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

GET TO KNOW: The Outside Illusion

How did you get your initial start in music?

It happened through my dad. When I was 4 years old he introduced me to Dire Straits, Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson. I used to be completely frozen in front of the TV watching these amazing artists. Some years later, when I was 10, he brought home a Laser Disc from “Freddie Mercury Tribute”. I was totally shocked watching the bands who performed at such an important concert, including Metallica, Extreme, George Michael, Elton John, Guns n Roses and of course, Queen (without Freddie already, but, still Queen). One year after that, at the age of 11, I asked my dad to teach me some guitar chords and riffs from these bands, as he was a guitar player also. That was the day I  became completely addicted to music. 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My main goal is start doing world tours, from North America, Central and South America to the whole Europe, Australia and Asia. The possibility to take my music live to the whole world is what keeps myself inspired every minute of my day. That´s what I’m working for today. 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I´m passionate about writing my own music. Since I was 14, every band I formed was started with me writing my own songs. 

Who are your top three influences and why?

a) Iron Maiden: from their music to the way they do business, everything inspires me when it comes to Maiden. 

b) Yngwie Malmsteen: Listening to him, I learnt what Bend and Vibrato really means for a guitar player.

c) Brian May: He can play one note… and you will know: “This is Brian May!”. It shows the importance of developing your own identity as guitar player.  

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

I can´t wait to perform these songs live for you, wherever you are. 

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

São Paulo, Brazil. When it comes to music, here you will find everything… from Samba to Reggae and Hip Hop, just as examples. But if you know how to manage your career, you will also find lots of people interested in the guitar as the front line element of a band. A place where I like and respect a lot here is called “TonTon”. It´s a very good place with a very good stage, equipments and everything I need. I have performed here from time to time and will be performing there on April, 28th with The Outside Illusion. 

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

Bad Luck Train.

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

You can find me on 

facebook.com/theoutsideillusion 

youtube.com/theoutsideillusion 

Spotify: The Outside Illusion

www.theoutsideillusion.com

GET TO KNOW: J Keys

How did you get your initial start in music?

I have lots of friend in the music industry , we always used to make music in our spare time.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My ultimate aim would be to get my record label as big as SONY or UNIVERSAL.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

I have been writing my own music all my life.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

My top 3 influences are : Frank Sinatra, Eminem and bob Marley.

The reason for this is because they all speak from there heart, and they all make great music.

 

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

The main thing i want people to know about my new release is…

everything i do is for my fans, without them me or any other artist is nothing.

And also i wrote this song while i was staying at the MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS.

 

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

 

I’m originally from Essex.

After living in Essex and London my whole life, I have now moved to Bournemouth.

I have a huge line of videos that i have released over the last 5 years.

If you aint already seen them.. Go check them out!

 

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

www.MoneyMusicGroup.com Is where you can find ALL my songs , Videos plus merchandise .

Get to know: My Heart is a Metronome

We were lucky enough to have an extended interview with Swedish Indie-pop up-and-comers, My Heart is a Metronome. Here’s what they had to say:

 

How did you get you initial start in music?

We started out as a band about 4 years ago. Well, actually, it all started with Mattis Malinen (vocals and guitar) who wrote a whole lot of music on his own and then busked the streets throughout Europe. When he came back home to Sweden he felt the songs lacked a rhythm section. This is where Gustaf Simonsson (bass) and Felix Carlsten (drums) joined the band.

Mattis used to collect live videos on his hard-drive when he was around 15. One day he found a video of the band System of a Down playing a show at Big day out festival. The guitarist Daron Malakian was acting crazy, running around stage, spinning around, throwing himself on the ground to play a solo. This is what got Mattis into playing guitar. The rest is history.

Gustaf had been interested in music for his whole life. Growing up in a family with his mother who was an opera singer and grandpa who was a cantor, it was no coincidence Gustaf started to play music at a young age. He did his first live performance as a newborn baby, representing “the new year” at a big gala party. He used to perform on every big family occasion singing funny songs alone on stage. When he was 9 years old he began learning how to play the guitar. He was really focused to learn how to play a clean barre chord. He tried and tried, but did not succeed. He got so disappointed and sad that he climbed into a closet, held the door shut from the inside and refused to get out. That is what you call a real musician! Legend says he still walks into his closet when he can’t figure out the right chord for a song.

When it comes to Felix he literally started playing the drums on ice cream boxes, saucepan lids and plastic toys when he was 14 years old. He also liked to go to the kitchen, open the pantry and oven and hit everything that would make a sound. At last, his parents got so annoyed (impressed?) that they finally bought him a drum kit. However, we like to believe that they bought him the drum kit as they thought he had talent. Funny thing is that it is the same drum kit as he plays on the song ‘Feel Think’.

As a band, My Heart is a Metronome takes inspiration from almost everything. Might sound like a cliché, but that’s the truth. We listen to all kinds of music and if the music is good, it’s something to be inspired by.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

The ultimate goal for My Heart is a Metronome would be touring worldwide, making a living off of our music. We all LOVE to play live, so to get the chance to tour all year long would be awesome.

We’re probably expected to say something like “our aim is world domination” or “we want to be the next big thing!”. But basically, for us it’s all about touring and playing our music live in front of our fans, on whatever “level” this might be.

 

How long have you been writing you own music?

Since the start, as we said earlier, My Heart is a Metronome started as a solo project, hence Mattis wrote the music himself. Now as a band we are writing all the music together in our rehearsal space. We feel that when we write everything together we bring out the best out of each other and that the synergy works best that way. However, Mattis writes all the lyrics on his own.

 

Who are you top three influences and why?

We all listen to different kinds of music and therefore also have different backgrounds, but we feel that it gives us a flexibility and creativity that makes us write cool stuff. We try not to get restricted to what we SHOULD sound like – but how we WANT to sound like. One day we might want to be sound frantic and noisy, another day we might want to sound more chill.

But to answer the question, here’s a few artists we’re listening to at the moment:

Wintersleep

Bon Iver

Hey Rosetta!

 

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

Well of course there is! First of all, you can find all of our songs on Spotify, SoundCloud and Youtube.

The release is named ‘Tierp’ after the small town that Mattis and Gustaf grew up in (and Felix visited to play football matches). It is said that the jackdaws are flying up and down because they don’t want to see the ugly town. This is why the artwork for the EP ‘Tierp’ consists of a jackdaw flying up and down. We can say that this is a tribute to Tierp, the town that has been named ‘the ugliest town in Sweden’.

 

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

We’re based in a city called Uppsala, close to Stockholm. The local scene in Uppsala is quite all right. You see, Uppsala is a student city which means that there’s a lot of things going on all the time. So when we play in Uppsala, our main target group is students who love to party! But the favourite venue in Uppsala must be either Katalin or the basement stage down in our rehearsal space complex.

 

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

Well we must say ‘Acidiun’! Really heavy stuff. The drummer in Acidiun used to perform as a percussionist at our shows, so we support each other.

Besides that we have ‘Struts’ which is Gustaf and Mattis’ second band. Felix says that it is his favourite band in Uppsala!

 

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

Oops already dropped a few places online… But what the heck, we can do it again.

To find us online and to get to know us even better you can visit us on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myheartisametronome/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myheartisametronome

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhiamband

Snapchat: @mhiamband

Web page: http://www.myheartisametronome.com

 

Find our music here:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4aaBqtuCgkgQce4h3lZKDc

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFncrO21DCA

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/myheartisametronome-1

 

Thank you for showing interest in our music!

Get to Know: Indie-Electronic Artist Atticus

How did you get your initial start in music?

I was into songwriting from an early age, almost by accident. My first memory of it was primary school. We were doing a song in class the next day and the teacher asked if anyone could play the guitar. Nobody put there hand up so I did. I thought, how hard can it be? Turns out it was hard and I stayed up well past my bedtime learning the song on my mums old guitar. I later taught myself piano and the basics of production.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Weirdly I haven’t thought about my eventual aim, I make music because I love making music. Sometimes I wrote to help myself through personal situations. I guess it’s the more soulful and emotional stuff that cuts through. If my music can really resonate with one person then that’s not a failure right?

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

When my mum died at 16 my music really kicked on as I put down on paper all of the confusion I was feeling at that point. I’m 24 and the emotion that drove that music is still very much prevalent in what I make now. Only the way in which I create has evolved.

 

Who are your top three influences and why?

Ooooh that’s a tough one. As with many people my parents were a big influence on what I listened to. I still remember the 6 cd changer in my dads car. Bowie and Fleetwood mac (‘roomers’ of course). Bowie certainly influenced my style, in the staccato way in which I compose, allowing raw vocals plenty of space to cut through. More recently I’ve listened to a lot of Chet Faker (Nick Murphy) he’s all about dynamics in his music, something I’ve tried to encapsulate in mine.

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

It was written out of a desire to be appreciated by my pears. Something I care much less about now, but it’s still relevant. Music, relationships, life isn’t easy and sometimes you can be banging on the door for so long until someone hears you.

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

I’m living in London now but I’m from Leeds. The Leeds music scene has so much history of bringing soul and indie music together. I really got a buzz from playing in old venues like the 360 club and the Brude (Brudenell social club). London is different again, and the 02 arena is a different kettle of fish.

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

I worked with a band called Sam Scout a bit. They are insane.

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

My debut song ‘these walls’ launches on the 24th but if they are really nice to me I’ll come play it in their bedrooms. Follow me on Facebook @officialATTICUS.

 

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/officialatticus

https://www.facebook.com/officialATTICUS

Get to Know: Elsiane

How did you get your initial start in music?

We each have different backgrounds individually but as a band we started jamming in the year 2000 – just vocals, drums and guitar, then started writing some songs. The first song that we did together was ‘Vaporous’. After that we ended up recording several demo EPs and did some shows in Montreal

Elsieanne: I started singing at the age of 6 and grew up in a family of musicians. At the age of 12 started playing guitar and then violin. It was after seeing my grand father perform with his orchestra and later seeing Phil Collins live that I wanted to become a musician/singer

Stephane: From an early age I became musically aware – music was first an escape and I was passionate about starting a band, but It wasn’t until the age of 16 when I knew I wanted to play the drums. For me music started by playing in a band.

 

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

Elsieanne: My aim in the industry is to be able to continue staying true to our work and not have to change who you are in order to please others.

I wish the industry did not want to change artists to become more commercial all because they need to make money. It would be great if labels would develop artists to their max potential and let them be.

Stephane : My ultimate aim would be to keep continuing on this path that we have already being on for the last 16 years as a band. In terms of goals, I would like to see our music get proper sync licenses, to find the right home for the songs. Our music can be described as cinematic in many ways, and a perfect for film soundtracks. I want more people to discover this music by playing shows as well as continuing recording albums and to continue generating a steady fan base.

 

How long have you been writing your own music?

Elsieanne: Since the age of 13. I recorded my first demo EP at 14 with just guitar and vocals.

Stephane: I have always been in bands that creates original music. With the band Elsiane, 17 years.

 

Who are your top three influences and why? 

Elsieanne: Peter Gabriel, Yma Sumac, Massive Attack

First major influence: Tool because they are a band that has always followed their own rules, and kept the mystery in what they have always done. Their art is as important as music and they have never shied away from that. They have proved that you can get away with what you want in the music industry. As a drummer, I was very influenced by compositional drummers like Danny Carey from Tool.

Second influence: Massive Attack because they have created a unique style of music which has inspired me for many years. The darker elements of Massive Attack are what I enjoy the most as well as the different collaborations they do with the many talented singers and musicians involved with the band.

Third: NIN (Trent Reznor) because he continuously tries to push the envelope with every new album and has never let his guard down.

 

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

Elsieanne: This album is made to inspire other artists to stay true to who they are and not give up no matter how hard the road may be.

Stephane: We would rather people make up their own minds about what they hear on this album, but I guess that you must see the darkness before you can see the light.

 

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

We’re based in Montreal. Indie rock seems to be a favourite here since the early 2000s. There’s a big electronic scene as well, we don’t pay too much attention on what’s happening here but some favourite venues include: Club Soda, La Tulipe, Gesu, Place des Arts.

 

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

Caroline Plante, Curious Case, Patrick Watson.

 

Check out more on Elsiane here:

Links:

http://www.elsiane.com/

https://www.facebook.com/elsiane

https://twitter.com/elsiane

https://www.instagram.com/elsiane_official/

https://soundcloud.com/elsiane

https://www.youtube.com/user/vaporous07/videos

GET TO KNOW: Jake Aldridge

How did you get your initial start in music?

I started out when I was 17. My Father passed away when I was 11 and from that point on, I was always searching for a way to express myself and my emotions. Music became like my own therapy and I enjoyed the feeling of being creative. The positive reactions from people who heard my music spurred me on and keeps me going to this day, some 12 years later.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

My ultimate aim? That’s a good one, It’s never been about money for me but I guess my ultimate aim would be to make a living out of my music, even if it was just a small one. This way I could put all of my energy into it. It’s not easy to write and promote new music around a full time job, but i certainly do my best.

How long have you been writing your own music?

I’ve been writing my own music for 12 years. It’s gone quickly too. I’ve always written my own stuff and have never really considered covering other people’s. I enjoy the writing process too much.

Who are your top three influences and why?

My top 3 influences would be 1. Tupac Shakur. His work ethic inspired me and his authenticity did too. He was very much a lyricist and I loved that as well. Number 2 would be probably be Nelly. I love that he can seamlessly combine R&B & Hip-Hop, it’s something i try to do in my music as well. I love that he’s not afraid to sing on his tracks either. Number 3 would probably be Nas. I love how he’s never really steered away from the music and sound that he’s always been known for. He never sold out. His music is real and I admire that so much.

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

Definitely, my new single is titled ‘Fireman’ and I honestly feel like it’s my best one yet ! It features Lisa Ambrose, who is a singer i’ve always loved and i feel truly honoured to be able to work alongside. The track also features production by Ninety II. He’s a producer from Bristol and he and I have been working together for some time now. We’re like Batman & Robin !! The track is set for release via ITunes, Spotify & Google Play etc on the 7th of April.

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

I’m based in Suffolk and to be honest the local scene isn’t really geared up for my kind of my music but i try to get it around as much as i can. i’ve received great support from local people as well as the press here too.

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

Definitely Lisa Abrose, Steve Moyse, Haleana,  Kelly Jenns and Kelly Brooks. I’ve worked with them all and they are incredible at what they do.

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

The best place to listen to my music is my website – www.jakealdridge.com you can also sign up for my mailing list and receive some free tracks as well !!