Pop Crush: Tori Kelly | Limerence Magazine
2012 Tori Kelly Promo Shoot, Los AngelesSBP

Pop Crush: Tori Kelly

2012 Tori Kelly Promo Shoot, Los Angeles SBP

Pop singer and songwriter Tori Kelly is a bold force to be reckoned with. Her music is made up of a forthrightness which stems from the fact that she has no illusions about this world; she recognizes that we all bear the same struggles, goals and desires and works to incorporate that into her music, establishing the deepest of connections with her audience. Even when polished and made up for a video or show, the California native perpetually appears to be half wild, flaunting a golden mess of hair and a twinkling pair eyes that never cease to convey her every bit of passion. As she belts out personal lyrics that tell of heartbreak, love and all the growing confidence that can be experienced throughout one’s twenties, old and new fans alike are finding a safe haven in the stories this artist has to share.

Born to two musicians, Kelly was destined for a spotlight. She performed in talent shows, struggled through competitions, and remained intent on not only discovering her fame but also making an impact – despite all the rejections she was dealt from judges throughout her youth. She perceived every “no” as an opportunity rather than a form of failure and worked to perfect her skills while also taking advantage of our generation’s greatest asset: the internet. Kelly decided to put herself out there via social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even Vine.

The starlet seemed to find her most success, however, within YouTube, where her channel currently has just under 1 million subscribers. She picked the video-sharing site to be her biggest platform for dishing out songs, as well as the initial outlet she used to build a name for herself and break onto the music scene. Many of her posts consist of covers, including her well-known rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Thinking ‘Bout You,” which garnered over 17 million views as well as massive amounts of attention from music blogs and talent seekers alike.

Kelly has since released two self-produced EPs: Handmade Songs (2012), and Foreword (2013), the latter having debuted #16 in the Top 200. She hopes these will suffice as a promising intro to an album she intends to create with the help of manager Scooter Braun (Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen.) In addition, the songstress also released the single “Fill a Heart” in 2013 to bring attention to the Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. Her tour for the ConAgra sponsored program consisted of performances across the continent and a daily duty of helping out at the food banks of whichever city she was in. She has performed on The Ellen Show, the Queen Latifah Show, and at Madison Square Garden where she opened for Ed Sheeran – an accomplishment she remains humbled by to this day.

An alluring combination of candid and self-reliant, Tori Kelly has successfully mastered a soul-cleansing approach to all she writes, produces, and graces audiences with. Give her music a listen and discover the versatile and exceedingly charming woman who is connecting with fans everywhere.

 

For more information on Tori Kelly:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToriKelly

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Hear It Now: Rochelle Jordan’s “Lowkey”

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In a wave of tireless urbanity and poised existence, R&B singer Rochelle Jordan has crashed onto the hip hop scene with an unapologetically self-assured approach to both her music and her fame. Refusing to settle with the masses, the Toronto based diva has made sure her every release is reflective of all she encompasses: her heart, her beliefs, and her unstoppable tenacity. Since her first experimental track in 2010, the artist has worked to mature and establish her style so that it never fails to sound original and fresh.

Although Jordan has undoubtedly made a name for herself, she seemingly taking cues from inspirations like Kelis, Amerie and Aaliyah in her latest single “Lowkey,” which was released in May and produced by KLSH. A song that serves as an anthem for women everywhere who are stuck in the classic falling-for-your-friend situation, “Lowkey” describes Jordan’s feelings of confliction and desire as she contemplates the best way to show her guy how she truly feels while still sparing the friendship and keeping their flirtation, well, lowkey.

The song exudes typical R&B vibes with hints of electronic experimental weaved throughout the slow paced beats. The arcing angelic voice, however, is what makes the piece so addicting, as the songstress delivers each line in an effortlessly stylistic manner that resonates with listeners and fits the song like a glove. Upon pressing play, fans are pulled into a world that is all Jordan’s – one of relatable emotions, coy lines and ruthless grasps at control. Her tone remains soft, low, and assertive throughout the entire three minutes and forty seconds of “Lowkey” and by the time the music stops, a newfound respect has been formed for the artist. You may just take a moment to reflect on the track before pressing play again – once, twice, three times. New and old listeners alike will likely fall in love with this gem of a jam as its sensational sounds fill the room on repeat.

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The Rhyme Times: Dizasterpiece-Jersey’s New Hip-Hop Savior

1012791_348842165219362_1613668946_n “I’m from another dimension” boasts Dizasterpiece, New Jersey’s freshest force of prodigal underground hip-hop. The lyric taken from the third track of The Abominable Showman, Diz’s recently self-produced debut album, explains much more than anyone would ever let on. While boldly emerging into a flooded and over-imposed mixtape era, Diz represents everything we used to know and love about rap.

Dizasterpiece, aka (wishes to remain anonymous), has a unique super-power. That power is the ability to bend music to his will. It is rare, and perhaps almost non-existent, to see talented MCs evolve from other tribes of music these days. The Abominable Showman is a 10-track album that transcends genre on an almost incomprehensible level. To be clearer, Diz has “the touch” when it comes to sampling. That and his immersive, skeptic-charged writing are the two ingredients that make the album a perfect snack full of crunchy beats. Though Diz’s 90’s throwback production vividly time-travels listeners back to the glory days of Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, he was not always the hip-hop paragon he seems to be becoming.

Before embracing the art of the pen and sampler pad, the artist now-called Dizasterpiece was something else entirely. Preceding rap as his chosen genre of expression, and at the core of his experience, Diz is a veteran punk/hardcore/metal musician. Formerly the front man for experimental grindcore band Hey Lovey Dovey (among others), his major influences pre-rap include Glassjaw, Poison the Well, Deftones, American Nightmare, and Senses Fail. Despite his love for the genre he grew up with, Diz found he was constantly being let down by bandmates. As a closet-rapper since high school, Diz would contemplate complex rhymes behind closed doors, writing his first rap at 17.

Starting with MC classic giants like Nas and Snoop Dogg, he would slowly become more and more immersed in his hidden talent for rap expression. Eventually, he set aside his straying band hopes for a more personal, complicated form of expression; one he had been withholding all along. The Abominable Showman is clearly influenced by the defining style of the early-to-mid 90′s hip hop scene. Diz pays homage to these classic giants in his tracks. In “Open the Blinds”, he even references A Tribe Called Quest song: “Can I Kick It?” In his iconic- styled drum and bass riddled rhymes, Dizasterpiece lashes out against what modern culture and social trendsetting has twisted popular music into. Melding his passion and naturally developed hip-hop skills with his punk/hardcore rooted background, The Abominable Showman is a record that captures a refreshing, reforming attitude on the genre.

Everything about this album contributes to its overall success. Even the order of tracks on the record has meaning. “Intro” casually sets the stage for what listeners should expect, that is, before dropping definition bombs like the following tracks “Dizasterpiece” and “The Abominable Showman”. After taking 3 raps to mesmerize the listener into a clear vision of what he is, Diz describes his detailed transition into hip-hop in the track: “From MPE to MPC.” As a subtle yet logical intermission, “Sampler Pad Freestyle” is a perfect break in the chaos of artistic definition. After the intermission, Dizasterpiece leaves nothing to be desired in the record’s still-determined second half. Returning to the lyrical beats after the short pad freestyle, Diz unleashes “Open the Blinds”. This is arguably the best track on the album, as it utilizes everything from smart, provoking rhymes and consistent beat production, to guitar and thrashing metal breakdowns.

The entire second half of the album, in fact, is completely packed with emotion and emergence. “1-800-LITHIUM” and “Beyond Us” tell intimate stories of understanding and personal evolution. These verses are complicated and full of meta-understanding, and yet, they come off as extremely relational and listen-friendly. The Abominable Showman experience comes to an end with “Open Mic Night”: A track with arguably the most progressive production of all. The rap naturally acts as a frustrating and hypnotic cliffhanger, leaving listeners desperate for more as the replay button stays locked on repeat. With the end of this track comes the conclusion to a powerfully produced and artistically flooded debut album. That is, until Diz returns for seconds, and hopefully thirds.

Take a listen to his “Beat Fresstyle 2014 ” below!

For more information on Dizasterpiece, visit:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dizasterpiecehiphop

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImDizasterpiece

 

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Interview: Get to Know Kansas City Natives, Pilot For A Day

unnamedAfter hitting the studio together to create their first 10 tracks in 2012, pop-rock band Pilot For A Day has officially released their first album, Better Air, which was released July 1 and contains three exclusive acoustic tracks.

The foursome, made up of Nolan Smith, Craig Harper, Brandon Rimmey, and Harry Datkowitz, are inspired by only positive vibes, including living life to the fullest extent and accomplishing anything you set your mind to. Better Air was produced by Marc McClusky, with help from co-writer Andrew Volpe and drummer Cory Muro.

We scored an exclusive interview with Pilot For A Day, and wasted no time getting to know the Kansas City, KS natives.

How did you come up with the name for your band?

Nolan: We wanted a name that not only sounded good, but also meant something. We strongly believe that you can make any dream real. If you were a pilot for one day, you’d have a plane. You could go anywhere you wanted with no limitations. Thus, Pilot For A Day. Live your dreams and let your heart guide you.

How did the four of you meet/come together?

Nolan: Brandon (guitar) and I met through a Craigslist post I put up in late 2010. We worked together until 2012 when we decided we were ready to record the album. Then after the album was done, we met up with Craig (drums) and Harry (bass) who were awesome additions to the band and made it possible for us to play live. This was three or four months before the release of Better Air.

What was it like touring and sharing a stage with several other bands?

Nolan: Sharing the stage with other bands is literally the best part about touring and playing out. You really start to build a community with other bands and we all help each other. Even if you’re not playing with bands because your genres don’t match, it’s still really important to connect and network with them. And on top of that, we’ve met some of our good friends through sharing a stage with them.

Who are some dream artists/bands that you hope to work with in the future?

Nolan: I’m a huge fan of Josey McFaddin (The Wildskins, former This Love) right now. He’s an incredible musician and I’d love to collaborate and learn from him. We’re also huge Mayday Parade fans and would love to someday share a stage with them.

How has life changed in the past year and a half for you guy?

Nolan: Life has changed a lot, and mostly in good ways. I think every person has a tendency to expect something from their future, and when it doesn’t go the way they planned they get upset. We’ve really learned to let life take us where it does. As long as we live from our hearts, we’ll always know the next move. And in general, things have been great and we are excited for what’s next.

Have there been any speed bumps in your career that helped change you for the better?

Nolan: Many. In fact, we hit speed bumps every single day help us change for the better. I think speed bumps are built into our dreams and are there to keep us on track. So, of course there have been speed bumps and there will be many more, but none large enough to run us off the road.

What is the most challenging part about being in the music industry?

Nolan: The most challenging part is learning what works and what doesn’t. The internet and social media help us a ton, but we’ve learned to not rely on it to create our success. Just because you’re accessible doesn’t mean you’re good, so we do our best to really focus on the music. I think that’s the hardest part. There is so much we have to do as a business that it is easy to put the music aside, but we know we can’t do that because the music is what we’re here for.

What’s a typical day like for the band?

Nolan: Right now a few of us still come back to day jobs when we’re not on the road, so after work we always try to practice. From there we might have a meeting to see what tasks are on our agenda and what we’d like to accomplish. Then we designate homework between us to keep things less stressful for each other. Then we head home. And I usually come home and write.

What do you guys like to do for fun when you’re not making music or touring?

Nolan: Now that it’s summer and the beach is near, we spend some good time there. We also do a good amount of disc golfing. And being so close to NYC, it’s always a good time getting out for the weekend and enjoying the city.

What can fans expect from the band in the future?

Nolan: We are writing. Our plan is to have new music out by the end of the year, but nothing set in stone just yet. Other than that, we just want to continue to do what we love and stay happy. We’ll be playing plenty of shows and reaching as many people as possible, so help us spread the word!

For more information on Pilot For A Day, visit:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pfad.co

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PilotForADay

YouTube: www.youtube.com/PilotForADayMusic

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Behind the Industry: Meet Founder of Infectious Mag, Angela Mastrogiacomo

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Over the past five years, Infectious Magazine has been featuring many popular indie acts and Warped Tour bands on its site, making a household name for itself. Now including pop acts into the mix, Infectious Magazine will be attracting more loyal readers. Many readers know the magazine and the brand (the cool and hip logo explains it all!), but who’s the person behind the growing, yet successful magazine?

Meet  Angela Mastrogiacomo, the young entrepreneur who makes her dreams come true. Not only is she the founder of Infectious, but she’s gotten into public relations with her new company Muddy Paw. When she’s not overseeing her editorial staff and interviewing her favorite bands for the magazine, she’s helping newer bands get recognition through her thriving company Muddy Paw.

I got a chance to chat with Angela about founding her two companies at the age of 25, her highlights and lessons working in PR and the publishing field as well as her artists on Muddy Paw and developing a strong team for Infectious Magazine.

How did Infectious Magazine come about? What inspired you?

Angela: I started Infectious about five years ago. I’m 25 now. I remember that I was really inspired and I wanted to start something. I was sitting on my bed in my parents’ house and just going back and forth about names. I don’t know how I thought of infectious as the name. I guess I was trying to think of how I felt when I saw the band, The Coming Weak for the first time. Then our logo was finished, which is a needle going through a tape cassette. I really wanted to incorporate a needle because of the infectious thing, but I couldn’t find a way to do it without it seeming drug related. (Laughs).

I’m completely self-taught and that is what keeps me motivated. I have to be that way or else it wasn’t going to happen. In the beginning, it was just finding that inspiration and having that dream. Now it’s very similar, but it’s also pushed by the fact that I’ve seen so much that I have done and that’s really cool. So this little dream that I had has changed into these opportunities that I’ve never expected to happen.

What’s the key to having a strong team? How did you manage to keep a solid team?

Angela: It definitely took me a while to learn how to have a team. Having a team was something I was afraid of because I was scared to let anyone else in because this was sort of like my “baby.” Somebody kept telling me that I couldn’t possibly grow at a rapid pace without some help. I couldn’t do everything myself all the time. I started with a small team of 2 to 3 people that helped out with content and social media stuff. From there I got more comfortable and now we have like a team of 20 people helping out. I really could not do it without them. One person can only do so much. It’s just the matter of finding those same passionate people. As long as everyone is having fun and learning, you’ll go somewhere and when that stops, you are in trouble.

For those people new to Infectious Magazine, what can that expect to read and who type of bands can they find?

Angela: We cover a lot of national artists as well as unsigned artists. We cover a lot in the pop/punk/rock scene. Basically I call them Warped Tour bands. (Laughs). We cover a lot of bands you expect to see on Warped Tour or tours like that.We just started doing pop, so the more radio-friendly names have been popping up. This is just to add to the mix of things.

It’s really important for me to keep introducing new and unsigned artists as well. We don’t cover news, but we do guest blogs and playlists. It’s a better way to introduce readers to newer bands. Like if there were a news story on an unsigned band, people wouldn’t be interested enough. If the article or music shows their personality and the readers find interesting, then it’s a win-win situation. People really enjoy reading our guest blog posts, which covers people’s journeys and advice. Those posts will really help both bands and readers.

What are some of your highlights of 2014 thus far?

Angela: Let’s start with the good first. (Laughs). There were a couple of bands that I really wanted to interview and I never thought it would happen. One of those bands were Anberlin; they have been my favorite band for a long time. They were one of the first five bands I interviewed after starting Infectious.  I just wrapped up my fourth interview with them, so I feel so so lucky to be able to interview them so many times.

There are some things that I should have done differently. The first thing is asking for help sooner. I was being so stubborn, trying to do everything on her own. The second thing is networking. I realized how important networking is. I really thought people was exaggerating when they talked about how important it was, but they’re not, they actually mean it (laughs). It’s always going to be 100% of who you know. So i wish I would have realized that sooner. I recommend for people whether they are bands or people working in this industry, they should be networking all the time.

How has social media help you with your magazine and branding?

Angela: Social media was tough for me to get a hold of, especially with Twitter. I just didn’t understand how it worked. I don’t really get it, but I do it because it is really important. It’s so helpful. It’s cool to see the interaction on there with bands favoriting our tweets or retweeting them. For a branding standpoint, social media is not going anywhere. It’s constantly changing and evolving, so you have to stay on top of it. Twitter is the new networking, so you should use it to your advantage.

Let’s talk about Muddy Paw and the creation of the public relation company?

Angela: I wanted a new way to promote the bands that I love.  I wanted to run my own company and it wasn’t going happen with Infectious. I’ve always been on the receiving end for press releases. I feel like I have a good understanding on what does work and what doesn’t. It was bit easier this time because I’m a little older and wiser. I did some test runs with friends’ bands and I was pretty good at it.  This is something I am going to do and focus on full time.  We are a growing company with afforadbale rates.  If bands are looking for PR, come check us out. We’re open to all types of music and work with all budgets.

Who are some of the artists on Muddy Paw?

Angela: I’m working with a couple of bands now. One band, Only On Weeknds, are kind of alternative rock. Another band is Aziza & The Cure. They are really interesting. It’s sounds weird, but it’s kind of an indie mix with classical music. Pretty cool. We have more artists that are coming up. Summer will be busy.

For more information on Infectious Magazine, visit:

Website: http://www.infectiousmagazine.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/InfectiousMag

Check out Muddy Paw here: http://www.muddypawpr.com

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Breeze Embalm Releases New Joint “TiminG”

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Breeze Embalm’s “TiminG” has not only a sick beat, but also a good message behind it. From verse to verse Breeze keeps the message real and straightforward. Time is very influential and is possibly one of the most influential aspects of our lives. When time is thought about, it is usually in numbers, but time is much more than that. Time is powerful, can be wasted, and should be appreciated.

Breeze believes that time is powerful because in the right amount of time, money, knowledge, and even success can be gained and achieved. Breeze believes that time can be wasted if you don’t attempt to make anything positive out of our life. Why just go through the motions of life, when life can be lived to the fullest?

Breeze also believes that time should be appreciated because once time is gone, it can’t be taken back. Nobody wants to be sitting around feeling sorry for themselves about time they have wasted. “Life is short and the only loss is hours lost,” is a line from “TiminG” and that verse emphasizes the idea that everyone should live life to the fullest and not waste time. Breeze repeatedly says that he will “take my time with that” and by “that” in that verse, he could possibly be talking about how he will take his time and enjoy life as he gets to where he needs to be in life. Everything takes time, Breeze Embalm wants to make sure that nobody takes time for granted. It’s a great song to listen to and it is quite uplifting!

 

 

On June 27, we had the chance to interview Plaid Brixx on the release of their EP “Chemistry,” which released today, July 8.

Interview: Ohio-Based Trio Plaid Brixx Releases “Chemistry”

On June 27, we had the chance to interview Plaid Brixx on the release of their EP “Chemistry,” which released today, July 8.

I had the chance to interview Plaid Brixx on the release of their EP Chemistry, which released on July 8. The electro-pop and rock band is made up of three members, Chris Duggan on vocals and guitar, Mark Smith on drums and Cole Bradley on bass. Duggan is the main songwriter and producer for Plaid Brixx. We had the opportunity to interview Duggan on the release of their EP, upcoming tours and concerts, his writing and producing process, and his favorite moments of recording Chemistry.

What are you most excited about the release of Chemistry EP?

Duggan: I’m very excited for people to hear the songs on there. Our first EP was kind of an electronic-type of music. I’m excited, also a bit nervous because I put a little bit of myself into each song.

What were your favorite moments in recording the EP?

Duggan: There’s always that moment when you come up with a really awesome melody, especially when you’re doing stuff with synthesizers and playing around with sounds when you’re just like, “Oh my God, that sounded so good!” (Laughs) When you find that melody that just works, there were a couple of those moments. It was just wonderful and makes the whole process just worth it.

What’s your favorite song from the EP and why?

Duggan: I would say “Chemistry”, the song that whole EP is named after. It kind of sets the tone for the whole EP. A lot of the songs there deal with break up as the subject matter, but in a positive way. I tried to find a positive way in break ups so it sets the tone for the rest of the EP. It’s also really catchy.

What should your fans expect from Chemistry?

Duggan: I think they should expect a very enjoyable and listening experience. An interesting juncture of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) music mixed with rock as well as electronic and really catchy.

Any upcoming tours?

Duggan: We’re planning to do a regional tour right now actually. We’re looking at dates and probably Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, a lot of cities around Columbus within six hours. We’re in the process of selecting those dates right now. We’re also playing for the FMM music festival in the summer.

Oh! How is that going to be?

Duggan:We’re playing the Fashion Meets Music festival in Columbus. There are some big names like R. Kelly, New Found Glory and Cold War Kids. We’re pretty excited. We’re also playing the Day and Night Festival in Cleveland.

So how was Plaid Brixx formed?

Duggan: I actually went to high school with all of the other members in the band. Then we all went off to college and then it was like gone to the wind. Then after college, I moved back to Columbus and they were here looking for something to do too and I was like, “Hey, I need some people to play some songs with me that I’ve been working on.” So we’re playing music together again. We played music in high school together. I think they were like 14 and I was 16 and we were making really stupid songs. We had this one song called “Long Live the Yeti” that we used to play. We played together because we know each other’s styles and how it’s played so it worked really well.

How did you come up with the band’s name?

Duggan: I thought it would be really cool to see a plaid brick wall and I was just talking about that. I got a weird fascination with that. It sounds really cool. The name came out of that variation.

What are your influences behind your songs?

Duggan: Most of them are about ladies or break ups or relationships in general, I would say. I would say Blink 182 is probably one of my biggest inspirations in songwriting. As for production, it sounds more like Blink 182 and Muse, kind of pop, rock and punk.

What got you interested in music in the first place?

Duggan: Blink 182 playing on MTV and I think they were playing “What’s My Age Again?” I was thinking, “Oh my God!” I don’t know. I was just magnetically drawn to it. That Christmas, I asked for a guitar and my parents asked me if I wanted an acoustic guitar to learn on? I said, “No, it must be electric.” (Laughs.) SO I got a really crappy 3-cord electric guitar and a tiny little amplifier. I really had no idea how to play it. I messed around with it and then I took lessons. I don’t really remember my thought process.

What are your inspirations behind your writing process?

Duggan: Well the way I write, I write chord progression, and then I would loop it on a guitar. If it’s a really good chord progression, that would inspire me to keep working on it. The lyrics are actually the last thing I put on there. So it makes for some interesting combo because I have a tendency to write really upbeat, happy-sounding stuff and then I’ll put a heavier subject matter on there. It will be like happy sounding songs dealing with something that’s not as happy, but it will kind of bring the heavier subject into a brighter light.

What are your favorite artists?

Duggan: Definitely Blink 182. I love them. In terms of bands playing today, kind of similar bands. The band Fidlar of Los Angeles is a really awesome skate punk band that I’ve been listening to a lot. There’s also Skaters from New York City. They have really catchy stuff and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do.

Any last words?

Duggan: I really hope you enjoy the album because I made it for you. Thank you for all of your support!

Check out their EP Chemistry now on iTunes!

For more information on Plaid Brixx, visit:

Website: www.plaidbrixx.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/plaidbrixx

Twitter: www.twitter.com/plaidbrixx

 

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Second Wind: Tim Coakley’s decision to leave Berklee opens bigger doors

579808_500919616639437_277056061_nImagine basing your work ethic in high school around getting into one great college. Now imagine the disappointment you may feel when you realize it isn’t the school you thought it was and end up leaving to pursue other options. However Tim Coakley felt, apparently it wasn’t enough to damage his motivation and drive to improve in any way possible.

Tim Coakley was actually born and raised in Latham, a town a few miles outside of uptown Albany. Almost every night during his four years at Shaker High School consisted of drumming practice with sights set on nailing the audition to get into Berklee School of Music in Boston. He first displayed his music skills as drummer and vocalist (and later guitarist) in a pop punk band called Falling for Fateful. The band enjoyed several years of local success before breaking up in 2010 when Tim left for Berklee. He declared himself as a songwriting major – though it was the experience of being surrounded by other young professional musicians which proved to be more valuable than credits. Tim soon found himself with a band of aspiring musicians with similar dreams as himself, only this time he was the frontman. With the band, Tim sequentially released his first single “Doesn’t Take a Genius” and his first self-titled EP in 2011.

The catch of having a music-based major is the understanding that having a love for music isn’t always enough to get by in the real world. In fact, the more rounded the musician in terms of their range of talents and skills, the more likely they are to earn a reasonably comfortable income without signing a record deal and getting super famous. That being said, Tim’s decision to leave the school he’d spent a third of his life at that point trying to get into wasn’t by any means an easy one. But having yet to even hit 21, he knew the window was still wide open for his career. He began a new chapter of his solo career when he started to record with Brandon John, recording engineer from Albany and guitarist for Restless Streets of InVogue Records. With the precision and delicacy of both Brandon’s engineering and Tim’s musical craftsmanship, they produced four tracks for the second Tim Coakley EP Risky in 2013. This summer, Tim has continued his partnership with Brandon John in recording his upcoming LP and spoke with Limerence Magazine about it from his home in Latham, NY.

Looking back at Risky now, it seems your sound has continued to mature. What would you say was the turning point that pushed you towards the new sound you’re working on now?

Tim: I think I realized it when I started playing live. Like, I started realizing that I wasn’t as connected to the songs that I had previously written that were more from the heart.

Being around all the young professionals at Berklee, what was one or a few of the things you picked up as far as carrying yourself as a musician?

Tim: Well, it definitely made me appreciate good musicians. I’m not sure how much it did for my songwriting — [but] I definitely learned a lot about hiring the right musicians, the right people; it made me learn what not to do, which in turn lead me to [actually learn] what to do. So I got a band together and met some great musicians.

Talk a bit about the influence of your current sound. Like who’s sound (other band or artist) do you really admire in writing and producing, or is any of it influenced by non-musical elements?

Tim: It’s definitely both. I like to think that my style as of now is a mash between the groove of Daft Punk, the lyrics of Lorde, and the vibe of The 1975. Those guys have definitely given me a direction of some kind… I’m extremely influenced by visuals. When I’m writing I always picture the song as  a movie scene because I would like to one day be able to mash up my songs, even a whole album if I can with cinematography, some video so it really becomes like a whole entire project of visual and music because sometimes I feel like movies are almost more powerful and can be almost the best form of art because it mashes up music and visual, which stimulates all the senses emotion.

You and BJ (Brandon John) go way back to before high school, what has his engineering skills and production quality meant to defining your sound?

Tim: Me and him on this new album I’m working on – we’re on the same page completely. I think we’re both [going in] the same direction as [far as] where we want it go. The brilliant thing about working with BJ is that I always bring him a demo of the song and I see it going one way, and then when I start working on it with him it goes in a completely different direction that I never saw it going but it always ends up being better. He has such a knack for hearing certain production elements that I would just overlook which I really really appreciate. Overall we’re just on the same page which is really important and I think he’s the best producer I’ve ever worked with.

Any idea when you’re releasing anything?

Tim: Hopefully this fall, October-ish [for an LP].

For now, Tim plans to finish school in New York in the fall with a degree in screenwriting, surrounded by a diversity of artists rather than only dedicated musicians. Adding to his decision to leave Berklee, he says “I don’t plan to major in music again. That learning it so closely kind of killed the vibe for me.” At the end of the day Tim, as well as any artist, knows that what influences you is what your creativity relies on the most to keep ideas fresh – and a change of environment now and then can improve that. Keep a lookout for new music from Tim Coakley towards the end of the calendar year.

Videos by Tim Coakley:

Chocolate || The 1975 || (TIM COAKLEY COVER)

WILDFIRE – TIM COAKLEY

KIND OF BEAUTY – TIM COAKLEY

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