Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

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

 

Advertisements

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: