Canada’s Queen of Punk: Bif Naked [Heard It From Nas Interview]

We had the chance to chat with Canada’s Queen of Punk, Bif Naked! This talented Canadian artist has recently released her new single “Hot Box Girls” Read on below to learn more about her multitude of careers, music, and what she’s up to for this year!

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We know you just released your new single “Hot Box Girls” Can you tell us a little more about this song and your creative process behind it?

The song HOT BOX GIRLS is a celebration of my group of friends, and a riotous, carefree and terribly naughty evening out. It celebrates all the things we like and enjoy, like Burlesque, Hot Rods, Motorbikes, Pin-Up Girl Culture, and feeling empowered and happy. Dave Martone sent me the music, and I wrote the lyrics and vocals, and we recorded it in the studio about a week later. It was such fun!

What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to  be in for you to start your songwriting process?

All I really need to write a song, usually, is a riff or small melody from my co-writer, and I fill in the blanks with my words and singing. I play terrible guitar and generally always write with a guitar player. Always have. I love this process.

Out of the time you spend in Paris, New Delhi, and Toronto, which is your favourite place to spend your time?

I dream of returning to India all the time, but Paris was my favourite place to live until this year when I moved to Toronto. I am in love with Toronto and all the different neighbourhoods! I have a huge crush on this city.

If you had to choose one career/passion… Would you be an author, a musician, or an actor?

This is such a hard question! I love writing and can’t help myself….but being a performer is all I have ever known. Acting is great as long as I get to play a villain or a cop, to use all the weapons training and fight training I have. Haha!

What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you?

My fans may not know that I am the Most Annoying Boring Eater in the world and eat the very same foods every single day: bananas, apples, zucchinis, cucumber, tomato, carrot, spinach or lettuces, and THAT’S IT.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring young musician?

I would tell anyone and everyone to NEVER GIVE UP because I never do…we just have to keep going and keep creating our art, and keep trying.

How has your music evolved since you first started singing and songwriting?

Oh, my goodness…I have changed SO MUCH. Just being a performer and vocalist for almost 30 years has physically changed me…My voice was so high when I was seventeen! Haha I laugh when I listen to it, and certainly hope I am a better singer now. I hope I am better at songwriting and that I have improved, and that I keep improving every year. I love being a singer and hope I can keep being one forever.

Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?

The list of heroes I have is endless. Mostly I was always so taken by all the punk singers I grew up idolizing like Chi Pig from SNFU and Joe Shithead from DOA and even HR from Bad Brains. But the girly girl in me had a real infatuation with Madonna when I was a little kid and she remains an icon.

A close second to her is Lady Gaga and I think, artistically, she does it all with her choreography and always such a fashion-forward artist (except the meat dress I was sad about that) I love all my rocker mentors like Gail Greenwood and Tanya Donnelley and Brody Dalle and Courtney Love and Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde and Christina Scabbia and PJ Harvey Grace Slick and even Tina Turner. These are the women I look up to and am amazed by because they tour/toured as hardcore as I do and the show was always 100%.

What are your future plans for 2018? Do you plan on going on tour?

I am looking forward to touring with my rock band across the world, but this fall we are concentrating on Canada. I hope we can play in every single city and town possible! I LOVE TOURING. It’s just the little performer in me, that can never stop.

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Interview with Sue Foley “The Ice Queen” [Heard It From Nas]

We had the chance to sit down and chat with one of the all-time great guitarists and blues singers in this country, Sue Foley, or otherwise known as The Ice Queen. Her new album The Ice Queen is currently the #1 album on the Canadian Folk/Roots/Blues Chart for the 2nd week in a row. Read on below to learn more about Sue Foley, her music career, and what she will be up to in 2018!

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We know that you recently released your label debut CD, The Ice Queen.Can you tell us a little bit about the album and your creative process/inspiration behind it?

Well, the inspiration behind it is hard to explain. I’d written these songs in the fall of 2015 and it was sort of while we were going into winter while I was up in Canada. So the album kind of got influenced by the weather I think. There’s a lot of references to stuff like that. I think the feel of it gets wintery in a lot of ways. It kind of gets dark and then gets light again.

I had written these songs and I actually had a whole other concept for the album, I was going to call it “North” because of that sort of theme. Then I wrote The Ice Queen, and it was one of the last songs I’d written and I was talking to the producer Mike Flannigan and he said you’ve got to call the album The Ice Queen. The album as a whole, The Ice Queen represents that wintery vibe and also just my Canadian roots because I live in the South a lot, I go to the states a lot, and they know me as the Canadian blues musician. It’s a part of my identity.

I also have a favourite guitar player named Albert Collins who plays a fender telecaster like me. He’s passed on now but he’s one of my favourites and they called him the Ice Man. So I’m sort of ripping that off too. Conceptually that’s kind of where it’s at.

 

What is it like to finally work with your idols Jimmie Vaughan and Billy Gibbons?

Working with them was unbelievable because every time I play with them I learn so much. I think about what they’ve done and their body of work and I get intimidated sometimes like a kid. But the fact that they validated me means so much. They are so highly regarded and are such important figures in both blues and rock and roll. I’m just tickled everyday that I’m in that group, it’s been amazing. Playing with them and having them on the album was amazing. We pick songs that I think really suited them so it stayed with the concept, it didn’t take over the concept of the album with the special guests. It stays within the framework of the record. It really worked out good.

 

What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to be in for you to start your songwriting/producing process?

I think I need space around me. I don’t mean physical space, I mean space in my mind. I can write anywhere and in any environment; at home, on the road, but its more like my mind has to have space around it. Right now I’m really busy promoting an album and playing gigs and planning stuff, so my mind is really full of all this stuff. So I’m not writing right now. There’s too much garbage in my head. For me to write I have to put all the garbage aside and find space and have time to ruminate. Then it will just come.

 

What is one thing that your fans dont know about you?

There’s probably a few! Well, I’m pretty basic. Im really healthy and I’m into health and taking care of myself and I go to yoga. I’m not what you think of a blues musician! I’m a white woman who’s 50, so my life is a certain way. But I really love my work and Im really work centric. But yeah, they probably don’t know I get up in the morning, go to yoga and stuff like that. I drink green drinks, then I go to gigs.

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring young female musicians?

Grow a shell. In my business in Rock and Roll and Blues you can’t be too girly, unfortunately. You have to curb that. At least if you’re feminine you at least have to have a pretty tough shell around you. There’s a lot of stuff you’re going to need to bat away and get over. Even with all the changes lately in the media and things that have come to light, the music business is a certain way. You’ve got to be tough. You have to be happy with who you are and comfortable around men. You need to learn to assert yourself. That’s probably what I would try to say, you need to assert yourself. That takes a while, it really does.

 

How has your music evolved since you first started singing and songwriting?

It has evolved with me. I think music and life are intertwined. The way I’ve evolved is the way my music has evolved. With age comes more self knowledge. I think when you get more self knowledge you get more knowledge of everything. It’s an interesting thing that knowing more about yourself, helps you know more about the whole world. That kind of compassionate look at yourself gives you a compassionate look at the world so you actually have more to give. When I was 20 I didn’t know anything, I mean, I just barely knew myself. I was good but I didn’t know how to connect with the bigger picture. You need to be able to have access to what they call “universal mind” and “personal mind”. They’re the same thing, you have to know deeply inside yourself in order to know deeply whats going on out there. I know more now. Im better, and I know more.

 

Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?

My biggest musical inspiration is a lady named Memphis Minnie. She was a guitar player and singer/songwriter in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. She recorded over 200 sides and she was sort of a controversial figure in music but her songs were covered by artists like Bonnie Raitt and Led Zeppelin. She was really influential but she remains sort of obscure because her career ended before the folk and blues music revival of the 60’s took hold. She was inactive those years so she got looked over, and then she died in 1973. Her songs are incredible, her story is remarkable. She was way ahead of her time. She was a lead guitar player in the 1930’s, she wrote some insanely great songs, travelled around, and she was innovative. I think she’s one of the most fascinating people. I always tip my hat to her at every show and tell the crowd about her and do some of her songs because I think she’s so important. She’s my favourite. There’s a lot of people to choose from but I can nail it down to Memphis Minnie.

 

What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

Careless love by Bessie Smith. They call her “The Empress of the Blues”. She was a huge blues star in the 1920’s. They even made a movie about her on HBO and Queen Latifah starred as her. She’s a really important figure in blues and early jazz. I always refer back to her music because Bessie Smith was so influential and she played with Louis Armstrong who was hugely influential. Billie Holiday was really influenced by Bessie Smith, Nina Simon was influenced was influenced by Bessie Smith. So really anybody that was influenced by Billie Holiday was influenced by Bessie Smith. That’s the way I kind of look at things, like I always go back and see that Frank Sinatra was influenced by Billie Holiday and like who was Billie Holiday influenced by? She was influenced by Bessie Smith. Everything sort of leads back there for me. All of her songs I love and I play Careless Love in my show sometimes. Every time it comes on I love it. She’s just so great.

 

What are your future plans for 2018? Do you plan on going on tour?

Yes! We’ll be on tour in Europe at the end of May and I’m heading to Austin, Texas next week. We’ll be back in Ontario in July and August for some dates, festivals, and stuff like that. I’ll just be on the road. I think when you put out a new album, you’re obligated to get out there and tour it. It’s a labour of love for me anyway. I love to play so that’s what I’ll be doing.

 

Interview with DJ Ortzy [Heard It From Nas]

We had the chance to chat with Colombian/Spanish House DJ Ortzy and learn more about his music career and his producing styles! Read on below to hear more about this Netherland-based DJ and what he’s up to this year.

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What made you decide to become a solo artist, after leaving the HIIO duo?

After many years with the duo, I felt I needed a change in many aspects of my life, like my music direction, the city where I was living, and the business environment that I had for many years. That’s why I moved to the Netherlands, I started making more commercial music and started creating a bigger network than what I had all my life.

We love your new single ‘Stand Up’! Can you tell us your creative process behind this track?

The twins (Bec & Sebastian) had a vocal idea and they sent it to Ben, who loved it, and he thought it could be really good to have a Future Bass and more commercial approach for that song so he came to me. I loved it and then we started the creative process of the production going back and forth until it was perfect!

How is it like working with Ben Ambergen and Bec & Sebastian?

We had a great team! All of them are really cool and very open to discuss or change anything that would be better for the song. That’s really important when you are making music!

We know you have performed at many big name festivals such as Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Creamfields, and more. What has been your favourite festival to perform at?

Tomorrowland was the most important one for me because of everything that it means for artists and for the fans. But the set at Creamfields was really special because the stage was huge, the crowd went crazy, and it was our first big festival in Argentina.

Where do you find your music inspiration? Which artist inspires you the most?

Since I’m more into the commercial music, I try to listen to a lot of Pop, Hip Hop, Trap and Urban music in general. But I’m also a big fan of Latin music, so I’m always listening to music like that, too. Regarding to get inspiration I really get it from everywhere, there are not special genres of music or artists.

Tell us one thing that your fans don’t know about you.

My real name is Ortzi!!

How do you try to make yourself stand out in this saturated Electronic Dance Music industry?

That’s the same question I have in my head every morning! I don’t really know, first I try to be different, to learn something new everyday about production, music theory, social media, etc. So I can apply it for my own career. I think the more you learn, the more things you’re able to achieve and compete in a higher level.

What are your future plans for 2018?

To release a lot of music! I have many tracks waiting to be released and I’m really excited about it! I want people to listen to my new sound and fall in love with my solo project as much as they did when I was HIIO!

Artist Interview: DJ Markem [Heard It From Nas] Miami 2018

We had the chance to meet up with DJ/Producer Markem, while we were in Miami for Miami Music Week. We met with him in front of the Bayfront Park where the legendary Ultra Music Festival Miami takes place. Read on to learn more about this hometown Miami DJ and his music career.

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We know that you and David Tort run the music label HoTL Records. What made you and David form the label, and what are some major successes that you’ve received from it?

We met 10 years ago in Columbia, he was playing a party in Columbia. He was always a huge inspiration to me as a producer. We met that day and we shared the same taste in music, so the friendship grew from there. I use to be a resident DJ at Space Miami and so was he so we just built that relationship and started working on music together. We realized after a certain time we had so much music together that couldn’t be released on other record labels, that why not try to make our own.

Last year we had a track called “Strangers” that was released on Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS record Label that is a sub label from Spinnin’. It became a huge summer track, and we were in Beatport Top 100 for a year with two million stream on Spotify. That opened the door to many places. It was the biggest accomplishment we’ve had with a track.

 

Do you have any new music/projects that you are working on now?

Talking about “Strangers” we are working on the follow up record to it. The music is done, now just trying to find a vocalist to finish it up. We have a few new remixes that we are working on for our new label. However we aren’t sure on release dates. Sometimes you want to schedule thing but you just have to go with the flow. We have many tracks so over the next 6-7 months you’ll be hearing a lot of them.

We know that you did the massive ‘Strangers’ track on Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS label last year, what was that experience like?

We never thought it was gonna be like that actually. We made the track by the end of 2016 and being honest we never played it before it got released. We played it last year at Miami Music Week and it was sent to a lot of DJ’s as a promo. For us it was weird, we made something that was really different from what the sound was at the time.

Some times as a producer you don’t know if people are gonna like it, you aren’t sure what’s gonna happen. But when people received the promo and they started playing it everywhere and they wanted the full track. You’re like what happened?!

Is this your first time playing in Miami? What do you love most about Miami and the music culture here?

I’ve been living in Miami for 17 years, I moved from Venezuela. I played last year during Miami Music Week it was an incredible time. You feel like family here, for me I’m home, this is my hometown. I have friends that come from all over the world that come here just for a week. Plus all the great parties where you get to listen to a lot of new music for me thats the best part.

I love the mix of cultures. I’ve been living here for the last 17 years. You have a mix of people from Europe, South America, everywhere in the world. That makes this city quite special.

It feels amazing when people ask you where you are from and you’re able to say MIAMI. People are always like wow it’s the party city of the world.

What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to be in for you to start your producing process?

I just need to listen to a few tracks that are not related to electronic music to get me some time of inspiration. What you really need is that idea that comes to your mind before producing a track. Because it’s difficult to get that done when you tell yourself you just need to work. Compared to being in the studio and something comes to mind and just going with the flow. I listen to a lot of Alternative Rock, Latin music, and Old Salsa music. That’s why when you listen to our tracks you hear a lot of percussions and Latin rhythm. Its what I listened to when I was little.

 

What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you?

Most people don’t know that I’m from Venezuela. I make sure to be clear about that when people ask me. Most people think I’m American because I’ve been in Miami for so long. I’m Venezuelan and proud.

How has your music evolved since you first started producing and songwriting?

I started as a club promoter for a Latin club. That was in 2003. EDM wasn’t as big as it is right now. When I started learning how to DJ everyone was like you need to mix Top 40 tracks but that wasn’t what I wanted to play. So I started playing Trance, but I’ve always been a lover of house. I’m playing more Progressive house now, I’m more on the tech side. It’s always evolving.

Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?

That’s a tough question! I wouldn’t say one specific person or band or DJ. I’m just a guy who loves all music that is made with some form of love. You can hear tracks and not care for them, but I listen to 1000 demos a month, there are tracks that are just made to be made but you know the ones that are made from the soul. As a producer I would say David Tort, he was one of my biggest inspirations and now he’s my business partner.

I had the chance to tour with David Guetta and Erik Morillo and when I see what they have done in their careers, it is huge and I really respect that. When I started opening for those guys I kind of didn’t believe it. I did two tours for him in Colombia, and it was like when you see someone on the TV or listen to his tracks and then all of a sudden you’re on stage opening for him its surreal. I had to ask myself if I was really handing off the decks to him.

 

What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

Oxia – Domino. Every year I make a different edit of it just to keep it fresh but every time you drop it people are like, “WOW.”

Gioli & Assia Talk Borderline and Producing! [Heard It From Nas: Interview]

We had the chance to chat with Italian tech-house DJ’s and producers, Giolì & Assia! We asked them about their new single ‘Borderline’ and learned more about their producing process. Read on below to learn more about this Italian duo!

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We know you have just come out with your new single ‘Borderline’. What was it like for you and Assia writing this song? What was the creative process/inspiration behind it?


‘Borderline’ is the second track in our upcoming debut album, Instantanee. It tells the story of someone who can’t live with or without their partner because they are both the poison and the cure of their illness. The storyteller has to live with an unstable sense of self-identity and the feeling of emptiness that they would experience if their partner were to leave them. Although they know the pain that remaining in the relationship is causing them, they can’t give it up and instead choose to escape reality by telling themself, “close your eyes and try to leave the world behind”. However, unlike the lyrics, the music communicates a sense of revolt. The ethnic percussion and beat create a pressing rhythm, which conveys strength and recovery.


What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to be in for you to start your song-writing and producing process?

Giolì: We are used to producing in our studio where we have all the instruments and gear that we need. We usually begin the production process by creating the music and melody first, followed by the lyrics. However, sometimes we’ll do things a little differently. For instance when I started working on “Paradise To Share”, I wrote the lyrics with the help of the guitar in my little room. It really depends on the moment.

Assia: Sometimes it depends on finding new sounds and how much they inspire us. If they inspire us everything comes easily.

What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you?

So many. We love puppies and Disney cartoons. We both love Indonesia, and we love to draw and paint.


What made you decide to go the non-traditional route and create your own label agency [Diesis], instead of being signed to a major agency like other artists in your genre?

We didn’t have a choice. We had to do it to be able to share our music with our fans because no other label wanted to put our records out. We are very proud of our path! Having a label is very comforting, but the downside is that we’re limited in our audience reach, which is something that a major label doesn’t have to struggle with.


How has your music evolved since you first started producing and song writing?

We started producing about two years ago. Since I’ve been playing instruments for so long, composing music definitely came naturally. The most difficult part was learning how to use Logic Pro X. Our music has evolved since we first start producing but you can definitely find elements of our old tracks in our new ones.

 

Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?
We’ve answered this question so many times. We listen to many different kinds of music so we draw inspiration from lots of artists ranging from Paul Kalkbrenner to The XX to Alt-J.


What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?
Giolì: Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen 
Assia: I’m in love with all Coldplay songs, especially “Lovers In Japan”.
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Keep up with the duo:
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Kutch Speaks to All Things “Collectable” [Heard It From Nas: Interview]

We had the chance to chat with Colin Kutchyera and learn more about his music career and his debut album ‘Notionside‘ to be released on March 2nd! Read on below to learn more about this Canadian singer/songwriter.

Watch the video here.

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Who are your biggest influences in the music industry?

It’s probably a cop-out, and I hate to feed his ego, but having such a close friend and collaborator like La+ch being immersed in the industry puts him at the top of the list. I think that a lot of musicians are shaped by the music scene that they came from.  We had (and still do) a very tight knit music scene in Thunder Bay.  I feel like the connections that I formed playing hundreds of shows both locally and nationally ten years ago are still more influential to me today than anything I would hear on the radio or elsewhere. I don’t get much of a chance to listen to a ton of music currently. My job is about an 8 minute drive from my house, so whatever happens to be playing on the radio during that time is what I hear.

 

Which artists/bands did you grow up listening to?

Like most musicians, it usually starts with your parents. Mine never played any instruments, but always bought and listened to a ton of it. Their vast collection of records, tapes and CD’s, which frequently featured Fleetwood Mac, Marc Cohn, Electric Light Orchestra, Fine Young Cannibals, Eurythmics, Madonna (among countless others); helped me grow up with an immense appreciation of pop melodies. I always loved to sing, but once I started to play guitar in my teens I was into a lot of post-punk style bands. .Moneen., Selfmademan, Mae, and Receiving End of Sirens were my among the staples a kid learning how to play guitar and write music.

 

Ideally, what kind of message would you like to deliver to your fans through your music?

It might not always come across immediately, but I explored the theme of placing value a lot in the album. Where do we place value in our relationships, finances, quality of life, and interactions,  for example. Though I often tend to use sarcasm or satire a lot to get a point across, I don’t really intend to condemn anyone or even necessarily provide answers. I definitely don’t always correctly prioritize value in my life myself, but realize the importance of being aware.

 

In your debut single, “Collectable” you mentioned how you lead listeners down a path of collecting those they love the most. Who stood out to you the most in your collection of love?

First, thank you for the opportunity to earn brownie points, and second, my wife of 8+ years. The song isn’t so much about collecting multiple persons, as it is about the memories that we collect with our loved ones. If we expect that all of the memories we’re going to get from our relationships are Instagram ready smiles, then the second that something bad happens and we add it to our memories, it tarnishes the whole collection. I try to suggest that we get more out of our relationships when we take them off the shelf and enjoy them, rather than try to keep them pristine and the mantle.

 

Which artist would you like to collaborate with one day in your music career?

Not to sound arrogant, but I don’t really care. I would love it if my music picked up and became successful enough to have that option, but for now, I really enjoy the friendship and camaraderie that making music facilitates in my life. On top of collaborating with La+ch, I’ve spent more time with friends on this album (mastering, artwork, video) than I have in all other aspects of my life combined. There are so many amazingly talented people out there who I could learn a lot from if I were to collaborate with them, but if they’re not good people or we just don’t actually care to be in each other’s prescence, then why bother? I prefer to make connections first and then decide on who to collaborate with.

 

What are your future plans for 2018?

Musically, I’d love to get another video done and find a time to record a few more tracks. Personally, I know I need to prioritize my family, including my son’s health, my master’s program, and my job. It’s a balance that I haven’t quite figured out yet, but it’s all part of the process.

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Avery Florence Talks January & 2018 Plans! [Heard It From Nas: Interview]

We had a chance to chat with Canadian singer/songwriter Avery Florence and ask her about her new album January, how she gets her inspiration, and what her plans are for 2018. Read on below for this Heard It From Nas interview with Avery Florence!

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We know you have just come out with your new album/EP January. What was it like for you writing this song? What was the creative process/inspiration behind it?

Recording this album was a surreal experience for me. It was a big leap, working with extremely talented musicians following my lead. I’d really never felt more confident and uncomplicated though. We all worked together & you can feel it on the album. We recorded January live-off-the-floor, meaning we all played in the studio simultaneously, which really captured the vibe of the room & the essence of the songs… Nowadays people usually record one instrument at a time, so this has a live music feel. And there is nothing like live music.

I named the album January because the month is a reflective time yet one for new resolutions and hopes. That’s what this album is all about for me; looking back and jumping in & moving forward. It has a very warm feel, to get you through the coldest months of the year.

What do you need to have around you and/or a location that you need to be in for you to start your song-writing and producing process?

My best songs evolve when I need to song write. For me, it usually happens on either side of the spectrum; when I’m feeling lost in my own despair, I write. Or even better, when I feel limitless & inspired, I try to get myself to my guitar or piano immediately. I sometimes take voice notes of melodies that pop into my head, but I usually write with an instrument and see what comes out (:

Also, I am all about mood lighting, candles, natural light from the window.

What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you?

Hopefully there is way more than one thing!! There’s so many things I don’t even know about myself…

But fun fact, I have a bit of a raspy voice because as a kid I loved the Lion King so damn much that I wouldn’t speak in my nursery class, I only roared for a month. That’s one way to lose your voice (:

 How has your music evolved since you first started producing and song writing?

The more I improve on my instruments and collaborate with different musicians/producers, I’m not as confined within what I’m able to create alone. When I first started songwriting I was limited to a few chords on my guitar (G Em D anyone?), so that really directed my sound. Now I’m really excited because I’ve been collaborating with people in several genres which gives me freedom to sing whatever I’m feeling, whether that’s Soft-Soul, Pop, R&B…. No matter the genre, my music comes from raw emotion. That being said, you really can write a great song with two chords.

Who is your biggest music inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?

I admire artists who keep doing it for the sake of art & expression itself. It is so easy to lose yourself in the industry hustle and forget about why you started making art in the first place. I meet so many talented artists (musicians, visual artists etc) who just want to keep learning, remain curious and open to creation, without the need for it to be a “marketable product.” I’m trying to figure out my balance; I want to continue creating straight from my soul & also be able to live financially on my art. It’s a tricky business!!

What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

Dreams- Fleetwood Mac (could be the best song ever)

Colours of The Wind- Pocahontas (I ❤ Disney)

Lover You Should’ve Come Over- Jeff Buckley (I ❤ JB)

What are your future plans for 2018?

I am in the motions to record two EPs this year (!!) I’ve rounded up musicians in both Toronto & Montreal, separately to record with, giving each EP a really unique sound. One is going to be a raw, low-key R&B, sensual vibe, while the other is going to have a little more of a synthy, dramatic sound. Also hoping to play on some summer festivals if ya know any that’ll have me (; I am pretty pumped for 2018!!

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LA-based Aussie artist, Lili Kendall | Interview [Heard It From Nas]

We had the chance to chat with LA-based Aussie girl, Lili Kendall who just dropped her killer new single Lifetimeyou can listen to here. Read on to learn more about Lili, her musical influences, and what she has planned for 2018!

Lili Kendall 2017

We know that you have just released your new single called ‘Lifetime’ that came out on December 1st. What was it like for you writing this song? What was the creative process/inspiration behind it?

It was produced by my good friend Dean (Deaneaux) Beresford, I wrote it when I first moved to LA in June. The song is about the chase that you and someone are on at the start of a relationship. The back and forth, and lust/want of each other. It’s also about being ride or die for that one person because you know that you have been lovers in previous lifetimes, and it is something worth fighting for.

What was the transition like for you from moving from Australia to Los Angeles? Did you move there to advance your career in music or was it a city you’ve always wanted to live in?

It still feels new for me, I definitely moved here for my music. LA is full of so many different individuals, I feel like there is more room to move, less boxes to be put in. Since moving here, and surrounding myself with so many other boss ass women in the music industry, I’ve definitely felt more able to grow and develop as a human and artist in my own direction. BUT, it is also a lot bigger pond, so if you aren’t prepared to work 3x harder than you originally thought you had to, you will be drowned out, because there are millions of singers and writers here and they are all constantly on their hustle.

Now that you’re living in LA, what do you find yourself doing in your spare time?

I still feel like a newbie foreigner, so I spend a lot of my spare time driving somewhere new, seeing more of California. I try to get out of LA when I can.

How has your music evolved since you first started singing and songwriting?

I started writing at about 12, just me and my guitar, super basic. Then when I got a little older, I started working with producers and writers, they were all a lot older than me. I think when you are 15-17 you are super susceptible to others influence and just want to fit into the box they give to you. So my music was heavily influenced by who I worked with. Now I have found a voice, trust in myself as a writer and vocalist and a new passion for music and my art. Right now my process is sitting with my producer while he makes the track, and just trying to write from the most honest place, I want each song to be a perspective of my mind in that present moment of writing it.

Who is your biggest musical inspiration? Who do you have a lot of respect for?

I have a lot of musical influences. Forever and always influenced by Amy Winehouse, Solange, Ms Lauryn Hill, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Etta James, Frank Ocean. Currently I’m super inspired by Jesse Reyez, SZA, Sabrina Claudio, EARTHGANG, Miguel, Nick Hackim, Raury. I’d say right now my most played album is probably Scum Fuck Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator. I really admire and respect any artist that trusts themselves enough to push the boundaries and are focused on exceeding their own expectations as a creative, because that’s where the magic comes from.
What is one song that never gets old for you, no matter how many times you hear it?

American Boy – Estelle

What are your future plans for 2018?

Releasing more music, creating new music, putting together a band and playing shows, growing as a human and artist. I don’t have any expectations at this point.

Toronto DJ/Producer Saad Ayub: Interview with [NAS MEDIA]

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We had the chance to chat with Toronto DJ and producer Saad Ayub before his anticipated performance at the upcoming Bud Light Dreams Festival this July 7-8th. Ayub discussed his biggest inspirations, some tips for up and coming DJ’s, and what’s next for him and his music in 2018. Saad Ayub will be playing Toronto’s ‘Dreams Festival’ on Saturday, July 8. Tickets & more info click here.

If you can’t wait until Dreams Festival to hear Saad Ayub, he will be doing a street mix on Z103 this Monday, June 26 on the Drive @ 5, listeners can tune in!

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Read on to learn more about Saad Ayub and what he will be up to.

We know that you will be performing this summer at Dreams Festival this upcoming July. How does it feel to perform at one of the biggest festivals in Toronto and showcase your music to thousands of fans?

 It is an absolute honour and privilege to play any major festival: Dreams is definitely top of the list for me as far as fests to perform at. The hometown crowd always brings a special vibe and energy, and I’m super excited to showcase some fresh, unreleased tracks I’ve been working on.

How has your music evolved since you first began producing?

If you follow my radio show you can hear on the intro jingle that I try to tell my life stories through my music. The sounds I produce revolve around how I feel and which direction my life is taking at any given time, and I feel I connect with my fans in great depth due to that. It’s hard to describe the evolution of my sound, but constant change is definitely there, and one of my main focuses is to push and try new things.

Who is your biggest inspiration? / Who do you have a lot of respect for?

Armin Van Buuren for giving me the opportunities to showcase my music on his label, Ferry Corsten for his unique sound of music and Aly & Fila for pushing that harder style of Trance Music.

What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a DJ? As an attendee?

As a DJ, the most memorable night for me was my closing set for the Digital Dreams 2013 After Party at Footwork. People were lined up to see me till 4am and the place was a jam-packed until the very end. As an attendee, there have been too many great ones to mention, but they mostly involve nights at Guv with my crew.

What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJ’s making? What advice would you give to aspiring DJ’s?

CC-ing all DJs in a single email to support their tunes. Not going to lie, I was guilty for doing that too, early on. My advice is to send personalized emails and to know who you are pitching. It is key that you show you know what they’re into, and aren’t just spamming them along with hundreds of others. Never take a spray and pray approach when pitching your tracks for support!

Where do you think the scene is headed? One year from now? Five years from now?

 Globally scene is becoming more Performance based again. In Toronto, its really unpredictable market – even to look ahead six months – but normally after Summer you can have an idea of what’s new and hot. In five years? I think and hope that Rebel will become the hub for Dance Music in Toronto just like how The Guvernment used to be.

What is one sub-genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

Liquid Drum and Bass

What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?

I have two, since I couldn’t pick just one 😉

Aly & Fila – First Sun

Armin Van Buuren – Safe Inside You

What are your future plans in producing for 2017?

My 2017 productions are now pretty much finished and I’m now starting to plan for 2018. I have just released two new tracks: one with Sylvia Tosun called “Welcome to the World” on Sea to Sun, and the other one, “Revolution” with Elevation, released on A State of Trance. I have some big tunes lined up to be released starting in August and every 4-6 weeks until the end of the year. Words can’t describe how excited I am to release the upcoming ones. Some big news is coming soon!

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If you love Saad Ayub’s music as much as we do, you can stream Saad Ayub’s latest track ‘Revolution’ released on A State of Trance: https://soundcloud.com/saadayub/saad-ayub-elevation-revolutio-1

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ROOKS MCCOY EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH [HEARD IT FROM NAS]

ROOKS MCCOY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

HEARD IT FROM NAS

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Rooks McCoy is back at it again and bringing more exclusive news to his fans. Last week he released his brand new music video for his single ‘With You’, directed by Nas Media. This week he has some brand new content out again for his fans to learn more about him and how he started his music career as well his influences and a little talk around his new album called the Sonny Boy Wonder LP.

Watch the full Heard It From Nas exclusive interview on Rooks McCoy below, directed and shot by Nas Media.

https://www.facebook.com/RooksMcCoy/

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