NazB: “When We Were Young” boasts an impeccable flow

As a child growing up in Nigeria, NazB was surrounded by the music of his native West African homeland. With members of his immediate and extended family playing instruments and singing, music was a part of his upbringing. His persistence and perseverance eventually gained him the nickname Nazodobas, which eventually evolved into NazB and became his rapper alias. Now based in Zurich, Switzerland, NazB has been performing, recording and releasing hit songs, almost at will, since his debut album “Money In Da Game”, dropped in 2006. His brand of music blends hard-hitting urban beats, funky bass driven rhythms, and African

Croatia’s Sudar Percussion Ensemble is and Award-Winning Group

The Sudar Percussion Ensemble is a successful, award-winning group from Croatia that consists of very talented Croatian percussionists. They have completed a very high number of performances, tours and projects in Croatia and abroad since 2010.Their distinguishing characteristic is the original interpretations of famous works by classical and popular music composers, as well as their innovative and humorous ensemble members who have incredible musicality and technical skills. Throughout the years they have performed many remarkable concerts and appeared at important festivals. The Sudar Percussion Ensemble have also performed alongside world-renowned artists, as well as some of the biggest names in

RAVENSCROFT- “STAND UP” Video is the sound of a band inspired

Ralph Buso (Vocals), Brett Gorke (Guitars), Devin Baker (Bass), Pat Magrath (Drums), collectively known as RAVENSCROFT, are working on their most unique, creative, exploratory, and bone-crushing recording they have ever produced. It’s a progressive work of metal and rock art, delving deep into the nature of their craft. This six song EP “Rebel” will be released on March 25th 2018.  And there will be a release party held at The Slidebar in Fullerton California with Killset. The soaring melodies, the intense guitar solos, the deeply profound lyrics all take part in painting the picture that the band’s works regularly deliver.

Exit 22 Music: “Last Goodbye” – one of the finest musical acts in the pop-rock underground

It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and it’s catchy as hell. Sounds like authentic Exit 22 Music to me. This is pure Calamera from his pop-rock songwriting style standpoint, and pure Exit 22 Music, considering the breathtaking vocals and high production-value quotient. The perfect, power-pop formula. Exit 22 Music has been keeping

Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins and Symphony X bassist Mike LePond

New Jersey native, best known as bassist for progressive metal giants Symphony X, Mike LePond, now presents his first solo project ever: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, an onslaught of raw and true Heavy Metal in its purest form. His debut self-titled release is a full hour of head-banging riffs, kick ass vocals and epic tales. It is an album that draws influences from the classic heavy bands of the 1980s, all the way to the Viking/Folk metal of today. It was made for metalheads, by metalheads  – a celebration of the power and glory of that which we call…Heavy Metal!

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

How did you come up with the concept and the songs for your debut project; was it all written over a long time, or did you decide upon an idea and then write the music as you went along?

Mike LePond: Throughout my career I had compiled a bunch of random music and lyrics. Over the next 2 years, I matched the lyrics to the music like a jigsaw puzzle. Once all the songs were written, then I began to think about the concept, artwork, etc.

As one of the best rock bass players in the world, do you find that song writing comes naturally to you, or do you consider yourself a musician first, and the writing came about later?

Mike LePond: I always considered myself a songwriter as well as a musician. Since I’ve been a member of Symphony X I haven’t written that much but when it came time to do the solo album, my songwriting skills came right back.

You’ve got some very close friends involved in your recent projects – do you find it’s much easier to perform and to put tracks together with musicians you already have personal relationship with; or do you sometimes seek out that air of freshness that can come from jamming with new musicians?

Mike LePond: I think working with familiar faces and outsiders both have their advantages. Working with Symphony X for 15 years is a comfort zone. I know all the styles my guitarist likes to use and it’s easy to work with. On the other hand, working with other musicians keeps my mind and chops very fresh.

Do you plan to still perform with and be a part of Symphony X even if your solo projects become consolidated adventures?

Mike LePond: No matter how big my solo project gets, I will always be a member of Symphony X.

You’ve played on a lot of different projects during your career – is there anyone you’d love to work with at some point?

Mike LePond: I have done many projects when Symphony X is off the road. There are so many amazing musicians out there these days. I think my dream would be to work with Ritchie Blackmore on some medieval music. He is my favorite guitar player.

Is there any other genre you haven’t yet experimented with that you’d like to explore at some point down the line?

Mike LePond: I have always loved Renaissance/Celtic music. I have incorporated this style into parts of my solo album. It might be nice at some point to collaborate with someone on a whole album in this style. Perhaps with Ritchie Blackmore, hahaha.

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

“Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” was released through a crowdfunding Project, where the fans contributed for a physical version of album. How was that experience? Due to the low sales of discs that the music business lives would that be an option for the future?

Mike LePond: Crowdfuding was a really great experience for me. These days when record labels are going out of business, I think this a great way for a band to achieve its goals. So it’s the fans now who can in essence become the new record company.

In “Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins” beyond the bass guitar you also recorded the guitars, with Symphony X teammate Michael Romeo, and Metal Mike (Halford, former Sebastian Bach, ex-Testament). How did the idea to invite these axe men for the record come about?

Mike LePond: When it came to the lead guitar playing, I wanted to have the best players I could get in the area where I live. Metal Mike is a close friend and I actually played on his solo CD so he was happy to help. Romeo’s style complimented his style rather nicely.

Also how did the choice of vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades , former Seven Witches, Watchtower former) come about, and why use programmed drums on the album, could you not find a suitable drummer?

Mike LePond: Alan had the power and melodic ability that I needed. He is a dear close friend. He loved what I was doing and he did an incredible job. I asked Romeo to program drums because of the project’s budget and time issues.

The sound of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins is so different from your band, Symphony X. it’s more classic metal. How did come the ideas for it?

Mike LePond: Most of the music I write is in the traditional and classic metal styles so the CD was very easy to put together. I wanted to make an 80s style metal album but with orchestration that is used in the modern day. This would create a new and fresh sound.

Who or what was it that originally inspired you to play a musical instrument and what’s your favorite track to perform live?

Mike LePond: At age 13 my dad took me to see KISS. I was so captivated by Gene Simmons that from that day on I wanted to be a rock star. The song that I love to perform live is always changing. As of now my favorite is a track is called “In my Darkest Hour”.

Can you offer any words of wisdom or advice to upcoming musicians and bands who are just starting out, and struggling to reach the wider audiences they dream of?

Mike LePond: The best advice I can give any new band is to keep writing, keep performing and perfecting your craft. Record companies are going out of business left and right so you have to carve your own path. Use social media and crowdfunding sites as much as possible.

You’re recording a brand new album in the very near future – what can we expect from this, and how will it differ from the debut release?

Mike LePond: I am in the process of recording my solo album called second “Pawn and Prophecy”. This album will be in the exact same style as the first one. The title track will be a 21 minute epic. The lead singer will be Alan Tecchio once more.

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