Posts Tagged ‘Music industry’

By Jacqueline Cassell
Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop is an experiment of musical genre created by artists Andy Box & The Bunks. It combines elements of traditional blues, rock-n-roll, and hip-hop with the intent of creating an alternative sound that is both unique and familiar. Instrumentally, this project is true the four musicians in the band; every track has guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Lyrically, the content is strong with Andy Box covering themes of love and loss to deeper messages of spirituality and the war on consciousness. Overall the sound is fun, smart, and edgy; a trip through the minds of four undoubtedly talented musicians.

When and where did you all meet? What was the ultimate deciding factor to create Andy Box & the Bunks? We met for the first time in 2013 at a show in Long Branch called “A Night like Woodstock” when AI was part of a hip-hop duo and the Bunks were playing one of their first shows. The Bunks bassist and I went to Monmouth University together and studied Music Industry. We were close friends throughout college and near the end of Senior Year I approached the band with the idea of creating a collaborative project; they were down right away! It was not long after that we all met up and started playing together that my duo partner gave up music and I was left alone. Luckily, the Bunks were excited to explore the experimental sound we had been jamming on and we set out to record something we could call our own. That’s how it all began.

What are your musical backgrounds like? What made you decide to mesh Blues, Rock, and Hip Hop together as one? My background in music, creatively speaking, was in hip-hop; my teenage years consisted of listening to every street record I could get my hands on; artist like Jadakiss, Jay-Z, Outkast, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi were huge influences. I loved recording and releasing mixtapes with my friends. I always had a love for the psychedelic blues rock of the late 60’s and 70’s, artists like Led Zeppelin, the Zombies, and of course the Beatles so when I heard the Bunks groovy style of blues rock I thought that we had an opportunity to create something I’ve never heard before. The Bunks have a rock n roll background; I mean these guys are about as rock n roll as you can get. They love everything from Jimi to the Black Keys, Jack White to Stone Temple Pilots and PLENTY more. When we realized we had similar tastes and musically we could create something fun and unique out of our collective talents, we set out on creating what we called Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop.

Tell us a bit about your current release, Blues Rock Hip Hop Demo! What was the writing and recording process like? 4 out of these 5 songs I came to the Bunks with; I had the chord changes and song structures all mapped out. They took it and ran with them, breathing such great life into Ride Life, Indulge In the Pleasure, Changing Tides, an Daemons Make the Angels Real. What You Need was written by Jozcel and Jonzi; when they showed it to me I immediately came up with the chorus and we jammed on it over and over. It was magic. We met up and jammed on these songs A LOT before thinking about recording. We ended up recording in October with Stephen Kellner in North Jersey. The guy has a great set-up and is a really knowledge producer and musician. We cut all 5 records in two days.

Do you have any upcoming tour dates to celebrate this demo release? 

Yes and No. It is not exactly a “Tour” but we do have shows booked in NYC, North Jersey, and Central Jersey. We plan on doing a lot of open mics and pop-up performances in the coming weeks so if you’re in the city look out! Here is a List of the 3 shows booked so far:

Februrary 27th – Asbury Park Yacht Club – Asbury Park NJ

March 29th – The Bitter End – NYC

April 7th – The Court Tavern – New Brunswick NJ

If you had to describe your music to new listeners in three words, what would they be?

Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop! HAHA But really….. Fun, Smart, and a little trippy.

Connect With Andy Box & The Bunks:
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bluesrockandhiphop
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6axMeoNoGg4gmuUrH2Ja5f
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kz-YcovmaY
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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

Vince-Gill1

This one’s for all you country lovers out there: Vince Gill is back.

Three years after his last album released, the country legend is back with Down To My Last Bad Habit, his 20thfull length album in a storied 32 year career. In the days of Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan, Gill keeps his classic country twang. Listening to this album is nothing if not reminiscent of how country music used to be.

The first track on the album, “Reasons for the Tears I Cry,” brings that honky-tonk sound that makes you want to put on your cowboy boots and start line dancing. Vince’s soulful voice is no different here than it was in “When I Call Your Name,” one of his biggest hits in 1989. If you’re looking for consistency in quality, Down To My Last Bad Habit is the album you’ll want to hear.

The title track strays away from the honky-tonk vibe that we’re introduced to and slows things down a bit with the country crooner singing about giving up all of his bad habits but one: his former love interest. Again, the style of this track greatly resembles the late ‘80s and early ‘90s country that classic country lovers will be very familiar with. Familiarity is key with this album, but none of it is repetitive or derivative in the least.

Finishing off the album, we get a true tear-jerker in “Sad One Comin’ On.” The song delivers that true country cryin’ music and the song hits home, especially for Vince Gill and classic country lovers alike — it was written for his long time friend and country legend George Jones, who passed away in 2013.

This track is the perfect way to close out the album, bringing true emotion and finishing with that soulful voice that all true country music lovers will remember and appreciate.

You can listen to the album in its entirety here, or download it on iTunes.

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Bobby Craymer the musician has decided to come out of hiding. A real life story of a playing musician who decided to walk away from music 25 years ago, to pursue a real life, yet in his heart and soul he wondered “Where did the music go…” A few people found him in Los Angeles leading a very different life and slowly with the ease it takes to walk and talk and with patience, showed him a very different music business than the one he walked away from. Bobby Craymer has since dropped a series of singles on his Soundcloud profile, one of which is “She Comes To Me”. Totally outstanding and thoroughly entertaining Craymer is priceless, a true gem in the world of pop-rock. Years after his debut he is back with this new track and it certainly holds up to expectations.

bobby-craymer-350The song has words that ring out about inward struggles, enlightenment and truth. The words emote, and are compelling because they fit so well with the melody and production of sound. The harmony speaks, the singer speaks, the guitar speaks, the song seems to be reaching out… trying to communicate a bigger picture. The beauty is that the bigger picture is never quite defined, yet it’s right there, and if you’ve experienced it, then the song comes home to the heart.

Bobby Craymer has some great ideas fleshed out into strong melodic rock. On top of that, it is obvious that his music is a serious labor of love, no sloppy playing, singing, or messy recording, a completely professional effort. “She Comes To Me” is a bold re-emergence of a songwriting talent after a 25 year hiatus. There is just something different about this guy. I have to say that he is what I would call a true artist. If you know his work, you know that there is no discernable compromise in his art. Whether it is his first record or his most recent, this is a guy who seems to do what he does because he was made that way. His lyrics, arrangements and vocal harmonies all make sense according to his own true calling.

Bobby Craymer’s music is not too difficult to articulate, the purity, and the intimacy of it feels, to me, so close. There are many great artists out there, but at the end of the day, my favorites are the ones that ‘speak to me’. Listening to Craymer’s latest tracks feels like being at an intimate house concert. The words are clear and heartfelt, and the musical arrangements are just enough, while Craymer’svoice is in perfect form. As a result his songs have a sense of familiarity about it while also feeling fresh. Lots of images and feelings arise as you close your eyes and just listen to “She Comes To Me”; very powerful stuff indeed.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – REVERBNATION – FACEBOOK

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Valley Of Kings are a very soulful Rock band from the heartland of East Sussex, made up of frontman songwriter and producer Dar.Ra, Aiden Purdey and Rory Purdey, and recently witnessed that music still holds the power to reach people beyond words after creating music workshops in a Dementia care home in East Sussex recently.  It was surprising to see how the residents responded to hearing music and how it triggered off past memories which brought happiness and laughter to the residents.

Dar.Ra has graced the UK national charts and dance charts with two top 40’s and two number one dance records with acts signed to EMI, BMG, Festival Records (Australia) plus remixed legends like Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tears 4 Fears, Urban Harmonix ft Rachel Brown (Faithless, Groove Armada) and many others along the way.  His first solo album Soul Hours released in 2010 made album of the week of Spain’s Heart FM as well as receiving support from BBC Radio, playing to over 1 million people on an air live show.

The Purdey brothers add soul to the unit, and they have a huge amount of musical DNA in their blood being related to the late great John Martyn OBE who had a 40 year career, and worked with some of the greats from Eric Clapton to Dave Gilmore.

Valley Of Kings

The boys got the band together after finding out they loved the same records and began playing shows in the South East. They wrote an album in 6 months, booked into Neil Costello’s (Paul Macartney/Stevie Wonder) studio and recorded the whole thing in 8 hours. The boys wanted to go back to the way records were made back in the days of the one take and release it mode.

They recorded their debut EP Midnight and found something interesting happened when Dar.Ra was doing his music workshop in a Dementia care home.

Music has a natural power to go beyond words, people with dementia hold key memories which can be triggered by certain songs which can stimulate the mind, releasing endorphins which can lift a person’s spirit, when nothing else can.

‘While playing certain songs it’s an amazing thing to see someone go from staring into space to seeing a smile break out on their face, and suddenly they want to move their body and play along to the music, it is like witnessing magic happen’.

After playing a set of tracks one of the staff put on the Midnight Live EP, the response from the residents was to play along to it, while others where tapping their feet, which was the most wonderful experience to see, after all words had failed, but music made the difference.

The music industry has taken some near death blows since the internet and the Pop Idol shows and this has changed the way people respect music and musicians, so to see music being felt by people with no agendas restores any doubt in the power of music. It goes beyond chart success and back to the reason why music is so essential to the human soul.

The Valley of Kings create a hybrid of Rock, Soul, and Reggae, mixed with a high energy that makes the Live show well worth having a look at which you can do by coming down to Printers Playhouse Eastbourne where they will be headlining on the 16th Jan with support from up and coming mod influenced band The Gallery’s from Kent who recently supported Secret Affair.

The EP Midnight Live is out in Jan 2016 on Kusha Deep Recordsor more info contact

For more info contact Andy Purdey – 01323 833989

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House Of Guilty Pleasures

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Kiarra Armani Rivera “Mani” Madness, a Brooklyn NY singer, rapper and songwriter was surrounded by music all of her life. Her dad was a rapper/producer who had the pleasure of working with many artists. At the age of 15 she moved to Columbia, SC. Shortly after, she signed to a record label and put out her first single entitled: “Wind Your Body Up” which hit the Billboard charts.

Now Mani Madness is part of the Idolize Music Group family, with her single “We all Night”,produced by Vinny Idol, D-Block super Producer, and executive produced by OvaCeas (PentHouse Boyz). It’s clear that Mani Madness has been broadening her talent in music and she hasn’t been restricting herself to the same old hiphop beats and hi hats. This shows throughout her single “We all Night”. She rhymes, she sings and she does it well. Plus her collaborations with Vinny Idol and OvaCeas, really help this track to come out top.

Mani-Madness-350It won’t take much more than one listen to get used to it. “We all Night” is good because it portrays Vinny Idol’sbroadening imagination via music creation and also shows Mani Madness to have an ability to rhyme on even the most urgent of beats. The track combines Mani Madness’ chilled sensitive style with her aggressive and authoritative style, giving the song the ability to stand tall on both street and commercial level.

Mani Madness is a work in progress, and this track is a huge step forward for her career. Her rapping is edgy, and her overall singing style is mature, making the song a rhythmic serving of upbeat rap infused with pop and R&B textures. She brings out her sexy side, her fierce side, her street side and her vulnerable side while maintaining a cool groove and explicit lyrical content. In fact the lyrics are beyond hot!

I really didn’t expect “We all Night” to be on the level it is. Mani Madness is a welcome beacon of light in a genre that has been too long dominated by the same pointless male stereotypes. She has her own flare and twist! This is a good one.

OFFICIAL LINKS: ITUNES – MANI MADNESS – TWITTER: MANI MADNESS – PENTHOUSE BOYZ – VINNY IDOL

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Randy Ichinose is a 22 year-old Italian musician. He released his first shoegaze E.P. “All Pilots at the Ready” in 2013 and in February 2016 he released his first L.P. “C’Est la Vie”. Randy is from a region of Italy where both Italian and French are official languages so his song are written in both these languages. Randy is a strict vegan and vegan activist since 2012, Randy sings and plays all of the instruments in his songs.

“C’Est la Vie”, contains a rich mixture of styles and emotions, varying from quieter, reflective numbers (such as 055 (feat. Chris Holoyda) and C’Est La Dose Qui Fait Le Poison) to mid-tempo power pop (Jusqu’à ce que Chaque Cage Soit ) to full on rock (Jason GideonIl Cuore (feat. Milouze Gondek) and Esto Gaza). The one constant is that the songwriting and performances are consistently excellent.  There are some rock anthems on here that just blow the doors off of anything that came out since the era of post grunge sound-alike bands.

The album artwork

The songs flow and the structures are cohesive, but you won’t find any pretentiousness in this – just some of the most gorgeous, emotional, dynamics-laden and rocking music ever made. This album sweeps you away with its grand rhythmic crescendos and Randy Ichinosepowerful, echoed and emotive vocals. The best part of this album though, is the songwriting, which is the most difficult thing to appreciate in popular music. No tricks, no slick studio stuff, just good music.

An amazing use of guitar textures and sonic landscaping makes “C’Est la Vie” one of the most interesting rock albums of the year so far. It takes a couple of listens to appreciate all the songs, but some will stand out during the first listen. There are killer riffs and lots of electric guitar mastery, but no masturbatory solos, as Randy does not spend any time being arty, pretentious and showing off. Sudden musical shifts from meandering melodic to flat-out rocking, vivid synthetic properties, soaring choruses, and an overall love for crafting multi-layered guitar music are put on display here.

Few bands can write something as convincingly crossover, vintage, grunge, emo and shoegaze as this, on one album. Randy Ichinose’s voice is so expressive and versatile, alternately tough and tender. He can go from sweetly sensitive to bitterly venomous in two seconds flat. Generally, the guitars churn relentlessly like machinery, but they sometimes flutter around like strange butterflies, once in a while jangling, and occasionally screaming in overload. “C’Est la Vie”represents Randy Ichinose’s pinnacle (thus far), especially in terms of achieving his rocking atmospheric sound as well as writing some of his best songs.

 

OFFICIAL LINKS: BLOG – BANDCAMP – YOUTUBE