Monday, September 22, 2014

Worlds Fusion Master Musician: Interview with Anjael

Anjael is a multi instrumentalist, guitar player with roots that are connected with people like Richie Havens, Shawn Lane, Kevin Eubanks, Uriah Heep, Pink Floyd, Bad Company and is acknowledged as the worlds only steel string guitar exponent of neo sambra flamenco honored as an Maestro of drumming & music by various International organizations including a Hall of Fame induction by the coveted LEA Academy International and Ustadz Zada of Sama’un Fusion drumming unlike any you've ever seen.

Interview with Anjael

You are known as "The Man with the Blue Face". Can you tell us the significance behind the blue face and why you decided to roll with this image?

Anjael: Foremost, blue happens to be one of my favored colours. I choose blue as it is also the colour of the wide expansive sky which accepts us all irrespective of our caste, creed or colour and it also happens to have a spiritual meaning behind it mainly, something stemming from my own spiritual practices of universal brotherhood to fight various forms of prevalent poisonous racism & allied poisons globally. A statement , to make the onlooker feel either comfortable or nervy and it also reflects the state of ones soul and consciousness ie what do you think when you see a blind man? A lame or a deaf person? Do you consider yourself better? Lucky? Or does your heart actually sympathize with compassion? Do you judge the person who is poor and cannot wear expensive clothes but, is extremely nice as a person? Etc etc I see the reactions when they see my blue face.

You've been in the music industry for at least 30 years. Of course music has become a major part of who you are. Can you tell us how music started for you?

Anjael: My very beginnings in music as a toddler aged 5 fully immersed in mid-Eastern, eastern & western classical music in a very illustrious multi cultural family where music was the life blood. Both my parents were renowned musicians and my dad was by far a gem of an artist, fantastic painter, sculptor,linguist, a brilliant bellow organist, Mid Eastern Mawal ie Ghaezal singing expert & composer He was of royal descent from one of the Mid Eastern Royal families and had left all riches behind to travel around the world to study spirituality and advanced music from many a teacher in particular to my memory and was much sought for his advanced skills as an leading exponent of spiritual music.

He interacted with the legendary Duke Ellington over 1963 if my memories serve well. He was friends with the American drummer called Jo Jones , Violinist Leon Abbey, Ravi Shankar, close friends with the Indian Sitar Maestro Nikhil Banerjee, Mr.Teddy Weatherford a great musician who died in abroad, the legendary Yehudi Mehunin, friends like the great Indo-Pak Ghaezal singer Begum Akhtari Bai , he met Charlie Byrd and Dizzie Gillespie I think he said 1954 or some when they toured the East and the list would be endless and in spite of thousand requests and many great offers from radio, TV, playback singing he would turn it all down to focus on his work as an ambassadorial liaison in Mid East, Europe and S.E Asia and working for an Italian tire company.

I have nostalgic recollections of so many nights in my beautiful fathers lap as a little boy listening to him sing with rapt attention, his divine eyes lifted towards the sky, smiling with the essence of grace and my mother would be serving the guests who came from various nationalities far and wide to hear him sing at private concerts.

Hence you can see real music is in my blood and heritage and yes it did not come easy as my dad died when I was very young and life changed drastically 180 degrees. My mother tutored me in the rudiments of all music and I owe my musical knowledge to them both and other teachers who appeared from time to time and guide me here and there and that is how it all started.

You've worked with some big names in the business like David Gilmore of Pink Floyd, Gregg Dechert of Uriah Heep, and Bad Company. How are you involved with them?

Anjael: I am not involved anymore and its been a long time now since my last involvements with anyone “Popular” and really I do not care about that anymore:-).I have spent last so many years , I was part of an Indo-Jazz fusion group for 7 years which had nothing to offer to me. I at one time over 1985 was saving money to go join a band as a lead vocalist in underground rock metal UK music scene but, a destined meeting with the fantastic spiritual musician Mr.Richie Havens happened in 1986 at the same stage and platform I also met the amazing Wishbone Ash with shining flying V guitars:-) and this changed my course a bit. I think it was also in that year or a few years after I encountered two fabulous guitar players, Kevin Eubanks (we became fans of each other in Goa) & Vernon Reid of Living colors -the amazing group. Shared stages with Didier Locke wood but, not together and I also encountered and became mutual fans with the great guitar hero Shawn Lane a few years before his untimely demise.

Another encounter with the worlds best African group OSIBISA in 1982-3 whose “Woyaya -we are
going” song changed my life so much..Oh I so fondly remember the Conga player Daku Potato,Sol Amarfia the powerful drummer, Farhan Freere from star gazers,Teddy Ossei, Paul Golly, Kiki Djan hmmm wow!

Me & Gregg Dechert work a lot and we are both very reluctant musicians picky and choosy on who to work with and we do not care if someone is very famous.

Who else have you worked with?

Anjael: No I have not worked with too many well known names but,have worked with very serious musicians very less known outside only in certain circles and I could not make contacts or promote myself as many of my former musical friends in the circuit would not allow me to flourish and I also had a ailing widowed mother to attend too. I technically have some friends who are quite well known Internationally but, I am sad they never kept their word.

My very recent work has been with the fantastic Afro-Cubano Conga player Senor Oscar “De Conga' Dominguez of El Salvadore- a young but, composed matured player with a very keen ears.

You are a guitarist, a composer, clarinet player, and singer. Did I miss anything? What instrument are your most passionate about?

Anjael: Yes I am as per the tradition of Tariqate Roohani Baz School given to me as a torch bearer from its last keeper my Teacher Piran Pir Shah Wali Husseini & my parents as an extension of the esoteric Rabbi school and I also studied flamenco of the Sambra school extensively for last 15 years and a wee bit with late great non trad Tocadores Senor Carlos Garcia Montoya.

That is correct regarding the drums-I am representing a 3000 year old ancient temple style called Cinkari (Khsetra) Melam from Sri Lanka. The classical Darbari Sufi Sama'un trance drums from Mid East and Bateria de Panthera conga style drumming of the slave fighter movement of ancient Capoeira and off course not to forget my own western fusion jazz rock drumming where I Try to combine it all.

You did miss a few sorry but, I am equally proficient with electric bass, double bass, Bamboo flute,Qanun, Saz -Bouzouki,Cuban harp,Cajon,Conga,Tabla and I am most passionate about guitars and drums and have huge passion for bass but ,cannot play due to my damaged hands.

You were inducted into the Hall of Fame? What was this for?

Anjael: I have been a member of a world wide fraternity of like minded fellow musicians & innovators. There are several underground International associations and academic Institutions where we facilitate exchange of ideas, creativity and advances in music & performing arts. Believe me , these musicians are all adepts! They can literally tear most global musicians into pieces if you have any idea of Gypsy jazz musicians in E. Europe, Mid-East, East. A coalition of such inducted me into the hall of fame due to few fact like, I am the only steel string flamenco player using my nails which took me 3 years exclusively to play what others do with on nylon and on top of that, I am also a drummer with a skill to see colours around notes, play beats which are very different that what most of us hear regularly, keep time syncopation and also being singer, song writer, composer,multi instrumentalist.

It sounds like you've had some success in the music industry. From your perspective, what shortfalls do you see with the current business model with how labels operate and how music is played on FM radio? Do you foresee a big change happening? I'm interested on your take on today's industry as a whole.

Anjael: The definition of success today is co-related to the amount of money you can waste on B.S vanity , how many people you can deprive to be at the top and physical assets.

My success is really at the very nominal grass root level and my target audience are the world citizens of global communities which is ever so slowly growing. I cannot help marvel at the complete lack of appreciation for true musical healing arts or original performances vs millions dying to go to concert over some half naked or even fully naked pop star who has to use gadgets to sing and hip gyrations to earn mega bucks, cheats on Government taxes , publicly misbehaves & abuses in Courts ,paints a horrific public image, misleads youngsters and corrodes the mind.

Show me how many labels are there which actively promote real music vs labels which market, advertise, makeup stupid half baked artists with all the glam with huge concerts which makes no sense except “money making gimmicks” -why do most Indie musicians start their own label? Why labels including those morons who sit on some of the national music competition as judges make it clear ' you gotta look like a star? -physical is such a preference.

Do you have any idea the amount of money these labels make? If good labels would start a form of accepting submissions with bio, reference and a filtering process it would surely benefit real musicians and I am trying to initiate such a process. Labels only sign when they see $ sign and so much to blame is ourselves with our lack of depth.

FM radio can be a very powerful medium but, I hardly listen to it as every station plays the same ole shit barring a few old jazz stations. If FM could cater to world music? Real jazz or fusion ? Sincerely, when do you recall hearing John McLaughlin or Shawn Lane or Billy Cobham or even Stephan Grapelli or Trilok Gurtu on these FM stations?

I think if the regular common person would take a stance and think for a second what he wants to hear, why he wants to hear and the outcome of the music. Riddle me this for you and your readers “do you and your children like to pay 150$ to go to a concert of a gyrating naked mindless soul less drug abuse advocating singer? Or go to a artist who is regularly involved in gang warfare, drugs and violence ? Or go to a concert where hard core music is being played to refresh your core and and and make your heart strong in values, make your society stable,give your children something to cherish and marvel at?

The big change that is happening is very slow to gather momentum as people are still afraid, afraid of various isms if you will, extremism’s,various conflicting theories regarding every aspect of human life, afraid to step outside their comfort zone,cannot seem to investigate for oneself but, depend on rumors and this applies to music. Today’s industry needs a wake up slap and fresh blood, not money sucking cronies so that “musicians can do what they do best, make real music” not pretend they are film or porn stars”.

I think I am carrying on the work started in our times by stalwarts like Richie Havens, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez,Joni Mitchell and Tommy Emmanuel and many others and rest is up to G-D if my voice and message is heard or not.

What other projects are you currently working on?

Anjael: Right now all my focus is on project RE-ACTION between me and Gregg Dechert, my solo drum album where I wish to show case the panthera , cinkari melam, Sufi Samaun and fusion jazz rock drumming , my flamenco guitar based album and songs , a fusion album in the burner and a latin album with my friend Oscar Dominguez and also this October 24th 2014 I & Gregg Dechert perform at the prestigious underground Avant Garde music festival of Eric Stach , a very respected saxophone player in London, Ontario which runs for 4 months a year and is a meeting hub for players as far as New York to Japan.

What else is in store for Anjael for the coming year?

Anjael: Preparing myself to shovel all the beautiful Canadian snow that’s going to land on my front and back porch:-). So sad about the health of my hands and how I may keep on playing. Very busy helping a friend launch a new medical corp due to my expertise in the subject matter.

I do have a S.E. Asian small tour of 3-4 countries organized anytime from Nov 2014 -March 2015 and slowly slowly starting to put myself there to promote my work since I never did that in my past. Be well and may you and your readers have a prosperous 2014!

Find more of Anjael:
Official Website:

Friday, September 19, 2014

My First Love: Interview with Natalie Jean

Natalie Jean is a talented singer/songwriter. As a young child she used to sing along with her father, Guy R. Jean, a famous Haitian artist, in their home. She started her career by writing poetry. However, music has always been her passion. 

In April of 2013, Natalie released her first CD entitled, Obsession. On August 42014, she released her second album, self-titled “Natalie Jean.” She has performed at the following venues in the MD/DC area, French Embassy, Takoma Station, Ebenezers Coffeehouse, Twins Jazz, Mad Momos, and the Pinch. She has also begun to write and perform for many different genres besides her own, such as Rap, Country, Dance, and Heavy metal. 

Currently, Natalie has been nominated in the Best Dance Category in the 2014 Artist in Music Awards, as well as having 5 nominations in The 2014 Indie Music Music Channel Awards for Best Blues Song, Best Blues Artist, Best Jazz Song, Best Best Rap Song, and Best R&B Artist. Also nominated in the International Music and Entertainment Association for five categories, and Semi-Finalist for 4 songs in the UK Songwriting Contest. She is also nominated in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Best Blues Song and Female Vocalist. June 2014, she was selected as a Top 5 finalist for Singer Universe. Natalie most recently won two awards in the Akamedia Music Awards for Best Blues Song and Best Rap Metal. She is a passionate singer. 

You can feel every note when she sings. Natalie can also sing in French, Spanish, and Creole. Natalie Jean is mostly influenced by artist such as Lena Horne, Celine Dion, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Interview with Natalie Jean

When did your passion for music begin?

Natalie Jean: I grew up in a household where music was always playing.

My father being a musician was a great influence in my life. I grew up watching Elvis as well, and he made music so exciting. I always loved to dance and enjoyed the way music made me feel. It wasn’t until later in life, that I felt it was time to be a part of the music scene.

Who were some of your first favorite recording artists?

Natalie Jean: I love Celine Dion, Sam Smith, Christina Aguilera

If you could perform with any music artist, past or present, who would you want to share the stage with?

Natalie Jean: I would love to be able to perform with Sam Smith. He is an awesome singer and performer. The emotion he conveys is amazing. I like the fact that his songs are based on his life, just like mine.

If you could perform with any music artist, past or present, who would you want to share the stage with?

Natalie Jean: I would love to be able to perform with Sam Smith. He is an awesome singer and performer. The emotion he conveys is amazing. I like the fact that his songs are based on his life, just like mine.

Your new self-titled album just dropped in August of this year. What is different about this album compared to the songs you released previously?

Natalie Jean: The first album was more pop. This new album is a Jazzy/Blues album. Jazz, is my first love. I wanted to create an album that would really able to demonstrate my vocal ability.

Who wrote the songs and who did you work to create your album?

Natalie Jean: I wrote all of the lyrics on the album. The music was composed by my music producer Alexi Von Guggenberg, from LXE Music Productions Studio in Alexandria, VA

What song do you believe represents you and your music as a whole?

Natalie Jean: “You Are My Everything” represents me the best. It is the first jazz song that I wrote and it demonstrated the kind of emotion that put through everything that I do.

In 2014, you racked up a combined nineteen Nominations and contest recognitions, including two awards for Best Blues Song and Best Rap Metal. How does it feel to have so many alco and be an award winner?

Natalie Jean: I am honored that having only been focused in the music for the past couple of years, that I have been able to receive so many nominations. It has been a good year.

What other achievements are you most proud of and what is on the horizon for Natalie Jean? Perhaps a music video or a national tour?

Natalie Jean: My proudest achievement was the ability to complete my latest album. I really enjoyed making the album and it represents me the best. On the horizon, I will be making a new music video and am working on a short film, in which I have written, will star in, and write the soundtrack.

Find more of Natalie Jean: 
New CD Release -
Website -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dangerous Ways: An Interview with Dangerous Rob

Oklahoma has produced some of the biggest names in the music industry. The Gap Band and Charlie Wilson, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood , Wayman Tisdale and Hanson.

Oklahoma`s premier hip hop artist Robert C. Daniels II aka Dangerous Rob, known to his friends as D-Rob, has already made his mark in Japan, Germany, Australia and the UK. D-Rob recorded his first rap record at the age of 15 with a group named THOB-MOB, Graduated from Thomas Edison Prep School and he went on to Langston University where he majored in Broadcast/Journalism . Ultimately, he put his educational goals aside and released his second record. With the combined forces of Partners-N-Rhyme a local rap group, this record was distributed nationwide through a Independent label called ACI Records based out of Los Angeles, California. Their record independently sold more than 100,000 copies of the single "Cold Chillin in the Middle". This popularity allowed the group a feature on the Arsenio Hall Show, and National Tours across the country.

After 7 albums, Dogg Pound Next Generation General, Dangerous Rob, is on the horizon of celebrating his 25th landmark year officially in the music business. Dangerous Rob is heating up the airwaves with the first single from the album Dangerous Ways. The celebratory single, 100 Stacks, is titled to be a ladies anthem which is already garnering comments on Twitter with the pre-release in markets like Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Oklahoma.

Join this premiere hip hop artist in celebrating the official release of 100 Stacks and 25 years of success in the music industry. The song can be purchased on popular networks like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon and other popular music sites. 100 Stacks can be requested on popular radio stations like KVSP 103.5 FM in Oklahoma City, and K104FM in Dallas as well as many radio station across the country.

Interview with Dangerous Rob:

Let's cut to the big question. A lot of big names have come out of Oklahoma, but none of them have been in Hip Hop. Do you plan on changing that?

Dangerous Rob: Yes I am on course to change the perception of Hip hop music in Oklahoma. Over the years we have been receiving more recognition, once Dangerous Ways the new album hits the street, the world will have a different view on the state of Oklahoma and the versatility of the way our music sounds as a whole.

You've put out a lot of records over the last two decades. In 2014, you have a new single out called "100 Stacks". Tell us about this new joint you're bringing to us.

Dangerous Rob: I wanted the first single to be dedicated to my core female fan base, I wanted it to make sense to women, and encourage them to rise above being called a dime piece “What`s a dime piece to a 100 Stacks,” and also provide a description of how a lady should be from my point of view.

You've been around the block a few times and you've seen artists come and go, you've seen record labels rise up and fall. How is it you've managed to stay in the game for so long?

Dangerous Rob: Very good question, I managed to stay in the game for so long, thru the Grace of God, dedication and preservation, and remaining true to my craft and not trying to imitate and sound like anyone else, of course the deal with DPG Records and the Dogg Pound Next Generation Movement, expanded my career another 10 years. Shout to Daz Dillinger and Bigg A. chuuuuch!

From your perspective, where do you see Hip Hop going and is there a real chance for someone like Dangerous Rob to break into the scene as a major conglomerate in the industry?

Dangerous Rob: Hip Hop is here to stay, it`s the connection for the generation coming up, all they know is rap music, The lifestyle is mainstream and Corporations are making billions off of the culture, so it`s not going anywhere, too much money involved. I`m still pushing and my plans are to show the world what Oklahoma artist has to offer in 2015.

Tell us about Dogg Pound Next Generation and Freedam Records. What role do they play with Dangerous Rob?

Dangerous Rob: Dogg Pound Next Generation is a movement , Daz Dillinger and Bigg A , appointed me the The General of the movement , because of my experience and longevity, 6 different faces from 6 different places everyone is from different parts of the United States, DPG Records had a vision to put 6 fire mc`s together, and we made it a movement and we still mashin as a unit, Freedam Records is my label, and my plans are to make it an established entity like No Limit or Deathrow, but the core groups would be from Oklahoma, because we wanna put the state on, Anybody associated with Freedam, is also part of the Dogg Pound Next Generation movement as well.

So, let's go back to your roots and how Dangerous Rob got started. As a child, who was that caught your attention the most that said, "I wanna be just like him"?

Dangerous Rob: Rev.Run from Run-Dmc. Best hip hop artist of all time.

Taking a look at music today, who do you like and who would you want to work with?

Dangerous Rob: Charlie Wilson, Snoop Dogg of course, Ice Cube, Dr.Dre, TIP, Jay Z, and Nipsey Hustle. I like Kanye West too, it`s a lot of talented guys out right now. Those are the ones that stick out tho.

Do you have plans to release a music video to go with the track? 

Dangerous Rob: Video is coming soon, filmed by 4500 films and it`s featuring Mary Mathews , don’t hold your breath it`s coming.

So, you've got the one single out. When can fans expect to hear more of Dangerous Rob? 

Dangerous Rob: I have 3 projects coming Dangerous Ways the new album, Don`t Play No Games, Dogg Pound Next Generation, and S.I.S.T.A. Volume 2. , old man still out here working,

Find more of Dangerous Rob:

Monday, September 15, 2014

All Indie Spotlight: Interview with 2KX

The band is fronted by keyboardist and composer Lisa LaRue who is thrilled to announce this unique new release after spending the last two years successfully battling to regain her health. LaRue said, “2KX is excited about being able to make music again, after taking a break due to health reasons. The track has a classic 2KX sound, and goes through four movements, the last illustrating sussuration which is the sound of wind through the trees”.

The release involves an unusual feature in that one movement of the song will be available as a special 7”, hand-shaped lathe cut record. The record is cut real time on a vintage 1940 record lathe. This movement is the ballad section of the song and the only part with vocals. The CD/EP will contain the full-length version of ‘Sussuration” as well as a previously released singles from 2KX: “Lemniscate,” a radio edit of “Sussuration,” and a bonus of “Song For a Name – 2KX” by Johnny Unicorn It will be available as a CD and an mp3 album in addition to the radio edit “Sussuration” ballad which will be produced in a very limited quantity as the hand-shaped lathe cut 7” record. The CD cover art is by Keith Birdsong, famous for his Star Trek book covers and other outstanding work. Digital downloads will be available September 1, with the CD, special edition record, videos and more available soon after.

2KX members are Lisa LaRue on keyboards, Steve Adams on guitar, Mike Alvarez on cello, John Baker for vocals, Merrill Hale for drums and percussion, and Don Schiff on bass and NS Stick. Baker, previously lead vocalist/guitarist for Mars Hollow as well as playing for Christian Love (The Beach Boys) and The Little Girls, joins as a band member on this release, as lead vocalist. Special guests are Michael Wheeler playing Dilruba and violinist Brenda K of the Panache Orchestra. The album was produced and mixed by LaRue and mastered by multi-Grammy mastering engineer Adam Ayan of Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering. Ayan is known for his mastering of bands such as The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Rush, Linkin Park and numerous others.

Prior to their two-year break period, 2KX was nominated as Best Instrumental Band at the 21st Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. Earlier career highlights for Lisa LaRue include being the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records (SOAR) Natural Visions sub label, the 2008 Oklahoma Music Awards “Native American Artist of the Year” and a 2008 nominee for the Hollywood Music Awards Instrumental category.

 Interview with Lisa LaRue of 2KX

Tell us about your name? Where did it come from and how you guys came up with it? Let me take a guess - Does it mean "To Knoxville" or does it mean "2010"? (just a shot in the dark)

Lisa LaRue: Although Knoxville is a very lovely town, the latter is correct – 2010. The band developed out of a project band in 2009, called Lisa LaRue Project 2K9. At the very end of December 2009, a few of us got to talking and decided upon forming a permanent band –not a project band- and since we were dawning on 2010, and because of the name of the former ‘project’, 2KX was born!

You went on hiatus for nearly 2 years due to health reasons, but you made a full recovery. Do you can to tell your story about that?

Lisa LaRue: It has been assumed it was due to my Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (with cyclic Cushing’s Syndrome due to meds, etc.) because I am very open about that illness, and desire to educate the public about it. But that wasn’t it…… it was due to my developing the most annoying malady: Adhesive Capsulitis, or Frozen Shoulder. I couldn’t lift my arms higher than about elbow height, couldn’t put them behind me, couldn’t even get things out of cupboards or lift. Being a keyboard player, it was just simply impossible to write, practice and play. They were just frozen! Not that it hurt to move them (although it hurt to try), they just simply would NOT move. Doctors’ advice and other information I was given all said this would resolve within 3 years, and it did!

So, tell me about the band. How did you all meet and how quickly did you three mesh together as a band before you decided to start producing albums together?

Lisa LaRue: With the production of the project band (Lisa LaRue Project 2K9) album, “World Class,” we all collaborated long distance with file sharing and sometimes Skyping, although a few of us worked together in various studios. We had met in different manners. One of the project vocalists, John Payne of the band Asia, and Lisa had known each other for a number of years. Steve Adams and Merrill Hale were of the progressive band ARZ from Portland, and Lisa had heard their work and was really impressed, and contacted them. Steve Adams could shred, could play jazz, could play classical…. And not just play, but write in about any genre. A very “Steve Howe’ type of guitarist. Merrill had a lot of qualities of Neil Peart (Rush) and Carl Palmer (ELP) all wrapped up into one. All the participants had qualities that, as a musical director for the project, made Lisa feel they would gel together. And they did. When the decision was made to form a permanent band (2KX) and work on their first album as such, titled Fast and Blue (2011), it was the participants who truly gelled musically, and on a personal level that became the band. We have all spent time socializing, meeting each other’s families, and talking about many interests. We became like family.

Going back over the past six years, you've received multiple nominations including Best Instrumental Band at the 21st Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, the Native American Artist of the Year Nomination, and a nomination at the Hollywood Music Awards. How did it feel to get so much recognition and do you plan on entering more award programs for your recent release of Sussuration?

Lisa LaRue: Those were interesting experiences. When I actually won Native American Artist of the Year, I was not even aware for a long time that I had been nominated! When 2KX was nominated as Best Instrumental Band for the Los Angeles Music Awards, we received a phone call from the organizer saying he had been given our music and even though the nominations were almost at an end, he wanted to personally nominate us and include us. Lisa was also nominated for Best Instrumental Song of the Year at the Hollywood Music Awards, and for a NAMMY (Native American Music Award), and it really was a confidence builder, and confirmation that we had made the right decisions in choosing each other to work with and choosing particular songs to develop and record. These experiences were real honors, and quite humbling, and exciting! If somebody were to nominate Sussuration, we would be extremely pleased and honored. A nomination is just as pleasing as an award, and we are thankful for all we have received.

Tell us about your new album, Sussuration. What is different about this release and why is this album so special to you?

Lisa LaRue: Sussuration is different in several ways. First, it is an EP and not a full length album, and includes a radio edit from the longer title track. With this release, we have crossed over into the AOR/Pop market with the radio edit, and are getting a much warmer and larger reception. We are also including a bonus product which is available separately, a hand-shaped, lathe-cut record of the radio edit. It is real-time cut on a 1940 vintage lathe. Also with this CD, we welcome the addition of a permanent lead vocalist, John Baker. John is also the lead vocalist for Los Angeles based progressive rock band Forever Twelve, and a former member of bands such as Mars Hollow, The Little Girls (who had one of the first videos on MTV), and Christian Love’s band (from the Beach Boys). Previously, we had no permanent vocalist, and all vocals were by guests. Predominantly John Payne of the band Asia, and Michael Sadler of the band Saga.

What song do you feel represents this album?

Lisa LaRue: I’d say the full length track, Sussuration. It encompasses every trademark of our sound, and travels from symphonic to pop to eclectic avant garde.

What is behind the name Sussuration and what does the title mean?

Lisa LaRue: Sussuration is a murmuring sound of the wind through the trees. The song is in 4 movements, each representing a different season. The idea was that the wind sounds different depending on the season and the foliage present or missing in each season. When John wrote the lyrics, he took it a bit deeper, interpreting that this voice of the winds represents the many spirits that are always surrounding us.

I love the artwork on the album. Who was the artist that did the artwork?

Lisa LaRue: The beautiful cover was done by Keith Birdsong. And believe it or not, it was done completely with colored pencils – not paint, and not digital. Keith is known all around the world, most famously for his numerous Star Trek book covers and posters, commemorative plates, etc. He has also done hundreds of other book covers, and even postage stamps for not only the United States but other countries. One of the most famous being the USPS Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative stamp.

So, what is in store for 2KX? Do you have a music video in the works or an upcoming tour to promote the album?

Lisa LaRue: We have just released a full-length video for Sussuration, which can be found on YouTube. At the present time, we don not have plans for a tour, but we all are involved in other bands and various projects. Lisa is currently completing a collaboration with Italian keyboardist/composer Federico Fantacone, John has just finished the vocals for the latest Forever Twelve album, and Don is enjoying the recent release of the Rocket Scientists’ latest album. Steve, Merrill and Mike have numerous other projects they are constantly involved in. We will always make music… sometimes as solo artists, sometimes with other bands, and sometimes as 2KX. Keep track on our website and our Facebook to see what surprises we will come up with next!

Find more of 2KX:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Inside the Mind of Horror Writer Mylo Carbia

Born and raised in New Jersey, Mylo Carbia spent her childhood years writing to escape the horrors of growing up in a haunted house. As the daughter of the "Prince of Mambo" Eddie Carbia and goddaughter of actor Raul Julia, Mylo was surrounded by the entertainment industry at an early age. By the age of 17, she was already well established in the local theater circuit as a prolific young playwright. While in college, Mylo wrote, produced and directed The Dolly Parton Conspiracy, winner of the Troubadour Theatrical Society's Best Play Award in 1992. Her very first screenplay was optioned only 28 days after completion, earning Mylo a "three picture deal" with Global Screen Partners and the cover of Hollywood Scriptwriter in October 2003. Since that time, Mylo has been quietly working on several television and film projects under her production company Zohar Films, and has recently announced several major feature film projects due for release next year.

Interview with Mylo Carbia

You seemed to answer my first question on what inspired you to become a writer, but can you elaborate on your story? A haunted house? How haunted was it?

Mylo Carbia: It was very haunted. Many people claim to live in haunted houses when in truth, they are simply living with human spirits that occasionally show up and do no harm. My childhood home however, was infested with both human and non-human entities including three “pilgrim” men who verbally tormented me as a child. My first memory around the age of three was sitting on my mother’s lap during a Christmas party and witnessing a 7 foot swirling, shadow man walk down the hallway. I knew right then I could hear and see things others could not.

What do you think caused this?

Mylo Carbia: My parents moved from New York City to Jackson, New Jersey literally days after I was born. The house was brand new and situated next to a cornfield that had been there for decades. I am convinced it was the land, not the house that was bad. The pilgrim men showed me how they would burn witches there. So there has to be some sort of dark history to that area.

Did you have any other encounters past childhood?

Mylo Carbia: Sadly, yes. In fact my very worst experience was while I was attending a Baptist college in Macon, Georgia. I made the huge mistake of joining a Christian rap group, writing and performing songs that taunted the Devil and caused a lot of problems. The night before going in to record our demo single, two demonic entities came to visit me in my apartment and tortured me until the next morning. Let me tell you, it was the single worst night of my life. I had to leave school for 2 weeks to recover mentally and physically. After that, all of my encounters with the paranormal have been a piece of cake.

Will you ever write a book or movie about that experience?

Mylo Carbia: I seriously doubt it. I wouldn’t want them to show up ever again. The silver lining though is that I became quite fearless after that showdown. Once you experience true terror, fearing mundane things in life are a waste of time.

Changing gears here. You grew up in a family of celebrities. How much of an impact do you think having this sort of influence motivated your desire of getting into entertainment? Did you ever think you'd do anything else?

I guess one could say that being in show business was in my blood, and I actually did everything I could to not live the life of a struggling artist. Despite having success as a young playwright, I went to law school to “get a real job that pays.” But as much as I would fight it, I continued to stay involved with the arts even while having an office job. Then eventually my career took off as an executive in the technology world and I realized how miserable I was being chained to a desk for 14 hours a day. That’s when I made the decision to be a screenwriter full-time.

Throughout your career, you've been a part of many projects as a director, producer, and screenwriter, in fact you just landed another project where you will be behind the scenes as co-producer for the Night of Thrills feature film. Can you tell us about more this project?

Mylo Carbia: Sure, Night of Thrills is a classic horror movie about a group of young amusement park workers preparing for Halloween festivities when suddenly each one starts showing up dead. I just love the horror genre. If you take a look at other classics like Friday the 13th, Halloween and The Shining – all of those films stand the test of time. Not every genre can say that.

Lets talk about your book. You're currently in the process of releasing the first book of a series of books. Tell us about the series and what is the title of your new book?

Mylo Carbia: Yes, the book I am writing now is called The Raping of Ava DeSantis and tells the story of a working class woman who is raped in college by three fraternity boys, then hunts each one down years later to kill them. It’s very sharp, with lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending. The other four in my series all feature tough as nails female protagonists who battle the unknown. All five novels are already outlined, I just need to stop tweeting and finish them.

Can you tell us if some of the passages in your new book are non-fiction?

Mylo Carbia: My first novel is one hundred percent fiction but definitely inspired by my experience of being a Jersey Girl while attending college in Macon, Georgia on a full scholarship. I absolutely felt like a fish out of water and did not fit in with the wealthy, southern boys who attended this small University. I had one student call me a prostitute to my face for wearing tight pants with heels. Another commented on my jet-black hair and red lipstick as being “Satan’s favorite combination.” Needless to say, this book is my way of putting all of those assholes in one place and burning them. No amount of therapy can replace the joy of revenge writing.

Did you ever become curious and do research on your old house and did you find out anything interesting?

Mylo Carbia: My parents and I finally moved out of the house in 1984 after living there for thirteen years. I recently went to see what it looks like on Google Earth, and could not find it. I think someone demolished the houses there and built one house on the land. Very curious to see how things are going.

Just by scanning your Facebook page, I see that you have a fascination with haunted houses in general as you often talk about other haunted houses and other paranormal activities. Have you ever worked on any ghost hunter/adventures TV programs?

Mylo Carbia: I have not worked on any ghost hunter TV shows but honestly, would love to one day. I am very connected with the community and often give advice to families living in haunted houses since I have experience with both human and non-human entities. There are not too many female ghost hunters on TV with a big mouth like me, so who knows. There might be a show idea there.

So, when is your book being released and how can we find a copy of your work?

Mylo Carbia: No release date on the book yet, but I will definitely be sure to let you know just as soon as I have one. ;-)

Find more of Mylo Carbia

Thursday, September 4, 2014

From Aspiration to Materialization: Interview with Liv Kirby

Liv Kirby was born in Queensland, Australia and was brought up in Sydney and then in Melbourne.
Her first experience in the arts was when she was 12 years old when she started stage and film classes at the National Theatre in the heart of Melbourne.

From acting Liv then started exploring the world of dance and by the age of 15 she was dancing professionally with her crew at the time, Superhoodz. In 2011 Liv then moved on to be one of the orginial dancers in Addicted 2 Dance dance crew, also known as A2D. Having a very successful take off, by mid of 2011 Liv was one of 8 dancers selected from A2D to compete in Las Vegas and represent Australia.

In 2012 Liv recieved her Diplomia of Modeling and Business of Modeling from the Model Academy and since has been involved in many photoshoots as well as had the opporunity to walk for L'Oreal.

Interview with Liv Kirby:
In 2008, you moved from Australia to America to pursue your dreams of becoming an actress and model. From 2008 until now, what memory has stuck out in your mind the most?

Liv Kirby: I think my biggest memory was my first impression of L.A and N.Y. I seem to always go back to remembering how naive and how much of a dream it all seemed to be. It's still a dream now, but I've found out ways to make it a more realistic dream.

When I first got to L.A. I couldn't even believe people were talking in American accents, I had only heard it in movies before and it seriously felt like I had just stepped into a big movie. I'd walk past people on the street, Runyon Canon , Wholefoods, anywhere, and all I'd hear as I walked past them were “my agent called me”, “I have an audition tomorrow”, “I met the director”, “I have all these lines to learn”. I realized what the meant when they said everyone in L.A. wants to become an actor. But, naive Liv thought that everyone was important .I would listen to everyone and believe what they would say, only to find out later that people will just say something to impress you, or in hope you might know someone who knows someone who has a brother who could help them get a break in their career.

I found N.Y. to be very different, I was extremely intimidated by the city and I actually didn't get on the
subway until the 2nd time I visited and I felt like even though they have the easiest street/avenue coordination system, I was getting lost with ever corner I turned. Personally though, I felt like everyone there were there mostly for themselves, they weren't there to impress you, they were there to work hard for themselves and reach the goals they had in store. Of course, people in L.A. have the same state of mind and work ethic, I just think they express it differently, and they way New Yorker did, I fell in love with,

What inspired you to get into acting and modeling?
Liv Kirby: I began acting when I was 12, and what got me into that were films I had seen and child actors that I wanted to be like, I thought it was so cool that kids could be apart of such incredible films. So I signed up for acting for film classes and I loved it! Which was strange in a sense because I was the most painfully shy child, I swear I was boarder line mute sometimes, no exaggerations.
Then later on I got into stage acting after I was exposed to the world of musical theatre when I was 14, from there that's when everything change and I really said, “yeap, this is what I wanna do”.
Modeling was something I picked up after I graduated High School, I was actually going to different interviews in the city of Melbourne for agencies and I walked in this one place and the director of a modeling course they offered came up to me and said “You'd be great!”, she gave me all the information about the course and I found it all very interesting, whether I decided to continue modeling after that or not, the course offered a lot of good information such as how to stay healthy in the industry, how to take care of yourself mentally, how to work behind a camera, which would all help me with whatever I decided to do after the course.

With literally so much competition in New York, how do you find the motivation to continue with your dream of becoming a theatre actor?
Liv Kirby: Finding the motivation to continue fighting for your dream I believe is the breaking point of the actors who make it and the ones who tried to make it. To me, it is such a vital part of the process and personally there is no way I could wake up for auditions at early hours of the morning, wait in line, be one of the other 200 girls auditioning, then not be called back, try and fit in a class for the day and then go to work and do it all over again day after day without any sort of motivation.

Luckily for me I'm blessed to be living in New York City where I'm able to make motivation with
what's around me. Whenever I get to the point where I'm finding it hard to love each second of the classes I'm in without getting frustrated with myself. I'll save up the money and take advantage of the student discounts the city has to off
er and go see a Broadway show. When I see people singing and dancing on stage right in front of me and I'm only steps away from that stage, it really reminds me how much I want this dream of mine that is right before my eyes. It seems so close and honestly it really is. I could imagine that the years and years of hard work it took Broadway performers was all worth it for the moment of their debut on Broadway.

What makes you stand out from the rest? What are your strengths and what are your weakness?
Liv Kirby: My strength is acting and dance, I'm still learning how to integrate acting with singing as it's a struggle of mine to let go of the technique of singing and let it become second nature, I think that's because I haven't been singing for very long and it's all still very new to me. I've done a lot of straight plays so I've had much experience in that so I would say that would be my strongest point overall.
I've met the people who are very self centered and have a big ego, as much as I admire their confidence, it's not always presented in the nicest of ways. I like to be kind to everyone and help people out where I can and I hope that shows, even if it doesn't show right away, I'd like to start making a good reputation for myself for further down the line.

As a child, who was your idol actor/actress?
Liv Kirby: When I was younger I really wanted to be like Dakota Fanning because we were so close in age and she held so much talent, I really idolized her. I've grown up loving people like Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank, Rosario Dawosn just to name a few. One of my major stage idols is Idina Menzel, since I first got into theatre I really admired her and her career and I strive to be the amazing performer she is.

Do you ever see yourself becoming a career model?
Liv Kirby: I could love to make a career out of modeling, I don't think that would stop me from also trying to pursue a career in the performing industry. I have such a big passion for performing and it's definitely not a dream I would give up on even if I had such an incredible opportunity as making a career out of modeling.

If you were to make a career as a model, what would your dream job be?
I'm obsessed with Victoria's Secret and I would LOVE to be a Victoria's Secret model. But, I came to the tough conclusion that I don't reach the height requirements and leg extensions are just too expensive and too much of a risk haha.

What would your dream role be if you could choose a theatre production to tour with?
Liv Kirby: I would love to be Elphaba in Wicked one day. Wicked was such a big influence on finding my passion for theatre that it would be so wonderful to give back to all that the show has given to me. Being a part of an original musical and being able to create your own role and touring would be amazing too! I hope to do that.

If you were selected to act in a major film and the Director said, "Go ahead and choose any male actor to be intimate on screen with and we'll get him for you," who would you choose to do those scenes with?
Liv Kirby: Haha, I have a big celebrity crush on Channing Tatum, I'm going to have to go with him.
If you were selected to act in a major film and the Director said, "Go ahead and choose any male actor to be intimate on screen with and we'll get him for you," who would you choose to do those scenes with?

One last question - What is in store for Liv Kirby?
Liv Kirby: I'm currently finishing up with my studies and graduating in early February and after that I'm going to get back to auditioning and see what happens from there. I'm planning to work hard and while I'm in school I want to absorb all the information I can so by the time I graduate I have a good understanding of my talents and the industry.

Find more of Liv Kirby:

Monday, September 1, 2014

The-Mortis-Chronicles: Interview with Author Alexander Wilkinson

Stamford, UK, 1986. It had to have been a dark and foggy night to give rise to one of the area's most mystic individuals. Fast forward to present day, and that individual, one Alexander Wilkinson, can be occasionally seen wandering the streets of York and Leeds like some creature of legend. With a Pepsi Max in one hand, a half-eaten cheese pretzel in the other, and an open bag of peanut M&Ms in his pocket, he lurks in the shadows of North Yorkshire like a nocturnal animal only paying the day a visit.

In the light hours, Mr. Wilkinson can be seen moonlighting as a nine-to-five office drone with a lighthearted composure and a traditional brain. But dusk is when his true self begins to emerge. Seeking to entertain the masses, he dips a virtual pen into a digital inkwell and composes unique prose that has been compared to that of James Joyce. Whether it's a smell, sound, or image that ignites the creative spark in Mr. Wilkinson's mind, it always turns into a blazing chemical fire incapable of being quenched.

Everything from anime and Quentin Tarantino to video games and old samurai films inspires him to create something. A peculiar and invigorating blend of sci-fi, Western, horror, fantasy, black comedy, and straight up attitude permeates the flagship work of his, the Mortis Chronicles.

His debut, Trials of Eden: Flesh Trade, ventures forth into uncharted waters. Demons, mutants, humans, and supernatural beings clash in a truly otherworldly plot that puts the entire universe at stake. It doesn't fall into overused archetypes but instead fuses the best parts of classic genres together to make what has been hailed as an instant classic. The flowing, erratic prose will command your attention and make you crave more.

Interview with Alexander Wilkinson:

Tell me about The Mortis Chronicles? What is it about?

Alexander Wilkinson: The Mortis Chronicles series is my first series of books, the first of which, was released early 2014.

The series is currently going through its first sub-series called ‘Trials of Eden’ in which I want to bring to the masses the story of my protagonist Mortis, the environment he operates in and what exactly he does ... Who he is … Why he is, who he is.

My first book, Trials of Eden – Flesh Trade, begins to paint the canvas by going into the story about what happened to Earth; after an event known as ‘The Reckoning.’ When demons, supernaturals and freaks fought back against the spread of humans into their territories. Having watched the humans over the centuries destroy their own lands, and now beginning to want their lands too.

I love old samurai films and those films where you have overwhelming odds against a one man / or woman army. Taking this into account, Mortis you could say, is a wandering Ronin style character who for the majority of the time, who operates alone … Wandering a plant named Eden … Bringing law to the lawless.

Operating as a ‘hunter,’ Mortis is a pawn in a greater scheme of things in which his modus operandi is to keep the peace … Enforce order

… And ensure the mass scale of destruction seen on Earth, does not repeat itself on Eden.

Why would someone be interested in reading The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade?

Personally I love reading. I am a huge fan of many authors and yet the one constant you come across is the story lines. Time after time, I’ve picked up a good book, you start to flick through it and then the story line played out sounds like one you’ve heard five … ten … a hundred times over. I am hoping that even as a noob to the indie author field, The Mortis Chronicles – Flesh Trade, and the rest of my series; will shake things up a little. Not only do you have Sci-Fi and Fantasy in a heavy mashup with Action and Adventure, but you have folk lore and mythology that expands the scope of what type of stories can play out, to limitless possibilities. You should wait until you see my take on the cute and cuddly leprechaun myths, in my second book! … You’ll never think of looking for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, ever again.

What motivated you to write this particular book The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade?

I love to play roleplaying games … Roleplay online … Xbox … Card games ... Board games ... The usual geek formats.
But doing this I always had sidequests I wanted to do, but were never optional. Characters you wanted killing off, that never died and thinks like that.

When I first started writing, it was simply to put digital pen to the digital page so that I could write my version of something. Build characters and a world of my own design. When I started I never had the intention of it been an e-book, but after a colleague read through it. He suggested giving it a try, after a little research on the net; I decided to go for it.

If you could compare your book to anything like a film or another book, what would you compare it to?

I would have to say that ‘The Book of Eli’ comes straight to mind when you ask me that. Lone wanderer … One man army … Yet simply trying to maintain an old religion and traditions for a new world. Even amongst the chaos, Mr Washington stands strong and faithful.

You describe this book having multiple genres from sci-fi, Western, horror, fantasy, and black comedy. Can you explain how this is even possible?

Alexander Wilkinson: Its perception and execution mainly.

The scene itself would be considered Sci-Fi, as would the technology, weaponry and means of transport. However, the supernaturals, freaks and demons I use would no doubt fall into the fantasy setting along with a little witchcraft and wizardry.

Mortis’ style is where the western comes in, from his appearance and apparel to the way he operates and even the type of ‘contracts’ he takes. For example, within the first few pages, we see Mortis been dispatched to find the cause of a mining town been raised to the ground. Something that you may have heard before, but then that’s where my twist and take of things will differ. For the comedy part, this was tough. I started writing, and I had feedback on the action and adventure aspects … The fights … The missions … But then someone mentioned to me character chemistry. With a little tweaking … Some rewording … Not only do you have a sort of low-level tension, teasing and flirting between two of the main characters. But you also have humour as the characters playing off one another. In my second book, this occurring in the middle of an epic last stand; one of the characters simply decides to get up and walk away as ‘he’s had enough’. Moving to the opposite end of the firing line.

Juvenile … Petty … But in the heat of battle, under a hail of rounds, hysterical when you read it. 

Again, you’d need to read it to take it in full context, but I have had several beta readers in stitches with some of the lines.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?

It was a mix really, and I have two main people to thank for pushing me towards the final decision. Mr John Coyne; a family member who restored my interest in literature on a whole. And Professor Jon Timmis; who I had the pleasure of hearing speak at an award ceremony at York College. He spoke of how it is never too late to make changes to your career and future. But above all else, I think it would have to be my want to entertain. Just plain and simple as that, I want to be able to entertain the masses. And hope people will enjoy reading my works.

Do you plan on publishing your book as a print addition and doing a book signing tour?

Alexander Wilkinson: I do plan on releasing my book in print, however it’s all about the money.

One thing I learnt quite early on was you needed quite a bit of money to cover the proofreading, formatting and cover design. Not to mention the advertising, to get word of your work out.

I'm in the process of trying to improve sales on my e-book, so that I then have the financial stability, to go print.

As for a book signing tour, my one major hurdle is shyness. I operate under a nom de plume. And you'll be hard pressed to find a picture of me anywhere near my works. I suppose if interest was big enough I would, but not to sell copies. But to sign copies and meet the fans, who read my works. They do after all, inspire me to continue writing and fund the next book.

What in store for Alexander Wilkinson and what can fans of The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade can expect in your next book? And, when does your next book get released?

Alexander Wilkinson: You love the curve balls, don't you?! ... I haven’t really thought that far ahead.

I have bits and pieces rattling around in my head, scribbled on the back of napkins and pads but to be honest I'm not too sure.

I guess, in regards to the next book, I have already released Trials of Eden – Hunters Creed on Amazon for $ 00.99 c; I’ve kept both books at low prices just to ensure if people wanted to buy them as a ‘taster’ been a new publisher / author, and all, they had the chance.

For the second book, the readers can expect the action and adventure to be kicked a notch up to a sector-wide scale. Not to mention my 'epic' last stand scene mentioned earlier.

The leprechauns, dwarves and satyr are all new species brought into the Mortis Chronicles universe, and we find out a little more about Mortis’ past back on Earth. If anything, from the beta readers, my proofreader and the first few reviews I have gotten in. Hunters Creed has been even more positively received than Flesh Trade.

Apart from that, I have several short stories in mind, and I am working on my third book 'Trials of Eden - Puppet Master.' Which is due out the back end of the year.

The short stories, I see as a base for going into Mortis’ past a little more, the past of his companions and even of his demonic katana Widow Maker. Powerful plot mechanisms throughout the first two books; that could almost be full-length novels themselves!

In regards to what is in store for me, well I guess working on my fear of the public! But in all seriousness, I am setting up a blog on Bloggers to try and offer helpful advice to new fellow indie authors as well as giving them a platform for book reviews. As well as to hopefully held educate people on the indie scene. Every time I'm asked, what an indie author is, I have to fight the urge to sing 'i did it my way.' … Before you ask, no, I can’t sing! … And my attempts usually end up making dogs bark. 

After that it is working on my advertising, devoting every waking moment I can to my writing and hopefully shaking up the Sci-Fi / Fantasy, eBook scene.

My one main goal ... Something I aim to save hard for ... Is to eventually bring 'The Mortis Chronicles,' out as an animated film.

I know it sounds like a pipe dream at the moment, but I've found walking the indie path, that it helps you in make your dreams come true!

Find more of Alexander Wilkinson and purchase his book:

A Mountain, A Struggle, A Tunnel, A Light: Interview with Jiggley Jones

Jiggley Jones, whether alone or a member of various bands in the past has written or co-written well over 100 songs. His prolific writing earned him 2 nominations and a subsequent win, for Songwriter of the Year, at the 2013 International Music and Entertainment Association (IMEA) Awards, 2 New Music Awards nominations (AC New Artist and AC Breakthrough Artist) and a 2014 Independent Country Music Association Award nomination for Best Americana Artist. He also received 3 IMEA Award Nominations in 2014 and an AMG Heritage Awards nomination. His experience has taken him through various phases and musical endeavors including a stint during his younger years working in entertainment public relations in Los Angeles. With some success on college radio, Jones was also, as a member of a band called “Q”, involved with soundtrack projects on select MTV shows such as The Dennis Rodman Show, Cindy Crawford’s “House of Style”, and the reality show Road Rules.

His live shows have taken him to Nashville’s CMA Festival in both 2013 and 2014, where he performed at BB King’s Blues Club and the Tin Roof, as well as other top notch venues such as The Hard Rock Café in Philly, The Bitter End in NYC, and The World Café in Wilmington, Delaware. He has also performed at the prestigious Dewey Beach Music Conference, Singer Songwriter Cape May, and the Millennium Music Conference.

Interview with Jiggley Jones

What motivated you to become a singer songwriter?

Jiggley Jones: I don’t know if it was motivation or something that just fell into place naturally as I played my instrument over time.

Tell me about your name "Jiggley". How did that name come about?

Jiggley Jones: That’s actually a nickname that I’ve had for many years. Once my friends stuck that to me it spread like wildfire and before I knew it everybody was calling me that.

I see that you have a few accolades. How does it feel to be recognized by IMEA and ICM for your work as an artist?

Jiggley Jones: It feels great ! It’s one thing when fans recognize you by listening to your music but when the industry recognizes you that’s a different kind of satisfaction.
Have you considered other award programs like the Independent Music Awards and the Artists In Music Awards?

Jiggley Jones: Well my manager is the one who usually submits me so I hope he reads this, haha.
Tell me about your likes. Who was your idol music artist growing up?

I grew up listening to Classic Rock and I loved (and still do) Neil Young, The Eagles, CCR etc…

Who do you like listening to today?

Jiggley Jones:  I’ve become a huge Country Music fan and love everybody from Zac Brown to Blackberry Smoke and I’m really liking those guys “The Cadillac Three.”

Earlier this Summer, you released your EP ... A Mountain, A Struggle, A Tunnel, A Light .... Tell us about the album. What inspired you to create this EP and what is the message you want to give to listeners?

Jiggley Jones: This record was a collection of some of my older songs and a few newer ones that fit in with the title. That would be my metaphor for life itself and the struggles and accomplishments that happen as you go along.

What song on the album are you most proud of?

Jiggley Jones: I like “Early Morning Light.” It just has that raw emotion to it.

I see that you currently endorse a charity organization. Can you talk about it and why you feel so strongly about supporting their cause?

Jiggley Jones: This organization isn’t a charity in itself. What they do is pair artists with charities to bring light to those specific charities. In other words if an artist who was well known showed up at an event for a certain charity, then the public would become more aware of the event and therefor more attention would hopefully be given to that charity.

So, what is in the immediate future for Jiggley Jones, a tour, music video, a song in an upcoming film perhaps?

Jiggley Jones: Right now the focus is to get the word out about the latest release. So whatever that involves, whether it be interviews or live performances etc.., then that’s the direction I will head for a good while.

Thank you for your time Jiggley Jones. Best wishes on your career and we hope to see one of your performances here in Los Angeles, CA.

Find more of Jiggley Jones:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Droppin' the Bass from Outer Space: Interview with DJ Majestik

DJ Majestik is Jim Giordano, DJ and producer of dance and electronica. He has been heard on MTV's "Making the Video", ORock 105.9 radio station in Orlando, FL, on a production of a Dallas Cowboy video, and on WSBU the Buzz in St Bonaventure, NY. He has also been heard around the Western / Central New York area DJ'ing everything from hip hop to Club to Dance, even Progressive and Trance.

After moving to Murfreesboro, TN at the end of 2013, he has seen his career skyrocket! At the end of 2013, his hit single "Blazin' feat Mr Shammi & Fiorina" was signed by Zion Records and released globally in Jan of 2014. It has peaked at #29 of the Reggae/Dub charts on Beatport. Also in Jan of 2014 he was named #1 DJ/producer in Murfreesboro, TN by ReverbNation.

Recently his two tracks "Element 115" and "Go Hardcore" were signed by Breach Records and were released as an EP on Beatport in March and globally on April 1st.

DJ Majestik will be focusing his efforts over the next few months on promoting his new EP Intergalactic with 2Four, however, a full-length album is in the works. DJ Majestik and 2Four are currently building a tour across the Southeast region, with sights set on coordinating a larger tour across U.S. college campuses.

Interview DJ Majestik:
How did you get started as a DJ?

DJ Majestik: In 1999, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Propellerheads Rebirth and I was hooked on making music. In 2000, I released my first full length album. This immediately got play on MTV's Making the Video, and my manager at the time needed me to focus on DJing to perform out. I picked up 2 Numark HDX's, a 2 channel mixer, and my love of DJing was formed. Years later I was playing a gig in New York and met DJ Druski, another electro / dubstep DJ and we collaborated and formed a DJ group called the EL3KTRO!DZ, which we are now bringing to Nashville.

What artists or DJ's inspired you while you were growing up?

DJ Majestik: I grew up in the 90's Orlando Breakz era so I was influenced by DJ Icey, Baby Anne, and DJ Stylus. As my style progressed, I got into Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method, and the Chemical Brothers. I think I played The Crystal Method's Vegas until the CD wouldn't work anymore lol.

Are there any DJs you like today?

DJ Majestik: I loved DJs who are creative and try new things in their sets. With technology shifting in today's DJ setup, I believe DJs are even more challenged to incorporate new ideas and new concepts into their sets. I was a big fan of DJ AM, he was so impressive the way he blended old school scratching with new school techniques. So when I look for a DJ I like, I look for more than just what songs are played. I am a big fan of Knife Party, Showtek, and the Bingo Players. I think they not only play the style that fits me, but also are true trend setters and amazing performers. That's what you get from a DJ Majestik set.

What was your most memorable gig?

DJ Majestik: I played Level B in Ithaca, NY a few times and always felt a lot of energy and love from that place. I remember my first show, I was so nervous. I ended up having over 100 people on the dance floor and got rave reviews. It really fueled my passion for performing. I just love being in front of people.

If you could perform anywhere in the world at any given time period, where would you want to DJ at?

DJ Majestik:  Without a doubt DJing in Ibiza would be a dream. A good friend of mine from the UK regularly goes, and he has sent me back a lot of merch from there. I have always wanted to go and experience it in person, but to be on stage in front of all those people would be an amazing accomplishment!

You released an EP earlier this year. What are you most proud of about that EP?

DJ Majestik: You know, I really wasn't expecting much from my single "Blazin' feat. DJ Shammi & Fiorina", but I watched it climb to 27 on the Beatport charts, and I was so honored that there were so many people not only listening and liking it, but buying it! It really was the start to where I am today.

You currently have a new album in the works. Is it going to be a full LP? What can fans expect to hear from DJ Majestik?

DJ Majestik: I am so excited about my new project with Nashville rapper 2Four! I have messed around with hip hop vocals in my music before, but I never had an artist that was truly committed to working a dubstep / electro sound the way he has. The new EP "Intergalactic" is four songs that incorporate different styles, and currently we are in the studio working on finishing off more songs that I have written. Once that is completed, we'll be releasing a full length album with the help of Juggernaut Entertainment.

You've been signed by two different labels during the past year. How has being signed two record labels helped your career?

DJ Majestik: It showed me that I wasn't the only one listening to my songs lol. I think a lot of artists get caught up in how many likes and comments they receive on social media, and it wasn't until my music got a broader audience that I realized that I really have something here. My first label was from India, and they have a strong EDM presence there. My first track was very well received. My second EP has a song "Element 115" currently being reviewed by A&R reps for inclusion in advertisements and television/movies, and I wouldn't have had that exposure without the help of those labels.

You mentioned that you're building a tour across the Southeast Region. Which areas do you anticipate hitting and can you be specific to what locations yet?

DJ Majestik: William at Juggernaut Entertainment has been focusing on getting us playing at college campuses across Tennessee (my home state) as well as Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. We hope to then branch out from there and start playing more places around the Country. But our main demographic and focus is on college aged students, and we plan on playing as many campuses as we can.

What's next for DJ Majestik? A new EP, a music video?

DJ Majestik: We have two music videos in the works, both for "Lockdown" and "Intergalactic", and I have a new promotional video professionally being done that should be back to me in the next week. My goal is to start DJing around Nashville, having moved here about a year ago. I also will continue to write new music and release that as often as I can. My new song "Bitches feat. Charlie Rose" is a very unique and interesting dubstep track. I would love to continue collaborating with other singers, EDM artists, and even other genres as well. Music is my passion and I love to see all the new things I can do with it.

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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.

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