INsiders Guide: Morgan Saint, Jimi, Kaya Stewart, Raye Zaragoza, AK, Trope, Sebastian Gaskin, Grizzly Coast, Ceara Cavalieri, Trade Secrets, Carter, Harry Jay-Steele, Tom King, Kitsuna, Dawson Gamble, Pat DiMeo…
Known for her hypnotic vulnerable delivery, elevated presentation that defies gender and genre alike, and inimitable je ne sais quo, Morgan Saint is making her grand return with the refreshing and intriguing HELP EP. This project follows her previously released EPs 17 HERO (2017) and ALIEN (2018) – both which quickly captured praise from the likes of i-D, WWD, Allure, Paper, V Magazine, Interview + more who commended her unique sound and ability to carve her own lane. She also has been featured in print for publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Notion + others! Check out her full press kit HERE!
She has performed at Lollapalooza and Life is Beautiful, while hitting the road for tours alongside LÉON, Dennis Lloyd, BANKS and lovelytheband.
Born and raised on Long Island, Morgan Saint learned piano and taught herself guitar during her formative years. Graduating from Parsons New School for Design, she gravitated towards music and artists who weren’t afraid to be themselves. With all her songs self-penned, she’s also crafted stunning videos that expand her creative canvas and vividly complement her music iterations as evidenced by her debut EP 17 HERO and follow-up ALIEN.
“You need to listen to Morgan Saint” – i-D
“Morgan Saint is the relatable pop star with a vision” – V MAGAZINE
“Meet Morgan Saint, Pop’s Moody New Hero” – L’OFFICIEL
“Morgan Saint is the honest artist that pop music desperately needs” – GALORE
“Meet the Rising Musician With the Mullet of the Moment” – VOGUE
Featured on PAPER’s 100 Women Revolutionizing Pop (2018) & Eight Faces Defining the Future of Fashion (2020)
With the writing of my debut single, “Say It To Me,” things fell into place, capturing those feelings and sounds of love, of uncertainty, of taking that chance, of caring for someone.
I don’t wanna be the only one to jump in
The water’s feelin’ warmer rolling over your skin
Hit me with that feeling I’m about to give in
Co-produced by Ari Rhodes and Mikhail Cronin in Toronto, it’s a song of hope, and potential. After I left the city, I let it go, trusting that Mikhail and Ari would hear the heart of the song and amplify the story. And they did.
Indie pop artist, Kaya Stewart is thrilled to share her new single “California” that is out now and featured on Blackbook.
Kaya says, “The best advice I ever got about writing songs was to be as honest as possible and I don’t think I’ve ever been as honest as I am in ‘California’. This song felt like therapy to me.”
The single is an authentic coming-of-age anthem speaking to the universal trials and tribulations synonymous with growing up and dealing with relationships – and adulthood in general – in an often fake and fractured world.
Born in London but raised in Los Angeles, Kaya Stewart grew up surrounded by music and began writing songs at the age of 6. By her early teens, Stewart had found her place in Los Angeles’ live music scene, sneaking into shows and establishing herself as a performer in her own right. Stewart emerged on the scene with her song, “In Love With A Boy,” in 2014. The candid yet relatable track solidified Stewart as one of pop music’s most promising up-and-coming young artists. After releasing her self-titled debut album in 2016, Stewart toured non-stop across the U.S., including performing dates on the Warped Tour where she was the youngest female artist to participate in the iconic touring festival.
Stewart is constantly exploring and redefining what it means to be a pop artist in today’s world – especially one which is currently filled with so much uncertainty. “There was never a moment of ‘oh this is what I want to do’. It’s always just been a part of who I am.
Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. “As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life,” she says. “I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice.”
Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”
Raye performs her music all over the United States and Europe. Her music has been featured on Billboard, Popmatters, Earmilk, Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste, Daytrotter, and FNX.
Raye has spoken on panels at Bonnaroo and SXSW on topics ranging from preventing sexual violence to engaging her fanbase as an independent artist. She has toured in support of Dispatch, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Kiefer Sutherland, William Elliott Whitmore, Dar Williams, Donovan Woods, and many more.
“Speaking truth to power, Raye Zaragoza is a voice made for our times.” – PopMatters
Hailing from the Garden State, hip-hop artist AK firmly planted his feet in the music industry with his uncanny lyrical abilities and undeniable talent. The 20-year-old hip-hop artist from South Brunswick, NJ quickly took the internet by storm after releasing his remixed freestyle covers of top hip-hop tracks, stamped with his own creative spin. Now, with 1.6 Million subscribers on his YouTube channel, AK has successfully branched out and moved on to creating his own original music. AK’s original music impacted with immediate success, landing him spots on the iTunes Hip-Hop Charts in the US (#20) and four other countries (#25) – including his first #1 for single “Now I’m Forever”. After completing his 2019 Nationwide Tour and releasing several successful original singles, AK dropped his latest EP ‘On Me’ in Spring 2020. AK ambitiously released music videos to accompany every single track on the project. Apart from his EP, AK’s single “Top of the World” was featured on ESPN’s First Take and E Sports League Poland.
Trope is an alternative prog/rock band located in Hollywood, LA. Formed in 2016, the band have been perfecting their sound and songwriting, leading to their highly anticipated debut album Eleutheromania. Combining hypnotic rhythms with dark, progressive elements, singer Diana Studenberg gives the band their recognizable sound with her delicate-to-angst vocals which cascade dramatically atop their dynamic polyrhythms. Production began in 2018 in Vancouver with Mike Fraser engineering (AC/DC, Metallica, Van Halen) and David Bottrill creative consulting (Tool, Muse, Peter Gabriel).
Eleutheromania, meaning “a manic zeal for freedom”, is a prime example of their music which craves to break free from patterns. With influences ranging from 90’s alternative rock band’s including Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Smashing Pumpkins, combined with elements of their love for the likes of Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Trope have concocted an intoxicating and distinct sound that straddles progressive elements and time signatures with polyrhythms and melody.
Their latest single “Hyperextend” conjures strong visions through snakelike melodies and a punchy chorus. Thematically “Hyperextend” discusses the emotional impact that certain relationships can have on our psyche and the importance of recognizing the patterns and re-establishing our sense of self and value. Studenberg confides, “Sometimes we spend years believing the negativity we’re fed, which makes it challenging to trust our own voice and stand up for ourselves/carve our own space. ‘Hyperextend’ came from a deep need to make my voice heard. I felt stifled and needed to break the cycle that kept perpetuating. Change goes both ways and it gets to a certain point where- you’re given all the proof you’re gonna get and just have to move on and be the change.”
“Hyperextend” represents a pattern of constantly extending yourself to meet the other where they stand. We don’t need to hyperextend ourselves to generate a version of reality that doesn’t exist. People show us who they are: trust them. Trope hope that whatever challenging relationship or situation the listener finds themselves in, maybe they can see some of themselves in this song, and maybe it can help even if just a bit.
Trope have performed shows internationally in Europe, Canada, the US and around Los Angeles in such legendary venues including LA’s Whisky A Go-Go and The Viper Room, as well as the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest, where they played the main stages in the past two consecutive years. Trope have also performed at the legendary Hollywood Improv in a more stripped down acoustic setting performing their songs in an intimate setting.
My new single, “Snakehold,” is about a toxic relationship that I was entangled in for years.
We’d break up, get back together, break up, get back together, and it went on and on… She literally had a snake-like hold on my heart.
Head on over to your preferred streaming platform to hear “Snakehold” now.
I hope “Snakehold” makes you dance, and gives you the confidence to walk away from whatever shitty situation you might find yourself in.
From the imaginative, yet highly-analytical mind of Alannah Kavanagh comes Grizzly Coast, the Toronto-based indie rock project with heavy-hitting instrumentation that tears up the stage and heavy-lifting lyrical narratives that compel you to think deeper.
Formerly performing as an acoustic singer-songwriter, Grizzly Coast wears her expansion into full-band territory well, having toured her powerful and effervescent live show throughout Ontario and Alberta, including opening slots for Fast Romantics, Begonia, and Exclaim! magazine’s Class of 2020. Grizzly Coast blends her trademark thoughtful lyricism with dreamy guitar rock sensibilities on her singles Forever, Half-Light Boy and High-Functioning, and is releasing her debut EP this spring.
Ceara Cavalieri is a 24 year old singer/songwriter from California. Having graduated from UCLA with a degree in Psychology, Cavalieri has since dedicated herself to pursuing music full time. Her love for music stems from the age of three, where she found her voice and wouldn’t stop singing. In her teenage years she took to songwriting as a way of expressing her thoughts and feelings when her shyness prevented. With four releases under her belt thus far, Cavalieri is carving out her own distinct sound of incredibly infectious and candidly relatable pop.
Her latest release “I Wish” narrates the breakdown of a relationship and the ultimate effect it can have on one’s emotional growth. Cavalieri confides, “I found out that the person I was with at the time wasn’t monogamous and had been lying to me about a lot of stuff. After I broke it off, they would gaslight me into thinking that it was all in my head. I found myself constantly going back to this person and feeling bad about myself…like I wasn’t good enough.” Through cascading synths, passionate, soulful vocals and layered soundscapes, “I Wish” is a dreamy pop anthem.
The songwriter hopes that “I Wish” will show others going through a similar situation how they’re not alone and that realizing your self-worth is the most important thing. The singer shares, “It is hard to get out of toxic relationships, especially when you are in love or think you are in love but the moment that you do and realize your worth, you come out so much stronger.”
“I Wish” sees Cavalieri taking a slightly different direction from her previous releases. The track showcases a much more intimate and vulnerable approach, allowing listeners to feel a more personal connection with the artist. Her music is always 100% genuine, with lyrics narrating real experiences and real emotions. Her sincerity is woven deep throughout each song, adding a level of authenticity and familiarity.
Inspired by the likes of Kehlani, Halsey and Taylor Swift, Cavalieri is closely following their footsteps, with “I Wish” evoking a similar delivery of relatable pop for the youth of today.
Picking up where their debut album BEFORE WE VANISH left off, THESE OTHER LIVES PART ONE takes what Regen Magazine described as “hauntingly evocative melodies with a blend of dark post-punk tones and synthesized ambience” and pushes Trade Secrets into new territory. The new series finds Trade Secrets further expanding their rich sonic palette, taking the listener on a cinematic journey of distance and desire in the digital age.
The opening track, a Vangelis-inspired instrumental entitled OUT THE PICTURE serves as a gateway not just into the EP but the project as a whole. “It’s about longing. For a connection to a person, to a place, or to a moment, no matter where, when or even how”, says TS founder F.J. DeSanto. Intimate and moody while retaining their electronic dance roots, Trade Secrets’ lush soundscapes and deep textures usher us through back alley bars, late night phone calls and the morning after.
Written, recorded and produced in various locations around the world by the band, the EP was mixed and mastered by Trade Secrets’ own Mike Venezia, who reveals “sonically, this new body of work focuses more on space, texture, and tension and release – more dynamics, more drama.” The band are joined once again by special guests James Meays of Missing Words and Alex Gonzalez of By An Ion. “There’s something elegant in this, something deep where all of the songs make sense together as a whole,” says Damien Polak who sings on the new synth-driven song FREQUENCY. “The EP is like four different emotions of the same or four distinct moments along the same day.”
To visually represent the entire project, DeSanto sought out acclaimed photographer Liam Wong after seeing Wong’s work in his recent book TO:KY:OO. “When I first saw Liam’s photos, I was blown away by how he captured the true heart and soul of where I was writing the songs. It’s the closest I’ve ever seen someone capturing the imagery and feeling that was in my head when conceiving Trade Secrets.”
THESE OTHER LIVES PART TWO is also set for release as a digital EP later in the year and then both EPs will be combined into a limited edition CD which will feature tracks that are unique to the physical version. Says DeSanto: “I think with this project, we have hit upon what I feel is not only the best version of Trade Secrets, but the best collection of music I’ve ever done. These songs are laser-focused and I think we have spent the last three years building to this moment. It’s all come together perfectly. I have always felt that my best skill is to bring out the best in very talented people, almost like a conductor of sorts, and we have truly found our groove together. I’ve been very lucky to have these guys step up once again to deliver something that I feel is a declaration of what Trade Secrets truly is.”
Rising LA recording artist CARTER continues to ascend in his trajectory, building on the early momentum of last EP Of(f) Course with his latest release “Trust in Issues”.
With a penchant for manipulating soundscapes at will, “Trust in Issues” is a display of CARTER’s range as he gives a fluid display of vocals and rap on a deep, dark Trap cut with modern R&B and Soul undertones. His emotional narrative and effortless performance put him shoulder to shoulder with his contemporaries, but here he provides a nuanced yet still greatly welcomed energy.
At just 19, CARTER is proving to be an influential voice to the new generation, not adverse to bending genres and styles and with such he is building an international cult following in the tens of thousands. Boosted by over 170k streams on Spotify alone with his early releases, his ability to simultaneously capture sonic moods through blending modern R&B with jazzy soul, hip-hop, and trap while lyrically guiding them through his psyche is only going to continue to resonate with more and more listeners.
He sees the potential in himself and it won’t be long before the rest of the scene knows it too. Though in the early stages of his career, CARTER has the world at his feet, and you should be anticipating a whole lot more to come.
East London based singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Harry Jay-Steele shares the animated visual for his recently released single ‘Wish For One Night’, the first track taken from his debut which is due for release this fall via eclectic audiophile label Naim Records. Inspired by anime classics like ‘Akira’ and ‘Neo Tokyo’ and sci-fi films such as ‘Blade Runner’, the animated video is largely set in a futuristic Japanese city, loosely based on Tokyo. Written by Harry himself and animated by Venezuelan illustrator Jesús David Mora, the animation tells the story of a young man isolated in a dense urban world whose only source of hope are the nighttime messages exchanged with his virtual love interest.
Talking about the making of the video Steele reveals “it was written in a time of personal turmoil. I was reckoning with a deteriorating mental state and questioning whether I was losing my sense of self in the process”. Loosely inspired by Haruki Murakami’s novel and its adapted film ‘Norwegian Wood’, Steele developed the video’s storyline around Japan’s high youth suicide. “I wanted to convey these same messages but highlight the universality of this experience across the world”.
“I got in touch with Jesúsafter seeing a video he made for another London artist I know, Jaz Karis for her song ‘Sugar Don’t Be Sweet’. I wrote the script and we worked together on a storyboard for each scene. Clear colour themes were set and we talked about trying to emulate some of the aesthetic of old anime’s 80’s like ‘Akira’ and ‘Neo Tokyo’”.
Mora illustrated the bulk of the imagery by hand, using a digital software in combination with programs like Adobe After Effect to enhance and provide further dynamic to the scenes. Sharing the animation process Mora explains; I hand drew a lot of the details then worked with illustrator and After Effect to animate the drawings. I was keen to create a vintage 80’s aesthetic for the video to emulate the feel of the anime coming out of japan at that time but I was also inspired by modern animations for music videos such as SIAMÉS’s ‘Summer Nights’ and Childish Gambino’s ‘Feels like summer’. I feel that the animation and story line create a powerful parallel message to complement the songs narrative.”
Since his debut ‘Reach You’ Steele has been praised from the likes of Clash, was featured as ‘Artist of The Day’ on the pages ofMetro, who claimed “it’s unusual to hear such diverse sounds on a debut record”, and interviewed by Wonderland magazine for their ‘New Noise’ feature, as well as picking up support from The Huffington Post as their Top 5 acts playing Bestival and Indie Shuffle, as well as free styling with Moses Boyd on his BC 1Xtra residency.
18-year-old Tom King is a seminal young talent from Guildford ready to carve out his path in UK music with third single “Be That for Me”. Emerging into the ether with his emotive debut release “why are you here?”, Tom swiftly followed this up with the subtly explosive “No Mans Land”, accompanied by poignant visuals created by celebrated director Pedro Romhanyi (Pulp’s ‘Common People’, Blur’s ‘Parklife’) in just two days during lockdown.
With his blend of pure vocal talent and quietly expressive style as well as the cultural touchpoints seen thus far, “Be That for Me” adds to the artist’s distinctive, growing discography as an intoxicatingly swimming tale of heartbreak sure to continue the intrigue already being formed around the young homegrown star.
Speaking on “Be That for Me”, King elaborates: “I wrote ‘Be That for Me’ on my own in the Music School at Frensham when I was boarding. I remember just being so upset by that feeling of being in love with someone and them not feeling the same way back. I always loved the lyrics and melody, but felt it needed a different arrangement. I played it to Paul Aiden. He loved it and translated it onto the guitar and gave it the more up tempo feel that it has now.”
The scenic location of the sweeping, cinematic music video has fond memories for the artist, who went through a life-changing transition when he dropped out of a stifling school then moved to nearby Frensham Heights for a more soul-nurturing experience.
Amidst the ever-changing landscape of pop, something remarkable is stirring within the musician, whose powerfully intimate songwriting, stripped-back instrumentals, and searing vocals have set him on the trajectory for success. It is this minimalism that truly showcases his triumphant vocal prowess and far-reaching range – which quivers on a falsetto, then commandeers the ear on its deeper hues.
Emerging as one of the foremost breakout names coming out of the UK right now, his trajectory towards the upper echelons of the pop sphere alongside primary acts like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran is imminent.
The unusual thing about my new song, “Can I Love” is that it was created from a place that felt totally devoid of inspiration. I felt so drained, like my vessel was bone-dry. To me, this song is the dregs that were stuck to the bottom of the bucket, which I painstakingly scraped off and shaped into a piece of music.
Watch the lyric video for “Can I Love” via YouTube
Listen to “Can I Love” via your preferred streaming platform: http://hyperurl.co/dve24y
“Can I Love” functions as an ode to one’s own loneliness and the unpleasant realization of being trapped within a cage of solitude. The loneliness in this song is one formed from the belief that wisdom is enough to see you through this life, when really without love, however you define that, life is a battle you cannot win.
I self-produced this song, created in the deep hours of the night. The track was really borne from that very unsettled place between the waking world and the dream world. Its musical landscape is made up of shadows with instrumentation that embodies illusions in the dark.
Thank you for listening,
Dawson Gamble’s passion for music began early. His father’s love of Blues and Classic Rock integrated with the growing culture of Hip Hop and RnB intensified his interest in music. By picking up his dad’s 1979 Fender Strat guitar, he found his own love of soft Blues and Ballad rock which was further influenced by Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran. His love for guitar playing and instrumentation led him to explore songwriting where he further discovered his passion for musicality and zest of flowing lyrics.
His artistry has placed him in rooms with some incredible Songwriters and Artists such as Geoff Warburton, Tyler Shaw, and Victoria Duffield. Dawson’s innate musicality landed him on Boots & Hearts MainStage playing Banjo for country artist Justin Tyler, and on Hamilton’s live news television with his late band, The Chase. The Chase generated over 1 million streams on Spotify over 2019. Currently, Dawson is working on his upcoming solo project titled “Everything About Me” which is scheduled to release on June 3rd, 2020.
Venus Furs is the moniker of Montreal’s Paul Kasner, a multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer and self-described “perfectionist”. In the preceding years the act has taken many forms, supporting the likes of The Horrors and The Twilight Sad as he worked on refining and determining exactly what Venus Furs was meant to be. After years of hard work and multiple hurdles, Kasner is on the verge of releasing Venus Furs, a rigorously crafted set of songs that voyage heedlessly through sonic and mental terrain in a way that could only be the product of a single idiosyncratic mind. This speaks to his remarkable determination to create the album he long envisioned, and has now realised with the dazzling Venus Furs. Once you press play on the self-titled record you’re immediately welcomed into a world of sound that sits at the nexus of psych rock and garage rock, shot through with grand melodic hooks that echo the British alternative scene that he’s always greatly admired, all produced with a finely-tuned ear and precise hand.
“This album, for all intents and purposes, is just a huge experiment in dealing with minutia,” Kasner says, having arrived at this collection of songs through a years-long process. At first just sitting with his guitar or piano and letting the sounds suggest themselves until forming a rough shape, he then meticulously layered, carved and contoured them into songs, eventually reaching an electrifying but carefully balanced result. It was his express intention on this record “to capture the energy and feel of a live performance, utilizing the sounds of the live room as much as possible,” and while Venus Furs is filled with furiously-pitched guitars, walls of sound and driving rhythms, the finer instrumental aspects are not lost; each can be picked out from the turbulent blur, but in unison they enhance each other, creating a polychromatic and passionate whole.
The scrupulous production detail shows off the creator’s voracious musical appetite, but reproduces it in a range of modern and entirely engrossing fashions. In “Friendly Fire” Kasner underscores the thoughts of a misunderstood outcast with a nerve-shredding guitar squeal; “Guards in the Garden” has a swinging guitar that weaves between horn blasts, giving it a colourful pomp; on “Paranoia” a melodic bass line crests and plunges amidst the torrential currents of guitar and drums; towards the end of the gripping, organ-led “Fire In Her Eyes” an injection of brass shoves the song’s eeriness up a few more notches.
The influence of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain can be felt in the ornamental texturing of sound and voice, but the words are just as important to Kasner. He ensures that the instrumental elements are attuned to his frenetic and murky lyricism, which circles around heavy mental struggles and is delivered with poetic imagery and detail. Kasner says these stories usually “poured out” of him at night, just before he fell asleep, seemingly coming from a place between consciousness and oblivion, and the resulting narratives are filled with dark humour and nightmarish situations. “It’s cathartic,” he explains,“after that would be the best night of sleep, it’s like I cleared my head of everything.”
But those unsettling tales live on and blossom in the sonically animated world of Venus Furs. He has an affinity for classic British alternative music, from The Kinks to Blur, and his storytelling has echoes of Ray Davies’ common man charm and the streetwise dreams of Damon Albarn, but with layers of instrumentation swirling around at all times, casting them with a contemporary paranoia. His songs are populated with troubled characters, painted with a sympathetic brush and thrown into a series of disastrous circumstances.
The appropriately titled “Chaos and Confusion” kicks off the collection with a tale of a woman who ends up in a card game with a devilish dealer, playing incessantly until she has nothing left. In the Kafkaesque “Friendly Fire” we follow someone who feels isolated from his friends and is “running from the government”, only to wind up asking themselves “was this worth fighting for?”. On the final track, “Page Before”, the narrator shows up to a party only to find that it’s his own wake, and from there his soul seems to rush out of his body as the bass surges upward, soon joined by a delirious deluge of guitars.
Once a student of literature, the influence of both the classical and contemporary seem to have seeped into Kasner’s lyrics, with flashes of favourites like Oscar Wilde and Kurt Vonnegut detectable within the rush. It’s prevalent in “New Inspiration”, where a hapless woman who keeps putting herself in “very dangerous situations” ends up hand-in-hand with “the wild son of love and death”; and in “Living In Constant”, a song cloaked in heavy atmosphere that describes the final moments of a disgraced priest on his deathbed.
Kasner also has a passion for stand-up comedy, and dark humour peeks out between the cracks of his music. It can be heard mingling with his maudlin vision in songs like “Guards in the Garden”, which describes a king involved in “clandestine passion” and calls upon a muse who is “less than amused”. Sometimes the simple dispassionate observations of his characters can raise a titter, as on “Page Before” where the singer notes “The walls shining in an unfriendly shade of blue / odd considering that the paint is red.”
The visual richness of Kasner’s lyrics also applies to the way he describes unhealthy mental states, something he has both experienced personally and witnessed in others, and he manages to capture these indefinable feelings with precisely selected imagery. He describes places where “lethargic discontent swells boundless through the room”, he illustrates depression as “colour fading to dust”, and psychic obstacles manifest as trip wires and shards of glass on the floor.
Given all this, perhaps the most incredible part of Venus Furs is that it is far from a gloomy, serious or burdensome listen. Rather, it is by turns an auditory adrenaline shot, a compassionate voice in the darkness and a vivid world of enlivening spirits. “To me, there’s nothing I enjoy more than writing and being creative,” says Kasner, and the truth of that statement resounds from every note, word and crash that composes Venus Furs.
A creative mastermind are the words that can be used to describe Toronto’s Agile. A DJ, producer and songwriter; his style is as diverse as the city he rep- resents. His proven ability to captivate a crowd has made him one of the country’s most sought after DJ’s earning the notoriety to play across Canada, the U.S and the Caribbean. As a producer Agile has worked alongside power players NaS, Melanie Fiona, Dwele, Kardinal Offishall, Method Man, Jully Black, Ivana Santilli and Glenn Lewis to name a few.
Agile’s success is unprecedented. He is a Stylus DJ Award winner, NXNE Rising Star Award
winner, five-time Juno nominee and a five-time MuchMusic Video Award nominee. He is a
member of the hip-hop super groups Brass- Munk and Big Black Lincoln where he acts as DJ &
Agile can skillfully hold down any party. As soon as he hits the 1’s and 2’s you are instantly taken on a musical journey from hip-‐hop, r&b, nu soul, top 40, to house, rock and reggae. His corporate clients include Apple Canada, Nike and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). He is on his way to becom- ing the official DJ for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they have booked him 2nd year in a row for their “Rivalry Series”. Agile was also the official DJ for the 2008 Major League Soccer All-‐Star Game Pre Show and Halftime DJ featur- ing international recording artist Estelle.
Consistently sharing his love of music, Agile has gained widespread recognition with his series of mixtapes, which he uses as an outlet to expose underexposed music. Now, with over 20K+ monthly listeners on Spotify to-date, Agile is gearing up for the release of his album “We’re Never Done”, due out Summer 2020.
Rising singer, songwriter and producer Devin Kennedy returns with his third single of the year, ‘‘Deep Shit”- listen HERE. The new infectious summer song follows Devin’s April 2020 performance on Elvis Duran’s “Stay At Home Ball” and his recent releases writing and producing singles for Ben Platt, Alex Aiono, James Maslow (Big Time Rush) and more.
“‘Deep Shit’ is for the carefree spirit that we all have within us,” Kennedy says. “Telling someone how you feel can be terrifying. This song is about taking that leap of faith and letting that person know, regardless of the outcome.”
New fans continue to fall in love with Devin’s unique brand of left-of-center, California sad-pop including recently-released tracks “Happy Yet” and “No Parachute”, which while having it’s viral moment on TikTok quickly landed a spot on Shazam’s coveted “Best New Music Weekly” playlist. Factor in 2.4M global streams independently, and placements on Apple Music’s “New Music Daily”, “In My Room”, “Today At Apple” and ”Date Night” playlists, it’s clear that Devin Kennedy is set to make a memorable breakthrough into the pop world.
Benin born and raised, Afropop singer-songwriter, Shirazee releases the video for “Tired” – an emotional ballad paying tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all Black lives that have been lost at the hands of police brutality – following the worldwide audio premiere with Ebro Darden via Beats 1 on Apple Music. “Tired” was additionally featured on Triller’s Black Music Appreciation Month campaign, while the video garnered support from celebrities including Mike Tyson, Teddy Riley, and Karl Kani.
Like so many others who have previously faced and are now witnessing police brutality while living in the midst of a pandemic, Shirazee was devastated, angry, upset, and at a loss to see another Black life killed at the hands of the system that is supposed to serve and protect all people.
While people from all walks of life came together to protest around the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Shirazee took to the studio to be a voice. Expressing his own pain, the pain of his brothers and sisters, and the pain of all Black lives who have experienced racism one too many times. In his latest release, the artist reflects on the current happenings in America; making sense of what so many of us are feeling — tired.
“‘Tired’ is a three-minute capsule of how my generation feels,” Shirazee says. “The fight, the pain, the anger, the exhaustion from living in permanent dread of just existing as a Black person in this world. There is a new revolution out there ‘cause we are tired. I hope this song urges us all to continue to do the right thing and as a result, becomes a melodic beacon of encouragement and hope to keep demanding for what’s right.”
Once Shirazee finished recording “Tired,” he teamed up with director Modern Day Auteur for a seamless collaboration that resulted in a minimal yet powerful visual he’s truly proud of.
“The idea for the music video was to make anyone from any walk of life feel a bit of my pain – OUR pain – through the music and imagery. I wanted something raw without pretence or major production; just me, a camera, and the song. I hope the message is loud and clear. It’s time for real change. I am tired — we are TIRED.” Shirazee explains.
All proceeds of “Tired” are being donated to organizations and initiatives selected by Shirazee himself, that focus on ending racial profiling as well as foster the empowerment and betterment of Black lives including Color Of Change, NAACPLDF, and the ACLU Campaign Against Racial Profiling.
Bending fresh guitar licks around a pumping bass line, the power duo play it cool as they each lend their melodic voices to the fun new track.The pair demonstrate natural chemistry on the buoyant new cut and 24k proves once again to be a fine hitmaker, adding to his fast-growing rap sheet.
Undoubtedly one of the most promising breakout acts of this year, California native 24kGoldn continues to dominate the musical landscape with his melodic, genre-bending rap songs and rebellious disposition, racking up 300M+ combined Spotify streams for sensational viral hits like “Valentino” and “City of Angels” – the latter cracking the Official UK Charts (#25) and the Top 100 of the Spotify Global Chart.
With his latest single “Mood” 24k is on track to continue with his winning formula, already hitting top Spotify playlists like New Music Friday and Pop Rising. “Mood” comes off the back of the recently released YUNGBLUD remix of “City of Angels”, which 24k originally performed live with YUNGBLUD on The Yungblud Show. Not to mention the recent feature on Olivia O’Brien’s single “Josslyn” and his single “Unbreakable” featuring one of the hottest rappers on the come up in Kaash Paige making big moves, showing the teen breakout star has the magic touch.
24k’s penchant for melodies and frank lyricism continues to gain ground with worldwide audiences and with his debut 2019 EP Dropped Outta College garnering co-signs aplenty, he is ready to ascend to further heights in 2020.
New Zealand electronic producer Race Banyon (aka Eddie Johnston) shares ‘Back & Forth’, the third single from his upcoming ‘EP 2’, set for release on 21st August.The track follows on the release of previous singles including London In Stereo and Indie London-approved ‘Pressure Off’ and deep house R&B-tinged single ‘We Need It’. While Last year’s single ‘Move With Us’ – taken from EP 1, which saw support from the likes of Clash Magazine and DMC World, with Clash comparing its “experimental take on melody and structure” to the work of Jon Hopkins and James Holden.
Talking about the writing process behind the EP, the intriguing producer reveals; “most of the tracks were inspired by personal frustration and creative block. A desire to create songs that were a little darker and hit a bit harder”, he adds, “and as always, by a desire to get out and dance”. ‘Back & Forth’ Race Banyon explains; “it’s a return to the higher tempos and intensity that had become a staple in early Race Banyon sets. I’ve made all tracks off the EP on Ableton alone in my bedroom. I used a liberal amount of Arturia Prophet V for synths and D16 Decimort 2 to crunch things up.”
Under his Race Banyon alias, Johnston has already garnered the attention of every music platform that count; his collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Dahi for Red Bull Sound Select has seen support from the likes of Complex, Dummy, The Fader, Hypebeast and Stereogum, with Red Bull calling him “New Zealand’s next big thing”. While his “tastefully minimalist production,” as defined by Dummy has led to him to sharing stages with the likes of Jamie XX, Rustie and Kaytranada, to name a few.
Cultivating a cult following online for the atmospheric pop songs he creates as Lontalius, whichopened the doors to a collaboration with Ryan Hemsworth and prompt AnOther Magazine to list him their ‘New Zealand’s New Musical Revolution’ feature – Johnston was only 14 when started making music as Race Banyon – a project which he describes as “production focused and dance oriented”. With ‘Back & Forth’ Race Banyon finds the perfect balance between late-night cinematic synths, tech-house club constructions and propulsive beats.
ASHS is on a slow-burning soul-searching mission. Slipping onto the scene in 2018 through a veiled and anonymous moniker, ASHS crafted an ecosystem of smart, genre-amorphous pop, with a lushly opaque backdrop. Utilizing dark and impossibly mesmerizing synths, punctuated with euphoric instrumental flourishes, each track is bound together with lyrics that embrace her jagged edges through bold, intimate reckonings.
Pulling back the curtain, Juno award nominated, multi-platinum selling artist Alyssa Reid reveals her identity and artistic versatility. ASHS was created as an exploration into a new sonic territory. Over the past few years, the 26-year-old artist has been honing her craft; becoming the go-to songwriter for artists like bülow (“Not A Love Song”) and Virginia to Vegas (“Selfish”), now recasting her signature smoky vocals to form the foundation of her most ambitious project to date. ASHS’ newest music (“Paranoid”) is both an exploration and a revelation.
If you’ve been listening carefully, this Alyssa Reid has been hiding in plain sight. Now, she’s requesting your full attention.
Beth Keeping is a singer/songwriter from Surrey, UK. Drawing influences from both traditional country storytelling and modern pop music, Keeping delivers a fresh and modern sound of what she calls “pop stories”. Creating songs that speak about real situations, her honest lyrical approach and emotive vocals have been garnering attention from fans and critics across the globe.
Inspired into the music industry by artists such as Delta Goodrem, John Mayer and Martyn Joseph, Keeping found herself travelling the world, writing and recording in the UK, Singapore, Ireland, Estonia, Andalusia and America. Her debut EP Fool, which was recorded in Nashville, showcased her love for country music and its powerful ability to depict vivid stories through sound. However, her most recent work takes a move towards more mainstream pop, whilst reserving her signature authentic anecdotal lyrics.
Keeping’s latest single “Cool Kids” is a self-empowering anthem for anyone who has experienced bullying. Inspired by the news that a boy who used to bully her at school now listens to her music, she shares, “I heard that he and his friends respect me because I decided to pursue my dreams and do something different instead of following the standard career path. I have to admit, it felt pretty great to hear that!” Despite its feel-good melodies, there is a juxtaposition between the music and lyrics, with a deeper element recognising how serious bullying is and why we do it. Keeping explains, “Whether it’s at school or in the workplace, bullying happens when those who are popular or powerful in some way choose to use that power against others. And usually this behaviour is driven by something deeper such as insecurity, peer pressure, personal trauma or having been bullied themselves.” The song reminds listeners that we all have a choice – we can choose to bully and to retaliate, or we can choose peace, and understand and forgive those who have used their power against us.
Produced by Kaity Rae (The Shires, Lisa Pac) “Cool Kids” sonically blends bass heavy, plucky instrumentation with minimalist production styles inspired by the likes of Taylor Swift and Lauv. Honest, sassy lyrics narrate some of Keeping’s real life experiences, referencing some of her previous singles as a lighthearted hint that the “cool kids” have been listening to them. The fun pop song treads the line between confidence and vulnerability, acting as an infectious, dance worthy track to help others going through a similar experience.
As founder of ‘Write Like A Girl’, an initiative that puts the spotlight back on female songwriters, Keeping is an advocate of championing the rights of women and equality in the music industry. Keeping shares, “It’s an idea I’ve had for years after I woke up to the gender imbalance at networking nights I was going to. In fact, only 18% of songwriters in the UK are women (PRS for Music, 2019)”. Write Like A Girl hosts sell-out writers round shows in London, Newcastle and Bristol, and since lockdown have begun a Q&A series on Instagram called ‘Girl Power Hour’. Keeping has also seen success winning a PRS songwriting prize in a Mayor of London GIGs competition, as well as reaching #3 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart for her debut EP.
You may not recognize NVDES (aka the shapeshifting musical universe of artist/producer Josh Ocean) at first but you and millions of others have certainly had his music buzzing in your ears – whether it was “Purusha” in the official Apple iPhone SE launch this year, “Brazooka” in the official Apple iPhone 11 advertisement the year prior, “Rock & Roll” on the Need for Speed™ Heat soundtrack, or his smash hit collabs like “Everybody Wants To Be Loved” with Yoke Lore and “Running” with Oliver Tree.
While sheltering in place, NVDES has continued to channel raw creative energy to deliver authentic bangers one after another. In July alone, NVDES unleashed “24/7” featuring vocals from Tommy Cash (in which the entire music video budget was donated to Black Lives Matter Global Network, Black Trans Travel Fund, and Summaeverythang Community Center), “Don’t Worry” with Andrew ApplePie, and the NVDES edit for “Get Happy” by The Knocks featuring Blu DeTiger (landing on official Spotify playlists such as Young And Free, Pumped Up Pop, Friday Cratediggers, Front Left, and more). To wrap up the active month, NVDES officially announces his sophomore full-length album NVDITY Worldwide and releases two new songs with videos for the title track plus a stand alone single entitled “Go Time / Spiritual Hottie” (with ZVK) via VIBE NATION. According to Ocean, “The new single ‘NVDITY Worldwide’ is the theme song, a call to action, to unite all those who experience the NVDES sound, to elevate the vibe, to connect with high frequency creativity and send that energy worldwide to make the world a better place.”
The second full-length album from NVDES, NVDITY Worldwide was sparked from a daybreak epiphany on the streets of Berlin. “I’d been out all night and had a sudden inspiration to create something where I’d collaborate with artists from around the world,” says Ocean. “The idea was that each collaboration would be a different antenna point, and together they’d raise the vibrational frequency of the planet. The whole essence of NVDES has always been about me channeling energy, but now I feel like I’ve figured out how to really focus that and positively affect people.” Made with a dozen collaborators from across the globe – including Whethan, Tommy Cash, filous, klei, BLVTH, and more – NVDITY Worldwide expands on the explosive originality and frenetic momentum of NVDES’ 2018 full-length debut Vibe City Utah. Built on a sonic aesthetic Ocean calls “laptop punk,” the album unfolds in 10 exhilarating tracks brought to life with deep intentionality. “When I’m in the studio, my role is to capture the energy that’s happening in the moment, and then do my best to share that with the listener in the rawest form possible,” says Ocean. “I look at how transformative music can be – going back to early humans banging on drums and dancing around the fire – and I want to do what I can to empower people the same way, and hopefully inspire them to follow their own creativity.”
Describing NVDITY Worldwide as a “collection of cool moments that happened all over the world,” Ocean approaches each of NVDES’ projects with the same kinetic imagination he first discovered as a kid. “I started writing songs when I was 12, and from the beginning I was passionate about sharing my own expression instead of playing covers,” says the self-taught musician. Originally from New York, Ocean grew up on punk and began experimenting with self-recording while studying in Hawaii his sophomore year of college. “I got a ukulele and acoustic guitar and started focusing on creating with those instruments on my laptop, at a time when laptop recording wasn’t really a thing,” he says. After a year in Hawaii, Ocean moved to New York City and continued making demos in his apartment, quickly earning enough attention to devote himself to music full-time. Burnt out on New York and dissatisfied with his former musical project, he relocated to L.A. in 2015 and launched NVDES in the studio apartment he nicknamed Vibe City, Utah.
With the help of an ever-morphing lineup of musician-friends, NVDES soon drew acclaim with early projects like 2016’s Life with Lobsters EP and 2017’s La NVDITÉ, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Since 2015, NVDES’ has amassed over 30 million collective streams while his fun, honest, and unfiltered releases have reeled in support from Acid Stag, Billboard, Clash, Earmilk, HillyDilly, idolator, Indie Shuffle, Milk.xyz, Office Magazine, PAPER, Refinery29, Stereogum, The FADER, The Line of Best Fit, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, and many more. His progressive outlook and creative prowess has additionally led to massive success with brands like Apple iPhone (5x), Crayola, Google, Macy’s, New Balance, Samsung, T-Mobile, Volkswagen, as well as networks such as ABC, Fox, Freeform, and FX. The appeal lies within NVDES’ dynamic collection, mirroring the artist and producer’s ability to innovate outside the confines of electronic / pop sensibilities and singular genres.
NVDES is the world that Josh Ocean created for himself, an ongoing art project that continuously evolves while still remaining distinct to him and his energy. Belonging to no genre, the sound and aesthetic of NVDES has one simple intention: to share raw creative energy and high frequency vibrations with listeners in order to inspire a connection. With the release of NVDITY Worldwide, Ocean hopes that NVDES’ potent transmission of energy might produce an impact that goes beyond pure euphoria. “When people hear the album, I want them to feel excited to connect with their own creativity,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be about making music or art or movies – it can mean coming up with a new way to recycle plastic so we can clean up the oceans, or a new approach to urban gardening. I believe everyone is inherently creative, and right now we absolutely need all that creativity to make the world a better place.”
singer-songwriter Savannah Conley is presenting an acoustic rendition of her latest single, “Never Want To Be In Love.” Stripping the euphoric track down to just guitar and vocals, the “Never Want To Be In Love” acoustic video is raw and intimate, allowing Conley’s rich, crystalline vocals to take centerstage. Watch “Never Want To Be In Love (Acoustic Video)” here.
Co-written by Andrew Petroff (Sheryl Crow, Devon Gilfillian) and the song’s producer Gabe Simon (Dua Lipa, COIN), “Never Want To Be In Love” was released late last month and marked Conley’s first single since her critically acclaimed debut EP, Twenty Twenty. The new release was met with strong reception from the likes of Atwood Magazine and Popular TV, and was added to a bevy of Spotify playlists.
Raised in Nashville by a background singer mother and session guitarist father, Savannah Conley’s musical education was deeply ingrained from a young age. She started performing at the age of seven and by nineteen she was taking home the John Lennon Songwriting award. Her debut EP, Twenty Twenty, was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, John Prine) and released in 2018 to support from Rolling Stone, NPR, Ones To Watch, and Refinery29. Rolling Stone praised the EP as an “emotionally rich collection of tracks full of moody instrumentation and whip-smart lines” and named Conley as one of their ‘Artists You Need To Know.’
If you’ve ever wondered what the sonic lovechild of Oasis and Dolly Parton would sound like, look no further than Savannah Conley. Combining nostalgic musicality, unavoidable Southern charm, and a healthy dose of cross-genre inspiration, Conley has carved out a sound that feels both fresh and timeless. Her ability to transcend genre boundaries has led to an impressive resume of gigs supporting Ben Folds, Brandi Carlile, The Head and the Heart, Willie Nelson, and Ruston Kelly, just to name a few.
Emily Vu is releasing her new single/video, “Just Wait.” Created with her frequent collaborators, multi-platinum producer Sir Nolan (Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez) and Andrew Schmidt aka SZNS, “Just Wait” is another glistening melodic pop track to add to Emily Vu’s fast growing repertoire.
“Just Wait” explores the vulnerability of falling in love with an engaging self-awareness. “It’s about being aware of how susceptible I am to love and how being in love or just starting to get to know someone is a very vulnerable thing for me,” Emily explains of the inspiration behind the track. “I’m asking for them to wait for me and just trust the process.” The accompanying music video stars the young pop artist surrounded by a multitude of women. It’s sprinkled with a beautiful and subtly romantic undertone, with each woman representing a past relationship and how Emily carries those experiences and lessons through life.
Blending authentic intimacy with bright pop sounds, Emily Vu’s music is, at its core, deeply relatable. Her lyrics provide a fresh Gen Z outlook on the world, and she delivers her stories through light, breezy, and instantly captivating vocals that glide atop atmospheric pop beats. Emily may only have a handful of singles under her belt, but the 18-year-old SoCal native is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young pop acts to come out of 2020. First launching her career last year on TikTok, Emily has gone on to release a number of original singles and amassed a fervent worldwide fanbase of 1.4M TikTok followers, 388K Instagram followers, and 4M+ Spotify streams. She’s also seen early support from key tastemakers like Hollywood Life, Ones To Watch, and Popular TV, solidifying her spot as a pop force to watch out for.
C. SHIROCK has found success with his music featured in multiple TV networks including MTV, NBC and ABC, as well as working with brands such as American Eagle and Hollister. He has performed at major summer festivals in front of hundreds of thousands of people across the US and UK, alongside acts such as Twenty One Pilots, Cage The Elephant and Manchester Orchestra, to name a few. Outside of his music, the songwriter is also a professional model landing his face on campaigns across the globe. He has further involved himself in charity work, where he has partnered with various homeless and poverty-focused organizations.
In a world of genres and playlists, true originality is hard to come by. However, now and then an anomaly lands on planet earth and causes a ripple through the airwaves of the universe. Sean The Star Emperor is the embodiment of what happens when you take the status quo, do the complete opposite, then make a big song and dance about it, all the while destroying heteronormativity… Did we mention he is a monarch from another star system complete with magical powers?
Rising alt-pop artist Karolina Rose finally emerges from her hiatus with new single “Runaway Angels” – her first release of 2020. Channeling darker, more introspective energy when compared to her two well-received prior singles – the glittery upbeat rhythms of “Greytopia” and the dusky grooves in “Objection” – “Runaway Angels” is the latest instalment of Karolina’s versatile brand of ‘noir rose pop’ (alluring, seductive and layered – but with a prick of danger) which has seen international acclaim pour in from several tastemakers including The Line of Best Fit, Wonky Sensitive, glamglare, Popmuzik, Teases and Dares and AnalogueTrash.
With layered, indulgent production created by Elliot Jacobson (Allie X / VÉRITÉ / Elle King), the quickly-rising indie singer’s compelling track intends to inspire listeners in an empowering way while on their own journeys of healing and finding love. As with all of Karolina’s music, “Runaway Angels” was born from a deeply personal place of experience and perspective from the nomadic artist, who is split between NYC, LA and Europe.
Often focusing on deeper perspectives in her songwriting, Karolina explained of “Runaway Angels”: “Runaway Angels is more ballet-inspired with a graceful, haunting feeling. It balances between this place of healing and a place of hell—running from a dark, painful abyss of memories that mostly only come up while you’re dreaming. I started releasing the EP last year and these last two songs were quite personal to me. I took some months off on a sort of spiritual journey to look within and do some healing; Runaway Angels helped me process a part of my life that was really difficult for me. It’s euphoric to exercise this part of me out and share it. The chorus was written in my apartment and the rest of it was finished on a vacation during the thick of the #metoo movement. I wrote parts in the middle of the night and tweaked it on the beach with a mini Taylor I had with me and my laptop.”
“Runaway Angels” is step three in Karolina’s visual EP project coming later this summer, which will witness the independent artist tell a tale of love, loss and healing through four spectacular video experiences. The future is clearly bright for Karolina Rose, a sensational self-made artist unfolding who has the potential to reach the upper echelons of the pop sphere with several more enthralling anthems to come.
Tia Gostelow‘s second album sees the rising superstar slide from her guitar based indie/folk influences of Thick Skin into a lush pop landscape with Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy, Alex Lahey) at the production helm. Third single “Always” brings the second half of Holy Holy into the mix, with Tim Carroll sharing vocal duties on the song, complimenting Oscar’s bass and production.
“I am so excited about ‘Always’ being released. I feel like it’s the song that sums up the whole vibe of the album and I’m so stoked to have Holy Holy featuring on it. It was really cool to be able to work with Oscar and Tim on it and I love that you can hear elements of their distinct sound throughout the song, eg. Oscars lil guitar solo at the end.” – Tia Gostelow
“We’ve been fans of Tia’s work for years so we jumped at the chance to collaborate on a song for her new record. It’s a dreamy tune and singing duet is something I don’t get to do enough of. It’s such a classic format.” – Tim Carroll (HOLY HOLY).
Adding to great musical talent behind the track, another upcoming Australian band wrote the song as she explains, “I’ve been a big fan of The Money War for a really long time and had the chance to finally see them play at Bigsound last year, and they absolutely killed it. I feel like there is something really magical about their music and lyrics and I really fell in love with them. I ended up getting an email from Dylan from The Money War after seeing them live saying he has some songs that he thinks would really suit me. I sat on them for a little while because I wasn’t sure how I felt about releasing a song that I hadn’t written myself or had been a part of in the writing process, but I just couldn’t get ‘Always’ out of my head.”
Tia’s love for The Money War was mutual as Dylan & Carmen from The Money War elaborate, “Carmen and I are big fans of Tia. When we got connected around the time of Bigsound I thought some sort of collaboration could be a really cool fit, so I sent her the song. It was really cool to hear where they took the song, and love the Holy Holy feature too!”
Lyrically it was a perfect fit for Tia, blending into the overall arc of the album, and emotionally as a young adult, “I really connected with it lyrically straight away, when I first heard it I had the feeling it was about being in love with someone but not physically being able to be with them and also pushing through all of the hard parts in a relationship because you know the good outweighs the bad. It just fit perfectly within the record as I’ve really highlighted my feelings about being away from my loved ones, feeling lonely and I guess just trying to figure out who I am as a 20-year old woman.” – Tia Gostelow
From an angelic piano filled demo, Tia transformed it into a dance floor filler in the studio, “I really wanted to have a big 80’s synth-pop, big drums kind of sound that everybody wants to dance too. It kind of reminds me of an 80’s prom in a rom-com movie.”
“Always” follows on from singles “Rush” and “Psycho” which have pushed Tia’s profile even higher with love from right around the globe. The as of yet untitled forthcoming album is due out later in 2020 and fans can expect to see her performing shows right around the country to celebrate when the time is right.
Tia Gostelow’s “Strangers” has cracked over 10 Million streams on Spotify just a few months after the single was certified Gold. The song featured on Tia’s debut album Thick Skin which picked up a Queensland Music Award for Album Of The Year,Triple J Feature album which added to her ever growing list of accolades including her last several singles being added to high rotation on Triple J and stations around Australia and internationally.
Inspired by the likes of Billie Marten and Lucy Rose, as well as Fleetwood Mac and strong piano players such as Tom Odell and Rae Morris, Louise’s music channels emotion and intimacy through her use of conversational instrumentation and poignant lyricism.
Louise’s upcoming debut EP entitled Melancholic Antidote is a collection of personal experiences, life lessons, emotions and growth. Detailing topics such as love, career, family, goals and themes which resonate with the general listener on a more personal, intimate level, with the hope to create music which is of comfort, enjoyment and reassurance. Louise confides, “The release of Melancholic Antidote is a nerve-wrecking concept to me, but I anticipate a feeling of self-release and acceptance of all the events/moments I have written about to create what is now my first official EP release. I am giving my whole self to the listener with this record, and though some may appreciate that and enjoy the music, I really hope that this extends to them finding solace and comfort in all that I have created. I hope that my music stays with people and finds its way within everyone else’s lives, as well as my own.”
A standout track on the EP is “Seasons Change” holds strong inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon and The Staves’ Dead & Born & Grown. Highlighting on the challenges and life decisions that we all inevitably make at many moments as we grow up and old, “Seasons Change” gives us the reassurance that we aren’t alone, that things can be better than they are perceived and that maybe, just maybe, someone somewhere craves your life’s catalogue of experiences rather than their own. The songwriter shares, “It’s a song of SILVER LININGs and LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDEs and WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHERs. Take your pick, there’s an uplifting catchphrase hidden in this song if you look hard enough.”
Louise has seen success having supported the likes of ANashville based indie folk-rock duo The Harmaleighs, brit-pop band Echobelly at St Pancras Old Church in London and Juanita Stein, the former singer of Howling Bells. With radio plays and live sessions with BBC Introducing and independent radios alike, as well as taking festival slots in 2020, Francesca Louise is making her way up the musical ladder and is showcasing her capabilities across the UK.