INsiders Guide: AUSTN, Yatez, DBMK, Olivia Rees, Patrick Shiroishi, BISHI….
Oregon-born, California-based AUSTN introduced the world to his powerful vocal range and deeply heartfelt songwriting in 2019. Quickly amassing a dedicated fanbase, the 19-year-old is known for his sophisticated sensibilities and alt-pop-leaning sound. Naming Julia Michaels among his main inspirations, AUSTN ultimately brings a far greater depth to his songwriting, exploring a whole world of emotions as he draws from his recent experience in life and love.
Originally from rural Central Oregon, AUSTN began singing as a small child. His vocal chops are especially striking considering that, for the first four years of his life, AUSTN struggled with significant hearing problems that led him to respond to vibrations and rhythms rather than sound. After undergoing surgery to restore his hearing, AUSTN kept up with singing, eventually learning to play the ukulele and posting massively popular videos. As he built up a major following, AUSTN moved to Los Angeles and fully devoted himself to music.
His latest single “Touch” focuses on the thrill of new love. With emotion pouring out into the song, we feel a sense of both fear and excitement seeping through the production and flooding it with the mixed emotions that you experience when catching new feelings. Rooted in a vibrant, funk-electro pop sound, this fresh soundscape brings a dewy and irresistible, youthful energy. The muffled guitar emits a rich pop chord pattern, oozing with a dance-worthy movement, the guitar is contoured in a subtle melancholy. The track moves into a more upbeat digital vibe with stunning whirling synths and tight drums laced in a highly rhythmic under-groove. Taking in sounds from Sia and Post Malone, “Touch” has an unrestrained pop element moving fluidly and freely, mixing into a fusion of beat focused production and poignant ear pricking moments. The songwriter shares, “For this song in particular I wanted to go in a direction that sounded more, dark yet upbeat, kinda edgy and a little mysterious.”
AUSTN’s music has been included in coveted playlists across Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music, as well as having been featured on Amazon Music’s 2019 Artists To Watch list. With his songs nearing the 100 million streams mark on Spotify alone, it’s evident that AUSTN is quite simply a force to be reckoned with.
Yatez is a new breed of artist that is propelling music into a whole new phase. Hailing from Birmingham, and already boasting a local cult following, thanks to previous project aptly named ‘Local’, his compelling style of soulful, harmonious singing is teamed with a mixture of spoken word style rap and eclectic self-productions for freshly released single ‘Drowning’.
Priding himself on the deeper workings of his music, including the instrumentation and production, his audio output offers a masterclass in how to create a timeless record. Past releases such as Patience, or the GRM premiered Do For Your Love are an insight in to the depth and understanding that courses through the veins of Yatez as a music maestro but it’s this new record which serves as a breakthrough in his musical evolution. “Drowning is a part of the most progressive body of work I’ve created to date in my career” explains Yatez. “We’ve all been there on a night out when someone is just being a bit too much when you’re trying to get on it. This song is about someone nausing you before you’re drunk enough.”
DBMK — the Nashville-based alt-pop project of Kyle Knudsen (vocals) and Colton Ward (drums) — are releasing their new single/video, “Tough.”Over the past few years, DBMK have accumulated an incredibly tight-knit fanbase – dubbed the “KULT” – by touring across the country and selling out numerous shows in their home state of Florida. Despite the touring limitations of 2020, the now Nashville-based duo persevered and released a 6-track EP titled ‘Jump in the Dark.’ The EP performed impressive streaming numbers, reaching new fans and resonating with their longtime fanbase. With each new release, DBMK continue to push the boundaries of their eclectic but fresh alt-pop sound, crafting songs that explore the complex layers of the human experience — change, love, loss, joy, misery, triumph, disappointment — with compassion and curiosity.DBMK’s genre-defying prowess is on full display on their newest single, “Tough.” Cohesively fusing catchy pop melodies, experimental electronics, textured percussion and even a standout guitar solo, Knudsen and Ward deliver a little something for everyone with this song. “‘Tough’ is a song about feeling utterly stuck in the place you’re at in life and being constantly overlooked by a world that seems to be moving faster and faster around you,” the duo say in a statement. “This place that you’re stuck in could be school, a job, a relationship, or a state of mine. Do you have the confidence to get up and change your circumstances?”
One night my friends convinced me to go out to a club with them, even though I had to work early the next day.
Initially I said that I wouldn’t stay for long, but I ended up having an amazing time and connecting with one of the guys there.
We stayed out till 4am, talking, partying, having drinks, going out exploring. I didn’t sleep that night and went straight to work, but it was so worth it.
My new single, “I Got Time,” relives that night and all the carefree, rebellious, and enamoured emotions that came with it.
I look in your eyes and tonight it’s all instinct.
I hope you can relive these nights in your own life as you listen.
Here’s to creating more wonderful memories!
Los Angeles saxophonist and composer Patrick Shiroishi today shared “The Long Bright Dark”, the final single and closing track from his forthcoming solo album Hidemi releasing October 29th, 2021 via American Dreams.Premiered earlier today via Foxy Digitalis, “The Long Bright Dark” is a short, blossoming tear-jerker that crescendos with Shiroishi’s vocals, the artist cries out in Japanese: “Is this the end of the storm?” It’s the sole sung passage in Hidemi, but its effectiveness is chill-inducing—it contextualizes everything, pushing forward while acknowledging historical evil. “The concentration camps that Japanese Americans had to go through has been a major part of my work for the last couple of years,” says Patrick Shiroishi. His last album Descension was heavily focused on the experience inside Japanese-American concentration camps, but his new album Hidemi, a solo multilayered woodwind journey, is more on the personal experience of his grandfather, Hidemi Pat Shiroishi, after getting out. As Patrick’s name is in memory to his grandfather, Hidemi is too, and across the album’s nine tracks, Shiroishi brings the listener through tension and release, showcasing something unfiltered, beautiful, and ultimately hopeful, a testament to perseverance and grace.
Let My Country Awake’ is the third studio album by BISHI, visionary London musician, producer and founder of WITCiH. The album is due to be released on her own label Gryphon Records on CD and all major streaming platforms on 15th October 2021. Part- inspired by groundbreaking essay collection, ‘The Good Immigrant’ and Tagore’s Nobel winning poem exploring borderless identity, the album features revolutionary use of her trademark electric sitar and four octave vocal range. Originally commissioned by National Sawdust, in Brooklyn, it’s co-produced by Bishi and Jeff Cook. The album features sampled interviews from Nikesh Shukla, Salena Godden and Darren Chetty. The album’s themes focus on dual-identities, anti-racism and a call to find empathy in a divided world.
“Bishi is Art”
Miranda Sawyer, Run Riot
BISHI is a singer, electronic rock-sitarist, composer, producer, and performer born in London of Bengali heritage, One of the most iconic London born musicians & multi-instrumentalists, she has been trained in both Hindustani and Western Classical styles, studying the sitar under Gaurav Mazumdar, a senior disciple of Ravi Shankar. During the album’s recording she trained on voice retreat with Meredith Monk, a titan of the New York avant-garde.
“If you don’t know Bishi, you need to get to know because the woman is incredible”
Gemma Cairney, BBC Radio 6 Music
BISHI is celebrated for the use of ground breaking technology in her performances, from interactive bodysuits, controlling sound & vision live onstage to live coded audiovisual environments.
BISHI started off as an alt-folk artist with The London Symphony Orchestra performing her debut album, has recently released music produced by Tony Visconti, and recorded with the likes of Sean Ono Lennon and Jarvis Cocker. She’s performed on the Southbank for Yoko Ono’s Meltdown, and with the City of London Sinfonia as a soloist on Jonny Greenwood’s ‘Water.’ As an indie artist, fiercely charging her own path, she has released two solo albums, on her own label, Gryphon Records, to much critical acclaim.
BISHI’s interest in pop mediums exists through a fundamental
understanding of the experimental, avant-garde, performing arts
traditions of many centuries. I live for her”
Nico Muhly, composer
In 2016, BISHI founded WITCiH, the women in technology creative industries hub, a platform to elevate the voices of womxn and non binary practitioners in tech, and in 2020 she launched the podcast ‘Creative Women in Tech,’ starring Hannah Peel & Anna Meredith. In 2021, she curated the festival WITCiH Digital, which was headlined by Laurie Anderson. A passionate advocate for equality and inclusion, BISHI is an ambassador for The FAC, Imogen Heap’s Creative Passport and on the board of the F List For Music. During lockdown she has been working closely with mixed reality company Volta hosted masterclasses for tech giants such as Ableton, Delic, Cisco as well as joining the LANDR Pro network and producing their first electric sitar soundpack.