All posts by ASHLEIGH FRAZIER

INTERVIEW: THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC, SETH LAEL

SETH LAEL

Talented San Francisco singer-songwriter Seth Lael has dropped a new highly anticipated full-length album, Bird Strings. Through his 12-songs he brings Americana, Jazz, Folk, Pop and Indie Rock to life with his impressive talent on the guitar, mandolin, banjo and his modern vocals.  Seth shares with us what inspired him on this album and some very cool techniques that he learned while creating it, as well as some of his current passions in life.

What drew you to playing strings like the banjo, guitar, and mandolin? When did you start playing them or even realize that you could?

Seth: Well, my first guitar was a nylon guitar that I got from my older brother who I think broke up with his girlfriend and he didn’t play that anymore, so I started playing that.  And then, I got a banjo because my other brother was going to get married, and got this free banjo, and they didn’t get married so I got that banjo. Then I just bought a mandolin this year, just kinda’ filling parts on the record. All happenstance kinda’ got lucky.

Who’s the producer?

Seth: McKay Garner. He was in LA and had a studio there for a while, he has done some TV. I know he wrote the music to when a girl gets kicked off Americas Next Top Model. He’s done some mix in with some other bands.

Who inspired you? Who are you listening to now?

Seth: When I was working at a bakery, a friend introduced me to Greg Brown and I thought his songs were really cool. When I was waiting tables, another friend introduced me to John Harper. He’s a really good picker, kind of an older dude. I’m also really into EMOR. I heard him from KEXP radio; I think I just heard him on the radio when I was living in Seattle. But I go through music and artists listening to them like candy bars or ice cream. I like to listen to a bunch of stuff. I like to listen to a lot of rock and modern things.

What’s your favorite song out of the 12 from Bird Strings, like which one was your favorite to work on that you would call your favorite song?

Seth: “Big Country” was fun because that only took about fifteen minutes, but “All Hours,” I think I rewrote that song with McKay, probably twenty-five times. I really like how it came out. I like playing it live. It’s a little bit challenging to play. It came alive with what McKay did with the drums and he used the snare sound from tapping on a keyboard like an old apple keyboard. I like how we finally finished that one up; it came out really cool.”

For those who are just reading about you for the first time what would you like them to know about you? Do you have a message for you listeners?

Seth: I would say if you’re into songs, musicianship and a little bit of humor you might want to put me in your CD player. (Laughs).  Or you could look at my naked pictures online if you want, whatever; I usually put pictures on Instagram with like swim suits and stuff. I actually just photoshopped my face on Selena Gomez’s body to try to sell more records. I think it’s still on Instagram…it is (Laughs).

Do you have any other hobbies besides music?

Seth: I do a lot of baking. I have been making breakfast. I love cooking for friends. Yeah, I think I am trying to be more of a community-focused artist, so if I can have people over and cook for them and also play some music for them that sounds like a good night for me. Food and music are two things you shouldn’t live without.

Whats next? Are there any events projects, live performances we can look forward to? If so where and when?

Seth: I [just finished] a  tour in the beginning of [November]. One of the songs on the record is called “Jimmy’s Dream” and it’s about my friend who was telling me about his situation. He bought this house and it started falling a part right away and he saved up a bunch of money to pay for it and realized his house needed a lot more work than he thought. So we have this music video that’s out now for [the single]. It’s pretty political, which I don’t think too many people do, but it looks good and was good doing it. A music video about the housing occurrences, there’s definitely a crisis going on.  I just dropped Bird Strings on the October 1st. I am also in another band called The Wyatt act and we are playing at the Oddville festival on Nov 13th in Oakland, California, there will be about five thousand people there it’s a big festival. I’ll also have another video coming out after “Jimmy’s Dream” in the beginning of November for the track “On the Road,” that’s also on the album. Switching up from music to video.

To learn more about Seth visit his website: www.SethLael.com and follow him Instagram @sethlael and add him on Facebook.

EXCLUSIVE: THE CITY SOUND’S “VOLUME ONE” IS A NEW BEGINNING

The City Sound, formerly known as The Artillery, is set to release a new album on May 19. However, this is just the first of a total of three albums that The City Sound plans to release this year. While using the name The Artillery, the group produced music for 12 years. Due to the leaving of one member and the later addition of another, the group has donned a new name.

The reasoning behind it, according to the group’s guitarist and vocalist, Dean Danger, is simple. “It wouldn’t be fair to continue calling ourselves something we no longer were. To put it simply, we were different,” Danger explained. The City Sound, who have opened for bands such as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Johny Craig, Emery and Alien Ant Farm, hit the ground running with the first of their projected albums, Volume One.

The opening song, which serves as the band’s first single, “Keeping Me From Me,” begins on a quiet, melancholic note, but opens into an explosive beat of drums and guitar.

“Break the Mold,” as the name implies, is a rock anthem for freedom and uniqueness. One of the most poignant lyrics cries, “Draw the line, redefine, it keeps us alive on the inside.” In “Almsman Circuit,” a chant begins to rise, as the band repeats, “I just need a little bit of change to pull me out” to the tune of an infectious drum beat. The theme of change, and keeping oneself unique in today’s world truly shines through in each of the songs on the album.

In “Live It Again,” they declare, “We’ll do whatever it takes to make our voices be heard.” “Just Like Everyone” is not quite as powerful as the others, but the message that this track carried works well with it. It highlights the trap of following fads just to fit in and losing oneself in that.

The City Sound’s upcoming album definitely accomplishes its purpose. The theme of standing out and refusing to become trapped in the monotony of society is apparent in each of their songs, and the result is an empowering album that inspires the listener. Volume One works because the fierce rock of the tracks melds well with the rebellious idea of standing out from the crowd. What really makes this album inspiring, though, is the fact that the rebellion called for here isn’t just for people willing to break the law or dismiss all of their friends; the rebellion here is just to be unique and make your own path to follow. Listen to “Keeping Me From Me” below!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DEAN DANGER OF THE CITY SOUND TALKS REFORMING THE BAND, SONGWRITING

TheCitySound-38

The City Sound, made up of Dean Danger, Kris Ross, Chris Reyes, and Chris Ellis is ambitiously planning on releasing three albums this year, the first of which will drop on May 19. The City Sound was formerly known as The Artillery for twelve years, but due to the departure of a member and the entrance of member Kris Ross last year, The Artillery decided to re-brand themselves in order to represent their current sound.

The band describes their upcoming album, called Volume One, as, “This album is all about the trial by fire nature of the music industry. The lyrics contain everything from hopes and dreams of where we want to be to what writing a song is like to me, and the struggle we have seen as a band throughout our years.” With a lot of experience under their belts, along with new line-up and a new name, The City Sound plans to make a splash into the music scene this year.

I got the chance to interview The City Sound’s vocalist Dean Danger about the band, highlights of his musical career and songwriting.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in music? Was there a specific incident that really impacted you?

Dean: Back in high school, bands would rent out this duck pond pavilion and play free shows. The first show we ever played there, was absolutely packed. I say “packed,” meaning 300 plus fellow high school students. That was the moment I decided that it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I guess you could say that seeing the audience gave me a high, and now I’m addicted. I think I always knew that there wasn’t much money in pursuing a career as a musician, but that has never deterred me from trying to make it.

What does your family think of your decision to pursue a career in the music industry? Were they supportive?

Dean:  My family has been behind me every step of the way. They all believe that someday I will make enough money to buy them all new cars, well, at least my mother does. Whether that is true or not, they all have been incredibly supportive. I might say I was spoiled as a child with instruments, but only due to my parents’ belief that I could really do something with music in my life. My parents still to this day try to make it out to every local performance.

When did you start learning how to play an instrument?

Dean: I learned how to play my first instrument around age eight when I started playing the drums. I actually wasn’t too bad. If it wasn’t for me not being able to find a band to play with, I would probably still be a drummer today. Toward the end of middle school, I began to pick up the guitar. I never really took guitar lessons, I just played along to Lenny Kravitz’s greatest hits album over and over again. During that time I was in a short-lived punk band called The Autumn System, but we broke up when middle school was over. Then in high school, in search of a band, Chris Ellis asked me if I could sing. I said yes, even though I knew I couldn’t. I was determined to be in a band enough that I would learn. 13 years later I’m still with that band, and I still have no idea why they didn’t kick me out at our first practice.

How did all of you meet and decide to form a band together?

Dean:  13 years ago, I started high school and literally knew no one at my school. Chris Ellis and Chris Reyes asked me to sing in their band, Next Friday (no relation to the movie, although it would make a better story). After a few years, we decided to change the name to The Artillery. Three albums and 10 years later an original member, Jonathan Macias, left to pursue his dreams of traveling, we then gained Kris Ross, and changed our name to The City Sound. If you kept count there are now three Chrises, (one spelled Kris), in the band

What was your happiest/worst moment in your career thus far?

Dean: We were playing a show in Austin with Jonny Craig in October 2013. My grandmother had passed away the day before my performance, and I chose to stay for the performance and fly out for her funeral immediately after. It was a very tough decision to make, but I believe that it was a decision she would’ve approved of. We were playing our song, “Just Like Everyone,” for the first time ever, and in the last few lines of the song, I got this overwhelming feeling of peace and it truly felt like my grandmother was watching over me proudly.

Those lyrics impacted me even more than when I wrote them: “After all this effort you would think we’d catch a break. Eleven years and all the names on the walls have changed. I can only speak for us when I say to you that holding out was the only option that we knew. My father told me don’t you ever give up, son, because if you do you’ll be just like everyone.”

What is your favorite part of a concert? Do you have a particular show that you really enjoyed for a specific reason?

Dean: My absolute favorite moment during a show is the instant you finish your first song. That’s the moment where the crowd lets you know that it’s real. You play the last note into a brief silence that’s interrupted by the loudest cheer the audience can manage, and you know the night is going to go well. Every show is like a dream to me. When I wake up the morning of a show, I wake up anticipating how the night will play out. It’s on my mind all day as it nears, and once it begins, it’s gone in a flash. Because of that, every performance means so much to me.

What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies aside from music?

Dean: It might make me less interesting, but music honestly consumes everything I do. If I’m not performing, I’m writing. If I’m not writing, I’m recording. If I’m not recording, I’m sleeping. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Does the band have a main songwriter?

Dean: We all bring a lot to the table when it comes to shaping and molding new songs, but I am the weird one that gets melodies and music stuck in my head, which I present to the guys. From there we jam and write together. Jamming for us usually ends in a funk or blues song, but we can be productive from time to time. Lyrics are the tough part for me, only because I don’t consider myself a lyricist, which makes me second guess everything I write. The one thing that helps me write lyrics is feeling as if the lyrics are already written, I just have to find them, if that isn’t weird. What I mean is that I only feel comfortable with a lyric when I feel it is meant to be.

How does your music affect your lyrics and vice versa?

Dean:  I always write lyrics last, because I want to hear my boundaries first, and then try to tie the emotion of the music into the lyrics. That is not to say I haven’t woken up with a melody on loop in my head, which I wrote a full song around. Either way, when a song is written everything must correlate or else you leave everyone confused.

Do you attend a lot of concerts by other bands? Which concert has been your favorite so far?

Dean: Oddly enough, I don’t attend as many concerts as I should. The ones I go to are for the bands I idolize: Manchester Orchestra, Thrice, Envy on the Coast. My favorite show so far would be Thrice’s Farewell Tour in 2013.

For more information on The City Sound, please visit:

Website: thecitysound.net

Twitter: twitter.com/thecitysoundtx

Facebook: facebook.com/thecitysoundtx

ReverbNation: reverbnation.com/thecitysound

CONTEST: WIN A FREE TICKET TO VANS WARPED TOUR 2015

See dozens of the best indie, alternative, electronica and punk bands this summer at the Vans Warped Tour – and you could go FOR FREE!

We’re partnering up with the guys over at Infectious Magazine to make for one killer summer. All you have to do is Photoshop yourself hanging out with your favorite indie band, on stage, backstage, at a water park, a restaurant, whatever! Have fun, be creative, and go crazy. When you’re done, post your pic on your Instagram account.

We will select ONE winner based on their submission’s humor and creativity.

Here are the rules:

  1. Like both Limerence Magazine & Infectious Magazine’s Facebook page.
  2. Upload your Photoshop picture (500x500px) to your Instagram account. Tag/Mention Limerence Mag and Infectious Mag in the photo.
  3. Tweet us that you have submitted your photo to our contest.

(Just DON’T include any personal information, offensive material, or copyrighted/promotional materials in your submission!) 

Don’t forget The deadline for submissions on March 20th. We will announce the winner on the 23rd!

Contest is now CLOSED

 

Connect with us:

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Limerence on Instagram: instagram.com/limerencemag 

Limerence on Twitter: twitter.com/limmagazine

 

Infectious Magazine: www.infectiousmagazine.com

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HEAR IT NOW: “DO YOU STILL LOVE ME” BY THE WELL REDS

THE WELL REDS

The Well Reds are one band that you should probably start paying attention to.  This Atlanta-based quartet has a sound that is very specific and upbeat, almost reminiscent of a Maroon 5 and Panic! At The Disco blend. Established in 2008, this band is only getting bigger. They have shared bills with Hot Chelle Rae, Parachute, and Automatic Love Letter, and have sold out shows in prominent Atlanta music venues.

The band really started to take off after winning the New Music Seminar “Live At Roxy” competition and being a finalist on the web-series “The Ourstage Panel,” and have since performed in both Los Angeles and New York. Their debut EP Violet, garnered coverage nationwide and gave them plans to perform at various Universities and Colleges throughout the late summer and fall. The Well Reds will also be releasing their new album Volume in November, and have already released a hit single from it called, “Do you Still Love Me.”

Their single “Do You Still Love Me” is one song that you won’t want to stop listening to. It’s the perfect medley of alternative rock and pop that will make you want to jam along. The lead vocalist’s raspy tone really draws the listener in from the very beginning. The lyrics are paired perfectly with impeccable guitar skills throughout the ballad, creating a catchy, sing-along ready tune. The lyrics resonate with any listener who has ever experienced a rocky relationship, and the idea of going back and forth but still wanting to fight for their relationship. While the lyrics have a somewhat heavy message, it’s still matched perfectly by the pop-y tones in the music. We definitely look forward to hearing more from this group.

Listen to “Do You Still Love Me” on Soundcloud below:

For more information on The Well Reads, visit:

Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/thewellreds

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWellReds

MEL ALSTON JR. GOES “PURPLE” ON HIS PREMIERE

Born and raised in Philadelphia, rhythm and blues singer and songwriter Mel Alston Jr. released his official video of his smash hit single “Purple” on February 22. Coming a long way from his first mixtape “Waking Up Vol. 1,” Alston began his journey in music as a child learning how to play several instruments including the piano, trumpet, and trombone. He then attended Howard University where he played the trumpet for the Showtime Marching Band. After graduating from the university, he began to act and sing in local plays, which began his interest in starting a solo career. Limerence Magazine is ready to hear more from Alston considering that his debut “Movie Muzik” will be released this March.

“Purple” is the first single off his forthcoming mixtape “Movie Muzik.” With sultry and passionate lyrics, Alston paints a vivid picture of being with his dream girl in a blissful world. With soft beats and smooth rhythm, Alston has his audience dream of passion and the true meaning of love. To make the song more eloquent, Alston starred in his own official video with his dream girl appearing and disappearing in different scenes.  With more than 500 hits on Youtube, “Purple” is slowly making its way to the music scene.

The neo-soul singer has come a long way for being an independent musician. His songs have always given a sense of serenity and passion especially with the dynamics behind the lyrics. “Purple” is a video that any fan of rhythm and blues should watch at least once. The story behind Alston’s passionate lyrics has anyone relax in a way where one will be stuck in a serene dream with their true love.

Get Social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mel.alston

Twitter: https://twitter.com/melalstonjr

THE BUSHWICK HOTEL CREATE STUNNING MUSIC AND ARTWORK

The Bushwick Hotel

The first single “Take Care of My Girl” by new indie rock band The Bushwick Hotel begins with lively crashing horns and captivates from beginning to end. Their album, Graffiti of the Young Man’s Mind, will be out on November 19th.

As their name suggests, The Bushwick Hotel is extremely artistically minded and based in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn, it’s where they formed out of a shared love for not music, but visual art, which they combine during their live performances into a type of performance art that must be seen to be believed.

According to the group, multiple different mediums can—and should—be enjoyed together, not separately, and in fact, they immerse themselves in the New York visual art scene just as thoroughly as they dive into their sophisticated, jazzy music. They have been together since 2012.

Onstage, the quartet tends to feature other musicians in addition to the band, as well as artists and designers from all areas of the art world, including Catherine Westergaard. They recently supported NY Fashion Week by appearing at the “Fashionably Late” party at Ella Lounge, where Westergaard’s latest exhibit was featured alongside a fantastic performance by the band.

Graffiti of the Young Man’s Mind will feature not only excellent music but beautifully abstract album cover art, which is available to view now on the band’s official website. The Bushwick Hotel’s inclination towards art of the visual variety, and blending various mediums into one, does not mean their musical skill is lacking in any way whatsoever; in fact, their love of art is shown more brilliantly through their extraordinary concoction of jazz, soul, and alternative indie rock, which is sure to gather further attention come November.

“Take Care of My Girl” is old-fashioned yet refreshingly new, brimming with clear, bright instrumentation and held together by a deceptively catchy melody.

For more information on The Bushwick Hotel, check out their website.

Exclusive Interview with Indie Duo David & Olivia

David & Olivia create musical experiences that are amazingly true, honest, and from the heart. This well-traveled Americana group offers a refreshing, unique sound that stirs the scores of listeners across the nation. The group’s debut album, On the Sea, will be released on May 14, 2013. We spoke with David and Olivia on how they met and how their musical journey has been, and here’s what they had to say:

On how Olivia and David started their group venture:

Olivia: “When I met David I was performing solo material and open to all musical endeavors. Everything since has just happened naturally. There wasn’t any preconceived thought of anything other than recording some vocals on his solo record. It’s kind of amazing how perfectly everything came together organically.”

On what intrigued David about Olivia, and Olivia about David:

David: “Olivia’s voice struck me immediately. The honesty and power of her voice were so very refreshing and I knew that she was the perfect fit for this duet I was writing at the time.”

Olivia: “David’s songwriting is pretty remarkable. I met him through his songs when he reached out to me after that show in Hollywood. I loved the true musicianship of his work. Very real, very raw. Ever since that night, people have complimented on the way our voices work together. Can’t deny what the people hear!”

On pursuing music as a career:

Olivia: “I think there were many specific points in my life that guided me down this road. I remember staring at the TV watching music videos on MTV in 1st grade. I wanted to be in Ace Of Base! Then Leann Rimes hit at a young age and I knew I wanted that! Then came Britney Spears and I still knew I wanted that! Then I did musical theatre, then I had a rock band at 14. We showcased for record companies, then Avril Lavigne hit! I don’t think there was a time in my life that I did not know I was supposed to be singing and making music.”

David: I think I realized that music was something that was deeply rooted in me the moment I picked up the guitar at 12 or 13 years old. Honestly, I didn’t know a damn thing about playing, but I just sat in my room focused until I figured out how to put my fingers here or there trying desperately to write songs that couldn’t wait to get out. As for knowing when this was something to pursue as a career, it was pretty simple actually… Music has been the only constant in my life, outside of my family. When I came home from playing a football game in high school. When I was left with heartbreak. When I finished college. When I decided that sitting in a cubicle and climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t for me. Music had always been there. I said to myself, ‘I might as well figure out a way to make a living at it’.”

On the perfect artist to collaborate with:

Olivia: “Oh my. It’s totally not in the genre but I would really love for David and I to work with Timbaland! As an artist, I would just like to see what we came up with together.”

On their coming up with the album title On the Sea:

David: “It comes from a lyric in one of the songs on the record called, ‘Weather Change.’ We wanted something that came from the material. With this being our debut album together it’s as if we’re setting sail and are now On the Sea.

 On their top three favorite songs from the album:

David: “That’s a tough one… we’d have to go with the first 3 on the album ‘Every Now n’ Then (I Could Use A Friend),’ ‘Finally Fine’ and ‘Key to My Heart’.”

On describing their music in one word:

Olivia: “Real. It’s not over produced, it speaks for itself and it’s from the heart.”

On the best memory of the musical experience thus far:

Olivia: “I like to think that the best is yet to come. I’m looking forward to more traveling, more adventures more music in the making. There’s so much more that lies ahead; I’m excited about all of that!”

On how aspiring artists can have the opportunity to do what you are doing right now:

Olivia: “If it is your passion, it is meant to become your life. Fill up your daily schedule with everything you desire and it will become what fuels your life. I truly believe that when I finally let go of bad habits, and all the things that were taking up quality time and energy, my life opened up to music and quickly filled up with all that I knew I wanted. People will tell you to get a real job, and you may need to have a job to supplement your life so that you can do what you want. The key is to not let that become a source of negativity, but a source of gratefulness so that you are consistently putting out the positive energy; you only get what you put out!”

On upcoming tours and shows that would interest fans:

David: “In June we’re headed out to the East Coast for a swing of dates and throughout the summer we’ll be up and down the west coast at various venues and wineries. We’re hoping to route through the Midwest in fall. It’s all very exciting and we can’t wait to spread the gospel.”

Feature Story: Interview with The Voice’s Chevonne

CHEVONNE

Chevonne, the cherry bomb songstress, is making moves and is ready to release her debut album. You may know her from NBC’s The Voice (Season 3), where she shocked and impressed the judges with her amazing stage presence, soulful vocals, and bright style. Before The Voice, Chevonne was a hungry artist, looking for ways to enhance her career and taking chances to lead her to her big break. She has toured with British singer Estelle and has done backup vocals for Lady Gaga.

Chevonne is the epitome of a humble and talented artist who strives to achieve every dream. She is a game changer, beating the odds and always coming out on top. I got the chance to talked with Chevonne about her upbringing, her experiences with The Voice, and her Kickstarter campaign. Check it out below!

On her musical upbringing:  

“I’ve been musical and performative my whole life; I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be onstage, or when I wasn’t writing little tunes and making up skits in my own little world.  Even when I was a baby, my parents say I learned to talk and read really early because I was so eager to get started singing and playing the piano.”

On some of her music influences:

“My biggest influences are Prince, Bette Midler, Foo Fighters, and Queen.  They all found a way to turn genres upside down and surprise people with futuristic and forward-thinking artistic choices.  Live shows and visuals were a huge part of all of their careers, and often ground-breaking music videos and iconic live performances alone were enough to catapult them to “icon” status.  Also, all four artists incorporate humor and sex appeal in ways that aren’t overt and one-dimensional.  They all break barriers and push envelopes.  I am looking to do the same while staying in that fun, youthful pop music realm.

Prince, Bette Midler, and Dave Grohl have also had pretty successful film careers.  I’m one of those artists that won’t be satisfied just making records and touring…I want to do Broadway, act in and score movies, write for other artists, host SNL…I’m addicted to entertaining people!”

 On a valuable lesson that she has learned doing her music career:

“Across the board, during my work for Estelle and Gaga, on The Voice, and even while doing the small gigs like weddings and cover shows at bars, the most important part of being a musician/performer is being nice and respecting the job.  My dad always advised me to “show up on time ready to work and with a good attitude.”  He couldn’t have said it better.  There are people who are 8 billion times more talented than I am, but I’ve seen some of them lose their jobs because they’ve got big egos, or they complain during long work days, or they’re just plain unprofessional.

A-list productions like Gaga’s MonsterBall and The Voice take a lot of work and a lot of preparation time.  The crew is hard at work just as much as the cast.  You don’t always get a full night’s sleep; you’re dealing with jet lag; you have to sing and perform your best even when it’s the crack of dawn or a super late-night.  And that’s just the way it is.  It’s challenging work!  So if you’re professional, you make friends and you cooperate.  You laugh, you smile, you keep a positive vibe, and that’s what makes the stage/TV magic. “

 On the blind audition on The Voice:   

“It’s funny, all of my big career-defining moments so far have come from open calls.  I just heard about the audition and went, just to give it a shot.  Honestly, even though I’d just finished the MonsterBall, I kind of felt like I didn’t have a chance going in, but I’d be stupid not to try anyway.  So to make it onto that blind audition stage was really a big surprise for me! When Cee Lo and Blake turned, I was in pure shock.  Their chairs didn’t turn until after I had finished singing, so I was already in defeat mode.  I thought to myself “Wow, how embarrassing.  I’m going to have to go home and face everyone I know, and everyone will watch and see that I just don’t cut it.” And then I just stared in disbelief at these smiling faces.  Instant bliss! I jumped in the air and hooted and hollered.  I was over the moon.”

On her battles against Deborah Garner and Avery Wilson:

“Both rounds were tough because I was paired up with such immensely talented and unique artists.  Avery and De’Borah are so dynamic on stage; they understand how to move and work the space, and they know how to translate the storytelling in both ballads and up-tempo current pop music within a live context.  Not to mention, both of them are my friends!  I guess because of that, it was easier to see the “fight” or the “competition” as a fight with myself, not against either of them.  In music, I don’t believe in pitting artist against artist.  So I just focused on doing my personal best and making it hard for the coaches to choose who to send home because we’re all on the same level regarding technique and originality.  I think in both cases I succeeded.”

On the shocking steal made by Christina Aguilera:

“Especially with the steal, I had a feeling I wouldn’t win the battle.  Dance music is Avery’s wheelhouse; I’m into the quirkier 80s rock songs and songs with more of a live sound.  I knew it was up to me to earn a steal on my own.  And I just set myself free at the end of “Titanium” and nailed the high notes!  I also did something out of the ordinary for a show like The Voice and really staged my portion of the song.  I had power moves for days!  Although Cee Lo said I was overdoing it a little, Christina understood my motivation to bring some really exciting entertainment value to my performance. I was so beyond thrilled and humbled at her positive comments after I was done, and the steal was a complete dream come true.  I was forecasting a Blake steal, but the Christina steal was even more rewarding because she hadn’t turned her chair during the blinds, and also because she’s one of my idols!”

 On her growing friendship with the contestants:

“We all got so close.  I especially bonded with my teammates on Team Cee Lo, because they were so much like me.  Many of them are older, more experienced and seasoned.  We all had similar music tastes as well, and put special emphasis on showmanship and personal style.  When I moved to Team Christina, Laura Vivas was my buddy.  On a team filled with young, fresh upstarts, it was nice to have that womanly bond.  Laura is hilarious and such a powerhouse!  I learned a lot from watching her, and she influenced me to channel my inner metal dude. I still keep in touch with Amanda Brown, Cody Belew, DOMO, Avery, and Ben Taub.  Nicole Nelson from Team Adam is another person I absolutely adore and look up to.

On launching her Kickstarter campaign:

“So, because I am not attached to a label, an agency, or any type of management, I’ve set up a site where the fans and the listeners can be my support system.  Making a record costs money that I just plain don’t have!  So this is an awesome way for people to have an active role in the next steps of my career.  They can choose whatever donation bracket they want–even just a dollar is fantastic–and they get a reward custom-designed by me depending on the level of donation.

Some of the rewards include free album downloads with special backer-only bonuses, customized Chevonne t-shirts, a customized guitar I used to write parts of the album, and a few clothing items I wore on The Voice.  I’m also giving out walk-on roles in the music video, access to backer-only online concerts, and free admission and backstage hangs at my shows.  It’s worth it if you like my music and want to really connect on the deepest fan level possible!

I urge anyone who is interested in contributing to this Kickstarter to not be afraid or feel pressured.  The small donations mean just as much.  And the site is extremely user-friendly.  Also, something many don’t know is that if I don’t reach the goal I’ve set, all the money goes back to the people who have pledged.  It’s all or nothing, so I need your support!  I want the record to be a professional-level, fun pop album with lots of interesting layers and new, exciting sounds!

On her future goals:

“When a gig ends, or I spend some time without work, I don’t stress. I know something is coming and I just put the time and energy to write, create content, and search for the next opportunity.  And when there isn’t one, I make my own.  That’s what I’m doing with this record and the Kickstarter.

[In the next three years] hopefully, I will be making tons of music and playing it across the country!  Creating awesome photos and art!  Becoming a viral sensation!  By the end of those three years, I hope to also be able to snag a spot performing on an awards show.  I’d love to concept and craft one of those legendary, star-making live moments that the whole world watches on TV, and then on YouTube the next day.”

On her motto that she tends to live by:

“Nobody ever hands you a career in the entertainment industry; you get out there like the warrior you are and reach for it until it’s yours.”

For more information on Chevonne, click here.

Visit her Kickstarter Campaign, here.

Artist on the Rise: B2DaDot

There is more to Barion B2DaDotMcQueen that meets the eye.

He is not just a rapper in this hip hop game, but he is a super producer, songwriter, and businessman. Many artists can learn a thing or two (or three) from B2DaDot.

This Delaware native knew he wanted to be an entertainer at the age of 14. With the ambition, determination, and faith, he was able to accomplish that dream.

B2DaDot has worked with great hip hop artists such as Cassidy, Fat Joe, Young Jeezy and B.O.B. Due to his recent success with previous studio writing and producing, B2DaDot has released seven mixtapes, The Dot Com Era (2003); Rookie of The Year (2005); Most Wanted (2006); Industry Ready (2007); Undisputed (2008); Deep Thoughts (2009) and most recently Money Hungry (2010).

On these mixtapes, B2DaDot shows off his lyricism and swag, which makes him a valuable player in the hip hop industry. Many of today’s rappers are in it for the fun of it and are not staying true to the essence of hip hop. B2DaDot is the artist who is in love with hip hop for eternity.

Some of his major accomplishments included a nomination for Producer and Rap Artist of the Year at the Underground Music Awards in 2010, features in The Source, Hip Hop Weekly and MIL Magazine, and achieving a CEO role for Star Made Music Group, which is an entertainment company and record label.

I got a chance to talked with B2DaDot about life as an artist, businessman, and producer, his company Star Made Music Group, and his new project Ciroc Life.

CIROC-LIFE-COVER

On being an artist, businessman, and producer:

B2DaDot is a rapper, producer, and songwriter. I consider myself to be a complete artist.  The businessman, owner of my own entertainment company Star Made Music Group and most recently part owner of a new clothing line Ketch Kouture which will be available very soon.”

On his influences:

Some of my influences would be Jay-Z, Cassidy, Diddy, Jadakiss, Eminem and a whole list of others.”

On what he can bring to hip hop:

“I want to add some more originality to the game.  My music is authentic, no gimmicks, no smoke, and mirrors. Everything I rap about is me, and real.”

On his label Star Made Music Group and his artists:

Star Made Music Group is coming along great. Everyone is working on their individual projects right now.  As far as artists to be on the look out for I would have to say, Nick Boots, E-Luc, Javonna and Heartboy YC.”

On his upcoming works:

I just release my latest project entitled Ciroc Life; we are preparing for a promo tour.  Also be on the lookout for my debut album entitled I Told You So and Star Made Music Group’s Compilation album entitled Stars In The Making.”

Separating the artist from the man:

One thing I want my fans to know about me is that I am still a fan of music.  I go and buy albums and support others albums just like they buy my stuff.  I am very normal and am a true fan of music myself.”

On his music and single Body Inkand Pass the Ciroc:

[Body Ink and Pass the Ciroc] “are records just happen organically. At the end of the day, I just want my music to be fun and be a complete representation of me. Whether it be club records, street anthems, storytelling, something for the ladies, etc.  When you listen to my album you will see the diversity and various types of records.”

 On what’s next for him:

“Next for me is the album and shopping for a new record deal.  There are definitely a few labels that have my attention right now that I would love to be a part of so we will see what happens. Oh, and not to forget the clothing line Ketch Kouture.”

Check out B2DaDot at:

His Website

Twitter