Artist Interview – Cousin Affect

Cousin Affect are an eclectic Urban Funk band from Phoenix consisting of Tim-O (Bass Guitar), Jessica Thomas (Vocals), Mike Woods (Piano, Vocals), D Stanton (Vocals), Scott Cheaney (Guitar, Vocals), Meech (Percussion) and Dan King (Saxophone). Despite their busy touring schedule they kindly agreed to complete a feature artist interview for Essential Pop. Read on to find out how they create their uplifting funky tracks, what its like living in Phoenix and what they’re hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011.

 

Cousin Affect


 

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

Our music is an interesting mix between all the personal influences of the individuals that make up our group.  We have focused on trying to find a sound to call our own.  We have flashes of blues, jazz, hip hop, reggae, rock, and pop infused into our base as an urban funk jam band.

 

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

Urban Funk jam band with grooves of positive purpose.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

The musical backgrounds of each member are very different.  I (Mike Woods), personally, began playing drums with a few high school friends at age 14.  We formed and maintained a rock band throughout high school.  This was where I discovered my love for live music and performing.  I started taking it more seriously when I began playing piano at age 19.  I took one low level piano class at the University of Arizona, and I fell in love with the instrument.  With the help of a close friend, I began building a home studio to write and create my own music.  Over the next few years, I became familiar with turntables, guitar, bass, and lots of different unique percussion instruments.  I always learned best by ear and was eager to learn from any and all educated music people I crossed paths with.  From 2003 on, I produced my own beats, wrote lyrics, and created songs.  I went on to release two solo albums in 2005 and 2007.  In March of 2008, I continued this Cousin Affect project by assembling a seven member full live band to perform the music.

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was a big year for us as a band.  In the 3 years we’ve been together, each year has shown us bigger and better things.  We hope to continue this trend into the distant future.  We have really seen our fan base materialize in Phoenix over the past year.  No matter what direction you go in the industry, building up a solid following at home is a step that can’t be skipped.  We headlined a very well known venue in the Rhythm Room in May.  We won first place in a statewide battle of the bands.

Our single, “Where I Go” received a national grand prize in the “Rock the Highway” competition sponsored by Midas and SPIN magazine.  We were featured in the November issue of SPIN.  From hundreds of submissions, we were one of about ten bands selected to showcase at the NACA West Regional Conference in Ontario, CA.  From this opportunity, we built our first tour which is taking place throughout 2011 at college campuses all over the west.  In late November 2010, we released our debut album as a full live band called Fresh Foreword >>. This album features the hit single, “Where I Go.”

 

Cousin Affect


 

Q: What inspires you musically?

Music.  Art.  Words.  People.  Good.  Bad.  If you look through an artistic lens, anything can be considered a muse.  We work towards letting the music we write reflect the positivity inside of each one of us in the hopes that it spreads our own inspiration to the fans.

 

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

I’m sure the answer would vary within the band, but I’ve (Dan King) always looked up to the Dave Matthews Band.  They have been one of my biggest influences writing music and lyrics since I can remember.   Their live show is unparalleled.  Their energy is matched by their precision making their live delivery untouchable.  We have strived to capture moments in our live show and thrive off spontaneity.  We are constantly tweaking songs, extending endings, adding different bridges, and improvising to keep the audience on their toes.

 

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

There’s lots that come to mind.  Dave Matthews, of course, G Love and Special Sauce, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Ozomatli, Fat Freddy’s Drop, etc.  I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting.

 

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

Thousands and thousands.  Recently, I’ve been listening to lots of Fat Freddy’s Drop, Black Keys, and Bon Iver.

 

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

It starts with a beat.  First a heartbeat.  Then a drum beat.  Most of our songs start with an idea I lay down in the studio.  I will drop rough tracks for all the instruments to flesh out an idea.  Usually this inspires some vocal recording as well.  Once I’m a little down the road, I will take it to the band, play it for them, and gauge the reaction I get.  It’s usually easy to tell what ideas they’re really digging.  For every song we end up completing as a full band, there are probably 5 or 6 ideas and beats that went untouched.  Some of those remain that way, and some are revisited.  Our most popular track, “Where I Go,” from the most recent record Fresh Foreword >> was actually written about 4 years prior to its release.  There’s lots of timing involved.  Our process is unique, but it really works for us.  We rarely run into many creative differences at all.

 

Cousin Affect: Scott Cheaney - Guitar and Vocals


 

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

They are both an equal form of expression.  I cannot deem one more important than the other.  Our music is a reflection of our souls while our lyrics are a reflection of our hearts.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Downtown Phoenix.

 

Cousin Affect: Jessica Thomas - Vocalist


 

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

Hot.  Only for 3 months.  The rest of the year is wonderful!  I’ve always enjoyed Phoenix.  Sometimes the music scene can be a little frustrating.  It doesn’t seem like the music community is cohesive.  Thus, you see potential being wasted in one of the biggest cities in the country.  However, our fans have meant the world to us here.  We owe them so much of our success.  They have continued to support us and spread our sound.  We have watched the venues get closer to capacity.  We have been asked back to venue after venue.  It’s because our fans come to have a good time.  We feed off their energy.  It is amazing to watch our band’s popularity and notoriety grow in my hometown.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

We are working this summer on some career changing things.  I don’t want to give too much away right now, but look for the Cousins to make a huge splash early in 2012.  We are keeping up with regular shows in Phoenix, whilst continuing our tour of the west.  Late in the year, we will be returning to the studio to flesh out some of our newest material.  We are looking forward to releasing our sophomore album.

 

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

This is a really difficult question.  There have been so many great times in the past 3 years.  We have won awards, competitions, been featured in national magazines, garnered notable accolades, etc.  However, I would say this past month of being on tour is the highlight of our careers to date.  We have always dreamt of traveling and performing our music for different crowds in different cities.  Our experience so far has been exactly that.  A dream.  We are all looking forward to spending more time together and sharing our sound to anyone willing to listen.

 

Cousin Affect: Dan King - Saxophone

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcH8fmD2Dug

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

The main objective for 2011 is to expand our influence.  We have built up a great reputation and following in Phoenix over the past two years.  Now it’s time to take our sound on the road.  We have done this early in the year and will continue to throughout 2011.

 

 

Editor’s Note: Cousin Affect have an incredible and varied live-set which really showcases their talent and diversity. With their current tour taking in many new cities, 2011 could be start of something special as their unique blend of urban funk finds its way to many new listeners. Cousin Affect are definitely one of Essential Pop’s ones to watch!

 

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

twitter link: twitter.com/cousinaffect

facebook link:Facebook.com/cousinaffect

myspace link: myspace.com/mwoodshiphop

web page link: CousinAffect.com

reverbnation link: reverbnation.com/CousinAffect

Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/cousinaffect

Sonic bids Lik: sonicbids.com/cousinaffectphx

Blog page: Cousinaffect.com/blog

Blog email signup: http://www.cousinaffect.com/rss

Blog RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Cousinaffect

 

Artist Interview – Glam Girl

Glam Girl is an upcoming singer, model and producer from LA and is our latest competition winner. Despite being extremely busy putting the final touches to her latest music video, “Make Me Famous”, she kindly agreed to complete an interview for Essential Pop. Read the full interview below to find out about her current career highlights, how she creates her uplifting, commercial tracks and what the music scene’s like in LA. Also make sure you check out some of Glam Girl’s world exclusive video stills throughout this article from the highly anticipated “Make Me Famous” video.

 

Glam Girl

Glam Girl

 

Link to the entire “Make Me Famous” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvGrUIf2VmA


 

 

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

Mainly top 40 pop with some electronica and urban influences

 

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

A Hollywood chick not gone Hollywood, who tells you how it is on pop high energy club beats and melody.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I grew up in a family that didn’t nurture music or any form of arts or sports but I was always drawn to anything that involved music, dance and sports.  Once I left my parents home at the age of 18, I immediately submerged myself in a 24/7 boot camp of vocal and dance training. I won a music scholarship in Europe and afterwards enrolled in the Musician Institute in Hollywood where I graduated with a 3.8 GPA degree in the IAP Program.  My first vocal coach introduced me to the old jazz standards, and I fell in love with Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald-- their tone of voice was so mesmerizing. After that phase, I got into dance music, neo-soul, R&B, pop, electronica.  Originally all I wanted to do was just be a singer, but eventually, because I know exactly what I like and what I want, I also became a writer and a producer, and the rest is history, ha ha.

 

Glam Girl

Glam Girl

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

Considering that in 2010 I was just getting my feet wet, it has been an amazing year, full of accomplishments and full of blood, sweat and tears as well, and yes I would do it all over again.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Timbaland, Mariah Carey, among others

 

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

Jessie J, she’s a true artist

 

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

Definitely Jessie J

 

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

Well I’ve got over 3,000 songs on my ipod, of course Jessie J Abracadabra, Do it like a dude, Nobody’s perfect, Mamma knows best, Trey Songz: Bottoms up, One Call: Blacklight, Katy Perry -- Kaskade Club remix: Teenage Dream, Ne-Yo: Cause I said so, Beautiful monster, Eminem: Not afraid, J Rae: Price Tag it’s Jessie J’s song remix, lately I’m into a lot of fitness remixes.  Well if you don’t stop me, I can go on and on for hours.

 

Glam Girl

Glam Girl

 

 

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

99% of the time I produce a track first and after I write melody and lyrics.  But there have been a few times when I had a melody stuck in my head and I built a track around that melody.  The crazy thing is that the times I came up with a melody first, was while I was asleep, those notes were so strong they woke me up in the middle of the night and I had to turn my iphone on and record it before I would forget.

 

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

To me they are both really important, I definitely can’t stand stupid / empty lyrics, like when I wrote my current single  “Make Me Famous.” Yes the chorus purposely repeats “I wanna be famous, I’ll do anything to be famous, make me famous, make me famous, make me famous,” but the verses paint a picture of people who strive to be famous without having anything to bring to the table, who will do anything in their quest for fame.   My songs all have a story and / or a message.  In addition, a catchy melody and hot beat are a must!  All those elements combined are what make a hit song.  When people listen to a song they want to relate to the story you are telling or they wanna take their minds off the BS they deal in their everyday lives.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Los Angeles

 

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

Well L.A. is one of the toughest city on the planet, one of the most competitive, the bar is set very, very  high here………this is a place overcrowded with thousands of people trying to do the same thing you are trying to do.  That’s why the entire industry are cruelly pimping the artists.  This is a city where if you wanna play in a club, it’s strictly pay for play. You wanna get some press or radio play, just throw the Benjamins and all doors will be opened to you.  That’s why the majority of the new and up and coming artists making it right now are the rich kids……….What pisses me off is that they don’t really care about the music, they are in it just because it’s cool being in the music industry and they got money to blow, just something to think about …………..In case you are wondering where I belong, well I got no sugar daddy or rich parents, wasn’t born into a famous family, won a reality TV singing contest, or emerged from a teen cable TV sitcom.  I’m doing this the way you are supposed to. I played and I bombed in every club in town, and then killed it in every club. I knocked on every door, looked for every opportunity and didn’t take no for an answer, and kept going no matter what, and I found myself as an artist. I learned how to survive as an artist, get real, and how to fail, and figured out who I am as a singer and performer. I work hard to always take it to the next level.”

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

About to release my debut EP. Stay tuned for the title announcement in the weeks to come.  I’m promoting my first music video, “Make Me Famous,” in pre production on my second music video and in production on my second EP.

 

Glam Girl - "Make Me Famous" Video Still

Glam Girl - "Make Me Famous" Video Still

 

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

Actually, there have been quite a few in just a short amount of time:

At the 18th Billboard World Song Contest, the judges comment was, “Make Me Famous”: “Strong commercial pop appeal. Very original and creative.”

Opened for Bone Thugs N’ Harmony

Been featured on 350 Clear Channel radio station in the U.S.

Getting airplay in Sweden, UK, Netherlands

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

The sky’s the limit.  It would be nice to be nominated for a Grammy.  A lot of people will answer “releasing my album,” but that’s the easiest thing to achieve.  For me it will be dropping my EP and selling thousands of copies, increasing my fan base, getting airplay in other countries, getting endorsement deals, placing my songs on film and television, anything I can possibly put my mind and my hands on.

 

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

I’m playing at The Joint on May 22, 8771 West Pico Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90035.  Tickets can purchased on my site www.glamgirlmusic.com

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I wish I would have time to relax, but there’s no sleep for big dreams, all I do is work. But I’m not complaining at all, this is what I love to do.  Even if I don’t have the time now, these are the things I luv to do: Play video games, I’m a PlayStaion 3 & PSP chick (favorite games: every Metal Gear & Metal Gear Acid, every Call of Duty, Resident Evil, every Socom). Sleep as much as I can when I get the chance, catch some movies, Listen to music… yes, you heard it correctly, even if make music I still love listen to other people’s music. Traveling, Sports, Kick-boxing, Sky Diving, Working out, Go-Karts, playing Black Jack, Good Food (favorite food Sushi, Thai), Cooking, Swimming with Dolphins, Rescue Dogs, Paintball, Trying to make a better world.

 

Glam Girl

Glam Girl - "Make Me Famous" Single Cover

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgi4w6iT9x8

 

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

Don’t forget to get your copy of Make Me Famous http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/make-me-famous/id381599071 and look out for the EP and “Make Me Famous” music video coming out very soon.

 

Editor’s Note: Glam Girl’s seductive voice and incredibly catchy beats create a really commercial sound. We’re really looking forward to the first album. Glam Girl is one of Essential Pop’s ones to watch for 2011!

 

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

 

twitter link: http://twitter.com/glamgirlmusic

youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/glamgirlmusic

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

web page link: www.glamgirlmusic.com

Itunes link: c.itunes.apple.com/us/profile/id-16785

reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/glamgirlmusic

 

Artist Interview – Xavier Toscano

Xavier Toscano is an up and coming singer songwriter from San Francisco. Listing some of his creative influences as Michael Jackson, Timbaland and Will.I.Am we knew his style would be perfectly suited with Essential Pop and we’ were delighted when he agreed to complete a feature artist interview. Read on to find out about Xavier’s musical background, what he’s currently working on and his current career highlights.

 

Xavier Toscano

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13m32PM3Vi0

 

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

It is Pop music at heart, but it has R&B, rock, reggae, and dance elements.

 

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

Modern pop with influences by top 40 radio.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Music has always been a source of joy and escapism for me. I didn’t start working in music until I was an adult, but I always enjoyed dancing. So, I’m kind of a music newbie. Even though you can say that I have been performing since I was a kid.

 

Xavier Toscano

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvkwJk0k7Bc

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was a great teacher. I learned so much! Learned about promoting, about booking, and how to manage my act. I am my everything; manger, agent, PR, every little detail is my responsibility so I have grown in ways that I never expected. I’ve become more of a rounded music entrepreneur than I had ever expected. Go figure! So yeah, 2010 was an amazing teacher.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

For no apparent reason I just seem to gravitate to whatever is popular. Top 40 radio has always inspired me and continues to drive my musical taste. It seems that I’m always in tune with the top ten on Billboard. I’ve also drawn huge inspiration from Michael Jackson’s work, Madonna’s, and Freddie Mercury. I’ve studied these people’s career and I have drawn so much from them. But I would love to ultimately work with Timabaland. His music just moves me. I also really like the Black Eyed Peas -Will.I.Am is genius!

 

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

Lady Gaga comes to mind, right off the bat. Her team has been able to produce and incredible career. Cee Lo Green is also noteworthy, as well Bruno Mars and Mike Posner. Timbaland and the Neptunes are also amazing to me.

 

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

Timbaland!

 

Xavier Toscano

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSzSl4k5hFM

 

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

I’ve recently downloaded; “E.T.” -Katy Perry; “Valerie” -Mark Ronson; “Down On Me” -Jeremiah; and “A1″ because I really like Dev.

 

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

On the last album, I collaborated with Octo5, an indie producer in the San Francisco Bay. We basically created the music first and then I would write to the tracks. It was sort of a reverse process. The music inspired the lyrics and melodies.

 

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

Musically speaking they are both equal partners. Even rappers use a melodic sort of speech when they do their songs.

 

Q: Where are you based?

I’m in the San Francisco Bay.

 

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

I think one word sums it up: Eclectic. We are truly a melting pot of people. Diversity is not only abundant, but all of the variety within that gives the SF Bay many layers and flavors.

 

Xavier Toscano

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0l3M_yoMdU

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Promotion mostly, but I am also collaborating with artists and producers. It’s a fun process and a random one as well.

 

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

Getting to perform at the Disneyland Hotel in 2009, and the experience I shared with the awesome group of dancers I worked with. It was an unforgettable week end!

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

WORLDWIDE FAME!

 

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

I would like to share my calendar with your readers, just log on to http://www.xaviertoscano.com/events

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Reading and meditation. I’m not very good at the latter, but when I do it enough, I feel on top of the world.

 

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

Yeah, that I value each and every one of my fans and that I ALWAYS respond to e-mail and comments personally. It is very important to me to stay in touch and I love and appreciate their time. <3

Xavier Toscano

 

Editor’s Note: Xavier is a driven and talented songwriter, dancer, actor and performer who’s musical work always demonstrates a commercial, energetic yet profound pop sound. We’re already looking forward to his next album at Essential Pop!

 

If you’d like to learn more about or contact Xavier Toscano follow the links below:

 

twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/xtoscano

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xavier-Toscano/352543223829

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

web page link: http://www.xaviertoscano.com/

soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/xaviertoscano

reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/xaviertoscano

Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/jetdev5

 

Artist Interview – The Movement Fam

The Movement Fam are a Soul Hop band originally from Melbourne, Australia consisting of Notion, his older brother Cee and Bekah. Although they’re all extremely busy pursuing successful solo ventures and recovering from relocating to Toronto, Canada, they kindly agreed to complete an interview for Essential Pop. Read on to find out about their favourite gig in the Evelyn Hotel, how they create their catchy Soul Hop songs and what they’re hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011.

 

The Movement Fam

 


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

Cee: We call our sound Soul Hop, which is a unique blend of Soul and Hip Hop. We are also inspired by various other genres like indie rock, electro, dubstep, house, hardcore and classical.

 

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

Cee: Soulful Hip Hop with an edge. Relentless with this effortless passion.

 

The Movement Fam

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Bekah: Soul and old school R&B -- ahhh Motown, loving it.

Cee: I was playing guitar at 9, rapping at 15, releasing music at 21. I grew up on Aussie rock, switched to Hip Hop and R&B in the early 90s, and expanded my horizons over the last decade. Now I feel just as at home in skinny jeans at a metal gig as I do faded at a Hip Hop show.

Notion: I have a little to no musical background lol. I played drums for a year at high school which taught me to keep a rhythm and read music, although those skills have faded a little haha. I also used to sing at high school in the choir until my balls dropped in year 9.

 

Q: How was 2010 for you?

Bekah: Awesome. 2010 was fantastic. We performed and gigged so much and we had a great following for each gig. Cee & Bekah pushed our third mixtape, the Soul Movement Originals Album and began the making of the EP. A very productive year.

Cee: 2010 was a huge year of change for us. We managed to move countries, all the while releasing our annual Valentine’s Day mixtape, Notion’s 9th Wonder tribute, the Cee & Bekah compilation album, do a bunch of shows, attend A3C in Atlanta and CMJ in New York, perform our first international show in Toronto and enjoy our first winter.

Notion: 2010 has been one of the most life-changing of my years on this planet thus far. The year was filled with the most ups and down, ecstatic excitement and crushing downs and hardships. Moving country, selling everything, getting settled and thriving in a new environment. Music Festivals as much as the ears can take including A3C and CMJ, making some of the most valuable and treasured connections and relationships with amazing new friends and family.

 

The Movement Fam

 

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Bekah: There are so many to name but here is a few: India Arie, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston and Joss Stone. Amazing artists.

Cee: Last time I was asked this I listed like 50 artists, so to keep it short, I really gravitate towards creative people who have a powerful message with a unique and soulful musical element. I also get a lot of inspiration from the things I’ve been through, the emotions I’m feeling, travel, relationships, politics…just life, I guess.

Notion: Lately, emcees such as J. Cole, Talib Kweli, Emilio Rojas, B.O.B., Royce and all the rest of Slaughterhouse, to cats like Cee-Lo, Melanie Fiona and Jazmine Sullivan. It’s the overall sound and feel that it bangs out that just gets the creative juices flowing. I’m talking about the beats, melodies and lyrics of all of the above.

 

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

 

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

Bekah: Alicia Keys and Beyonce for sure. They are such powerful women and they make everything seem doable.

Cee: Probably the dudes I know personally who are making moves, growing all the time and creating a movement with their music, all the while handling the business-side. Though my biggest inspiration for the perfect blend of artistry and business is Jay-Z, of course.

Notion: Pretty much everyone listed above lol.

 

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

Bekah: If I could collaborate with the ladies who have and continue to inspire me (as above) then I would be the happiest woman on earth.

Cee: Kanye West, hands down.

 

The Movement Fam

 

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

Bekah: Bruno Mars, Craig David, Cee & Bekah :) I listen to pretty much everything.

Cee: Man I update my iPod every day, so as of right now, I actually just reloaded the songs that didn’t make the third Cee & Bekah mixtape, this amazing band from South Dakota called Showbaby that we discovered at SXSW, French reggae cats Dub Inc, Collie Buddz, Marsha Ambrosius, Frank Ocean and D-Sisive.

Notion: About 24,000 songs give or take. So a lot of genres! We’d be here all day… lol.

 

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

Bekah: I close my eyes and clear my mind and sing whatever comes to me -- melodically and lyrically. It’s never failed me…

Cee: I listen to the beat over and over until a thought, theme, lyric or melody pops into my head, and I just ride with it after that.

Notion: It can come from any which way, anything and everything really! Either starting with a lyric or line I’ve already written down prior (I have a list of thousands of lines and ideas I think of daily in my phone), or just thought of, it can stem and build from that. If I start with a beat it can start with hearing a melody, baseline or whatever in my head, or in a sample I may be skimming through purposely. I just follow the vibe when it grabs me! That’s the fun part, chasing that feeling and just goin’ IN!

 

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

Bekah: They’re equally important to me. To have a hit song, you need the catchy melody and you definitely need the catchy lyrics to go with it.

Cee: I agree with Bekah. Both are just as important as each other to me. At the same time, I’ve heard some amazing melodies with garbage lyrics and yet it doesn’t bother me, and I’ve also heard some dope lyrics over a weak melody. Each to their own, really.

Notion: It’s a combination of both. But for the purpose of the question, I’d say the lyrics. It’s just how I fell in love with Hip Hop. The lyrics said more and painted more in my head than the melody did.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Cee: We’re from Melbourne, Australia but we’re now based outta Toronto, Canada. Love it out here.

 

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

Bekah: Melbourne is AMAZING. There is NO place like it. Australia is a beautiful country. Musically it’s great too -- but it’s more rock ‘n roll based but there definitely is some amazing talent coming from there.

Cee: I’m definitely proud to be from Melbourne. We rep it to the death. It’s big enough to show you how to handle yourself in almost any given city in the world, yet small enough to keep you down to earth (for lack of a better term). However, I really love living in a place where I wasn’t born, it definitely makes life more interesting.

Notion: Melbourne city is an amazing place in the world. I have been lucky enough to grow up there! It’s rather similar to Toronto with the good-natured people and city structure and layout. It’s a big part of why we moved here. Musically it’s a rock-oriented scene with a growing stronger every day Hip-Hop community. So much live music you will never get bored. If y’all haven’t been for a visit, holla at your travel agent!

 

The Movement Fam

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Cee: A billion projects. We’re doing a FreEP with North Carolina producer S.T.T.R.E.S.S., we have a single with Krohme dropping soon, we’re working on Notion’s debut EP, Cee & Bekah’s double EP, a bunch of The Movement Fam mixtapes, my solo mixtape The Indie Experiment, and solo EPs. It’s hectic. Plus we’re capitalizing on all the networking we did at CMW and SXSW, so making those connects eventuate is a lot of hard work.

Notion: I am working on my first official album featuring production from the U.S.A.’s Remot, and myself. So check for that around summer. Also working on a mixtape for Cee, I’m always making beats for collaborations with various artists around the world and the crew. We are also looking at releasing the first in The Movement Fam Mixtape series really soon too. On top of that I am an engineer so I have a lot of good stuff to keep me busy!

 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDfMlLIsRx4

 

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

Bekah: Being signed to a label in Miami. Also we have a publicist now which is awesome and will help our marketing and promotion across Canada and USA.

Cee: I think moving to Canada indefinitely is a huge thing for us. I don’t know anyone else who has made the sacrifice we have, and I truly believe it will pay off. And releasing The Soul Movement Originals album was a great moment for us; it’s technically a compilation but still is a solid snapshot of our sound thus far.

Notion: Personally handing 9th Wonder my “On The Corner Of Notion & 9th” Tribute Tape in Atlanta at their A3C Music Festival in October, 2010. Meeting Crooked I at the same festival and getting to chat to him for about 15 mins about our journey to North America, living in TDot, and how our music constantly drives us and he fully supported that. It was real. Collaborating on a song with one of my idols for my first album, and connecting with other highly respected and talented emcees and producers for the same album. I’m not naming names because I don’t want to ruin the surprise!!

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

Bekah: I want to be doing music full time. I want to quit my day job. I left my family and friends to make this happen so 2011 will be the year.

Cee: I want to perform as MUCH as possible in Canada and the USA, wrap both the Notion and Cee & Bekah EPs, rock at A3C and CMJ later this year, and start a real, solid buzz for the crew.

Notion: To continue to build networks and relationships as strong as we have in the past, travel the world and do shows/tours with other like-minded bands/groups/artists, keep my consistent beat game up, continue to build our social network presence and fans, collab with everyone and spread The Movement Fam love, message, and soul far and wide!

 

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

Notion: One that comes to mind straight away is a gig we did back home in Melbourne at The Evelyn Hotel in 2010. The crowd was insane, the biggest one we had played to so far. We were apart of a wicked line up with other funk/soul/hip hop bands and just rocked out all night. All of our close friends and fans were there to party with us, we played with a live drummer and enjoyed every minute of it. We recorded it and released it as a tribute to the best gig to date “The Movement Fam Presents: The Movement Fam LIVE @ The Evelyn” available for free via www.themovementfam.bandcamp.com. Not that that’s a plug or anything…

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Bekah: I watch movies and hang out with my family and friends. They keep me sane and if I didn’t have their love and support I wouldn’t be here striving for what I love to do most.

Cee: Read, drink green tea, play guitar, listen to music, chill on the internet, and watch conspiracy doco’s.

Notion: I unwind by making beats, write songs, harmonies and the like. Eating home cooked meals that we’ve cooked, with the Fam. Listening to my favourite joints, and some new music, watching MMA bouts, socialise with my buddies a lot, blazing up and having a couple cold ones with them. It’s that simple lol.

 

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

Cee: We wanna thank everyone for the support thus far, and we want y’all to go download all the free mixtapes and album from our Bandcamp pages.

Notion: Notion, and The Movement Fam are a crew that doesn’t quit man. Check for our albums and all our other good stuff via themovementfam.com! We are “Relentless with this effortless passion…

 

Editor’s Note: The prolific Movement Fam have an incredible array of individual yet commercial Soul Pop. If ever you’re in or around Toronto you should definitely check out one of their gigs! We’re looking forward to the next album or EP with anticipation.

 

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

twitter link: @TheMovementFam

facebook link: http://facebook.com/TheMovementFam

web page link: www.themovementfam.com

Bandcamp links: www.ceeandbekah.com, www.notionbaby.com

soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/themovementfam

reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/ceebekah http://www.reverbnation.com/notionbaby

 

Dominique Young Unique: The Next Big Female Electro-Rapper?

A couple years back in hipster-club circles, sassy female electro-pop-hip-hop artists were all the rage. M.I.A. protege Rye Rye seemed especially poised for mainstream success thanks to her famous backer, and other artists like Kid Sister and Amanda Blank similarly won fans for spitfire mixtapes and dance floor bangers.

While these all remain underground favorites still, they haven’t really reached maximum velocity. Rye Rye is currently working on a comeback after fading out of the public eye to have a baby. Kid Sister’s would-be pop breakthrough album often disappointed her old fans with its unabashed mainstream aspirations, but failed to ignite many new ones. Amanda Blank, meanwhile, wrote more of a pop-rock debut album, which didn’t really bubble over either.

 

Dominique Young Unique

Still, while they soldier on, there’s another new flavor du jour on the come-up: Dominique Young Unique (dominiqueyoungunique.com), a young female rapper from the somewhat unlikely location of Tampa, Florida. Then again, it’s the same city that birthed Yo Majesty, another female rap act that crossed over into some electro club success a few years back — and it’s under their tutelage that she began rapping at the tender age of 12! Now 19-years-old, she’s spent the last year going harder, releasing free mixtapes and singles, and performing all over festivals in Europe, like the 2010 edition of Pukkelpop.

Dominique Young Unique

It’s paid off with some increased press, and a nod from MTV last year when it named her one of its five freshmen of the summer. (http://www.mtvu.com/music/freshmen-5/summer-2010-dominique-young-unique/) Yes, that was based largely off a brazen single called, well, “Show My Ass.”

Now, while she works on a proper debut album, she’s released another new, free mixtape, called Glamorous Touch. Over 11 tracks, she rhymes over an almost-crazy selection of other pop hits, including the instrumental version of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Brave indeed. Stream the whole mixtape and download it for free below.

Download: Dominique Young Unique -- Glamorous Touch mixtape
http://outthererecordings.com/glamoroustouchmixtape.zip

 

 

Artist Interview – Mr. Banditsu

Mr. Banditsu is a Rap and Hip-Hop performer from London. He’s a talented artist and despite working on two Mixtapes simultaneously, kindly agreed to complete a feature artist interview for Essential Pop. Read on to find out about his current success performing his tracks in and around London, his inspirations (both for his life as a whole and his music) and what we can expect from Mr. Banditsu in 2011.

Mr. Banditsu

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

I’d have to go with a number of genre’s on that one, my two main sounds are Rap and Hip Hop, but I always like to work out of the box and Electro, Dubstep and Indie are always nice to fuse Rap with!


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 Outgoing Individual Who Makes Relevant Music, Mr Banditsu The Amalgam Of Coolness, Real Life And Fun!

Mr. Banditsu

Q: What is your musical background?

I remember being about seven years of age when i took a big interest in music, My aunty used to give me cassette tapes from rappers Such As Master P, Snoop Dogg And Tupac. I’d play them religiously in my cassette Walkman player, I also recall wearing sunglasses and reciting the lyrics in the mirror, haha. My real passion for music came to me at the age of 14. Me and my mates would write raps in English class and battle whenever we were bored!

I’m from the age of the playground clashes. I like to call it the ‘Grimes Golden Era’ (haha). My sound started off a lot faster paced and aggressive and I used to go on pirate Radio stations weekly. In school we formed a group called T.D.S. I then made my first mixtape ‘Answer 2 My Calling Vol.1′. A few years later in Sixth Form, I continued to do a mixture of rap and grime after getting a good reception from the project, I knew this was the path for me!


Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was great, its the year I have taken things seriously, I released my second project called ‘The Ungenrable’ and engaged it out in to the live performance world. I can honestly say there is an addictive natural high from performing a song you worked hard on to a room full of friends or strangers. That feeling in itself is a big inspiration for me!

Mr. Banditsu

Q: Who inspires you musically?

My mother inspires me. She passed away almost 3 years ago, God bless her soul. She was the type of woman who always reached for the stars and never took no for an answer, She was a fashion designer who owned a successful woman’s boutique in Covent Garden and even had her label In Topshop’s concession department! Although my mother did not make music herself, I use that attitude of never giving up and apply it to my music! I’m also inspired by the greats, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Nina Simone.. Anyone who has reached their peak musically!


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

We’d Be Here all Day If I was to name them all! haha, but there’s the obvious like Jay Z and Kanye West, but I like modern artists that are able to bring back a feel of Hip Hop From the 80′s/90′s but still are new school. So artists like Curren$y, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, Pac-Div, Cool Kids, J Cole, Jay Electronica and Kid Cudi.. I am from the UK though, as you know, I really look up to Dizzie Rascal, Wiley And Tinie Tempah, Its really good to see how far guys from home are doing!


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

Haha, again the actual list would go on for about 10 pages! But artists I can think of now would be Jay Z, I couldn’t think of anything being more epic! There are also a lot of non Rap producers I believe I would make great pieces of music with. People like Mark Ronson, Daft Punk and MGMT, it’d be great to mix things up!


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

The song that I find myself playing the most at this very moment is Goapele -- Closer, This song Is beautiful and is really relevant to how I feel most of the time!

Mr. Banditsu


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

I like to have the type of approach where i play the instrumental on repeat, first brainstorm ideas and the slowly put them in to sentences and rhymes. I prefer not to rush and getting to know the piece of music I’m about to make, haha similar to the ladies… There have been times when I have gone to the studio and have had to write there and then. Although it’s not my preference, I make it work!


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

Thats a hard one! Melody is what really gets a song stuck in a listeners head and lyrics are more so the message! I use both so I couldn’t give you one!


Q: Where are you based?

I Am From North-West London.


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

It’s cool, This Is home for me, I have great memories here, but there is a world waiting to be discovered also. I think I could easily pack my bags to be honest.


Q: What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on two different Mixtapes One Of Which I have raised The levels of lyricism, the other i have thought completely out of the box and have themed! I don’t want to reveal the names just yet! But expect great music!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY0FvuM06vA


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

The feeling of being listened to and your art being appreciated is a really good highlight for me. I have been pursuing music seriously for a year and a half and have experienced what I feel are miniature successes. I know with enough of these, patience and persistence I will get where I plan to be!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-bA72MFRc4


Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

The establishment of my name is what I’m hoping for in 2011. I want to take things to a higher level and get out there!!


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

Not at the moment. I am still working on my projects but for those who are interested look up Mr. Banditsu online. I will announce anything I have going on through Twitter or my Like Page on Facebook!

Mr. Banditsu

Q: What do you do to relax?

Other than being very addicted to anime, I like watching DVD’s with mates, going for drinks or even chilling and having bonding time with my two little sisters, They are two of the most precious people too me!


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

Haha, I think I’ve covered pretty much everything but my last message to everyone is too look out for MR. BANDITSU!!


Editor’s Note: Mr. Banditsu has everything in place to have a successful career in the music industry. We’re really looking forward to listening to his upcoming Mixtapes here at Essential Pop, as well as tracking his progress in 2011 and beyond.

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

twitter link: www.twitter.com/mrbanditsu

facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Banditsu/141822555269

myspace link: www.myspace.com/mr_banditsu

web page link: www.shadowcloneitsu.tumblr.com

soundcloud link: www.souncloud.com/mrbanditsu

Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/banditsu

Anything else: Google: Mr Banditsu

Mr. Banditsu

Artist Interview – Lekhem

London based Hip-Hop producer and performer Lekhem kindly agreed to complete a feature artist interview for Essential Pop. Read on to find out about his wide range of musical influences, his creative process for creating tracks, his successes to date and what he has in store for us throughout this year!

Lekhem

Q: Who are you called?

Hello there, my name is Lekhem. It’s a part of my real name which is Shem; Bayna-Lehkem is my middle name but as I was playing around with ideas for stage names and I found out the actual Hebrew meaning of Lekhem is Bread, out of that the Baker Boy was born.

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

As an artist, I am heavily influenced by Hip Hop but I am also influenced by many other genres ranging from Reggae, Rock, Jazz, Soul, Funk just to name a few. In my music you will always hear that blend, which I think contributes to my very unique sound.

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

“Music is the food of life, and I’d like to cook you a really good meal!”

Q: What is your musical background?

I’ve been surrounded by music basically from birth, as I literally grew up around musicians. I started making my own music properly at 15 with my dad (Junior Dan, veteran reggae musician) when I moved to England. I started out as a rapper and then found myself very drawn to the role of being a producer. I also have a history as a musician, playing the melodica and the keyboards for different bands for a period of years.

Q: How was 2010 for you?

2010 was the year that I decided to pursue my dream as an artist fully. I have always “dabbled” as an artist, but I had always felt that my most preferred role would be as a producer. I have a natural ability for listening to a song, envisioning the end product and understanding how to achieve that. Being that person who’s always in the studio creating has always appealed to me, 2010 didn’t take that away from me in the slightest but gave me an urge to want to bring the music to the people myself, in my own words.

Q: Who inspires you musically?

I draw for inspiration from many different artists, as you can imagine considering the types of genres I am influenced by. Some of the artists I’m influenced by are Junior Dan, Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind & Fire, Eminem, Ludacris, Carlos Santana, Linkin Park, DMX. These names are really just a few, I’m influenced by just about anyone who expresses truth and talent through their music.

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

I’ve never been the type to put anyone on a pedestal, so the term “look up to” is not how I would describe it, I call it influence. Modern day artists that do that for me are people like Devlin, J. Cole, Dwele, Slum Village, Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars, Calvin Richardson, Damien and Stephen Marley, Immortal Technique and again, that’s just to name a few.

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

To be honest, just about any of my influences would be a blessing to work with. I just want to work with talented people who are passionate about their craft. There are so many artists that fill this category that it would take up most of the interview if I was to list them all! I’m a fan of good music and want to work with people who share the same talent and passion that I do.

Lekhem

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

Great question! At the moment, I am listening to a lot of underground acts. I’m listening to material from City Blox (my own collective), The Legionnaires, Rebels 2 Society, Shine Brightly, Firm Fusion. All the aforementioned are groups of artists all coming from West London. We are all playing a serious role in bringing that “feel-good” vibe back to hip hop in our own way and we should not be ignored! I’m also listening to established artists like Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Jae Millz, J. Cole, The Game, Drake and a couple others. I am very much engrossed in The West London hip hop movement right now and it’s only a matter of time before the spotlight is on us.

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

It varies with the song. Sometimes I will write a chorus and leave it for a while and then come back and complete the verses, bridges etc. Sometimes it’s the total opposite where the chorus is the last to be created. There are times when I just write a poem and then I formulate it into a song after. There are also times when I will just write and write and write to a beat, sometimes I’ll write a few songs to one instrumental and then choose what I prefer when I am out of that “zone”. The process also varies depending on whether I am writing for, or with someone else at the time. I believe that because I do not stick to one creative process, it allows me to capture the best content possible.

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

They are both very, very important. I feel that melodies can be found in just about anything that is audible, even just regular speech. So in that aspect I would say lyrics are more important to create the overall impression that you as an artist want. Melodies are so natural and free, they just come to an artist naturally. Well, to me anyway.

Q: Where are you based?

I am based in Notting Hill, West London.

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

Seeing that I am from USA and Jamaica and now living in West London, I have a very vast cultural understanding which has helped me tremendously here in West London as it is a very diverse place. Just about any culture or nationality you can think of is just a stone’s throw away from me. Also, West London is very much entertainment-orientated so ironically, it slightly feels like London’s “Hollywood”.

Lekhem

Q: What are you currently working on?

At the moment, I am working on a few features for other artists while working on my second release. This will be another mixtape as I am still working on my promotion and developing a strong fanbase for the first (Str8 Out Da Oven, available via the sites mentioned below). I have a really good feeling about what I am working on! I haven’t seen an artist in the UK approach a project quite in the same way I am doing for this one, so I am confident and hopeful that it will be one that will go down in history, for the right reasons. With the material done so far, and with what is about to be completed, along with the features I am working on for it, I have strong confidence in its appeal.

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

For me the highlights will always be performing my music and having the crowd sing along to my songs. Regardless of accolades that may or may not come along way, those moments when you feel at one with your audience and they feel at one with you are the moments that I will never forget. I’ve always read interviews where artists have said similar things and I didn’t quite understand it, until I became an artist myself.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I am hoping to achieve bigger shows, gaining a stronger fan base and move my career from strength to strength. My aim is to continue to make good music that my fans love. I have done that from the start and it has not failed me yet so I will continue and pray to God that everything else will fall into place.

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

I have a team that handles all my bookings for me and they are working on a number of dates. As soon as they are confirmed, they will be publicized via my various fan pages.

Q: What do you do to relax?

It sounds very cliché but music is actually what helps me to relax. Music tends to be that one thing that I can do at any time and it will help, be it from a happy experience or a depressing one. Whether it is listening to or creating new music. Apart from that, I’m just a regular guy, I like to watch sports, play sports, catch up on a movie, play video games, hang out with my friends and family. I’m a regular person just like anyone else that’s reading this right now. Everyone has a talent, mine just happens to be in music.

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

Ok, I’ll let you in on a little exclusive that not a lot of people know about me. I’m an aspiring author as well and I am currently writing my debut fiction novel. I’ve started well over a year ago but I am not rushing it at all, I am in no hurry to get it finished or published. I just work on it whenever I have the time or am in the mood to. I will let you know more about that as it becomes more relevant to my immediate work.

Editor’s Note: Lekhem is a really talented individual whom creates music that has both commercial appeal and a unique sound which draws on his musical inspirations. Lekhem is one of Essential Pop’s ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2011.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCC0kEqsTRI

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

twitter link: twitter.com/Lekhemmusic

facebook link: facebook.com/LekhemOfficial

myspace link: myspace.com/lekhemproductions

soundcloud link: soundcloud.com/lekhem

reverbnation link: reverbnation.com/lekhem

Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/LekhemMusic


Anything else:

http://www.mixtapemadness.co.uk/mixtapes/lekhem/str8out

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/en/view-album/8756-str8-out-da-oven

http://www.mixconnect.com/listen/Lekhem_-_Str8_Out_Da_Oven-mid5588/

http://www.mixtapefactory.com/Str8-Out-Da-Oven.html

http://twiturm.com/b0fea (you can also contact my Publicist via this link or the information below)

e-mail: lekhemmusic@gmail.com

Thank you to Simply Elite for all they’re help in doing this!

Has Katy B got her Lights Switch On about the US?

This is one Brit artist who is not jetting off to LA anytime soon…Dubstep star Kay B is not interested in launching her music career in the US – just yet. The 21 year old – who enjoyed big success with singles, Katy’s On A Mission and, Lights On, featuring Ms Dynamite- feels that there is no need to travel across the Atlantic, as there are plenty of talented artists in the UK to work with.

Katy B

Katy B

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

The Peckham-born singer added: “Don’t get me wrong, I love American music. A lot of music I listen to is American.

“There are so many talented artists out there but I think at the moment there is a lot of UK talent, so there’s not really much point in me getting on a plane and going all the way to LA, when I could get on a bus or maybe get on my bike.”

Katy B is currently working on her debut album, On the Mission, (which is 95 cent completed) will be released on 28 March 2011. The album promises a mixture of D&B, grime, funky house which is, in her words, bringing the underground to the overground!

Many may think that Katy B is mad not to take up the US opportunity, but this girl is well wise beyond her years and so many UK artists can learn a thing or two from her. She the type of girl who likes to ‘keep it real’ – so there’s no chance of her stumbling out of Chinawhite’s or dating some daft footballer!

Having being offered major record deals in 2009, Katy B – whose real name is Kathleen Katie Brien – musical life really kicked off in 2010. She released her first single, Katy On A Mission with Rinse label (owned by pirate-turn-official radio station Rinse FM). In the same year, Katy B graduated in Popular Music at Goldsmith University of London.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNhPYj-5rIY

Katy On A Mission was released in August 2010 and immediately reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the UK Indie Chart. Her second single, Lights On, was released in December 2010 and stormed in at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Not bad for a South-Londoner. There are so many artists, such as Leona Lewis and Alexander Burke, say they’ll never let stardom go to their heads…give them a couple years! With Katy B you know that she is a mature lady who is true to her word.

Artist Interview – TDB

If you thought of a hub for cutting-edge Hip Hop and R&B where would you think of? How about Australia? Stinga T and Big Sexy from TDB -- Tha Deadly Boyz, dropped in and gave us an insight into their current successes, the Hip-Hop movement in Australia, their muse and what we can all expect from TDB in 2011. Check them out!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WrUd9LoE6Q

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
We are an indigenous Australian Hip Hop group with a mainstream sound looking to raise the real Australian Hip Hop

Q: What is your musical background?
Well me, Big Sexy has always had a love for writing and performing since I was a kid and grew up listening to and performing to just about any genre you could think of, Stinga T had more of a sporting background but he noticed what I was doing with music and wanted to start it up and thats how our connection and the group started.

Big Sexy & Stinga T - TDB

Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 for us was a big learning experience filled with good and bad aspects but we had some great things happen for the group as in getting distribution for our album ‘Rise’ through Firestarter Distribution, performing at various places around Australia and also winning 2 awards for Best Album ‘Rise’ and Best Music Video for ‘My Baby’ (also a track off of the album) in an Indigenous based awards called The Bump Awards that were held in Melbourne Australia. So 2010 was a great year for TDB.

Q: Who inspires you musically?
Well we get our inspiration from our experiences through our lives. We like to tell stories of what frame of mind we’re in or how we feel or what we want to achieve or about family and relationships. So our music is basically our life and it has become a huge part of it.


Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Well the most respected artists I look up to are the ones who have come from nothing to build something big with hard work and great talent. A lot of artists in the music industry have gone through this and its what we go through aswell. Just having that common group with such artists gives us hope that dreams of being Hip Hop artists can come true and thats what we work towards everyday.

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Well you know every rapper wants to collaborate with a big name like 50 cent, Ludacris or Ice cube. So yeah, any big name rapper or R&B singer would be great to collaborate with.

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Well as for myself (Big Sexy) I have a lot of Dr. Dre, Ludacris, Jay Sean, Bone Thugs n Harmony and also have alot of our own TDB stuff on the as well. Got have that on there.

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Well we’re inspired with music itself, we will listen to a piece of music and be inspired that way and then write to it with a certain subject. But sometimes we have an idea in our head that we need to find a piece of music to and we do it that way as well. but mostly we get inspired by music to write.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aVrrYqhxv4

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Well its always good to have a good mix of both but when it comes down to it i think that lyrics are more important. Its more important if you’re wanting to tell a story or send a message through your music and it gives your music all that more depth and listeners get closer to an artist that way. But I also like a good melody and if you can mix then just right then its golden.

Q: Where are you based?
We are based in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. we also hail from Perth, Western Australia as well coz we have a lot of family there and its where we’re from.

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Its beautiful in Perth, such a clean and green place to be. Being an Aboriginal person from Perth we also have a connection to the land and we find ourselves not away from there too long but all up its a beautiful place to be.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcLLojDA3JE&feature=related

Q: What are you currently working on?
Well Stinga T and Me are working on our solo albums at the moment and hopefully the albums will be out by the end of the year. Both albums are very unique in there own way and there both a completely different sound then what TDB would have. Stinga T’s album ‘Two Face’ is more dark but at the same time shows his good side as well. Where Big Sexy’s album ‘The Gentleman’ is more on the lighter side so we have very different views on music but we collaborate very well when we create for TDB.

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Well the highlight of TDB to date would be love love and support we get back from our fans/listeners. They are really the fuel that keeps us going and pushing to be even better and develop into better artists. Also creating the ‘Rise’ album was a highlight of our career. It was hard and creative work putting the album together and as soon as we got it complete, we felt very accomplished and proud of ourselves that we created such a great album. I still find myself looking and listening to it and thinking what a great album.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Well we’re hoping to achieve a record deal hopefully soon with a label to really focus down on our music, all this time we’ve done it off our own backs and its been a struggle but hopefully we get picked up and we can push and have our music full throttle. Also for 2011, Stinga T has written a script called ‘Love and Loyalty’ which we want to filmed sometime this year. We also do acting alongside our music. So hopefully it all happens in 2011 for ya boys TDB.

Q: What do you do to relax?
Well for me, I read books and walk. I’ve always loved reading and its always been a stress reliever and relaxing for me.
(Stinga T) I like to just chill and play video games and listen to music or maybe workout , or just have a good old yarn with my family.

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

TDB also do acting and have just done a film called “49″ which is currently on the film circuit here in Australia and heading overseas later in the year so look out for that film, and last but not least new album “Rise” ( winner of best hip hop album 2010 ) is now out through JB-HI FI Australia and I-tunes .

Editor’s Note: Check out their videos. These guys are amazing. They’ve done this totally off their own back  and have talent… serious Hip Hop talent. It shows that if you have talent you can achieve.

If you want to get in touch with TDB here’s some links:

twitter link:www.twitter.com/tha_deadly_boyz
facebook link:www.facebook.com/thedeadlyboyz
myspace link:www.myspace.com/tdbthadeadlyboyz

reverbnation link:http://www.reverbnation.com/tdbthadeadlyboyz
Youtube www.youtube.com/thadeadlyboyz