The Mile End is a Montreal neighbourhood known for it’s blossoming artistic community. Even if you’ve never been to the Canadian city, you probably know it more than you think! Do you like Grimes, Mac Demarco or Majical Cloudz? They’re all musicians issued from that fertile scene.
Among the latest breakout acts of the Mile End is Radiant Baby, a franco-canadian making electro pop reminiscent of famous 80s acts like Depeche Mode, while having the modern bite of festival acts like Chvrches.
This week, Radiant Baby celebrates his recent signature to Lisbon Lux Records with the release of Gloss And Love, an euphoric single questioning gender binary
Following the success of his self-released single You Can Dance, Radiant Baby celebrates his recent signature to Lisbon Lux Records (Beat Market, Paupière, Le Couleur) with the release of his new single, Gloss And Love.
Inspired by the notion of duality and a questioning of gender binary, Gloss And Love is the perfect embodiment of the artist mind-boggling visuals. Somewhere between Grimes and Chvrches, the party anthem features Radiant Baby’s knack for glamorous vocals and flashy analog synths. A positively entrancing mix of 80s sensibility and modern aesthetics ready to set the dance floor ablaze!
Gloss And Love is the first single of an upcoming album slated for 2017
Nobody may have suspected it, but the young (and not immensely sizable) lead singer and songstress, Hayley Williams, of “Paramore”, currently fills some very big shoes.
The originally Tennessee-based, now LA-based, band has an unparalleled range in repertoire, from elementary ballads, to immense rock-orchestral
compositions spanning the spectrum of all possible intricacy and genius – a band Kurt Cobain would have regarded as possessing that rarest but most sought-after of traits: raw girl power.
Though there is only one feminine element of which to speak, literally, in the group, the raw masculinity of the chord progressions are not encountered by Williams’s breadth and depth of vocal range, from lilting lullaby-esque dreaminess to hardcore, visceral, even Visigoth battle cries, harking back to Cobain’s signature roar which expressed the inexpressible sadness and repression of a youth culture barraged by the pseudo intellects and bureaucratic limitations of the Baby Boomer generation. Though both Cobain and Williams missed out on speaking for or against any war efforts by a hair’s breadth of timing, their expression of eternal rebelliousness in the face of unjust restraints disguised as stream-of-consciousness poetic renditions remains unmistakable in the wake of such artists as Lennon and Dylan and their decoding reinterpretations for the masses.
Hayley Williams, of “Paramore”
Take the songs “Ignorance” and “Monster”. There are few pop songs in the modern catalogue which seem to eerily echo sentiments of fury, anguish, and the irrevocable as a battle cry in the face of corporate marketing polish as Cobain’s genius did in deconstructing the pop rock album with the most slithery of punk-anthemic compositions – on a record which sounded like the Beatles had reinvented themselves with a taste for distortion pedals and tympanic reverberation (“Lithium” could well be a latter-day McCartney song, if he were so inclined towards such metallic tastes).
People may quickly class Paramore away as a subcultural and/or “emo” penchant, but they remain ignorant of the relative lack of comparable talent in the deluge that is modern college rock radio. Few songs can bring one to tears, but take a listen to “All I Wanted”, “Renegade”, or “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” to sense a Rachmaninoff counterpoint emotionally-influencing counterpart to Cobain’s religiosity of reverence for today’s shattered youth.
Not merely that, but it is highly recommended that you add to your CD or vinyl collection their latest self-titled epic, which I give five out of five stars (not merely for its motif of lilting reminiscence for Cobain’s personal fave composition, the watery “Drain You” if you want to hear one of the most mind-blowing anthemic conquests of the radio waves ever launched – and find yourself a new (if not already well-versed) Paramore fan; particularly for the starry ballad “Hate to See Your Heart Break”, among others, which show their evolution from film soundtracks to the soundtrack of our very lives – something that rarely to never happens, already signifying them as a gem among the vast and barren sands.
If you would ever suggest that someone could hold a candle to Lennon, Cobain, or Dylan in today’s age, be prepared to be honest with yourself and those to whom you are eternally obliged – your fellow man (and fan) – and shout that Williams lights an eternal torch in remembrance and steady continuation of the impassioned outcry that was the war song of those countless harnessing the raw untapped power of the genius within us all for recognizing the genius in others; after all, as the great Schopenhauer himself – an ardent music aficionado – once said: “Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.”
I’m glad we can see clearly now – that the rain is gone – here in sunny California.
About the Author: Nolan Aljaddou is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska Omaha, and has authored a book and several papers on physics. He started playing guitar at the age of 12 and writes extensively on Psychology, Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy and of course, Music.
Many of us, including myself, grew up with huge dreams and little or no musical talent.
We would soon discover a musician or band we liked and we would listen to and buy every one of their albums and songs maybe hoping someday we would be able to join a band and perform for our friends and family or a stranger or two. On some occasions we might venture to a public space or venue and come across someone playing their guitar or keyboard to a group of onlookers who might be enjoying the street performances as much as we would.
For me, growing up in Southern California, my Father would take us to Olvera Street, the old Pike in Long Beach or to the Redondo Beach Pier where we would listen to the folk singers strumming their guitars and singing beautiful melodies and songs as we slurped up ice cream cones or balanced our hot dogs and cotton candy trying not to drop them on the side walk.
Little did I know at the time that these street performers, then, as well as now, were known as “Buskers” – musicians and street performers who, since the beginning of recorded history, have been entertaining crowds with their amazing talents and musical abilities.
This week our featured up and coming artist, Katie Ferrara, is such a person and she is no stranger to street performing – in fact she has won some prestigious busking awards around the world and even has a small town in Italy with the same family name (Ferrara) which is home to the Buskers festival, a non-competitive parade of the best street musicians. In terms of tradition and dimension, The Buskers Festival held in Ferrara Italy is the most important festival of its kind in the world.
Katie will be releasing her 3rd album – Dream Catchers – in a few days which we are very excited about and as with her previous work will deliver a soothing blend of authentic home-grown folk-pop. Her songs are genuine and emotional and perfect for the free-spirited, curious and open-minded individuals that might stumble upon her on a given night in Santa Monica or in Burbank.
We had a chance recently to run a few questions by her to help learn more about her music, her early path to becoming a busker and what we might expect from her off her Dream Catcher album.
So when did you first pick up a guitar? Are you self-taught?
I started playing guitar when I was in high school. My mom taught me how to play when I was a teenager and when I got to college, I taught myself by learning all my favorite songs. I also learned a lot from jamming with friends on campus and singing in different bands.
What other instruments do you play?
I can play ukulele and a bit of keyboard.
We heard you began your music career while working at Starbucks in London, England. How did you go from barista to performer?
When I was in London I would frequently visit Wunjo guitars on Denmark Street because I needed to buy a new guitar. I came to the UK with a travel sized Martin with no pick-up and wanted something that I could perform with easily in venues. On one of my visits to the shop, I met my French friend Jonathan, who produced my first two EP’s “When Love’s Not Around” and “Naturally”. We started recording when I had nights off from Starbucks. When I wasn’t working, I went to different open mics in the city to play my songs and get feedback from an audience. For me, going to open mics was the gateway to becoming a performer because I gained a lot of support from the musicians around me and found a safe place to practice new songs without having to do a full blown show.
Is “busking” something in your blood or did you develop your love for playing in public over time?
Honestly, I feel like busking isn’t something that I was born to do. It took a lot of trial and error before I figured out a way to feel comfortable doing it. The most difficult thing about performing out on the street is simply logistics and not so much working up the courage to sing. You have to think on your feet, become a problem solver and be ready to improvise. The first time I ever busked on the Santa Monica Promenade, I had to move from my spot because I had set up too close to a fire-hydrant. My amp died that day and I couldn’t hear myself amongst the other performers on the street. Carrying all my equipment was also really difficult because I got tired easily holding my guitar, amp and mic stand in just my two hands.
Over time, I figured out the best time of day to play, I bought a cart and a better amp, and picked the best songs in my repertoire to sing. What really made busking enjoyable for me was being able to play one of my songs and have someone stop whatever it was they were doing and just listen. Maybe the conditions weren’t perfect. I’ve played while it’s raining, on 90 degree summer days, and to empty streets late at night. To see someone make a choice to stop and to speak to them face to face made me feel confident. When you see that your music makes children dance and people laugh, you know you are doing your job as an artist. Its these kinds of experiences that really makes me love busking. Every time I go outside to play, I wind up with a cool story to tell, or I meet new people, or I discover a part of LA that I never would have gone to before! I think I love busking because it’s a way for me to explore different aspects of performing, travel, and be inspired by my surroundings.
When did you decide to come back to the states and further your musical career?
I came back to the US in 2012 after finishing recording my 2nd EP. I felt like there was a lot of opportunity in LA that I hadn’t explored before I went abroad and I wanted to try giving it a shot here before making any big moves again.
Were you back in the U.S. when you won the Street Performing Contest “Feeling the Street”?
What was that like to win that among so many performers?
I felt like my music career had just gone to a whole new level. I gained a lot of respect from friends and fellow musicians in LA because I wasn’t just getting known on a local level, but globally with the trip to New Zealand. When I found out that I had won the contest, it was one of the happiest days of my life! At the same time, I felt like there was a lot of pressure to impress people around me and produce music that was a different style than my own. It was an experience that challenged me to grow as an artist and see a new country!
When watching your music videos I can’t help but notice how natural and authentic you are when you sing. Where does that passion and love for music come from?
I’m passionate about music because it’s been a great outlet for me to express my emotions and connect with others. I feel like when I am singing I can be my authentic self. In a way I don’t feel like I’m “performing” in the sense that I’m acting out a certain character to impress people. I feel like people are just seeing another side of my personality that isn’t normally seen if they meet me for the first time.
What is the biggest highlight in your music career to date?
I think the biggest highlight in my music career so far has been my recent busking tour to the UK and Italy. This trip was something I wanted to do for a very long time. Last year, I did some research on my last name which is “Ferrara” and found out that it is a city in northern Italy that hosts an international busking festival every year in August. I’ve always been told that I should change my last name to a more English sounding one, because I would be able to brand myself better as an artist. When I found out about this festival, l felt like I had been blessed with a sacred name and somehow it was my destiny to be a busker! I wanted to investigate this coincidence a bit more a learn about my family history, so I applied to the festival.
When I found out that accepted as a fringe accredited artist, I booked myself a ticket to London. For a week, I went busking along the Southbank next to the Thames River. I also booked a show at the Troubadour in Earls Court where I reconnected with old friends and family. Then I took a plane to Bologna and from there I took a bus to Ferrara and met up with Borja Catenesi, the guitarist from the Feeling the Street band along with his girlfriend Suzanne. We jammed at the festival and also took a day trip to Bologna where I learned how to get a permit from the police station in order to street perform in the city piazza.
The best part of the trip was the night I sold out of CD’s at the festival and played to a circle of about 50 people on a 900 year old street in the heart of the city. From that night I was able to pay for my travel all through busking. It’s been my dream to be able to travel through music and I hope that in the future I will book more tours across America and abroad through the release of my new EP.
Your new E.P. Dream Catcher is coming out next month in October – what is the theme of the album?
The album centers around the conflict between following your passions and having security in a romantic relationship. I think it’s a theme that a lot of 20 somethings can relate to, especially because this is the time in our lives when we’re finding ourselves and figuring out what our purpose is in life. I called the EP “Dream Catcher” because while I was writing the album last year, I felt like I was chasing after my music career while trying to hold onto so many relationships that weren’t exactly healthy to begin with. I wanted to write something upbeat to keep me going and inspire other people to just be themselves. These songs are bursts in time where I got a chance to breathe and reflect on what was going on in my life.
How does the music and songs differ from your earlier albums?
I think the songwriting on this album displays a different level of musicianship than my previous EP’s. With this album, I explored different song structures and lyrical hooks. When I first started recording, I didn’t have a defined sound as an artist. Some of the songs were folky, some were jazzy and funky, and some had minimal production.
With this new EP, I feel comfortable calling myself a “Folk-Pop” artist. I’ve got instruments like cello, upright bass, ukulele, acoustic guitar, Ebo, and lap steel in the mix. The production is definitely more collaborative than my previous releases. I can’t really say that this album is completely mine—it wouldn’t be possible without the help of my producer Patrick Joseph and the talented musicians I met at shows at the Hotel Café last year. Everyone brought their own unique ideas which to me, created a unique sounding album.
Give us three words that best describes the album and what comes to mind when you think of it?
Relaxing, Hopeful, Charming . When I hear the title I think of sunset melting into the ocean for some reason.
Tell us a little about the writing process – did the songs on your Dream Catcher come to you in a dream or were they something you worked on for a while?
I wrote these songs slowly over the course of last year. They started out as melodic and lyrical ideas that came to me while I was driving to gigs in LA. When I had free time, I jammed with different people and they transformed into songs which I integrated into my set list when I busked. When I’m driving, it’s sometimes the only time when I can focus on one thing and reflect on what’s going on around me. Many of the lyrical ideas also came when I had a chance to relax at home.
Katie Ferrara – Santa Monica, CA
On the album cover, there is a picture of you in a pretty blue dress with what looks like the ocean behind you – where was this photo taken and why did you select that place for your album?
This photo was taken on the Santa Monica Pier. I chose this location because I’ve spent many days and nights performing out on the boardwalk over looking the sea. I find the water to be inspiring. You can look out across the ocean and not know what’s on the other side. I love letting my imagination run wild when I’m playing out there. I also find the color blue to be calming and a good reflection of the music.
Is there any one song you would like to share with everyone prior to the big album release and if you can’t right now what would it be if you could and why?
I would share the song “Jackets” because I love the instrumental arrangement and I think it best reflects the central theme of the album: conflict between being in a relationship and pursuing a career. When I wrote the song, I was so happy to be with someone and have that security, but at the same time, I wasn’t satisfied with myself. I felt like I was putting my music aside or having to hide what I was truly meant to do—which is to sing! The imagery of the Jacket came to mind because I was thinking about what it means when a guy offers his jacket to a girl when she’s cold. Somehow that transferred into the lyrics of the song.
Lastly – you are still very active playing the streets, where are some of your favorite spots to play and when can we see you next?
I love playing in downtown Burbank because it’s close to where I live! I also love playing at the Santa Monica Pier, Melrose Trading Post and the Nickel Market in downtown LA. My next big gig is actually going to be at the new Hotel Café second stage with s full band on Oct 22nd for the CD release show.
I know we said the last question was the last one but we always like asking our guest for a shout out to someone we should keep an eye out for. Who are a few of your favorite up and coming “buskers” and where can we find them?
Tudor Williams-I met him in Burbank in front of the Gap on Palm avenue which is a popular place to perform. What I really love about his music is the songwriting. He’s got a variety of songs in his repertoire, some are serious and others are just plain funny. He reminds me of Blake Mills in this respect. Musically, his guitar and melodies sound really deep yet the lyrics to some of his songs contrast a charming, humorous side to his personality. Check out his song “Somethin bout a blond woman”.
Mimi Gilbert- She’s a master of looping and reminds me a bit of Joni Mitchell. You can catch her street performing in Portland and last time I talked to her she had gotten back from a busking tour in New Orleans. I found her music after looking at some of the artists on this years Feeling the Street website. Her album “Strangers Won’t Exist” will blow you away.
To Learn more about Katie Ferrara and her Dream Catcher EP Visit her website or Social Media Links
My passion for music has always been difficult to put into words. It’s more about the FEEL and the impact it had and still has on my life. Music is overrated, we trade it, we sell it I know it’s a business after all but we often forget the emotional bond that is created.
Most of the memories that we have in life have a soundtrack we link experiences to sounds, it is scientifically proven that music evokes memories. We overcome our fears thanks to music, we fight against what we think is ‘unbearable’ thanks to music. Music is so much more than what we think it is. YES, The positive impact of music, that’s what I’m passionate about. That’s why I wanna keep representing artists who don’t wanna have their song on radio because of ‘money and fame’ BUT because they understood that getting into the mainstream market is chance for them to reach a wider audience and be a part of someone else’s life and memories. That’s my vision and that’s what I’m hoping to do with ProjectLightAgency.com.
What about you – What does music mean to you? Leave a comment below!
The name Tora Woloshin may not ring a bell for the majority of mainstream music listeners, but she is definitely the kind of pop star that more people should be listening to nowadays. For those that do know her, probably discovered her during the debut season of X Factor USA, quickly becoming a favorite for Simon Cowell, and if there’s one person in the world that can truly spot talent, it’s the ever-so-blunt, veteran talent judge.
Prior to her X Factor premiere, she had gone through a series of auditions for Lucky Break, a singing contest spanning months on end that required her to quickly learn her songs. After making it to the final round, she had been called for the X Factor audition, driving back and forth between the two competitions. While that was chaotic to say the least, it was the moment of one of her greatest successes, winning Lucky Break and capturing the hearts of the X Factor judges and audience alike with her rendition of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
The globally recognized talent contest that recently lent its theme to the gaming industry with the upcoming launch of The X Factor Games as well as the hugely popular X Factor Board Game, helped Woloshin open up a world of opportunities, despite not making it that far along in the competition. From there, her fan base grew, ultimately signing with Fli Life Music, through whom she released her single with.
Her single “Guns & Roses” resonated with her fans and the music industry at large, but after witnessing the corrupt side of the business, she ended her contract with the indie label to write and produce her own music in hopes of collaborating with fellow musicians who share the same vision as her. Though Woloshin may not be recognized by the mainstream, she has already opened for acts like NeYo, toured with hip hop sensation B.o.B., and worked alongside Jay-Z.
Her style is a mix of pop, R&B and rock, which is will be highlighted in her current project, “XXVII.” With electronic dance music dominating the pop music scene, the LA born singer-songwriter tells American Pride Magazine, “I feel like trendy and contemporary is no longer current. Music is going to start going backwards, to the days of reality and live instrumentation. The soul will return.”
It’s refreshing to find an artist that refuses to hop on the EDM bandwagon, and with the release of her new album, Woloshin plans to ignite a pop revolution to bring life back into the genre.
If you want to see , experience and feel what the future of Music will be like then you need to play a few songs by Japanese Theatrical Band, The End of the World.
SEKAI NO OWARI (or End of the World) played to a sell out crowd at the Hollywood Roxy the other night and I was fortunate enough to be invited.
Prior to the show I had listened to a few songs by End of the World and even had done a few features on Coming Up, but nothing would have prepared me for what turned out to be one of the most amazing shows I have been to all year.
This was the first show in the USA for SEKAI NO OWARI and no one knew what to expect since most of their songs are in Japanese and tailored around a Japanese audience. But what transpired was a beautiful presentation of some of their, in my opinion, best tracks including Anti-Hero, Mr. Heartache, Death Disco and my personal favorite Dragon Night.
In all the band played nine of their songs and were somehow able to capture the unique nuances of their recorded music that demonstrated just how truly talented this up and coming band really is.
Sure their English was not the best but that for me added to the uniqueness. To actually hear them sing their songs in English was beautiful as their attempt to communicate with audience in their broken English moved them from a highly produced performance act to humble artist who wanted nothing more than to connect with their audience and demonstrate their personal warmth and love for music and their fans.
Technically the band played flawlessly. The core band members were flanked by two additional members – one playing drums and the other playing electric and stand-up bass . These two additional musicians were wearing tapir masks – or even possibly alien head costumes which immediately made the show other worldly from the moment they took to the stage.
In all it was a fantastically rich show and I am so moved by the bands desire to broaden their fan base to include America. They may likely be the first J-Pop band that succeeds in the US and I would not be surprised if the next time they are here they are playing to sell out crowds at the Staple center or other larger arenas. They are that good.
Thank you SEKAI NO OWARI. Your music is spiritual and big enough to touch the world in ways perhaps you never expected.
Having lived and worked with multiple artists, I now realize how difficult it is for them to find the right balance between their social life and their art. If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is writing and playing music, know that you’re not alone.
If, when someone ask you ‘What do you do for fun’ the first thing that comes to your mind is being in the studio creating music, know that it is a beautiful thing and you shouldn’t feel bad, the way you are is a blessing.
Artists are incredible human beings who see the world through a different lens, they are vehicles of culture, they allow us to connect with other people on a deeper level. They strive to find the right words and sounds to express themselves and they end up creating stories that everyone can relate to. Therefore it makes total sense that they are not interacting the same way as ‘non creative’ people because they perceive things differently.
We live in a society where artists are misunderstood, we encourage creativity but we don’t take the time to understand how artists feel and process the world around them. I’ve been asked several times: How can I keep my creative space in a world that revolves around so much social expectations? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you embrace the artist in you!
– Surround yourself with people who get it/ get you.
It’s essential that people understand how you work, that you need your creative space, your desire to create/play music is deeply-rooted, it is a part of you and your circle should understand and respect the amount of time you dedicate to your art.
– Let go of social pressure / expectations
We won’t change the world over night. It is important that you accept that some people will always pressure you to change. You’re doing something that is not concrete for logical and non-creative people. They will always try to make you doubt yourself. Be confident and know that you are on the right path because you’re embracing the gift you’ve been given.
– Don’t be so hard on yourself
I see so many artists beat themselves up because they feel like they are not ‘normal’ or not ‘good enough’, that their art is not worthy. I believe we can use negative emotions to fuel creativity. However, as an artist, its important to take the time to identify your emotions and see the kind of impact it has on your creative process. Check out ‘emotional intelligence’ if you’d like to get further information on this topic!
Yasmine Van Wilt is a North-American singer-songwriter, writer and actress. She’s completed a PhD in Creative Writing and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.A musical chameleon, she records under her own name and under the name of her two alter egos, Elle “A” and Antoinette.
While Yasmine Van Wilt’s band, Van Wild, just released a new album, it would be an understatement to classify her as simply a musician.
In fact, when she’s not in the recording studio, you can probably find her writing a new stage play, serving as an official Canadian ambassador of #ClimateAction or helping release her late Father’s book and spoken word project, Innocence and Awakening.
“I think being bullied as a child and having lived below the poverty line for much of my youth certainly incentivized me to aspire to create more, to prove something, initially, to my bullies, but ultimately to myself,” Van Wilt said. “The drive transitioned when I went to university and I wasn’t bullied anymore. I stopped being driven by the desire to be accepted, and I started feeling propelled by the desire to make the world a little better with art.”
As a musician, Van Wilt’s latest record The Cherry Tree offers a similarly diverse portfolio of genres ranging from the blues and folk, to country and rock, all of which highlight her low, rich vocals. Though straightforward in a sense, the tracks challenge mainstream representations of women and offer complex, powerful heroines as its primary characters.
“I’m all about empowering narratives for women. I wanted to create music that could play on Top 40 radio stations but also says something, that isn’t dumbed down or assumes my audience isn’t smart, capable and dynamic,” she said. “I think my audience is kick-ass, brilliant and fucking capable. I hope they hear that in my music.”
Van Wilt also managed another project while simultaneously recording The Cherry Tree. Although her father published a great deal of poetry, he had few collections of his writings printed for the public to read. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago, Van Wilt knew she had to take matters into her own hand.
“His publisher, Paulette Millichap, was extremely supporting of publishing a two-book collection of his work and I became the editor and producer of the entire project. I felt that we needed to do a spoken word version as well since it would increase the audience for the work. It is, as it happens, the only professional recording I have of my father’s voice.”
Despite having already accomplished a long list of musical, political and personal projects, Van Wilt claims she’s just scratching the surface of her potential.
“My father was my biggest supporter and losing him has been quite a blow, but I am motivated by the tremendous support and belief he had for me to somehow make him proud which I know is a silly sentiment. I’ve overcome these disadvantages by throwing myself into my work,” she said. “I typically tend to overcome challenges by going into over-drive and forcing myself to produce work that processes my emotion, even if it’s overwhelming. I know many others are battling similar foes so feel empowered by turning my loss and challenges into productive opportunities to hopefully make others feel empowered.”
Check out Yasmine Van Wilt’s music and find links to her social media through her website (www.musicbyvanwild.com).
Introducing Up and Coming country singer-songwriter from Nashville, Brian “Big City” Wright. He recently released his first full length album Honkytonkitis and still maintains a day job that requires he be 30,000 feet above the air.
Many aspiring artists find themselves waiting tables on the side in order to pay rent.
Country singer-songwriter Big City Brian Wright gets to fly airplanes.
“I don’t know another commercial airline pilot who is doing what I’m doing which is why I consider myself the first ‘Singing Pilot,'” Wright joked. “It worked for Jimmy Rogers as ‘The Singing Brakeman’ and Roy Rogers as ‘The Singing Cowboy’, so why not?”
Although the rising country artist from Nashville has achieved several career milestones this year, his musical journey experienced its fair share of turbulence along the way.
In fact, it wasn’t until after 9/11 that Wright actually began playing music regularly.
“The airline business was in a major shakeup and I didn’t know whether I would have a job. I was single, flexible and kind of bored to be honest,” he recalled. “All of my energy had been put into my career until that point. For years, I tried to figure out how to afford to do music full time and eventually just started doing it anyway.”
Following a long night of drinking, Wright convinced his buddies that chasing girls in uppity clubs would be fun for only so long.
Why not form a band? At the very least, they could hear the music they wanted to hear, get some free beer and of course, have the girls come to them.
“I met my wife during our very first gig,” Wright said. “We’ve been together for 15 years. I win.”
While Wright found his spouse rather quickly, developing an album proved to be an entirely different experience. If anything, it was Wright’s willingness to endure and refusal to settle that shaped the authenticity of the songs featured on his first full length album Honkytonkitis.
“I never forced any song I wrote. After 10 years of writing, I was looking back at these unrecorded tracks knowing I would forget how they went if I didn’t record them,” Wright said. “So I reached out to some professional session players that I knew in Nashville and they invited me to record with them in probably the best studio in town. I did this for a couple of years before slowly letting people hear the music.”
Many of those who heard Wright’s tracks walked away so impressed that they offered to pay for the music. As the demand increased, he eventually set up a website and began selling his songs, albeit to a small sample of listeners.
“Everything kept evolving until I had this whole album,” he said. “I just kept following this path that really started from a love of country music.”
That genuine affection for the genre recently caught the attention of iHeart Radio’s Digital Artist Integration Program, which placed his single “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” on 128 stations with over 240 million monthly listeners for the entire month of June. The cover of the Waylon Jennings country classic charted rather quickly, beating several other major label artists in the process.
“I’m not going to lie, the competitive side of me enjoyed it so much. My music is different and can compete,” Wright admitted. “I know what country fans want to hear.”
In the meantime, the self proclaimed singing pilot has a simple, yet challenging goal in mind for the future with two more albums of material ready to record.
“I just want to keep all this momentum going. I feel like a bottomless pit for creativity,” Wright said. “Pilots are naturally very Type A, self motivated and somewhat courageous people. When you’ve been in a tricky situation more than once where didn’t know whether you were going to live or die, standing on a stage singing songs seems pretty harmless.”
Check out Big City Brian Wright’s music and find links to his social media through his website (www.bigcityrocks.com).
Rising from the dark and dangerous ashes of the recent ‘Miami’ EP release, British dark-wave/electro/indie act ‘They Called Him Zone’ return with a new free download single and announce a fresh EP will be landing later in 2016.
Once again hatched from their basement studio in Bradford (UK), ‘Just Fall’ is the latest offering and laced with psychedelic edged hypnotic dark wave grooves, electronic beats, raw melodies and the menacingly laid back vocals of TCHZ creator Mik Davis. Described in imaginative terms by the artist – ‘Just Fall’ is the equivalent of ‘having an acid trip in a locked box, in pure darkness whilst been fed Galaxy chocolate through a small mouth hole. Tasty yet constricting’.
The track, which appears on the forthcoming EP ‘Crow Swan Wolf’, features the guitar mayhem of TCHZ’s new arrival and collaborator Steve Malony (Blood Devine/Vicious Cabaret). Steve describes the process of how the song evolved: ‘We shared a bottle of wine at Mik’s one night and he played me the songs he had. It seemed we were moving along similar lines in terms of the sort of music we were interested in making – sultry electronica combined with chewed up modulated guitars. A couple of nights later we went down to his basement studio and laid some guitar on this cool track called Just Fall’.