Indian industrial rockers Nivid deliver energetic vision of dystopia

Sometimes, it’s circumstances completely beyond our control can affect the way we approach songwriting. Although Aditya Virmani (the creative force behind Indian Industrial rock band Nivid) has rarely lacked for creative vision or direction, it was a sudden circumstance that forcibly dictated a choice that would shape his musical output forever.

Prior to Nivid, Virmani had been playing with Pinnochio’s Moment of Clarity – a progressive rock band from Mumbai. The group eventually ran it’s course as they decided to go their separate ways before he then enrolled in Vancouver Film School to study Sound Design. Naturally, being based in Canada, the majority of people there spoke English and Virmani found himself more and more attracted to the prospect of writing music in his native Hindi tongue. Upon his return to Gurgaon, Virmani founded a boutique new media audio design studio – Barren Sound, where he would often work late into the evening working on his passion for writing music in Hindi. As things progressed, however, he then suffered a tragic bike accident. Breaking his collarbone, his injuries severely limited his abilities in playing the guitar for a time. Determined in his attitude, Virmani learnt to adapt his craft and he began to favour synthesisers and computer technology, writing 2 EPs and take huge strides towards the sound he is becoming well known for.

For his current project Nivid, Virmani is considered as the creative force in an evolving concept where he is the only constant member. Acting as singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Nivid are fluid in their adaptability when playing live in shows which are highly regarded as a sight to behold. With a sound that taken influence and inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, the stage is well set for an atmosphere that is heavily enhanced with dynamic light shows and thematic visual elements.

Lyrically, Virmani writes about a character who is clearly an aggressor in the beginning but, while riding the tide of nationalism, he comes to the realisation that his extreme behaviour that is causing polarisation in society – in turn causing his belief system to crumble. Through this kind of narrative, he is able to portray a variety of ‘voices’ in this society – the voice of the aggressor, the voice of the repressed, the voice of the enlightened etc… The release of Nivid’s ‘The World Around Me (Infinite Support)‘ speaks of a musical embodiment of anger felt by those who are bearing the brunt of this turmoil.

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

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/nividofficial

Website: http://www.nivid.bandcamp.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn9-Ibdng1NpBuyE2FAYCjg

 

 

“Better Treat Me Right” roars Wiyaala, the ‘Young Lioness of Africa’

In a world saturated with media-machines, spooling out artificial success stories with frightening regularity, it almost seems alien to consider an artist overcoming unbelievable odds to achieve realisation of their triumph. In her local Sisaala dialect, the word ‘Wiyaala‘ dialect translates as ”the doer”, which is perhaps an underwhelming descriptive of how her path has trudged from humble beginnings through spells of defiance and courage, leading her to become known as the Young Lioness of Africa. 

Wiyaala

Her journey has been one that is synonymous with overcoming a patriarchal and conservative society, frequently known for it’s hostility towards artistic growth. As a rising star making a name for herself of the global stage, echoes of her work can be felt in her home community as much as far-flung areas abroad. Already she is one of Ghana’s most toured exports, with an impressive roster of international shows already piling up – including Commonwealth Games 2018 in AustraliaWOMAD in the UK and Timitar Festival in Morocco.

Her music can been described as a potent fusion of West African folk songs with Afro-pop, and carries a real essence of her cultural heritage. Inspired by her own interpretation of African mythology, her songs are brought to life through spectacularly energetic dance moves and unique hand-made garments of her own design, which she then models in her performances.

CNN Africa has claimed her to be only woman in world who is singing in Sissala, and she is also responsible for helping revitalise the native music scene. Not only has she organised The Djimba World Music Festival, which is now in its third year, she is an active influencer for UNICEF Ghana and fights for the abolition of FGM, Early Child Marriage and also rights for children, both of which she was fortunate to escape at an early age.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0Ttf480Uumk6ylOAokG2h7#_=_

Youtube: Better Treat Me Right – WTS feat Wiyaala – Official video

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wiyaala

Instagram: http://instagram.com/wiyaala

Website: http://wiyaala.com/

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Heronimus Fin

Underground rockers, Heronimus Fin, release their new album on 20th August and with it introduce a heavier side to the band. After four albums of hugely acclaimed psychedelic and folk adventures, they present ‘The Pharmacist’, a concept album following the tragic life of an individual addicted to prescription drugs. We catch up with the quintet to find out more…

Tell us more about the concept behind The Pharmacist and where it originated from.

The concept is based loosely on my own situation having been on prescription medication for 30+ years due to chronic migraines and now finding the medication has become the problem, the addiction…I think this has become a major issue for many people today who look for a solution to an ailment then the solution becomes the problem..ironic really!

Your songs are anchored by strong lyrical content, what’s on the spectrum of topics you’ve covered so far?

We’ve written about such things as high school shootings/gun culture, political mismanagement, conspiracy theories, deaths through recreational drug use, prophecy, historical stories, animal cruelty.

Which acts do you cite as a source of inspiration?

Musically our influences are late 60’s/early 70’s psych prog rock bands such as Budgie, Black Sabbath, Golden Earring, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper.

You’ve pivoted to a new realm of rock on this album. What can you tell us about the production?

It was co produced at Woodbine Studios, Leamington by John Rivers (who did The Specials – Ghost Town/ Ocean Colour Scene), it’s very 60’s/70’s influenced rock production.
Follow Heronimus Fin:

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Alice’s Night Circus

Juggling a smorgasbord of influences with a pop sensibility, Alice’s Night Circus walks the tightrope between her theatrical world and the mainstream sound-du-jour. Like Panic! At The Disco who married debauchery and cabaret with pop prowess, and Muse who converted a fascination for space into cabinets of album awards, ringmaster Julia Scott is attempting to lure the mainstream into her conceptual world of circus and theatrics. With her debut album ‘Metamorphose’ on the horizon, we delve deeper into Alice’s world…

In a handful of words, tell us what ‘Metamorphose’ is about?

The album is a form of escapism whilst encouraging people to embrace their creativity and individuality.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Whilst I have been classically trained as a singer my music taste is very eclectic. This ranges from opera and musicals to pop, jazz and symphonic metal and everything in-between, which means my music is very diverse. I have taken heavy influence from visual styles such as steampunk, vintage, circus, film and television.

How has living with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) permeated into your music?

I used [my illness] to inspire the song ‘Medusa’ and it also features subtly in some of my other songs.

How have you married your love for Steampunk with your music?

‘Penny Dreadful’ is inspired by my love of the Victorian macabre and old horror stories.  Some of my fans have even created their own costumes to allow them to portray the song characters Mr Strange and Penny. A number of belly dancing and burlesque troupes have created routines to this track. A further fan created a Jig Doll for a video which he has since gifted to me. I create my own stage costumes and accessories as well as create other outfits for Comic Cons and Steampunk events.

Alice will be appearing as herself in a fine art photography project based around steampunks. Find out more about Gary Nicholls’ The Imaginarium here.

Follow Alice’s Night Circus:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/400uDlpep629T3L02HdJtr

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnyOy98XOqXty8L8y49otwA

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alicencircus

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

Website:  www.alicesnightcircus.com

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

Hitha is Following in the Footsteps of Pop Princesses Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande!

Aspiring to make a positive influence in this world, the Californian artist, Hitha, releases her new single ‘Standing Up With Pride’. At such a young age of thirteen, she is creating music addressing how overwhelming situations can appear, but she is determined to show everyone the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the range of generations, Hitha claims that her music is relatable to all.

 

Her music is conveying the message of pursuing your true passion in life and letting go off everything negative. Her positive attitude is truly contagious and for sure will inspire all listeners. By being such a brave individual expressing how even young children struggle with depression and how it should be voiced out loud so that others can help make a difference is really supporting our society to move forward. Following in the footsteps of big pop artists with the likes of Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande, Hitha too is on her path to success.

Hitha, being raised by her two Indian parents, discovered a love for Bollywood dancing and traditional Indian singing but also Western musical traditions. This all-round entertainer as a dancer, writer, singer and musician initially made a name for herself through her renditions of cover versions on YouTube and things began to excel from there.

To create a more visual message to ‘Standing Up With Pride’, Hitha made a music video for it. She portrays the negative thoughts cleverly by having her video in black and white which later transforms into a world of colour when Hitha embraces the positivity.

This track is especially significant in meaning to Hitha herself as she says:

“It is my own story. One day, I decided to just let go of everything, just be positive and only pursue my passion – that decision changed my life. I believe this positivity is going to help many people. There’s always a positive ending if you try hard and don’t give up”

Follow Hitha here:

Website: https://www.hitha.me/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByHitha

Words: Alice Webb

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Uno Prism

At a time when originality in the music industry feels like it has hit an all-time low, Uno Prism is smashing the mould into smithereens, starting with new single “Into Place”. Uno Prism is Emma Welsby, a classically-trained Scottish musician now settled in Manchester. All this is set to change with Uno Prism’s ravishingly stylish nu-jazz-inflected electronica, combining Emma’s vibes expertise with bone-rattling bass rhythms, sweeping cinematic strings, gossamer-like vocals and electronic thrums. we caught up with Emma to find out about the process behind her songwriting.

What is the meaning behind your pseudonym ‘Uno Prism’?

It’s called Uno Prism because I am one person with this music in my head, and I need other musicians with skills to direct to make my vision in my head, a reality.

What’s the narrative of your song, ‘Into Place’?

‘Into Place’ that I’m releasing is about being in a relationship with someone who you think can give you everything you need, you try, you think you’ve got something awesome, but it keeps breaking.

What was your inspiration to create music?

I had a broken heart back in Jan 2016, I wrote some tracks to get me through the end of the winter to fill that empty ‘void’ you get when you are newly single but right before I was left by my partner and wrote this music, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a lifelong condition with no cure. Music is my escape, a perfect place for escapism from the stresses and strains of everyday life not only for me, but for others too.

What is one of your achievements that you are proud of?

I made it to the finals of BBC Fame Academy bursary grant awards years ago to be in line to win £32,000.  I got through 20,000 applicants into the last 20, and then took a trip to fame academy house in London to film the final that was aired on either BBC 1 or 2, I can’t remember.

Words: Alice Webb

Follow Uno Prism here:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCES3I1I3C7hkYCs_KcaJQ-w

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/unoprism

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

Website: https://unoprism.com/

Steele uses near-death experience to breathe new lease of life into pop music

Steele may hail from the fertile pop landscape of Sweden, but she’s not your typical star.

Having recently recovered from a life-threatening bout of meningitis which left her with epilepsy, Sara Steele has made some serious lifestyle and career adjustments. Aside from waving goodbye to smoking and drinking, the singer pledged to follow her instincts when it came to music…

Continue reading this article on The Pop Playlister.

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Album Preview: Slim Loris transform pain into pleasure with ‘Wild & Untamed’

An artist’s ability to transform personal pain into sonic pleasure is often their greatest asset. A band that know a lot about that process is Slim Loris. Formed in Sweden around 2009, the band comprises of singer/bass-player Mattias Cederstam, guitarist Robert Barrefelt, drummer Jonas Ellenberg and singer/guitarist Leon Lindström. Their earliest releases veered towards to the darker side of life, both lyrically and musically- and that doesn’t even account for the darkness that was manifesting off the record.

This article was originally published on Lightning Nation, continue reading here.

“The Revolution Will Be Live!” – Malik & The O.G.’s come to Cambridge.

The revolution will not be televised… but it will be at Cambridge Jazz Festival this upcoming weekend as Malik & the O.G.’s prepare a run of events at the festival celebrating the work of Gil Scott-Heron.

The upcoming appearance at Cambridge Jazz Festival include multiple seminars, talks and performance by Malik Al Nasir, showcasing why Gil Scott-Heron is still relevant to artists  as well as social politics today.

Gil Scott-Herons most notable work comes in the form of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, a spoken word track released in 1971 – it’s free form style and spoken-word, poetic approach to lyricism within music is an example of breaking down the wall between music and art, the song is not only musically but literarily insightful.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” holds lyrical significance even by today’s musical standards, whilst contemporary lyricism is more explicit and straight forward. The message it gave was a public one and that if there was going to be a revolution within 1970s America is not going to be televised; it was going to stare you in the face and it was going to be real.

“The Revolution will be not be re-run, the revolution will be live.” Are the final words of the iconic track that Gil Scott-Heron is most notable for – it’s a message that still holds strong within the current socio-political climate within America.

Malik Al Nasir who was Gil Scott-Heron’s protégé is currently following in his footsteps, delivering a message that is direct, insightful as well as artistic.

Malik Al Nasir is a Guyanese activist, poet and filmmaker from Liverpool, following in his mentors footsteps; Malik’s work Malik discusses how colonialism and slavery destroys identity, he also establishes the significance of genealogy, anthropology and DNA as an insight into “who we actually are” as well celebrating our inherited roots and cultural identity without anyone else dictating otherwise – using his Guyanese roots as an example of claiming his heritage and being self-aware of one’s cultural inheritance.

“My own journey back to Guyana to re-connect with my South American roots, was actually both a quest for lost family ties and a search for historical truth. Discovering I had an indigenous Amerindian grandmother, further complicated an already convoluted sense of self and the discovery of my Scottish aristocratic slave-owner ancestry, will offer the basis of a paradigm shift in how we view Transatlantic slavery – as it was practiced in Demerera South America.”

Malik will also explore the significance of the “Black Arts Movement” in America and how he contributes to that via Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets – with his role as an activist in breaking down colonialism and its control over identity.

Malik will be running an “Artist as Activists seminar” at the University of Cambridge, Centre of Latin American studies at 5pm on the 17th of November. “The Revolution Will Be Live!” will take place on the 18th of November at 8:30pm, Cambridge Wine Merchants. Finally Classic Album Sundays event; a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron will be running two events on the 19th of November at 2pm, Hidden Rooms, and 8pm Arts Picture house.

Links to tickets for these events can be found here;

https://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info/malik-the-o-g-s – “The Revolution Will Be Live!” tickets.

http://skiddle.com/e/13023561 – “Classic Album Sundays” @ Hidden Rooms

Free – “Artists as Activists”

You can keep up to date with the events at Malik’s social network links found below;

https://www.facebook.com/Malik-The-OGs-171722166201820/

https://twitter.com/MalikAndTheOGs?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

http://malikandtheogs.blogspot.co.uk/