INsiders Guide: MONSTA X, Eddie Benjamin, MACY, Ludic, Scenic Route to Alaska, Fritz Hutchison, Pat Reilly, Karen Lee Batten, Emi Jeen, NIIVA, Virginia To Vegas, Cinzia & The Eclipse, Drives The Common Man…
Worldwide phenomenon, Monsta X, have officially released their 3rd full-length album, Fatal Love, last night. Accompanying this release is the music video for focus track, “Love Killa,” which you can watch here. While still showcasing their signature style, Monsta X has reinterpreted and expanded their musical approach throughout this album. Bringing their talents to the next level, their story, which has been condensed over the past six years, is meant to give you a feeling of thrill as if you’re solving a mystery. While the past albums mainly drew keywords of empathy and consolation, this album is going to show the deadly temptation of a man; along with a thriller movie-esque storyline.
“Love Killa” conveys the strong desire and temptation over a loved one, to the extent that they would give up everything to get one’s love. In the music video, the members turn into six cruel and beautiful “Love Killa’s,” looking to steal your attention. The visuals reinterpret killer characters in a movie, as Monsta X’s own mise-en-scene, and shows off aspects of love such as addiction, love, and deviation through its image of light and darkness.
Consisting of ten tracks, the members have expanded their musical territory by participating in composing, producing, and songwriting; showcasing the musical growth of Monsta X as a whole. Ranging from R&B, Latin-infused Pop, Hip-Hop, Future Bass, EDM, Pop, Swedish, American and South-American music styles; there’s a song for everyone on this album. Rapper Joohoney self-composed tracks “BEASTMODE” and “Stand Together,” while Rapper I.M self-composed the track “NIGHT VIEW.” They both also took part in the writing process for seven of the ten tracks. Hyungwon, who is also active as DJ H.ONE, participated in producing the lyrics and composing for the first time since his debut on the track “NOBODY ELSE.”
Rotating between an arsenal of instruments with punchy proficiency and singing with spotlight-grabbing swagger, Eddie Benjamin brings kaleidoscopic color to popular music. Whether nimbly slapping out a fleet-fingered bass groove on social media or belting on an arena stage, the 18-year-old Australia-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer channels fresh fire through a classic approach.
His forthcoming Epic Records debut comes to life at a crossroads between timeless handcrafted virtuosity and 21st century appeal. “My favorite thing in the world is to go off on creative tangents,” he declares. “I’m grateful to experiment with incredible instruments and just fuck around in the studio. I’m obsessed with the old-fashioned methods of writing and recording. By playing every instrument, I’m trying to do that my own way.”
Growing up in Bondi Beach, music surrounded Eddie from birth. A world-class musician, Dad toured and recorded as a professional drummer in addition to composing for various films. Meanwhile, his mom and sister both danced. At eleven-years-old, Eddie picked up the guitar, but switched to bass shortly after witnessing videos of Prince live. He honed his chops through studying jazz theory in addition to riffing on the Purple One and Stevie Wonder nonstop. Developing a diverse palette, his tastes expanded to include everyone from Jaco Pastorius to J Dilla.
By the age of thirteen, he found himself headlining a weekly residency at a local nightclub. Juggling multiple bands, he performed at Qudos Bank Arena in Haze Trio at fifteen-years-old. Around the same time, he shared various covers on Instagram. Long hair draped over his face, he would rock an upright or electric bass and sing popular tunes. After catching the attention of Vol. 1, he translated the “I Don’t Get No Sleep Cause of Y’all” meme into a bop and reimagined Sia’s “Chandelier.” Generating millions of views, these uploads made major waves leading to Sia reposting the cover of “Chandelier.”
Moving to Los Angeles, he found himself in the studio working on major releases behind-the-scenes. In addition to working with names like Labrinth and more, he co-wrote and performed on “Funk” and “Here to Stay” from Meghan Trainor’s most recent album Treat Myself. Now officially signed to Vol. 1 and Epic Records, he is hard at work crafting his proper debut. “I’m really interested in all parts of music,” he explains. “Being open-minded is the biggest thing for me. I want to cover it all: hip-hop, rock, great funk, and pop bangers. I’m mixing everything at a really high level.”
He introduces this sound with “Fuck My Friends.” A pulsating groove and steady beat reverberate alongside finger-snaps as his voice slips from intimate verses into a chantable refrain. Fittingly, it ends on one last mind-bending bass transmission. “I have a close circle around me who I know very well,” he says. “However, some people will catch your attention only when they want something. Sometimes, you just need to be by yourself. It was a moment where I felt like a misfit and wanted to be alone. I was like, ‘Fuck everyone. I’m going to have a party of one’.”
On the other end of the spectrum, “Speechless” highlights his impressive vocal range. Airy production from frequent collaborator Daniel Gleyzer gives way to subtle strings, sweeping keys, and rich percussion. “It’s about the hopeful part of a relationship ending,” he states. “Musically, it’s colorful, but there’s a darker feeling. It goes through the emotions of losing someone, yet I try to implement hope in the process through the tones.”
As he works on his forthcoming project with Gleyzer, Mike Sabbath, and Labrinth and plots touring for 2020, Eddie ultimately maximizes this vibrancy with everything he does. “I want my music to portray a raw sense of emotion,” he leaves off. “Maybe you want to cry, or maybe you want to dance. If you feel anything, that’s really special to me.”
Hailing from Wales in the UK, MACY has always had a love for music. Since the age of 11, MACY quietly honed her Dream Pop/ Contemporary R&B music, developing her writing skills along the way.
It proved to be a very successful 2019/20 for MACY, which saw her become one of the 10 acts to be selected on the Forte 10 project. MACY, whilst on the project, played successful slots at Focus Wales, Swn Festival and Hub Festival, in what was her debut Festival Year. 2020 saw MACY’s Debut Single “CINEMA” released. Cinema was co-written with Writer & Artist, “Violet Skies” ( Mabel – God is a Dancer) and the Grammy-nominated Artist /Writer/Producer, “Daniel Evans” (LVR) (John Legend – By Christmas Eve).
In July 2020 MACY released her second single, “Smoking Gun”. Cinema & Smoking Gun has both been played on “BBC Sounds”, on the “Adam Walton” show and had an amazing response, with Bethan Elfyn also playing the track on her “BBC Wales show”. MACY was awarded funding from the BBC Launchpad/ Horizons team in March 2020 and is looking forward to working with the Horizons team this year.
MACY is currently working on 2 tracks with Producer/Songwriter Gethin Pearson.( PRS fund awardee) MACY released her new single “Obvious” on the 9th October 2020. The track was selected for the Welsh A-List on BBC Radio Wales in October 2020 & November 2020.
“Terrified” is about the struggle of making a life-changing decision that affects your future, especially in terms of career. Having to choose between pursuing what you want to do, or being practical and realistic.
There is some comfort in “keeping your options open.” The fear in the process can be hurtful, but you almost don’t want to get rid of it as it keeps you protected from the vastness of the world.
ubstance and accessibility. They’re often considered opposing forces when it comes to pop music, making it all the more impressive when a band like Scenic Route to Alaska so effortlessly delivers ample doses of both.
The heralded Edmonton-based indie pop trio – Trevor Mann on lead vocals and guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood – have worked tirelessly scaling the summit of the Canadian and international music scenes. They dropped two acclaimed LPs – 2018’s Tough Luck and 2016’s Long Walk Home – that weave memorable melodies and catchy vocals through compelling, musically-rich arrangements and earned a slew of awards and accolades on their backs. They’ve toured relentlessly across North America, Europe, and Australia and have seen their global fanbase grow exponentially with each amplified chord.
Since taking time to write and workshop new material earlier in 2019, Scenic Route to Alaska have released a pair of singles “Give a Little” in October 2019 and “Daydreaming” in Feb 2020 and played a nearly sold out tour throughout Canada. These singles will soon be featured on a limited edition 7″ vinyl.
With its release on April 29th, “Call Your Friends” is the first single of their upcoming album “Time For Yourself” (release date: Aug 19th). This song is the first in the direction of revisiting their roots with a more organic, unfiltered take on their now-signature sound – or, as Mann puts it, “a truer representation of what we do when we get together and make music.”
Kansas-City born and bred, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Fritz Hutchison returns with a charming DIY music video for “Cold Comfort”, the third single from his debut album Wide Wild Acres on Center Cut Records.
The video was shot and edited by Fritz himself, with the help of Alison Hawkins and Mikala Petillo. The visual alternates between scenes of Fritz performing with his trusted guitar and the scenic forest views on the road from Missouri to Arkansas. Both are juxtaposed with home videos from Fritz’s childhood, starring his sister, parents, his late dog Zuzu and himself, giving a nod to the nostalgic and heart-string pulling nature of the track. “”Cold Comfort,” Hutchison’s story of escaping a bad relationship, is an homage to songs like [Springsteen’s] “Jungle Land,” with artful instrumental arrangements and exciting song archs (and of course, the song’s iconic saxophone solo),” wrote Earmilk about the track.
Fritz on the video: “This is a sad song, one about a relationship’s fibers fraying in the moments before the line snaps, but I must admit that while watching the images of my sister, my parents and me flicker in the woods, I felt bound stronger than ever to a time I lived but can’t remember, and the figures to whom I owe my survival. I hope this video brings to your mind the people you love the most, and I hope that if they see it, they think of you.”
Wide Wild Acres was released via KC-based Center Cut Records, who pride themselves on showcasing the best and brightest of what the geographical center of America has to offer. The record was produced by Fritz and Joel Nanos (Mumford and Sons, Yungblud), was inspired by the sound of the early 70s, and blends indie-pop, Americana, and rock and roll into a home-spun fantasy of Midwestern life. Traditional song structures are broken down more than once, yet the songs seem familiar even at first listen. In addition to playing almost all of the instruments on the album (with some excellent supporting musicians sprinkled in), Fritz delivers his original lyrics with a voice that fits each song as its own instrument. The record, lauded by fans and critics alike, has caught the attention of American Songwriter, PopDust, Earmilk and more.
Queer pop artist Pat Reilly releases his new single, “Act of Love,” from his forthcoming EP, Prince of the Night, out on November 13th. “Act of Love” is available to stream now on Spotify & Apple Music.
Prince of the Night is Reilly’s debut EP and will consist of five tracks, two of which will be released as singles ahead of the full release. The project offers an intimate glimpse into this strange and spectacular year of isolation as Reilly takes us on a journey through his own emotional landscape, purging his pain, and coming to terms with every element of his being. “‘Prince of the Night’ is a release from all the pain I’ve been holding onto, that I wasn’t even conscious of prior, because I could distract myself with work, people, strangers, and my ambition,” he writes. “It flows in and out of the healthy and unhealthy POV that a relationship with another, with myself, and with my environment can take.” The album and single artwork was inspired by female superheroes — Scarlet Witch, Storm, Jean Grey, Mystique — and the women that inspire Reilly. “They manage to go to battle while still looking hot,” he quips. “And that’s how I felt during this quarantine — watch out trauma: because you may be ugly, but I’m not!”
The first single from the EP, “Act of Love,” is a pulsating pop-electronica track full of fizzy synth beats, cinematic vocals, and hypnotic grooves. Inspired by the Yung Pueblo quote, “being honest with yourself is an act of love,” the new single sees Reilly talking directly to his anxiety, engaging with it, and, ultimately, leaving it behind. “Though it doesn’t need to hold power over me, anxiety is a very real experience, it feels very real in my body. When I acknowledge that, and I’m honest with how I’m feeling, I can dispel the power it has over me. I hope this track gives rise to a culture of acknowledgment and release because I believe that’s the first step in curing emotional pain, which every one has experienced during this time.”
A singer, songwriter, actor, performer, and overall creative force, Pat Reilly is a true artist in every sense of the word. Fusing R&B with pop electronica, Reilly brings an authentic queer narrative to all of his work. His sound weaves weighty emotion through the lightness of pop with a distinctive sensitivity, sexuality, and softness. Already capturing the attention of tastemakers like Billboard Pride and QueerX, Reilly is emerging as one of the most exciting, boundary-pushing, queer voices in pop.
Vancouver, Canada, November 3rd, 2020 – Award-winning Canadian country recording artist Karen Lee Batten is celebrating her new single, “Too Strong”. Currently available on all digital platforms, the track is new on Canadian radio this week.
Watch the “Too Strong” Official Music Video: https://youtu.be/PsoqXKZeqG0
Listen to “Too Strong” on Spotify at: smarturl.it/KLBTooStrong
“Too Strong” – co-written by Batten, Jeff Johnson (Madeline Merlo), Mitch Merrett (Tyler Joe Miller), and Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) – was also co-produced by the CCMA-winning Merrett (Aaron Pritchett) and Johnson (Meghan Patrick). The music video was directed by Meaghan Gipps. The single is rooted in the country genre but is carried by a pop rhythm and an empowering message of love, strength, and hope.
“Too Strong” is the first new music for Batten – a former “Canadian Idol” finalist and 7-time BC Country Music Association Award Winner for Female Artist of the Year – since the 2018 album, “Under the Covers in Muscle Shoals”, which debuted in Canada at #2 Billboard Soundscan and #4 on iTunes. Newly nominated for four 2020 BCCMA Awards – Female Artist, Industry Supporter, Interactive Artist, and Fans’ Choice – Batten is reflective about the circumstances that brought her new single together and contemplative about its place in a changed world.
She says, “This song is a testament to how music can develop almost by accident. Jeff Johnson had finished a long studio day when we started talking about life. By 3:30AM, we had started recording into a phone. By the next morning, Mitch and Chad were adding their own ideas and soon after, we had a complete song that was effortless and organic to create from start to finish.”
Batten explains, “The heart of ‘Too Strong’ is about staying strong through the tough times in a relationship. With the challenges of our new reality, I feel that there is a deeper message about recognizing how strong we really are as humans. Whether that strength is there for us as individuals or to put into our relationships, we are too strong to give up. We must move forward.”
“Too Strong” will be followed by two more singles and an EP in the summer of 2021, also co-produced by Johnson and Merrett.
“Too Strong” is available across all digital platforms. It is now on Canadian radio.
For more about Karen Lee Batten, please go to KarenLeeBatten.com or visit her on social media:
You can hear The Other Side EP via your preferred streaming service!
Love lost, love longed for, and love received. Love that inspires, love that makes you weak or feel empowered, and love that makes you feel crazy and at home at the same time.
New single, “All In,” is about someone who I was head over heels for. I wasn’t afraid to admit how I felt, but I wanted to make it clear that I was only jumping all the way in if I got the same in return. I want you and I’m rooting for you, but I don’t need you, and if you don’t figure yourself out quickly… we’re both going to miss out on something amazing.
Being upfront and transparent in a relationship has always felt very sexy and powerful to me.
Share “All In” via SoundCloud.
Credit: Justin Alexis, That Good Graphic
don’t wake me, i’m dreaming is my new EP, available to stream everywhere now: https://virginiatovegas.lnk.to/dontwakeme
I had a lot of time to spend at home and on Zoom with my friends, and there was a nostalgic feeling to being in quarantine. Time kind of stretched and sped by with almost a dream-like quality to it, and I wanted to create a body of work to capture that. flyby.” featuring Mokita is a song that means something different to both of us, so I’m sure it will have its own meaning to you. But for me, it’s the feeling of not appreciating someone special in your life until it’s too late.
Thank you for listening,
Virginia To Vegas
Lead by emotional strength and honesty; singer songwriter Cinzia & The Eclipse has become one of the most authentic and vulnerable voices of her generation. Through self-discovery with music, she finds strength in her serene melodies and relatable lyrics that have created an honest bond between her and her listeners. Her latest single RUNAWAY highlights the importance of being bold and following your instincts and sets the tone to her debut EP coming this fall.
Cinzia has continued to expand her audience with her second single “No Matter” (Dec. 2018), which has received over 3.8 million streams and multiple playlist adds to date. Their latest release “Don’t Call Me Up” has been described as a direct order with a ticket to the “No Ex Zone”(Aupium). Drawing inspiration from Julia Michaels, Florence and The Machine, Janis Joplin and their hometown of Montréal, they’re injecting the world with a much-needed dose of raw, unfiltered emotion.
Based in London, ON. Drives The Common Man is a young artist on the rise. His passion for rock and pop, creates a nostalgic blend of alternative pop. As a kid Drives was inspired by bands such as ACDC, The Beatles, Blink-182 and Bad Religion. “I used to do the duck-walk everywhere, I was obsessed with ACDC.” After teaching himself guitar and piano at the age of 12; Drives The Common Man began to produce and write his own music; “I want to be a voice for my generation and my people. As an indigenous person we are often under-represented. I want to break societal standards and be a voice for the new youth.” Drives The Common Man is excited to release his first single “Night Visions” October 21st 2020, and expecting an EP in 2021.
After turning heads following her debut single ‘I Won’t Give Up’ which premiered on The FADER, Lost Girl is back with her follow up single ‘Lazy Love’ ft. one of the hottest drill rappers of the moment Ivorian Doll.
The Reading born artist has fused the perfect mix of a garage-esque beat and her soft vocals to create an uplifting and melodious track. With her catchy lyrics and beautiful voice, Lost Girl really puts her thoughts into the single as if it was a memoir – using song writing as her therapy. An addition from female rapper Ivorian Doll, gives the track an extensive dynamic as they play off each other in a fun Brandy vs Monica 90’s style.
Growing up with a diverse range of influences involving Frank Ocean to Jhene Aiko, she’s developed a sound that mixes old and new together influences together to create something unique to her.
Since the release of her first track, she has featured on a variety of playlists including Spotify’s ‘This Is How We Do’, Apple’s ‘Agenda’, ‘New Fire’ and many more. ‘I Won’t Give Up’ has had 3000 plays across 40/50 stations, receiving support from 1Xtra, Capital Xtra, Kiss and Apple Music including DJ’s Annie Mac, Mistajam, DJ Target, Rickie, Melvin & Charlie to name a few along with 3 million streams and ½ a million view on YouTube.
With much more to come and a big fanbase already, Lost Girl has entered the limelight in style and is here to stay.
Sam Lapro (she/her) is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter that knows how to string together the right words to draw the emotion out of and connect with her listeners. Her soul writing gives the listener an opportunity to know her on an intimate level as her songs represent experiences she has had throughout her life so far.
Hertfordshire newcomer Ed Staal aims to keep momentum going with his latest effort “3AM” – taken from his forthcoming, anticipated debut EP. Perfect for those late-night vibes, “3AM” hears Ed’s emotive, soothing vocals tell a seductive tale of desire and longing across dreamy synths, hazy guitars and a sultry groove. Speaking about the song, Ed explained: “’3AM’ is a track that I wrote at university exploring the late night, post-drunk atmosphere that nearly all young people experience, to familiarize themselves with those melancholic moments they’ve had in the past.”
Racking up over 100K Spotify streams so far for his singles, “3AM” follows on from Ed’s well-received track “Summer Girl”; its bright and bouncy bound picked up major support from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and landed on Spotify’s hotbed of emerging talent New Pop UK amongst further editorial support from Spotify and the blogosphere.
The multifaceted artist Ramiro Fauve is back at it again with the release of his new single “The Song We Left Behind” out November 6th. By inviting his listeners into the share a song of love written for someone you can no longer be with, but dearly loved. “The Song We Left Behind” is Fauve’s latest single off of his new album “Where Rivers Cross, Vols. 1 & 2”.
As son of the award-winning folk singer/songwriter Suni Paz (Smithsonian Folkways artist, NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award, CMN Magic Penny Award) Fauve is far more than just a musician, he is a storyteller. From his artwork on the album cover “Tupac Starry Night”, for Tupac Shakur’s commemorative album, “R U Still Down?”, to his recent album Ramiro manages to put his imaginative mark on every project he is involved in.
Be sure to check out Ramiro Fauve’s new single “The Song We Left Behind” set to release on all platforms on November 6th. You can also follow Ramiro on all social media platforms for exclusive updates on upcoming releases.
West Coast artist and rapper 24kGoldn’s international #1 hit single “Mood” ft. Iann Dior gets two of the biggest artists in the world on the official remix in the form of Justin Bieber and J Balvin. The undeniable, genre-blending hit has continued to take the world by storm, recently spending 2 straight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 4 weeks at #1 in the UK. Goldn and Iann performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, following a debut performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live the week before. With 630M global streams to date, “Mood” has topped the singles charts at #1 in 13
different countries. At just 19 years old, it announces Goldn as one of the biggest breakthrough artists of the year.
Electro indie pop singer songwriter CC is Dreaming is thrilled to release her debut single “IDiedLastNightInACarAccident” with a feature on Magnetic Magazine. CC is Dreaming has been embracing her authentic self as well. She breaks the traditional music structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, and this can be heard in the new track.
“IDiedLastNightInACarAccident” brings the electric and airy sound of the self-trained artist and is full of dark, deep, and mind-twisting lyrics. As CC says, “Dreams are another reality that isn’t any less real than the one we are living in,” and CC is certainly living in that dreamy reality.
CC is Dreaming brings in the question “Are we in a sleeping state in life or are we really dreaming?” CC is Dreaming is a visionary presenting her two personalities – one that operates in the day time and the second taking over at night while sleepwalking and dreaming. CC showcases the emotion of music, boldly bringing the subconscious to the conscious and colliding the worlds of dreaming and day time.
MUNI LONG, singer, songwriter and sonic anomaly returns today with the third single release from her long-awaited debut EP release titled “Nekkid” featuring YFN Lucci. The 7-track EP, dubbed Black Like This, will release everywhere digitally on Friday, November 13th and is just a one-part installation of a continuous string of music and visual rollouts to come in 2021.
“Nekkid” is accompanied by a short form visualizer, allowing fans to enter into the highly stylized and eccentric world of MUNI LONG – created through the futuristic lens of MUNI and masterfully styled by fashion architect Jason Rembert. Ahead of her debut EP release, MUNI LONG, formerly Priscilla Renea, one of the most successful and sought after songwriters in the music business, speaks to VOGUE.com about the huge transition from behind the scenes and owning her own artistry. She states “Muni Long is the part of me that I always needed. She’s the protector of Priscilla.” “I knew I wanted to focus on me. I’ve been serving others for the last 12 years, and I started to feel unappreciated and captive.”
“Nekkid” comes after both single releases “Midnight Snack” featuring Jacob Latimore and “Breakin Up” – two records that have accumulated MUNI LONG over 1.1 million video views collectively. Black Like This will be distributed via SuperGiant Records, Long’s own label imprint.
When I wrote “real me,” I hadn’t gone outside in months.
It was a particularly low point in my life when I began to focus on my mental health for the first time. Songwriting became a form of therapy for me. At the time of writing, this song felt too personal, which has made it kind of hard to release. It is scary to put out something so vulnerable, but I have now reached a place where doing so feels okay.
Listen to “real me” through your preferred platform now.
This song is a piece of a mixtape I’m gearing up to release next year, called topanga. It’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve released in the past, and I’m excited for people to hear it.
If you take something away from “real me,” I hope that it is accepting yourself for who you are, right now.
I kept telling myself I needed to wait for some magical moment of perfection before I could fully love myself, but I think it’s important to recognize that you can continue to grow and improve while still loving your current self.
Thank you for listening,
Vancouver musician Syd Carter West solved the problem of how to film a music video during a pandemic by making the safe choice to film it outdoors.
In early October, West, along with a small cast and crew, travelled to Golden Ears Provincial Park to film the video for her latest single ‘Cheaters’, a song that was written about her personal experience of being cheated on in a past relationship and how she was able to gain the confidence to end the relationship for good.
“The video for my tune ‘Cheaters’ portrays a wicked bonfire setting where a mysterious ghost who died from a broken heart, helps a young woman come to the realization that the relationship she has with herself is more important than the love she has from her cheating partner,” says West.
‘Cheaters’ is the first single from Syd Carter West’s self-titled debut EP (released last month) and is proof positive that the bright-eyed, roots ‘n’ soul singer-songwriter is the real deal. With a set of pipes that “feels” – she can belt it out and pull it back in – West’s powerful vocals are reminiscent of Elle King, with a dash of Melissa Etheridge’s growl and the soul of Adele. Her earlier influences range from country chanteuse Deana Carter to the electric blues rock of Led Zeppelin.
Syd Carter West is currently working on new music with Vancouver-based producer John Ellis and will be releasing a new single from those sessions soon.
Syd Carter West’s new EP is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services. For more information, please visit: sydcarterwest.com
Roman Rouge is a R&B pop singer/songwriter from El Paso, Texas. Born with music running through his veins, the musician was exposed to the industry from a young age and never looked back. Despite various struggles which he faced throughout his childhood, including his single mother trying to make ends meet, Roman took every obstacle in his stride, ultimately building his character and making him who he is today. Through every failure came strength and eventually the hardships paid off.
The passionate and driven artist now not afraid of anything that may come his way, is ready for the next step of his journey. Inspired by personal events and poignant moments in life, the singer confides, “The message in my music overall is always relatable, something you’ve been through can and always affect the decisions you make in the future. My songs are linked to each other, I like to convey a story and be as honest and forthcoming as I can”.
Influenced by the likes of Majid Jordan and The Weeknd, Roman is following a similar path to creating music bursting with personality, whilst encouraging others to be their most authentic selves. Roman reveals, “The main theme of my music is to be aware of why you are who you are, and how you can let your past experiences define you, learn from your mistakes, move on and be better”. Roman continues to deliver audiences with his unique and fresh combination of moody and sweet tones, emphasizing the contrast between light and dark.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto bluegrass powerhouse The Barrel Boys were unable to tour in support of their new album Mainline when it came out in September but they’re trying to make up for it with the release of a live video for their latest single ‘Upgraded Love’.
‘Upgraded Love’ is the 3rd single to be released from The Barrel Boys’ 4th album Mainline. A heartbreaker of a song, ‘Upgraded Love’ was written by the band’s banjo player Rob McLaren who got the idea for the song from a friend.
“A friend of mine went through a breakup a few years ago that left him feeling unsure whether he wanted to continue with where he was living and working,” says Rob. “However, in a short time he had started a new job, met someone new, and bought a house. It’s a happy story, but makes for a sad song, as told from the opposite perspective.”
Produced by Canadian mandolin icon and decorated engineer/producer Andrew Collins, Mainline is jam-packed with new original material penned by each of the band’s five members. With this project, the band digs deeper into the sounds of traditional bluegrass, classic country, folk, and new acoustic music while also exploring classic tropes of bluegrass (including trains, heartbreak, mining, and murder), grounding those themes in a distinctly Canadian context and bringing their own experiences into the stories.
Since the release of their debut album, Early On, in 2014, The Barrel Boys have endeared themselves to folk and bluegrass audiences across Canada, honing their craft through a long-running weekly residency at Toronto’s Cloak and Dagger Pub. Notable performances include: Mariposa Folk Festival (ON), Folk Fest sur le Canal (QC), and Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old-Tyme Music Festival (SK).
The Barrel Boys’ new album Mainline is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services. For more information, please visit: thebarrelboys.com
San Clemente native Griff Clawson has released a music video for his debut single, “Chasing Highs” featuring Lori Loughlin’s daughter Bella Giannulli and Toddy Smith, the actor and member of David Dobrik’s popular YouTube group, the “Vlog Squad.”
The video is a zombie inspired romance, following zombified Clawson as he attempts to bring his love for Giannulli back from the dead. The only thing stopping him is Smith, who plays Giannulli’s boyfriend, armed with a shotgun and a resolve to protect his girlfriend.
The director Brett Bassock and I were at our friends house talking about potentially doing a video for the song when Matt King, I think half-jokingly, suggested we make it a Zombie theme to play on the word, “chasing.” Immediately Brett and I loved the idea and created the visual story line so that it made sense with the song. The juxtaposition of the eerie zombie vibe with the sweet, romantic song felt special from the beginning and I think really came out in the best way in the video.
– Griff Clawson affirms on the “Chasing Highs” music video