project ever!

The Iceberg & SONY Published Danish Artist Tim Schou Releases Indie-Pop Inspired Single “Morrison”

“I need my medicine, ’cause the walls are closin’ in, and I feel like  Morrison, this will all make sense one day…”

The Danish singer/song-writer sings this tune and demonstrates his ability to change up his sound to the emotion behind a song. Tim Schou is a multi-talented artist and couch surfer, circling the world many times around to chase after his passion. His sound is a combination of Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy, and Neutral Milk Hotel, creating a sweet deadliness all together.

The Iceberg & SONY published artist recently released his single “Morrison” on July 21st, which is a classic tale of sinner and self-recognition. His last single was “Novocaine”, which received over 124 K streams on Spotify. This track was produced by the noteworthy team Hitimpulse, also known for producing for Alma, Felix Jaehn and more recently Kygo and Ellie Goulding.

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Schou constructs this emotional indie-pop song with an alternative-punk edge to it that blends together worlds of electronica, mainstream, and rock in just the right way. The single is haunting and dynamic as it gradually becomes more intense and compelling. You can practically hear the strife of two minds at war with each other, as the schizophrenic nature of the song plays out. Schou has had the chance to work with the talents of songwriter Litens Anton and Swedish producer Kristoffer Eriksson to put together this record. The two have, in the past, worked with successful artists such as The Chainsmokers.

Schou, himself, is known as the professional “couch surfer” for the fact that his drive and productivity of being an artist keeps him constantly traveling the world for new gigs. He has had the chance to work with some of the most distinguished songwriters and producers in the industry. Overall, Schou has recorded over 200 songs for himself and others from all of his adventures.

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Listen to him now on Spotify to hear more of his great productions.

Olivia Swann Sings a Stunning Song for the Salty ft. MYK

 

Girl power join forces in this track about getting over and winning back your self from heartbreak

“Call me when you call me” sings this stunning R&B vocalist, Olivia Swann. A newbie to the music scene, this rookie doesn’t show any signs of inexperience with a voice that strikes and flows like a river. She is joined by the rap stylings of MYK and productions of WhiteNoise.

Swann is a Berklee College of Music girl, and well-deserved. You can tell how passionate she is for the music in this song where her alluring vocals carry the rest of the melody across the line, prepping us for the MYK fire that would enter in the bridge. Swann has already made some notable triumphs in her music career, performing at Osheaga Festival on August 5th on the same stage  as Daniel Caesar, Majid Jordan, and Solange. More hopefully to come!

 

Back to the song now, the single is crisp, it’s raw, and relatable. It’s got that bit of nostalgia intertwined with an 80’s R&B vibe. It leaves a soreness in your heart while also keeping you swaying joyfully to the instrumental. The music is bittersweet in the best way possible, and we all feel a little salty for the faults that have taken place in Swann’s story. With a little innocent attitude, the girls chime in on reminding girls that it’s ok to stand up for yourself and build a safer space. It’s a song worth hearing and hopefully adding to your playlists.

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Be sure to check out these queens on their Instagram and follow them on SoundCloud to hear more of their amazing tracks! We are expecting to hear more from them very soon!

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MYK: Instagram

QUIÑ Collaborates with Syd to Create Sweet & Sensual “Sticky Situations”

 

Finding the sweet spots, fantasy soul artist, QUIÑ, captures your ears and mind with her single “Sticky Situations”.

This queen of obscurity and mystery is just what the R&B world needed and ordered. She joins forces on this sensually sweet track with the incomparable talents of the crooner Syd (best known for being a member of the renown urban contemporary collective The Internet). A very rewarding collaboration!

The song is sexy and hypnotic. It’s a song for women to chime into when things are not going as planned and it gives you a motion in your day that arouses your body. It’s a fictional, bubbly lullaby filled with the ghostly layers of Syd and Quin’s vocals overlap over the melody and beat.

As an up and coming artist, she has a small following, but there is no doubt that her stylings will be recognized very soon as she begins to put out more and more work. Her music is dreamy, smooth and soulful. She intrigues you with her alternative creations and her imaginative musical mind.

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A little more on the songstress? QUIÑ is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter on a soul search to make her music heard and known. She’s on the hunt for the big break and this summer may be her chance as she intends to release her second EP, titled Dreamgirl.

In the past, the artist worked with rapper G-Eazy on her addictive track “Over Easy”, which featured on her first EP Galactica. Also, her single, “Math” was released with a mystifying visual. She has had the honor of performing at SXSW 2017 Fader Fort,  while also being on tour with Gnash and JMSN. Written up publications likeVIBE, Noisey, Teen Vogue, Okay Player, and Highsnobiety, QUIÑ is making her mark one riff at a time.

The artist has transitioned a lot from her well known artistry of pop  vocals like in “LightSpeed” to her new exotic single “Sticky Situations”, and we’re liking the vibe a lot.

So, don’t wait any longer, go check out the song above now! Find Sticky “Situations” Available HERE. Also, be sure to follow QUIÑ on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Site.

[Premiere]: Hip Hopper Caliph Establishes The Meaning of “Life of the Party”

 

Defining the life of the party.

Caliph, a U.S. immigrant and hip hop artist, brings a new meaning of being the “Life of the Party”. Produced by RELLWTHEWAVECAP & Vally and executively produced by Obeatz, Caliph’s newest single is one to remember and bounce to in your day.

Filtering his hardships into his passion, this musician is completely a slave to the music, but in control of his sound. He is able to address difficult social issues in cheerful beats and tunes and brings a new twist to the power of social justice in music.

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Jonna Mojica (@Perspec7ive)

Just like in his last track, Caliph utilizes a unique melody to background his songs. There is a combination of slow and fast tempos that makes the tune catchy. The sound of this track is pop-infused while still staying true to its core hip hop roots. The melody wraps around your mind as you hear the genuineness of his appreciation for being able to have the opportunity to pursue his craft, whilst also cueing towards something even deeper and more profound that he allows his listeners to interpret on their own.

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Jonna Mojica (@Perspec7ive)

He has been doing extremely well in his hometown of New Bedford, MA. The Northeast has welcomed him with open arms, giving him the will to keep pushing his music with a newly revived motivation and drive to share it with the surrounding communities. He not only produces for fans and himself, but he produces to give back. He has given back to organizations he has been a part of such as  DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Being from overseas, Caliph has faced countless difficulties with his legal status in the states. Nonetheless, he hopes that the power of music will keep him afloat during all of this chaos and will continue to give him courage to keep creating, to keep celebrating life and its party.

 

 

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Jonna Mojica (@Perspec7ive)

If you haven’t already done so, then be sure to press play on the link above to hear the entirety of the track!

And be sure to follow him on social media!

Instagram  Twitter Facebook Spotify SoundCloud

Also available on Tidal and Apple Music!

 

 

 

A Man of Empathy: Exclusive with R.LUM.R (2017 Cover Story)

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Somewhere between growing and trying, there is a man not so frustrated by his gradual success into the world of alternative R&B, down-tempo production vibes. In fact, he’s doing it all with his own mastery of the air waves.

He’s letting you interpret his tracks the way you want, but to him, each one is a snapshot, an after image, of the feeling he is experiencing in that present situation. I had the chance to catch up with this up-and-coming singer/songwriter who is on the path of coloring his own career with his emotions and intertwined with the force of his music.

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July 17, 2017. It’s a Monday night. I get out of my Uber and step onto the street that would lead me to the Bardot and to meet this talented individual, where he would be headlining the well-adored School Night music event. I finally get to meet him, wearing sweats, moccasins, and his black “Dream” T-shirt (very fitting for a man who dreams big). We enter the venue together laughing along to jokes we are cracking and take a seat on one of the levels of stadium chairs in the theater. The entire aura of the encounter is extremely casual, yet it also carries an air of sophisticated conversation and banter. We finally settle in and begin our discussion.

“I am R.LUM.R, I’m from Bradenton, Florida, but I call Nashville home now. I’m a songwriter, I play guitar, and I sing, so ya, I’m a big ol’ music fan, know what I’m sayin?” he jests at his final sentence.

Born as Reginald Lamar Williams, called Reggie, and known as the artist R.LUM.R (are-lum-are), the young man was raised by his mother alone in his small town of Florida. His voice is quick, light and airy as he explains to me the story of R.LUM.R’s genesis. The young man went to college with a scholarship to Florida State where he studied classical guitar and then commercial music. He would learn how to use such equipment as studio software and other technical music hardware which he then followed with a minor in business. After a bit of convincing from his manager, he dropped out to pursue his music 100%, moved to Orlando, and the rest is history.

“I think [the classes] helped give me a lot interest and patience with technology, because there’s a lot of cool things you can do. You’ll see with the set, like the vocal manipulations that I use, there’s a lot of programming and getting used to the devices in the backend that take a lot of time, but if you don’t have the patience or the vision for that stuff it can be overwhelming or just sound bad or just be out of your control. But I think it gave me a lot of insight of what I do and don’t want to do.”

His face becomes a more inquisitive look as you can hear the thoughtfulness in his tone. For a man who followed his passion, you can see the curiosity that he developed and groomed during his years of schooling to better his understanding of the field. He remains an enigma to his fans and to himself, but he’s just learning and being bold, and is hungry for more. This guitarist turned producer made me want to ask what influenced the diverse palette of neo-R&B and soul vibes that he writes and produces.

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“First, I only grew up with my mother, so she only let us listen to the soul R&B and jazz that she was listening to. So around the house, there was a lot of Anita Baker, she loved Anita Baker, Sade, Erykah Badu, Kool and the Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, two-steppin’-like older people kind of stuff which is still good. I got to middle school and was introduced to rock and music like that and kind of dove into that progressive stuff. Like Mars Volta and King Crimson were a big thing for me, loved Dream Theater, Rush, lots of core guitar, and I don’t know, it just sort of evolved. I think it’s kind of tough because there’s a lot of good music and there’s a lot of cool stuff you can pull from kind of everywhere.”

He pauses to think for a moment of what he’s exactly trying to tell me and then he continues, “There’s this cool John Legend quote, ‘cause there’s sort of this battle about music theory on whether or not you should learn music theory, some say music theory will quote ‘kill your creativity’, and for me, having studied it in school and everything, I’m not a music theory whiz, but it definitely helps and it gives you options and it helps you figure out what you do and do not like. Like John Legend was saying, the reason he found it important to learn that was because it helps me identify specifically why I don’t like things, so I can then exclude and figure out what I do like and then focus on that, so it becomes like a road map.”

He’s gesticulating here and there now try to relay the message he is offering to me, “So in all of these different things that I’ve been listening to, it has kind of helped me curate my own kind of sound and writing style and what not. In that same sense, you listen to enough stuff and you say ‘ooo that sounds awful, why do I dislike that?’ and you get to a point where you like what you like and you’re making whatever you’re making, and feel comfortable in that.”

If you were to hear R.LUM.R’s music, you would realize that there are hints and elements of a multitude of genres. You would hear the coarse rock, the eclectic alternative R&B, the dreamy and electric soul, and the rhythmic Hip hop. They all come together in this perfectly blended concoction of sound that goes down the throat softly but kicks at the end to give that final factor to create an addictive flavor in your mouth, making you beg for more. His music is exotic and riveting yet so familiar to the mind and heart that it makes it almost difficult to define what genre it fits within.

“That’s a hard question, I hate answering it.  I still think of it as singer-songwriter music to be honest, because I go through that same process, either it’s just me and the guitar or one friend and me, but other people have told me it’s R&B and alternative and what not and so we call it alternative R&B”.

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The composer of rhythms and designer of beats looks around the dim theater. The room is getting darker as it becomes night. He looks up and then looks back at me, takes a swig from the water bottle in his hand, and prepares himself for my next question.

So, what aspect of music, as a singer/songwriter, do you then find maybe the most important element of producing a good song?

“Having something to say. A teacher in high school once told me, like a performance note thing, shout out to my old piano teacher, he was like, ‘if you’re on stage and you’re thinking about the story and why you’re singing the thing you’re singing, then the story is going to translate or at least that’s you trying to do your absolute best to be honest with the story. Whenever I’m singing, for instance, in “Frustrated”, there’s that line ‘I’m screaming underwater” and for me that’s very visual.  I see the same image every time I sing that if I’m like thinking about that. Sometimes, I’m like someone did something in the crowd and it distracts you for a second, but whenever I’m like ok to get back to that performance center those images you keep attached to those lyrics, for me at least, my personal interaction with the song, that kind of stuff keeps me going… I think lyric is pretty important.”

 

With all of these influences, it can become overwhelming where he has to place his best sound, but by re-centering himself and really redefining where his music transcends to, he is able to determine what he tries to get across to his devoted listeners. As a talented producer, the artist has been able to fabricate incredible instrumentals for himself that stick in the mind and enrapture your body. The music is like hypnotic, motivational, sexy, sad electronic soul music, to be honest.

If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

“Yo there’s too many. This is hard. Dead or alive? Sorry. I got two alive, big Kimbre fan. Big, huge fan. And Sampha I think writes beautiful and delicate work.” He snow searching in his mind for someone dead that he would love to collaborate with, but struggles to do so. “I mean I feel like a bunch of guitar players, but I feel like if I were to say Jimi Hendrix or something like that I feel like I would just sit there and watch him play guitar and be like ‘do your thing I’m just a scrub’!”

He throws his hands in the air for emphasis of the magnitude of his guitarist idol, Hendrix, just to prove the point that he is nowhere close to his legendary name. However, what he feels he lacks, R.LUM.R certainly makes up for with the incredibly catchy, fresh new sounds that he constructs which anyone would be happy to listen to. Smooth and profound in every strum and every tone, the falsettos become the waves as the rest of the song are the vibes. His songs are power ballads that send chills up your spine and electricity through your veins, consuming your will,  moving your hips, and calming your mind.

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R.LUM.R has had some incredible opportunities on this endeavor of music. He played at SXSW, was noted and recognized by NPR and Rolling Stone and VEVO Dscvr Artist, and will be playing at the Austin City Limits festival this fall! His single “Frustrated” has received over 20 million streams on Spotify, and that is well deserved! So many achievements in such little time, that it only seems reasonable to see that this artist is on his way to innumerable successes.

Now, I could hear “Frustrated” circling around my head, literally exposing our inner confusions with ourselves and this music industry. We then dive into a conversation of values and desires that R.LUM.R has perhaps obtained from his experiences on this music journey.

“I think I’m really trying to spend some intentional time learning about empathy.” His voice becomes more solemn, somber, and self-reflective. “And thinking about other people’s experiences and something like that. Because this whole experience has been….. Wild.” His eyes grow larger to the word as he elongates the “i” in wild. “Like people pulling up Rolling Stone articles, my hospital tweeted about me, and we’re doing Kimmel soon, and I grew up watching that stuff like I used to watch Conan O’Brien every night, like for real. And discovering new bands and being on the flip side of that is really interesting because I have those bands and musicians that for me their songs really meant a lot for me and I have these connections with these people like deeply and really personally but I will never get to tell them. Like I will never get to tell Cedric from Mars Volta what those songs mean to me and it’s interesting to be the same person that feels that but to be on the other side of it. Like I met a young man in Phoenix, Arizona who said he was in the army in Africa and he said that “Frustrated” was the only thing, like the beat in “Frustrated”, was the only thing that kept him focused from losing his mind, like from being on his stomach in the jungle.”

He chuckles for a moment and then pulls back with comic exasperation, “He says ‘I don’t wanna talk about what we were doing there’, but I’m like ‘I’m not asking, you do you’, his tone changes as he speaks the voices of a past moment and then returns to us again sitting here, “but just having people come up to you and tell these stories and share that, to be the recipient of that, is like a very weird being of both sides of that, being that fan, but also being that thing that is the subject of that fandom, and I think that’s a responsibility in a sense, but I think you have to really try to understand where the other person is coming from, that’s just one instance that lets me understand and prioritize that empathy is pretty important. And also being a brown person in America is pretty not fun right now for like, oh, 40 years.  Ha! But just on a topical level, I think empathy is super important.”

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If you had one word to describe yourself by, what would be that one word?

Searching in his mind, I see a hint of recognition as to what that word might be, “Uhhh, ‘growing.’ The first word that popped in my mind was trying. I’m not sure if that’s more like honesty. My head said ‘trying’ but my mouth said ‘growing’, so somewhere in between those two.”

In the theme of growing, I wanted to follow up this character’s last answer with a question of challenge, where there has been most difficulty as an emerging artist and as someone with a lot to say via his music.

“Perspective, I think, particularly during some of the shows, like three days ago we played in Sacramento and we played for an audience of like 6,500 people and these people were like they think you’re like this thing.  Again I remember like being on the other side, I went to Bonnaroo last year and we saw Haim, I was a wrap, I was a school girl”, he starts singing in falsetto to “If I Can Change Your Mind”, and then continues to say in fast-paced excitement, reminiscing on that day, “it was a wrap, but then again being on the other side of that  was wild, but the next day we played for like 40 people. So just like scaling and perspective and shifting and really trying to be able to serve that audience, you really got to play a different way for them. I think that’s just one aspect of the perspective thing. Like you get in big articles and people from home thing you’re like a massive celebrity but in my day-to-day life, I’m sitting in front of my computer all day, but yeah perspective has been different…”

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For this creation of your project AFTERIMAGE, what was the inspiration behind a lot of it, like the message you were talking about earlier, what is the message?

“It’s still that empathy, it’s still trying to understand yourself and trying to understand yourself in context of other people.”

Like a self reflection?

“Sort of, and that’s a good read definitely, and if that’s what it means to you, then that’s totally valid. But I see it as every album, every body of work in that way, is a portrait is a snapshot of whoever you are at that time.  And each of these songs were written a certain amount of time ago, so they were definitely after images of who I am as a person going through this process, that’s why each piece of it is the color of the CMYK series. CMY, when you put them together, they become black, that’s why the front [of the EP] is black. Because these are all things that make up me, this black person. These are all pieces that make me, so I think it was just me trying to talk through these pieces and try not to shy away from the anger in “Suddenly”, or the *ha ha* frustration in “Frustrated”, or that kinda confusion in “Love Less” when you think you’re saving the other person but you’re not.”

The artist will be preparing himself for his great headlining tour on June 23rd, which he could not be more happy to say. With a glowing smile on his face, the shine from the corner of his glasses only seems to get brighter. I ask what he does pre-show in terms of rituals or traditions in preparation of performing and getting in the zone.

“I like to hang, I just like to hang out and kick it and just be chill. I try to watch the other bands. Again, I just like going to shows and I like music and stuff and like there’s nothing that inspires me more than watching people play music. Recently, I’ve had to definitely be quiet. And be still for a bit, because there is a lot of motion and again talking about perspective there’s not better way to contain and refocus, then to just slow down for a bit and be like ok what is happening to me inside of me around me, and a good way to do that and has been healthy for me is that I found this like steam inhaler and like it’s really good for vocal health and relaxing. It’s like a sauna for your throat, beautiful, it’s like a hot shower thing, but just for your throat and it takes like 20 minutes, so it’s like you have to sit stationary at the thing for like 20 mins. So that’s become a part of the ritual that has been a god sent.”

In the spirit of performance, I wanted to get the point of view of an emerging artist and their endeavors at bigger festivals.

You performed at SXSW, correct?

“I did”.

How was that experience?

“It was wild,  because it was a crazy come up. Because the first two years, me and Chris [my manager] were volunteering because nobody gave a shit about my shit at that point and the next year I came back as a performer which was last year and just did one show and this year I did 10 shows, 9 of my own and 1 feature with Sweater Beats. So it was wild, you know what it’s like, bang bang bang boom boom boom.” He gestures everywhere to emphasize the chaotic fiasco that is the festival. “It was one of those things where I just said it, I’ve rehearsed, I know these songs, I feel good, I’m taking care of my health, let’s just do it, just put your head down and just do it.”

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Was there anyone cool there that you met there that kind of shook your world?

“Uh ya, in the beginning of it, we did a songwriting camp and this was the first time I had ever done that and the dude who produced Zara Larsson’s “Never Forget You”,  I’m a big Zara Larsson fan, and like I sat and talked to him and it was awesome. It was really cool, really relaxed, and also I saw Kučka, the young woman from Australia  who was on “Smoke and Retribution” on the Flume record.” He starts singing the chorus in the high pitched octave and in the perfect wavery flare that the song goes like then continues, “that girl, she was there she was around and I was like ‘yoo, this is tight as fuck’. It’s just cool to be rubbing shoulders with those people, to be asked to be in those rooms is cool.”

What do you want fans to know that they don’t know about you right now?

“That’s interesting; I don’t think I really think about that. I don’t have a problem answering just about any question, but you have to ask the questions I think, I can’t implant them in people. There’s probably things I want to talk about but I think I do that in writing and in music, right now I don’t think there’s anything that I feel really frustrated about *haha- hayoooo,  score 1 for dad*, but I don’t think there’s anything that I feel hyper-frustrated about that I’m like ‘YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS ABOUT ME ehhhh’. Nothing like that really keeps me up at night. I think I’m just trying to learn who they are and they’re trying to learn who I am.” (He’s too funny.)

With this allusion to self-identification through the eyes of his fans and through his own understandings of himself, R.LUM.R exposed to me the fact that everything is left out there for his fans. Nothing is hidden nor unseen, and there’s nothing to hide from his fans. For example, each song is an aspect of him, and so every lyric is written as a poetic justice to his existence and emotions. When asking what his identity lyric would be among all of the words he has written, he replied,

“I’m having trouble pulling one because I feel like they’re all different facets of yourself, “Learn” is playing in my head right now, “Tell Me” is playing in my head right now. The first actual lyric that came to my mind was “somehow every wall inside this place, finds a way to look just like your face” from “Tell Me”, but I don’t know. I guess that’s kind of hard, “Frustrated” took a couple months actually to get to where I was pretty happy with it. “Learn” took two sessions, but like “Tell Me” literally was like I took a walk that night and wrote all those lyrics and went and recorded them next day. So sometimes, it’s like that it’s a total two hour snapshot of where I was like “Tell Me” and then “Frustrated” was this long gestation period. So, I don’t know, I’m sorry”. His voice was light, slow, and relaxed, as if he had no care in the world, that nothing would phase him, and as if he was not just about to be performing in front of a large crowd.

I wanted to turn the conversation to a topic less traveled by to get his mindset on an idea that I would be using for a final project, but would also pertain to him. It is about the genre of production music and how it is an ever-evolving “anti-genre” that only today became so commonly known, like artist including KAYTRANADA, Cashmere Cat, Mura Masa, Lido, and more. I asked how he perceived that type of music, as a producer himself, and where it stands in the grand scheme of the music scene today.

“I think it’s thriving, I think it’s always been thriving. Like if you go back to the beginning of hip hop it wasn’t about the rappers, it was about this. It was about the people who were cutting the tracks together, and once they figured out you could cross fade and all that shit, like DJ Kool Herc and all those cats, figuring out that you could like ‘oh shit, we could get these like break dancers poppin’  … it’s a DJ [who does that], not a rapper. It is interesting that those guys were the stars for like a minute. I haven’t done my history deep enough to know when that switched, but it probably was around like when NWA, Ice Cube, and all these things were like causing this crazy ruckus and all that stuff so you got to focus on the person.”

“But I guess when I’m thinking about the producers, I’m thinking strictly of hip hop to make this conversation more succinct, because if you get into people like George Michael, the Beatles, in terms of producers that’s a whole different thing, like they write the songs are in the band, blah blah blah, but to give you an answer that isn’t a term paper,  this is like a dissertation… I think the producer world is really thriving and it’s really tight because there are people, like those guys you named that have put out their own albums, and there is room, and there is a bit of a democratic acceptance of music through like SoundCloud and Spotify and all that stuff. Bro, Odd Future, that was the big one for me, they changed it, and they gave these kids this bravery to just be yourself to do your own thing. Without them Frank, Domo, Tyler, Earl, (Earl is my favorite rapper personally), without them you have no Kevin Abstract, you’d have no Daniel Caesar, I probably wouldn’t be the same person I was if I wasn’t indebted to them. That recognition that they can do it themselves and they encourage you to just do your thing. Create your wave, like you were saying, it [the production genre] is very adaptable.”

“Create your wave don’t ride the wave. It seems like it’s new because it’s so much in you’re face because everything is delocalized, decentralized because of the internet, but I think it’s been around for a long time, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. And especially with the internet the way it is, I  think the one thing we are seeing a lot more is homogeny, you’re hearing a lot of dudes from Toronto using trap songs from Atlanta. That west coast lead was like a thing, like first coming out of that was snoop Dogg and those guys, that Long Beach sound was just them, and then Nas and all those guys were other coasts and they had their own boom bop thing going on and nobody was crossing. But now you got cats like Lido, who’s basically playing Chicago church chords and he’s like Norwegian or something, he’s Nordic and he kills it, he’s amazing.”

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With so many ideas, thoughts, opinions, creations, ambitions, wins, and adventures, R.LUM.R still has many goals on the horizon.

“Definitely want to do more touring, meet more people, meet more family members, but writing the record, writing something I think is really really honest and like I really want to stand by, touring more for sure, I don’t know growing. Hoping that they’re down for the new weird shit that is going to come, ‘cause it’s gonna be different, so different I don’t even know what it is yet. Haha.”

The sonic curator has a lot to look forward to including his debut EP, AFTERIMAGE, which is releasing on August 11th through PRMD, his tour which just kicked off on June 23rd in Utah, and his performance on Jimmy Kimmel on August 2nd!

After our conversation, he gets up, tells me thank you and appreciates the time we have had, and heads outside into the darkness to welcome his friends who have come to watch and support him. I follow him out and into the venue where I will be watching the performances for the night.

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Of course he goes later…11 pm, for an event that started at 6:30 PM, but that didn’t ward people away from the long night. In fact, what amazed me was that over the course of the event, I never even noticed how the room slowly became more densely packed in and then the next moment I knew, I wasn’t even able to move for a better camera angle, shoulder to shoulder with the crowd of RLUMRers, eager to here is acoustics.

Barefoot whilst performing, you see the smiles on R.LUM.R ‘s face as he notices fans in the crowd singing along to his music, getting down and dancing their hearts out, and wearing his merch proudly. He hits each note precisely on beat and perfectly on the pitch, and as his voice riffs down perpetual chords and cycles of words and poetry, the crowd gains a new perspective of sonic creation while also growing that night along side R.LUM.R. The fans recognize each one: “Frustrated”, “Tell Me”, “Be Honest”, “Suddenly”, his recent release “Close Enough”. Every single record is stunning in it’s own way. As I took my last snapshot of the night, I was able to capture this particular after image of him, one that would perfectly summarize the emotions of this night. Happiness. Growth. & Empathy.

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This cover story was a project I really wanted to devote time and effort to, to an artist, a person, whose music inspires and serenades me on so many levels, and someone I can see gaining so much more attention and love in the coming years.

Thank you, Reggie, for your time, and hope to see you again soon!

Be sure to stay tuned with him on social media and listen to his music!

Instagram –  Facebook – Twitter –  Site  –  iTunes  –  Spotify

Emmit Fenn Tells an Electric Indie Story Via his Masterful EP ‘Prologue’

 

The soundtrack to life

Emmit Fenn is a singer, songwriter, and producer of indie electronic melodies and with those tunes he has accumulated over 23 million  Spotify streams thus far. It’s no secret that offbeat, downtempo music has become a sub-genre of the mainstream sounds, but Fenn is taking that noise and restructuring it into the cinematic soundscapes he now produces. These are the songs that will not only capture your soul, but will also instill a feeling of mystery and seductive darkness you weren’t aware you adored. It is the phantom of music that creeps in your dreams and that continues to keep you dreaming. It’s a lullaby with harmonies that shoot out in different directions and sounds. Each song takes you on a new adventure and every time it is never short of an exhilarating experience.

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I had the chance to interview this young producer from Berkley, CA  and there is no denying the fact that Fenn is a talented and intellectual artist. The first debut of his EP Painting Greys released back in 2015 and peaked at #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral chart for over a week! Now, the artist just released his EP Prologue in June of this summer, and it is one to not forget. With features like YUNA and Nylo on the record, there is only room for good vibes to fill the airspace. (You can listen to the project above!)

Fenn’s music is like watching a Terence Malik film- artistic, imaginative, and haunting. Wandering down his own black and white realms, the man who not only writes stories and composes the music, but also sings in them, walks us through these realms where hardcore synths, orchestral fabrications, and indie-pop vocals intertwine and fit in broken rhythms and fragmented beats. His music is complex, and you can hear the passion as he paints in the grey tones to his music.

Fenn’s alternative world sounds like a mixture of Godspeed, James Blake, RKCB, and Shy Girls! In each track of this EP, he travels down another exotic stream of consciousness.

So now Fenn, the jock/surfer-dude and sonic designer that he is, explained to me more of his story and how it all came to be.

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“I make electronic music, or that’s what they have categorized me as, but I kind of make everything across the board, from electronic to acoustic stuff to classic stuff and it started when I was 12, like the most stereotypical story in the world”, he chuckles to himself and continues, “I found my friend’s keyboard in his garage when he was moving and he just let me have it and i kind of just became obsessed with playing it. I would make all these Christmas albums for my family and friends every year and then I would keep making them for random holidays like Valentine’s day, and then I would have all of these classical albums then finally in 2013 when I graduated high school another one of my friend’s showed me how to use Logic, and showed me how to  make my own sound and then I started to make electronic music, and then it slowly kind of morphed into what I am doing today.”

The conversation went on about how that was an extremely movie-esque situation, and we laughed a bit more. The artist from the Bay Area then went on to discuss how he had grown up in kind of the perfect neck of the woods in terms of being a musician then.

“So many cool kids came from my high school. G-Eazy, Lonely Islanders, and other amazing musicians, and a lot of my friends made music and the Bay Area, Berkley, and Oakland have such a culture to it, it certainly helped out a lot”.

He continues, “I did my first show in Sweden which was super fun for a Sony live event; and Tove Styrke and some others were there, it was crazy, it was so fun, that was the first ever electronic show I have ever done”.

I asked him if he had traveled down the same path that some producers had done to kickstart their musical journeys as a producer, meaning was he first a DJ before entering this realm, or was it straight into the production scene. “It was straight to production, I went from really classical music into production and DJing, and I’m still not really a DJ because everything I do live is all done live.”

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I was curious to know how the amazing collaborations occurred and he was excited to tell the tale. “It was really crazy, I had written this song, and I knew that I really wanted a girl to be on the second verse and I was kind of looking through  the artists I really like and would really like to work with and then there was, you know, musicians we could probably get, and then there were musicians who were like ‘reach’ musicians and were probably people who were not going to do it, but let’s just ask, so we reached out to Yuna’s team, which I thought like ‘no way’, but she responded like a day later and  was like ya, ‘yup, that’s good’. The song was already written, I had already written her part, so she came in a week later and we recorded and it was done like a week later. It was really amazing. She’s so cool, we talk all the time, and she’s just a beautiful human being.”

“Then Nylo, she had done stuff for Zhu, and she like followed me on Soundcloud and I followed her back and that’s kind of how that started, and I was in the middle of a song that I wanted someone to sing on and I sent it to her and she just killed it”.

If you haven’t already seen the musician’s website yourself, then you better go check it out now because it is one of my favorite designs of a website ever. It perfectly portrays his music and how he wants you to experience his music and it gives each song a character of its own to play. “We kind of had this idea when I was still in the development stage, I had so much different music from like pure piano songs and to some that were dance/house songs, and we were trying to figure out how to make a branding fit this whole spectrum that of all the music that was being made of and we couldn’t figure anything out, and we reached out to this guy who does all of my artwork now with all of these ideas. One was this little bar, like this grayscale bar for a Soundcloud banner, and we all just kind of like, once we all saw that we all decided that that’s it, that right there was like the whole project, just that little bar, and we decided let’s put that on everything and kind of run with that, so we kind of decided that the bar would represent the range of music and the range of stories through the project. It kind of encompasses everything, when we reached out to Active Theory, we knew we wanted the bar to be the front and center thing, and that’s how it started and then it kind of started tumbling into more and more things like what if each bar represented a different song, and you clicked the song and you clicked on the bar and it represented a different experience and so ya, it was definitely a process of many different ideas.”

Speaking of ideas, as I had mentioned before, Fenn is a storyteller, and like any good narrator, he writes these stories down but in musical form. I wanted to know how the musical theory behind his music worked and how he approached the songwriting process. “I get asked this everyday, I write all the time, I have a notebook that I write stories in, kind of like a journal, so when I’m writing I just scroll through all my writing and pick out a story or an idea that I previously thought of, and mostly their just relationships… Sometimes the sound comes from the idea of the song or sometimes the opposite, the idea comes from the sound, there are so many different ways of going about songwriting.”

And like any artist, he wishes to evolve and transform his sound as much as he can. It’s a personal challenge he wishes to embrace, and that was one of the things he wanted his fans to take note of. “I think the biggest thing right now, what I want to get across is that no song or EP is going to be the same exact thing as the EP before. I know that people get crazy about when things are not the exact same, like ‘Oh, you got to make the same song as so-and-so’ but each EP is going to be a completely different genre and world than the one before it.”

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We then transitioned the conversation to have some fun, and get away from the seriousness of his career such as catch phrases, favorite artists to hopefully collaborate with and spirit animals.

He laughed at this one and confessed “it’s kind of a weird one but my favorite thing to say is “juug” instead of good, like ”oh that’s juug'”.

His dream artist to collaborate with would be Bon Iver. “Bon Iver, is just amazing, I don’t know if I would want to collaborate with him on a song, but just to play with him live on stage, would just be ugh, so amazing, I can’t, my first concert was Bon Iver…the other would be Marilyn Manson, first of all I think he’s a genius outside music, just politically, a super amazing speaker and really good person. And his music is just so far out there and on a different level “.

We also attempted to brainstorm a spirit animal and came across possibly a perfect choice. “Most of my music is really sad…so ya, like Eyore from Winnie the Pooh”. (Animal choice courtesy of my expertise).

Towards the end of our silly conversation, I asked him if there’s anything that we should be excited for in the coming future, to which he replied, “There is a new EP coming out… uhh haha how much can I tell you? Well, going on tour, and I’ll have more EPs out this year”!

It’s hard to believe that this budding 21-year old (same age as me!) has such a mastery in this art, and I was honored to be able to chat with him on what he is passionate form about. So… listen to his music above, drift away into this multi-dimensional world of sound, and be sure to stay tuned for when his new EP releases.

Also, don’t forget to follow him on his socials!

Soundcloud  Facebook  Instagram  Site  Spotify

[Premiere]: Evee Releases Furious Banger “Lone Wolf”

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Evee is the next songstress to set a fire to and ignite your soul

If you haven’t found your summer identity song yet, then let this be the one. This female vocalist by the name of Evee will tear through your heart with this fantastic upbeat take on her pop single “Lone Wolf” with producers The Chemistri.

This vibrant roller coaster takes you on a hopeful race of high energy melodies. The song of loneliness and solitude rushes you into a harmonious song that carries you up, up and away to higher emotions. The song is fun, it’s exhilarating, the cover art is ferocious, and the rhythm is well-constructed. Women vocals have taken control of the airwaves these days, and it only makes sense that artists like Evee are thriving. Voices like hers are confident, silky, calming, and forceful! They insert a vibe of joy and when paired with the fast-paced rhythms and metallic undertones of synths, they are able to command the dance floor.

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This is the artist’s electronic remix to her highly acclaimed pop single “Lone Wolf”, which released back in February of this year. The song received wide recognition and was written up by publications such as PopDust, TWIST magazine, and Next2Shine and also found on Spotify playlists like Girl Power, Top Hits 2017, and Starbucks Coffeehouse Pop.

The not your average cat lovin’ pop artist was and is inspired by artists such as Aurora, Sia, The Decemberists, Jessie J, Cruel Youth, and Childish Gambino. This wonder woman has done much in her career at such a young age. She was a classically-trained opera singer who has modeled professionally, and also acted in various theatre shows such as Dante’s Inferno, Ragtime, & Rent.

This pop star began a journey  through the theatrical world and dance, but it wasn’t until recently when she found her voice to be her greatest asset. Now signed to Siri Music Group, the artist has made space for herself in the one of the toughest sectors of the music scene and one that is ever-changing– pop and electronica.

Listen to the song now to rage on through the night!

Be sure to follow her on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, and  Spotify.