Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Transgressionzz: Interview with Akillezz

Akillezz, the son of a self-made successful
immigrant, was raised in a Greek-American family. His father, a restaurateur, immigrated to the United States from Greece in 1974 with $75 in his pocket.

During his formative years, Akillezz was raised by his grandparents while both of his parents were focused on their business interests.

After graduating from the Horace Mann School, Akillezz concentrated on his music career in collaboration with producer John Jayd Daniels. In 2012, to more fully protect his creative endeavors, he founded the Akillezz Records label[1] and quickly leaped near the top of the charts with singles from his first album, "Transgressionzz". Singles from the album reached as high as #3[4] on Billboard Hot Singles Sales Chart.

His first two singles off the Transgressionzz album, "One Level" and "Anything" became regional hits in Los Angeles and Vegas clubs and radio in early 2015. His most successful record off the Transgressionzz album, "Punching Bag" was released on April 8, 2015 featuring model and actress Charlotte McKinney and directed by Ben Griffin of Prime Zero Productions.

His first single "One Level" broke at Power 105.1, WWPR-FM, spun by both DJ Self and DJ Suss One and later picked up by DJ Spynfo at Hot 97(WQHT New York).

"Punching Bag" directed by Ben Griffin[5] has been the most virally successful music video, although not necessarily the most successful single in terms of sales. While he asked Griffin to bring "Punching Bag" to life in a video, Akillezz was the sole author of the film treatment and retains intellectual property rights in it.

Interview with Akillezz

Earlier this year, your song “Anything” was sitting 3rd on Billboard for Hot Single Sales. How does it feel to beat out some of the top names in music?

Akillezz: I’m not certain that the ultimate measure of an artist can be determined by assessing sales, however, charting on Billboard at the independent level indexes a certain competitiveness and it affirms faith in one’s self. You can have great ability and even be masterful at your craft but until you can make some income from that craft, you’re not actually a professional. Charting as high as number three was definitely an early milestone in my career as a rap artist.

Speaking of “Anything”. Can you share some background about the song? What is it about and what does it mean to you personally?

Akillezz: “Anything” is a personal song which was intended for a particular recipient. It documents a relationship with a tormented past that would be, as most things are, subject to the vicissitudes and mutable discourses of life and circumstance. At the time when I wrote it, I thought the person in my life was finally back and maybe might have been permanently back. It was an on again off again relationship and I just wanted to express my preparedness to do whatever it would have required in order to make it work. It didn’t.

What song of yours best represents Akillezz?

Akillezz:“End of Dayzz,” is a song which is part of a collective, Transgressionzz, my debut album, that emotes, quite theatrically, my formative development. It’s almost become, in my mind, my own leitmotif. It’s crucial to know the child inside the adult and this is a composition so scrupulously honest in the way it captures the essence of who Akillezz is before he ever was.

Tell us what inspires Akillezz. What made you decide to make music your career?

Akillezz: I don’t usually arbitrarily stumble on inspiration which prompts me to then go create something. Instead, I wake up with a ceaseless compulsion or creative anxiety which requires that I birth works and labors, that I harvest them, so that I’ll leave something behind in the wake of death. So that what I do today, might be appreciated by tomorrow’s mankind; that I might inform posterity. Perhaps even posthumously the reexamination of my work will contribute to the human experience.

As a writer and as a songwriter, music allows me to give room to the logos which pervades and animates the universe. I understood this as a child before music and so I began to write poetry. Today, I still consider my work poetical in it’s nature.

Who did you look up to as a kid and who has helped you become who you are today?

Akillezz: As a kid, I very much looked up to fictional character, Howard Roark, especially while reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. Eminem was a hero of mine for his tenacious use of language. 50 Cent was a pillar of strength for me, both his music and what he represents in literary terms. More recently, I enjoyed the pleasure of getting to meet 50 and even speak with him at a charity event. He’s an artist I’d like to work with.

How would you describe your music?

Akillezz: Dense, syncopated, lyrical.

What music artists influenced your style of music?

Akillezz: Dr. Dre shaped the landscape of hip-hop that ultimately inspired my wanting to rap. Sonically, he’s created works which accomplish such a visceral quality – you feel his music in your gut. Eminem, Tupac, 50 Cent, Nas, Biggie and Jay Z were all inspirations growing up. They continue to be inspirations today.

You’re currently living most independent artist’s dream of gaining notoriety by getting worldwide recognition on Billboard magazine. What are some of your other goals you’d like to attain as a recording artist?

Akillezz: I suppose there are many milestones that I look forward to in my career. A Grammy Award for Best Rap Album or Best New Artist might be among those things. Being recognized at the AMAs or having an RIAA certified platinum album. The definitive thing is to be ranked on Billboard’s 100 Greatest Artist’s of All Time.

If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, whom would you like to work with?

Akillezz: Working with either Michael Jackson or Tupac would have been experiences to say the least. It’s a shame to imagine I’ll never be able to have the honor of working with either of them. In terms of current artists, I’d really like to work with Eminem, 50 Cent, and Jay Z. Another dream of mine would be to get in the studio with Dr. Dre, or work on a project with him.

As a solo artist, what are some of your biggest challenges you’ve faced and do these challenges ever discourage you? How do you stay focused and what keeps you on course?

Akillezz: Being independent and managing my own record label, Akillezz Records, while being an artist has inherit challenges. It’s creative entrepreneurship so there are at least two parts, sometimes there is appropriate overlap, but other times I’m forced to distinguish, sharply, the CEO from the artist.

When you’re not performing or writing music, what are some of your favorite pass-times?

Akillezz: Reading, painting, or writing (things other than music). Spending quality time with my family is also crucially important to me. I’m very invested in being a brother to my two siblings and a son to my parents, and fortunately still a grandson to my grandmother. I lost my grandfather in 2012 but he occupies a good deal of space in my mind and in my heart and so, I do my best to honor his memory.

You chose your name based upon Greek heritage, were you born there?

Akillezz: I did, in part, select the name because of my Greek heritage, although, my domicile of origin is in the United States. I’m from Astoria, Queens, which was once a predominately Greek neighborhood but today is more diversified.

What’s next for Akillezz over the next 6 months to a year? What can fans expect from you?

Akillezz: I’ll be performing at SXSW this March, early 2016, and there’s possibility for continued touring before and after that time. I’m working on releasing new music in the interim and most likely another music video as well.

Find more of Akillezz:


Monday, November 23, 2015

StraydWayz releases "Wake Up" Music Video

New music video "Wake Up" released by StraydWayz.

StraydWayz are two cousins who have started out a Hip Hop/EDM/Rock duo. "Wake Up" was shot and edited by the duo themselves. Music was also produced, mixed, and mastered by the two.

Find more of StraydWayz:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/StrayzWayz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StraydWayz-1501925760107760/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105082351648630669108/about
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCST-Wupj7OYtVVWc8mCQiOg/feed

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sydney Australia's Chemical Refugee

"Chemical Refugee" are the badass street rockers from the red light district of Sydney Australia, bringing Rock N Roll into the 21st Century. Their destructively raw attitude and unwillingness to compromise sets Chemical Refugee apart as a band that make sense in a time that doesn't.

Doc McIntosh (singer/guitarist) howls with haunting honesty, inviting the listener through a multi-sensory, halusingenic-atmosphere provided by Purpz Graaf (Keys). Chemical Refugee bring the sounds of the streets alive, delivering an audio Kick powerful enough for inception.

Lock up your daughters, It's time to party!

Interview with Chemical Refugee

Who is Chemical Refugee and how did you guys meet and how did you guys decide to become a band?

-Purpz: it was a real life changing Idea and once the elements of the band began there was no looking back. We just had to go with the plan because we knew it would not only work and be Fuckrad, we also knew we formulated something we couldn't hide from the public!

How did you come up with the name Chemical Refugee?

-Doc: it came to us in a state of quarter consciousness, deriving refugee from refugee.

Let's talk about your single "Therapy Song". You recently released a music video for this track as well. Can you tell us about the song and the video? Who directed the video and what was the premise behind the video?

-Doc: There is nothing wrong with being whoever the hell you are, no matter who says otherwise. We did the video ourselves, we wanted it to have that streetrock, do it yourself vibe that meant we just had to do it ourselves.

What bands / artists do you look up to for inspiration?
-Purpz: the Pepps, system of a down, led zeplin, guns n roses, the Beatles
-Doc: and also artists like Marcel Duchamp and Ron English.

Living or dead, if you could share the stage with any band / artist, who would it be? 

-Purpz: The chili peppers for their fuckwild energy and rockin entertainment.

What is the plan for Chemical Refugee? You released your first single already. How soon before you guys release a full EP? What else is in store for you guys?

-Purpz: we are releasing more singles, releasing the album song by song. Fuckrad!

Find more of Chemical Refugee


Thursday, November 19, 2015

L.A. Music Sensation, Laryss Set to Release First Original Single Next Month

[LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – November 19, 2015] – On December 1, 2015 Push Music Group, a Universal Records affiliate, will be releasing brand new music from Houston, Texas native, Laryss. Laryss moved from Texas to Los Angeles to pursue her career and quickly gained the attention of many of the music industries most accomplished executives. Laryss will be releasing a gorgeous remix of the Drake single “Right Hand”, followed shortly after by her first original single, “First Place”. Both videos are directed by Heath Sanders.

An outstanding talent and hard worker, Laryss has quickly made believers and many new fans in L.A.
“I have been blessed to work with Justin Timberlake, Universal and Atlantic Records. I have been around great talent. Do you know that ‘goose bump’ feeling that you get when you hear an amazing artist? I got that feeling the first time I heard Laryss” says Push Music Executive Shawn Campbell. “We are excited to see how the public responds to her first offering!”
Laryss is releasing this cover in advance of her first original single. She is currently in the studio with Grammy nominee Marshall Leathers putting the finishing touches on her first original release.

Click here to view the music video for Laryss’ remix of the Drake single, “Right Hand”.

Media Contact:
The Bailey Agency, LLC
C/o Renee Bailey
Telephone: 804-858-4546
Talent Email: Talent@BaileyAgencyGroup.com
Press/Media Email: Press@BaileyAgencyGroup.com
Website: www.BaileyAgencyGroup.com

Official Website for Laryss: www.LaryssMusic.com
Visit Laryss on Facebook: @LaryssMusic
Visit Laryss on Twitter: @LaryssMusic
Visit Laryss on Instagram: @LaryssMusic


Monday, November 16, 2015

Not Just Another Supermodel: Interview with Veronica Grey

In today’s world of breaking the Internet, it’s refreshing to have a new breed of celebrity: The Activist. Veronica Grey is the award winning documentary filmmaker of the environmental piece titled “Worst Shark Attack Ever” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and The Cure. As such, this supermodel shares the 2015 Special Humanitarian Award with Leonardo DiCaprio for their tireless efforts to salvage the environment. Thanks to him, she is now considered A-List.

Leonardo DiCaprio is known for taking artists to the next level in their careers, like he did for Vera Farmiga with her breakout role in “The Departed.” Maybe he has a penchant for V girls. Anyway, his newest protege’ is Veronica Grey.

But what makes her a supermodel? Well she is the world’s most televised surfer, and a modern day muse, who has influenced more songs to be written for / about her than anyone else alive, by such A list bands like U2, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. Also Veronica Grey has two lines of clothing. She invented shark repellent swimwear via her Swim Without Sharks company and also eco-friendly beach wear called Gun of a Barrel.

The photos attached to this story are full page layouts from recent issues of FreeSurf magazine. You may find her this winter wherever superstar surfer, her superfriend John John Florence is.

Interview with Veronica Grey

What motivated you to become a model, actress, and film maker?

Veronica: Honestly it was Andrew Vanwyngarden of MGMT who lit the fire underneath me. I guess he really likes to live up to his past lyrics of making wives out of models. Whatever it takes...

What is it about modeling that you enjoy the most?

My name Veronica means "true image" so I enjoy bringing out the truth and there is beauty in the truth. Veronica:

Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have taken a special interest in you. In what capacity is he interested in you?

Veronica: I am not sure he has taken an interest in me so much as an interest in my mission to clean up the planet. We are on the same path. Together we accomplish more. That's all.

More opportunities as an actor and modeling? Can you explain?

Veronica: Right now I get paid to surf / model on Hawai'i 5-0 but I really would love a lead role - maybe an undercover cop who surfs. I would have scenes with lots of drugs probably.

Tell us about your documentary film, “Worst Shark Attack Ever”. What inspired you to make this film and how did you get Leonardo to be apart of it?

Veronica: "Worst Shark Attack Ever" is about how humans ARE the worst shark attackers ever, by the way
we slaughter them and rape the ocean. It can be viewed free at http://www.WorstSharkAttackEver.com and is quite short, only 21 minutes and it also stars The Cure.
The first time I was at a party with Leonardo DiCaprio was at the Armani Store on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood after he premiered "Romeo and Juliet" so I've definitely been in his sphere of influence for awhile.

You own a clothing two clothing lines, right? Can you tell us a little bit about those lines and your company "Swim Without Sharks"?

Veronica: Well http://www.SwimWithoutSharks.com is precisely about our shark repellent line of wetsuits, board shorts, bathing suits, and surfboards. You can buy it on eBay but really we would LOVE for a global distributor to snap up our exclusive trademark of shark repellent products so that you can walk into a sporting goods store near you and protect yourself with our competitively priced, life and limbsaving shark repellent swimwear.

The other clothing line is for Surf Addicts. Yeah, just search for Surf Addict T shirts! The first step to addiction is admitting you have a problem and yeah, I have a problem. I am definitely addicted to superstars surfer John John Florence. I mean surfing. Oh he's my neighbor, we can say that about each other.

Speaking of "Swim Without Sharks". We found a video of you on Good Morning America on YouTube and we decided to post it below. How was this experience for you and do you plan on appearing on similar TV programs?

Veronica: I love ABC the network that broadcasts GMA and definitely welcome the opportunity to appear in it again and more national shows that make a difference.

You've had a lot of songs written about you by major recording artists. How does this make you feel that you're such a memorable icon?

Veronica: Yesterday I was laying out on the beach in front of John John's house and a U2 song comes on that is partially about us "Every Breaking Wave" and I was like, "Hey J Flo - tell U2 I said hi." He's a bigger celebrity than me hehehe (for now).

I did catch U2 a few weeks ago at Madison Square Garden and they were ridiculously super nice to me. As Andrew Vanwyngarden would have said, I luff them...

How can you not love Angels of Harlem? We love God respecting and Jesus in their lyrics!

What is on the horizon for Veronica Grey? What projects are coming up and when can we expect to see you on the big screen, TV, or magazine issues?

Veronica: Well right now the greatest show on Earth happens for the next few weeks on the North Shore of O'ahu, Hawai'i - the Vans Triple Crown which is where modern day gladiators strut their stuff on death defying waves and yup, look for me wherever you see John Florence or Superman Kelly Slater. There's nowhere else on Earth I'd rather be every winter...

Find more of Veronica Grey:
Official Swim Without Sharks Website: http://www.swimwithoutsharks.com/
imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1227579/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurffagetteCity/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Grey/e/B00R9W64VG/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thankyoujehovah

A Future Classic: Interview with Brandon Jeffries

Brandon Jeffries is a Songwriter and Cover Artist from Northeastern North Carolina. He has been described as having a gritty, southern style that adds a natural, raw sounding flavor to anything he performs. With heavy roots in various genres of Rock and Country music, his style appeals to a wide range of listeners and age groups. If you happen to be looking for a casual night out with good people and quality acoustic music, then Brandon Jeffries is a “Must See” performer.

Interview with Brandon Jeffries

Tell us about yourself. What made you decide to become a Singer Songwriter? Where did the inspiration come from and what or who lured you into becoming an artist yourself?

Brandon: I started playing music at the age of 14. My father was in a cover band. I would see him every other week or so as a kid. He always tried to get me to play, but in middle school I finally picked it up. Through the years, music has always been something I find myself coming back too. I was a natural and, no matter what, I find myself using music to pass the time, or to vent. It’s just in my bones, if you will. I find everything about music absolutely amazing. Music, in itself, is like a spirit; like the wind. You can’t touch it, but it can touch you. You can’t see it, but it’s presence is experienced.

If you are asking about influences... I listen to just about everything. Depending on my mood or setting. That is another wonderful thing about music. Each song and artist is like a seasoning on a pallet of flavor, certain music for breakfast, and specific tunes in the evening to unwind. I really do mean “...just about everything”. I’ll put on John Meyer in the morning and by lunch I’m listening to Queen. There was a phase were I was heavy into Sinatra, and I still listen to him occasionally has I cook dinner. I grew up in the 90’s, so there is a heavy influence there as well. Green Day, Weezer, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, etc..

I prefer the title of songwriter because these days you have to be more than just an “Artist”. In fact, the word “Artist” in some musical circles has become synonymous with the term “talking head”. It takes much more to make it, and you can’t just be a face. You have to write, engineer, produce, finance, and plan everything yourself. I feel like keeping my title as “songwriter” gives a little more credit than the average “Artist”. Especially with how the Pop side of things are run these days. On the same note, sticking with “songwriter” allows me to venture into writing for other genres. Which is something else that I enjoy doing. It helps not to box me in, or define my image to one scene or genre. I feel like, even with society in general, there are too many labels and boxes that we put each other in. Whether it be race, financial status, sexual preference, whatever. Why all the labels. Let’s just play tunes and prosper!

What song of yours do you think represents you the best?

Brandon: I would say “Everything”. Hah! That could get confusing. That song is probably my favorite to play live, and it’s SOOO catchy! My back ground is heavy in Country and Rock music, and I can hear both of those in that track. It’s gotten great reviews too!

“‘Everything’ is one of the best songs on ‘Future Classic.’ This wonderful little love ditty is so well written and executed. I love the brass sections, the innocence nature of Jeffries’ performance, and his lovable scatting toward the end of the tune. ‘Everything’ is one of the most successful pop endeavors I’ve heard this year - it’s absolutely infectious.” ~ Brett Stewart, The Independent Spotlight

You mentioned that you do cover songs as well. What's your favorite song to cover?

Brandon: Oooh! That’s a good one! Im really not sure. I think I go through phases. One month I will play the heck out of one song, and then a week later, there is another one on repeat. I would say at the moment, it’s a toss-up between three,

1. Easy – The Commodores
2. Can’t You See – Marshall Tucker Band
3. In One Ear – Cage The Elephant

If at all, what artists do you like and admire today?

Brandon: There are SOOO many artists that inspire me these days. There are hundreds of people, just like me, trying to do this and make it on their own. First and foremost, THOSE are the people I look up too. We get a lot of ideas from each other, and it really takes a team to make it in this industry. There a few Independents that I really admire these days though, as well; such as Allen Stone, Hooray for The Riff Raff, ZZ Ward, and a few others. Too many to name them all really.

If you could perform and share the stage with any artist (living or dead), who would it be?

Brandon: Oh man, these questions are hittin’ hard! That is another really tough one to answer on the spot. If I had to narrow it down to sharing the stage, I would want in to be a JAM! Like really funk it out. I know my latest EP is heavy in the “Alt Rock” genre, but I have a long history with an acoustic guitar. I think I would like to rock it with Dave Matthews. That would probably the most rad gig I could imagine.

You've been an artist for a few years now. What has been your toughest challenge as a solo artist?

Brandon: The hardest part being an independent/solo artist is figuring out what to do. There really are no rules the game, and as an independent/solo artist, there is no one to lead you by the hand and tell you what to do. It’s very easy to waste time, and/or invest in the wrong assets too early or too late. On top of that, in the industry today, you have to more than one task. Specialization is for insects. Like I said above, “You have to write, engineer, produce, finance, and plan everything yourself.”. It’s so much work, sometimes just figuring out where to start is the hardest part. I would say the most important step is getting your original repertoire up, and getting a solid ear for recording. Those are huge assets.

This is a two-part question. It appears you've had some recent success. You're No. 1 on Reverbnation. You've had a lot of good attention from the press and your fans seem to be pretty supportive. What do you think is the secret to your success? What do you feel like you're lacking in and want to make improvements on in the near future as an independent musician?

Brandon: I would say the biggest key to my recent success is the support of the fans. Without them, I would be nowhere. Their streams and plays help keep me trending, and that’s only a good thing. It was because of the fans that I got the chance to put together this rockin’ EP, and it’s because of the fans that I will continue to work hard, not only to make even better music, but to help improve the life of everyone I come across, as best I can.

As far as where I am lacking.. Hmmm. My ego doesn’t like to think that I’m lacking anything haha. I would say, at the moment my biggest setback is not travelling enough. In my defense, I have been a little spent (financially) since recording this year, and I am just now getting back into regular gigging. I really wanna get back to California. I have a nice bunch of fans there. I plan to hit a lot of places at the start of 2016. For the holidays, I will be playing a few coffee shops, and staying close to family in the Norfolk, VA area.

What is in store for Brandon Jeffries? A new music video? A new EP? A tour perhaps?

Brandon: Well! The EP just released, so I am working on A TON of stuff. I have a “Tunes in the Terminal Tour” coming up. I’ll be in airports performing from Atlanta, to Chicago, to San Fran. For the next couple months, you can find me in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, VA playing some casual/intimate entertainment gigs at coffee shops. Also, my record label (The Uther Geis), is putting together a string of events for a tour where we team up with local artists and businesses and do a really, really fun event with wine and give aways. Oh, I get excited, but I don’t want to give away too many details on that just yet. Just keep your eyes out for a “The Uther Geis Presents:” event! See you on tour!

Find more of Brandon Jefferies:


Friday, November 13, 2015

Nicole Jane releases music video Beauty (shasaKin Remix) featuring Gemini

Nicole Jane Ft. Gemini - Beauty (shasaKin Remix) Official Music Video DOWNLOAD BEAUTY ON ITUNES NOW!

Beauty is the lead single from Nicole Jane’s EP “Back 2 BASSics”
The track is Written and Produced by Dieu Carreira for shasaKin productions

The video is directed by Chris Brooker

Follow Nicole Jane


Music video by Nicole Jane performing Beauty. (c) 2015 Carreira Records

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Unique band tributes old time radio: Interview with The Bonazzoli Band

The Bonazzoli Band was formed in 2009 with a goal of wrapping the best of 20th century music into an all new sound. Founder Matthew Bonazzoli had been working for more than a decade on perfecting this sound. First with his band Gearhead which he formed in Massachusetts during the late 1990’s. Gearhead was a mix of 50’s and 1960’s rock, pop and modern rock, and a dash of swing. This combination was a hit with audiences and the band released two albums. Dynaflow and Torqued both explored this sound in unique ways. Ultimately though, Matthew believed that the sound could still be improved upon. After a five year hiatus where he moved to Florida and composed new material to further develop the concept he had a chance meeting with a ragtime pianist named Patrick Thompson. The pair decided to try a new band using the Gearhead sound as a starting point and reinforcing the swing and roots influences. Their first full album was released in 2010 and titled Quiet Little Towns. In this release were all of the sounds blended into beautiful and detailed selections. There were country, swing, rock, blues and even gospel numbers and some songs combined all of these. The sound was taken further by Matthew’s polished vocal technique. Now sounding like a modern Roy Orbison/Dean Martin combo his vocals added a new Rat Pack element to the entire set. The band took to the stages at music festivals all over Florida and began to release a series of professional music and performance videos. After several lineup changes the band solidified in 2011 and has remained steady since. In 2013 the band released their second album titled American Ghost Stories. The album is an ingenious musical tribute to old time radio shows of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s and their style really compliments the storytelling of the lyrics. On this disk you will hear songs that are romance, detective drama, ghost stories and more.

The band continued to play the festival circuit and shoot music videos for the next 18 months but in 2015 they stopped to dedicate time to their next album.

Set to be released in early 2016 this third Bonazzoli Band album is sure to continue to improve upon their unique sound.

The band is sticking to their slogan, “The best of 20th Century Music wrapped into a 21st Century alternative.

Interview with Matthew Bonazzoli of The Bonazzoli Band

Describe this new 21th century alternative sound? What inspired you to record and play this style of music?

Matthew: Our slogan is that we combine the best of 20th Century music into a 21st Century alternative. What we mean by this is that we combine Rock, Country, Swing, Blues and even Gospel and Americana into a cohesive style that’s both new and familiar. It’s all our own and very few bands could duplicate it if they tried.
We were inspired by our different influences. I’m a Rat Pack style crooner at heart. Patrick plays 1920’s ragtime and hot jazz. Damian as a classical and rock guitarist and Donnie, Reggie and Howie are classic rock fans going back to the 1960’s. We wanted to make something that we all would like ourselves and we would be proud to perform. We also wanted it to be a new sound but one which would also appeal to a broad base of music lovers.
Like anything it took a while to get the sound just right. I first started building it in Massachusetts with my band Gearhead (1999 – 2004). In Gearhead my goal was to combine rock from the 1950’s through the 1990’s into one sound. We accomplished that and released two award winning albums. We had a look and a style that was really commercial but edgy. Once I moved to Florida I happened to meet ragtime pianist Patrick Thompson and I thought the swing and jazz style that he played would be a great addition to the sound. Once we started rehearsing with a full band it all started to gel. Ironically, a good many of the songs were what I had originally written for Gearhead’s third album which we never finished. So it was a gradual progression but it all came together in 2008.

Tell us about your background and how The Bonazzoli Band came together?

Matthew: I’ve personally been writing and performing since the mid 1980’s. Mostly rock but occasionally swing too. American Ghost Stories is actually my seventh album of original material. The current band came together after a chance meeting between Patrick and I at a business networking event. We had run each other several times and we would always talk about music. I told him about what I had going with Gearhead and he told me that he was a swing and ragtime pianist and we decided to see what would happen if we added more swing into the mix. After our first jam we knew we had what we wanted.
In fact, it was Patrick who coined the mission statement “To Combine the Best of 20th Century Music”. We brought Damian into the mix once we had a lot of the material ready and that cemented the sound of our first release Quiet Little Towns. From there Donnie, Howard and Reggie came on board and the rest is history.

When you're not writing music and performing, what do you guys like to do in your free time?

Matthew: As much as I’d like to say the band was our full time gig we all have regular jobs so the band is our spare time. Damian actually runs his own music school as well and that takes an additional amount of his time. Reggie and Howie like to go around playing in various jam and pickup bands. Patrick is an attorney so he’s very busy with that. I handle the band’s video, marketing and recording work so it keeps me pretty busy.

When you're on the road and touring, what is your favorite food you can all agree to eat and love?

Matthew: Well, I think that would have to be Boston Market.

If you could perform with any band/artist, living or dead, who would you choose to share the stage with?

Matthew: Living would be Chris Isaak or maybe Brian Setzer orchestra. If anything were possible I guess I’d like to croon with the Rat Pack. I can’t really speak for the others but I’m sure they would not be the same choices I made.

What song best represents The Bonazzoli Band?

Matthew: If I have to choose I think the single Taking Chances. The truth is that our style varies enough from song to song that fans may disagree with me but I think that song captures it all. With Taking Chances you’ve got the Roy Orbison style vocals, smooth melodies, soaring guitar solos and melodic piano all coming together to make a great song.

What is the main idea behind the album, American Ghost Stories?

Matthew: The album plays like a musical tribute to old time radio shows from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Patrick has an affinity for programs like The Inner Sanctum and Lights Out and others. We were on our way to a gig one day and he was playing one and the idea just sort of struck me as something that would fit well with our retro/modern sound. I could tweak a few songs that we already had and then write some new material based on the theme. The interesting thing is that going all the way back to my band Gearhead in the late 1990’s we always had a sort of haunted vibe going so it was an easy transition.

You released your first album in 2010 and then again in 2013. What have you learned from the music industry and what is your strategy for your next album and what can fans expect it and how is it different from your previous work? 

Matthew: We’ve learned a lot. Our Quiet Little Towns album suffered from poor production in the recording studio we hired. For Ghost Stories I took over the recording process and we ended up with a great sounding album.
I’ve also learned how difficult marketing is. As artists, we tend to focus on what we create but to continue that we have to expose people to our music. The internet is a great tool to use but there’s so much clutter it’s difficult to break through. The old adage that all publicity is good publicity still stands however so we try to get exposure anywhere we can.
Regarding what’s to come with the next album, it’s going to be great. It’s actually about 80% finished and it’s some of the best stuff we’ve ever done. There will be a lot that’s familiar to our current fans and a lot of really amazing new music. Damian has taken a more active role in writing this time so there’s an edge to some of the new tracks that people are going to love.
As to how it’s different, I can’t say. Our formula works well for us and our fans and it is really indicative of who we are as musicians so I wouldn’t want to tinker with it too much. That being said, the next album will be a follow-up to Ghost Stories in style but it will be less of a concept album and more of a traditional release. Unfortunately, I can’t share the title yet but it’s coming in 2016 so people will be hearing from us again very soon.

Find more of The Bonazzoli Band:

Twitter http://twitter.com/MBonazzoli
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BonazzoliBand

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Distructive Hearts: Interview with Jessie Lawrence

Born and raised in Newark NJ, Jessie began to show enthusiasm for musical entertainment at a early
age. By 13 Jessie discovered he could sing. He attended the critically-famed ARTS HIGH SCHOOL in Newark. 2006 - 2008 Jessie was signed to Warner Bros. Rec. Today he has signed with Atwork Entertainment (James Germany) and can be found arranging and perfecting his album in the studio.

Interview with Jessie Lawrence

You've got some new hits out. Tell us about your new project called, Distructive Hearts. What are you most proud of about this EP?

Jessie: The Thing that i am most proud of with this EP is that it's genuinely the type of music i like to sing

Tell us about your new single off the EP, called "Further from Me"? What is this song about?

Jessie: The song is basically about the reversal of emotions, where the guys admits that he;s the bad guy in the relationship and underserving of the relationship

What is your inspiration to write and make music?

Jessie: My inspiration to create music and art is everything honestly. I love love. I love making people feel good through song.

What music artists do you look up to and emulate?

Jessie: Well there are a lot of artist that inspire me, too many to name if i had to pick the top 2 i would say James Brown and Michael Jackson and as far as emulating artist these would also be the 2 because they where dancers and performers and so am I.

You started early in your life to become a recording artist. What was that moment that made you decide you wanted to pursue music?

Jessie: I was in a talent show in Elizabeth, New Jersey when i was about 13 and i performed a song by Craig David. The song went over really well, I won the competition and was hooked ever since….lol

I had to bring it up. You appeared on American Idol and you were featured on MTV? How were those experiences and would you do it again? What would you do differently if you had a second chance?

Jessie: To be quite honest it was a blessing even without winning because idol and MTV prepared me to face higher levels of stress while getting ready to perform live…and that's the best lesson i could have learned on this journey. And NO i wouldn't change a thing about my appearance on the shows because what was meant to happen happened and now I'm making new pathways to continue my journey.

More than fame, what is it that you really want as a recording artist?

Jessie: Realistically, I want to be able to make a great and profitable living off my calling and be able to positively influence my younger fans and make people happy when they hear my music…Thats the icing on the cake for me.

What do you have planned for the rest of year and beyond?

Jessie: Well right now we are in the midst of taping a new television show on Fox 5 called "Star of The Day" Hosted by Ernie Anastos and other celebrity guest judges. along with gigs in and out of state. Also working on my soon to be released EP Destructive Hearts.

Find more of Jessie Lawrence:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Searching for Lost Boys Island: Interview with Erik Odsell

Erik Odsell is a Swedish songwriter and recording artist. For several years he has worked as a freelance musician behind many well-known Swedish artists and he has written music for artists both in Europe and the United States.

On the 23rd of October Erik Odsell’s brand new album Searching For Lost Boys Island was released. Erik has previously released 3 singles from the album which have all been well received.

When Erik’s debut single, and the title track for the album Searching For Lost Boys Island, was released the newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet (the major newspaper in southern Sweden) wrote: "Erik Odsell moves barriers... The music is radio pop, defined by a modern sound but with a foundation of musical craftsmanship which makes him stand out from the crowd".

Erik's second single, As Long As I'm With You - featuring Sascha Dupont, is climbing on the Danish hit list ChartBase Top-100 and is currently No. 38 on the list.

Erik’s third single, Unapology, is so far listed for airplay on two radio stations in England.

Interview with Erik Odsell

Tell us about your journey in music. How did it start for you and what inspired you to become an artist?

Erik: I grew up in a home with a lot of music. As a child I often sat in a baby chair in front of my parents old grand piano while my father was playing. Early on I then started playing the piano myself and started singing in a choir. At the age of 13 I started playing in my first band, picking up the guitar and trying to make it sound like what I was hearing on my favorite records and all of a sudden I started writing my own songs. Since then music has been the most important part of my life. For me my relationship to music can only be described as magic. Listening to a mind-blowing flawless note or just thinking of a part in a song I truly love still makes me shiver and it still makes every hair on my arms rise. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. And to be able to provide other people with that experience, I mean, who doesn’t wanna be a magician?

You haven't always been a solo artist. How has your experience as a singer and writer for other artists helped you become an artist yourself?

Erik: When you’re working with music on a regular basis you constantly develop your abilities and skills. It’s basically like any other craftsmanship. I feel blessed to have been able to work with a lot of amazing musicians and artists through the years. I mean, the best thing you can do to develop as an artist is to work with people who are better than you. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to always bring your a-game. As a songwriter and background singer for other artists I have also had the privilege to write, produce and work with music in different genres. I believe that has given me a solid ground to stand on while figuring out who I am as an artist.

Your new album is called Can you tell us the premise behind the idea of the album Lost Boys Island and its name?

Erik: I come from Sweden. A country where it’s quite important to be modest, to “fit in” and to live your life like “ordinary people” do. Over the years I have been working with both music and completely different things but when someone asks me what I do I instinctively feel I have to answer “I play music. I sing. I write. I tell stories. I’m a pop musician”. But the older I get more and more people ask me “…and what do you do besides music?” As if devoting your life to music isn’t a “real thing”. As if you are someone who refuses to grow up and stop dreaming. As if you are some kind of wanna-be Peter Pan. I always find this so strange. I’m quite good at a lot of things. I have been quite successful at a lot of things too, but nothing is as serious to me as music. To me music is life, music is death, music is magic. The most important thing in life. I may not be Peter Pan but I sure as hell am searching for lost boys island. So this is an album about life, love, death and the importance of pursuing dreams and I guess it represents me and my pursuit of my dreams quite well.

What is your latest single and tell us about the song. What was the inspiration behind the song?

Erik: My latest single is called Unapology and it’s a song I co-wrote with an amazing artist, which also happens to be a very good friend, called Kier. We wrote this song together in LA late last year and it tells a story about someone who is unfaithful to her boyfriend. She wakes up in the morning in another mans bed with a lot of anguish as she realizes what she has done. But is also kind of mixed emotions as even though she’s done something terrible it also feels totally right and that meeting this other guy could be the beginning of something amazing. It’s a song about how love and desire isn’t always black or white. We are actually just now working on a video for this song that will be released soon. I guess the song recognizes that infidelity is a ugly thing but also that love is blind and when love at first glance leads to infidelity it can somehow also be the start of something beautiful even though someone will get hurt.

What is the toughest challenge being a solo artist?

Erik: I would have to say that the toughest challenge being a solo artist is that it sometimes can feel a bit lonely. Being a hard working musician within pop music can be pretty hard. It’s a business where you constantly have to face a lot of downs just to be able to sometimes enjoy the ups. It’s a lot of big, but empty, words in the music industry and it sometimes can be hard to keep working your ass off without ever admitting defeat. If you’re a solo artist you have to do a lot of this struggle on your own and yes, that can sometimes feel a bit lonely.

If you could perform with any artist (living or dead), who would you share the stage with?

Erik: Ouch, tough question! There are so many amazing artists that would be a dream come true sharing the stage with but if I have to name one I would probably have to say Whitney Houston during her glory days. Once upon a time there was nothing Whitney couldn’t do with her voice. To sing a duet with Whitney would be just awesome!

What is the plan for the rest of 2015 and looking forward into 2016 for Erik Odsell?

Erik: Right now I’m working with some promotion to get more people to discover my brand new album and I am also working on a video for my latest single Unapology. I am also in contact with some people I know from before within the music industry to try and set up collaborations within publishing and booking of gigs for 2016. I really wanna get out and play my brand new album live with my band so hopefully 2016 will be filled with gigs. I am also still working with other artists. I am for example a member of a Swedish vocal band called Pros & Cons and we’re currently recording our third album, set for release during early spring of 2016, so I won’t be putting my feet up, that’s for sure.

Find more of Erik Odsell
Twitter: www.twitter.com/erikodsell
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/erikodsell 
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3ijnMT8RG0GaamHSQzBk9R