Archive for the ‘pr2promo.com’ Category

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Tricky Mandrake is a solo artist from Casper – Wyoming, who does all his own work for every song. Coming from a rough back ground, music became an escape at 12 years old for him. Tricky experiments with many different styles of music, attempting to come up with something unique. Tricky translates his creativity into music through the use of various instruments, including the piano, guitar, drums, and bass guitar. He says he want others to see what can come out of the joys of music.

Tricky-Mandrake-ProfileImagine that most artists are in the shape of squares. You see what kind they are and what sort of music they put out labeled straight on them. Tricky Mandrake is different in the sense that if you take a few steps to the side, you’ll discover many different faces and find that you were looking at a cube. He doesn’t just stick with one style of music. He keeps changing and adding various new elements to his sound. Thus we arrive to his latest offering, the single entitled, “Over and Under” – a heavy synth-driven, metal-core track with booming drums and organic undertones.

While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it really is something that grabs your attention and cannot be ignored.  “Over and Under” packs a punch that has not been felt in a very long time with its raw sounding “garage-band-basement” riffs, catchy lyrics, soaring vocals and head smashing drums which brings back memories of the late 90’s. There is so much power, strength and emotion wrapped around this song; it can power a small town. The music is great from the first tone to the end of the track.

“Over and Under” seems like a mix or a blur of everything Tricky Mandrake has done until this point, including tracks like, “Bout Us feat Task and Eazy” and “Shoes That Bleed feat Feeki”. It has the same rap/rock influences, only this seems a little heavier than he has been before. You might say that “Over and Under” is a return to the glory-days-sound, of a grittier and more rock focused, young Linkin’ Park. Tricky Mandrake seems like he is on a rampage to track something down, bringing out the beast inside his music.

Well, Tricky has found his screamier and tenacious side, with a style that is even grittier than anything he has done before, and the recording methods he uses here, makes him sound more like a hybrid between high-energy-driven techno and raucous raw metal – a truly fun, powerful and exciting musical direction. I hope Tricky Mandrake continues this trend, because he has definitely grabbed my attention with “Over and Under”!

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUD – FACEBOOK – TWITTER

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Haj was born and raised in Queens, NY to a family of Punjabi descent. This 80’s baby learned the meaning of hard work and loyalty growing up in the streets of NY. He’s always had a strong passion and love for music. His musical inspiration originates from his favorite emcee Nas. Haj’s latest release, the single “Whole World”, is one of those songs that become part of your life’s soundtrack. It’s catchy, uplifting and makes you want to groove along. It inspires warmth and a sense of well-being that can change your perspective in an instant.

HAJ-WORLDThis song appeals to any generation, race or creed. “Whole World” will touch your soul and trigger a visceral reaction in you. We need as much music of this nature as we can get to deal with this crazy world of ours. The music pulsates with regularity of wonderful heartbeats. Musically it kicks into gear with a quirky keyboard of sorts, using a repeating electric piano chord, while a sturdy snapping drum comes in, accompanied by Haj’s smooth sing-song voice declaring: “ I got the whole world in my hand and I know I can change it.”

Throughout the song Haj describes the emotion of brotherly love and making the world a better place – not as a far-fetched theoretical concept, but as a real living entity that has a physical nature, and through which happiness could easily reached. He sings: “Change started from the bottom, just think about it. Pyramids weren’t built from the top.” And then he further explains: “First love yourself, then love another.” And firmly concludes the concept with: “Raise your mind, raise your voice. Change the world like only you can.”

HAJ-PROFILEWhat is most impressive is the nature of this song’s possibly massive cultural impact. While trendy songs have always come and gone in the past, even ones that had a positive message to them, it’s been a very long time since a song that represented pop music in a musically meaningful and sophisticated nature has such a positive source of inspiration. I remember Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, coming from a similar place of peace, but with different connotations.

Mood-enhancing, but with a stripped down musical production, Haj as deliberately created a soundscape which allows the lyrics to be clearly upfront and not lost in a surplus of sound or trapped in a bunch of rambling and ranting rap verses. Haj has kept things simple and uncluttered, allowing the song’s message to arrive in a timely manner.  I think if everyone listened to this song and truly followed its example, one day, all around the world, everything would change in an instant!

OFFICIAL LINKS: YOUTUBE – SPOTIFY – APPLE MUSIC – ITUNES – INSTAGRAM

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Ditsea Yella is an electro-grunge duo from London, consisting of Diana and Phil, after having met in a boxy studio in Shoreditch while working on separate projects. The duo is a much unexpected surprise indeed. With their tracks, “Sin Mona Lisa”, “Boys and Girls” and “Vampire”, the listener is thrown back to authentic Alternative music. Something that is sorely missed in today’s world. Experimentation with great songwriting and hooks all over makes it hard to ignore these recordings.

Diane

Ditsea Yella is a breath of fresh air in today’s music industry; setting their own trend and creating their own unique sound.  Their songs harbor a wide range of edgy styles, while Diana’s sultry vocals joined with the heart pumping electro-rock fusion make them wildly eclectic and delectably addictive in a crazy way. Throughout the songs Diana has this amazing sense of sensual wickedness, creating a marvelous persona that is so infectious and so intoxicating. This is particularly evident on the deliciously mischievous “Boys and Girls”.

Phil and Diana have the uncanny ability to create massive side to side beats combined with atmospheric and sonic anomalies; each listen reveals hidden layers that seem to peel back to uncover new sounds.  A few listens to tracks like “Vampire” and you will know this duo is all about twisting and turning mainstream conventions – experimenting with sound, creating new hybrids of funky ear-candy, whether they draw from harder rock, simpler pop or groovier electro. And at the same time they are telling a story and sending a message. “Vampire” deals with how people sometimes – deliberately or not – deplete, debilitate and devitalize others, completely draining them, both literally and emotionally.

Phil

Ditsea Yella make songs that kick and cry, moan and tease, and sometimes they do it all in one song, like in “Sin Mona Lisa”, with which I made a horribly embarrassing spectacle of myself in traffic by cranking the volume in my car on the way to the coffee shop and home again, to the point I know I was offending someone somewhere around me, even with the windows up and the sunroof closed. I know I went into shop reeking of music, the volume having been so extreme it forced the notes and words and chords and melodies into my clothes and hair. It’s not the kind of sound I’m used to, but that’s ok, because this music still makes me feel and think and feel groovy.

With that said Ditsea Yella isn’t for everyone, as their music requires you to pay attention while listening to their electro-rock agglomeration. They incorporate different textures, techniques and sound that, when layered, form a complex network of eclectic rhythms and melodies that give them their infamy. Ditsea Yella meshes cryptic lyrics with the sporadic lapse into peculiarity, overdriven jagged guitar chords, and the occasional eccentricity, to form 3 satisfyingly diverse singles that go where few newer bands have gone before.

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Nubia Emmon is set to release her debut 5-track EP, entitled “Nubia Emmon 93” on April 12. In the meantime Nubia has dropped the SWV and Michael Jackson inspired single, “Hooked on Your Love”. A smooth R&B classic sound, flavored with a delicate Hip hop edge.  Out of Austin, Texas, Nubia Emmon is a singer, rapper, dancer and songwriter.

nubia-emmon-200bShe is a distant cousin of The Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, her father grew up performing in an R&B band along with his brothers and sisters and her brother also performs in his own band. This innate love for music and constantly being in the presence of her family’s artistry was passed on to Nubia, who was singing by the time she was 3.

This young lady has the gumption to take on the R&B world and succeed in it. Her sound and approach brings to mind what I think Aaliyah would be putting out if she was still alive today. Nubia leaves no stone unturned when it comes to relationships on “Hooked on Your Love”, as she examines the pros and cons of her man.

She proves you can still stay relevant while singing from within. Her music is very deep and something that people can relate to. She really opens up her heart and soul and puts all of her doubts, feelings and emotions out there.

nubia-emmon-200She is pretty much showing how she is in love with someone and how much she really loves them and what they mean to her; sometimes too much – as her love for that person becomes intoxicating to the point of no return. This is the type of song that plays in your head over and over again because it is that good, catchy and thought-provoking you will never get tired of it. Especially if you love in the same way!

Yes the beat is hot, but her smooth, easy going voice is the gem that makes this track. It’s all about the vocals. Nubia really brought it to the table on “Hooked on Your Love”, and single-handedly killed it. I think what struck me most about this this track, after the voice and beat, was its mature approach to love and relationships.

It flies in the face of the countless albums from female R&B artists that continue to sell only sex. It seems like everybody else has forgotten about the impact unconditional love has on relationships. Not Nubia Emmon, who shows us that she is still “Hooked on Your Love”!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – YOUTUBE

 

Young Gifted has stayed true to the game since 1988. Pioneers of the dark side, Young Gifted embody old school and new school techniques over thunderous beats. Now Young Gifted is back with a vengeance and to settle an old score, with their monstrous street anthem titled, “Get ‘Em”.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?

Young Gifted: We have been in the business for more than 25 years. Mr. Westfield, the school principal, took an interest in us and became our mentor.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Young Gifted: Various artist from Motown, groups such as Earth Wind and Fire. Hip Hop artists such as, Run-Dmc, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Public Enemy just to name a few.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Young Gifted: Everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Hall and Oats.

  1. Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that, and how do you handle criticism and haters in general? 

Young Gifted: Years ago, we were told that our music sounds far too futuristic and that the industry won’t embrace it. It’s now 2015; we feel that the industry has caught up to us, being that we were already ahead of our time. The only way to handle criticism and haters is to, stay persistent and believe in your craft. Don’t let anyone tell you that “you can’t do something”

  1. What are your thoughts on visual media and Youtube? Do think that video is an appropriate marketing tool for your music, and do you have any videos published for fans to see?

Young Gifted: Visual media is great if used wisely. No, we do not have any videos out at the moment. We chose another path to go down. We wanted to be different from everyone else. In the near future, we will be releasing some visuals on social media, internet, YouTube, etc.

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  1. Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?

Young Gifted: Both. However, I must admit there’s no better feeling than to perform in front of a live audience.

  1. Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?

Young Gifted: My lyrics speak for itself. Ruff, rugged and raw. Lead artist “L.o.v.e” handles the lyrics. Total Kaos handles the production alongside Aaron Dean and Young C The Great.

    8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find it? 

Young Gifted: Our latest recording release was a freestyle titled: Blood Type. Fans can find it on sound cloud, Reverbnation. https://www.reverbnation.com/younggifted4   https://soundcloud.com/jo-146

  1. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre thriving with newcomers?

Young Gifted: When you feel it’s real, whether new or old, authenticity is the key. That’s what resonates in the music as well in our performance.

  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? 

Young Gifted: I have to say Passion. Young Gifted’s passion for music and for our music to be heard around the world supersedes any emotion you can think of.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Young Gifted: What excites me about being an independent artist is that I’m my own boss. I get to choose my own destiny. My own pathway. What discourages me is that the industry makes it very hard for an independent artist like myself to get music played on commercial radio.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

Young Gifted: We have a management team “Young Gifted Entertainment.”  The entertainment uses various tools such as social media, internet and other outlets to market and promote the group.

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  1. How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a private recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio?

Young Gifted: We work out of a private studio “Authority Studios”

  1. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Young Gifted: The best piece of advice I followed was to always be myself. No one can be a better me. I was given this advice at young age by my dad and I continue to follow this philosophy to this day.

  1. If you had the choice which famous and/or successful producer would you like to work with?

Young Gifted: There is plenty out there, but to name one “Dr. Dre”

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to independent artists and indie music in general, or do you think it only creates ‘fake of fabricated fame’?

Young Gifted: The internet and social media is very fundamental to an independent artist. Social media gives indie artist an outlet for their music to be heard by the masses.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Young Gifted: Dark, Hardcore beats, hip hop at its finest, lyrically inclined, ill, Dope

  1. Straight off the top of your head, how would you describe the current state of Hip-hop, R&B and Rap? 

Young Gifted: The industry has changed a lot from when I started. My motto has always been “people change, but the game remains the same”

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  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone? 

Young Gifted: What fires me up is being able to change the state of hip hop. I want to bring it back to the golden age where music matters. I’m excited about kicking in the doors for us and for all indie artists that follows behind. That’s what motivates me. I’m not doing this for a Grammy, I’m doing this for the love of the culture. If I achieve a Grammy or platinum status along the way, so be it.

  1. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? 

Young Gifted: Compromise myself. Stay true to my music. Stay true to the culture and last but not least, stay true to the streets.

OFFICIAL LINKS: REVERBNATION – TWITTER – FACEBOOK

by Christopher Knab
Fourfront Media & Music

The following tips are essential, life-long suggestions, for any and all musicians to remember as they establish and/or maintain their music careers.

1. Stop sending unsolicited demo recordings to record labels, and instead concentrate on building your own music name and reputation by creating longterm relationships with your growing fanbase. They are your ticket to success.

2. Take the time to learn what the professionals in the music business do for a living. What are their job titles, who do they report to, and what do they do everyday when they go to work? The contacts you make in the music industry can make or break your career because your potential success is directly linked to any possible growing success of the industry people who are climbing their own ladders to success. The music business is built on the “buddy system.” Everyone is attached to everyone else in this industry. As you go, so go your business contacts.

3. Before contacting any music business professional have 1(one) prepared question for them that will not make you look or sound like an ignorant person. i.e. Do not ask them how to become a atar, or how to get a recording contract. No one has the time to answer such sweeping and naive questions.

4. Create two contact lists: One for professional people you actually have as a business contact. Another contact list made up of all your fans. Keep both lists updated and using common sense, reach out to both contract groups only when you have something very important to ask of them and/or to share with them.

5. Prepare a short 30 second description of your music. Memorize it and use it every time you are asked “What kind of music do you make?” Don’t go on and on describing your music… your statement should clearly describe your genre or style of music quickly and in compelling language that will perk up the person’s ears and find yourself with an interested and potentially valuable new contact ready to support you.

6. If you have trouble defining your music style, try this exercise… define the word “originality” and note that within that word is another word… “origin.” Perhaps this will help you focus on what makes your music unique. Never say your music is “unique,” explain HOW it is unique. This exercise will help you write your 30 second statement.

7. Remember this always: People in the music industry who’s job it is to find and support new acts don’t know what they are looking for…BUT…they will recognize it when they hear it.

8. Find a concise “Image” and follow it everywhere. This is important because the first impression to someone unfamiliar with your sound is a VISUAL experience most of the time. i.e. Your Logo design used to spell your name, the title of your CD, or the design of your website, merchandise etc. is crucial to attracting industry and music fans. Image IS everything in show business, and in case you didn’t realize it, music is part of good ‘ol show business. Research your favorite acts and study their image.

9. People only respond to music they can personally relate to. What is it in your songs and compostions that has inspired your current fanbase and will grow to attract more fans and industry support? Think hard on this point. It is a true key to any possible success. Music contains emotions, so what emotions do your songs deliver to a listener?

10. Does your music sound too much like another artist or band’s music? This is the biggest complaint from music business professionals… too much music today sounds like retreads of already successful artists. And, your fans are sensitive to this issue too. There is way too much :redundant-sounding” music out there today.

11. When you perform live does your stage pressence reflect the image conveyed in your songs? Are you well prepared, well rehearsed, and do the songs in your live set flow into each other in an exciting and well balanced way?

12. It can never be said enough. Great songs, Great compositions are the basis of all potential success, but “grunt work,” everyday down-in-the-trecnches boring work, like updating your blog and website, keeping your websie and social networking pages updated and staying in touch with your fans regularly are tough jobs. Only you can tackle these jobs and other jobs like putting up flyers for shows (on and offline), updating your press materials, looking for gigs, rehearsing… all these tasks require your commitment to carry them out without complaining. Remember, only YOU can care the most…it’s YOUR music, YOUR career that we are dealing with here.

13. There is no such thing as an “overnight sensation.” Behind every act referred to in this way are countless hours of hard work and dedication that got that person or act to be able to take advantage of the breaks they got, and remember too that the breaks you are looking for should be more than “a record deal” or a “production deal.” Look out for the ever increasing demand for uses of your songs online, in films, TV shows and ads… the list goes on. But you have to work consistently for these breaks to happen.

14. Home recording is as common today as home cooking use to be, but don’t get trapped in the rut of staying at home and working on your computer or home recording setup. GET OUT regularly and show up at clubs and other concert venues on a regular basis. There is that old saying “They only come out at night”… well that’s very true when it comes to music business personnel as well as music fans. So, get out there and socialize IN -PERSON wherever you might live.

15. As your fanbase grows create more and more merchandise to sell online and at your live shows. Be sure your LOGO is on every piece of merchandise you sell. (back to that statement-“Image is everything.”)

16. This last tip may be the most important of all. Conduct your business from your heart. Yes, the music industry rarely operates from that place, but don’t worry about the industry, concern yourself with your SELF… be righteous. Be upstanding. Be a professional in everything you do. If you do that, believe me you will stand out from from the crowd.

A panel of music supervisors gave a peek into how they choose music for the projects they’re working on at the THR/Billboard Film and TV Music Conference in Los Angeles. In addition to offering advice on what not to do when submitting music, the panelists critiqued snippets of music submitted by conference attendees who are trying to break into film/TV music. Here are some dos and don’ts for submitting music to supervisors.

– When sifting through the music he receives daily, EA Worldwide executive of music Steve Schnur divides the submissions into piles based on importance. I’ll separate it based on things I’m never going to listen to, Schnur said, noting that submissions from people he has relationships gets placed into a pile he’ll likely listen to. Usually those come with a note or a letter, and my assistant pulls those out separately. Submissions with interesting artwork are likely to get noticed over those without, he noted. Music supervisor Frankie Pine said that and CD submissions with handwriting goes into the garbage. 

– It may seem like a no-brainer, but many songwriters don’t leave contact information on music submissions. Those who don’t usually get their music tossed, the panel agreed. While searching in the submission box for music to critique, Pine chose an album by a group whose CD didn’t have contact information on it. I wouldn’t listen to that one, she said. It doesn’t get a listen if it doesn’t have contact information. Because if I liked it, what would I do? I’d have to research it and I don’t have time for that. Picture Tunes Music’s Nora Felder suggested that artists invest in plastic jewel cases and include the name of the act on the spine. For those of us that do continue to use CDs, you want us to be able to see that on the shelf when we’re looking for something, she said. Paul Glass, supervising music director of “One Life To Live,” suggested, “When you put the metadata into your CDs, if you could have contact information in one of the fields, it’s really amazing. So if I’m going through an iTunes list and I’m looking for something specific, it makes things a lot easier.” 

– Most music supervisors prefer digital submissions of music. So if possible, send e-mail with links, streams or MP3s. “One of the supervisors that works for me loves CDs. But I hate them,” Schnur said. “I don’t want to deal with it. I deal with YouSendIt or MP3s. Love it.” Glasser noted that 80% of the music he receives via e-mail contains links to an artist’s music. Play-Tone Company’s Deva Anderson added, “In my office we do digital-only, so we don’t accept any CDs anymore. It’s a lot easier if you have a website to let us know what site it is.” Felder said she accepts CD submissions, but asks songwriters to “please write neatly so I can read it. If you don’t have money for stickets, take a wide piece of masking tape an write the information and stick it right on the CD. Make it as neat of a presentations as possible.” 

– Most music supervisors don’t have time to listen to a whole album, so always circle or note which tracks you’d like the music supervisor to listen to first. “When you’re making an album, obviously you’re not going to sequence it thinking of, “Oh God, I need that song that’s going to get on a TV show”, up front,” Schnur said. “Thus, you really need to call out on that packaging if you have something specific in mind. Because if not, we’re going to go to the first track, and you’re out.” Felder added, “There are many times when I’ll listen to a whole CD and frankly I won’t like most of the songs on the CD. Then one song will be the winner. So definitely try to indicate which song you think is right for the project.” 

– Songwriters should be aware of the projects music supervisors are working on and tailor their submissions to specific films of television shows. “When submitting, it’s really easy to Google anyone here on stage and find out what they’re working on,” Deva Anderson said. “Be familiar with what those shows are and what kind of music they use.” Pine added, “If you really feel like track seven was your strong track, circle it, say why you’re submitting it for this particular project, this one is the one I think would be really great for “Californication,” because I’ve watched the show and know what kind of music they have. Just don’t submit songs for the sake of submitting a song to somebody, because it wastes a lot of our time and unfortunately that tends to leave a bad taste in our mouths.”

Via Billboard