Hear it Now: Get Lost on Hey Anna’s “Island”


“Hey Anna!” someone yells. Everyone turns to look. People take notice and pay attention. This is the type of the attention indiepop band Hey Anna deserves.

While the group is originally from the Brooklyn/New Jersey area, Hey Anna has already made waves worldwide. The group ended 2014 with a tour in Japan, where they released music through Thistime Records. Sisters Katie, Erin and Anna Rauch-Sasseen lead Hey Anna’s vocals. Drummer Matthew Langner and guitarist Jamie DiTringo provide the instrumentals for the band. Together, this five-person group delivers music impossible to ignore.

After their 2014 Japan tour, Hey Anna began working on their debut album, Run Koko. Recently, Nylon premiered the first sneak peek of the album with the track “Island.” Building on previous tracks like “Anaphaze,” “Island” offers a feel-good rhythm that is sure to move the feet. The track mixes relaxing ambient music, soothing guitar and the Rauch-Sasseen sisters’ lovely indiepop vocals. Hey Anna lists the sea as one of their main influences. Listeners ride the wave with them with Hey Anna’s impressionistic ambience throughout the song, which is most notable in the beginning and ending.

In an interview with the AU Review, the group said they drew some inspiration for the lyrics from the movie “Life of Pi.”

Later in the interview, they added: “Sometimes you make these choices in life and they seem to be the right one because you get food, water, etcetera—the things you need for survival—but they aren’t what you need for the survival of your soul.” Listeners can hear this in inquisitive lyrics that ask if it is better “to pull up in the fast lane / or to be a starvin’ artist.”

When asked about the style of Run Koko in the AU Review interview, Hey Anna compared the composition to a tiger—beautiful, yet dangerous. The album will have “contented happiness on the surface, wild determination underneath.” Their song “Island” demonstrates this combination excellently. On one level, the song is as a nice relaxing track to have on while driving with the windows down in the summertime. On a deeper level, “Island” is also about determining what is good and bad for your survival and your soul.

Run Koko is set to release July 7, but preorders are available through Hey Anna’s PledgeMusic page.

Until then, listeners can put “Island” on repeat and as the opening lyrics suggest: get “caught up in a circle.”

Interested in more from Hey Anna? Check them out with the links below!

Website: http://heyannamusic.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heyannamusic

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

HEAR IT NOW: MYDA’s Sam Watson & Schematic “Won’t Stop” Playing on My Stereo

In 2013, Music and Youth Development Alliance, or MYDA, launched as a national coalition of homegrown organizations that provides music programs, working with an estimated 18,000 young people living in low-income areas. Each organization then works with these young people, teaching them crucial life skills while also promoting a safe and positive environment.

The youth in these organizations often come to develop their skills because they’re extremely interested in opportunities in music, especially to record, produce or DJ. Recently, a group of  these young people put out a self-recorded album composed of 11 songs, each solely written, performed, and produced by youth affiliated with MYDA.

Although there are many great tracks on this album,  my favorite is the fourth track, “Won’t Stop” by Sam Watson & Schematic (Neutral Zone). The song starts off with drip drop beats before the snare kicks in, followed by the hook of a repeating “No, we won’t stop. We won’t stop, no” that seems to mirror the a mentality of of those who are a part of MYDA.

The flow of the song is great, packed smart lyrics like “They told me that I was doing wrong/ Just following my dreams ain’t nothing wrong/ Don’t believe me? Listen to the song,” which shows an innocent confidence that, if cultured correctly, can grow to gain a strong following. The song isn’t too overpowering, nor is it too thick in its sound to consider it tiring. Overall, it’s a song that not only represents the MYDA philosophy correctly but also sounds amazing in the speakers of my car.

You can listen to this song and the rest of the album below. For more information on MYDA, please visit the alliance’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Behind the Industry: Tariah Bryant Defines “Heart of the Hustle”

She’s young. She’s ambitious. She has a calling. Always inspired by music and business, Tariah Bryant was destined to be someone great in the music industry. With her hard work and dedication, Tariah is on the right path of success. Not only did she take a huge chance of leaving her hometown, Philadelphia to live in Atlanta to pursue her career, but also flew down to Florida to audition for an upcoming music reality TV series. She’s definitely fearless and courageous.

Lucky for her, all of her chances have blossomed into opportunities. Tariah is a young music manager, A&R in the making, and a reality TV star. What else will Tariah become?

I got the chance to talk with Tariah about her upcoming plans, being on the new reality TV series, “Heart of the Hustle,” interning for All Hip Hop and more!

Let’s talk a bit about how you discovered hip hop and when did you break into the industry?

Tariah: Well, I discovered hip hop mainly because I come from a musical family. But how I broke into the industry—I always wanted to sing or rap, I tried it and it never worked out. So, the next best thing I could do is work behind the scenes. So I started going to showcases around Philadelphia. And then I said this isn’t enough for me, I’m not getting to where I want to be. So I picked up everything I moved to Atlanta, and I stayed down there for six months. I got so much hands-on experience: I worked with artists, I did big showcases and I did an awards show. And then my mother and my grandmother got sick, so I had to come back to Philadelphia. But ever since I went to Atlanta, that’s where my career really took off, as far as managing and learning how to run showcases and put events together and everything like that.

So, I heard about the new reality show that you will be a part of.

Tariah: Yes, it’s called “Heart of the Hustle.” It’s not that ratchet, or anything like that. It’s very positive.

Let’s talk a little about the background the cast, and how you’ve become a part of it. 

Tariah: The producers are Amber Dexxx and Lady Hustle. I actually reached out to them a year ago when they were just starting to work on the show. But they were telling me “Well, no because you’re not in Florida.” I was so determined, I said, “You know what? If I have to come down there, I will.” They sent me an email saying “Are you interested?” and I’m like “Of course I’m still interested!” And they said “What you’ll be doing, you’ll be doing executive assistant work, and you’ll also be telling your story about how you got started in the industry.” But basically it’s about 9 cast members that are sharing their daily struggles about trying to make it in the industry. One of the main producers, she used to be signed with Jive Records. The other producer, she used to be an assistant for Spectacular, for Pretty Ricky. And this is all based in Florida. They’re basically just trying to get through anything they have to do to make it in the industry.

How do you think connecting with the other 8 members has been, not being from Florida? Do you think there’s a difference?

Tariah: I’m a shy person at first, but I think there is a little difference because I don’t know them and they all know each other. But I really think they’re all down to earth, awesome people. We really blend well together. I still didn’t get that much time with them because I flew down there in March just to met them and film some of the show. But it’s coming along. I don’t really know them as well, and I didn’t even really know Amber Dexxx and Lady Hustle as well either, but they’re all down to earth. They’re awesome.

That is just awesome to hear that you had a dream, chased it, and look where you are now. Congrats!

Tariah: I’m not even going to lie—I damn near went broke. From Atlanta to going to Florida (Florida was last minute), I spent a lot of money, but at the end of the day, I feel like it’s all worth it. I invested in myself and I wanted to do it, so it’s worth it.

It’s definitely great to see young women doing their thing.

Tariah: There are not too many women in the business side of it. But when people try to make it in the business, they don’t stick together. And I want to get my name out there and hopefully just bring a whole bunch of women together and stick together.

So your overall career dream is to what?

Tariah: My overall career dream is to be successful in managing artists and to also eventually branch out and build my own entertainment company. And help “Heart of the Hustle” as well because they gave me my shot, so I love their movement and it’s women that started this company. So first and foremost, I would love to build with “Heart of the Hustle” and become and entrepreneur myself.

Name some of the artists you day you’re managing. 

Tariah: One is called Maserati Ran, Young H, Bruno Mali, and Main Man Capone. That’s a lot of artists.

So how did you build a relationship with these guys? 

Tariah: Maserati Ran actually reached out to me. He noticed what I was doing in our area and we don’t have a lot of people that have that drive. Like, everybody wants to get somewhere, but they don’t have that drive. And we had a lot of success with people coming  rom our area like Jahlil Beats. We’re from the same neighborhood. So it’s been magic ever since. He’s hardworking, he’s really, really talented. And Young H is actually my brother, and he’s getting into the music. So I’m kind of giving him a head start with his career as well. Bruno and Main Man Capone are in Florida. They reached out to me as well because they liked what I was doing, and I going to work with them as well in Florida. I’m going to travel back and forth and to Atlanta, as well.

Let’s talk about the t-shirt line. What can you reveal?

Tariah: I have it actually tattooed on me. It’s going to say “music life.” I’m still playing with logos and things like that. But I can send you an idea I came up with. It’s mainly geared toward people in business, artists, anybody in business. I want to incorporate everybody. I really like the movement. I have a lot of people behind the movement with the shirts.

You got the t-shirt line, the reality TV show, managing artists. What are some things we haven’t touched on? 

Tariah: There’s so much. Let me see. I’m about to start interning for AllHipHop.com. It’s not paid, but I know I can build a great relationship with them as well, and that’s a major platform. The CEO, Chuck Creekmur, reached out to me. He follows me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and they’ve seen how much I post their stuff and how much I talk about music. And he reached out to me and asked if I wanted to work with them as an intern. They said it would be non-paid for at least the first couple of months, and I didn’t even care about that. Like, AllHipHop.com? That’s huge!

So you’re doing a writing internship?

Tariah: I’m most likely going to be doing interviewing and social media. I’m really excited about it. It’s a huge opportunity.

That’s in the summer, or are you starting right away?

Tariah: I’m going to start right away. Yeah, so many people turned it down because it was non-paid. That’s a huge platform to turn down. Are you crazy? And you’re talking about money? I understand that everybody needs money to survive, but this business is not like a regular 9 to 5.

And you got to wear different hats. You’ve got to start somewhere, like you were saying. You’ve got to work for it. That’s how the game goes.

Tariah: And the contacts alone are priceless. That’s what he kept stressing to everybody. If you want to gain unlimited contacts, you get to come to our press events, network, and get to actually be behind the scenes and get hands-on experience. That’s priceless. You don’t get that from school. You go to school for four years, you don’t get that kind of experience in school. And that’s what he kept stressing to everybody and he told me I was at the top of his list because I was ready to go. Everybody’s talk about 10 dollars an hour, but this is the music industry. Well, that’s more room for me then.

Get a sneak peak of the trailer for “Heart of the Hustle” below!

Hear It Now: Flip “Upside Down” with Phase Five’s New Single

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Move over One Direction! There’s a new boyband looking to take over the international pop scene. Phase Five is an all-male, urban pop group comprised of vocalists and dancers Jay Cortez, Jeremiah Neil, Nelson Gabriel Santos Rivera, Alex Odon, and Lee Brown. While they currently call Los Angeles home, they come from highly diverse backgrounds, including the United States, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. All five members have a storied past and an extensive list of accomplishments that include appearances on Disney, The Voice Belgium, and schooling at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Their varied experiences combine to create a new pop sensation that listeners surely shouldn’t miss.

The band’s newest track, “Upside Down,” is no exception to their electrifying pop style. The new single was produced and written by Boy Rekless, who has worked with acclaimed artists such as Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, and The Cab. While “Upside Down” is about a tumultuous relationship, the track is easily jam-worthy. Its sound consists of fast and upbeat synth with lighthearted undertones.

Phase Five has a sound and style reminiscent of the late ’90s era N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys. Each member of the group is diverse in their additions to the group with their variations in tone, rhythm, and dance style. Their sound is definitely geared toward pop listeners, but Phase Five brings an urban flare to the pop genre.

Be sure to keep up with Phase Five’s journey to the top!

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/phasevmusic

Official Site: http://www.phasevmusic.com/

HEAR IT NOW: Start Again by YØUTH Captures Listeners with a Smooth Sound


Julian Dente, also known as the singer/songwriter YØUTH, recently released “Start Again,” on April 5. The smooth guitar combined with Dente’s soothing voice makes it a winner to listeners. Dente, who is from Nashville, debuted with the song “Breathing Easy,” which has more than 133,000 plays on SoundCloud. Dente both writes and produces his own songs, and the quality that he is able to achieve really speaks to his abilities as a musician.

“Start Again” has a smooth, chilled feel to it. The drum line picks up into a nice staccato effect in the chorus, punctuating Dente’s vocals. The lyrics describe a troubled relationship where only one person is committed to it, the other has detached. In the song, Dente wants a direct yes or no from this person, but he isn’t getting one. Instead, Dente’s partner keeps him dangling, as he explains when he says “you said you didn’t want to, said you didn’t want to be alone.” So, Dente pushes this person to define their situation.

This theme is prevalent in today’s culture, where couples can have undefined relationships and try to make it work. Some people enjoy that, but, as Dente points out, others find it disappointing or hurtful. It’s summed up brilliantly in the line, “I was trying not to bend, you were trying not to break another heart,” because it shows that the other person isn’t trying to hurt him on purpose.

By the end of the song, Dente has decided he will have to, as the title states, “start again.” He sings, “Now you better learn to, now you better learn to be alone.” Although the song involves a split, it isn’t a particularly sad ending. Dente is looking forward, and considering how to move on.

Dente shows his fierce skills in songwriting, singing, and top-notch production in “Start Again.” He connects with listeners through his theme, and his smooth vocals really make the song pop. Dente is planning to release an EP through his own Pledge Music Campaign in about two months, so stay tuned. The quality of his music is definitely worth following!

Check out the these links for more information about YØUTH:

Website: youthmusic.us

Facebook: facebook.com/thebandjulian

Twitter: twitter.com/juliandente

Instagram: instagram.com/juliandente

(Photo credit: Sara Kiesling)

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