Category Archives: Pop

Get to know: TONICA

We’ve been in conversation with Manchester based electro-pop band TONICA about their roots in music and their new single ‘Save Yourself’ which is out on August 11th. Get the lowdown here:

How did you get your initial start in music?

 

We’d both played various instruments from an early age, but the leap from playing for pleasure to planning a career in music came when we decided to move to Manchester. We met in the city and have been writing together ever since. 

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

 

Though I’m sure the industry will change as we progress as a band, I imagine our aim will always be the same – to have our music heard by more people. Whether it’s through a major label, an independent or some kind of self-release, I hope we continue to grow and gain more support with each record.  

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

 

We’ve been writing together for just under a year; though most of the TONICA material was done in early 2017 – I feel like we’re just hitting our stride.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

 

Speaking specifically about the influences for this band, I’d say…

 

The Weekend – On both a song-writing and production level. The sonic of his tracks perfectly compliments the subject matter, I believe he’s at a commercial & creative peak right now.

 

Honne – They’re a throughly modern band yet their music feels classic, it’s like future-soul. I think we referenced them a few times over the last year, especially when recording/producing my voice. The vocal sounds on Honne’s first album are incredibly rich and satisfying. 

 

Miike Snow – I feel like MS are overlooked. Some of their music is incredible, particularly on the last album. I believe they work as a writing team for numerous pop-acts too. I like that you can hear that mainstream pop influence in the structure and arrangements – it’s definitely something we’re mindful of too. 

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

 

The track is called ’Save Yourself’ and it comes out on 11th August. I think the most important thing to know is that it’s our first release. We’ve been waiting to get this record out for a couple of months now and we’re excited to see what the reaction is. It was mixed by Lewis Gardiner (formally of Prides) and mastered by Chris Gerhinger (Drake, 1975). It was an honour to have them work on our debut and I hope the song gets the recognition we feel it deserves. 

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

 

We’re currently based in the centre of Manchester. There’s hundreds of great venues in the city, but if I had to name just a few I’d say – Deaf Institute (Oxford Road), Albert Hall (Peter Street) and the Night & Day Cafe (Oldham Street, NQ). 

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

 

I went to see a friend’s band called Big Society the other night, check them out. 

 

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

 

https://www.facebook.com/tonicaofficialband/

 

https://www.instagram.com/tonicamusic/

 

https://www.youtube.com/c/Tonicaofficial

 

https://soundcloud.com/tonicabandofficial

Get to know: J.J Leone

It’s easy to simply label a lot of artists as ‘singer-songwriters’, but J.J Leone takes this title to the next level, blending his talented songwriting skills with an easy listening combination of R&B and soul. We were lucky enough to have chat with him:

How did you get your initial start in music?

I was heavily influenced by my older brother’s musical ability as a kid, he was already doing tours when I was growing up but he introduced me to a lot of music and played guitar around me all the time. I looked up to him and still do, so I wanted to learn to play guitar like he could. I picked it up by ear and by watching him, then when I discovered guys like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante and John Mayer, they really pushed me to try different things with the instrument. Eventually I moved on to learning the drums, largely due to heavy rock and metal music I discovered, bass guitar and electronic production, which I put down to my love of Hip-Hop. I learnt everything by ear and with no tuition. I never really had a lot of confidence in my voice until I was like 18, and things grew from there!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I don’t really have an ‘ultimate aim’ or an ‘end goal’ in music, because I’m not creating music to tick boxes along the way or to think: ‘Once I get to this stage, I’ll be satisfied’. I write and perform music because I love it, and the way it can bring people together. ‘Making it’ has different meanings to different people. If someone sits down one day and says ‘I wanna learn how to play Little Wing on the guitar’ and then a year later they can, then they’ve made it! I’m the kind of person who is restless and never really satisfied, so I just want to make music for many years and what will come will come!

How long have you been writing your own music?

I started writing my own music around the age of 14. It was never normally for myself, or I didn’t picture that these songs will have me singing them, or anything would come from them, I just enjoyed it! The first serious music I wrote was for my band when we were 15; we took a couple of them into the studio and we got to open for Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate and tour Barcelona amongst other things, so I guess they went down alright! That was the first time I realised that I could possibly get somewhere with my music, so ever since then every lyric, melody and instrumental section has been written by myself!

Who are your top three influences and why?

Stevie Wonder, Prince and Cody Chesnutt. There are so many more great musicians who i really admire, but Stevie Wonder for the simple fact of how long he has been around and stayed at the top of his game. He has made maybe two songs I don’t like in his whole career. Prince because of his attitude and diversity. Not only an amazing musician, who played all the instruments on his tracks himself, but because he was always coming up with something fresh and was an artist who defied genres and boundaries. You could tell he was just in it for the music and didn’t care about critics or any of that stuff. My brother introduced me to Cody Chesnutt a few years ago. He played me his album ‘The Headphone Masterpiece’. Cody really inspires me because he recorded that entire album is his mum’s kitchen, with some really basic recording gear. It taught me that you don’t have to have this and that costing x amount of dollars or pounds to put your message out there, he had a real DIY attitude, something I’m trying to apply to my own music.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

I suppose I would just like people to know that everything you hear on ‘With You’ is done by me. All the writing, the vocals, the instrument, the production. That and the fact that its available NOW WORLDWIDE!

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I’m based in Norwich. The local music scene is pretty tight-knit to be honest, every band kind of knows each other. There is actually a lot of singer-songwriters based here too, and a couple of venues that put on ‘Oen Mic’ nights, so there is a really good chance to connect with other artists. Norwich is a pretty artsy place in general, which I like. I’ve played in quite a few places in Norwich, and the county of Norfolk in general, I really like ‘The Owl Sanctuary’ because they are really fair to the artists who play there, its a really chilled vibe.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

There was a rapper I heard a couple of months back called ‘Obongjayar’ (I hope I’m spelling that right!). His stuff is really sick and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t do some bits in 2017.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with: @iamjjleone. My official website is www.jjleone.com, which has further links to my Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud etc.

 

Listen to J.J’s new single ‘With You’ here:

Get to Know: Music Theory

Know Me Better music managed to get in conversation with emerging Egyptian pop artist, Music Theory, who’s releasing his new track emotive love song ‘Down The Aisle’.

 

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I started writing music when I was about 9 years old. My first song was about 7 lines. It was about a ball rolling down the street 🙂 I was a very shy person growing up. Writing music put me up when I’m feeling down. It helped me release my thoughts and dreams, that I usually couldn’t share. I could be whoever I want in this make believe world, that I create while writing.  As I grew up, I wrote also about experiences and emotions.

My inspiration was all those singers that I grew up listening to. Their ability to make me cry, feel loved or pumped up through their songs was amazing. I wanted to have that effect on people. My dream is to touch people’s hearts.

 

Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up in the eighties and the nineties. I listened to mainstream music. Michael Jackson, REO speedwagon, Sublime, REM, Oasis, NKTOB, Boys 2 Men, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi, Stock Aitken Waterman, Pet Shop Boys, etc.

I could write an endless list. It was always about the song, not the artist. I always listen to mix tapes, never albums.

I believe that everything I hear influences me.

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

About 30 years. However, my song “Down The Aisle” is my first professional release.

 

How often do you play live?

I never played professionally, yet. I plan to do that in the near future, at a certain point.

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Band Aid. USA for Africa. It was inspiring and extraordinary. Music can heal and connect the world.  

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

https://soundcloud.com/musictheory2016

https://www.facebook.com/musictheory2016/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNHe1k5TPYkM8EHLiaDkL_w

http://www.musictheory.zone/

http://mtmusictheory.blogspot.co.uk/ 

 

Get To Know: Warsaw Radio

  1. How did you get your initial start in music?

As band we all come from different backgrounds with different influences including rock, pop and classical. Nicola Bates (violin & vocals) has toured with the English Orchestra and Sting, Brían McNamara (lead singer/guitarist) comes from a folk rock background and honed his craft playing venues in bars from New York to San Francisco and Dublin. Laurence Bridge (Bass guitar) has performed in the past with likes of Lucie Barrat (sister of the famous Libertine) and Tom Odell. We’ve merged these influences together to create a unique sound.

 

  1. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry

To make music and to try and stick around for as long as we can.

 

  1. How long have you been writing your own music?

We’ve been writing together since we started the band in Brighton in 2013.

 

  1. Who are your top three influences and why?

Our sound taps from a well of music that includes Wilco, Fleetwood Mac and The Waterboys. They influence us as they have made some incredible music that will stand the test of time.

 

  1. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Its available on Spotify, Amazon and ITunes from March 10th

 

  1. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

We’re based in the sea-side town of Brighton. The local scene is a vibrant one with great venues such as The Hope & Ruin and The Green Door Store. We feel lucky to call it home.

 

  1. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Rotait are an incredible two piece alt-rock act (cello and drums – think Damien Rice meets The White Stripes) and Paul Murray is one of the finest solo troubadours we’ve seen.

 

  1. Give our readers a roundup of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

You can find us on all the usual music media channels – Spotify, You Tube,  Amazon, ITunes etc

Follow us on Twitter / FB for all the latest news & gig updates:

facebook.com/warsawradio

twitter.com/warsawradio

GET TO KNOW: Tsunami Section

How did you get your initial start in music?

Anna: I started when I was 10 years old. My parents used to always play music from big pop artists of that time especially Michael Jackson and Madonna. Their music was played everywhere in the house, in the car and I remember how much I was impressed as a kid by their music and the way they were performing, watching them on MTV.

It all started when I sang my first song and recorded it on tape. It was a song from a singer called Elisa. I recorded it on tape and I was playing it to my mum all the times and I loved being heard on that cassette player. It was then when I realized that I wanted to sing for the rest of my years. I started writing songs and recording them acapella, singing just the melodies and the lyrics. I was part of my school choir for some years. A few years later I was part of a musical team back in Italy where I was singing, dancing and acting. Until the day I moved to London. Since then I have been developing myself as an artist, performing in many pubs and music venues all over London. I went to college in here to study pop music singing and songwriting. After that I went to university to study sound engineering at SAE Institute London. I only just finished it.

Felicia: Locally, started a girl band in 2006 in India, after that performed individually in Calcutta, Delhi, Gurgaon.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Anna: I want to write hit songs. I want to perform at festivals and collaborate with so many artists and music producers that have inspired me all these years. I would love to collaborate especially with Sigma, I love the kind of drum and bass that they make, they are so cool!

I listen to lot of different genres such as indie pop, dark pop, commercial pop, drum and bass, jazz, house, techno, reggae, experimental music and one of my goals is to make something that has an influence from all these genres but I want it to be still very unique, natural and especially very honest music, from the bottom of my heart.

Felicia: Ultimate goal is to be known for my music, and to be able to perform with the likes of Alicia Keys

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

Anna: I have been writing since I was a kid. I wrote my first song at the age of 13 and I never stopped since then. I always write, rather if it’s a song or just thoughts or feelings.

Felicia: I started writing in local language since 13

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

Anna: Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elisa.

Michael Jackson first he’s my hero I have been inspired by him since I was a kid and he has influenced my songwriting since then. I have grown up listening to his music while writing my first songs, so he automatically became my inspiration.

Madonna is my other hero, I have been influenced by her music in the same way Michael has influenced me. She is the queen, her music was giving me ambition, inspiration and hope in order for me to write and perform my own songs.

Elisa, she is an Italian singer who gave me the confidence to sing and record my first songs when I was a kid. Her lyrics have inspired me and helped me to release my creativity without fear.

Felicia: Alicia Keys is my idol. I feel her music is positive and inspirational

 

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Anna: The song has some dance and pop influences to it and it’s a simple and enjoyable song. Unfortunately I haven’t taken part on the writing of the song as someone else wrote it, but I am really honored to sing it and perform it.

Felicia: Written and produced by Ollie Fell-Holden, Daniel Spiller & John Robinson. The track explores the idea of karma and that whatever life throws at you, there will always be another chance, escaping the negative connotations attached to the theme of karma

 

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

Anna: I am based in London. I have met so many musicians in the past years and I have had the chance to perform, to share ideas and to be friends with them. London is a big place and the music scene seem such a large network of people but at the end we all know each other. We are all connected. There are a few music nights which are known around here and if I meet someone in one of the nights I will definitely see them again at a different music night. We all support each other and I think it’s the best part of it.

Everyone is so different as well, everyone has their own music style which is a good inspiration, I love it!

I had the honor to perform at the Roundhouse emerging artists showcase, which was good! I would definitely say it’s one of my favourite venues.

Felicia: Based Shepherds Bush, very lively, a karaoke bar and a few pubs

 

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

Anna: I would definitely recommend to listen to Jeremy Peter Allen, Soultronics Bailey and Yamin Alma, they’re just amazing artists with deep songs and voices.

Felicia: Not in touch with other musicians at the moment

 

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

https://www.facebook.com/Tsunami-Section-1201228323325942/

https://twitter.com/TsunamiSection

https://soundcloud.com/user-903691670/keep-my-spinning-wheel

 

 

GET TO KNOW: Nancy Black

How did you get your initial start in music?

When I was 14 I joined a workshop that was designed to help girls get into music. It was incredible fun, a bit like the school of rock. We learnt about songwriting techniques, how to play different instruments, music tech and music production. From this workshop a band was formed and I ended up fronting an all girl rock band called Pink Lemons.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

One of my biggest aims would be to have a solid fan basis who support and grow with you as an artist. Just to know that there is an audience out there who can relate to the music I make would just be super special. Oh and to play the Pyramid stage at Glasto of course.

How long have you been writing your own music?

It was whilst being involved in the music workshop that I started to explore writing my own music and when I got my first guitar, I started to take writing more seriously.  I remember when I worked my first Saturday job at the tills in a hardware store, I would constantly be scribbling down lyrics on the back of old receipts and even now I don’t go anywhere without carrying a notebook.

Who are your top three influences and why?

Madonna has always been a massive influence to me. I always admire powerful female artists and Madonna has always had a way of being ahead of the game, re inventing herself constantly and being totally unique.

Alanis Morisette, I just love the emotions in her voice, it’s so raw and full of feeling, jagged little pill will always be my number 1 favorite album.

Prince, I re discovered Prince a couple of years ago when a friend gave me the DVD of Purple rain. I’ve always admired everything about Prince, his voice, his moves,the  style, stage presence, just pure magnetism.. A true entertainer.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Dirty Little Bass is the first official EP that I have self released. I was lucky enough to work with two brilliant American music producers, Will Angeloro and Regah. The EP consists of various remixes including a mix by DJ, Simeon Belle.

The Dirty little Bass EP will be available on Itunes, Spotify, Amazon and Beatport from the 10th January.

Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favorite venues?

I am based near the City of Bath in Somerset. The scene is brilliant for alternative and indie acts although there isn’t a huge amount for more commercial artists. There are always good acoustic nights and one of my favorite venues is Komedia.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

I’d recommend Hip hop artist, Young Rob. He works in a range of genres from afrobeats, hip hop, pop and R N B. We recently formed an Urban pop group  called IV Click, along with producer Regah and US artist, Lonzo Starr. 

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

I’m a big Insta fan and I enjoy connecting with fans through this platform above any other. You can find me at @nancyblackmusic also check out my soundcloud/nancyblackmusic for more music updates.

GET TO KNOW: The Maladaptive Solution

How did you get your initial start in music?

Started to play guitar when I was 12, after my mother died.  I got in my first band with some friends in High School.  Been in bands and involved in peripherals ways with music ever since, a long time.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Some timeless classic songs that get discovered and passionately loved for generations.  The initial goals were met in some ways, as one of the folks that discovered  and purchased the “soft” release of the first record, took the time to write an email and said that in his career he saw the worst in humanity every day and that our EP made him want to get up each morning.  What more could you want as an artist, besides mad crazy amounts of dollah bills?

How long have you been writing your own music?

I seem to have always been writing songs, at least in my head, for as long as I can remember.  I’ve contributed parts of songs in bands I’ve been in, but only in the last 6 or 7 years have I gotten remotely serious about the creation of songs, with me leading the overall vision

Who are your top three influences and why?

The Beatles – The Alpha and the Omega.  They set the bar high in all aspects of music creation. Rain and Nowhere Man are perfection.  Still sound fresh, and never tire of hearing.  The branding, and continued business model is still brilliant.

Big Star and pals/off spring associated – Big Star, and bands like Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, The Replacements and many others.  Beautiful songs, and the tragic story of Big Star.  There was a time when being a fan of Big Star was like a secret handshake. Well crafted songs, beautifully sung. Different voices and writers but working well together. I like hooks, and a variety of voices in a song.  It’s great they are finally being recognized for how great those few records were.  I had two of the members of Big Star crash at my house recently.  I kinda freaked out.

Dave Grohl.  He writes great songs.  He loves music.  He loves songs.  He’s a great drummer.  He was an indie suburban DC punk rock kid that happened into one of the biggest, most ground breaking bands of the time.  Foo Fighters are really the biggest “rock” band left making some of their best music. Someone described The Maladaptive Solution as sounding like The Monkees backed by Foo Fighters.  Considered high praise.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release? 

The current single “Ontology (Form and Content)” is the lead track of an upcoming 5 song “movement” or EP, that’s part of a larger  12 Movement\EP series of releases.  The “movement” known as “Enlighten”, will contain 3 more original songs by The Maladaptive Solution, plus a full on rawk cover of Krishna Das’ “Navah Shivaya”.  The song is based around some pretty heady questions about the nature of reality, and that love being really is the only thing that is real.  The song is a required lesson.  When the lesson is completed is optional.

Where are you based and whats your local scene like?

The contributors to The Maladaptive Solution are based across the globe.  I am based out of Orlando, FL and the scene is interesting.  There was a pretty strong, and cutting edge EDM scene for a while.  Lots of opportunities to see live music.  A pretty varied scene, and pretty open to original music. Metal, folky songwriter, some interesting punk  and indie stuff going on.  There’s a growing punk/independent scene across Florida, interestingly enough.

Any favourite venues?

In Orlando, Will’s Pub, The Social are great smaller places. The Hard Rock hotel gets some interesting, let’s say, past their prime, bands playing there once a month in their lobby that can be fun.

Love the Fillmore in San Francisco, HMAC in Harrisburg, PA, The Troubadour in London, any place where there is live original music is a great venue. So many great places.

Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

The Pauses are really good, really really good.  Mike Dunn is consistently making some pretty cool music in a Petty kind of way.  The Woolly Bushmen should be huge, really rawk and are great fun.

Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

Spotify  Top tracks for The Maladaptive Solution

I Tunes, Google Play, Tidal, Amazon, any platform, we are on it. SMS text ONTOLOGY to 85