Alt-Blues Diva, Rasha Jay, takes the ‘High Dive’ to Bring Soul to Modern Rock

Taking precedent from the likes of Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe before her, Rasha Jay is an artist who’s not afraid to stride beyond convention and make music that’s true to herself. This is music that harks back to a previous time where blues and rock bounced in tandem, and women wailed with no apology. Her raw soul vocals and songwriting ability combined with blues based alt-rock – as seen in her forthcoming EP ‘High Dive‘, she has managed to take rock back its roots while also managing to keep her sound simultaneously fresh and urgent.

Thinking figuratively about how a person protects themselves from love, the underlying themes emanating through lead track ‘Red Coat‘ have been meticulously crafted to bring out elements that show just how dark, murky and conflicted love can be. Speaking about the record as a whole, she explains: “The EP ‘High Dive’, is a continuation of that exploration, the tangled mess of relating to each other, if and when to dive in, jump out, and the audience that’s always waiting to see what happens.

Rasha’s mantra stems from one of looking to encourage all artists who are unsure of their own writing ability, or those who are lacking the confidence to write anything at all. From her own heart comes a raw, thunderous love for performing. To her, singing is like another language where you use the same words differently – it’s like learning to speak all over again, and once learnt there’s no turning back.

In order to typify the feeling Rasha is endeavouring to portray, everything is enveloped in a raw state. Her voice, the music – all the elements are kept as simple as possible with the sole aim of getting the message across. Furthering this, Rasha offers some insight on her lyrics: “I am in love with words, how they sound, nerdy things like syllable counts, inflection and assonance. But that adoration comes through in my songs, I hope.

Away from the limelight, Rasha Jay has also been an active member of her community – volunteering for various non-profit organisations as either a mentor or helping homeless young adults. Her passion for words also extends to reading. Coupled with her love for using her voice, she’s also spent time reading to children at story time and in various other settings and has also notably stepped neatly into a voice-over role having narrated Talk Show Wendy Williams‘ audiobook ‘Hold me in Contempt‘, back in 2014.

Rasha Jay typifies a very niche selective of African-American alt-rock artists. She has not gone on record to say that she is looking to break down walls or to change anyone’s perceptions of the genre, this is merely the style that feels most appropriate and true to herself, and from that foundation she will endeavour to sing her heart out.

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Website: www.rashajay.com

Woolfman and JSTEW Cook Up a Casserole of Beats!

Urban nightlife has always heralded a heartfelt sanctuary for escapism and positivity. Such is the message from new transatlantic collaboration: Woolfman and JStew who urge all to shed their burdens and ‘Listen to the Beat’.

Woolfman and JSTEW

Woolfman and JStew

The Woolfman has been lurking in the shadows of the music scene for quite some time now. Not only had he turned down an offer to join The Cure during their early days, he was also advisor to Simply Red around the time of their release of ‘Fairground’ – the group’s only Number One. From a heritage of 90’s music and industry experience, Woolfman claims his creative insight for crafting tunes has come to him ‘’in dreams’’. Perhaps he never expected in the wildest of them where and how the roots of this genuine international collaboration would stem from.

The heritage from his intercontinental counterpart may lack the grandeur, but nothing in potential, and may prove to be the missing link in turning these dreams into reality. The pair bizarrely met on a trip to Eastern Europe and US Gospel singer JStew, who is also a pastor at his local church back in San Francisco, draws inspiration from heroic titans such as Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye arriving with a vision to make wonderfully vibrant and exciting music.

‘Listen to the Beat’ is a stomper of a dance track and is nothing short of vibrant. The project itself is one that seeks to progress as a mainstream brand evolving from a club base as a collaboration between producer and artist. Add in Steve Simpson at Concrete Promotions who played the vanilla version to ‘Mr E’ and come back with 2 special remixes of the track.

From this collaboration comes a mission to inject new life into what they perceive as a colourless tapestry of music today. JStew’s personal angle is one of gospel in his heart saying: “I believe my grounding in this vibrant style of music gives shape to my current style. I sing from my heart…” Through this comes transcendence through music, born from dreams. Distinguishably, Woolfman – one of the founding members of Gang of Four, was kicked out of the band for ‘’meditating in soundcheck’’.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/76d8bQ9hZTMwBShacmutif

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Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Adam Lanceley

If a songwriter is only as effective as the stories they tell, Adam Lanceley will have his songs etched into your mind in no time. His latest album Epitaph to Innocence is his seventh to date, despite suffering life-changing injuries from a car crash many years ago. 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. We catch up with Adam to find out how he channeled his trauma into art…

What inspired you to start writing music?

When I was 10, I had a severe car crash which I was not expected to recover from. Other people will tell me what an amazing recovery I’ve made but to be honest I don’t really think about it like that. Music has always been both powerful in helping me deal with the things life’s thrown at me.

You’re notoriously elusive about the meaning behind your songs. What’s the reason for this?

I always think rather than explain to people what your songs are about, it makes them far more interesting if you keep a little bit of mystery behind them and let the listener decide what they think it means.

You’ve written and released seven full-length albums. Are you still seeing development in your work?

In this album, I hope you’ll be able to notice a progression in both the production and delivery if you compare it to my earlier stuff. I am very keen on exploring new sounds and use of instruments to keep my music fresh.

Which artists dominated your record collection when you were growing up?

It would be a lie to say that I’ve always been passionate about music. My taste, though, has always been ‘old skool’ – going back to Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley. It was when I first heard ‘The Beach Boys’ that my interest in music – particularly, 1960’s West Coast music started to increase. The 3 albums that mean the most to me, I would say, would have to be really thought provoking, reflective ones. Pet Sounds, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Hotel California.

Follow Adam Lanceley:

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamlanceley