AKASH: “Rooftop Vibes” conjures up an imposing sonic architecture

AKASH is an 18-year-old Indian Hip-Hop/Pop artist from New Jersey who a couple of months back rolled out his 10 track album “Rooftop Vibes”. AKASH penned all the tracks and called in a crew of talented producers including Davincii, DopeBoyzMuzic, and ANS who also contributed his vocals on several of the songs. The entire album was mixed, mastered and engineered by ANS of ANSstudios in New Jersey. “I’m excited for this album because it’s a reflection of not just my life now, but the life I’m striving for,” explained AKASH. “It’s a diary of the various aspects of life that

Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

LADYBABY: A manic J-Pop direction injected with jaw-dropping, metal time signatures!

LADYBABY is Lady Beard, Rie Kaneko and Kuromiya Rei  – a Japanese idol group who sing and dance beyond the boundaries of national borders, gender, and all generations. Armed with an original genre they call “Kawaii Death” (“Cute Death”), which is a fusion of J-pop and death growls. The group mixes the sounds of Japanese pop music with heavy metal. Additional members also include Shizu Mizuno, Marx and Mikiti Genuine. Currently LADYBABY have 2 singles out – “C’est si bon Kibun” and “Renge Chance!” available iTunes, Amazon and LADYBABY’s official website http://bit.ly/1YDg9Za. From humble metal roots LADYBABY have progressed through a myriad of sounds and styles, all the time pushing the borderline of metal right through the confines of J-Pop, and in so doing have become the most innovative and original band in the straddling the genres…if not the only one I know of!

LADYBABY-200Real phenomena exist within J-Pop, and chief among them is the insane and adorable world of idol pop. Japan is the world’s second largest music market and idol pop is its industry’s crown jewel. To be of “idol” caliber simply means potential stars must be willing to temporarily relinquish control of their own humanity and submit themselves to a culture that is as punishing as it is rewarding.

Being young is the central tenet of idol pop from which all of other key cultural characteristics of the genre flow. Some idols-in-training are as young as seven while most are under 20. Within being young, one must also create the illusion of being—saccharine, chaste, demure, and sincere, so to not shatter the fantasy-land in which all idol pop fans dwell. A little dose of kawaii, the Japanese quality of cuteness, also goes a long way.

One look at LADYBABY, and 85-year-old Johnny Kitagawa, the father-figure of Japanese ‘idol makers’ must be close of on having a heart attack. And when he hears the crunching power chords and growling vocals that trespass the J-Pop rhythms of “C’est si bon Kibun”, a double-heart attack would be the order of the day! One type of artist will create something with their emotions poured out. Another type of artist creates a piece of art through using their brain. LADYBABY are exactly that type of artist.

LADYBABY-300It is for this very reason that LADYBABY’s status in metal and J-Pop is so paradoxical. They do not swarm you through a gust of emotion. They attack you through a barrage of multifaceted time signatures, complex tongue-in-cheek lyrics, a series of thrash metal verses and subsequent, contrasting J-Pop choruses. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for what you are about to hear because you might not return.  Each song sticks with power and precision all the while feeling like parts of brilliant machinery put together into one dynamic hallucinating creation.

There is an amazing infusion of groove added to each track, seamlessly injecting LADYBABY’s manic J-Pop direction with their already jaw-dropping, calculated metal time signatures. The outcome is a grotesquely attractive as it is sweetly whimsical, and watching the videos only adds to the effect. It’s really hard to imagine that LADYBABY won’t make any impression on listener’s (or viewers).

They have chosen such persuasive visual imagery and vigorous soundscapes that they just cannot go unnoticed. Nobody is doing what this band does. They are on their own. Japan has a rich history of creating fantasy worlds for consumers. Now LADYBABY is creating a fantasy world for Japan!

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