Category Archives: RnB

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: Mike Maro

How did you get your initial start in music?

I remember quite clearly, I was 8 years old when a 16 years old friend of mine was rapping the lyrics to Sisquo’s “Unleash the Dragon” and I was so intrigued by this. From then on, I instantly became attracted to the art of being able to memorise and sing songs. I began my journey by constantly repeating all the songs I liked and buying various lyric books to learn the lyrics to my favourite songs.

Aside from rapping I was especially attracted to my church’s choir and only fully decided to become part of it when a girl I had a crush on was involved. Joining the choir taught me how to sing in a range of notes and gave me the first ears I now have for instrument and voice harmonisation.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Becoming the best version of me I can possibly be. This makes so much sense to me because I believe once you are your true self, it will be much harder for others to plagiarize your work without sounding unoriginal. I want to set a distinct mark for who Mike Maro is and make it very easy for people who feel the music to understand why they feel that way.

Asides this, my ultimate aim is to be seen as more than a rapper. I try my best to tell stories and say things that are relevant to the world we live in today. In this way I can be a part of helping shape the communities we live in and be a source of hope to my listeners.

Lastly, I want to make music that is timeless and be remembered as someone who overcame circumstances surrounding him and leave a mark that will be untouched through out history.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I started writing when I was 11 years old and I’m 23 now, so that is almost 13 years.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

This is a really hard question because I have so many influences but Tupac Shakur would have to be one of them. This is because of what he stood for as an artist and how potent his work is till today. He spoke about things we still can’t fail to mention today and I admire his work ethic and what he was able to accomplish in a matter of 6 years.

Jay Z is a huge influence to me because of how consistent he has been in his career. I respect the fact that he has given kids a vision to see for their selves that no matter what an A&R or Record Label Exec says to you (in terms of not making it), that doesn’t matter because your ambition is greater. The fact that he has given so much back to his community and being able to not get shadowed by  his music alone is something I will always be moved by.

Another one of my influences has to be Drake. I can remember how music was before Drake and that sentence alone is why I respect his influence. The fact that I now know that being your original self is the only right way in this business is because of people like Drake. He was able to move the world simply by putting out what’s real to him out there.

 

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

I actually wrote the lyrics for the song in 2013 and they stuck with me since then so I felt the need to put that into the world. Also, the first part of it is called 0-100, a song originally performed by Drake. You can find a link to this on my soundcloud.

 

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

I am currently living in Bromley. I am quite new here so am still exploring the scene. However, I tend to branch out to East Croydon, Hoodoos venue in particular. I like that spot because I get to watch live music from different genres such as rock, folk, jazz etc. as well as be a part of the performing artists there.

 

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

From the people I have had the chance to work with or be around (From Nottingham) – I’ll recommend Mr Virgo who is a DJ and produces bassline beats. He has just dropped an EP titled “Bits”.

A really cool rapper to listen to is Tey Chaplin – you can find his project “Die Hard” on soundcloud.

Also another dope MC is Snowy from Nottingham.

 

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

I am currently using my YouTube channel and Soundcloud as my major outlets for the music I am making. You can also stay updated on various projects I am working on by following my social media pages.

GET TO KNOW: Alonestar

How did you get your initial start in music

My initial start in music was  was in Newcastle for  the Sugar magazine Tour, i went on tour with them. Simon Webbe from the band “BLUE”  was managing me and he booked me on the tour, sugar mag was a teenage magazine that did a roadshow tour every year and I was modelling at the time with my very close friend and room mate Dan Corsi who was with models one and I was with Storm models.

It was overwhelming as I was performing alongside Busted and Blazing squad and the crowds were massive! We filled out whole shopping centres all over the country and Ireland! Was a very good way to learn and get comfortable performing on stage!

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I would  like to build my label “Eternal life” and production company “Urban Angel”  to  release independently with backing from  a major label and work out a partnership deal for myself as the first artist and then we can sign other acts we feel are right for the label. I have a really amazing team around me of producers, engineers, singers, rappers, managers, entertainment lawyers and I’m in close contact with artists from all over the world.

I feel record companies know what they are looking for because they have focused grouped it and they have demo graphed it, it’s been taking out of the hands of the artists and they are looking for something  to fit pre determined slots. I don’t want this,  I want my label to be about the artist, the music, music is about the spirit and I want my own and my artists music to live on forever hence the name of my record label.

How long have you been writing your own music?

I’ve been mumbling my own music since i was a baby, my first word was “Birdy” and my mum said I kept saying it singing a melody with the word.

Professionally I’ve made music since 2004. that’s when my first EP “Clipped wings” was written and released.

Who are your top three influences and why?

2pac Tupac shakur  – he taught me a lot through his music about raw human needs, expressions, art, and that you could be a tough young male and still write a song about your mother and how much you love and appreciate her. He made it gangster to love your mum, your family and be real and express how you feel in a climate that frowned  about that and saw it as weak. He had so much heart and talent even though he was a troubled haunted artist. His writing and the way he delivered his lyrics was like a preacher, the words just poured out of him and when you listened to his lyrics and his music it was / is so potent. he was a true artist! Rest in peace 2PAC.

Bob Marley is one of my favourite artists!  his music is so awesome and powerful! guiltiness is one of my favourite songs! He was a great revolutionist !

Bob Marley  said –   “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”

If you’re white and you’re wrong, then you’re wrong; if you’re black and you’re wrong, you’re wrong. People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about colour; only society make rules where my people suffer, and that why we must have redemption and redemption now.

– the greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in hos integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”

Do i need to say anymore?????!!!!!!

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

My current release ‘Lovelorn’ I believe is my best work to date and I feel every human being can relate once they listen embrace the lyrics and hear what its about… the pain of love. Love is the most powerful feeling one can feel good or bad in my opinion.

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

I’m back in my hometown of Bristol now, home to massive attack, Portishead, Tricky, Roni Size, Kosheen,  Laid Blak (shout out Joe Peng and dj Bunjy! 2 of the best in the game! a massive influence to me!)  Banksy DJ Derek (R.I.P) and myself.

We like it bass heavy in Bristol! A melting pot of sounds and fusions of all types of music.  I love my home town!  B-town is the best for arts, culture, music and expression for many reasons. my favourite venue is THE “ATTIC BAR” my friend vic runs it and always puts on amazing nights with amazing homegrown music and artist!

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

I’ve mentioned quite a few above but i love my ex label mates and good friends  “LAID BLAK”  such talented artist and musicians! DJ bunjy gave my cousin ED sheeran his first gig at the croft bar, stokes croft, Bristol.. Ed smashed it, and I went on after and performed my early work.. shout out OG DJ Bunjy and Joe peng! Bristol legends! I’m also working with massive attacks guitarist Angelo Bruschini an amazing guy and very talented musician / artist! we have some great music to release in 2017!

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

Firstly thanks all  for reading, please check me out on itunes ,  you can listen & preview my music before purchasing.

Please come and say hi to me on social media… i love to hear from new listeners, followers and new friends!

soundclound.com/alonestar

twitter.com/alonestar1

instagram.com/alonestarphoto

facebook.com/alonestar

Live Hard, love strong!!!!!

AlonestarLOVE X

Connie Constance: A New Generation of Songwriter?

The young, 21 year old R&B songstress Connie Constance is making waves in the UK music scene with her beautiful blend of poetry, punk and jazz all stemming from unique points of inspiration. Perhaps this is how the new generation of songwriters work?

Whilst she may sound nothing like The Spice Girls, Connie cites them as one of her main influences, perhaps not in terms of the music, but more due to their personalities as women: “they were totally owning being a female in the nineties, and became so influential to younger people.”

Despite this, Connie also focuses on poetry as a starting point for her songs.  She says “I had somewhere to release, and sometimes I would base the whole song off my poems. I really want to encourage kids to write down how they feel or express how they feel somehow.”

Connie even uses her mad dreams as material for writing original songs. She describes how one particular dream inspired her latest single ‘Clouds’: “At one point I was flying and when I was moving my hand I could feel the wind going through them, it was crazy. It was like ‘Woah what is going on in my mind’ so when I woke up I just put it straight down, but you don’t forget them.”

 

Get to know R&B artist Jake Aldridge

Suffolk-based R&B artist Jake Aldridge has announced his forthcoming single ‘Illogical‘, which is due to be released on October 23rd 2016. The song, which features Haleana and is produced by Ninety II, will be available on Spotify and iTunes. The last few years have seen Jake’s rise from a bedroom act into a breakthrough artist, racking up over 150,000 plays online.

How did you get your initial start in music?

When I was 17, I began keeping a diary and would write my thoughts about life etc. down on paper. One day I randomly started to rhyme some of the words I was writing. After much encouragement from a former drummer and close friend of mine – Tom Moran, we began making music together.

What would your ultimate aim in the industry be?

I guess my ultimate aim would be to make a living from my music. I’d love to have my music in a film, to be played on BBC Radio 1 and to be signed to a record label for sure, but there is something beautiful about being independent (despite the lack of finances) I get to make all of the decisions, well myself and the producer of each respective song of course!

How long have you been writing your own music?

About 11 years now (that’s scary). It’s funny you know because despite considering myself as a lyricist, I always get slightly nervous before writing a new song .It’s like I don’t really believe I can do it all again but somehow the words seem to come to me. I love it.

Who are your top 3 influences and why?

I’d say number 1 is definitely Tupac Shakur, I loved his honesty, his lyrical content and his spirit. I admired his passion and work ethic too. I would most probably say Nelly would be number 2. I’m a big fan of his style of music, that combination of R&B & Hip-Hop. He’s definitely someone I’ve taken influence from in my music. Number 3 is hard but I’d probably say Adele. I’m a big fan of her music but I also admire her personality (what I’ve seen of it) and how humble and real she seems to be. I’d strive to be like that if my music took off.

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

Definitely, my upcoming single is titled ‘Illogical’ and it’s going to available on Itunes, Spotify, Amazon etc on October 23rd ! The track features Haleana who like me, is from Suffolk and is actually a vocal coach. It’s also been produced by Ninety II, an up and coming producer from Bristol who’s producing some huge tracks for me right now ! We’re all very excited about this new release and we’re lucky to have a talent as great as Haleana involved as well.

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

I’m from Suffolk and although the local scene are not generally fans of Hip-Hop music, I really enjoy performing live and have performed alongside the likes of Lisa Ambrose and Steve Moyse, two incredible artists from this area.

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

Definitely Steve Moyse, Lisa Ambrose, Kelly Jenns and my girlfriend of course – Kelly Brooks. She’s a great singer as well. You should check out Haleana too.

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

The best place to catch me is definitely my website – www.jakealdridge.com You’ll find links to my social media pages there also and you can subscribe to mailing list too if you like which will earn you some free music along with all of my exclusives !!!

Interview with Kambui Chui-Moore

Final Words Artwork

Houston artist Kambui Chui-Moore is a DIY artist with a fresh and soulful electronica-tinged sound. Dedicated to tackling mental health, his music is all about opening up emotionally  and encouraging others to do the same. Read our interview with the exciting new singer and get to know him better…

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

 

I got my start in music playing drums in my father’s church. After getting tired of playing in concert and marching bands, I started to record videos with my friends of us freestyling. Everyone from my neighborhood in Detroit was into rapping at the time and I eventually joined in on tracks. I enjoyed the spontaneity so much I eventually started to take it seriously and feel in love with the creation process.

 

  1. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

 

Honestly, I just want to successfully blend music elements in a way that hasn’t been done before. I want people to look back at my music and be inspired to create something new. To be on the cutting edge of what’s possible in music and get that nod from my peers as a great mind in music would be amazing.

 

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

 

Since the beginning. I studied journalism at university and I’ve always loved to write. Poems turned into lyrics, lyrics into songs. No better way to express yourself, and it takes a lot of talent to edit something and totally understand and predict the immediate reaction of your audience.

 

  1. Who are your top three influences and why?

 

I listen to so much music, its hard for me to pinpoint where my influence is coming from. I have to say my friends definitely help me create music confidently. We talk about what we like and don’t like about current music and it always gives me great ideas on how to approach my next record. Classical composers influence me a lot because they didn’t have the technology we have today. They created some really dynamic arrangements with very few resources or references. Lastly, music with emotion in general is my favorite. Their are definitely people I consider to be at the top of our profession in terms of execution. Overall the genre of R&B and Soul music, past and present, motivates me to innovate and break new ground in music. It has a feel to it that is the most consistent with our daily rollercoaster of emotions. Love is a constant lens and is in every emotion.

 

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

 

Final Words focuses on the idea of getting over something. Its supposed to be bare because when you are alone in your room in the heat of these moments, you don’t feel these vivid colors and ranges. Depression is a quiet and painful state and that’s what I wanted to capture in a beautiful way.

 

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

 

I live in Detroit, Michigan and the local scene here is driven by rap music. My favorite venue is The Fox Theatre, even though most of our local acts can’t fill that place up. It is something to aspire to.

 

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

 

I’d say Amir Obe. He’s from here and he is doing great things in a short time.

 

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

 

Everything is at my site www.mvrmvl.com. That links to everything I have going on.

Olay Fay

photo 3

How did you get your initial start in music?

I start writing when I was 12 years old and the songs and singers that I listened to did inspire me to do it. I know my mother loved music but never pursued it but when I got older, around 14 I started going to the studio just to hang around with my friend but I didn’t record anything until I was around 17, 18ish and was able to get a job and start paying for my studio time.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To reach as much people as possible and write for other artist, which I think it is every artists dream really to attain that success.

Who are your top three influences and why?

That is a very difficult one because there are many great artist out there that I have been influenced by, but if I must I will say Michael Jackson because he was nothing but flawless. Celine Dion that voice still does things to me and believe many babies came to this world because of her voice lol!  And R Kelly cause besides his voice that man is one incredible songwriter.

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

I just want people to connect with the song because I believe everybody can relate with it, they have gone through it at some point in their life like either throw love or fighting of personal demons or life in itself.

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

I am based in south London and because I just moved down here I am just discovering the music scene and it unbelievable with the talent that it in these town. Some are so good they make you doubt yourself they are fire with the passion that they all have. Looking forward to making friend on the scene and the artist that I would recommend is my best friend (Weirdz aka the vampire) I am not just recommending him because we are friends but because he is also one hell of a songwriter.

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

Hey they can find me on Facebook and they can check out more stuff on YouTube and sound cloud.