Saturday, July 19, 2014

Interview with a Handpainted Crafts Artisan, Madeline Lasell


Residing in Massachusetts, a mother of three, and working for a non-profit organization by day and artist by
night, Madeline Lasell is a pop-art junkie that strives to make artistic hand painted gifts in her spare time. Madeline's relaxation is to create fine and delicate pieces of art from statement vases to ceramics to fill in living spaces, office, or bedroom.

Interview with Madeline Lasell

Tell me about yourself and your background.

I am a mother of three from MA. I work for a non profit organization. I do this in basically all of the spare time that I have. You could call it my relaxtion method. I am looking to create items that gain sentimental value as a people we remember those items that are delicate beautiful or decorative that made our living space, office or bedroom feel like it was marked with our style and flair.

What got you into sculpture painting?

Madeline: Most of us remember visiting as we are young and homes have these intriguing figures in cabinets and decorative artifacts.

What inspires you to create your pieces?

Madeline: Painting my 1st love. I look all over the place for items that inspire me to paint tiny surface spaces

Is that what you would call your work or is there a formal name for this type of work?

What motived you to become an artist? What is your favorite era in art?

Madeline: My mistress so to speak.I have been painting since I was a child even Exhibited in the past. I am a huge fan of historic Art culture I can name most works by artist and year. My favorite is post modern

Most of your projects are quite small standing only 4 inches tall. What is your largest item you've painted?

The largest I have ever done was a full body self portrait that made me appreciate that human portraits were not my forte.

Do you ever do canvas painting? Is this something we might find in the future?

Madeline: Canvas is great but gets tedious after awhile.

You mentioned that you've been painting since you were a child. Did you ever in your lifetime want to make art your career choice? What is the primary reason you haven't pursued it?

Madeline:  If I ever take off to the level where the shop is truly successful I would want to do it full time and
incorporate some sort of charitable element to help those in need. I am always expanding mediums so I would consider adding other sections to the shop such as jewelry or children's items.

Art is everywhere we look and it has been around as long as man has walked the earth, but art is still under-appreciated and very few people are paid for it. In today's economy, do find that it's difficult to get hired as an artist?

Madeline: Yes, but in this day and age we live in a culture that does not support a lot of Art related fields.

What is your take on the art world? (I am curious about your personal opinion)

Madeline: Art is lost on this current culture we lost appreciation for the craftsman ages ago children barely are exposed to creative ventures.

Do any of your pieces represent you? If so, which piece represents yourself?

Madeline: Hmm, the religious pieces are close to my heart.

What is in store for you? What can people expect in the near future?

Madeline: My future is undefined Who knows maybe I will be able to use my skill to be a positive influence in some way

Thank you for your time for this interview

Madeline: Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


Find products by Madeline Lasell:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/emyliastone

"Like" on Facebook:
http://facebook.com/Emyliastone14

Follow on Twitter:
@Hellowcocoakitty 

Hip Hop Reality: Interview with Jay Vinchi

Jay Vinchi is an 18 year old Hip Hop artist from the area of Metro Detroit, Michigan. His musical style is very unique and diverse ranging from hardcore Hip Hop themes to Boom-Bap and very experimental sounds. His career began seriously in 2013 with two mixtape releases while his professional debut was placed during the year of 2014 with the release of his debut commercial Single “Everything” and his debut mixtape titled “Reality”.

Interview with Jay Vinchi

Tell us about your music. What does it represent and what is your message?

Jay Vinchi: My music is all about creativity and being who I am. Both it and I represent positivity and difference, you can't be negative or try to copy others if you want to succeed. I want people to see the real side of Hip Hop in my music, but I also want people to see I am just a fun, energetic person who chills with my homies and parties like everyone else. Many different styles of music come together on my newest project and I'm excited to let you hear what I mean.

A lot of rap artists have created this stereotype of rapping the same style of lyrics with the same beats over and over. How is your music different than the rest?

Jay Vinchi: My music is different because I can switch up the style of the beat and make something creative out of it. Anything from Boombap influence, 90's influence, rock influence, all the way over to EDM influence can be heard. I also have a mainstream influence because related to what you said, some people just judge artists off of their mainstream music. Sure I can do that style just as well as the next guy with my own twist on it, but I want you to see my music that I use my unique ideas to create. It's just better that way. Don't get me wrong though, a very catchy hit isn't a bad thing at all.

Does your music have a common theme throughout all of your songs?

Jay Vinchi: My music is always evolving and adjusting to the topics and ideas that come into my head, so I can't say that there's a common theme through ALL of the songs. If we're talking a similarity throughout all the songs, it could be heard that I like to bring up being happy and positive and not letting the negatives get you caught up. That's wack and to be honest, just dumb. Be yourself, just remember negativity is where the evil breeds.

The word is that Hip Hop is stuck in the underground scene and is dead for the most part. In your opinion, how do you think Hip-Hop isn't dead? Do you think it's making a come back into mainstream or are we stuck with Eminem and Jayz?

Jay Vinchi: In my opinion I don't think Hip Hop is dead at all, especially with my generation coming into the game. All these new artists are bringing it back to real, down to earth hip hop that speaks on real topics and has great lyrics. This genre of music is the modern form of poetry and all these new artists are really representing that.

Who was your idol growing up?

Jay Vinchi: It's funny you ask cause in the last question you brought him up. I still remember being 6 or 7 and watching my first Eminem video, haha man did that stick with me. He had such a unique sound and clearly didn't care what anyone thought about him, and that stuck with me in a positive way while growing up. It wasn't until I got into hip hop in middle school that I really branched out farther from the small group of artists I knew, so eminem had a huge impact on my early days.

Did this artist or these artists influence your music?

Jay Vinchi: He didn't really directly influence my music, but it definitely influenced the way I view my image and creation process of music. That individuality drift I caught from him really stuck, and for the better to be honest.

Where does your inspiration for your lyrics come from?

Jay Vinchi: My lyrical inspiration comes from all sorts of places. My heads always running with lyrics of all types, when I say that I mean all different song formats. I have cut and dry hip hop thoughts all of the time, but my mind is also always running some more poetic and deep thoughts as well. It really makes me pumped when I hear a good beat because everything just naturally clicks. When I get heated up in a long studio session, I could literally get a beat and just flow on it off the top of my head speaking deeply and I don't think a lot of people would notice any difference. More on that later though.

With the exception of "Twist That", all your music is less than 7 months old, so it's still very current. Are you hoping you’ll get some solid recognition by a major label or have you been shopped by one already?

Jay Vinchi: I've had a ton of music before "Twist That", which was actually just something I made messing around, but all the music after that point is unprofessional so I don't think the majors will enjoy those much. I'm actually working with a very highly placed A&R firm with direct relationships with Universal, Sony, and Warner so it's more of a choice on my part of when my A&R wants to shop me. I'm on artist development, so were making it so I have the best offer possible when he goes to their front door.

According to your website, there isn't any history of live performances on your resume. Do you plan on performing live? If so, what areas are you going to target and how soon can people expect to see you at a town near them?

Jay Vinchi: Oh I've played a ton of live shows, it's always a fun time and I love hyping up a crowd and playing my music. I plan on doing a TON of live performances once I break into the industry pretty soon here, and I'm going to be targeting major cities where Hip Hop is the most popular. People can expect me at a town near them within the next year, and I'll be sure to fufill that!

Do you prefer to freestyle or do you like to write down your lyrics then hit the studio to record?

Jay Vinchi: I write my lyrics for all the recordings I do forsure, that's the way to make the best music. I love to freestyle though, and I do freestyle when I get the inspiration on a track. Freestyle sessions with the homies is the funnest thing to me.

Is your EP or songs for sale anywhere? How can people pick up a copy of your music?

Jay Vinchi: My debut commercial single is being released in August, you can catch it on every service and site that has music. We have some awesome distribution, so you'll be able to catch me everywhere from ITunes to your Xbox to Pandora.

Of the music you've recorded, what is the song that you're most proud of?
z

Jay Vinchi: To be honest, I can't pick a single song from the music I've been recording recently. All the newest music from this point on is going to be professionally done, so I put my heart and soul into it all. I love all the songs cause they all have either a different topic or a different style. I love my mixture and wouldn't change it for anything.

What is on the horizon for Jay Vinchi? A new EP, a tour, a music video?

Jay Vinchi: My debut single comes out in August along with my debut Mixtape on August 10th. The single is titled "Everything" and the mixtape is titled "Reality". Those are both going to be dope so be ready to grab them!

Do you want to add anything before we end this interview?

Jay Vinchi: Thanks for having me for one, and everyone come join me on your favorite social media! Twitter is @JayVinchi and instagram is @Joemohney. My facebook fan page is Jay Vinchi as well! I'm everywhere else you could imagine too so get at me.

Find Jay Vinchi on his website at www.joemahoney.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Letters from High Latitudes: Interview with Ed Roman


Right out of the gate, with his freshman release in 2000, Special Ed and The Musically Challenged, Ed
Roman defined his paradigm with inventive, infectious tunes that shook one’s marrow and stirred the spirit…This guy is unique! Three follow-up releases with SEMC continued to mesmerize and astonish, with music that both kissed and prodded, seduced and challenged, hypnotized and enlightened…

In May 2011, Ed released his solo venture, Oracles and Ice Cream, and has never looked back. It is 22 tracks that are an amazing marvel of songwriting wizardry, prodigious performances and contagious energy, with the mystery and magic of a lucid, tantalizing dream. The music both traverses and convenes broad music styles into the consummate collective of penetrating rhythms and canyon-wide harmonic explorations, glazed with lyrics that are both poignant and whimsical.

Now, in 2014, with Letters from High Latitudes, (an homage to his Ontario, Canada home) Ed Roman has done it again, creating an earthy, funky and magical mix of music to seduce the listeners’ ears! An accomplished musician, Ed performs 90 percent of the instruments on his album, recording drums, bass, guitars, organ, vocals and even sitar! The sound is rounded out with help from some of the top Canadian session musicians like Dave Patel on drums (Sass Jordan) and Mike Freedman on electric guitars (Tia Brazda.) Sit back, get mellow and listen to this truly skillful musician weave a tapestry of enchantment from an eclectic fabric of musical styles.

One can never get too comfortable however, as Ed will undoubtedly prompt the listener to examine their world and stimulate them to make it better! Ed asks us everyone to glimpse the world from his vantage point, offering up his vision and sometimes helping to point out the areas that need tidying. Like the janitor of conscience, he’ll frequently show the cobwebs and sweep the dirt from the corners of one’s perspective. The listener is left uplifted, invigorated and enriched by dewy new jewels of insight and permeated by a mosaic of musical mayhem. Funky, ethereal, grungy, luscious, rowdy, serene, provocative, clever, insightful and uniquely exhilarating, Ed Roman’s marvelous musings drop dollops of tasteful delight through our ears to our hearts. You can’t help but dance. You can’t help but smile.

Interview with Ed Roman

Tell us how it all started. When was the first time you picked up the guitar?

Ed Roman: Well, first off thanks for having me today. I guess it all started when I was very young. I started playing music long before I could speak. It seemed like everybody in my household loved music, and music was the most important thing in anybody's life. I grew up in a household with three generations of people. My grandparents loved music. My grandmother was always singing. I can't remember a time when she wasn’t enjoying or talking about music. My parents listened to a lot of jazz music. My brother and sisters who were 10 years older than I was, were listening to music from the 60s and 70s, everything from rock, folk, disco, you name it. Because my household was so busy and I was the baby, I found music as a necessity in order to be heard and to listened to. I'm also dyslexic so music for me was a way to gravitate to my own form of self-expression and be able to relay my ideas and stories to other people. For that reason music is really a way of life for me. It's not just a job, occupation, it’s everything in my life and my life is music.

Who influenced you to become a musician and write songs?

Ed Roman:  There are so many people that have influenced me over the many years. It's really hard to say or pinpoint just one person or group of people, but nonetheless much of music over the last hundred years has greatly impacted me as a writer, singer, composer and lover of music. I first fell in love with the Beatles. My grandmother would always pontificate about Paul McCartney and how much she loved him, and later when I was six or seven years of age she gave me my first five dollars to be able to buy my first record. That first record was Meet the Beatles. I listened to it over and over and over again and fell in love with the harmonies stylings, and robustness of the music. As I grew older and came into my own frame of musical thinking, I fell in love with Jaco Pastorius. I was given a couple of records by Bud Hill, who was the music teacher at Richmond Hill high school. I didn't actually attend Richmond high school, but my good friend and musical cohort Tobias Tinker attended. Bud gave him two Jaco Pastorius records, and told him that he should give them to his friend Ed. Those two records, Jaco Pastorius, his first solo record, and his second album Crisis completely transformed me as a young player. I also love a lot of progressive rock music like Yes, Rush, Genesis, Pink Floyd and as I got a little older progressive jazz music like Stanley Clarke, the Brecker Brothers, John MacLachlan, David Grisman, and other pop progressive music like Level 42. As you can see there are many genres of music that I have fallen in love with and that doesn't even include jazz musicians like Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and really the list goes on and on. So the list is really endless and ongoing. Some of the music today that inspires me are people like the Derek Trucks band, Lorde, and Esperanza Spalding.

In your bio it says you perform 90 percent of the instrumentation on your album. That's quite an accomplishment.  What motivated you to play all these instruments? Do you incorporate all your talents in your new album?

Ed Roman: I find that new instruments are something that can really motivate you as a player on your principal axe of choice. There is something very fundamental and humbling about trying to express yourself on other things that you are not as experienced on. Your thinking is very open and different and you are being pushed in ways outside your comfort level. I have always found it to be greatly cathartic to express with other means..

Speaking of your new album Letters from High Latitudes. Tell me about this album. Why is this one so special to you and why should people pick up a copy?

Ed Roman:  Letters from High Latitudes is a very special record. It once again illustrates the diversity of my music and discusses some very important sociopolitical and spiritual topics. From day-to-day so many of us think about problems, actions, and where we are headed in our future, yet most of us lack the ability to artistically articulate these day-to-day feelings and spiritual impressions. I believe that an artist is a person who is a reflector of the subconscious of the mass of us that live together on the spinning ball. Herbie Hancock once wrote on the back of Jaco Pastorius's first record, the definition of an artist is one who has the ability to fuse their life with the rhythm of the times. I believe this statement to be true. When you listen to my music whether it's the new record Letters from High Latitudes or something that I've written in the past like Oracles and Ice Cream you are always going to find me being humorous and trustworthy to the truth that is showing itself to me. It's an important record for this day and age.
When you write songs, which comes first, the lyrics or the music?

You know that's a wonderful question. I'm so often asked this and I think it's something that everybody wants to know. Music to me comes like a thief in the night. You hear a noise and you react, you get out of your bed and you look for the sound. Writing music is very similar. You're not always sure when the idea is going to come to you, the important thing to do is to follow the path that it is leading you on. So often we have ideas and thoughts yet we know not how to articulate, and or forget to act on the thought by writing it down and sharing it. Melody works very much the same way. It starts to present itself to you in these little pods, small ideas, whimsical things that amuse your imagination. Once again when you follow that path the melody starts to present itself to you provided you follow it. It's very much like the statue of David. The music is always there, the leader is always there, you just need to carve away the excess in order to be able to see and hear.

What other parts are you involved in the recording process? Do you also perform the production and engineering as well?

Ed Roman:  I've always dabbled in recording and it seems to be a necessity for most musicians. When I feel inspired much of the time I find I'm in a compositional mode. Song sometimes take a while to evolve in the mental time fog that will eventually turn itself out right. In other words wood shedding, the evolution of the peace. When I feel the piece is ready to be recorded, sometimes I will start to create acetates of the piece. This allows me to hear how the composition has evolved outside of my head. There were points in time where I would set up microphones and be running from room to room, that is control room to performance room and you can actually hear me running from place to place. Some of those recordings end up being the best tracks for music that I will eventually elaborate on. I find it however highly invaluable to have somebody working with you to free you up and allow you to be creative without being connected to the machine. This person for me is none other than Michael Jack. Michael Jack is my musical Corsican brother. I've been working so closely with him since I was a teenager that he's more like my family than just my engineer and producer. When we’re in the studio Michael is one of those people that allows things to flow and knows when to step in when things may be going awry. I greatly appreciate this help over the last 20 years of my musical career. Without him I would never have had the quality sound that you hear in my music and on my albums.

What is the most difficult part of being an independent artist?

Ed Roman: The most difficult thing about being an independent artist is that sometimes you're more like a juggler, or if you'll excuse the pun, a one armed paper hanger. I book gigs, I make posters, I haul gear, pay people out of my own pocket, make my own videos, produce my own music and if that isn't enough, I’m also the artistic designer for all merchandise. Some days it's hard to find time just to be a musician and songwriter. It greatly helps if you have somebody working with you to help you get your message out there. This person for me is Michael Stover. Michael Stover is my personal manager and is one of those people who believes in what I'm doing the way I do. I feel very lucky to be working with MTS, and day-to-day I see such great things happening with my music and more more people being exposed to what I'm doing. The important thing is that you keep going, and believe in yourself. If you don't all hope is lost, you must believe. If I could quote the great and mystical Yoda at this moment in time "there is no try, only do."

What is the best part of being an independent artist?

Ed Roman: The best part about being an independent artist is that you can pretty much do anything that you want at any time. There are no suits, executives, or big money people hanging over your head telling you what you can and can't do. You alone are responsible for everything that you do, good and bad. But you have a lot of freedom which really helps out the perspective and the depth that art and music can truly have. The independent industry as well illustrates that there are so many talented and wonderfully gifted people who've worked extremely hard to get where they are today as artists. The mainstay industry and Leviathan mega-corporate music companies don't really want to participate in good art. They're more interested in creating ego-icons making loads of money from it and using that imagery to sell more and more products. So many artists that I've seen in the quote unquote Grammy super sludge over the top superstar positions, are selling more clothes and cosmetics than they are actually writing good art. You always find wonderful interpretations, high-end writing, extreme dexterity and you will keep hearing great art in the independent thoroughfare.

You released a music video called, "I Told You So". That is one of the first singles from Letters from High Latitudes. Do you have more music video projects soon to be released?

Ed Roman: Yes it was an extreme pleasure to bring you I Told You So and in fact just today, Monday July 14, I just released a new video for the second track on the album "Comin My Way". It's a very Dylan-esque portrayal of the song set under the beautiful 250-year-old sugar maples on my farm here in Ontario Canada. The barn that we built two years ago that has two huge silver lightning bolts on the door also made its way into the new video. It's fun, hopeful, and views more like a Rembrandt painting on TiVo.

What is in store for Ed Roman? What can fans expect from Ed Roman in the coming months?

Ed Roman: Well I'm planning on a tour to the United States in September and October. I'm hoping to do a little pre travel in August to suss out some work in Pennsylvania. Later on in October I plan to head closer to the eastern seaboard towards Boston, New York, Florida, and anywhere that will have me. My motto is I'll play in a ditch or a play in a stadium. Come on by the website at www.edroman.net and see what I'm up to, where I'll be playing and what radio shows I'll be on in towns near you. You can also go to iTunes and get the Ed Roman App for your android or iPhone today. Thanks so much for having me and it's been such a pleasure talking with you today. Much love and respect. Ed Roman.

Find more of Ed Roman
Official website http://www.edroman.net
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/edromanmusic
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/specialedroman
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/specialedroman

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Artists In Music Awards Season IV Opener at Black Rose Tavern with performances by 8-time award winner Glitter Rose and Best Reggae Artist Sono Vero


The Artists In Music Awards hosts its kickoff party celebrating the Season IV opener at Black Rose Tavern in West Los Angeles on July 5. Red Carpet begins at 8pm with live performances by Glitter Rose and Sono Vero at 10pm.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- On July 5th, two of the hottest Artists In Music Awards and most recognized recording artists will take the stage at newly remodeled Black Rose Tavern (formerly The Joint). Glitter Rose is the program's most decorated artist with 8 awards including 6 awards received by the organization (2014 awards include Artist of the Year, Performer of the Year, Best Music Video for "Buda Negra", and Best Southern Rock Artist. 2013 awards include Album of the Year for Dead or Alive and Best Rock Artist).

In 2014, Sono Vero won the award for Best Reggae Artist at the 3rd annual AIMA event held at Universal Citywalk on February 7. This will be the first time these two artists will perform together and this is the first time Sono Vero will perform for AIMA. Glitter Rose originally won a spot to perform at the Awards Ceremony when she unanimously received the highest scores at the Breakthrough Series contest held at House of Blues in 2012. Since 2012, Glitter Rose has performed a total of a dozen shows for AIMA over the course of three years. With 12 endorsements and 6 sponsors behind Glitter, this makes her one the most recognizable and most sought after artist in independent music.

Event Details
Where:
Black Rose Tavern
8771 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

When:
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Red Carpet/General Entry 8pm to 10pm
Show and Live performances 10pm to 11:30pm

Red Carpet Schedule:
Media Check-in 7pm – 7:30pm
Red Carpet Arrivals 8pm to 9:45pm

Cover charge: $10 donation (FREE entrance to AIMA & SFOTA members)
100% of proceeds will benefit Siqueiros Foundation of the Arts (a non-profit organization)

About the Artists In Music Awards 
Established in 2011, the Artists In Music Awards was originally created to honor and recognize the most talented and gifted artists.

Over the years, this tradition has evolved beyond the recognition of a singular art form with a desire to encompass all areas of Arts & Entertainment.

On April 28, 2014, Artists In Music Awards joined forces with the Siqueiros Foundation of the Arts. SFOTA is a non-profit organization with two goals in mind - the dedication to empowering creative youth by providing scholarship opportunities to underprivileged children and providing an avenue to explore and express the arts through unity and community involvement. SOFTA is also dedicated to creating jobs for out of work artists using Federal aid through the resurrection of the Federal Art Project (FAP), a program with a focus on putting Artists back to work, but disappeared after the end of the Depression Era in 1943.

Now under the Siqueiros Foundation of the Arts, this is not only a new chapter for the Artists In Music Awards, but an exciting opportunity for all artists to be apart of.

As a member of the AIMA and SFOTA comes with special privileges including exclusive access to special events, FREE awards submissions, workshops, discounts on premiere affiliated art exhibits and award events, plus voting privileges on AIMA categories.

Season IV Sponsors by MusicSUBMIT, IndependentMusicPromotions.com, LA "IN" PR, KGUP 106.5FM, Spirit Airlines, and InDspotlightTV

For more information to go: http://www.aimusicawards.com

For Press inquires and sponsorship opportunities, contact info@aimusicawards.com

Register today and become a member and submit your materials for Nomination

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hip Hop's PumpFake: Interview with Carlos Hawkins

Born in Anniston, Al in the late 80’s, Carlos Hawkins began falling in Love with his music at an early age. Raised under the influence of a drug addicted Mother and a Father who didn’t really have it all, Carlos felt his only choice was to live in the streets the best he knew how. Carlos ran away at the age of 12. For about a year, Carlos was taken in by a white family (Cody Carter’s mom). Got really close to her granddad (Bob the repo man), a well known member of the KKK, and managed to still go to school, and play for the church. During this time, or some time after, Carlos recorded his first Song with a guy he called “Farmer”. After being in and out of jail, and then locked up for quite some time, music became an everyday thing. Carlos started to write more and more. Certain CO’s would come in playing his songs and they would tell him they downloaded the ringtones and encouraged Carlos to keep at it. He had a gift.

Interview with Carlos Hawkins

First of all, thank you for the amazing opportunity. I know your name is Carlos Hawkins, but on the street or on stage, do you go by any other name?

Carlos: People call me Los. Or Loso. Hawk or Hawkins. Carlos Hawkins period! Stage name whatever.

I know you started in music at a young age. Was Church a major influence or was it something else like the prison guards...or all of it?

Carlos: All of it! From the church pews to the thunder domes and jail cells.

Who were the first recording artists that inspired you to become a Hip Hop artist?

Carlos: Tupac and Outkast. baby D, Sammy Sam and that oomp camp clique were the first. But pac and outkast inspired me.

A lot of Hip Hop artists fall into a stereo type and rap about money, "hoes", their sweet ride, and getting over on the next guy. How is your music different?

Carlos: Nothings fabricated! The hell I look like making some shit up that everybody know ain't me! I give it raw. Uncut. Say the shit that most are scared to say! I really live the shit I rap about.

Is Hip Hop dead or is it alive and well?

Carlos: I'm doing this interview aren't I? Just kidding. But man hip hop is alive and well. You gotta live it to feel it.

What do you feel about the music industry as a whole today and what direction is music headed?

Carlos:  I feel as if they don't want rappers to survive much longer. The got all these sites designed to give our shit away for free. They want us to promote sex, drugs and violence. And all kinds of other stuff to make the majority of artist (African Americans) or minorities look bad. I think its headed back in the direction of realism. Music will soon be music again. I'm gone catch that wave.

What has been the best part of your career so far?

Carlos: I gotta say being able to reach out to people. Being looked up to by kids who don't know me. Signing autographs. And finding myself totally. Music and its hustle has a way of bringing the best out a person.

You have a new joint out and it's called "Don't Look Right". Tell me about the song and the music video. 

Carlos: Well you know, lots of shit Just Don't look right. In the song I said things that are relative. The video shot by Louis Kole was 3d kaleidoscopic. Made to not look right. We built the set for it ourselves being creative and went with. Numbers did really good in the first week. And it wasn't even finished.

If you were to share the stage with someone major, who would you pick?

Carlos: Right now. Yo Gotti. JayZ. Or Tip! That show would be CRAZY!

What next big project are you working on? A new EP, a music video, a tour?

Carlos: #PumpFake the mixtape coming very soon. And all the above! I'm trying yo set the streets on fire.

Find more of Carlos Hawkins at:

Official website: www.carloshawkins.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrCarlosHawkins and http://twitter.com/StreetHolocaust

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrCarlosHawkins

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interview with Adrian Voo: Hollywood's Newest and Hardest Working Actor


Originally from Malaysia, Adrian Voo is one of Hollywood's newest and hardest working actors. With multiple feature films on the release belt, various film festival nominations, a new ground-breaking web series on the way; Adrian Voo has quickly proven that "determination conquers all" since his graduation from the New York Film Academy in 2012.

Interview with Adrian Voo

All Indie Magazine: First of all, thank you for the opportunity to interview you. You made your film debut in ITN's post-apocalyptic Sci-fi Horror film INFECTED. How did it feel to get casted in your first film?

Adrian Voo: Getting casted in that film became an ultimate motivation for me. I was just about to graduate from film school and sign with my first talent reps; plus about a month prior, I tested for an ABC pilot and was still feeling defeated – I was completely “green”. Infected gave me an opportunity to run. In fact, I originally auditioned for a supporting role in the film but ended up booking a lead in the callbacks. I recall the producers being nervous about me ‘not having a feature film credit on my resume’ at the time. Film school gave me tools and theory, but working on my first feature film was the true test.


All Indie Magazine: You've worked on several projects. Which one was your most memorable?

Adrian Voo: It would have to be Infected because it was my first. You never forget your first feature.

All Indie Magazine: In one of your newest projects, Blackjacks is your first web series. It's a drama set in the future and you're one of the main characters and it's due out this Summer. Can you tell me more about the series and about your character in it?

Adrian Voo: I play a character named Lee (a.k.a. Clu3) in Black Jacks. Lee is a gamer, hacker, fighter for justice in a dark era. The show is set in a bleak, almost desolate future. Lee is a new player in the show who starts the ripple, alongside a character named Olivia, played by Nicole Badaan. I cannot wait for the world to see the show later this summer on www.blackjacks.tv

All Indie Magazine: In the film Seventy-Nine, you play a supporting actor role. What was the best part of playing this role? 

Adrian Voo: As an actor, you are always praying to play a twisted, tormented role because those roles give you a chance to really dig deep into the imagination of human suffering. When Filip first told me about the script, I was immediately drawn to the role. Isamu is such a dark, torn and depressed character. Crafting his world for me was such a learning curve; I wanted to give justice to the trust that the director gave me. It was no surprise to me that Seventy-Nine won Best Directing at LASciFi Film Festival!  

All Indie Magazine: Your degree wasn't in acting. In fact, you got your degree in Operations
Management.

Adrian Voo: And I actually started off in Health Science… However, I also have an acting degree. Education is a gift. I think too many people forget that we are fortunate to live in a country where we have access to good higher education.

All Indie Magazine: How did acting become the forefront of your career?

Adrian Voo: I think it’s my way of fighting time and never growing up! I grew up an only-child; make belief was how I spent most of my childhood. But no, I never thought that I would be running from zombies and evil scientists, when I grew up – that was a plus.  

All Indie Magazine: What are some of your all-time favorite films?

Adrian Voo: Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and pretty much anything from Walt Disney. I’m a big geek at heart.  

All Indie Magazine: If you could choose to co-star with a major actor or actress, who would you pick?

Adrian Voo: Mark Ruffalo. Now there’s a truly versatile dramatic actor if there ever was! 


All Indie Magazine: What are some things you like to do when you're not acting?

Adrian Voo: I’m a big health guy. I pretty much get into anything that keeps me active and moving. I really enjoy boot camp, TRX classes and spending time in the gym. I’m totally addicted to the endorphins. I also practice a lot of yoga and meditation.

All Indie Magazine: What can fans expect from Adrian Voo in the near future?

Adrian Voo: Infected and Seventy-Nine are both coming to VOD, DVD and BLU-RAY this Fall! Black Jacks will be out later this Summer. Hopefully more release news to come…  

All Indie Magazine: What are you most excited about?

Adrian Voo: I’m always excited to see where my journey in life takes me. Looking back in my life, I’m always reminded that one thing has lead to another. So hopefully the next chapters will continue to surprise me.

Adrian Voo is represented by Jump Talent Management and The Brogan Agency.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Artists In Music Awards Season IV voting polls are NOW open

The Artists In Music Awards Season IV voting polls are NOW open! If you haven't become a member and submitted for your nomination, there is still plenty of time to join and enter in this year's program.

Click HERE to vote

Only members are eligible to submit for Nomination and to perform at one of the AIMA events.

Register today and become a member and submit your materials for Nomination As of June 15, 2014 the voting polls will be open to the public until November 15, 2014. The public will help determine who will become the next AIMA winners! WHO CAN VOTE?

PUBLIC VOTING
The Public voting is open to everyone. Public votes account for 10% of the total votes received. MEMBERSHIP VOTING
We made several changes to the voting system including the addition of the Members Only voting poll, where only Artists In Music Awards and Sequeiros Foundation of the Arts members are eligible to vote. Membership votes count for 20% of the total votes received. BOARD OF JUDGES VOTING
The Board of Judges consisting of industry professionals account for 70% of the votes. Only prescreened and authorized members from the Arts & Entertainment Industry are eligible to become a Board of Judges Member. To become a Board of Judges member, fill out the registration form and fill out the box that says, "Tell us why you are qualified to become a Board of Judges member".

We created this voting system to make it fair for all competitors. No longer can an individual vote for his or herself or their favorite artist dozens or hundreds of times. The public gets to vote once per category.

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS REWARDS

Receive a personalized named memberedship ID card with your real name or professional name. Use your membership ID card to access special events, educational workshops, receive FREE entry to shows, receive discounts on theatre, participating galleries, and concert venues, plus vote as a member! More benefits coming soon!

Season IV Award Categories include:
Broadcast
Director
Educator
Electronica/Dance
Feature Film
Graphic Artist
Literary Writer
Mural & Urban Arts
Photographer
Poetry
Screen Actor/Actress
Theatre Actor/Actress
Theatre Production

Original Award Categories include:
Adult Contemporary
Alternative
Blues
Christian/Gospel
Country
Jazz
Latin
Music Video
Pop
Record Producer
Reggae
Rock
R&B
Singer Songwriter
Teen

Specialty Awards (voted in by Board of Judges & Voting Members) include:
Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
Performer of the Year
David Siqueiros Lifetime Achievement Award
(For a full description of the categories, go to the Rules page)

MEMBERSHIP LEVELS

Individual - $29 per year
Small Corporation - $110 (Ideal for small PR firms and agencies up to 5 members)
Large Corporation - $250 (more than 5 members)
*Large Corporation membership is recommended for large record labels and agencies

Anyone that signs up during Season IV with autopay will NEVER incur an annual membershp rate increase.

Note: Members that cancel autopay are subjected to annual membership rate increases and may be required to pay additional processing fees.

Register today and become a member and submit your materials for Nomination

Don't forget to come to the first event of the year coming July 5 to Black Rose Tavern! (FREE TO Artists In Music Awards and Sequeiros Foundation of the Arts Members)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Interview with The Hypocrites Author: Mara K. Eton

Overview
On the surface, Hempstead looks like a typical Midwestern small town, a postcard of white-fenced American normalcy. But glance past the manicured lawns and into the windows of the offices, church basements, and fancy houses, and you’ll find the people of the cannabis culture underground. Some are dealers, and some wear suits and ties to pay for their green lifestyle. But one of them is about to make their entire world go up in smoke.

About the Author
Attending nine different schools before graduating high school, Mara K. Eton was able to experience the cultures and histories of several different states as well as the country of Spain. It was her time spent in Madrid that fostered her love of art, history, and the ability to tell a good story. Due to her mother teaching her to read at age 4, Mara became obsessed with books. By age 8, Mara started writing down her own stories and continued to read avidly. When Mara won the Lt. Governor's award for best essay in 5th grade, she figured she was on to something with writing her stories down. Mara now spends most of her time in the Southeastern United States.

Interview with Mara K Eton

All Indie Magazine: Tell me about your book. What inspired you to write and publish your own book?

Mara: The Hypocrites started out as a short story, Cracked Eggs, which is ultimately the first story in the book. The inspiration came from a commercial I saw on television back in 2008 for a product called the Roll N Grow. Who in the world would buy it besides my mom? That got the ball rolling. When I finished Cracked Eggs, I wanted to know more about the characters mentioned and what would happen if they were put into a potentially disastrous situation. I also got tired of trying to find cannabis fiction that spun the issue in a somewhat positive light and didn’t resort to the usual stereotypes you come across when you read about this issue.

All Indie Magazine: Can you tell us more about the premise of your book? Why would someone be interested in reading The Hypocrites?

Mara: The Hypocrites is not a standard novel. It’s seven short stories comprising one main story told from the points of view of seven characters involved. Sean is a woman who is pretty numbed out and is uncertain about her involvement with Jody. She seeks attention from another guy named Sam and when things don’t work out in his favor, he starts a chain of events that impacts a lot more people than just Sean and Jody. Everyone in the book is connected to each other by cannabis. By the end of the book, the reader will realize just how interconnected all these people really were. Whether you consume cannabis or not, The Hypocrites is a story about relationships and the connection to people in one’s life. It’s pretty common nowadays to have bad romantic experiences, worries about the future, strained relations amongst family members, and frustration about a job. Those are universally relatable subjects. If you’ve had those experiences, you may enjoy reading my book.

All Indie Magazine: From what you've experienced and witnessed, is the cannabis culture more common than people are willing to admit?

Mara: Absolutely. The culture is definitely moving out from the underground. But every city I’ve ever visited has a different feel about it. In LA, it’s common place and no big deal. Minneapolis is relaxed about it but it’s not openly advertised. Same in NYC. I mean, you can have some herb delivered to you like a pizza. In the South, it’s like a secret and no one really talks openly about it unless they’re in like minded company. But with the recent influx of articles in mainstream media about legalization and its medical benefits, I like to think people are taking the blinders off their eyes about it. From what I’ve read, most people in the U.S. favor legalization. That’s huge. We’re dealing with a very different landscape with this issue than we were as little as 5 years ago.

All Indie Magazine: Today, there are 22 states in the US that have legalized marijuana, but for the most part it's still kept as a "dirty secret". In your personal opinion, why do you think there is such a disparity in the cannabis culture between the mid-west and larger metropolitan areas?

Mara: I spent 11 years living in the Midwest and it is definitely a conservative stomping ground. That’s pretty much why I set The Hypocrites in a fictional Kansas town. I believe it’s a generational thing. For years, the younger set has flocked to cities where the attitudes are different. Access to technology provides us with more information than we’ve ever had access to in the past. It’s a matter of educating yourself.

Legalization itself is such a gray word. The phrase “legalization in 22 states” means something different to those who are well versed in the issue and those who are just learning about it. In my opinion, only two states have true legalization, Colorado and Washington. Medical legalization, while it’s turning the tide, is in itself rather restrictive. Some states, like Minnesota, only allow it in non-smokable form.

I feel encouraged by the progress made in States allowing access to people who really need it medicinally. However, isn’t it rather hypocritical not to also legalize it for responsible recreational use? Can’t have one without the other. But the real stigma attached to the legalization issue is with the re-scheduling of cannabis. As long as it’s still on the Schedule I list on a federal level, there is a still a lot of work to be done. Cannabis legalization has turned into a political issue instead of a health issue.

All Indie Magazine: What is the reason behind the title The Hypocrites?

Mara: For me, I felt it said how I feel about people who can’t live out in the open with their cannabis use, whether it’s for a legit medical reason or for recreational use. I’ve encountered a lot of people like that. They keep quiet or say one thing against their use and that pretty much makes them a hypocrite. In this particular situation, being a hypocrite is necessary if you don’t want to essentially have your life ruined by the threat of incarceration. Most people who imbibe are not violent people. Any legal entanglements due to possession and cultivation leave a mark on a person making it hard to rebuild their life. The fear of going through that makes hypocrites out of people in the cannabis community. So they end up living double lives, no matter how successful and “normal” they appear to others.

All Indie Magazine: Is this your first published book?

Mara: Yes. But hopefully not the last.

All Indie Magazine:  Is The Hypocrites and your 5th grade essay have any connection?

Mara: Not in a direct or obvious way. I didn’t know much about cannabis when I was 10, outside of what was being pushed at me via the Just Say No campaign. The essay was about a phone call my mother took about a motorcycle accident my uncle had. I was a pretty quiet kid and most adults didn’t notice me around. I remember sitting on a foot stool in the kitchen on the side of the stove when my mother was on the phone. She had no idea I was there and what my perception was until she read the essay a few months later.

My uncle involved in the accident survived and went on to live a very successful life: the wife and kids, the house, a master’s degree, etc. While cannabis was not involved in the accident (he was hit by a car), he is not out in the open beyond a few family members about his regular cannabis use. It’s kind of a joke amongst the family. But at the same time, he has the least amount of drama in his life. He is very knowledgeable about the subject of cannabis and my least uptight family member. I tried to use those elements about him in some of my characters in The Hypocrites.

All Indie Magazine: Who are some of your favorite authors and did these these authors inspire you to want to become a writer?

Mara: My short list of favorite writers, or Top 5, is J.D. Salinger, George Singleton, Charles Bukowski, Chuck Palahniuk, and Flannery O’Connor. All of them have been strong influences in some way or another. I came across all them at impressionable ages in my time. Yeah, they were definitely inspiring in my decision to become a writer.

All Indie Magazine: What is your favorite book and what are you reading right now?

Mara: I’m officially a nerd for The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. A friend told me to read it when I was 13 and just starting high school. I don’t get all super into it like some have but I just enjoy reading it. I read it every couple of years and I always dig it. I’m currently reading the new collection of short stories by George Singleton, Between Wrecks. It’s pretty solid.

All Indie Magazine: Do you plan on a national book signing tour?

Mara: Not at this time. I hope to in the future but nothing immediate has been planned.

All Indie Magazine: What is in store for you in the coming future?

Mara: I’ve started work on a follow up to The Hypocrites because I just can’t seem to leave those characters alone. Characters in the first book who didn’t narrate their own experience will have their say in the follow up about what’s going on with them now. I’m also outlining another novel unrelated to The Hypocrites.

Find out more information about The Hyprocrites and Mara K Eton at
http://www.areyouahypocrite.net/
Facebook

Purchase The Hyprocrites at:
Amazon.com
MyBookOrders.com
Barnes & Noble
iTunes

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Artists In Music Awards Voting Starts June 15. Become a Member NOW!!


Season IV of the Artists In Music Awards is currently underway and we are NOW accepting submissions for membership. Only members are eligible to submit for Nomination.

VOTING STARTS SOON!

On June 15, 2014 the voting polls will open and the public will be able to vote for the artist that may become the next AIMA winner!

WHO CAN VOTE?

MEMBERSHIP VOTING
We made several changes to the voting system including the addition of the Members Only voting poll, where only Artists In Music Awards and Sequeiros Foundation of the Arts members are eligible to vote. Membership votes count for 20% of the total votes received.

BOARD OF JUDGES VOTING
The Board of Judges consisting of industry professionals account for 70% of the votes. Only prescreened and authorized members from the Arts & Entertainment Industry are eligible to become a Board of Judges Member. To become a Board of Judges member, fill out the registration form and fill out the box that says, "Tell us why you are qualified to become a Board of Judges member".

PUBLIC VOTING
The Public voting is open to everyone. Public votes account for 10% of the total votes received.

We created this voting system to make it fair for all competitors. No longer can an individual vote for his or herself or their favorite artist dozens or hundreds of times. The public gets to vote once per category.

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS REWARDS

Receive a personalized named memberedship ID card with your real name or professional name. Use your membership ID card to access special events, educational workshops, receive FREE entry to shows, receive discounts on theatre, participating galleries, and concert venues, plus vote as a member! More benefits coming soon!

Season IV Award Categories include:
Broadcast
Director
Educator
Electronica/Dance
Feature Film
Graphic Artist
Literary Writer
Mural & Urban Arts
Photographer
Poetry
Screen Actor/Actress
Theatre Actor/Actress
Theatre Production

Original Award Categories include:
Adult Contemporary
Alternative
Blues
Christian/Gospel
Country
Jazz
Latin
Music Video
Pop
Record Producer
Reggae
Rock
R&B
Singer Songwriter
Teen

Specialty Awards (voted in by Board of Judges & Voting Members) include:
Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
Performer of the Year
David Siqueiros Lifetime Achievement Award
(For a full description of the categories, go to the Rules page)

MEMBERSHIP LEVELS

Individual - $29 per year
Small Corporation - $110 (Ideal for small PR firms and agencies up to 5 members)
Large Corporation - $250 (more than 5 members)
*Large Corporation membership is recommended for large record labels and agencies

Anyone that signs up during Season IV with autopay will NEVER incur an annual membershp rate increase.

Note: Members that cancel autopay are subjected to annual membership rate increases and may be required to pay additional processing fees.

Register today and become a member and submit your materials for Nomination

Note: It is not required to submit new material. Participants may submit previously submitted materials or new materials.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Interview with Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Violin Band

Electric violinists Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee comprise FUSE, and they're wowing music lovers with an innovative and one-of-a-kind sound that's unlike any other.

The FUSE violin duo released their debut album, FUSE, with Edel AG Records and their faithful following has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

As part of the FUSE violin duo, Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee are carving out a unique musical niche and an equally unique fan base with their incredible sound. Violins are traditionally associated with classical music, but the FUSE electric violin duo has bucked the norm. They delved into the sometimes risky and uncharted territory that is the world of crossover music to develop a new, innovative sound; one that's unique on the music scene. “Many string instruments have electric varieties, but these musicians typically use a traditional acoustic instrument so you end up with a traditional sound, albeit a bit louder. Our approach is very different. We utilize sonic processors and a unique type of electric violin.

The result is our very own FUSE style,” Linzi explains
To achieve their trademark sound, the electric violinists of FUSE called upon a suite of high-tech equipment, including their trademark gold Bridge electric violins, valve amps and sonic processors to create their trailblazing album. The result is a new style of rock that's unlike anything you've ever heard. The FUSE violin duo has received tremendous critical acclaim from critics with some of the world's leading publications, including the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, OK Magazine, and Hello Magazine, among others. But Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee don't just have the talent and the innovative sound; they've also got the look.

Q&A with Linzi and Ben

How did you two meet?

Up until 2007 I was a solo electric violinist performing all over the world. As with most artists I was always looking to push the boundaries a bit further so my management started looking for an executive producer to work with me behind-the-scenes. Meeting Ben I think was serendipity – my management found him through old contacts and being passed from one person to another and eventually Ben was at the end of the chain. To begin with Ben worked with me as my exec show producer because he was a wonderful talent on the violin so had an innate taste for what I as already doing, and had good studio credentials as well. This works really well for about 6 to 9 months and then out of nowhere one day in rehearsals we were arranging a piece that would really have benefited from having two live violin lines playing at the same time – like a conversation if you will. That was the moment! I thought, well there's only one way to do this and that’s to invite Ben to play the second line with me so I did and asked him to come to the next show to perform it with me. One track led to another and within a few weeks we had re-arranged and reproduced my tracks so that it accommodated two violins and FUSE was born.

 What's the story behind the name "Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Violin Band"? 

When it comes to choosing a name bands I think find it inherently difficult because whatever you think of you doubt yourself whether it fits the image, style, the music and what others will think of it as well. We knew what we were trying to achieve as a band – it was an amalgamation of lots of different influences from Ben's childhood, from my childhood, from the music we grew up listening to and also trying to convey that we were combining a classical instruments but with a much more contemporary approach. The word of fusion kept coming up over and over again but we thought it sounded a bit clinical and there may have been another band around at that time with the same name. So FUSE seemed a lot more punchy, less syllables which helps, and encapsulated everything we wanted the name to represent.

Typically, most violinists play acoustically, but you choose to perform using processors and electric violins. Was it to be different or do you prefer this style of violin?

Yes, we get asked this quite a lot. I suppose it's a bit of both – when I look back I suppose, the common denominator is I've always wanted to do something a little bit different from the crowd and to stand out. This was not because I didn't admire what other people are doing, I did, I just wanted to be a little bit different. When I was a solo artist we did experiment with different approaches to my live performance and some included classical violin and also with the electric violin but I always felt live at the electric violin showcased my vision and sound for the artist I wanted to be. Then of course working with Ben in early 2008 open up a new horizon because he was practiced at using effects like me, pedals, and several guitar techniques transpose for the violin. That was actually the easiest decision, we had the same goals, ambition, and both wanted to show how versatile the electric violin could be if you had an open minded approach. When it came to recording the album we decided to use a lot of analog equipment - not just vintage guitar amps but also down to specific details like the model of microphones that were used back in the 1970s to capture that full rich sound. This backline combined with the modern production techniques we feel has given us a signature sound and helps capture the audiences attention because it's not just an electric violin playing straight through a live desk that really sounds more or less like an acoustic violin amplified.

How do you write and create each of the songs?

This has been a collaborative process – not just between Ben and myself as you would think but also with our management. They always have one eye on what is commercially viable and it helps us keep our focus on the goal and not get too self-indulgent going off in some weird and wonderful direction which to us seems fantastic but may result in leaving the audience behind. Four example the track Fix You on our Universal album was imagined up by our manager while he was on holiday. He didn't have any fancy software like ProTools or Logic, but he had a very rudimentary program that could chop up tracks – he cut up the Welsh lullaby theme from the film Empire of the Sun and tried to stitch it together with Coldplay's Fix You. To be honest it sounded pretty awful but the kernel of the idea was definitely there and when Ben and I heard it we knew exactly what he was after. I remember when we finished recording that track Ben turning to our manager and asking, “Is this how you imagined it would sound when you first had the idea?" The manager was absolutely thrilled with the end result. As a general rule for our rock anthems album we purposefully choose tracks that are very familiar and people know the lyrics to. Then we transpose the lyrics into a dual violin line (like a conversation between Ben and I) and keep it as the main melody of the track – hence when people are singing the lyrics in their mind we are playing along with the same melody and we believed this would end up a key USP of the band. Which it did. Then to take it one stage further now and then to underpin the hook of the track by adding some BV's to thicken up the soup!

Let's talk about influences. Who influenced each of you?

As a child I had many influences from either end of the spectrum. My mum was a classical lover so I had a strong classical influence growing up. At the other end my father loved his rock music – ranging from bands like Led Zepplin, Free, Deep Purple and Bad Company… going back to one of your previous questions I am sure this influenced mine and FUSE's decision to go back to those hallowed days and recreate that immense analogue rock sound. Growing up in 80s with the major artists of the time were a big influence to me too - whether it be more on the pop side like Madonna and Prince through to the big stadium bands like Def Leppard. So the classical and the rock music got amalgamated and out the other end emerged FUSE.

If you were to compare your music to anyone, who would it be?

That's a difficult one because you can't really compare ourselves to a vocal artist, and on the other hand we believe as a violin act we have marked differences between us and our contemporaries. Having said that there artist we admire such as Nigel Kennedy, Vanessa Mae, and of course Bond who all paved the way for us.

Your music would be amazing in television or film. Have you ever been commissioned to score any such projects, if so which ones?

That's a timely question… we are currently in talks to do two film scores. The first will require a bit of reinvention as it's very contemporary and modern so it will need a special team of producers. I suspect we won't end up using the violin in the traditional sense but rather as a module for trying all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds through it, like you would with a synthesizer. This will give it a unique identity that can only be achieved from using a string instrument and a bow. The other will be a much more traditional film score with large orchestral movements and very cinematic.

There is such emotion in your music. Does your own music ever bring you to tears?

Yes it's can be very emotional but no it hasn't brought us to tears yet. But seeing fans welling up which does happen now and then, is very moving and without them saying anything we know we have struck a chord and made a deep connection with them which is always very gratifying.

I know some of your music does incorporate background vocals, but have you ever collaborated with other vocal artists from other bands? Is that something you'd like to pursue more of?

As I mentioned earlier we do sometimes include backing vocals in the choruses to emphasise the hooks that everyone knows and loves, and enjoys singing along to. This was another USP and character of FUSE that we decided early on in the making of our rock anthems album. We have been approached by a couple of vocal artists but for one reason or another the projects didn't pan out because the material felt a bit forced and wasn't coming naturally. But yes, this is definitely something that we are open to and I'm sure it won't be too long until we produce something with another artist.

Because you're a unique instrumental artist, do you find it more challenging or an advantage over most independent vocal artists, because there are so many of them?

It depends how you look at it – either the glass is half full, or the glass is half empty. Yes there are more independent vocal acts out there which means that it's more competitive but it also means that that is the mainstream choice of music so it has greater support from the record companies, the media, and understandably radio. It is true there are fewer violin at around but because it is still perceived a niche instruments it doesn't have the visibility or airtime to breakthrough like a new boy band would. Having said that there is an increasing number of string acts around. You just have to look on YouTube and there seems to be a new one every week which wasn't the trend 5, 6, 7 years ago when we started out. Now there is a plethora which in a way is a good thing because it challenges us to be even more innovative and to try and get ahead of the curve. I always believed that competition was healthy - my motto is "if you thought you were doing okay it meant you were comparing yourself to the wrong people."

What is in store for Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Violin Band for 2014 and beyond? New music? New video? A tour perhaps?

Hopefully a soundtrack, either one would be great but we are constantly in the studio trying out different ideas between being on the road touring, and launching products like the new Mercedes S Class we toured with earlier in the year. FUSE doesn't do "standing still" very well.

Find more of Linzi Stoppard & FUSE Violin Band
Official Website: http://www.linzistoppard.com and http://www.fuseofficial.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinziStoppard
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinziStoppardElectricViolinist