Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

Adam Lanceley – Triumph Through Adversity

When a band splits up due to ‘musical differences’, or they cancel a gig due to having a cold, it’s normal practice for fans to get upset or feel sorry for them. Spare a thought then for the people for whom music is far more than that: for people who have used music as a bridge to rebuild their lives and to survive the everyday trials many of us take as par for the course. Music for some people really can be one of the deciding factors in how their life is fundamentally affected.

Adam Lanceley was only ten years old when a car accident left him seriously injured. Sustaining a severe brain injury, a crushed pelvis and shattered legs, doctors advised him he was unlikely to walk or talk again. Against all odds, Adam not only proved them wrong but has taken his remarkable recovery to the extreme, running marathons and now carving out a career as a singer-songwriter.

Watch the Video To “A Film We All Saw” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZXJwqhSK68

Adam’s latest success story is the video to his track, “A Film we all Saw”. Far from a reflection of the doctor’s predictions, the video sees him walking around the picturesque city of Cambridge, with scarcely the slightest suggestion that without his self-belief and extraordinary determination, his life could have been so different. Having released several albums under his own name, he has perfectly his signature sound, which has a sunny West Coast vibe and personal, heartfelt lyrics.

See more about Adam’s Story here: https://www.brainandspine.org.uk/adams-story

Although Adam has conquered many of the physical consequences of the accident, he has said that mentally he sometimes feels like a little boy, struggling with mental issues such as very low confidence and depression. However, the work done by the Brain and Spine Foundation helped to motivate him to strive for new goals, his new video being a case in point. With so much talk in the media about mental health, Adam’s music video is an inspiration to anyone feeling they’re fighting the battle alone. Adam has already released several albums slowly developing his sound into the unique brand it is today.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/adam-lanceley/id569012210

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/adam-129087330

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamlanceley

 

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British Folk Revolutionary JohnlikeJohn Discusses Vegans, Casualty and Fake Foxes

On December 1st, JohnlikeJohn release their EP, “Vegans are Evil Too”, a distinctly British mixture of whimsy, introversion and head-spinning flights of fancy, all wrapped up in Tom Wait’s raincoat and Robert Wyatt’s mittens. Speaking to head JLJ, Calum, we found what it means to be a modern folk musician and what makes the band tick.

What kind of music did you grow up listening to at home?

Well between the hippy refugee that is my mum, and the zoot suit, white jacket and side vents-wearing mod that is my dad (The Who reference) I’ve have a fairly eclectic mix of music growing up. Quite a poignant moment of first falling in love with music, was when my dad first played me Matty Groves by Fairport Convention, the song plays like an old-timey English folk song, detailing a man found sleeping with the farmers wife, they then have a sword fight for the love of the wife, the farmer wins (apparently most farmers are skilled jousters). I remember thinking, wow that was like a whole entire story in a song, it was funny, it was tragic and there was a sword fight. At that point I became obsessed with folk music and the troubadours of the 1960s – there was something about the emotions behind the stories that seemed so theatrical and I never doubted they were lying, everything was said with such truth and conviction that even at 8 I could listen to someone like Joni Mitchell or Neil Young and feel the full force of words and be a bit changed with each listening.

What’s your local music scene like? How do you think you fit in?

Well local to Battersea? Ha, I can’t imagine I could pin a musical movement on Battersea in 2017. There are only a few venues I go to, one of them being that Magic Garden that’s always got good stuff going on – they always have great gypsy jazz bands and blues acts, so I should probably try get a gig there since it’s a 2 minute walk. Also I’m a bit of an open mic addict since there just aren’t enough stages in London to play everyday, I’d highly recommend The Grove on Battersea Park Road – really fun and laid back, unlike some snobby ones I could think of.

What names did you consider for the band before settling on JohnlikeJohn?

John likes couscous, John likes curtains, John likes chesterfields….. But then I finally realised I like myself the most.

You use your music to tackle some serious issues – is this just cathartic for you as a songwriter or are you hoping to change peoples’ minds about the subjects?

For the most part I use my music, as vehicle to spew out the most embarrassing, tragic and ugly parts of myself out. listening to the EP is pretty much the splash zone. The track Vegans Are Evil Too is essentially a long list of things that have gone wrong so far, but there’s a gag or two in there to stop you from completely overdosing on melancholia. But yeah, I write a lot about anxiety, depression and “purpose” and it is cathartic: the more I write about it, the more I open up a discussion in myself as to why I feel this way and hopefully in others too.

Tell us about how you go about creating your music, from initial idea to completion. What equipment do you use?

As I said before, probably the most crucial element of making my music is to be painfully honest and really embarrassing, I figure most people are as embarrassed and as anxious as I am, the only difference is I happen to sing about it. So, I normally start with the lyrics. I write them as more of a conversation with myself, kind of like a really incoherent monologue. And from there, I’ll grab my Guild acoustic guitar or ukulele and play something that sounds how the words feel…God, I sound like an art student! I’m not the most confident of singers, so a lot of times I put on different accents or character depending on the song. I was heavily discouraged at college from doing this, but, meh, it’s fun. The same applied to the humour in my music, which at this point I find is impossible not to put in. Since I tackle issues that are fairly dreary and melancholy, I feel it’s my duty to contrast it with whimsy and levity, reminding people not to take it all too seriously, cheer up, have some dip!

Tell us about the rest of the band and how you met Kano (The Guitarist)

I have him in the band because he looks like a mixture of Neil Young and Nick Drake, plus he’s a wicked guitarist, especially when he’s got a slide in his hand…also he shares his tobacco with me.  Pedzy(Ukulele/backing vocals/flute/general sound-maker) I first met Pedzy my first year of studying music at BIMM – he was the only person in the whole college who shared my love for freak folk music like Daniel JohnstonThe Squirrel Nut Zippers and Coco Rosie. He always carries at least 8 different instruments with him at once,: they usually include a melodica; harmonicas; ukulele, and a bamboo saxophone, Tibetan bells and various percussive shit. He’s one of the golden ones that Pedzy.  Iain (Mr Double Bass). The direct descendant of William Wallace, he is the only person in the band who actually knows what were doing, musically I mean. Sometimes I just am amazed at how intricate his knowledge of music theory is. I first met Iain at my second home, El Metro, a tapas bar next to our college (couldn’t afford it, but you got free bread). We instantly clicked, even though Iain’s more about the funk than about the freak, but we compromise. Twiggy (The Fox) – so you will either recognise her as a human girl or as a fox. A lot of the time, Twiggy is wearing her famous fox mask at our gigs. She’s making her first online debut on the 31st of October when she appears in my spooky music video to Faking Foxes.

What have been your acting highlights?

One of my earlier jobs was an episode of Casualty where I played the character Rory Ronson who suffered from severe autism and absent epilepsy. It was the first time that as an actor I had to do real research and actually change how I thought about everything in order to  portray the character. I must have watched Rain Man 100 times, since Dustin Hoffman’s character was a massive inspiration and, funnily enough, Michael Cera too.

You’ve got a huge gig lined up – what would be your dream venue?

There’s a gig at the beginning of the film Lost Boys, where the big muscle guy’s playing sax. I’d play there.

Describe a typical JohnlikeJohn live show

Wow, see, when we play live its so much different to what the EP sounds like. Since I come from working in theatres and stuff like that, I’ve always had a strong on-stage vision. We’ve definitely toned down with recent gigs but there were goats and mimes and confetti, all kinds of shit but at the root of it all, its very entertaining. The audience aren’t separated from us and they are with us the whole way: making jokes; dancing with them, speaking to the audience. If I could, I’d spend all my time just playing shows.

What would be your ultimate aim in the music industry?

Honestly, just to keep doing what I’m doing but get paid for it haha! I suppose that’s they key really, write music, play amazing shows, say words occasionally and then get paid to do it again. I’d love to get a record deal with who ever Alabaster Deplume’s with.

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

Vegans Are Evil Too, but so are milkmen, sausage dogs, barbacks and pretty much everyone. (I’m not just coming after the vegans)

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-576372009

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2wX9uVE

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC90iBtQqhlTgWpz0NkdkwUQ

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnlikej

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnlikejohn/?hl=en

 

Julia Mascetti – The Rising Sun of Singer Songwriters.

Singer-songwriter. I’ll be honest, it’s not my favourite term. It immediately brings to mind a white man set on an uncomfortable chair with a brown guitar signing in a high voice. And yet, the great titans of the story-telling field – Tom Waits; Leonard Cohen; Bob Dylan; Nick Cave et all, are anything but beige. They are, however, white blokes. An alternative would be nice.

As you asked nicely, here’s an alternative who genuinely is exciting and worthy of your time. Julia Mascetti is a harpist. Are harps the new weapon of the musical bard and bardess? They’re an impressive beast for sure, always appearing as if the player is attempting to tame it like Hercules grappling with the Nemean lion. Julia even has a collection of harps, depending on the theatre of tuneful war on which she is operating. Small purple harp? Perfect for appearing on  stage with metal bands. No, really.

In Bloom, the lead track from a forthcoming EP, is the product not only of Julia’s imagination but also her environment. Having moved from the UK to Tokyo, she has become a fervent blogger and object of quite some attention in her newly adopted home. Her Japanese audiences have taken her particularly sweet (and disarming) English vocals and her golden spider webs of plucked strings very much to their hearts, language not proving to be a barrier in her dark fairytales. Indeed, for the listening public in the UK, it’s the strangeness of the Japanese culture and use of local instrumentation, not to mention the aching longing of distance and loneliness,  which subtly creeps into your brain and takes up residence. Sparce, yet densely packed, Julia’s music is a Godsend, a ray of light which takes an age-old musical form and adds utterly unique components and takes them to genuinely new places. You can keep your singer songwriters: we’re keeping this one.

Links:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/juliamascetti

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliaMascetti

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

Website: https://tokyoharp.blog

 

Interview with Singer-Songwriter, J.J.Leone

What attracted you to the area of music you work in?

Song-writing is just something that came really naturally to me, it always has done. Even writing in general – I had some poetry published when I was 8 which I wrote about a jungle! But ‘Dark Soul’ was just something that happened, I didn’t start to think that this is the music I’m going to create, its just the sound that came out. I didn’t even name it, a friend did. He said that it’s still soulful music but its really dark at the same time, and I remember thinking that actually yeah, that’s a pretty good description of it!

What is your local music scene like? How do you think you fit in?

Norwich is doing really good at the moment, its got a few guys coming through right now, I put that down to it being in the countryside with not much else really to do! But in terms of where I fit in, I never concern myself with that. I don’t create music with an idea of fitting in anywhere, people can put me wherever they see fit!

You’ve got a huge concert lined up – what would be your dream venue?

Without doubt the Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia, Greece. I went there a couple of years ago and the acoustics there are so perfect they do hold concerts in there, its a chillingly beautiful place, and yes I did stand there singing whilst looking around – I chose Frank Ocean if I remember rightly!

Tell us about how you go about creating your music, from initial idea to completion. What equipment do you use?

For me, it always starts with a melody which 99% of the time comes from the guitar. My preferred guitars are the Yamaha electro-acoustic CPX700 and my electric is a BC Rich Assassin QX6. From there I can really start to work on the chords, structure and lyrics. I’d say it’s 50/50 as to whether the lyrics or the beat comes first, I use a Chord MU25 keyboard and I programme with Cubase. The lyrics are always the last thing I record as by then the music has already been put down and I always think the voice is another instrument, so can be used to enhance/ calm aspects of the music at certain points. The microphone I use is a Shure SM57.

Tell us about the inspiration and making of the video which accompanies your track

I always try to keep it fairly simply and almost let people make their own visuals for my songs in their mind. The video for ‘Reload’ is a simple graphic style, but I think it works with the ambience of the track also.

http://www.youtube.com/c/jjleone

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

There isn’t really one! I want to bring people together through music and just seeing somebodies face light up when their favourite song comes on is what made me fall in love with it in the first place. I’ve connected with people all over the world through music, we may not speak the same language, but we both know a jam when we hear one!

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

It’s available for pre-order now from all major download platforms, with full release on October 6th.

Links:

Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/j-j-leone

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/iamjjleone

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/iamjjleone

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/jjleone

Website: http://www.jjleone.com

 

Pallab Sarker-From Ministerial advisor to Music writer

Pallab Sarker, born in Bangladesh, and raised in Peterborough, has kept true to his heritage and has had music as part of his life at an early age. Pallab has now pushed his new solo-acoustic career to new heights, with new single ‘Not Gonna Fall in Love with You’, as well as brand new album ‘Grey Day’.

Not Gonna Fall in Love with You-music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRw_MEnQV9E

However, this was not always set in sight for the singer-songwriter. Pallab was the former Ministerial press advisor, communicating and assisting to the Ministers as well as VIP’S, which meant a very special experience with his holiness Pope Francis. In this interaction, Pope Francis personally blessed Pallab with rosemary beads as a gift to his Italian in-laws, and moment he will “Never forget”.

To understand where his sweet, melodic yet pulsating music style came from, you must first know what has led up to the launch of his solo exploration.

His parents decided to immigrate to England after escaping the Bangladeshi war for independence in the 70’s, where they moved to Peterborough. It was there were this future song-bird would grow up and get involved in music. However bigger sights and sounds were calling, so off to London he went. Pallab decided to relocate to London in his early twenties. It was here that he had been thrown into the whirlwind of the Brit Pop scene, which he then formed a band called, ‘ICON’, who gigged constantly and were strong contributors to the lively scene.

Now living in Walthamstow, Pallab has gained knowledge and experience from around the world, but uses the vibrant and culturally diverse art scene of South London as main inspiration for his music. You can see it clearly as the main focal point for his most recent single ‘Morning in Brixton’, and now has a new single out called ‘Not Gonna Fall in Love with You’.

Pallab Sarker Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-135003185/morning-in-brixton

‘The Station’-Pallab Sarker:

Pallab Sarker Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pallabsarkermusic/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

Pallab Sarker Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pallabsmusichttps://soundcloud.com/user-135003185

Pallab Sarker Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/3bZN8CTCZWu6U6fabqnHpR?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

Pallab Sarker YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdvQM0GOGAT-GYjJvVwVXQQ

Pallab Sarker Website: https://pallabsarker.com/about 

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: