Self-styled Enigma Simon D James Emerges From The Yorkshire Catacombs with ‘My Everything’

Simon D James has been described as mysterious and an enigma – a sensitive chameleon with a social conscience. Born as the son on 70s one hit wonder Brendon (‘Gimmie Some’), Simon learnt to play guitar in his teens and has been writing music ever since. Following his travels around the globe with nothing but a backpack and a guitar, the style presented in ‘My Everything’ expresses an absorption of inspiration – whether from spending time with babas in India, or volunteering in the Calais jungle (a migrant encampment rooted in the north of France), the track reinforces his claims as one of the most alluring musicians around.

Tucked away in an estate in Devon, Simon studied music in (what he describes as) a bizarre contemporary arts college. It was here he went on to contemplate many styles of music, and further his understanding of the conceptual ways of thinking about art. However, it wasn’t until late 2017 when his focus shifted to recording music after a cancer scare forced him to re-evaluate his priorities in life.

The track ‘My Everything’ began life as an improvised jam with friends on a venture to Mexico City, before being traversed across the Atlantic where it was pieced together in an even more abstract location at Greenmount Studios – located in the catacombs of a church in Leeds. The engineers at the studio – Jamie Lockheart and Lee Smith, who also produced and arranged the EP, actually learnt how to play the violin with a saw-blade to record the piece and is just one example of an unusual choral ambience which remains overwhelmingly powerful, even after repeated listens.






Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser Welcome Back Guilt-Free Shredding!

Building up from the rawest foundations, the element which holds the truest translation to musical competency is fire. Fire is synonymous with belief, and perhaps the most identifiable embodiment of belief is the guitar. Founder of Boston’s BUFU record label and sole fixed member of DeGreaser, Ben Katzman has been looking to bring the glory of feel-good rock back to the masses.

Self personification is paramount to success, and at the heart of the philosophy he wants to portray. So what does that entail? For one, individuality is the most valuable commodity that a musician can possess. Stemming from a mantra at the forefront of success is to remember that music is about having a good time above all else, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself.

From the humble beginnings of being a 9 year old full of anger, problems mounting due to struggling with an inability to express one-self, Ben found an outlet for his frustration through writing music. Now returning for his second full-length solo project -“Quarter Life Crisis”, there is no self-evident baggage of turbulent meaning weighing down what is in essence a straight up rock record.

Indeed, his label seemed to begin from similar territory. Ben had enrolled in Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but had remained unable to relate to the lessons being taught as a means to flourish musically. Starting out with making tapes out of his dorm room, BUFU has worked its way up to being an internationally distributed source, with material sitting in stores all over the world. Now, a number of albums have received note from independent to major press outlets such as Sub Pop and Warner Brothers.

Above all else, Ben respects any band whose success wasn’t handed to them. DeGreaser is a concept that is proud to be what it is. Having felt that rock has become a genre that now takes itself too seriously – losing that sense of ridiculousness from its forefathers, what’s on offer is diverse and plentiful, and above all seemingly a very honest interpretation of the man himself.




Instagram: @bkdegreaser69


River Child invites us under the ‘Lone City Lights’

Single taken from upcoming  debut EP ‘Start Over Again’
A thoughtful singer songwriter based in North London, River Child is the creator of original indie-folk tunes with a soulful edge.
An ex-busker who got so much good feedback from his pavement performances he decided to take to the studio, with second single ‘Lone City Lights’ coming next.
Brilliant in its simplicity, the track marries a vocal reminiscent of Dylan with an upbeat shuffle rhythm which belies the darker lyrics, as well as mixing acoustic and jangling electric guitar to great effect. You can hear the song here:

Looking to build on his burgeoning reputation with this single, River Child is working hard on the London scene to keep turning heads – and with top quality, accessible music like this it shouldn’t be long until more and more eyes are on him.
Produced by Ian Wallman, this is music easy on the ear but written from the heart – a soulful reminder of how affecting a simple chord/melody combination can be.
‘Lone City Lights’ is out on January 19th
Find River Child online:
Instagram: riverchildpics

Baluji Shrivastav Presents The Inner Vision Orchestra UK Tour

As seen at the 2012 Paralympic Closing Ceremony with Coldplay – blind and partially sighted musicians to play live around the UK
Renowned blind Indian maestro Baluji Shrivastav brings together this inspiring group of musicians from all over the world.
Baluji who is a world famous multi-instrumentalist and composer has recorded for dance, theatre, Western orchestra, Indian ensembles, Radio, TV and film, with music currently featured in Disney’s newest Film ‘Million Dollar Arm’ starring Jon Hamm from Madmen. He has recorded with celebrities such as, Massive Attack, Madness, Doves, Amorphous Androgynous, and on Shakira’s latest album. He has performed with great artists such as Stevie Wonder and Chris Martin. He also has his own Jazz ensemble Jazz Orient/Re-Orient and has recorded several albums of Indian Classical and fusion music.
This incredible orchestra of talented blind musicians from around the globe celebrates the power of music to transform lives. The Inner Vision Orchestra plays music from Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Japan, and soulful Gospel and Blues plus sublime Indian Ragas and Western Classical compositions.
The Inner Vision Orchestra are preparing themselves for a full UK tour later this year.
Baluji is excited about the upcoming tour “Each member of the Inner Vision orchestra has an extraordinary story to tell about the power of music in their lives, for example, our Iranian singer Fereshteh’s parents told her that if she would perform in public they would pour petrol on her and set it alight, but nothing and no-one will stop Fereshteh from singing. It is about amazing people using music to give their lives direction and purpose.”
Their moving and uplifting music will make these live dates truly unforgettable.  The tour will be featured in a full length documentary film.
Tour dates:
Leeds  – South Asian Arts Centre –  Saturday 5th July 7 – 9 pm –
London  – Rich Mix  – 25th September
Exeter  – Barnfield Theatre  – 10th October.
Suffolk – New Wolsey – 18th October
Further dates to be confirmed – see links below for more information.

Derek Ryan ‘100 Numbers’ UK Single Release!

Irish country star set to release his new single in the UK on 24th March taken from new album ‘Country Soul’, out now.

 Front cover of cd

Derek Ryan’s career has already been an unquestionable success. He signed to WarnerMusic at the age of 17 with his band D-Side and went on to make a multi-platinum selling record with ‘Real World’. He has also been nominated for several Meteor Awards in Ireland and has had global success with a number 1 single in Japan. Derek has already gained 3 top 10 hits in the UK, and is now looking to further establish himself  with the release of his new single ‘100 Numbers’ following the UK release of his new album Country Soul.
He commands a very loyal following of fans who have known and loved him since his D-Side days! The ‘Official Derek Ryan Fanclub’ Facebook is constantly buzzing with praise and love for Derek, along with a vibrant Twitter feed which keeps his fans hooked on his new gigs and music.
The track itself is a clear nod to his Irish country and folk music roots but also has an unmistakeable pop tone too with a very hooky melody and a catchy rhythm that is hard to shake!
Listen here:
‘100 Numbers’ was, like most of Ryan’s music, self-penned. The lyrics speak of being surrounded by people once he’d moved to London to continue his career, but still suffering from homesickness and missing those he is closest to. It was inspired by a tough time in his life when he was living in a bedsit in the city and desperately wanted to get back to his home in Ireland and continue making the music which he loves and has grown up with.
These feelings came despite the ‘100 Numbers’ in his phone, and there was no one who could help him shake his thoughts of home. The song is therefore a look into Derek’s own journey out of loneliness and back to his roots both musically and personally.
Musically ‘100 Numbers’ is quite layered with a number of different instruments being used throughout to give it a warmth characteristic of Derek’s music. In terms of comparison, the Westlife pop style is tempting but it has a more contemporary Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling pop folk feel to it whilst retaining a traditional flavour.