Artist Interview – Sophia

Sophia is an upcoming Singer / Songwriter from London who works in the genres of Hip-Hop, Electronic, Dubstep and Pop music! We thought that Sophia’s music vibe and music was perfect for Essential Pop so were delighted when she agreed to complete a full feature about her work and experiences. Read on to discover what music Sophia enjoys listening to, what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months and how she creates her unique blend of electronic pop music!

 

Sophia

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Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Sophia, 19-year-old urban girl, Singer, Songwriter whose music is Youthful, Aggressive, Vulnerable, Edgy & Unapologetic.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I started singing from a young age, growing up listening to R&B, such as Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah & Usher.  I started playing piano at 11 and went on to study music production at a fantastic Music school. I’m a songwriter first, above anything. I love writing for other artists and working with great musicians.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

This time last year I just put out my first single “Till We Die”, which was a Pop/Dance track.

I’ve since moved onto more Hip Hop Electronic, Dubstep sound this year.

I’ve been writing a lot and working with some great producers. I’ve been concentrating on getting an original sound. I’ve managed to get a lot of great magazine features, radio play and got my track played on some cool TV Programmes, so it’s been a great 12 months. I feel like I’ve grown a lot with my music since my first release.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

I listen to a lot of 90s Hip Hop and R’n’B. I love Biggie & Aaliyah, but The Weeknd and Rihanna’s music really inspires me. There are a lot of great songwriters also, such as James Fauntleroy & Ester Dean.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Rihanna’s one of the coolest artists out there, she has great music. Beyoncé is amazing; she’s such a magnificent live performer. Also, The Weeknd and Drake; I love their sound.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Musically, It would be a dream to collaborate with producers Hit-Boy & Chase & Status.

 

Sophia

 

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Q: What music are you listening to at the moment?

I love Lana Del Rey, especially her lyrics. Rihanna’s latest album Talk That Talk is a favourite too, and I’ve always got 2Pac my playlists.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

I usually write the lyrics and melody first. Then, the producer and me establish our ideas for the music, everything from the drums to the vocal. During the writing process, I know exactly how I want it to sound. It’s also important that the person your working with gets you and your style!

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Both for me. I guess melody in general as it’s what’s the catchiest, and stays with most people when they hear a song. But the lyrics make the song what it is. They determine the vibe. The lyrics are the story.

 

Q: Where are you based?

In London, baby!

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I grew up the first half of my life in Dubai. So, I’ve been around different environments!  Dubai’s beautiful, and London has great energy. Everyone has a dream; everyone’s motivated to get somewhere! I love being around people like that.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

I’m always writing. I recently wrote a song I sent to Cassie. I’m also working on new Dubstep tracks of my own with a brilliant DJ, and collaborating with great rap talent in London… stay tuned!

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

I wrote a song with Grammy Award winner Mack Woodward who did Beyoncé’s ‘Ego’.

And having the support from such established, talented musicians is helpful. Their wise, they know their stuff and give great advice.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

I’m looking forward to going to the States to work on great music with Grammy winning production team Savant Soundz.  I also hope to get a few videos done, and to get some radio play on 1Xtra would be a dream.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve got none planned at the moment. I’ve done a few gigs in Mayfair clubs, including Embassy. I’m concentrating more on the music side at the moment. I would like to start doing stripped down acoustic sets, their always fun.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

New York! The lights, the art, the diversity, the energy, talent and pace. Everything you could want is there.

 

Sophia

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Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Be original, be yourself, and believe in what your doing or no one will.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I’d love for you guys to check out my latest track ‘Malibu Love: The Remix’ on my Soundcloud page: www.soundcloud.com/sophiaofficial

Don’t forget to leave a comment ;)

 

Editor’s Note: Sophia has all of the ingredients to enjoy a very successful career in electronic music. We’re looking forward to Sophia’s album with a great deal of excitement at Essential Pop.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Sophia, just follow the links below:

 

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/sophiasofficial

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/sophianow

Web page link: www.onlysophia.com

Soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/sophiaofficial

Artist Interview – Heads Hearts

Heads Hearts are an electro-soul three-piece band from London consisting of Amber Taylor-Groves (Vocals & Synths), Lynne Porterfield (Bass) and Abby Tythe (Drums). When we first checked out Heads Hearts a few months ago we were really keen to interview them for Essential Pop so that we could share their music and experiences with you. Although they’re currently working diligently putting the final touches to their album release, we were delighted when they agreed. Read the full in-depth interview below where Heads Hearts discuss their musical inspirations, their current career highlights and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Heads Hearts

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Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

An electro-soul three-piece likened to the wildhaired lovechild of Crystal Castles and Florence & the Machine.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

AT-G: I started off in school musicals. And went from band to band, with a healthy mix of playing covers and writing and performing originals. The original stuff has included everything from Drum and Bass to Latin blues to what we’re doing right now.

AJT: I learnt to play drums at school then taught very briefly when I left. I didn’t play for years then joined a covers band where we played local pubs. Then I caught the Heads Hearts express.

LKP: I took piano lessons when I was 8… and failed. Ages later I taught myself bass & electric 12 string & played & wrote songs in my own band. I also jumped around like a crazy person, playing drums whilst bouncing on a trampoline, half naked and covered in day-glo paint. This was with mental art band called Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milk Queen. We toured around the US, opening for bands like GWAR.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

AT-G: So so busy and brilliant. We went through a big line-up change at the start of 2011 & we had already been booked to play some big venues and festivals, so when Lynne and Abby came aboard in February they had a lot of work to do to be match fit. Thankfully they are both super talented and very quick at learning stuff so we didn’t miss a thing. Plus we laugh so hard when we’re together, it’s been so much fun.

AJT: A lot has changed for me in the last year. A lot of hard work goes into all of this and I feel privileged to be a part of it. These ladies and everyone involved are awesome!

LKP: Busy as all get out, a helluvva lot of laughs and a bit scary… we occasionally rehearse at what we refer to as “Murder Studios”. A spider infested, Disney-decorated day care out in the middle of nowhere converted into studio space. I’m sure the ghost of Syd Barrett watches over us out there…

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

AT-G: Basement Jaxx, Blondie, Tina Turner, Giorgio Meroda, Beyonce, Florence and the Machine, Robyn, Friendly Fires, Goldfrapp – And roughly 4000 other people.

LKP: A heavy dose of Peaches, Sabbath, Pixies, Crystal Castles and Justice with a sprinkling of Weekend Players and “Music” era Madonna (did I just admit to that?).

 

Heads Hearts - photography by Katie Lamb

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Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

AT-G: Florence and the Machine blows my mind. Not only does Florence have an extraordinary voice and beautiful stage presence the music and lyrics are outstanding. Everything they do makes me want to be better. Adele – this needs no explanation. Goldfrapp. Faithless.

LKP: Kieran Hebden / Four Tet. Pure aural heaven.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

AT-G: Oh Christ, everyone who we’ve previously listed – And I genuinely think we would work well together.

AJT: Chas & Dave. I think an electro take on “Rabbit” would be beautiful.

LKP: Miike Snow for beauty and depth and CSS for a pocketful of fun.

 

Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?

AT-G: The other day someone very kindly managed to wiped off all the music I had on my iPhone, I now have left 5 Heads Hearts songs & “I Could Be A King” by The Dunwell Brothers.

AJT: I’m loving The Kills a lot at the moment. Also Arctic Monkeys, Feist, The Last Shadow Puppets & The Libertines.

LKP: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix gets a lot of airplay. Also, Yelle, Miike Snow, Santogold, Robyn, Plej, Nightmares on Wax, Heads Hearts, Hurts, Gold Panda, Four Tet, Daft Punk (Tron), Destiny’s Child, Avett Brothers, Sharon Van Etten…………

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

AT-G: I’ve worked in many different ways when creating tracks. Most of our songs were written by myself and the other founder member of Heads Hearts. He would mostly produce a rough idea of a track and then we would both go away and listen to it and write what we though suited the music, then mix our ideas together. I would also go to him with vocal lines and he would produce a song around that. Obviously since the line-up change the creative process has changed and this year we will be doing things differently, we will be creating new material together. I’m excited about this.

 

Heads Hearts - photography by Katie Lamb

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Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

AT-G: Melody. Good lyrics are a beautiful thing, but if they are to a shit tune they will seldom get heard.

LKP: Melody. Sigur Ros and Plej have some beautiful songs and I have absolutely no idea what they are saying…

 

Q: Where are you based?

AT-G: Two of us live in Surrey and the other is from Essex, although she calls it Hertfordshire.

AJT: Maybe we could call it Essex-shire?

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

AT-G: I’m from a little village in Kent originally & I love it. It was in the middle of nowhere surrounded by beautiful country side, it was the perfect giant playground as a kid.

AJT: I like it. I have lived there all my life and wouldn’t mind staying put.

LKP: I’m a California girl and lived in San Francisco a good chunk of my life. It’s not without it’s faults (seismic mainly) but I miss the bejeesus out of the beautiful landscapes, mild weather and the plethora of cheap and amazing Mexican food. Also, if anyone tells you SF is full of crazies, it’s absolutely true.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

AT-G: This interview. Working on the video for our next single ‘Dance Girls Dance’, due out in March. Album launch very soon after. And new material, always working on new material.

 

Heads Hearts - photography by Katie Lamb

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Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

AT-G: Playing a gig down in Brighton to a 300+ strong crowed, we had horrific sound problems and couldn’t hear a thing on stage, the only way we could keep on it was because ¾ of the crowed were singing every word back at us. It was the most stressful gig we have ever done but it was a beautiful moment knowing that we were starting to sink into people’s consciousness and they were loving what we were doing.

AJT: Playing to a sunset at a festival last year. It had been typical festival weather all weekend, pretty shitty, but it started to brighten up just before we went on stage. About half way through the sun burst out and the whole place erupted, it was a real tear jerker moment.

LKP: I think the highlight has to be the gig where Amber stuck her spikey heel into an input of a huge power adapter and was singing, trying to shake it off her shoe and also trying not to get electrocuted. Harrowing for her. Hilarious for me.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

AT-G: Get a new manager. Release our album and a few more singles. Write lots of new material. Get a good support slot with someone like Rhianna or something. And hopefully play some big festivals. It’s all do-able, apart from the Rhianna thing maybe?

LKP: I’d like to emerge from the next video shoot without any serious physical injuries.
Whoops, I think I’ve just jinxed it.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

AT-G: We are next playing the  ‘Hot Vox Heroes’ at Hoxton Underbelly on 3rd March, Plus an album launch party in April in a very special venue in London. Stay tuned for news of that.

 

Heads Hearts - photography by Katie Lamb

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Q: What do you do to relax?

AT-G: Hangout with people I love. We could be bungee jumping but as long as I’m with them I’m relaxed.

AJT: Eat cheese and have a wine.

LKP: Well you can’t go wrong with a pint at the village pub with lovelies such as those mentioned here. I also like to feed the ducks and chase small children. I’m joking about feeding the ducks.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

A: Cornwall in the summer. Simply because I love Surfing, the sun and driving, and it’s a bloody long drive.

AJT: Anywhere hot but preferably not somewhere that involves me having to have a jab.

LKP: Cyprus. Perfect swimming, amazing food and lots of kittens.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

A: Create something original don’t copy anyone, and make sure you have a strong product. It’s all about being a product.

LKP: Use the devil horns hand sign as often as possible, don’t forget to bring the appropriate cables to your gig and buy a toolbelt if you want to build your city on rock and roll.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

A: We’re serious about the new manager thing, know anyone?

We’ve got some songs on iTunes feel free to buy them. Make sure you watch the videos that we’ve already made as well. We’re very fortunate to work with an amazing team called Crafty Clown Productions on our videos and they are REALLY good at what they do.

AJT: Go and “Like” us on a popular social network…please.

LKP: I second those emotions.

 

Special Thanks: Photography by Katie Lamb http://www.katesphotography.com. Make up by Heidi Gammon.

 

Editor’s Note: Heads Hearts dynamic electro sound has both an incredible amount of energy and a commercial edge. If you’re in London make sure you see them live. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s “Ones to Watch”.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or contact Heads Hearts just follow the links below:

 

twitter link: http://twitter.com/headshearts

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/HeadsHearts

myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/HeadsHearts

web page link: www.headshearts.com           

soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/headshearts

Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/HeadsHearts

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/27580201

Tumblr: http://headshearts.tumblr.com/

 

Artist Interview – Diverse

Diverse are a Pop group from South Jersey, USA, consisting of Zach and Eddie. Although they’ve only been in the music industry for a short time they’ve already established a substantial, ever-growing fanbase and we were delighted at Essential Pop when they agreed to complete a feature artist interview. Read the full in-depth interview below to find out about Diverse’s musical background, which modern day artists they look up to and what their goals are for the rest of 2011.

 

Diverse Pop Group

 

Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?

Pop/ R&B

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

“The Biggest New Pop Sensation in America. Our music will get You Jumping because its not just DIFFERENT. Its DIVERSE.”

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I, Zach have been singing since I was five, performing at local festivals, and talent shows around Cape May. I, Eddie have been performing since I was 9. Singing around his hometown and once at Madison Square Garden for the Sixers game.   We both have worked on Off-Broadway shows in New York. together such as School House Rock. & The New Kid.

 

Diverse Pop Group

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

It was very good, our popularity seems as if it’s constantly growing!  It was definitely a great learning experience, because we recorded all of our original songs last year, which has allowed us to grow into much stronger musical artist.  Not to mention we opened for some big-time acts such as JLS and Hot Chelle Rae!

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

MAROON 5!!!  (They’re Zach’s favorite artist!), and of course the greats such as Michael Jackson, Elvis, The Beatles!

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Same for Zach. Maroon 5. Eddie’s is Lady Gaga. She’s definitely different!

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Maybe B.o.B. Maroon 5, or Katy Perry!! (she’s hot.)

 

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Well, Zach has all genre’s of music on his.  Eddie has pretty much all the top radio hits .

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

We usually get the track beforehand. Listen to it. Feel the vibe, and create a story. The hook usually comes naturally with that.

 

Diverse Pop Group

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Melody for Zach. Lyrics for Eddie. So, basically both.

 

Q: Where are you based?

South Jersey.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Awesome. We have really nice beaches. Sixflags! & New York is right down the street.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Improving our show. Getting a record deal. And getting as many fans as possible by the end of Summer.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Opening up for the Plain White T’s, and then Hot Chelle Rae at the Northern Star Arena in Six Flags Great Adventure.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

A record deal!!

 

Diverse Pop Group

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Yes! We’ve just performed at a Headline Event in Las Vegas on May 21. It was awesome!

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

..Listen, to calming music with our beats.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

We appreciate anyone’s support and if they wanna check us out online that would be awesome. We have gigs throughout NJ, all summer and you can party with us.  We put on a Pretty good show!

Our NEW CD* is coming out this Summer please check it out!

 

Diverse Pop Group

 

 

Editor’s Note: Eddie and Zach have great creative chemistry which helps to make a satisfying and uplifting Electro-Pop sound. If ever you’re aroudn NJ we recommend that you check out one of their energetic live shows.


If you’d like to learn more about or contact Diverse, just follow the links below:

twitter link: Twitter.com/diversepopgroup

facebook link: Facebook.com/DiversepopgroupEddie-Zach

myspace link: Myspace.com/diversepopgroup

web page link: Diversepopgroup.com

soundcloud link: Soundcloud.com/Diversepopgroup

reverbnation link: Reverbnation.com/Diversepopgroup

 

Simian Mobile Disco Go Techno, Release Freebies

London-based duo Simian Mobile Disco first gained widespread fame for their early funky electro-pop sound, which drew heavily from the band members’ rock background. Both of SMD’s members, James Ford and James “Jas” Shaw did, after all, play in an electro-rock crossover band first, Simian, from which they drew their later project’s name.

 

Simian Mobile Disco

 

As Simian Mobile Disco, then, out of the gate they boasted a strong pop sensibility and structure, as well as rock attitude, in their original tracks. They also often remixed other bands’ songs into club anthems, creating a hybrid sound that was vocal-heavy and, unlike much dance music, often provided an opportunity to sing and dance along.

 

 

So when the pair’s last record, Delicacies, came out last year, it seemed like a radical departure. The nine tracks are completely instrumental, long, and deep — pure techno, really, and designed strictly for peak-hour dance floor play rather than earbuds or the car stereo. But really, it wasn’t that much of a surprise.

 

Ford and Shaw have, apart from their own original creations, been DJing for several years. And the years have gone on, their DJ sets have leaned heavily more towards the techno side of things, as has their London club night, Delicatessen. The official new manifesto, perhaps, was the Essential Mix they released for Radio One in 2010, which unveiled the new sound. And it’s behind the latest material that the pair is currently touring.

 

Simian Mobile Disco

 

Still, old fans need not be disheartened about Simian Mobile Disco’s potential gig set lists. As inveterate crowd-pleasers, they’ve vowed to continue to play their older material, albeit with a new twist, and blend it energetically in with the new tracks. Meanwhile, a new, “proper” studio album is due out next year, which will again showcase their more pop-oriented side.

 

To get fans excited about their gigs, though, Simian Mobile Disco has released a series of free MP3s lately. Download a three-part Delicatessen DJ set for free below, and stay apprised of tour dates at simianmobiledisco.co.uk.

 

 

MP3: Delicatessen Warehouse DJ Set, November 2010, Part 1

MP3: Delicatessen Warehouse DJ Set, November 2010, Part 2

MP3: Delicatessen Warehouse DJ Set, November 2010, Part 3

 


Artist Interview – Deejay JimmyBoy

Dimitris Argyriou from Kavala in Greece works as a DJ, producer as well as a director and writer of short films. Dimitris kindly agreed to complete an interview for Song Revelation for his alter ego, the touring dance DJ, Deejay Jimmyboy. Read on to find out how he became interested in electronica, where he DJ’s, who inspires him musically and what he’s hoping to achieve in the coming year.

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

I am a touring DJ playing Indie -- Electro, plus I am a video artist and film maker.
I always try to combine my DJ persona with my art persona.

Deejay JimmyBoy

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Since I was a little(Jimmy)boy I showed interest in music and art generally.

After having studied keyboards for a while, I showed interest in hip-hop music and I started out playing as a turntablism dj in bands and parties. From 1999 until 2001 I had my own hip-hop radio show in my hometown.
Soon I started exploring other musical styles and I became interested in electronic music.

Deejay JimmyBoy

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was a great year, very creative not only in my dj career but also as a film director. I had to finish my thesis for my university so I didn’t perform as much as I wanted but I ended 2010 with a good European tour which I enjoyed a lot.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Wow, there are so many djs, musicians, artists and friends that inspire me. I prefer though multi talented artists who express themselves with many forms of art. I will throw some names that come into my mind, UNKLE, Modeselector, Moderat, the guys from Ed Banger label, Bloody Beetroots, A-Trak, Trentemoller, Caribou, Soulwax, Crystal Castles and of course my dj mates Local Suicide.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lxjlrcuEek

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Bloody Beetroots is one of my favorites. I like them because they have so my much energy and they interact using many forms of arts.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Of course, I would really like to collaborate and/or gig with my friends or with djs that I meet on my tours.

 

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Sorry, I don’t have an ipod. But I really like Altrice ‘s remixes on last Caribou’s album, Bridges and Powerlines, Gay For Johnny Depp, William Fitzsimmons and Crystal Castles. These are some of them at the moment. I am always in the search of new sounds.

 

Deejay JimmyBoy

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Usually I work with loops and samples, but I often record friends playing instruments and then I edit the result in Ableton or in Logic.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtJlYE6LHgw

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

I think melody, but I like also beautiful lyrics.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Tough question, lets say between Thessaloniki (Greece) and Berlin (Germany).

 

Deejay JimmyBoy

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I am from Kavala, a small town in north Greece with beautiful beaches and warm sea water, despite that nothing special.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Due to my work as a film maker, currently I am working on a European project, since 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering. I have to produce a series of video and audio clips and articles that will be broadcast and published in the media and on the Web, sharing stories from volunteers living in my country and in one other Member state.

Also I am planning a come back with my project-band Interactive Loverz.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

The European tour was a great moment for my career and  also some of the best gigs that I had during 2008-2010.

 

Deejay JimmyBoy

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I would like to perform as dj or live much more. A second European tour as a dj or with my 2-pieces band would also be awesome.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Yes, something really special and we want the readers help… so  If you wish LOCAL SUICIDE & ME would like to perform at EXIT Festival -- the biggest music event in south-east Europe,

JUST PRESS THE LIKE BUTTON on this page to vote for us!!!

http://www.exitmusic.tv/Local%20Suicide

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Making and listening to music relaxes me.

 

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Check out my films and my art on my website and also check out my band Interactive Loverz and my mates Local Suicide. I am very happy this period because my last short film ‘Rec.” got into the Short Film Corner 2011- Festival de Cannes.

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JMZwUIO_qY

 

 

Editor’s Note: Dimitirs, aka Deejay JimmyBoy, produces some really deep beats that would make every club night special. If you like short artistic films too check out his movies. Dimitris is one talented, artistic and unique individual.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or contact Deejay JimmyBoy just follow the links below:


twitter link: http://twitter.com/DeejayJimmyBoy

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/DimitrisJimmyBoyArgyriou

facebook grouphttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38285237165&ref=ts

facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/deejay-JimmyBoy/398258609528

myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/deejayjimmyboy

web page link: http://cargocollective.com/dimitrisargyriou

soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/deejayjimmyboy

Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/dimitrisargyriou


Pop Duo Nikki and Rich Release Free Debut EP

Up-and-coming California duo Nikki and Rich’s pop stylings are sweet, sassy, and soulful. Its first breakout single, “Cat and Mouse,” was a perfect fit for fans who wish for a nicer Amy Winehouse, a more vocally powerful Duffy, or adore anything that Mark Ronson has ever touched.

Nikki and Rich

Considering the updated-vintage, tambourine-heavy sound of that singalong anthem, then, it’s surprising to learn of the two collaborators’ unexpected and divergent backgrounds. The namesake Nikki was born Nikki Leonti and grew up religious, the daughter of a pastor. She actually got her start singing in church, and wandered around the more country-ish fringes of the pop industry for a while, at one point singing backup for American Idol alumna Carrie Underwood.

Rich (Velonskis), meanwhile, is much more familiar to pop audiences, but not by name, necessarily. Born in Queens, New York, he grew up a diehard hip-hop head and club DJ. Later, under the producer pseudonym Rich Skillz, he worked with a number of leading artists, including Eve, Robin Thicke, Mario, and Ludacris. In fact, his work with he latter included a contribution to Ludacris’ 2007 Grammy-winning album, Release Therapy.

 

Since beginning to work together two years ago, Rich’s industry connections and Nikki’s impressive pipes have made their rise rapid and success pretty much assured. Their songs have been included on American TV shows like Entourage, 90210, Basketball Wives, and The City, and their newest single, “City Lights,” is currently scoring pop radio airplay there as well. It helps, of course, that the track is boosted by a guest rap from Fabolous, who helps keep things moving over a bouncy piano beat.

With all that considered, Nikki and Rich are an act to watch, but for early-adopter fans, they’ve already released a gift: a six-song debut EP, Finally Free. Check it out at nikkiandrich.com or get the direct download link before. It also includes another standout track, “Next Best Thing,” whose video we’ve included here!

 

 

Nikki and Rich

Download: Nikki and Rich -- Finally Free EP

http://nikkiandrich.com/music-downloads/FinallyFree.zip

 

Four Essential Dance-Pop Albums Out in March

February saw the release of several high-profile albums, five of which we profiled here — new efforts by the Streets, Bruno Mars, Jay Sean, Alexis Jordan, and Claire Maguire. So can March match up? Maybe! The fight for top pop contender in the first quarter of March 2011 is strong. Here are five records for which to watch out this month.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Femme Fatale

Few starlets have been so obsessively chronicles as poor Britney Spears, who suffered a very public meltdown by her early 20s. Still, pop culture loves a good comeback, and even after the middling quality of Brit-Brit’s last albums, 2007′s Blackout and 2008′s Circus, her millions of loyal fans are still rooting for her.

Femme Fatale is set as a comeback to the comeback, and Britney has a lot to prove. She may have it in her still, though. The new single, “Hold it Against Me,” is a rousing piece of dance-pop that even wanders into dubstep in the middle. If anything, it proves Britney’s sharp business decisions in choosing producers with a finger on the pulse, and she may rise to the top of the club and radio charts again.

 

 

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

F.A.M.E.

Speaking of second chances, Chris Brown’s an artist who’s been lucky enough to be granted one as well. Brown’s battle, however, has been more uphill. Pop audiences are more likely to forgive a star who’s hurt him or herself, rather than someone else, and Brown’s vicious 2009 beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna blackened his public image for long afterwards.

Still, in the following year he seems to have expressed enough contrition and a change in outlook to be granted a career again, and F.A.M.E. (which stands for “Forgiving All My Enemies”) is a musing, somewhat, on the events of the past couple of years. Here, his R&B sound is updated with a heavy dose of synth-heavy dance beats.

On a semi-related note, since he recently collaborated with U.K. rapper Chipmunk on the single “Champion,” could more such team-ups come in the near future?

 

 

Duran Duran

Duran Duran

All You Need Is Now

Possibly most impressive about these originators of electro-pop is their refusal to get tired and lie down. Rather, Duran Duran has been going more or less continuously since their first heyday, in the ’80s, and continues to release musically innovative albums of new material. Their last proper studio album, The Red Carpet Massacre in 2007, saw them teaming up with Timbaland for an R&B energy infusion. Their latest, All You Need is Now, was released this past December on iTunes, but a deluxe physical version comes out this month. Produced this time by Mark Ronson, it brings in a bit of his signature soulful flair and makes Duran Duran truly funky again.

 

The main current members of the Human League

The Human League

Credo

Another ’80s revival? March is great for synth-pop lovers! The Human League — they of “Don’t You Want Me” immortality — are back with their first album in a decade. The disc features original member and producer Philip Oakey, as well as longtime distinctive female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. Recent new single “Night People” showed that the band hasn’t given up on the style in which it excels: funky electro-pop ready for the dance floor.

 

 

 

Artist Interview – Sure

Sure is an upcoming electronic-pop artist from London, who recently completed a really insightful interview for Essential Pop after we discovered each other on myspace! Read the full interview below to discover how his love of electronic music and in particular the electro-legends Erasure and Annie Lennox have influenced his style, the highlights of his career to date and what he does to relax when not creating electro-pop songs.

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
My music is uplifting and emotional. The songs are about real life sang to electronic music

 


Q: What is your musical background?
My Dad Jet Taylor was a singer in the 60’s who nearly made it big. So I guess I get my music bug from my dad.

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?
Well in January 2010 I was diagnosed with lymphoma non Hodgkin cancer and underwent 6 months of chemo. While in hospital I wrote a song called Falling about my fight with cancer and the effects it had on my family, friends and myself. I also was featured on a compilation album Electro Pop 4 in 2010. So yeah, 2010 was a good year for me, I beat cancer and released my song Home.

Q: Who inspires you musically?
Well for me the people who made me want to sing and write are the amazing Erasure, Andy Bell & Vince Clarke the gods of electronic music, Annie Lennox has been a huge inspiration on me as well and George Michael has inspired me. Paul keen from Norwich from the band bispatial has been the most inspirational since meeting him in 2006, he is one of the most talented singers, songwriters, producer I have ever worked with and without him I don’t think I would have achieved as much as I have without him

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

I love Adele, Florence and the Machine, Alanis Morissette, Antony and the Johnson’s and Goldfrapp

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I would love to gig with Erasure or Annie Lennox and collaborate with them.

 

Sure

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Erasure all songs, Annie Lennox all songs and Adele’s new 21 album.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Well for me I can write with or without music and when I have a line or sort of rift in my head I start to write and usually within ten minutes. I have also written a song when someone sent me an instrumental which has a good feel to it.

 


 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Lyrics to me

 

Q: Where are you based?

Based in East London Stratford E15

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

East London seems to be full of talented musicians so it’s exciting living in this area.

 

 

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Two songs. One called Falling and the other, Tuned into You, both very special songs to me

 


 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Working with Paul Keen, meeting Erasure and Annie Lennox saying she knew me when I met her.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

To finish my album, to get a record deal and write a song for Erasure.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I am hoping to sing at Artificial 2011 in Norwich

Sure

Q: What do you do to relax?
Cook, listen to music and songwrite

 
 
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Well I am always looking to work with other artist and love to write, so if anyone is out there that is looking to work with as a one off project or you want a singer songwriter on a fulltime basis. I’m looking for my very own Vince Clarke.

 

Editor’s Note: Sure’s profile will definitely continue to grow throughout 2011 as more people notice his catchy electro-pop songs and become fans. We’re definitely looking forward to more of Sure’s songs and collaborations in the future.


If you’d like to either learn more about or contact Sure, just follow the links below:

twitter link: http://twitter.com/suremusic

myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/suremusic

web page link: http://suremusic.co.uk/


Sure

Funky Electro Pop Gets You Moving

Electro pop first gained its popularity in the early 1980’s, but it dates back to the late 1970’s. Generally classified by a cold, electronic sound with dance beats of 4/4 and catchy hooks, it is often referred to as house music.

Many of the original electro pop artists were British. Artists like David Bowie and Brian Eno were the platform for their inspiration. Other influences include Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra, the Japanese electronic band.

The popularity of funky electro pop is greatly based on its dance beats. It is well known for its ability to get people in clubs out of their seats and up dancing. Heavy-hitting synthesizers are responsible for the feel-good dancing beats, which can be heard with popular artists such as Ladytron, Dubstar, Cooler Kids, and Front Line Assembly.

Ladytron

Ladytron formed their group in 1999 in Liverpool, UK. The group is composed of four members; Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Reuben Wu, and Daniel Hunt. All of the members are involved in the synthesizing process, and Helen Marnie coordinates vocals while Daniel Hunt does the guitar. Their top albums are Witching Hour and 604.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncl7New1czM




Dubstar is an English band that was formed in 1992. Originally, the band included Steve Hillier and Chris Wilkie, and then in 1993, Sarah Blackwood joined the group and replaced Hillier on the vocals. They achieved the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart with their catchy song “Not So Manic Now.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCW53mSd0hs

 




Cooler Kids formed their group in Brooklyn, New York in 2002. The group includes Kaz Gamble, Sisely Treasure, and Luscious Jackson. Their debut album Punk Debutante was released in 2003, but sadly, the group dissolved around 2005. Treasure and Gamble continued their music career as boygirL, and unfortunately, that group also dissolved in 2008. Eventually, Treasure continued a music career as a lead singer for Shiny Toy Guns, an American rock band.

The other popular electro pop band, Front Line Assembly, was formed in 1986 by Bill Leeb in Canada. Several members have entered and left the band since then, including Michael Balch and Rhys Fulber. Their first album debuted in 1987 and was titled The Initial Command. The group gained most of their popularity during 1989 to 1991 as a result of their album Gashed Senses and Crossfire.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhMuGEzp3BA







These are only a few of the many notable funky electro pop bands that have made their way to the airwaves over the decades. The eclectic sound of funky electro pop is sure to continue captivating music lovers for generations to come, and will never fail to get people up and out of their seats.