Dan Oz: “Cave Drops” – twinkling synth sounds and thumping groovy basslines

Let me set a scene: The sun is shining, the reasonably warm air is crisp and refreshing, the cruel winds are nowhere to be found. You put your headphones in and start walking towards the beachfront with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, rejuvenated by the rare taste of enjoyable weather and a feeling of freedom. Now, what song should be the soundtrack to your unexpectedly pleasant walk? Maybe something jaunty to fit your upbeat mood. Well shake up the soundtrack to your sunny walk with “Cave Drops” by Dan Oz. Dan Oz, who started

IJK: “Dancing Shadows” – a rocking pop sensible track!

“Dancing Shadows” is the latest single by Dubai based rock artist, IJK (Imad Jack Karam). The track released on June 12th 2017 was produced in London and is supported by a video clip available for viewing on YouTube. IJK is a one-man army in the musical field. His style is very retro ’70s, mixed with ’80s guitar riffs, and edgy modern electronic, his songs are highly polished, perfectly produced tracks that defy age or genre. There is something to be said for IJK’s mix of styles, smooth vocals, and refusal to make bland, generic, contemporary music. His tracks are like a bag of pick

Nicki Kris: “Captain America” – lyrics as essential as the air we breathe

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina Nicki Kris is a singer-songwriter based who has had her songs have been featured in award-winning movies, TV shows, and on radio stations worldwide, and she has also been on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards for the past four years, since her debut album release, “I Come Alive”, in 2013. The active voting member of The Recording Academy is currently working on multiple projects, and has released her brand new 2017 single, “Captain America”, which she describes as a patriotic song asking each of us to find our inner superhero, capable of kindness,

Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Lil J the white rapper from Westwood

Lil J is a white rapper from Westwood MA and a current student at Bryant University. He writes over both classic and original hip-hop beats. Rap is his true passion, almost to the point of obsession. He says his music can be considered “clowning”. After the release of his “Idols” EP, where he paid homage to his heroes and idols, Lil J came back with the follow-up, “Idols 2”, which over and above containing songs to his idols, also discusses Lil J’s dreams as a rapper.  He is following that up with his new mixtape, “Stoner Chick” which which dropped on 2/14.

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

LiLJ: I started rapping my junior year of college when I was around 19/20. Me and buddies would throw on a beat on YouTube and just spit. We never really took it serious, just something fun. One of my homies Nick also known as Pasty White Boy had made a few tapes on SoundCloud. We all joked around that we were going to make a tape. There was one event in particular that made me realize rap is something I want to pursue. One night in February of 2016, I was delivered a very special message. After a night of heavy chronic smoking and indulging in a highly potent marijuana edible (a firecracker) this message was delivered to me in my sleep. I rarely remember my dreams, especially when I smoke weed, but this dream in particular I remembered. I can still remember to this day. In that dream, I found myself in a hot-boxed room in front of a wall of smoke. Out stepped Andre Romelle Young, better known as Dr. Dre. In this dream, we smoked some blunts together and then told me that there was a special reason for his visit. Dre told me that he had come to deliver a message which came straight from God. In this message, you told me that I was to become a rapper along with my accounting study. He told me that as long as I never quit and put in the work, that I was gonna make it big; even saying that I was going to be the “White Snoop Dogg”. I wrote about what he had to say in my song “Lil Buddy” off my first mixtape, Idols. After that dream, I can tell you that it changed me forever, for the better. I hope I can meet Dr. Dre and all my idols one day and make fire raps with them.

Stoner Chick Artwork

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

LiLJ:  One of the first rappers I listened to where homies like 50 Cent, The Game and Eminem. As I got older, I expanded my repertoire of rappers I listened to. I have 12 Idols from whom I derive my inspiration for my music and they are Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Eazy-E, Tupac, Freddie Gibbs, Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game and Nas.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?

LiLJ: I listen to the music put out by my idols a lot. But honestly, I listen to many other rappers too. Just whatever is fire honestly. I don’t listen to the radio much … it’s become trash. I would love to collaborate with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

  1. Where does the moniker Lil J come from?

LiLJ: It was a nickname I got in college and decided to use it as my rap name.

  1. What do you think separates you from the crowd of emcees emerging right now?

LiLJ: I have faith and grit, two things that you can’t teach.

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

LiLJ: Haven’t entertained a live audience yet, but I feel both would be equally fun.

  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this highly competitive business day after day?

LiLJ:  Love. I have so much love for rap, it’s my passion. I do not get paid now, so it is just kind of a hobby. However, I hope one day someone will recognize my talent and I will get paid for this.

  1. What would you consider a successful or high point in your career so far?

LiLJ: My latest release called Stoner Chick.

Lil J

Lil J

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

LiLJ: I write my own lyrics on pen and paper. I usually writ over classic hip-hop beats, But recently I have been using some I had found on YouTube or beats for lease/purchase. I record on a laptop with my beats headphones. That’s pretty much it.

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

LiLJ: My music I real. I rap about my life, my idols, love and the world around me.

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

LiLJ: Just trying to find my voice and get my music heard more.

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

LiLJ: I love writing, that parts always exciting. Something about putting a song together, that is so satisfying. It can be discouraging when you don’t get the attention you feel you deserve. Nevertheless, I just keep my head in the game and grind away.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

LiLJ: Right now it’s all me

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

LiLJ: Greater ease of access gaining in contact with A/R executives.

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

LiLJ: Clowning and dead-pan comedy. I am a funny guy but I can be subtle about it.

  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?

LiLJ: Absolutely. I have my songs on Soundcloud and I have some people listening from far away places like Denmark.

  1. Tell us something about your “Stoner Chick” release and where fans can find it.

LiLJ: Stoner Chick is about my quest for love. It can be found on my SoundCloud Page

  1. What is your relation with visual media and YouTube etc. Have you released any videos clips for fans to see?

LiLJ : I appear on The Adventures of Pasty White Boy Episode 2. It’s a TV show based around at my homie Pasty White Boy’s EP, Friday Night at Mary. I might make a music video at some point.

  1. If you were stuck on a desert island, which 3 albums would you choose to accompany your stay there?

LiLJ: I would pick Tha Blue Carpet Treatment by Snoop Dogg, 2001 by Dr. Dre and Raw Footage by Ice Cube.

  1. Do you have a motto or positive message stuck somewhere in your mind to inspire you, or anybody else, at any given time? If so, what would it be?

LiLJ: I’ll leave you with these two quotes: “You might not have a car or a big gold chain, but stay true to yourself, and things will change” – Snoop Dogg   and   “If I was a plumber or something like that, I’d still make hip hop records. That’s how much love I have for it” – Dr. Dre

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