INsiders Guide: Andrew Smith, KAE SERA, SAFETY CLUB, Professor Paws, Bella Flor, Rudie Edwards, Rest For The Wicked, Chin Injeti, HEART 9/11….
NYC-based indie pop artist Andrew Smith creates bright and nostalgic piano-driven songs that are undeniably catchy. His unabashedly honest lyrics are both humorous and melancholy, and aim to better understand complex feelings about life and purpose. The songwriter confides, “Many of my songs are born of reflections I have about my life, or discoveries made in therapy, etc.”
Born south of Boston in 1993, Andrew Smith grew up performing in theatre and writing short films at a young age. However, it wasn’t until he studied at Berklee College of Music that he began writing and producing original songs alongside longtime collaborator, Jackson Hoffman. From there, Andrew knew that music was his emotional outlet, oftentimes comforting him in times of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression.
Smith’s last EP, To My Therapist, addresses his journey to self-acceptance, the ups and downs of coming out, and finding romance in modern-day Manhattan. Inspired by his love of songwriters like James Taylor and Randy Newman, Smith pulls elements from 1970s piano pop, The Great American Songbook, and contemporaries such as John Mayer and Ben Rector. With To My Therapist, Andrew thematically hopes to bring a deeper honesty and inspiration to the often challenging and confusing experiences we all navigate on the road to self-acceptance.
Emerging East London based singer KAE SERA blends modern day electro-pop with sounds from the 50’s and 60’s to create something which is both unique yet familiar. Originally from Liverpool, the artist grew up in a city rich in musical heritage, exposed to the nostalgic soundscapes of the bands that made the city famous. These sounds subliminally fed her musical appetite, giving her music a vintage haze and maturity. With a fascination for literature and poetry, her songs provide a captivating, storytelling experience, pulling you into her world.
“The Moon” showcases KAE SERA’s thought process after receiving a late-night message from an ex-lover. The superlunary single personifies the moon holding it responsible for the confidence it gives people, to channel and reveal their emotions, confessing their truths in the glow of the moonlight. The songwriter shares, “It is definitely a heartbreak song for those who are seeking answers about post break up communication”. The songwriter hopes the single encourages people to stay present and understand the past, explaining, “I hope it helps people accept the fact that they will never fully understand the reason why an ex contacts them, but know that you can get a sense of closure from recognising the patterns of messages playing out”.
Eerie, dreamy and undeniably alluring, “The Moon” has a beat that feels somewhat reminiscent of a muffled rock/garage flow giving a pumping heartbeat of emotion. This celestial track is laced with delicate vocals that shimmer throughout. “The Moon” feels subtly dark drawing in on the night-sky wonder, with twinkling synths and a flush of magic. Overall the minimal soundscape is complex in its understated layers, making for a gentle and mysterious aura.
The “undeniably fun and hard-hitting” (PileRats) hip-hop act SAFETY CLUB have returned with sophomore single and video “ICY”. Having burst onto the scene earlier this year and gaining traction with debut single “JUICE”, the colorful duo comprised of vocalist Ronnie Sinclair and producer Shan, are set to continue their rise straight out of the left-field of hip-hop. Combining rolling synths with a hypnotic house beat, “ICY!” sets the perfect mood for late-night cruising with the homies.
“ICY” doubles down on SAFETY CLUB’s trademark effervescent vibe. It’s a tongue-in-cheek track ripe with swagger and playful pompousness that chronicles a day in the life of a rapper who “raps for the job he wants, not the job he has”. A live wire with the rhyming skills to back up his sashay, Ronnie raps his ode to the hustler’s life, with lyrics like “I put some suicide doors on my Honda Accord” and “I’m making rap songs / Word to the diphthongs”.
‘Gold Touch’ delivers a sense of luxury that we all strive to achieve, as Professor Paws creates a unique hybrid between new age R&B and a gritty UK rap sound. We instantly hear an ensemble of different melodies whilst receiving witty punchlines, the rapper then tops it all off with a powerful, vibrant beat that accompanies the energy of the delivery. With high intensity dancers and captivating camera angles, the London based artist provides the perfect visuals to summarise the message of the song. As one of the stand out tracks from the highly anticipated EP ‘To The Bag’, Professor Paws continues to push the theme of his consistent pursuit of the finer things in life. The video highlights the momentum that is being build around the release of his latest EP, as he blesses us with countless bangers we continue to see the upward trajectory that Professor Paws career is taking!
Independent recording artist Bella Flor released her first single and music video called Noche de Silencio which features musicians who recorded remotely on the track from Brazil, Canada, Peru, The United States and Cambodia, who have never played all together in person.
The single falls under the category of world music and unites the different corners and cultures of the globe into a nourishing synthesis of pure beauty. In today’s world of technology-based music production, Bella Flor was able to select musicians from around the globe that have inspired her musical style to support her recording project with elegant instrumental performances. The album is being produced in collaboration with Rara Avis, a multi-instrumentalist and producer whose former projects include Desert Dwellers, Shaman’s Dream, and Liquid Bloom.
Bella Flor’s music fits more specifically into a niche called Medicine Music, which is inspired by the traditional music and spiritual practices of different cultures around the world. The micro-genre is driven by the idea that music can provide emotional and spiritual healing and can make a positive difference in the lives of listeners. Her new single Noche de Silencio and upcoming album features her original songs, her enchanting vocals and exquisite world instrumentation.
“I am deeply moved by the level of innovation and connection that I have been experiencing working with musicians that live in different parts of the world, some of whom I have only interacted with virtually,” said Bella Flor. “I have been guided to work with individuals that have inspired my creative process and that really understand my mission to bring a sense of peace and wholeness with my music.”
After making her Monstercat debut last month, Canadian breakout producer OBLVYN returned to the label today with her effervescent new single, “Enter REM.” The first taste of her forthcoming EP, “Enter REM” takes listeners on a sonic journey through OBLVYN’s vivid dreams. Mirroring the rush of falling into an otherworldly dimension, the upbeat retro-synth lead, powerful bassline, and crisp percussion form a vortex of vibrant sounds that captivates listeners.
OBLVYN shares, “‘Enter REM’ is the first single from my upcoming EP, which is entirely based on the concept of dreams. It kickstarts the adventure by taking you out of reality and into a subconscious exploration of the dream world, where imagination runs wild and possibilities are endless.”
Rising UK talent Rudie Edwards follows on from her recent single ‘Forgetting’ with another hugely potent offering ‘Worst Ways’. Co-writing and co-producing everything she creates, ‘Worst Ways’ looks set to continue the attention forming around Rudie right now as a significant new name as she again showcases a rare ability to blend pop hooks and emotion with a commanding vocal talent.
The third single taken from her forthcoming EP (also titled Worst Ways) tells the story of trying to move on from a broken relationship. Rudie’s blunt lyricism bubbles over electric guitar chords and punchy drumming, and as the track builds, Rudie displays her vast range and an effortless vocal talent, gliding through deep tones, falsetto and powerful riffs. With the soft-focus visuals portraying the emotions of a relationship beyond repair, this is another beautiful, powerful and compelling statement of intent from an artist already featured by CLASH, WORDPLAY and Spotify’s New Music Friday.
Rudie made the following statement on “Worst Ways”: Moving on from our past and looking forward to the future isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Some ghosts we carry with us and they can hold us back. “Worst Ways” is about that battle between the past and the present and knowing when it’s time to let go.
After the postponement of their sold-out headlining shows due to ongoing lockdowns on their home turf this month, Rest For The Wicked have dropped a new tune for their ever-growing international fan base. With critical praise around their dynamic new sound—including The Guardian who called it “one of the best, and weirdest, debut singles that has been released in Australia for a long time”—anticipation has been building for the Aussie duo’s next steps. Instead of diving deeper into the dark isolation akin to their debut offering, Rest For The Wicked catch feelings in a “love limbo” and search for more on new single “Feel The Same Way” out now via EMI Music Australia / Universal.
“Feel The Same Way” is a relatable indie-pop-rock track with an all out ‘90s vibe about indecisive love. Filled with warm and woozy synths, it captures the uncontrollable freefall of a burgeoning romance. The overwhelming feelings of lust and love inevitably take control, only to be held back by timid insecurities: “Do they feel the same way I do?” or “What if I’m just embarrassing myself?” On the song, Ben Townsend and Tasker beg for a sign, a semblance of validation that they’re not alone in wanting to take the next step with their crushes.
They explain, “‘Feel The Same Way’ is an upbeat jawn sure to lure your crush into letting them know they are the one. Might destroy a relationship or six. Mystery is intended…” The situation is all too familiar for many. You have a wonderful connection with someone but the fear of opening up and losing them holds you back. “I wrote this to remind myself and others in the same position: ‘you’re awesome, you’re the reason they have feelings towards you and not because they think you’re someone else.’ If you never go, you never know…” elaborates Townsend. Staying silent would only fill you with regret, this track stands to tell you that the time to say something is now.
To commemorate the twenty years that have passed since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, HEART 9/11, a non-profit comprised of the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and the NYC Building Trades, has organized a memorial march to remember those who perished and mark September 12 as the day building trades members, construction contractors, and police and fire personnel stepped up and provided much-needed courage, leadership and hope to a desperate city yearning for a map to recovery.
In addition to the memorial march, HEART 9/11 has launched a $20 for 20 Years capital campaign to ensure that the important recovery and relief work in communities suffering the effects of catastrophic natural disasters and community crises can continue. HEART 9/11 (Healing Emergency Aid Response Team 9/11) was born in the tragic aftermath of the terror attacks on New York City, as building trades members, construction contractors, and police and fire personnel stepped up and provided much-needed courage, leadership and hope to a desperate country yearning for a map to recovery. A nonprofit organization, HEART 9/11 utilizes its expertise and training in service to others to assist communities affected by disaster and responders in need of support.
HEART 9/11’s mission is to Respond immediately to natural and man-made disasters; Rebuild homes, churches, and medical clinics in hard-hit areas to meet grassroots needs; and Recover by building resiliency for individuals, families and communities. To date, HEART 9/11 volunteers have deployed to 39 disaster sites in the United States and four countries to assist devastated communities.
“Our shared darkest days working at Ground Zero taught us that even in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, the human spirit is resilient and the desire to persevere and help others is unbreakable,” said Bill Keegan, Executive Director, HEART 9/11. “Our brothers and sisters of the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and within the building trades worked tirelessly for our city; through HEART 9/11, we are able to apply our collective knowledge and skill to help others who are suffering.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE 9/12 MARCH AND TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HEART 9/11’S MISSION, VISIT THE EVENT PAGE HERE.
Chin Injeti fuses his love of 80s funk and boogie music with a modern twist that encapsulates a unique yet nostalgic feeling, captivating his fans.
In the music industry, Chin has had a decorated career songwriting and producing with/for many household names. In the 90s, he fronted Bass is Base, which had fans all over the world and garnered him a deal with Universal music and Island Records in the United states. During that time, the group won a Juno (Canadian Grammy) for best R&B record, a Much Music Video award for a song called “Funkmobile” and Chin was awarded with Songwriter of the Year from SOCAN. This was just the beginning of Chin’s success.
dance-pop starlet Harper Starling debuts her new release, “No More What If.” Written by Harper Starling and co-written and co-produced by Cindy Valentine (Bebe Rexha, Britney Spears, Alisha) and Niko The Kid (Outkast, Ariana Grande), “No More What If” is a dance-pop anthem designed to get the floor moving, but it’s also an old-fashioned storytelling song — a tale of a creative young woman who loved her home but was also hungry for experience and recognition.
At the core, “No More What If” is an autobiographical tale of Harper taking the leap from her hometown to Los Angeles, the city of dreams. No matter where you’ve grown up, leaving home is hard. If you’re lucky enough to be native to a region as pretty, friendly, and welcoming as Southeastern Wisconsin, it’s tempting to stay in the place you recognize. You might be satisfied with life as you’ve always known it. But if you choose never to chase after your dreams, you may always wonder: what if? Harper unspools this narrative over propulsive beats and sings it all in a voice that shines and moves like a beam of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
Maygen Lacey is an accomplished, Midwest CMA nominated singer/songwriter with millions of streams on Spotify from listeners around the world. Noah Neumann is a wicked talented guitar virtuoso with a taste for Delta Blues. The combination of the two is Maygen & The Birdwatcher, an indie-folk duo turned genre-bending Americana-Newgrass and Soul experience you need to hear!
In many respects, Maygen and Noah couldn’t be more different. From upbringing and musical taste to the Minneapolis vs Saint Paul debate, there are few things these two agree on. The short list includes: sarcasm, the great outdoors, quality beer, and having a good ‘ol time. Maygen & Noah’s 2018 debut album, “The People We Don’t Choose,” drew on their distinctly different musical influences including Brandi Carlile, Florence + The Machine, and Balmorhea to create a collection of songs that explored family, addiction, loss and navigating the people in their lives. With heartbreak and hope intertwined throughout, it was very well received. Its single, “Comeback” currently spins on local radio, including The Current’s Radio Heartland.
Through the pandemic the two acquired some serious string cred by adding to their line-up: Ethan & Jesse Moravec (formerly of Sawtooth Brothers) on upright bass, mandolin, fiddle and vocal harmonies, as well as Nik Pellinen (of Sawed Off String Band) on banjo and lead guitar. The addition of these three has brought the band a wealth of talent, enhancing their rootsy, americana sound. Maygen & The Birdwatcher just finished recording at the well known Flowers Studio in Minneapolis (The Jayhawks, Mason Jennings, Soul Asylum, Jeremy Messersmith, Lizzo) and will be releasing the first single off the album in June 2021.
Los Angeles-based vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Cassie Marin releases her new single, “Busy Body.”
On “Busy Body,” Cassie’s otherworldly vocals float across a sea of indie-electronica beats and melodic synths delivering sharp-witted lyrics that explore the binary of being both the watcher and the watched in the digital world. In an era dominated by social surveillance, the song invites listeners to reflect on our culture’s technological obsession, where social media likes and follows have become the new markers for petty social politics. “‘Busy Body’ is about being a loner in a world where cliques never cease to exist,” Cassie says.
Growing up in Miami, Cassie spent much of her childhood training as a gymnast with dreams of going to the Olympics. After her gymnastics career ended abruptly when she suffered a serious injury at the age of 13, she found solace in her love for music. Teaching herself how to produce and write songs, Cassie has carried the same grit and self-discipline that inspired her Olympic dreams into the art she makes today.
Slightly secretive and delicately feminine, every song she releases is a single intricate flower plucked from her consciousness and added to her verdurous display. Constantly exploring new musical and visual dimensions, Cassie has emerged as an avant-garde luminary in the left-of-center pop space.
Loren Allred is multi-platinum selling recording artist, singer and songwriter. She is best known for her jaw-dropping vocal performance of “Never Enough” on the Oscar nominated and Grammy award winning “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack and film. In the film, Loren provides the singing voice for actress Rebecca Ferguson’s portrayal of the famed “Swedish Nightingale” Jenny Lind. The song debuted at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was ranked #3 by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “Best Songs from Movies of the 2010s”.
In early 2019, Loren joined Michael Bublé’s ‘love’ album for a duet of “Help Me Make it Through the Night.” She also performed with chart-topping songwriter and producer David Foster for his “An Intimate Evening” PBS Concert Special and album.
In 2020, Loren released her debut singles “This Summer” and “You Girl” and will release her first full EP “Late Bloomer” on September, 24th, 2021. For the remainder of 2021, Loren will be taking the stage with opera legend Andrea Bocelli for select dates on his American Tour.
Atlanta native Nadia Vaeh is an artist you will be drawn to as a multi-talented survivor who has done much with her life. From songwriting to singing and modelling, Vaeh has deep roots in the creative universe and continues to showcase her talents with each and every release. Ever since she was two years old, Vaeh has been in love with music and singing. When she was in middle school, her parents placed her in a travelling choir group, where her passion for music only grew. Tragedy struck her life when Vaeh lost her mother to suicide when she was only 17. After this tragic loss, Vaeh strayed from music altogether and fell down a dark path. Her resilience and undeniable talent were her weapons to fight back and return to music. She is now back and ready to take the world by storm.
Vaeh loves to pull inspiration for her music through many genres and sounds from all over the world and has been heavily influenced by island sounds from her time spent in the Netherland Antilles island, Curaçao. She also draws from the roots of her father’s homeland of Lebanon and has an affinity for middle eastern music.
The uplifting “Leap of Faith” reflects on Vaeh’s happiest times of her life. “It was always the times I allowed myself to simplify and leave “comfort” behind for something more. I lived in my car to save money for my dreams and it was some of the best times in my life; couch hopping at friends places and just being a vagabond”, she reveals. After feeling like she had succumbed to the power of comfort yet again. “Leap of Faith” acted as a reminder to begin the next chapter of her career and spiritual journey.
The songwriter shares, “Sometimes comfort is just a trap in disguise that is truly holding us back from reaching our highest potential. I am finally learning how to trust myself and that’s what this song is about. I hope it also inspires others to live their lives fearlessly and in their passion, scorched in truth.” Some of her most honest work to date, “Leap of Faith” gives us a glimpse into Vaeh’s own personal struggles with mental health. The empowering single shows the process of healing and is the perfect reminder to welcome change, as it sometimes is necessary for growth.
Award-winning songwriter and singer RuthAnne releases her incredible brand-new EP ‘The Way I Love You’. The EP includes previous singles ‘Safe Place’ as well the subsequently successful singles ‘F.L.Y’ and ‘Remember This’ plus three new exceptional new tracks.
The sheer variety of genres and styles that RuthAnne incorporates into this intoxicating EP showcases her talent as a strong soulful vocalist and unmatched singer-songwriter whose credits include co-writing hits for Niall Horan (“Slow Hands”), Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (“In the Name of Love”), Britney Spears (“Work Bitch”) and JoJo (“Too Little Too Late”) Along with an upcoming new song that will be featured on the Diana Ross upcoming album. RuthAnne has also received praise from mainstream and tastemaker publications such as The Independent, New York Times, Paper Magazine, The Times, Billboard, Official Charts, Wonderland, Complex, DIY and CLASH.
This EP is a whole new chapter in RuthAnne’s personal and professional career something which is really reflected in the new music. From growing up in Ireland to moving to the metropolis of Los Angeles in her early 20’s to pursue a career in songwriting, RuthAnne experienced many major ups and downs which eventually lead her to return to Europe and finding her home in London and Ireland. Another exciting development in RuthAnne’s life is meeting her partner and going through the miraculous journey of pregnancy and motherhood which she comments on in her track ‘Heaven On Earth’.
IVAV recording artist Steven Malcolm responds to the chaos of the modern moment with All Is True, a collection of message-driven rap songs that double down on the Dove Award nominee’s talents as a hip-hop icon, genre-bender, and street-smart storyteller. Listen to All Is True HERE.
“In a world full of fake news, controlled narratives, and layers of lies, I want to be known as that artist who brings nothing but truth,” says Malcolm, who recorded the EP’s five tracks during a global pandemic that brought his touring schedule to a halt. Working with Grammy-winning producer Street Symphony (Yo Gotti, Lecrae) and the hip-hop production team Track Or Die, he crafted an autobiographical record that’s both honest and hard-hitting, with lyrics that turn his personal experience into universal songs about creativity, faith, and fidelity.
The atmospheric title track turns the challenge of Malcolm’s past — from his father’s jail time to his own eye-opening introduction to racism — into fuel for his uplifting music. He celebrates his skyrocketing career with “We Goin Up,” praises his maker in “Autopilot,” and proclaims his loyalty to his wife in “Ándale.” A fiery combination of message, melody, and beat-driven bounce, All Is True doesn’t just paint a picture of Steven Malcolm’s life; it also applies to anyone looking to meet life’s challenges with grace and gusto.
“I want my fans to hear this and be encouraged to live out truth in a culture full of deception,” Malcolm says.