In a sweet seaside Q&A video on the Girl on Fire star’s YouTube channel, the musicians discussed how their family life has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis over the past few months, and answered questions from fans
Beginning the segment, Alicia asked whether the two had ever spent as much time together as they had during their coronavirus pandemic, to which Swizz shook his head and said: “This is, like, married married married.”
The singer went on to admit that she’s “loving” having some downtime, and confessed: “For (the children) to wake up knowing that we’re always there, for us to wake up, always being there — it’s kinda cool.”
We can’t wait to see what this talented singer-songwriter may have cooked up for fans during lockdown.
The term ‘World Artist’ holds a meaning which resonates in a number of ways, but it might take a few moments to get your head around the cultural heritage of an artist who’s Belgian by birth with Iranian parentage, now an Australian national living and working in the UAE. ‘Saved‘ is an impassioned and raw album from Layla Kardan which expresses themes of an unfeigned vulnerability transformed, breaking free from cultural shackles while also reflecting her upbringing.
Having been named ‘Emirates Woman Artist of the Year – 2017‘, Layla’s music has been described as ‘heartfelt and soulful’, as you might well imagine of an artist unveiling a very personal story detailing the rise of a woman from a regressive society. Marrying her smoky soulful voice with pop, jazz, Middle Eastern and R&B rhythms and melodies, Layla’s sound is evocative and achingly poignant – an international star with a global message.
The circumstances surrounding the social empowerment of a Middle Eastern woman becoming a musician in her own right is not one that is typical around the globe. Layla’s music deals specifically with a story of being ‘saved’ from these conventions – finding her own voice and spiritual balance and, furthermore, finding the courage to share this inner light with others.
Whether by coincidence or not, in utilising an interesting idea of predominantly using band members where they have no common language with Layla ensures that any communication between them is purely musical, which in turn amplifies the chemistry that draws them together and overcomes any prevalent cultural barriers to produce an isolated experience that transcends universally.
Ricardo Bacelar’s third album ‘Sebastiana’ transcends musical styles and extends way beyond trends and fashions. Through a combination of improvisation, meticulous composition and intense studio work, the Brazilian pianist has created a timeless release which is evocative, inspiring and often deeply moving.
What’s the most important thing you learned during the creation of Sebastiana?
Creativity is dynamic- it’s related to life itself with its phases and seasons.
How did you put your own twist on the traditional?
Brazilian music has a personality of its own, from a harmonious and melodic point of view. Brazil is a country of many influences so I used elements from all over Latin America to add value to this re-reading of the Brazilian music.
What do you want your fans to know about the album?
That the album is more than a collection of songs. It is a concept, which brings a musical language, brings a visual aesthetic, a discourse on Latin America, an homage to the musician Jackson do Pandeiro, the painter Di Cavalcanti, the affirmation of the Brazilian music.
Were there any surprises during the process?
I met Cesar Lemos [associate producer on Sebastiana] by chance, a great friend who had not seen for a long time, a successful producer and former roommate, when we shared an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, in the eighties. We spent 25 years without meeting and, when I turned 50, we met by chance to do make this record. For me they were very significant ages and surrounded by superstition, which gave me a special feeling about this project.
Breaking through the barriers that bullying can build around a persons self esteem and confidence, the boys over at Saint Mars have been hard at work to combat the effects that bullying can have on people of any ages, however, the band have used a unique and heartfelt tactic to convey their message.
The band have brought on the help of a young Tryzdin Grubbs, an extremely talented and gifted singer who found internet fame in 2013, where he was filmed covering Adele’s ‘Hello’. This may seem like an unusual approach, but having Tryzdin’s young voice has given the music a new spin, and as the track is from the point of view from a younger subject, it seems extremely fitting for Tryzdin to provide his voice to the character, making the project deep, meaningful and heartfelt.
Roman Zayats, a name that will soon be ringing through the crowds and fans of deep house and dance music. But where does he hail from?, what does he create? and why does he do what he does?…..All questions will be answered.
Born in Russia, St Petersburg to be specific, Romans family would not then know that their son would be creating great songs for fans around the world. At an early age Roman showed interest in music, and since he started writing music at age 15, to now, he has written over 300 songs.
However, after working with many great names such as Andrey Samsonov (Mute Records, who worked with Nick Cave, Marc Almond) and Matt Foster in the UK (known for his work with Prodigy, Jamiroquai and Gorillaz), Romans new single ‘Cold’ is venturing into brand new territory, and we glad to hear it.
“a place where musicians from very different cultures and backgrounds play music which, though perhaps alien in origin, comes together to create an almost overwhelmingly life-affirming sound.”
It is with great pleasure I get to write about Kalibe, a singer-songwriter from Brazil who sings straight from the heart, producing some of the most beautiful, traditionally inspired music I’ve heard in a long time.
Check out “Tudo Gira” here…
Though the production methods are entirely 21st century, Kalibé’s music is created by skilled musicians from all corners of the Earth: instruments from across Africa, Persia and South America blend effortlessly together, whilst the singers bring together languages as seemingly disparate as Indian, Hebrew and Amazonian tribal dialects with ease.
On the track “Aldeia”, the sounds of the rainforest are underpinned by Tuvan throat singing, an ethereal female voice drifting between the two; on “Punu-Punu”, India Mãe da Lua’s vocals carry a traditional melody of the Brazilian Kamayurá tribe through an achingly beautiful and trance-like fusion of plucked African kalimba and flourishes of guitar. These combinations may look on paper as though they’re artificially forced, but the transcendent joy of the music is taken to new levels by the meeting of cultures bound by universal emotions and experiences.
Check out the album Mãe da Lua and keep up with Kalibe here…
If you need a band to redefine a genre, Homerik are the guys you’ve been looking for. Their exciting new sound takes everything you knew about metal and turns it on its head, leaving you shell shocked and wondering where exactly it is that your mind was just led.
With a fully orchestral sound, they have three interweaving vocalists in their ranks, as well as guest sopranos and a shadowy cast of what sounds like hundreds. Using traditional ethnic instrumentation from Africa and the Far East, this is more than melodic metal, it’s something which injects the whole metal genre with new life (or maybe death). With potent, pronged riffs, arresting vocals and a chanteuse singing in Ancient Egyptian, Homerik are a truly unique sonic experience. Homerik’s symphonic progressive death metal is the new dark corner of metal which was waiting to be explored – cinematic; vicious, but brutally beautiful.
Be sure to pick up their new album and Keep up with Homerik here:
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.
From the U.K to Japan; harpist and vocalist Julia Mascetti has given a hint of what’s to be expected from her upcoming E.P. In Distance, Everything Is Poetry.
The track ‘In Bloom’ gives us a taste of what’s in store in Julia’s upcoming E.P. in the form of a dark, fantastical soundscape.
‘In Bloom’ presents us with the essence of mythical storytelling, what can be described as celtic-folk roots all the way to the soundtrack to a fantasy epic; ‘In Bloom’ sets a dynamic and paints a musical picture that inspires thoughts of mythology and legend.
Julia’s siren-like vocals over a haunting and melancholic harp creates a depressing yet captivating scenario; it’s dreary tones creates suspense in such a minimalist way, yet alongside embellishments from what sounds like bells and a stringed instruments it still retains it’s melodic qualities.
The song is essentially part melodic and part concept, with the timbre of the instrumentation it manages to balance these two sections perfectly, without alienating the listener. The change of arpeggios to sustained notes in each section add for diverse textures in the song.
‘In Bloom’ tells a dreary and melancholic story, the mixture of instruments elevate the texture and song stays true to itself throughout, I feel that some of these instruments could be more apparent in the mix (what sounds like a tsugaru shamisen, could be a bit louder) but overall, the diverse instrumentation compliments the song.
The E.P. In Distance, Everything Is Poetry is out on the 11th of November, you can keep up with Julia’s social networks at the links below;
It is with great pleasure that I get to write about Neethusha, a singer-songwriter from Kerala, South India, who’s new single ‘Why Did I Lose You’ tugs gently on the heartstrings right from the get go. No stranger to hardship, Neethusha fought against her conservative surroundings to pursue a career in music, her lifelong passion, pushed by an enduring voice in her head telling her not to back down.
This is not her first experience of the music industry however as Neethusa learnt her craft singing in the band Steroegum in her hometown on Kerala, and was featured on Kappa TV. Her achievements don’t stop there though as she also performed at the Facebook India Show and Femina Style Diva in 2015, garnering her a lot of solid experience and exposure.
With flavours of Coldplay and Savage Garden, ‘Why Did I Lose You’ is a heartfelt ballad about heartbreak and self reconciliation that offers a nuanced and poetic look into what it is to lose someone you love. Her vocal delivery is flawless, reminiscent of greats like Shania Twain and Celine Dion and sung with a rawness that is seldom heard these days in a world of overproduced, plastic pop music. Neethusa is definitely one to watch and her captivating, culturally diverse sound should most definitely stand the test of time!