Midwest Hiphop duo Strangers Of Necessity drop their new single “Abundance”

Strangers Of Necessity are an American hip-hop duo, based in the Midwest, consisting of prolific producer, CoryaYo and veteran lyricist, Fooch the MC. They linked via Twitter and quickly became friends, sparking an immediate chemistry and need to make quality music together; hence the name Strangers Of Necessity. They instantly began recording music and doing shows locally, generating a nice buzz in the area. Their sound is best described as a fresh take on that golden era of hip-hop, blending tasteful jazz and soul samples, crisp snares, boomy kicks on wonky patterns with a soulful delivery, dense schemes and potent

Kilo M.O.E. – ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’ – serves as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism

The Baltimore-based producer, songwriter, rapper, Kilo M.O.E.’s evolution over his past three albums has been inspiring to see. I’ll always admire artists who push themselves creatively, and that’s exactly what, Kilo M.O.E. has done on his fourth studio album, ‘Fly G’z and Palm Treez’, and it pays off in leaps and bounds. Each instrumental is rich and developed, serving as the perfect canvas for the rapper’s elite lyricism. Something that this recording and Kilo M.O.E.’s recent albums have done well is allow him the freedom to rap for the sake of his craft within the confines of the album’s larger

Jim Wyly – “You Took Me” – It’s rhythmically tight, warm and edgy

Texas singer songwriter Jim Wyly is back with another soul-stirring track from his “The Artisan” album. Over 40 years deep into his craft, the Austin troubadour sounds like a home-cooked meal. He deals out comfort food for the head, heart, and soul. All of this serves his finely drawn guitar lines, bourbon-stained-like vocals, and funky acoustic-driven grooves as thick as molasses. A subtle blend of blues, country, folk and southern rock runs right down the middle of “You Took Me”. “Musicians’ musician” is an overused term. Why wouldn’t anyone with two good ears appreciate Jim Wyly? As Jim doesn’t cater

Hanen Release Brand New Video For The Song “Breathe”

It’s never been easier for artists to stay independent. Of course you can get good music producers, good visual directors for videos, good rappers and good singers to feature on your track without a great budget, but you have to search the world over to find deals you can afford, or convince creatives to work with you. Texas born artist, now living in the LA area, Hanen, somehow got it all together on his latest track called “Breathe”. He sings soulfully and raps with an urban edge all by himself, backed by an atmospheric slow-burning, and ear-warming beat made by

Angry B – “Hey Corona! (Nice to Meet Ya)” – reflects the realities with a good dose of wit

On his latest single, “Hey Corona! (Nice to Meet Ya)”, underground music hobbyist Angry B pinned his rap skills and dark wit, to the sounds of mainstream pop and a funky EDM template. He blurs the lines between genres with the top of the charts — and only the top — in his sights. As can be deciphered from the song title, Angry B pulls his aspirations from the dramatic Covid-19 disease hitting mankind across the globe. “It’s one of the most critical situations we’ve had and there will be a lot of sad stories connected with it,” says Angry

Izzie’s Caravan – “Leo’s Guitar EP” – an understated guitar virtuoso

On the recording, “Leo’s Guitar EP”, Izzie’s Caravan and his guitar conspire to use every single crayon within the blue color box to deliver one of the best underground independent studio blues releases I’ve heard this year. Among others, Izzie takes his cue from greats such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, and Eric Clapton. So you can expect a wide and wholesome finger bending spectrum of sounds. The aforementioned guitar heroes are points of reference, not simple deductions for resemblance. The opening song, “Two’s In The Bush”, has a highway drive, and jangly timbre that’s upbeat and

‘Mind Blown’ – The Video and Brand New Single by EyeKonic

EyeKonik is an artist with a focus on creating punchy and appealing pop music with a personal twist. Recently, he released a brand new single called ‘Mind Blown’. What really makes this track stands out is definitely the fact that it’s so well produced, and the performance value is excellent as well. EyeKonik sings with passion and intensity, and the artist’s vocals soar through the atmospheric melodies and punchy tones of this mix. Fans of artists as diverse as Mac Miller, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Eminem are definitely going to enjoy this amazing single. Check out the newly released music

Sundance Jump with W. Dire Wolff release the Indie Rock Video “Zodiac Killer”

Zodiac Killer is a wild Indie Rock song with crazy slide guitar laid over a rockabilly beat. The song is about a woman who frequents a night club called Zodiacs by nights, and cruises around town by day. Deep Purple Sage is a CD, Vinyl, and Digital release by Sundance Jump with W. Dire Wolff. The album blends Alternative Rock with Psychedelic Acid Rock. Recorded in Joshua Tree, California at Skylab Studios; the album has an underlying desert theme.  The LP is recorded in the old school style of Acid Rock vintage tube amp guitar sounds, mixed through analog

THE BRKN DEBUT EP ‘NO. 3’ OUT NOW VIA INGROOVES

FRONTMAN JACOB CADE’S ‘ACOUSTIC HANG WITH JACOB FROM THE BRKN’ WILL LIVE STREAM VIA THE BANDS INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK THROUGH THE END OF APRIL AT 6PM PST/7PM MST/9PM EST THE BRKN recently released their debut EP No. 3 via Right Brain Music Group/Ingrooves. Their new video for their song “Broke” has garnered over 100 views in just two weeks. Since the band’s spring tours have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus, frontman Jacob Cade will be live streaming acoustic sessions every Tuesday through April via the band’s Facebook and Instagram. Tune in at 6PM PST/7PM MST/9PM EST at https://instagram.com/thebrkn or https://facebook.com/thebrkn and #BeatTheVirusWithTheBRKN. “We’re

D-Witt flexes the pen of a budding cinematic storyteller

I recently heard about an artist called D-Witt from Rockford, IL.  Illinois is the home of some prestigious sons who have left unforgettable marks on hip-hop’s history. I’m expecting an unfiltered rebel who is unafraid to bare his soul and burn down buildings. A fearless heart is a quality that makes fearless art, and I hope that’s exactly what D-Witt has arrived to present us.  So I press play on the first track called “Enemy”. The sound is open and strong-willed. There’s no doubting that D-Witt has something to say. The amount of care that goes into his lyricism stamps

Interview: Eclectic music maker – Austin Findley

Austin Findley is from the Midwest. Born on August 13th, 1997 to a family from the country, He was raised in small towns around Mid-Missouri. He started learning music theory at age 14, when he began playing with a program called LMMS. He says that his unique style is a result of listening to hours of music. He grew to love The Stone Roses, for their dance-able rhythm, trippy vocals, and psychedelic guitar sounds. David Bowie taught Austin the art of singing and changing with the seasons. Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground influenced his views on poetry, music, and art. Iggy Pop, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, & Led Zeppelin also added some depth to his music. But that was only the start, as he has since added a wealth of musical talent to his influences; going from jazz musicians to classical music, as well as rap artists such as Eminem, Nas, Kendrick Lamar and Madvillan. Check out Austin’s website, for more information and a list of his music, books and merchandise.

  1. When and how did you get started making music? And are you self-taught or did you have any formal training?

Austin Findley: I started making music in 2012. I was fourteen at the time and going to school at Lewis and Clark. In my free time, I would play on my computer; making simple melodies on the keyboard. When I decided that I would be a musician that was when I started making music. Seven years later, and I’m still a musician.

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

Austin Findley: Eminem and Fall Out Boy. My current musical taste is a lot different than it was then. I went through a phase where I would listen to hours of music a day. I used a database called: besteveralbums.com. They rate albums based on a mathematical formula; not opinions.

  1. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style?

Austin Findley: That’s true. I learned by doing and emulating the artists around me. My sound and genre changed within a span of three years. Before I was Austin Findley the Songwriter, I was Knackmintosh the Rapper. I felt that rapping and singing would contradict each other, so I began to rap less and sing more. Since Jazz and Classical numbers rarely feature vocals, I rarely sing. I still sing baritone. As I would listen to highly rated music, my style would change. The musical qualities are set in stone now. If a horde of masterpieces could grace my presence, I may change with the times. Right now, it’s mostly Hip-hop and Dream Pop.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?

Austin Findley: Introspection. There are aspects of my music that people like and dislike. Since my art is done at home, there are imperfections. Those imperfections can be discussed and debated. Top 40 Radio never has quirks like the ones listed above; it’s produced with thousand dollar budgets.

  1. What do you think mainly separates you from the massive crowd of artists emerging right now on platforms all over the web?

Austin Findley:  Nothing. We are all trying to become bigger fish than we are. Since the public could only remember a small group of musicians, some artists are left undiscovered. 90% of musicians worldwide are unknown to the masses. It’s common knowledge that successful musicians aren’t more talented than unsuccessful musicians; they’re just paid more. In order for musicians to become more successful, they’d have to gain skills in marketing, branding, and advertising. Those aren’t skills associated with the craft. Since artists don’t tend to think like business people, it fails. Which is why delegation could help artists more than it hinders. A team of marketers, promoters, tutors, and session musicians would make anyone successful. They’d still have to work; but not as hard. Managers could help with business opportunities too.

  1. What is your process when composing, recording and producing your music? Do you outsource any of these tasks?

Austin Findley:  I currently do cover songs with some originals. Recording and producing is currently done at home; on my computer. If I were to record music the traditional way, I’d need thousands of dollars for recording, producing, and mastering my albums. After those costs are weighed, most of the budget would go towards marketing and branding. The amount of people working on an album would increase more than tenfold. The great thing about computers is it automates jobs that used to take longer to complete. For music, that helps tremendously. Unfortunately, that also makes it easier to dilute the market with shoddy products. Another reason why music today is almost never amazing. If you’re lucky, you might get two great albums a year. I’m outsourcing the marketing right now. If the marketing is able to reap profits, I’ll consider distributing the capital gains into a mix of marketing and improving products.

  1. How strict are you with genres and styles? Do you stick to a specific genre and style or do you tend to also explore diversities?

Austin Findley: I tend to focus on Classical and Jazz traditions when it comes to composition. Nobuo Utematsu’s style of music is a huge inspiration. After you factor in the indie rock influences, you get a unique blend of experimental. I tend to stick to a blend of styles to create a fusion genre.

  1. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your music, regardless of style or genre?

Austin Findley:  Complexity. It’s a thing that’s polarizing in the musical community. Simple songs can be great for ballads, but bad for instrumentals. Since John Coltrane is an influence of mine, my music reflects that. Introspection. I want my fans to dissect my music and discuss the nooks and crannies. There may be aspects they like or dislike. If there are things they don’t like, I’ll listen and alter my sound; customer service is important. If I hear quirks in the sound, I’ll leave the song with them, because it causes people to think about the song more. Abstract. Since my thoughts on musical theory is focused on different keys for parts of the song, the music tends to focus on a melody; which gets filled with chords and arpeggios. I layer those sounds together and loop those sounds to minutes. If I’m unsatisfied with the result, I’ll shelf the project and return to it after work.

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

Austin Findley:  Financial obligations. Music is not my main breadwinner; clerical work is. That is how all of this is possible. The proceeds from my day job go towards the business I’m investing in. I always remind myself that the company I work for indirectly made those things possible by giving me the funds to do so. Without those resources, my albums wouldn’t be on Spotify, they’d be on Bandcamp and YouTube. Not the best place to be for a musician. In order to distribute music, you must pay tribute to a distributor. I have paid those dues and got distribution as a result. If I were to release albums free of charge, the distribution would be limited.

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

Austin Findley:  Every album release is a success for me. I made a goal on releasing an album, and I released it. I consider that a notable achievement.

  1. What were some of the main challenges you encountered when starting out making music and how have they changed over time?

Austin Findley: Juggling work and dream work together. There are times they clash. Employers tend to dislike people with hobbies and goals besides burger flipper or floor sweeper. To make more time for my craft, I’ll sometimes bring my projects to work to complete them during work hours. Since workplaces look down on people trying to improve their station, they put clauses in contracts that state they can’t do business and work at the same time. That’s limiting for many people.

  1. What was your first hardware/software set-up like? And how has it evolved since then. What for you is currently the most important piece of hardware/software in your production process?

Austin Findley: I used a laptop and a built-in speaker. My audio tools have expanded into a microphone, desktop, and Midi input for microphone. The music is created on LMMS: Linux Multimedia Studio. It’s a DAW that allows the user to make music. Audacity is used to record vocals. Aria Maestosa, Anvil, and MuseScore are used for composition.

  1. Which aspects of being an independent music maker excites you most and which aspects discourages you most?

Austin Findley: Autonomy. I love the feeling of being able to work without someone forcing you to. I wouldn’t trade it in the world. It has its drawbacks. Even when you don’t want to work on music, you must. It’s in the job title after all. Almost every musician has a day job to fund the hobby. They tend to spend less time than is required for financial reasons. Starting a career in the music industry requires a set of skills most musicians don’t have. It also requires sacrifices in time and relationship quality. Music can be a rewarding path for some who face uncertain outlooks on jobs. When people have little-to-no access to quality employment, they tend to create their own. This job creation rarely creates enough wealth to live off of.

  1. Are you satisfied about the way the music business works in today’s digital age with platforms like Apple, Spotify, Beatport and Soundcloud, or do you have a different vision of the business?

Austin Findley:  There are problems with the current business model of streaming and live performances. For streaming to make a difference, you’d have to stream a million plays in order to make $4,000. That’s below the poverty line! That only factors in Spotify; that does not take the others into consideration. From the point listed above, a musician would need a huge following in order to make a decent living off music alone. The music teacher musician is real. Even if you factor in live performances, the ROI on live performances is uncertain. Google the profit margins and it’ll almost always be negative for unknown acts. For legacy bands like Rolling Stones and Metallica, concerts are amazing. For the average musician: they could be a financial nightmare. It’s common for bands to go into debt to fund tours. They also tend to skip on meals and hotels in favor of couch surfing and van sleeping. It’s not a glamorous lifestyle for anyone. The Rockstar lifestyle doesn’t exist for most musicians; so the ego has to be left at the door and preferably kicked.

  1. In general, 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?

Austin Findley: Social media isn’t as effective as it used to be. There is way too much competition for one person to deal with. Instead of being censored from access to knowledge, the average person is censored from too much knowledge; they don’t know what to look up. So, musicians are competing against established brands that people trust. It’s the devil you know, that’s better than the devil you don’t. In order to stand out from other musicians, a musician would have to make their product ten times better than the competition, have their art be a purple cow, and have a team of professionals that focus on the business aspect of music.

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

Austin Findley: David Bowie. The Doors. Yasunori Mitsuta. Nobuo Utematsu. John Coltrane. Miles Davis. Charles Mingus. Fishmans. Radiohead. Velvet Underground.

  1. Could you tell us something about your latest release?

Austin Findley:  Which one? I have two more albums slated for this year, and an album on New Years called: The Hits. The style from Neu Hälfte is similar to the ones I’m releasing months from now. The time horizon hasn’t changed the overall sound. So if you like Neu Hälfte, you’ll love Grass, Tree, and The Hits. Most of the songs on these albums are covers.

  1. Do you have any favorite track in one of your projects that has a specific backstory and/or message very dear to you?

Austin Findley: Scars of Time. It uses the layering I’ve referred to earlier to great effect. Jessy Dubai is about an actress. The song uses a Latin groove; which is incorporated into the music I create. Blame Os Mutantes and Chico Buarque for that.

  1. Do you only create and work in a studio environment, or do you also find time to perform live? And which of these two do you ultimately prefer and why?

Austin Findley:   I focus on a studio environment. I plan to branch out to live performances when I get the equipment and infrastructure to do so. I’m not sure what is required to perform live but I’ve heard it requires a PA System, musicians, security guards, and booth tables with merchandise. Those things cost thousands of dollars to obtain. Security guards aren’t that much for an hour of time; so I’m not worried about that. The most expensive item on the list would be other musicians; unless I DJ on equipment. It would be cheaper that way, but how would that look on a performing angle? A guy on a computer with headphones on? That wouldn’t make a great show, would it?

  1. What do you find most rewarding about what you do? And do you have a specific vision or goal that you would like to achieve in 2019?

Austin Findley: As a musician, I create music. Giving the world art is the greatest reward any artist can offer. For goals in 2019, I’ve achieved all the goals for this year that I’ve wanted. The type of goals that require an accent to four million fans on Spotify are long term goals, not yearly goals. It would take many years to get that many fans at once. How many years? Depends. It would not happen overnight. The dream of being discovered by playing at a bar and becoming a mega star is unrealistic. A more reasonable goal is to aim for sustainability. In good times and bad, you’ll still be in the music industry whether you have hit records or not.

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