Dustin Steen: “Mixed Genres” has a strong spiritual element

With an onslaught of pressure from modern record labels to produce high-selling records frequently and consistently, and the need to secure a loyal consumer base, an artist’s ability to experiment and evolve with his or her sound seems somewhat futile in the modern era. It seems that musicians throughout every genre are bound by the limitations of what sound will sell, often creating a disassociation between artistic freedom and production demands. With such high stakes, it takes immense talent and perhaps sheer disregard for self-preservation for an artist to experiment successfully with the many facets of the musical lexicon. Perhaps

Dakú Lights: “Illuminate” – a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings

London based alternative pop band, Dakú Lights, was formed in April 2016 by the three band members who are represented by their own distinct color to match their personality, with Bhavini being red, Haiiiro as pink-orange and Panda as purple. They have a unique blend of music which incorporates Pop, Kpop, EDM and Urban influences. Currently pursuing a record deal, the band is focused on producing high quality music and building their stage presence for international audiences. Dakú Lights recently released their 5-track EP, entitled “Illuminate”. The title takes a cue from the band’s name, as Dakú means ‘dark’ in

Henry Metal: “So It Hath Begun” will grab you by the balls with a cruel squirrel grip

Henry Metal might have a fine veil of satire embracing the project, but he makes just about the best tribute to the excess of the 80’s and 90’s hard rock and metal genres ever. He has just released his 9 track album, entitled “So It Hath Begun” which contains great songs, which are very easy to bang your head and sing along with. The tracks all have a grooving and slamming feel, plus cool shredding and solos. In fact Henry Metal sounds no different to any of those legendary rock and metal bands from the golden era. You either get

Aeronaut: “Skara” – excellent progressive buildups and rhythmic backflips

Aeronaut can be described as Progressive Rock, Post-Rock, Indie, or simply Alternative Rock, but that doesn’t really matter. All I know is that this project delivers very interesting, fresh, and well-rounded music. Aeronaut has a huge dynamic range, from extremely fast and heavy with smooth, powerful vocals to very relaxing and atmospheric. The music is very melodic, clear and well-produced, the song “Skara” flows and changes to new and exciting ideas. The guitars are very lush and full sounding, during both heavier and mellow parts, while the bass and drums thump and bang in all the right places. Aeronaut is

Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” manages to tap into a very specific emotional core

Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks. Eric

MOOD: “The Wave” is in the right lane!

Hip-hop has changed – there’s no debating that – but change isn’t always indicative of something bad. That being said, it’s refreshing to hear more rapping, with the exception of one or two bridges, versus the continual rap/sing mix that’s permeated mainstream as of late. You’re allowed to appreciate more than one way of creating music and while a lot of rappers have the notion that they should be singing as well, there’s a place for it all, especially if you don’t have a decent singing voice. You obviously can’t disregard one lane of Hip-hop while claiming to be a

EsZ: “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me” – an audacious creative effort

On his new album, “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me”, EsZ aka Erron’s Attic comes out swinging from the first song, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual EsZ gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you definitely get the feeling he has the lyrical substance he wants to express. Although we’re in a dismal era of Rap currently, this could be one of those instant underground classics. EsZ catalog is filled with parables, fables, morals and lamentations, forms of storytelling that compress people and experiences into neat, digestible lessons.

Luna 13 – the solid foundation for gut-ripping synths

The award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 is forging a new genre of music they call Black Metal/Bass Music. Their brutal yet groove based electro-metal incorporates elements of electronica, death metal, and industrial rock – all done with electronics, which means no string instruments. Music maker Dr. Luna, creates a metal sound with synthesizers and by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Luna 13 who has been performing live for a few years now, opening for death metal/industrial and electronica projects alike, came into its own when Lilith Bathory joined in 2015. Since, Lilith, the band’s front woman, has been booking modeling jobs

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

Sick.Life: “Dreamers” – showcasing the diversity and talent of the roster

Sick.Life a collective of artists and an independent music label based in El Paso, Texas. A couple of months back they released their critically acclaimed album, entitled “Contagion”. Now off that album comes the single “Dreamers” produced by NZO, and featuring Josh Brown on the chorus and bridge, while the verses are handled in order of appearance, by Sonny Weston, Lavoe, C.Notes and E$ BFNE. For hip-hop fans growing up in the 21st century, the Sick.Life collective is simply a perfect match between raw lyrical muscle and dynamic production. I listened to the track last night with the intention of

Exclusive Interview with Rising Star Andi Young

Andi Young is able to play several instruments such as the piano, violin, and more. He is a classically trained violinist, who delicately threads his diverse influences into the combination of modern pop and classical music which can be heard in his releases. Andi released his single, “Time To Say Goodbye”, a few weeks ago and it has now become the #1 in the Top 50 on SoundCloud. The SoundCloud Singer/Songwriter chart is full of successful artists such as Ed Sheeran, James Bay etc, and Andi Young is no doubt a dark horse, and his songs are now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google and other online stores.

Andi Young

Andi Young

  1. When did you decide to take music seriously and how did you go about getting started?

Andi Young: I uploaded a song to SoundCloud, thinking it won’t get noticed, cuz you know, there are countless songs there from everybody in the world, and you normally get a few clicks and that’s it. But after a couple weeks when I checked that song, it got more than a million plays already! I was surprised at how many people around the world are listening to my music, so I decided to make more music for them.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Andi Young: I started playing the violin since 4, and singing and dancing when I was about 6 or 7.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Andi Young: Singers? A lot. Tori Amos, Queen, Christina Aguilera, Etta James. Those are the names you would know because they are in the modern music world. But I actually like classic music a lot. I listen to compositions by European composers such as Fritz Seitz. You know him? Haha.

  1. Have you ever had any formal training and do you think it is a necessary requisite for artists today?

Andi Young: Oh yeah, I was classically trained to play the violin, to dance and to sing. I learned not everything about singing from the anatomy of how we produce sound, how vocal cords work to musical expressions etc. I think they are important knowledge, and I would refer to that knowledge when I need to and that’s just a bonus. I mean, every artist needs to express freely and naturally. Even if you don’t have that knowledge you might still be able to do very well, so it’s important but not necessary.

  1. What are your thoughts on visual media? Do you see video as purely a marketing tool or as a creative extension of your music?

Andi Young: Absolutely the latter. Visual sense is too important to us. We wanna hear the music but if we can also see the music then what’s bad about it?

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  1. Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?

Andi Young: I like both and I am a crazy live singer haha, I love singing live so they can see how I express music as a whole and not just through my sound.

  1. Do you write all the lyrics and music to your songs, as well as arrange them, or do you collaborate with other creative writers?

Andi Young:  I write everything on my own. But I also work with other extremely talented musicians for the instrumental arrangement just to get the deeper part of me out sometimes.

  1. What kind of a songwriter do you consider yourself to be. Someone who is inspired at the spur of the moment, or someone who ‘locks’ himself away, and works at it until the right idea comes along?

Andi Young: All of them. I started by locking myself away haha, but after I got all those demons out, I started writing for the moment.

  1. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a business thriving with newcomers and wannabes?

Andi Young: My music is not commercially driven. I mean, lots of songs you hear are perfected in a business way, because labels think that kind of songs will sell because they are on the charts, so they just copy and paste. I write music for music’s sake. I don’t write to suit my audience, rather, I remain true to music, because it is an expression that I cannot ‘make’, I can only get it out and let music write itself, so it is ultimately nature’s work, not my own. And I have strong influences from classical music.

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  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough and sometimes cruel business?

Andi Young: All emotions are important, but for me, I think everything is derived from sorrow. That makes me think, it makes me see things through and ultimately become happy.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Andi Young: I get to do the music I love. What discourages me… when there aren’t enough outlets for my music to come through.

  1. Do you personally choose the engineers and producers for your recordings? How do you find them? And who are the most important creative people you have worked with thus far.

Andi Young: I do. Yeah I pick the ones I wanna work with. I try a few engineers and pick the one for the final recording. Yes, it is a long process for me, because I want my audience to hear the best quality. Every producer and engineer that I have worked with has made me grow. I learned from every body.

  1. What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Andi Young: You gotta be strong enough to be yourself. Think about it, it’s too hard to be strong and be yourself, but it is the best advice an artist can follow.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Andi Young: Original, classic? And special haha.

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  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Andi Young: Internet is too important now. Every artist needs a platform and the internet provides lots of opportunities to be heard.

  1. What is the title of your upcoming debut release and where and when can fans find it?

Andi Young: I released Time To Say Goodbye, and Star and You Go Left I Go Right, and there will be a few more songs coming up.

  1. Are the songs on your EP predominantly personal and confessional or more in pursuit of the greater world that surrounds us all?

Andi Young: Personal, intimate, confessional and the exploration of the world haha all in one. That’s why we write songs right?

  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or some other tangible milestone?

Andi Young: Music sales are contaminated these days, and Grammy maybe, but these are not very important to me actually. I want to be there for my audience, you know what I mean? Like if one day I hear from someone telling me a story of how any of my song helped him or her go through a difficult time, then you know what, that’ll be the pinnacle of my life, and that is why I wanna do music.

  1. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?

Andi Young: Nothing.

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