Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fastest Rising Artist, Walla's new single "101" debuts on Spotify with over 1.2 million listens

Walla - Photo by Jody Fine
3-time award winner, Walla releases their latest single, "101" on January 20. Walla’s new single debuts on Spotify’s Top 10 New Music List with over 1.2 million plays inside of four weeks and listed as the “Fastest Rising Artist" on Last.fm.

February 18, 2015 - Los Angeles, Calif - Not since the release of their hit single "Nature" in 2013 has their been such a "buzz" for a single release. "101" can be heard on several radio stations like KROQ 106.7 FM, WLSO 90.1 FM, 92.7 BIG FM, KGUP 1065 FM, and several college radio stations including CSUF, USC, and many more!

On Monday, February 23, Walla will perform at FREE show at The Mint in Los Angeles, CA for Hot
Tub Johnnie’s HunnyPot. Doors open at 7pm and event goes on until 1:30am. This is an All Ages event. Performances include John Anderson, Billy Gottlieb, Mark Foley, Ryworlf, Ireesh Lal, Hollywood Jane Review (Burlesque show), An0maly, and Hunnypot Dance Party.

Location:
6010 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

About Walla:
Formed out of different times, places, and hardships. By random chance, these 5 individuals found each other through digital means and a common love for inventing new wavelengths.

Listeners describe WALLA as Alternative, Indie pop, synth-based, retro-influenced, indie rock, or something along those lines. Their credentials range from 2 members being graduates from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, touring in Europe, scoring big band arrangements, and playing sold out concerts and festivals. All members have a background from a different part of the globe (Mexico/El Salvador, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil, Korea) which is advantageous in influencing their songs, but also disadvantageous because of student visa issues. Nevertheless WALLA continued to press on and eventually ranked #1 on Hypem.com, #6 on FMQB Radio Charts, landed press from Billboard, MTV to USA Today and Nylon Magazine. They were also invited to share the stage with one of the members of Depeche mode, worked with Grammy winning producers, and "zoned" out to a collaborative sound through multiple mediums from radio to the more obscure. "But still our goal since conception has never changed: to keep doing music out of a passion and pure love for it. The longer we can do it, the better, and the more people who can help and support our journey, the more we keep going."

In 2013, WALLA won their first accolade for Best Indie Rock Artist at the 2nd Annual Artists In Music Awards, then repeated during the 3rd annual and took home two more awards including Best Alternative Artist at Universal City, CA on February 7th, 2014. WALLA looks to repeat for 3rd year in a row at Season IV of the Artists In Music Awards in 2015.

Picasso once said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Despite legal, economical, and financial challenges, WALLA continues to face that problem head on, going face first into the mysteriously inconceivable abyss. "Just like our songs, we never know where WALLA will take us next and we admit, we like it that way."

INSTRUMENTATION
Jonathan Hoonch Kim - Guitar/Lead Vocals
Gabriel Nava Rodrigues - Synths/Backing Vocals
Ian Charlie - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Mauricio "Moebeats" Carcamo - Bass
Alessio Balsemin - Drums

DISCOGRAPHY
2015 - The Kids Are Alright (March 10, 2015)
2014 - Gangsters of Suburbia EP
2013 - Nature EP
2012 - Animal of Love EP

Connect with Walla:
Official Website www.thewallaband.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWallaBand
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/thewallaband
INSTAGRAM http://instagram.com/thewallaband
SOUNDCLOUD https://soundcloud.com/thewallaband

For interviews, appearances, and event bookings, contact agent@lainpr.com

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Album Review: Turning Points by Oren Yaacoby

There seem to be very few musicians that can truly be said to defy genre boundaries, and the ones that do are often, for better or for worse, labeled as “session musicians”, a term that is, sadly, all too often taken to mean someone lacking in musical personality or vision. Oren Yaacoby is perhaps the very definition of someone who proves how misguided this attitude is, and his debut album, Turning Points, is a case in point.

 A quick online search reveals that Oren has an incredibly rich and versatile background. When first perusing the internet to hear more of this incredible artist's work, I had to double check that all the mentions of “Oren Yaacoby” where in fact talking of the same person. On the one had, his work has included playing lead guitar for the by-now-legendary Missing in Action, an Israeli Metal-Core band that came into prominence with their first performance at the 2010 Wacken Open Air Festival, alongside Slayer and Iron Maiden. Yet he has also played in a huge variety of other settings, including The Paintbrush Orchestra (a free jazz influenced Soundpainting ensemble based out of Boston), and recording for several major T.V series and movies (most notably CBS's The Crazy Ones and Fox's Enlisted), as well as a myriad of other jazz ensembles.

Yet perhaps whats most amazing about Oren's playing in all of these different settings is that he does what so few manage to do – to play in manner that is faithful and true to a genre, while always maintaining that honest personal tinge that makes a performance truly great. Nothing I have heard from his vast catalog has in any shape of form felt disingenuous or forced, yet it has all managed to sound like the same person is playing with the same level of care and craftsmanship. That is truly no small feat and the mark of a true artist.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Oren Yaacoby's debut album, Turning Points, hardly feels like a debut album at all. Rather, what we are hearing here is a fully formed, mature artist at his finest. The five tracks all feel like the work of a veteran songwriter, and every aspect of this album, be it the lyrics, the incredible showmanship of guitar technicality (more on that later), or the refined production, hints at an magnum opus that will hold up after many repeated listens. The opening track, “The Alchemist” is a beautiful and personal ode to the craft of music itself, and sets a reverent mood for the entire album, which remains strong even through moments of intense energy and complex guitar lines, such as the almost progressive “Truth on the Outside”, a teeth-grinding, keeps-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat tour de force. Also worthy of note is Oren's vocal work, which is strong and poignant through-out.

I would be amiss to write anything about Turning Points or any of Oren Yaacoby' work without
mentioning the incredible level of technical guitar mastery. And while that is usually hardly something worth mentioning in an album review, in this case, it feels like a beautiful and integral part of the music itself. Rather than feeling like a stale display of technic, as can often happen when one reaches this level of familiarity with an instrument, one gets the feeling that we are hearing an artist push himself to the limit of what he can do, trying to find something new and beautiful. The incredibly fast, complex and clean guitar work on the album is absolutely flooring, but somehow manages to always remain exciting and musically relevant.

This is one album that is not to be missed, certainly one of the freshest and most exciting releases to come out this year. I know I will be talking about it to pretty much everyone I know, and I wouldn't be surprised if very soon you will be too.

Find more of Oren Yaacoby
Official website: http://www.orenyaacoby.com
Bandcamp: https://orenyaacoby.bandcamp.com/album/turning-points 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orenyaacobymusic

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WaveCat - A New Kind Playlisting Making a Comeback: Interview with Steve Biddick

Wave.cat is a music streaming, play list building service that acts as a 'second-skin' for Soundcloud and Youtube. It allows users to build unlimited playlists using freely available tracks and offers 100% uninterrupted playback without any advertisements. Every playlist on wave.cat is hand-picked by a community of real people - not faceless computer algorithms. wave.cat users search for their favorite tracks from YouTube & Soundcloud and create new playlists to share with a growing community. An intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows users to easily build and structure playlists in a matter of seconds, arranging the music however they wish.

Wave.cat features:
-An intuitive drag-and-drop interface
-internal search functions for YouTube and SoundCloud
-100% free with no ads or interruptions
-Unlimited playback
-Long playlists mixed by professionals and every day users
-Cat-like memory that remembers the last song you listened to in each playlist
-User customised channels and playlists
-Sharing and collaborative functions for community driven music

Wave.cat is the brainchild of Pedro Esperan├ža, a workaholic programmer and music lover who likes to listen while he works. Pedro noticed an annoying trend that was hampering his daily music fix - he always had to choose a new song at some point, which meant stopping his to work to find a new track. He looked for playlists to remedy the problem but these almost always came with advertisements, which sullied the listening experience. Pedro used Dropbox to create a 'website' of streaming music, asking his friends to contribute and set up “a great playlist” for him to enjoy while working. The playlist was a big success and soon spread outside of his circle of friends, eventually earning up to 2000 visits per-day. People were listening. To invite further collaboration, Pedro decided to make wave.cat – a free playlist building platform for everybody to use.

Steve Biddick of Omerta Game Ltd got involved with Wave.cat in July 2014.

Interview with Steve Biddick of Wavecat

So, for those that aren't familiar with WaveCat, please explain what WaveCat is. What inspired you to create WaveCat and how long ago did you start this project?

Steve: We have three offices - a UK one, a Hong Kong one and a dev lab in Lisbon, Portugal. We listen to music all of the time and have a diverse range of genre interests. Discussion about 'what constitutes good music' lead to many agreements and disagreements, eventually that there was a need for a playlist sharing method with no whistles and bells. WaveCat is made from those discussions.

Workaholic programmer Pedro Esperanca made the first cat, putting a few files he owned on dropbox and making a simple webpage to serve these. Anyone in the office could open and play the page. Pedro didn't want to keep choosing new songs, which meant stopping to work to find new tracks. Playlists on other sites are littered with annoying advertisements (in the Chinese office these are in Cantonese and none of us speaks that language) We didn't want ads in playlists in the office. We eventually got a bit tired of the Dropbox playlist, and asked some musical friends to collaborate in setting up a better one. They really liked the visual format and set up four libraries of recordings, which we also hosted on Dropbox. These lists can all be found at http://wavecat.wave.cat - so that the collaborators could listen too, we put it on the web.

There was a big local response in Portugal - with the list going locally viral via Facebook. Soon we were getting 2000 visits per-day. People were listening. To invite further collaboration, we decided to make the current version of wave.cat – a search-engine based free playlist-building platform for anyone can use. 

 Seeing the huge potential of this 'second skin' type website, after Pedro moved to a new project, working for a different company, Omerta Game ltd CEO bought the site in July '14. 
 Neat fact: as the money transfer completing the purchase of wave.cat went through, Steve was just touching down in Catalonia, where the .cat TLD is based.

What makes WaveCat different from other Playlisting websites and why is this one better?

Steve: Wave.cat is a 'second-skin' for Soundcloud and Youtube (we plan to add more services as we grow, but those two have the biggest online repository on the web, so a good place to begin. Search Engines are 'second skins' too (Second skin websites were predicted by David Gelernter in his seminal book 'Mirror worlds', published in 1991). What it means is that the content is elsewhere, or 'lots of elsewhere's' and then collected together in a neat visual format by wave.cat for relay to consumers, but leaving out the bloat and spam, both visually (banner ads and leadins to other parts of those websites) and audiably (playable ads). Wave.cat replaces these with an awesome neat visual format, drag and drop UX and without all the trimmings. Another advantage is 'social music sharing' - wavecat playlists are sharable with other users. We have teams of DJs putting together playlists from club nights gone by, playlists made by all members of a band and friends just sharing tunes they love, or sometimes loved years ago. We are making it easier to share curated lists of music, between friends and friends of friends. Plus we have an 8-bit cat and a cat wearing shades for our logo. What's not to like?

In comparison to Spotify and Pandora, how is WaveCat’s sound quality?

Steve: Sound quality at-source depends on the tunes you pick when you are making your wave.cat. You will find that when a tune on YouTube is a poor recording, there are typically multiple instances available - when I make a list I sometimes go through two or three before I find the one I like.

As already mentioned wavecat isn't a steaming service. See it a s prettified search engine for music, cross-platform, with savable, sharable results. We think that's different.

Roughly how many songs does WaveCat have and how many songs per day are added to your database?

Steve: Add up all the recordings on SoundCloud and YouTube...

Everybody thinks the cat is cool, even (Wiki inventor) Ward Cunningham saw the potential. That was a big moment for the team. We are geeks. It was a 'we are not worthy' moment (like when Wayne and Garth in 'Wayne's World' meet Alice Cooper and throw themselves down at his feet).

What are some of the best features of WaveCat and why WaveCat would make people drop their current music platform?

Steve:
• No signup
• No ads
• Clean visual interface
• Smooth UX
• Shit-easy to make a playlist (you can dump a playlist URL from YT or SC and ALL of the tunes on that list appear on your new wavecat)*

We suggest you try that - register at wavecat, start a new playlist, open SoundCloud or YouTube, grab the playlist of your choice, drop it's pagelink into the Cat and choose a groovy background image.

Really - try this - you will see that a fantastic looking new playlist is made and ready for sharing in seconds.

We also have a great mix of user and professionally curated playlists, you can choose from these and play without ever being nagged to sign up.

Now, these playlists are created by fans, correct? For the unusual tastes, does WaveCat cater to people that love Anime and video game music?

Steve: Sure - there are some K-Pop and J-Pop lists in there and all sorts of oddities. You are limted only by imagination.

Make that list for is if it is something that you love. We want to hear it! In fact, I'll personally send a free air guitar to the first person who sets that up.

Currently, is Wavecat mobile friendly? Is there an app? If not, how soon do you think it will his come out of development and get into the hands of fans?

Steve: This is the current project - An Android app version is being tested for beta release soon. I can't give an exact date yet, but I can tell you it'll totally rock (and dance, and jazz or even Anime.)

An iOS version will follow. We are kind of in stealth mode for now while these apps are being made. If you are reading this on a phone and wonder why wave.cat does not work on your phone, launch it in a browser - it will soon!

What are some things that music lovers can expect from WaveCat in 2015?

Steve: The app. The app and the app. Then we will add some new services and expand all the sharing stuff. More WCOD (Wave cat of the day) lists from new bands and celeb bands alike.

We're currently promoting musicians who we have ties to via social media, particularly encouraging those who have made a WC to promote their band or brand. Some more experienced bands have featured (OK, Go! Pomplamoose) and some up and coming ones like Lake Street Drive.

Take a look at the blog to see our recently published WCOTD's, ranging from underground hip hop to chart-busting pop: http://blog.wave.cat/

We will also add some revolutionary stuff to boost sharing

Find more of Wavecat
Official Website: www.wave.cat
Twitter: http://twitter.com/wavecatmusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wavecat.music

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Launching of Songwriter Connect to Help Talented Songwriters Worldwide


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Songwriter Connect has been launched, with this platform already having several members who are successful songwriters with top hits in the US and Canada. Slots are filling fast as the platform will only be accepting 500 members.

The site is inviting songwriters, composers and other musicians to get connected with the music industry and apply for membership free of charge. Membership is austerely limited to accommodate 500 talented members and all applications will go through a strict application process. Songwriter Connect membership includes the following:

• Pitching opportunities for artist’s placements
• Pitching opportunities for TV and Film
• Free resources for songwriting
• Discounted songwriter services
• Music and songwriting industry news

Be among of the first fortunate users of this new website which connects songwriters and composers to become well established. The music industry can really be hard to penetrate where composers and songwriters take long years just to have a grand break in the market. Hence, Songwriter Connect is establishing a new way to help these people who want to make it through this kind of industry and make their names be known worldwide. This latest platform will feature several opportunities for music creators to pitch their song to industry contacts looking for a specific sound. Whether an A&R agent is looking for the next hit of Ariana Grande or Justin Timberlake or a label is looking for the debut single of an upcoming artist, you will find the pitching opportunity at Songwriter Connect.

The benefit for members is that, if accepted there is no submission fee for each pitch and members will not compete with 1000s of other music creators for one opportunity as only 500 members that had been screened are accepted to be part of Songwriter Connect.

Explore the opportunities and sign in contracts, by just showing a unique talent in writing and composing. Apply for membership and let the world hear a magical sound that will make a change. Songwriter Connect is the right place to be!

### For those who are interested about Songwriter Connect, they may visit www.songwriter-connect.com or email them at info@songwriter-connect.com for more details.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Milky Chance and Tegan and Sara make the list of Top Rated Music Artists of 2014

2014 was a spectacular year for music and the Los Angeles based indie radio station known as KGUP 1065 FM "The Emerge Radio Networks" as they reached new heights and have expanded across the world.

Over the course of nearly 2 years, the radio station has been growing exponentially and can be heard on many radio networks across the globe. The Indie-Alternative radio station has grown so rapidly, they had to dedicate an entire page to show and support all 16-radio networks that play and endorse KGUP.

In 2014, KGUP has come across some familiar faces and discovered some of the most amazing emerging artists from the independent music community. One independent artist in particular goes by the name of Sono Vero. Sono Vero took the Number 1 spot for the Most Requested Artist in 2013 and held on to the top spot well into 2014 for 18 weeks straight.

Below is a list of the Top Rated Artists of 2014. This data is based on the total number of listeners tuned in for a particular song and have performed the best throughout the year.

Moving into 2015, a congratulations to this weeks Most Requested Artist of the Week, LP. Her song “Tokyo Sunrise” has maintained the Number 1 spot for the 5th week in a row and is the first artist to be Number 1 in 2015.

Listen for yourself and you'll discover why KGUP is becoming one of the best radio stations for independent music by going to www.kgup1065.fm and www.kgup1065.com or listen on your smart phone or your hybrid/electric vehicle by tuning on TuneIn. Search for "KGUP".

Request your favorite songs by calling or texting at 206-736-9698

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giving Artists a New Reach: Interview with Justyn Brodsky


Artist Reach is a company that offers Professional Artist Development & Elite Music Industry  Services while cutting out the middle man, "consultants", or people in the Business you potentially may be wasting money with. We are a direct source, and best of all, we are founded and operated by Professional Musicians--guaranteeing you top results based on our decades of hands-on experience on stage, and off stage; and our online presence demonstrates that our following grows daily, and sustains absolute loyalty among those that have connected/networked with it.

Interview with Justyn Brodsky of Artist Reach 

So, are you the founder and CEO of Artist Reach?

Justyn: I am. The company originally started in Spring 2013 under the name The Pact Music Society. But after successfully being offered a grant (along with the help of Digital Music News, Electric Kiwi, Sony, and the Agency Group), some development of new ideas, more crowdfunding, and an enormous response on our social media platforms...we became Artist Reach in Spring 2014 after investors exercised the idea of a name change.

Tell us how the company started. What made you decide you wanted to help artists?

Justyn: helping Artists is something I've always been prone to ever since becoming an Artist myself. God knows since music coming into my life at age 3 (I have pictures to prove this!), it's been quite the journey. I've watched the Music Business evolve, I've watched myself evolve with it, I've watched the trends and the genres go through their changes; I've always made sure to pay close attention to what's going on so I can not just keep up with the essence of times, but find my window to possibly get ahead of it somehow. Do something or acquire something in the industry that hasn't been touched on yet. Differentiation, if you will. You can always play it safe, do something that's already been done and do it well...but with Artist Reach and the audience I've built, I'm yearning to find that key factor of differentiation. Kinda like inventing, or reinventing. But helping Artists simply is something from the heart. I wanna inspire others the same way I was inspired.

What exactly do you do and why would an artist want you to represent them? 

Justyn: I operate, facilitate, and run the Company in all aspects ranging from the business side of things, consultation, teaching up to 5 instruments, and do whatever I can to make sure Artist Reach is always active and making new friends, colleagues, connections, etc. Why us? Because like said, we are dynamically run by professional musicians only. Currently there are 7 of us, myself included. Our experience in many music fields on high levels makes all the difference from your average Music Business "Network" or Music Lesson "Program". We lived and breathed the music fields for years, and continue to do so. We also personalize this experience and don't shy away from or "screen" Artists that wanna be involved because of lack of experience, knowledge of the industry, or heavy extensive touring. We have seen so many Artists start from the bottom and rise. That's why we don't discriminate. If the Artist's drive and work ethic is there along with the will to invest themselves into their career, that's where we can play the best role. Your Artist Development.

There are so many companies that claim to get artists exposure, but in the end, they seem to only take a lot of money with little results. What separates your company from all the other Artist Development companies?

Justyn: We charge our services based on the Artist's needs, their goals, and what they are striving to gain without emptying their wallets. We work with budgets and aren't afraid to show some results first before we charge someone a full quote. Our consultation is always free, and we utilize our skills and experiences combined with your needs and goals as an Artist. And I guess even though it's already been said, the biggest thing that makes us different is the fact that we are a company of professional musicians with elite skills in almost any industry field.

What has Artist Reach done? What are some of your success stories?

Justyn: We have successfully obtained grants from industry investors, 5 star reviews from many customers and affiliates, reviews and interviews on other popular music Zines and Websites, over 150,000 followers on Twitter, over 25,000 Facebook Likes, over 10,000 LinkedIn Connections, a great word-of-mouth following, and countless valuable connections and friendships.

I read your profile and it says that you work for Saturday Night Live. Are you still working for SNL and how is that experience?

Justyn: this is my 3rd season working in audio there. It's not year round, but the best thing about that is it looks great on the resume'. And you get to work with so much talent in the production stages. Unfortunately, I don't get to hang out with celebrities, but the staff and co-workers are some of the most genuine people I've ever met. I learn something new and make great memories every season I get to work in that studio. It's an amazing environment.

Since you are on the inside, have you ever tried to get your clients on the show and have you succeeded? How hard is it to get on these kinds of late night shows?

Justyn: Unfortunately I don't pull that kind of weight. But the advice I was given on many occasions is to make sure I give the producers a reason (or several) to keep them letting me come back to work on the next season. The longer you stay, the more you're looked at as family...and you never know what opportunities may come along! But so far, no one I've recommended or suggested has gotten on the show yet. But I'm always encouraged to submit new talent, and to keep discovering.

What are some of your future goals for Artist Reach and what can we expect in the coming months and years?

Justyn: Expect a very large Network of dedicated Artists with the strive to get to that next level with our help. I hope to open a bigger office, obtain more exclusive investment, and be able to do this full time where I can make this into a living, and have the position to provide a full schedule of services to any Artist looking for the best price for the best results.

Find more of Artist Reach:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArtistReachOfficial
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArtistReach
Tumblr: artistreach.tumblr.com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Interview with Grammy Nominated Producer & Author Anthony Casuccio

His name Anthony Casuccio. Anthony Casuccio is the Founder and Principal Sound Engineer and Author. Casuccio even wrote a wrote a book about his experiences. Some of his topics cover treating artists with respect in an age of excess.

Casuccio has worked on numerous albums and mastered the group, Barton's Top 20 Billboard Dance hit "To Call My Own". Casuccio's current projects include - De Apostle (featuring Sizzla, Morgan Heritage and Luciano). Casuccio's own creative project has been featured on All My Children as well as used in numerous commercials across the country (look for the national spot from Liberty Medical). Other of Casuccio's notable projects include a lost demo tape from Kurt Cobain and a Dance single by the Barton that charted at No. 9 in the UK. Casuccio's resume includes spending 1000s of hours mastering projects for several major recording labels including Columbia, BMG, Warner, and dozens of indie labels over the past 20 years.

Xtream Audio Mastering. Their work has been featured in Mix Magazine, Billboard and even been nominated for 3 Grammys. Xtream Audio Mastering produces work ranging from Hip Hop, House, to Heavy Metal.

Interview with Anthony Casuccio: 

It appears as if you have a pretty colorful and decorated life having worked with so many professional and independent artists, you published your own book, and now you have production studio called Xtream Audio Mastering, which you opened in 2010. When you look back on your life, how does it make you feel?

Anthony: It is a great feeling to be able to do something you love and have success at it. I think it goes hand and hand. I have been very luck to have worked with some great people on some great projects.

Do you feel accomplished or do you feel like your best work is yet to come?

Anthony: Great question. I feel like I am just starting (although I am not) and have so many career goals that I want to achieve. Skies the limit in the entertainment industry. I do feel seasoned and can bring a veteran’s perspective to projects.

So, tell us how it all started. How did music get introduced to you and when did you decide you wanted to become an engineer?

Anthony: I always wanted to be Eddie Van Halen (dating myself here) and when I realized in high school that it may not happen, I got interested in the recording aspect of music. I was still playing in rock bands as well as the school band so I was very involved in the music performance side of things. Being a huge Beatles fan since I can remember, I love to write and figured I could take those ideas with me into the studio. So I set a course on going to college to learn recording technology.

Who was the first artist that you could remember that really inspired you?

Anthony: I have to say the Beatles and more importantly, John Lennon. I just loved their songwriting and harmonies. Like millions of other people, it just pulled me in. I knew that I had to do something in the music industry.

What was your childhood like and how was music apart of your life?

Anthony: I bought a lot of 45 records and listened to what was playing on the radio. I had a very supportive family. I took trumpet lessons and then when I was old enough (after asking for a few years) I started guitar lessons. I never looked back.

In addition to all your accomplishments, you're also a published author. Can you tell us about the "Be nice movement"?   

Anthony: Being nice is not a sign of weakness, it shows strength and control. When in a confrontational situation, by responding in a positive constructive manner helps you control the conversation and in the end steer the outcome in your favor. And isn’t that what we want.

I am not trying to preach! I just happened to try and do the right thing in a very tough business and I found that it works. I am used to a fast paced world, where nice is not the norm. I just made a choice to try and always do the right thing and it has paid off. People need to hear this.

The message that I am trying to convey.

Being nice and doing the “right thing” will created opportunities for people that follow this mantra. People like to be around others that radiate positive energy.

Does your book apply to both men and women and does it apply to only nice people?

Anthony: This works for all ages and men and women. This book is an easy read with a great positive message. I am a hot head and if I can act nice and in a positive manner, anyone can. There are a few thought provoking question at the end of each chapter to help spark some personal growth into looking at challenging situations that one may be thrust into.

Let's talk about your business. When did it start and was it difficult to get it off the ground? How did you promote yourself to get new business?

Anthony: I moved to California from NYC to work for a Sony Music company in 2000. Unfortunately, the recession hit and Sony laid everyone off. I had met my future wife there and did not want to move back to NYC. I needed to go back to my roots of mastering (which I was doing in NYC), so fed up with always working for someone else, I started Xtream Audio Mastering in 2001. Interestingly enough, when I was in NYC, I was doing a lot of remastering for big name projects like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elle Fitzgerald box sets. I also worked on big band and classical albums. So I was surprised and thrilled when one of my first Xtream Audio clients was a Rap group. I treated them with respect, something that they were not used to. Word spread of my fair services and within 6 months I became the go to mastering guy for Hip Hop in the bay area. I have a great web site, and it was much easier back then to get to the top of Yahoo and Google. That helped me generate business and get a foot hold in the business. I was one of the first mastering companies to offer direct upload and free samples.

What is your specialty? Do you only work with music artists or do you offer your services to film producers as well or is that something completely different?

Anthony: Mastering in my primary business. I started to get into mixing as well since I realized I could do a better job on a lot of the music I was receiving to master. Anything audio I will master, not just music. I have cleaned up some dialog for movies to mixing and mastering commercials.

What kind of artist is your specialty? Hip Hop, Electronica, Pop, Rock, or do you do it all?

Anthony: I do it all. I work a lot with the genres you just mentioned, but I also have worked on some classical albums that have been nominated for Grammys. I had a handful of songs I mastered top the dance charts too.

Give us your 5 year forecast? What is the future of Anthony Casuccio and  Xtream Audio Mastering?

Anthony: I plan to be doing what I love to do, Mastering. I started this business as a way to level the playing field for the independent artist buy offering major label mastering at an affordable price. I plan to keep that mission intact. I have built my business on this model and it has worked. Saving musicians some hard earned money and giving them great service kind of sells itself. I have a ton of repeat clients and they love to spread the word on Xtream Audio Mastering. I am going to work hard to allow that to continue.

Find more of Anthony Casuccio:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xtreamaudio
Official Website: http://xtreamaudio.com/audio.html
Twitter: xtreamaudio

Get a copy of Be Nice at http://anthonycasuccio.com

Monday, November 10, 2014

AIMA Season IV Submission Window is Closing and Awards Ceremony Update

The Final submission date to enter Season IV of the Artists In Music Awards is November 15, 2014 at Midnight. If you have not become a member and submitted, there is still plenty of time.

For more information and to find your category go to http://www.aimusicawards.com/#!vote/c60z

We have several categories in Music, Film, Poetry, Literature, Photography, and Theatre. If your category is not represented, please let us know. We may add it.

Behind the Scenes

If you have been apart of AIMA at all during the past 3 seasons, you may have noticed that we are doing less live shows during the year. Now that we are under the Siqueiros Foundation of the Arts, the Artists In Music Awards has scaled back on the monthly shows, but we are very much still active. We do plan on continuing the live show tradition in Season V and reintroducing the Summer Showcase and the Breakthrough Series.

As of today, we are behind the scenes hard at work and focusing on the final stages of obtaining our 501c3 charity organizational license. In the meantime, the Executive Board of Directors have been diligently attending Community events, shaking hands with State and City leaders by attending political events, and appearing at various Art & Music shows in and around Los Angeles as part of our awareness campaign.

Awards Ceremony

As of today, we are unable to reveal the official location of the Awards Ceremony, but we will very soon. The Awards Ceremony is still scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2015 and it will be held in Los Angeles. Once we have the “go-ahead” we will send out a Press Release to make the HUGE announcement.

For the main event, we are doing something never done before - show full-length films, have live performances, and exhibit Art during a televised event. At the present moment, we are looking for Full-Length Films, Short films, and Documentary’s. As mentioned previously, we will have an exhibit area to showcase Artwork, so we are looking for Nominees from the Visual Arts arena. Of course, we are also looking for live music performers for the main stage to perform in between the trophy presentations. If you are a member and you have something unique to offer, please email us.

Once we make the location announcement, we will begin selling tickets to attend the main event.

FYI: Anyone can become a member. As a member, you can nominate yourself, a band, or any single artist, actor, etc. You are also welcome to nominate someone for Lifetime Achievement, Educator of the Year, etc. We simply ask that if you nominate someone for an award, your participant is aware they must be present during the awards ceremony as we have a strict attendance policy - We do not award absentees.

To join and submit, go to http://www.aimusicawards.com/#!submit

The final submission date is NOVEMBER 15, 2015.

Stay tuned for more information COMING SOON!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

10 of the Best Indie Songs for Weddings

Written by Cormac Reynolds

Weddings have to be perfect. The need perfect colors, the
perfect people, and the perfect food. It has to have the perfect soundtrack. We’ve all seen the father-daughter dance to Butterfly Kisses, and we’ve seen rocking reception dances to Jackson Five and Queen. All fun to be sure, but how do you set the mood in a unique way? Below are ten of the best indie songs for a wedding.

1 – Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros The chorus says it all. “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It’s upbeat and heartwarming, with pieces of a love story sprinkled between whistling and fantastically used trumpets.

2 – We Found Each Other in the Dark by City and Color

They hid the premise in the title. Nonetheless, it’s a great wedding song. It’s about choosing to live and have a great life together no matter the circumstances. Easy guitars and a smooth falsetto make it a good slow dance choice.

3 – Ho Hey by The Lumineers

This happy, energetic folk song proclaims what every wedding is about: “I belong with you, you belong with me, and you’re my sweetheart.” It doesn’t get more wedding appropriate than that. You’ll be the BEST DJ IN TOWN if you play it at a wedding.

4 – Angel by Ernie Halter

City and Colour
This song oozes with sweetness. Halter has a voice like velvet, and the instrumentals provide the
perfect background.

5 – Jackson by Johnny Cash – Original or cover version by Florence + Josh Homme

Admittedly, this doesn’t quite fall in the indie category if you have the original, but Florence Welch and Josh Homme bring a new twist to the classic. Modern voices over a classic bring some Cash class up to date.

6 – You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me cover by She and Him

Who doesn’t want a bit of Zooey Deschanel at their wedding? She and Him’s rendition of the Smokey Robinson song is an ode to holding the one you love, and very easy on the ears.

7 – Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun

This song is a blast. It channels just enough of a 80s electronic dance vibe to be fun, without being cheesy or annoying. A simple drum beat and tight instrumentals make this an easy choice for the reception dance floor.

8 – 5 Years’ Time by Noah and the Whale
Noah and the Whale

Easygoing and whimsical, this song will have everybody feeling good. Ukulele, pleasant harmonies, and a small taste of violin and flute add depth to this folk-flavored tune.

9 – Wonderful (The Way I Feel) – My Morning Jacket

Every wedding needs a nostalgic acoustic guitar singer-songwriter type song. A great voice and a great guitar part make this song perfect simplicity.

10 – I’ll Follow You by Jon McLaughlin

A piano based love ballad, this is sure to have all the parents and best friends getting a bit misty. The strings and McLaughlin’s raw voice will bring plenty of emotion to the ceremony.

DJ FOR HIRE
Wedding DJ Kent, Surrey, Sussex, London

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interview with Bidisha Chowdhury: Film Maker and Story Teller


Bidisha Chowdhury lived in Kolkata, India when young. She was always mesmerized by films, but when she grew up, there weren’t kids’ films like there are now. The films were geared towards adults. Instead, she read tons of storybooks, even hiding from her parents to do so. She amused herself by imaging the books she read in film format.

From all the books she read, she had lots of ideas for stories, but no creative outlet for them. Decades later, after moving to the US, she started writing her stories into scripts. Years later, when she finally had the opportunity to get involved with the filmmaking process, working on numerous short films.

Her journey started when she wrote and directed two of her own shorts in 2010 and one in 2012. She became a part of something bigger than herself. Still, at that stage, she never thought she could ever make her own feature-length film someday.

She loves the whole process of filmmaking, starting with writing the script. During the pre-production process, she loves to spend hours creating props and designing costumes for the characters. She finds it creates a stronger connection with the characters and allows her to tell a better story.

Interview with Bidisha Chowdhury

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. You're obviously a well established director and writer. You have several writing credits, director credits, producer credits, and even a credit as a costume designer. Do you feel like you are just beginning? What is your primary goal?

Bidisha: I love the whole process of filmmaking, starting with writing the script. “Adaline” is my first feature and yes, I guess, in the grand scheme of things it’s still just the beginning for me but I still have a fair amount of experience under my belt. I have a couple of other scripts which I wrote a while ago, I want to make them into a film in the future. Also I’d like to make films on real life stories and events.

My primary goal is to make films which have a strong story because basically I’m a story teller. I want my films to appeal to audiences of all ages and demographic as my central philosophy is simply to have a great story.

You mention in your biography that your ambition to work in film stemmed from a very young age. What were some of your ideas that you held onto as a child that are still with you today?

Bidisha: I was always mesmerized by films, but when I was growing up in India, there weren’t kids’ films like there are now. The films were geared towards adults. Instead, I read tons of storybooks. I amused myself by imaging the books in film format. I had lots of ideas for stories, but no creative outlet for them. Decades later, after moving to the US, I started writing my stories into scripts. Years later, I finally had the opportunity to get involved with the filmmaking process, working on numerous short films. My journey started when I wrote and directed two of my own shorts in 2010 and one in 2012. I became a part of something bigger than myself. Still, at that stage, I never thought I could ever make my own feature-length film someday.

Tell us a little about your current project Adaline? 

Bidisha: This is the story of a struggling young artist called Daniela who inherits an old house from a distant aunt she never knew existed. Daniela moves into the San Andreas house and gets to know locals such as the mentally-challenged Marvin and the handsome John. Life seems perfect.

Daniela starts having a series of bizarre dreams. She finds a hundred-year-old diary from the young Adaline, who also left cryptic prophecies hidden in the attic when she lived there. Daniela discovers that Adaline was known for her special powers and ability to see the future. Her premonitions came true and she was called “The Village Witch of San Andreas”. Did Adaline see something really terrifying in Daniela’s future? Is that the reason she’s trying to reach Daniela through the dreams and the written prophecies?

Is Adaline one those stories you created as a child? 

Bidisha: No. I wrote Adaline in 2012 and then I rewrote it until we went to production. Story and believable characters are important to me. I’ve read many stories since I was a child. My inspiration for believable characters comes from certain interesting people I’ve met along the way. For example, when I was growing up in India there was an older lady who was our neighbor. She was nice but very curious about other people’s business. So I wanted to incorporate personality trait into Becky’s character where I made Becky into a small town nosey lady.

A while back I met a younger guy who was very nice and sweet. He was slightly mentally challenged and talked in a very unique way. Then years later I met another guy who used to work in a shop I often went to. His mannerism, his body language and his clothes caught my eye. The color combination of his clothes didn’t match and the style of clothing was not contemporary but he didn’t realize it. So when I was writing the script I combined these two people into one and that’s how my Marvin’s character got started.

Being that you were forced to hide certain books from your parents, what were those books and does any of your current work reflect those ambitions as a child?

Bidisha: I used to read all kinds of stories and novels which started from a young age and that’s how I fell in love with story-telling which became second nature to me when I grew up. It helps me a lot when I write a script. I can’t remember exactly which books I hid from my parents but they were probably most likely ghost stories.

Did your parents ever catch you writing stories and try to make you stop? How did you hide this from them or how did you explain it?

Bidisha: I used to write more poems than stories when I was much younger. However I did read a huge number of stories during my childhood. The stories I read and the new ones I thought up, I just kept them in my head for my own amusement.

Equality for women in India is slowly changing for the better, but the country is still one of the most dangerous places and oppressed country's for women. As an Indian woman, do you feel some satisfaction in becoming apart of this equality movement?

Bidisha: Yes, India is changing for the better but I don’t believe it’s one of the most dangerous places in the World for women or the most oppressed country for women. After all India, in 1980, elected a female Prime Minister in the form of Indira Gandhi which was long before most countries in the west have done and are still to do. Also, one of the first female film directors in India was an Indian lady by the name of Fatima Begun who, back in the 1920’s, used to write, direct and produce her own films. However, I do understand your sentiment that India is a male dominated society where Indian women have had to face many challenges on a daily basis. As time passes things do change. My total respect goes out to those women. I wouldn’t say I’m a conscious part of any movement. I’m just grateful I have the opportunity to do what I love to do.

So whatever challenges women in film face today the trailblazers of the past have broken down many barriers but there are still more changes that will undoubtedly happen. We will just have to wait and see.

Do you feel fulfilled or is the best yet to come for Bidisha Chowdhury?

Bidisha: I did put all of my effort into making “Adaline” the best it can be with my limited resources and funding. I have different stories I’m looking to get made into film which will be different to Adaline but very special in their own ways. I am always looking to improve so I feel the best of me is yet to come though Adaline represents the current “best of me”.

Can you tell us what you'll be working on next? 

Bidisha: Currently I have a script we’re looking at potentially producing. It’s a period drama set in Victorian times called “Weeping Lilly” and it’s about a mother’s struggles to protect her home, children, husband, and sanity from a scheming governess who has a mysterious past and shadowy agenda.

Find more of Bidisha Chowdhury:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4974852/
www.beautifulcircleproductions.com
www.adalinethemovie.com
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3218094/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_2