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HEAR IT NOW: Fall in Love with DeAndre Wright’s “Dedicated” EP

dedicat3edEvery so often, there’s an EP that comes along that absolutely blows our minds. Those EPs are generally created by artists that are constantly pushing themselves to create better and better work. DeAndre Wright’s latest EP is one of those.

DeAndre is just one of those artists. She is proud to be a musician of a different kind. She writes her own kind of pop-soul music that has fans raving. The Texas native has been writing her music for years. She’s collaborated with a large number of up-and-coming stars and Grammy winners alike. Her style is very much her own and her beautiful, smooth voice leaves fans hanging on her every word.

Her latest EP, Dedicated, is a delightful blend of hip, funky sounds and lyrics. It’s bound to please, no matter what styles you tend to prefer. The mixing is phenomenal and the transitions from track to track leave you listening carefully while letting your mind be transported by the music.

Dedicated is a great combination of 6 tracks. All of them have fantastic rhythms, catchy melodies and some thought provoking lyrics. The layering on all the tracks mix things up and keep the sound interesting for the listener. DeAndre’s delightfully beautiful and mellow voice keeps you intrigued through every single track.

The EP opens with the track “Pie” which grabs you right away with its light sound and gorgeously smooth vocals. The effects applied to the track keep the audio interesting the whole way through while the mellow rhythms keep the sound moving. It transitions delightfully into “Inside Out,” which draws on some more pop sounds which transition to more soul sounding harmonies. The song tells the story of a hurt lover that’s analyzing her current situation while resolving to move on.

The next two tracks “Ain’t Trying to Go Home” and “Green.Monster.Jealousy.” keep you hooked with understated rhythms and layering. The audio effects applied to both tracks keep you grooving. These tracks are beautifully mixed while highlighting DeAndre’s incredible voice and making sure the lyrics stand out in the grand scheme of the song.

The fifth track “Into Time” contains some interesting musical features. DeAndre’s smooth vocals are contrasted with guitar licks that are definitely drawing on rock styles. That particular feel is carried over into the final song of the EP, “Last Track,” which leaves you grooving. “Into Time” has a melancholic sound thanks to the longing vocals that conjure up nights of broken hearts. “Last Track” pulls the listener out of that melancholy by giving you a blast of determination to leave unworthy lovers behind.

Overall, Dedicated, is a stellar EP with an incredible blend of sounds and feelings. DeAndre prides herself on being a bird of a different feather and she certainly lives up to that claim here. Dedicated is a phenomenal EP that will leave you wanting more. Listen to it in its entirety here:

For more information on DeAndre, visit:

Website: http://deandrewright.com

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

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INTERVIEW: The Penny Serfs go all in for the working class

press02_smlAs a generation of baby boomers make the transition into retirement, it’s important to reflect on some of the traditional working class morals they’ve built – at least the ones that have to do with fiscal responsibility and strong work ethic. These days, particularly for musicians, many of those morals are overpowered by raw determination and passion varying from person to person, and it seems more common among the current generation of young professionals to pursue a career that’ll result in happiness rather than wealth.

That’s where Mikey Loy and The Penny Serfs come in. They managed to survive typical phases of the teenage angst and 20-something confusion, elude the path veered towards a soul-sucking, cubical-and-desk jobs and find varieties of jobs in the music business, from tech jobs to live sound. Maybe not steady work, but work they were interested in and that paid in experience and character more than anything. Something was missing, however. They we’re all hungry for something more. Fate had a plan for them meeting, and within a short amount of time, The Penny Serfs found themselves in Stone Mountain, GA recording their debut EP Like Eating Glass.

Less than a year later, they’ve dropped the EP, bought a van and have plans to tour the country. These aren’t your typical young and reckless college dropouts, however. Their experience in the music industry has built their cumulative motivation, passion, and drive to go forth as a band to the same degree going to medical or law school builds its students towards highly respected careers – not to mention their creativity. With influences like John Lennon combined with a variety of musical elements and the unique nuances of keyboards, guitars and the most traditional musical instruments, The Penny Serfs debut EP perfectly expresses the struggles of growing in a world that has wandered so far away from its traditional state of yesteryear.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Mikey right before the release of EP about how he and the rest of the guys have survived in a select working class of musical professionals, what has kept them hungry all this time and possibly what lies ahead for The Penny Serfs.

After listening through your new EP, I can say for sure that there’s a good amount of John Lennon influence in your sound. What were some of the elements of his style that you admired most when you first got into him?

Mikey: The thing I remember most from growing up – I’m 33 now so I didn’t get to really experience any of the reality of The Beatles or John Lennon or anything – but I saw him play a song called “Yer Blues” with Mitch Mitchell, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards on bass and John Lennon singing. Just his delivery with the attitude, like a white dude talking about being lonely was pretty impressive. I think the world is kind of spinning around again to where you have working class type of people, which I definitely am. I don’t have a trust fund, or anything. I wish I did. We’re just working class people from the Midwest who just wanted to play music and not drive nails into a wall. So I think I relate to him with that level too, coming from a working class or at least looking out for the working class or people who don’t have too many things.

 What about common influences between you and the rest of the guys? While your sound is clearly driven towards its own identity, are there any artists that’ve impacted the direction in which you’d like your sound to go?

Mikey: Yeah, I mean I definitely would say as far as new indie-type bands…I’m a huge fan of Tame Impala; I love what they’re doing…Sharron Bennett. I sort of have this thing for female singer-songwriters so Saint Vincent and Sharron Bennett are two. It took me a long time [during my childhood] going through the grunge of the 90s to figure out you can play guitar, put a capo on it and make it sound pretty. You don’t need to have this wall of compressed noise or chorus pedals. Some of those artists have helped me grow [and I’ve learned] that it’s more about the song and what you’re saying these days for me than just having noise.

You guys came together with similar goals of finding yourselves in a world ridded with social issues, or “fueled by sexism and fear” as you once said. Where did the concept of agricultural laborers scrapping for pennies originate and why did you feel it was the most appropriate name to brand yourselves with?

Mikey: I kind of thought mixed with the rebirth of the music business and everyone telling you “F—k it, you shouldn’t do music anymore and figure out a real job…everything’s f—ked and you can’t make any money” and you try to explain to everyone you don’t really care, yet you’re still making money for other people. It goes back to the concept that the whole world or common people are turning back to post-feudalism – like going back in time to when “I’m gonna get my acre of corn, farm it for free and it’ll just let me eat.”

Talk a little about how your relationship with Andrew, Stu and Kyle has grown since assembling, especially given how you guys weren’t (at least I don’t think) childhood friends or even from nearby towns but all over the country, as I understand?

Mikey: Well I worked with Kyle through an artist – a piano player traveling around. He was the drum tech guy and we’d always joke around about “let’s mess around at soundcheck. I have these songs that I basically just stay up at night and write…” and he was dying to be in a band. He’s a little bit younger than me. He’s like 24, but he was pretty hungry to be in a band, watching everyone else get to tour. So we pretty much talked about it for a little while and then we decided to go try to lay some tracks. We wrote three of the songs on the EP and recorded them in one day because we had one off day – those songs were “Hot and Cold”, “Manic Depression” and “Legend of Jim Falcon” so you may be able to even hear the difference of how the band grew from that part of EP. Kyle and I did those tracks way in the beginning, just threw it together in like 24 and recorded it to tape – no bells and whistles – did everything but split the tape initially in the first place. But the other songs “Dead Love”, “Lonely” and “[Always] Raining”, [we came up with them when] we toured another 18 months with The National and sort of got our concept; it became about this sound of his drumming mixed with my guitar playing.

Then Andrew came in playing bass. I’ve known Andrew for years and years. He was also a roadie, a sound guy. But we were in a band, like a little garage band, like 5 years ago called the Hypo Twins – a little more dance rock or something…maybe. But he came in and had this weird country background…his brother was a country artist. So he threw in all these beats that shaped the sound in ways that I would have never seen it, like kind of that jogging bass or even like a Paul McCartney type bass that he’s actually playing the bass as oppose to eighth note rock riffs. So how it all shaped up is Stu was working monitors for The National and Kyle and I were out there. He went up to the piano to test the piano and make sure the monitors were okay and I was like “holy sh-t, this guy can play piano and that’s what I’m missing” because I did the piano on the record and he was just shredding the piano and realized we needed this guy. So I asked him and he was all in and since then we’ve been rehearsing and playing as many shows as we can.

Now the fear of the unknown is one that we as an entire human race generally share, but what would you say is one of the fears you’ve had in pursuing your musical endeavors that you’ve embraced the most and in turn has given you more fuel and motivation than ever to continue to push towards your goals?

Mikey: As far as the angst and the influence of people like John Lennon, it’s money. Money is the universal evil right now. It controls everything. Inflation, interest rates; everything is manipulated to the fact that if I want to go to a band and I’m a regular guy, you can’t do that. You have to really sacrifice, which is great – I’m not talking down on the fact that you should or should not sacrifice because everything with good results needs good sacrifice. Like a kid who wants to go to college; if he doesn’t have money then he has to seriously focus on his or her studies or really try to wing it. And that’s sort of what we’re doing now is just winging it. Whether we live in houses or we live in our cars, we just have to deal with it…and we have the van and we can move down by the river.

You talk a bit about on your website how you’ve always been the middle kids caught in a seemingly never ending realm of misunderstanding, confusion and melancholy. When would you say the moment occurred when you realized that the common ground between the four of you was powerful enough to come together and pursue the life-changing aspiration of becoming a band?

Mikey: I think a lot of that is due to musical taste and maybe even drinking taste. There are certain fads or certain hip things that we all are. But we’re not hip enough. The hippest people aren’t going to invite us to the party. We’d love all that, but we love every type of music. Sometimes you end up liking everything. I listen to the guilty pleasures like Taylor Swift…I guess when we were kids, we were all decent at sports, we loved reading and listening to music. But we were never the star athletes, so I’d say we were always to “gay” for the jocks and too plain for the cool kids. We were always kind of a mix of both. We had a lot of feminist values and a lot of masculine values, but it was hard to find that in the current state of things. But a lot of kids have that too where you don’t really find your place or whatever, and we all kind of found music and played for our whole lives – and we love it. At least that’s the home and that’s our spot.

Well thus far you’ve given me a clarifying perspective of how individual influences can come together can create a really unique sound, but let’s talk a bit about that sound for a bit. Speaking in terms of instrumental effects and musical elements, what were one or a few of them that you enjoying incorporating the most into your EP?

Mikey: My favorite musical instrument currently is the organ, so your basic rock organ. Distorting any generic organ, like there some B3 on the EP and we’ll put a guitar pedal through the amp and make it dirty. Piano and keyboard have always been my favorite instruments because I’m not the best player at them and sort of admire people who can shred the piano. You can get so many nuances and notes on the piano especially in like rock or indie music or even pop music…all the notes on the scale in the key that you’re playing that I can’t personally do on a guitar like that. It’s a great way to hammer down the organ and switch one note with your finger and it opens up the beauty of the songs. Then when Kyle came in the band, he does a lot of percussion and drumming which is really impressive – so all kind of percussion: tambourine and like when he hits his toms; like it’s really beat-driven percussion and he’s not just a rock and roll drummer. So percussion and organ are my two favorite for sure.

What would you say are a few of your short-term goals as you get ready to release your new EP or what are some expectations you have for yourself once you’ve passed this milestone and The Penny Serfs reaches the next level as a public brand?

Mikey: I would like first and foremost for this van to survive 2015. This solo piece of sh-t van…because if we can do that and tolerate this little junk thing, we can turn it into something that can travel the country. It shows a lot about us. Musically and artistically, I hope we write not just an EP but a full-length record or enough songs. Just a lot more songs. We have a few new ones now already, but I’d love to see a ton of more songs that show the growth of all of us. Day-by-day we’re getting older and things are changing. I want the same group of guys a year from now to be talking to you saying how much better the next record is than the one before. That would be the main goal.

Since coming together, who would say has been the most important or inspirational person or people you’ve met that have not only helped further your future as a band but also offered a new perspective on building yourselves in an ever-growing music industry?

Mikey: That question is sweet because it’s been a self-realization year working with The National; seeing how a real rock and roll band can do it without getting much radio, and it’s the same five dudes for 12 years. It’s about persistence and not losing someone to an insurance job or going off to doing bigger and different things in the corporate world but everyones like “we’re gonna be in the band.” – and I came from a West coast mentality where you would want to pack the Viper Lounge or the Echo Lounge in L.A and do it over and over again until that one person sees you and can give you some sort of deal. This year I’ve learned that none of it matters and I’d definitely like to thank The National for that experience knowing that you can persevere and at least in some form feel success and feel like you’re doing something worth while.

And finally, are you thinking of releasing another EP after this one or is are you perhaps considering more of a full-length album?

Mikey: I think we’ll probably try to release the songs as quickly as we get them. In the next 3 months or something if we write 12 songs, then there we go – we’ll do 12 songs. I would like to keep it different as oppose to the bands in the 90s who release a record every year. For us, we’re hungry and feeling creative so whenever we can get a small group of songs, we’ll probably just release them because that way they’re out there in the world. There’s no sense in waiting on music for a year and a half. You change so much in a year that I think if I were to wait a year and a half to release something like “[Always] Raining” or “Lonely”, I may not feel that exact way or personally I don’t know if I’d like it or support it.

Check out “Always Raining” off their new EP on YouTube:

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HEAR IT NOW: Running Young’s Beautiful Breakthrough With “Out of Time”

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There’s something building out of Melbourne, Australia. Something that’s reminiscent of a wave at the beach that’s at the top of its rise and just about to break. The crash on the shore is coming, but it’s the breaking of the wave that’s the more beautiful moment. Right as the water from the ocean is finally reaching the shore, it’s falling apart and about to disappear. It’s running out of time.

At least that’s what Melbourne’s Running Young is trying to soundtrack with their new single “Out Of Time.” The indie rock quintet released their new single this past November and have achieved great acclaim in their home country and on music blogs. This is the first taste of band’s EP and from the sound of “Out Of Time,” the band is rising like the tide on the shores.

The band’s crystalline folkish sound is reminiscent of Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes. A soft acoustic guitar plucks in the background throughout the song, and it’s one of two instruments used in the song. The other is a set of lush harmonies in the background that sync together to act as a cushion for the lyrics and guitar to bounce off of. It’s the backbone of the song, keeping the mood of the song as high as the clouds.

Lyrically, “Out Of Time” is a somber song. Lead singer Joel Famularo muses about the world around him that, “keeps spinning” to a pace he can’t keep up with. He knows his time in this fast world is at an end (hence the title of the song), but he’s well off by spending time with the one he loves.

It’s a fitting limerick for Famularo considering he almost left the world. Famularo survived open heart surgery with a near impossible chance of survival in 2012. With this life-threatening experience on his mind, it makes sense that Famularo would want to make the song sound so heavenly. His cooing voice adds to the ethereal atmosphere, as if something is being born and dying at the same time.

That seems to be the whole point of “Out Of Time,” where one thing is ending and another is beginning. “Out Of Time” is the first musical statement from this relatively unknown band and it’s surprisingly short at just two minutes and six seconds. Despite the title, “Out Of Time” is a warm introduction to a new band for the listener and a new life for the singer. It’s a journey that goes both ways and provides a sweet promise of more vibrant music that Running Young can capitalize on in the near future. Now it’s up to this quintet to deliver on the promise of “Out Of Time” and see how far they can push the dreamy soundscape of their songs. Regardless, it’ll certainly be exciting to see how Running Young ride their creative wave into people’s music stream.

Connect with Running Young here:

Website: http://runningyoung.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Running_Young

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INTERVIEW: Magic Giant’s “Glass Heart” stirring up success

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Los Angeles is not an amateur-friendly location. Day in and day out, hundreds of thousands of artists set off on their California dreams. Some receive immediate success. Some dreams crumble. Some dreams are simply set back. All Austin Bis needed was to the find the folk diamonds in the rough of a big city for his dream to take off.

Along with folk instrumentalist John Zambricki, percussionist and DJ who goes by the name AJK, and recently added upright bass and guitar player Brian Zaghi, Austin Bis formed the electronic-folk revivalist four-piece known as Magic Giant. Their mission, however, goes beyond simply reviving the folky roots of yesteryear. The band prides themselves on music-induced motion – better known as dancing. As the group has grown from musical acquaintances in Los Angeles to the best of friends living their dreams, they’ve found unity, along with an identity of themselves as individuals and a group.

“When we started this,” Austin tells Limerence, “I thought of [the band and bandmates] as a business and now they’ve literally become my best friends…[and] I think that’s so important.”

Recently I was granted the pleasure of speaking with Austin via Skype, and we talked a bit about how Magic Giant has grown from a New Years resolution to a living dream, their new single “Glass Heart” and what we can expect from their upcoming EP.

So let’s kick this off by talking about your brand of electronic-folk which was beautifully on display in “Glass Heart.” What’s one thing or a few things in particular you feel separates you from other folk revivalists as far as how you want your sound to progress over time?

Austin: First of all, I’m now starting to shy away from the term “folk-electronica” or electronic folk; we love folk revival. I think we’re very inspired by other folk bands and especially those who are able to transcend into the mainstream. I think one thing that we really are drawn to is dancing – to be able to bring out the elements of folk that are a strong pulse and to be able to dance to it while playing and singing and getting the crowd involved.

You started off as a fresh face in Los Angeles asking all around the streets in search of unique instrumentalists to help bring your sound to life. What was that process like for you and how do you feel it shaped you into the musician you are today?

Austin: It’s such a journey, finding yourself; who you are and finding the sound you want to really play and share with everyone. A lot of times, I feel like the more I play with Magic Giant, the more focused our sound and music becomes. It’s been a process. We had another band before this that led into this band. It takes time finding your sound, takes time finding the musicians. I asked [about] seventy friends for intros to musicians and jammed with tons and tons of people. It goes way beyond if the person is a good musician. For instance, Brian was the last addition to the band right before we played our first show as Magic Giant in March. He’s someone who is so well-rounded. When we started this, I thought of [the band and bandmates] as a business and now they’ve literally become my best friends. Our whole band dynamic has become [centered around being] good friends. We cannot stop laughing when we we’re together…I think that’s so important. I didn’t realize how important it was until Brian [came in] and really rounded out the group. He had been in bands when friendship was so valuable. His old band grew up together and kind of became a band naturally, whereas I was always was looking for the best musicians and it turns out it’s all about the friendship.

Talk a bit about your relationship with John Zambricki, and what type of momentum did that create for you as Magic Giant initially came together a few years ago?

Austin: We met thru a mutual friend in L.A. and I was looking for someone that I didn’t know if they even existed. I was really drawn to the banjo, mandolin and the fiddle and I wondered if I could get someone [to play with me]. My friend Kai Brown introduced us. Our relationship has grown dramatically [from] acquaintances to best friends. What I was initially drawn to by him was his musical ability. What I was later drawn to was his songwriting ability. I actually had no idea for the first couple years we jammed together how good of a songwriter he is and he’s a phenomenal writer. Now a lot of the song ideas used to [come from me] but he’s actually come to the table with a lot of the songs now. It’s very even how we collaborate. The other thing is I had written with hundreds of other writers in L.A. just for like, pop stuff, and for whatever reason I connected with him more than anyone else in collaboration and writing. I was kind of blown away by him, stylistically. He came from such a different background. He was not trained at all, fully self-taught. I was always trying to get lessons to improve on things. He lived in Nashville. He just had this rootsy Southern experience and I didn’t expect we’d be such good writing partners…and we’ve become incredible friends. He’s so vital to the core of the band.

Only a short time after you and John and AJK disbanded, you got that call from a talent-buyer and sequentially, Magic Giant was resurrected What were some of the emotions running through your mind when you got off the phone and what musical element were you looking to add to your sound when you decided to bring Brian on board?

Austin: You have to understand that I’ve always wanted to play a music festival – like, my whole life. It was like this is finally going to be real. We’re going to be able to play outdoors in my hometown for all these people and be amongst these artists that I really respect and admire. I think just playing at that venue where I’d seen John Mayer and Ringo Starr – I think I saw Shaggy there. Seeing so many acts there growing up that I just dreamed of being on stage. With Brian, we just weren’t settled in what the nucleus of the band was until [he joined]. On paper what I was looking for was an upright bass player. When I saw him he was just playing backup electric bass for one of my friends at her show and reading music. He looked cool but it was such a shot in the dark but I just decided why not get his contact. I got his contact and I looked him up on YouTube and the first thing I saw were salsa dancing videos. I’d see him performing…and I was blown away. He had so much star quality and so much stage presence. It was from that I decided he needed to be in the band…he hadn’t played upright in awhile, but he was so talented…his light just fills the room. His smile, his look, his hard work, his team work…he’s designing our website. He goes above and beyond. He changed the entire dynamic of our band from something we’re going to do part-time as a hobby and something we do as acquaintances and he changed it into all of us being best friends. By adding him, Zambricki and I got closer. The band became a tighter unit. The chemistry built. It’s awesome how one person can be that final piece that really ties it together more than you can imagine. We changed our name and played our first show as Magic Giant and we really felt the start of something new.

One of your biggest accomplishments as a band and I’d say also as an individual musician was playing at the Life is Beautiful Festival highlighted by some of my favorite artists: Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar, The Killers…describe that experience and how much progress you feel you had made up to that point since making your New Years resolution to form a band?

Austin: That was our second festival. We got Life is Beautiful as a result of Sweet Life. It was very exciting. It was very exciting time to go from playing one festival in D.C. to another festival in Las Vegas, this time with the Killers and Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons and Capital Cities. It was bananas. We played on the first year of Life is Beautiful and this year they had Kanye; every year there’s another amazing lineup. Looking back, we’d made far less progress than it felt at the time. Both festivals were successful for us in that we had hundreds of fans that came – new fans and old fans that came and were dancing and jumping up and down. But we weren’t cohesive as a band. We didn’t have an identity. We were just kind of experimenting. I get that perspective because I think about our final show at the Bootleg Residency at the end of October…on stage, we were 10 times more prepared and 20 times more unified as a band and really felt an identity of Magic Giant. You could see that in the crowd. This residency was the first time we felt like we had genuine fans, not just friends coming to see us or new fans who were into it that night. Fans we’re bringing their friends, singing the words, buying the merch and getting there early; the things you expect out of fans or you see with your favorite bands. So I think we’ve made much more progress from Life is Beautiful up until now than we had from the New Years resolution up until Life is Beautiful. It’s just about learning and growing exponentially.

So let’s talk a bit more about “Glass Heart”. Definitely a song with great energy to it when the banjo and the gang vocals meet electronic undertones and I really enjoyed listening to it as many times as I did. What would you say are some acoustic or electronic melodic elements that you particularly favored in creating this track or was there a certain technique that you really felt this song needed?

Austin: Definitely banjo stands out to me. “Glass Heart” and “Let it Burn” started to define our sound and banjo is a big part of that. I don’t think we knew it would be as big when we were writing “Glass Heart,” but it became that and singalongs; gang vocals became a big part of it [too], not going into it but looking back at it now.

What’s the concept or theme behind “Glass Heart”, or what is the song about?

Austin: It’s about a girl who’s had a troubled past that you’re just there to protect and love her up and just make her feel loved. She’s in a fragile place…but to some degree it’s open to interpretation as to whether she’s had hard relationships or hard anything.

Talk about your experience recording with Rashawn Ross and Spencer Ludwig. Obviously two well-known and respected names in the industry, but what did it mean to you to have the talent and the appeal to convince such a big name to take you in and how did it affect your perspective on the long-term impact of your music? Like, if you can make a believers out of them, you could potentially make believers out of anyone you choose to want to work with.

Austin: I think it’s always very cool to dream about it and then to create it. It’s always such a gratifying feeling when people you admire admire you back – enough so that they’re willing to put their name and their soul on your project. These are all people we really look up to, even if they’re peer they’re people we really admire. The Dave Mathew’s Band has had such a long career that it’s definitely a goal of ours to have such a sustainable fan base. You just talk to people in the industry. Rashawn Ross is so well respected. After he played on our record, he was headed to rehearsal for some award show – I think it was MTV Awards – to music direct Usher, but then he wasn’t going to be able to be there because he had to work with another A-lister like Eminem or Rhianna [or someone like that]

What are some of the biggest differences – pros and cons if you will – you noticed between getting your work produced by someone and self-producing?

Austin: When we produce ourselves, we felt really strongly producing our first body of work because we have total control of the sound and the package we are creating. I think especially for the first audio work, it’s so important for us as artists to craft our own sound and express to the world how we feel. The perks of working with an outside producer are also huge and we’ll probably do that at some point. First of all just getting another set of ears on the project is very very good, and especially someone who’s really well respected – and who’s deservingly well respected because they’re very talented. Another thing, [people] don’t think about is having someone else produce can save a lot of time that you could be rehearsing or doing other things. Producing is a very time consuming task. Its much more than songwriting. It’s all the little nuts and bolts and bells and whistles; all the little things that sometimes only you hear anyways but you put them in because it’s part of [your idea].

What about your upcoming EP are you most excited about for your fans to hear and what’s the overall status on that? How’s it all coming along?

Austin: I really like “The Dawn”, that’s one of the tracks but maybe because its the one we finished last. We’ve had a lot of fun creating all of them. A lot of people like “Let it Burn” and it’s really fun to perform. I’m excited for people to hear the whole thing.

Check out “Glass Heart” on Soundcloud:

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Behind the Industry: Newcomer Jimmy Lavish Talks Senclaire & Recent Success

 
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Meet Jimmy Lavish, the young innovator behind the upcoming online magazine, Senclaire. Born in Bedford Texas and then raised in Pensacola, Florida, Jimmy has a certain southern charm about him that makes him personable and fun.

As a hardworker, student and art enthusiast, Jimmy’s work speaks for itself whether it is his poetry, his behind the scenes work with Montlimar and Senclaire Magazine or his grind on networking. Finding Twitter as his social media haven, he managed to garner up a loyal and supportive following (over 27,000 followers to be exact!) and uses Twitter as his social media marketing weapon for his business. Music fanatic, fearless individual, creative writer and thinker,  are all descriptors for Jimmy Lavish. In other words, Jimmy  would be one of the elites sitting at the cool table.

I got the chance to chat with Jimmy about his recent success with his new online publication, Senclaire Magazine, the lessons he has learned while in the publishing field and what he has planned for 2015. Read the interview below!

First off, start off by telling your story. How did this career all start?

Jimmy: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It was always something I enjoyed in school. When I was in elementary school, we had this thing called the “FCAT”; it was one of those comprehensive tests that you had to pass in order to move on to the next grade. I always remember looking forward to the writing portion. They’d give you some random prompt, and you had to write an essay in the allowed time. The scoring went from one to six and I always made either a five or six. To me, it confirmed that writing was something I was good at, maybe a talent.

Now I’m attending the University of South Alabama in Mobile as a English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. I still love literature and writing as much as I did when I was younger, probably more now. Freshman year, I joined the writing staff of the campus newspaper; it was a great experience. I’m glad I took the opportunity to enhance my writing skills and figure out how being a part of a legitimate publication works. Alas, I had a few discrepancies with the way my contributions were handled. In a way, that led to the creation of Montlimar and Senclaire Magazine. It wasn’t out of spite, just that I wanted to create something that I could mange myself; I wouldn’t have to deal with strict deadlines or restricted topics and themes. So, I rehashed an old idea I had, to create a platform that would bring rising stars into the spotlight. A place where they could get their first taste of real press.

Now you run two sites, Montlimar and Senclaire Magazine. What are your goals for both? What are you looking to gain or achieve?

Jimmy: Well, Montlimar came first, and it’s purpose was to highlight the artists in the Mobile area. I don’t want to just scrap it, but because I’ve taken on a much bigger project (Senclaire Magazine), Montlimar might be on the back-burner for a while; the more I invested into it, the more impractical the concept seemed.

On the other hand, Senclaire is my most prized possession right now. I spent months crafting the ideas and concepts, working with the developers of the theme and investing as much as I could in order to create a eye-pleasing publication for my audience. Although I’m still working out a few kinks behind the scenes, Senclaire has made an official debut. Since I began publishing, I’ve met a lot of goal-driven, ambitious artists that remind me a lot of myself. Through their art, they inspire me to continue pursuing my dreams; an energy that powerful has to be shared and that’s the purpose of Senclaire Magazine.

How has social media helped you with networking, marketing and promoting your content and blogs?

Jimmy: My social media days began with Twitter. Twitter is my favorite social network; it’s an aggregator for just about any type of content you want to consume and you can meet people who are looking to make connections just like you. I didn’t realize how helpful Twitter could be until I began sharing my poetry and writings. That allowed me to garner a solid following, from then on I knew I could use it to introduce any type of content and still receive feedback. After that, I connected the dots and understood that in this day and age, media is primarily consumed digitally. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, we all use our WiFi to browse Facebook, tweet, like pics on Instagram and reblog posts on Tumblr. So naturally I created a Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook Page, and an Instagram to promote the magazine, the response without-a-doubt surpassed my expectations. Senclaire had 1,000 visitors within the first week of the official launch.

What are some of your interests?

Jimmy: Writing. I keep a personal journal, a personal blog and a poetry blog. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. I love history and I’ve spent time studying several ancient civilizations and some esoteric concepts. I like Fine Arts– photography, music, poetry, art and fashion. In fact, those are the columns we present in Senclaire.

Describe how a busy day for you would go? Do you have a full time job?

Jimmy: I’ve got a good break right now, in-between semesters, but before, a busy day would have been getting up at 7 a.m. to go work on campus at the student disability services center, get off at 1 p.m. and then head to classes from 1:25 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. After that, I’ll be heading to my job at Wendy’s from 4 p.m. to closing.

What are some of your greatest moments of 2014?

Jimmy: 2014 was a pretty good year. I had a great birthday, met some new friends, and I had a pretty good semester.

What do you have planned for 2015?

Jimmy:  2015 will be the year that Senclaire Magazine become established among the other online magazines, or at least honorably mentioned. I want to gain a solid audience and make some new partners. I want expand the writing staff and continue promoting good art.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from working in the entertainment and publishing field?

Jimmy:  Always be respectful, keep an open mind especially when it comes to music and art. Don’t be afraid to try and make a connection with other publishers or artists. Lastly, proofread, proofread, and proofread!

Who are some artists you are listening to/liking now?

Jimmy: I’ve got an ear for mainstream, but I always tend to listen to more undiscovered artists. My favorite is King Louie. I support the “beast coast” movement so I like Pro Era, and all those guys. Honestly, the music that you see featured on Senclaire is what I listen to on a daily basis.

For you site, do you have a submissions guide? How can artist submit to your site and what do they have to do for a guaranteed post?

Jimmy: We curate everything ourselves. There’s a certain ambiance we want to create around Senclaire in order to differentiate ourselves from other publications. So no, there aren’t any submissions, but if your work is soulful and ambitious, has a positive message or embodies our ideals, you’ll have no problem getting a feature.

Anything else you would like to share with Limerence‘s readers?

Jimmy: I’d like to thank Limerence and the entire staff for connecting with me and also presenting the amazing artist Dedrick Jamaal. I also want to give a special thanks to all of our supporters (family/friends) and the readers and followers, everyone counts and we love you for that. I want to send my appreciations and support to the collectives Always Proper, Blvnt Records & Kush.Fm for supporting and/or creating the great tracks I vibe to when I’m writing up articles. Last but not least, my partner Ambragio & Brass Apparel clothing. Thank you so much for having me.

For more information on Jimmy Lavish, visit:

Personal Twitter: www.twitter.com/JimmyLavish

Senclaire Magazine: www.twitter.com/SenclaireMag

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