VAVO: “No Friend Zone” captures millennial youthfulness and free spirit

New York-based EDM duo VAVO was formed in 2015 by the talents of Vancouver native Jesse Fischer and London born Alden Martin. VAVO’s early works featured a progressive, electro sound, which appealed to a wide audience, and it included their remix of Martin Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely,” their first solo single “Ace Of Spades,” “Astronomia 2K17,” and their remix of TheFatRat’s “Fly Away.” The duo started 2018 off with a bang, dropping ‘How Low’ with John Christian on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Records. In March, VAVO debuted a new creative direction – an EDM/Pop crossover sound that has resonated with

Quinn Soular: “Ovah & Ovah” ft. Ziggi Recado – both impressionistic and insightful

Quinn Soular has released his 3rd official single “Ovah & Ovah” which is a summer banger featuring guest vocals from Dutch-Caribbean Reggae superstar Ziggi Recado. Born on the Island of St. Maarten, Quincy Adolphin aka Quinn Soular is a Pop and R&B singer-songwriter who has his own music production company, QP (The Quinn Productions). If you’re a fan or just a longtime R&B historian in general, you probably know that some of the game’s most renowned voices were cultivated in choir stands and churchyards. Sure, R&B’s secular content often clashes with the gospel’s divine intent but the similarities are unmistakable.

Emmanuel Dalmas & Kirby Howarth: “This Is Love That I’m Feeling” – a song with a country bent

Emmanuel Dalmas a company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry from the South West of France, also moonlights as a multi-genre music composer. Dalmas has been steadily building his music catalog since kicking things off in 2016 from his home studio. He produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his projects, which in turn are made available for both commercial and non-commercial use. Emmanuel Dalmas recently dropped his latest single, “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, done in collaboration with Kirby Howarth, who added the vocals and lyrics to Dalmas’ music and

Armonite: “And The Stars Above” – complex, vibrant sonic landscapes

May 2018 saw the release of the new album, “And The Stars Above”, by Italian progressive rock band, Armonite, featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso. The album also includes a guest appearance by Porcupine Tree’s bassist, Colin Edwin. Composer Fosso and violinist Bigi are classical musicians who through their teenage years, joined local bands, playing a variety of genres and artists, from the Beatles to Dream Theater. At the end of the ’90s, while still in college, they would play in a band called Armonite. They released an album in 1999, performed a few dates live, and then

MVJOR ARCVNA: “The Last Word in Love”- a master of layers and sequenced progression

Jaron Pearlman aka MVJOR ARCVNA, is an audio engineer, backing musician, and songwriter who grew up in Asheville NC, and is now based in Atlanta GA. Over the years he has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists, including The Indigo Girls, The Shadowboxers, Amor Kismet, Mercury Jackson and more. MVJOR ARCVNA is revered by many critics – and certainly by us – as one of the most quintessential independent producers currently around, standing almost alone in his ability to mix catchy crossover EDM-Pop sounds with complex rock-styled songwriting, and igniting the electronic underground in a truly unprecedented fashion.

DJ Mizzy: “Prost” – gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones

Boasting a sound that goes from his favored deep house grooves to hip-hop, DJ Mizzy, born Claudel Larose, is an international DJ and producer raised just outside of New York. Inspired by artists such as Sander van Doorn, DJ Yonny, and Avicii, Mizzy has a strong passion for his work. Throughout his 18 years of DJing, Mizzy has traveled all over the world to perform, using the original Technic SL1200 turntable as his prime tool. His latest endeavor is “Prost”, a German influenced track with a melodic tone, incorporating a subtle Caribbean flair. DJ Mizzy’s melodies are emotionally evocative and

Boy Leadfoot: “Turn-Buckle” – wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it

Max Gordon with Boy Leadfoot is a three-piece blues-based, alternative soul and rock project, from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their latest release, the EP “Turn-Buckle” is a breath of fresh air compared to the pop dribble permeating the American music scene right now. This is the type of musical project that will carve out a steady cult following and attract a good deal of critical acclaim. All three members are very professional and innovative musicians, and musicians of any sort will gobble up all kinds of licks, tones and spices from this release. The EP resides in the nebulous nexus of

Juan Donovan: “Merlot & Marijuana” – a brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production

As one half of the production duo Darkroom Productions, Juan Donovan has produced with his partner Jamal Roberts some of today’s hottest artists. That list includes R Kelly, Wale, Young Money, Maino, JellyRoll, 24Hrs (Royce Rizzy), Brick Squad, G-Unit, Bad Boy, and more. The duo also won multiple awards for its phenomenal work on HBO’s classic hit series “The Wire”, which garnered them featured in major publications such as FADER, The New York Times, VIBE, and dozens more. It’s not surprising then that Juan Donovan would want to drop a record that’s as much a personal statement as a collection

American Spirits: “Nowhere Near Perfect” – at their most musically and lyrically ambitious

Since being launched in 2017, Bowling Green, Ohio, Indie Rock band, American Spirits, have also founded The Summit Shack, a local DIY venue that has hosted over 25 bands since its inception in the same year. 2018 saw the four piece band release their album “Nowhere Near Perfect”. This recording will grip you by the neck and slam you into the ground. It’s simply one of the most listenable Emo albums you would have heard in a while. You could play the whole thing through without getting bored, probably every day if you wanted to. The music is catchy. The

Internationally Acclaimed Contemporary Jazz Band Drivetime Drops Elegant New Single “Mysterious Life”

 Song is the Lead Single and Title Track of their Latest Album Single Follows their Billboard Jazz #1 Most Added song “Whispers”  Single Marks Band’s relaunch Via Red Hot New The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records  (Los Angeles – The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records is proud to announce the release of a new single, “Mysterious Life,” by Jazz Fusion torchbearers Drivetime. This Michael B. Sutton production is enriched with sensual soprano saxophone, spacy synths, pulsating drums and percussion, deep pocket bass and enigmatic electric guitar, “Mysterious Life” – the title track of the band’s eight and latest

Hip hop artist Mr. Craig is an undeniable talent!

Hailing from Queens, New York, the American hip hop artist Mr. Craig is an undeniable talent taking the independent music scene by storm. Previously known under the moniker of ‘Strict-ly Shadow,’ the performer has been compared to the likes of Tupac and Lupe Fiasco. Now residing in the ‘DMV’ (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, Mr. Craig is hard at work on an array of fruitful projects that define his role not just as a musical artist, but as a contemporary entrepreneur and creative.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?

Mr. Craig: I’ve been in the music business well over 10 years. I started out writing poetry and wanted to express myself on another level. So a friend of mine introduced me to Anthony ”Mr. Tuck” Richards. He had a studio, and from there the rest is history.

  1. Who were your first musical influences?

Mr. Craig: I have a lot of musical influences it’s from Nas, LL cool J, Tyrese, Tank, 2pac, Usher, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Boys 2 Men, James Taylor, Heavy D, Rakim, Jay, Epmd, Wu-Tang, 50 cent, Biggie, and many more.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to or respect today, if any?

Mr. Craig : Wow! I still listen to Nas, 50, a lot more old school, and today I listen to Kendrick, Drake, J Cole, I respect J Cole as well as an artist, and a producer. I respect all in general and the ones that are still relevant from back in the days, and still selling out crowds.

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  1. When did Strict-ly Shadow become Mr. Craig, and why?

Mr. Craig : Strict-ly Shadow became Mr. Craig about 3 years ago. I wanted a name that represented me at this stage in my career, and a very special friend’s son called me Mr. Craig, and from there I said that’s it, Mr. Craig it is.

  1. How would you say Mr. Craig differentiates himself from from just about every other kid today that picks up a mic and becomes an emcee?

Mr. Craig: I’m myself. I’m not pretending to be something or someone I’m not, be yourself, and keep it real, I do. What you see is what you get. No matter how many records I sell, I write and speak what’s on my mind. I write about life, happy, or sad. There are artist that keep it real, and some don’t, just saying!

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

Mr. Craig:It’s hard to say what I ultimately prefer because they both have different vibes and feelings. When you’re having a creative moment or process whether it’s just you or a collaboration with another artist, it’s a great feeling putting a song together, and then taking it to the stage and displaying to an audience, it’s just a great feeling overall.

  1. Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?

Mr. Craig :That’s a very interesting question. Let’s touch on the production side, which I outsource, J-Rum, I’am Viany, Black Magic, are a few producers on my new project. On the writing side I handle my own verses, I want my fans to be able to connect with me, when I’m writing, now if I have singer on the hook, then if they have tight writing skills, then I let them write the hook.

8 Tell us something about how, when and why the single “One + One” came about and who else worked on it?

Mr. Craig: Wow!! Lol. I get this question a lot. J-rum who is a crazy producer had this track, and I grabbed it, so I sat on it for a while because at one point, I was done with the recording side of music, so I went through a situation with an incredible person, which I’m not with today, but that’s how the creation of the song came about, which I wrote within 8hrs, so it was that deep.

  1. You also have an official video of the single out right now. Could you tell us something about the production of the visual?

Mr. Craig:First off , I have to thank everyone that was apart of my “One + One” video, which is doing very well. I wanted to tell a story but an uplifting one. It was my vision for the video. Anthony “Mr. Tuck “Richards with his multimedia company “Image Sight And Sound” directed it, and I did the editing for it. I handpicked Latina actress Hada Vanessa to star in the video who was amazing. She’s an incredible person and actress hands down! I had a great team to hold me down.

  1. You own both the Strict-ly Entertainment label as well as Mr. Shadow Music Publishing Company. Are these companies aimed solely at promoting your career or are you involved with other artists too?

Mr. Craig:Well it all started with me. Starting up my own company helped me to learn the business. There are some people who won’t school you on the business. I choose to learn on my own. I might have an artist I’m looking to push, but it’s not set in stone yet. I have to put him to the test first. I want to give back and help, teach those who need it, if I can.

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  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist, label boss and music publisher excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Mr. Craig: What discourages me, is not being able to make a change in someone’s life, as an artist. As artists we have a voice and we need to use it. Bring an artist is amazing when you can be creative. Seeing your vision come to life is truly a blessing. Making your own decisions, what song to put out, or when to release it, and not having a label telling you what to do, what to wear, or them not being able to see your creative vision.

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about the music business today, what would that be?

Mr. Craig: Well, Rick, I miss Cd’s for the simple fact I used to, read inside the cover, and see who are the writers and things of that nature, the whole streaming thing is ok, tho. I wish I could understand some of the words that are coming out of some artist’s mouth, but that’s just my opinion, to answer your question, I’d change the politics in the industry.

  1. What do you feel your listeners should get out of your music?

Mr. Craig: They should get understanding, every level that I can display on, however, it may not be on just this one album coming. To let people know to not be afraid to express themselves out loud, and that we all go through stuff, but it’s how you handle adversity in life and apply it to something constructive. We all can do it, find yours, it might be jogging, or mowing the lawn, find something.

  1. 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?

Mr. Craig:I was told never to quit. One advice from a mentor of mine who was also like a big brother to me is “Big Sno” he told me when I was younger that “not everyone always wants to hear about your life”, but at that time that’s all that was in me, the angry, the hurt, the pain, I just had to let it out. Wise words because he’s right and I still look up to him today.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?

Mr. Craig: Rick, the hardest thing for me was when my Aunt/Mother/best friend passed away.

That was the most devastating thing that affected me on all levels, music included. One + One kind of helped me breathe a little in the aspect of it, it was like coming off of life support.

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

Mr. Craig:The internet is what it is, there’s no taking it back we have to evolve and grow as the world does with technology, no matter what it you’re doing the first place people go is the internet, so you have to have a strong profile. I’m not a huge social media guy, but nowadays it’s a must.

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

Mr. Craig: hmmmmm. Sound I would say… Hip-Hop, rap, with mixture of R&B & pop. Now style I’d say, edgy, humble, a little rough around the edges style.

  1. What’s the next step after the single One + One”?

Mr. Craig: My next step is to put out my next single and finish up the album.

  1. If you were stuck on a Desert Island and you had the choice of having 3 albums with you, which would they be?

Mr. Craig:You’re killing me!! 3?!?! Ok…This is hard. Illmatic-Nas, Usher-Confessions, DMX-It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, 2Pac-All Eyes On Me. I had to do 4.

  1. If you had to think of a slogan to leave a positive impact on fans, what would that slogan be?

Mr. Craig: Stay true to yourself, always believe you can do, or conquer anything you believe in and don’t quit, always stay positive.

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