Category Archives: Uncategorized

Natalie Kocab & Michaela Polakova have moved me…

Natalie Kocab & Michaela Polakova are new to me, but god have they made an impression. Not only does their latest release have the Ex-Verve guitarist Nick McCabe lending his talents to the pair but its a dark, etherial masterpiece. Move Nick Cave Natalie and Michaela are taking over!

The new album ‘Ellis Island’ really stands out as not just a great album but as a work of art. Ever tracks stand apart from the last moving though Cocteau Twins to The National, the pairs sound hits on al the right notes taking influence from some greats.

‘Ellis Island’ is out now on Warner Music, Listen below:

Follow Natalie Kocab & Michaela Polakova:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ellisIslandalbum

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nataliekocabmichaelapolakova

 

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Roger Rudenstein: Life, Love, Compositions and Political Satire.

Roger Rudenstein, Composer and classical writer, has his sights set on breaking through to European audiences. But what is he trying to say?

Based in New Hampshire in New England USA, Roger has managed to accomplish a long list of accolades, through his work in classical operatic pieces. His past work has consisted of politically driven, relevant and hauntingly comedic stage shows like ‘Full length’, ‘The Devil and George Bush’ and ‘Ulysses‘ (based on James Joyce’s novel).

He has a number of Musicals, Operas and compositions he has put his hand to, but his politically focused pieces have gained much traction, such as an article in the New York Times and over 100,000 streams on Souncloud. It is easy to see why, other than the compositions being beautiful and elegant, yet possessing a serious and thrilling, the bold and truthful messages behind the pieces speak for a large number of people, especially with the recent ‘Donald Trump’ inspired ‘Hail to the Thief’. 

Roger had studied music, and learned with Chinese-American composer ‘Soong Fu-Yuan’ and ‘Walter Hilse’, a Composer from New York City. A lot of his work show his reflection or outlook on life, love and our precarious day and age.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rudenste

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roger-Rudenstein-754779384708156

Website: https://www.rogerrudensteinmusic.com/

Soundcloud:

 

Transylvanian Dream-Pop Heroes, MODIWO, Swap Vampires for Sweet Charity with Their New Track

Confounding expectations, Modiwo have emerged from the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains to become one of the country’s breakout musical success stories, whilst also giving their time to support charity projects around the world. Initially forming in order to provide entertainment for local orphanages and retirement projects, demand for the band’s music grew to such a scale that they agreed to become a band in their own right.

As well as conquering their homeland with their music, they are currently involved with a charity called Fruit Fusion, where audiences attending their gigs will pay with fruit rather than money, the proceeds then being donated to local orphanages, in conjunction with The Bureau of Children’s’ Rights Protection. An average show can deliver up to 700kg of fruit to those most deserving. Modiwo carry this healthy living ethos through to their own lifestyles and into their music, promoting yoga and meditation as well as using their music as a form of relaxation therapy.

 

 

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: Feline and Strange

Know Me Better were recently in conversation with Feline Lang, one half of Berlin based electro-wave cabaret act,  Feline and Strange, who are ready to unleash their out-there sounds to the world.

How did you get your initial start in music?

I was born into it… seriously. My parents are classical musicians, I was bred in a womb that supported a concert harp, played with bricks under a grand piano, and started to learn the violin within 4 years. Thus I am sorry to say that it is beyond even my abilities to remember the initial moment!

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

I want to become a household name and fill the biggest arenas in the world, and have my music sent on the next gold disc that goes out into the universe to represent humanity – who doesn’t? Anything below that wouldn´t justify a musician´s life which is serious shit most of the time. But then there´s these magic moments when you play for hundred, fifty, maybe just  two people, and you REALLY touch them, and you know that´s why you do this. Happens rather frequently to me lately.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I have been writing the odd song or arrangement since school days, but it all became really serious in 2009 after learning my tools through arranging operas for pop and folk bands with my own troupe.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

Do I really have to choose from a world full of music? OK, first three that pop to my mind. Mozart, because he wrote music everyone can enjoy but few can understand. Depeche Mode, because their top defined sound is what defines pop music for me, and they proved like no one else that you can be epic without an orchestra. Nina Hagen, because she, in turn, proved that you can be a punk on any instrument and in any language.

 

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

I wrote this album in only 2 weeks, away from home, while Germany was turning upside down, from welcoming refugees with soft toys and water bottles at train stations, to burning down camps and marching against the government who let people seek help. I watched the news, and didn´t find any ways to help. So I wrote the album and made it, together with the now-released CD artwork, a pathetic glimpse into the feeling of suddenly losing your home, your right to survive, without warning, or alternative. What happens when you are evicted from planet Earth? And somebody you never met decides over your fate? The album tries to put you into this perspective. But it´s just a game. A play.

 

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

We´re from Berlin! Well, we´re extraterrestrials obviously, but I guess most of Berlin´s inhabitants are. I like ballroom dancing a lot, especially Sing, and Tango, and I love swimming, so my favourite location is a tiny lake in the city, the Weissensee, where in summer balls are held at the shore, sometimes with live performances – we played there too – and after dancing your heart out, you can jump into the lake and swim, have a cocktail, and feel like a VIP in Monaco. Only dirtier.

 

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

You should definitely check out The Jackaffair! They do Latin Fun Punk, and support us very often. And I only recently met Les Pleureuses, who are as wacky as we are.

 

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

If you want to know all that´s going on, join The Feline&Strange Spaceship Crew on www.facebook.com/groups/felineandstrange! I spend a lot of time there, and reveal a lot of what´s in my head. Even closer you can get if you become a patron on www.patreon.com/feline , of course, getting early access, exclusive releases, and can actually influence my work. When I need help, I call out there, and listen! But the best first steps into the Feline and Strange universe is, of course, via our webpage www.felineandstrange.com. And if you are like, leave me in peace with all that stuff, I just want the music – did you know you can stream (and buy for your own price) ALL our music on http://felineandstrange.bandcamp.com?!

 

Check out the video for ‘No Life On Mars’ here:

GET TO KNOW: Tony Banks

How did you get your initial start in music?

I got my start as a young boy singing and performing in church. I can still visually remember my first solo. It was the bug that bit me and has stayed with me since then.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To continue be a voice for the voiceless, while extending my reach as far as possible and leaving my mark. This is important to me. Especially as a gay hip-hop artist. We don’t have a lot of artist to look up to in this overly-masculine and often homophobic community.

How long have you been writing your own music?

At the age of 15 I started writing my own songs and creating my own beats. I was always into creative writing and poetry so It was a natural progression.

Who are your top three influences and why?

I always say If Missy Elliot and LL Cool J had a baby it would be the Music Bear Tony Banks. With Heavy D as his uncle.

Missy Elliot: For her creative genius. While others go left so goes right and makes others follow her.

LL Cool J: He has the sex appeal that turned hip-hop upside down. Street to Sexy.

Heavy D: He made dancing around as a big guy acceptable and cool.

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

As we just passed the 25th Anniversary of the LA Riots, it’s sad to see how much the climate of the country hasn’t changed as far as police brutality is concerned. This track is me using my voice as a black person living in America having to watch my every move knowing that at anytime I could be next. I’m sure EarthTone and JwlB, two other gay-black artist on the track, feel that same.

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

I’m based in New York City in the borough of Brooklyn, but travel all over the city. You can just imagine the amount of talent flowing though that city. All types of people creating all types of art. Some of Hip-Hops most decorated artist come from Brooklyn.

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

In terms of lgbt hip-hop I recommend Mykki Blanco, Cakes Da Killa, EarthTone, JwlB, Will Sheridan, and Kamau Kenyatte. All amazing artist!!

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

www.musicbearonline.com

Twitter/IG: @Musicbeartonyb