As musicians know, the audience is everything. As such, SoundCloud is in the process of launching an innovative new feature on SoundCloud for Artists that will enable creators to make direct contact with key members of their audience. Called ‘Fans’, the feature was built to help artists forge stronger bonds with their die-hard fans.
Still in the beta phase, the feature has been made available to over 50,000 test users, who are now able to message the select few who make a difference. The hope here is that artists will be able to build increasingly meaningful relationships with their core followers.
The potential here is worth noting: instead of relying on streams, musicians could, at least in theory, offer their loyal listeners exclusive content and merchandise, leading to higher revenue; the possibilities are endless. In addition, musicians will be able to track listening behaviours and form strategies based on the feature’s handy analytics dashboard.
The Burma are back but with something different. Where their debut album focused on the Indie rock side of things (read our piece on the LP), their latest offering, a single titled ‘23’, leans more toward the Dream Pop side of things, with heavily glazy vocals, soft plucks, and woozy guitar filters. A languid record that drifts among the clouds, ‘23’ sees lead vocalist Tony O Donovan reflecting, looking to the past to inspire the mood that pervades the track.
Will the trio continue to paint the remainder of their forthcoming sophomore album (yes, there is one in the works) with a similar brush, I wonder? Touching on the subject, the band shared: “‘23’” is the first song we wrote and recorded for our second album. It’s one of those songs that came together really quickly. The song you hear now has barely changed from its initial conception, which is a rare thing for us!”
In search of fair treatment, Faroese songstress Marianna Winter says that women deserve to be heard, speaking through her latest song, ‘Consequences’. The song is a tactful approach to protest, delivering the message with grace. That isn’t to say it lacks fire. Rather, it sizzles with the heat of Marianna Winter’s clear voice and strong desire for equality.
What’s more, the singer has published an official music video for the track, which bolsters her message, acting as fuel to the social justice flame therein. But in a fun, light way. Wondering where this all came from, we asked Marianna Winter for the song’s backstory:
What is the story behind ‘Consequences’?
Long story short, the story portrays two women, acting like boys.
We chose to reenact different iconic scenes from movies made by Quentin Tarantino, because of a love for his work, but also because the weird, surreal movie scenes portray our reality quite well.
Here goes the long backstory:
Trygvi, the director, and I were brainstorming on how we wanted to portray the song. Initially, I had imagined a couple, maybe a crazy girlfriend thing. But then we dove a little deeper into the feelings of betrayal, mistrust, and craziness that the song is built on and got to talking about a situation that had occurred a week earlier where I and some other female musicians had put together a girls-only jazz jam because the Faroe Islands is still very far behind on gender inclusivity in the music environment. Most professional musicians are male, and there are almost never any female instrumentalists at the late-night jams. Our girls’ jam struck a chord in a lot of men in the music environment, and it got a lot of weird pushback. We got to talking about how annoying it is to feel less than, as a woman in the music industry, and how I always feel like some men are just waiting for the opportunity to push us down and will call us whiney for pointing out the inequality.
So we decided we would stick it to the guys and give the song and music video an extra layer by making the narrative more about mistrust and inequality in general instead of “just” in a relationship.
What is your worst musical pet peeve?
When I’m at a concert and the musicians or singers have lyrics and notes on stage… I get feeling scared or nervous that you’ll forget the lyrics or something, but I would honestly rather hear someone sing “lalala” and be present rather than the right words.
What are some of your earliest memories of music?
The first time I remember being at a concert and having this screaming feeling of “I WANT TO BE UP ON THAT STAGE” was at a Britney Spears concert in 2009 at the age of 9.
Before that, there was a lot of singing and performing in front of my family, with my pink plastic karaoke machine. Music was a big part of my growing up. One of my family members is in a world-famous rock band and I remember how cool it was to be backstage at huge venues in the US and seeing them work. Music is also a big part of the Faroese culture, where I did most of my growing up. Basically everyone in our country CAN sing, because it’s a big part of our traditions, and it’s something we always end up doing at parties and cultural events.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I like to start a songwriting session off with a vibe check. Like choosing if it’s a feel-good vibe, sad vibe, sexy vibe, etc.
When going into a session, I usually always have a handful of ideas. I have a million short and stupid-sounding voice memos and notes on my phone. Then I’ll choose, together with my producer, which Idea we both relate to and want to pursue.
Sometimes the idea will be a whole chorus, verse, sometimes just a singular lines, or just a melody. From there on, it’s all about the flow. I like to work with a producer because I find it’s way easier to write melodies and lyrics when I have an underlying vibe going on and never better if it sounds amazing.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
That’s a TOUGH one… I LOVE studio work and music creation because it’s always a surprise which way it goes, and I feel so much lighter after a session.
That being said, performing is also such a huge explosion of energy, love and connection, which leaves me all jittery after. The problem is, as much as I love performing I tend to get really nervous, which obviously is uncomfortable for a while until you feel safe and secure on stage. For me, it takes a couple of songs to feel at place, but when I do it’s all good.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
A very young little girl telling me after a concert that I was such a good singer that she was now going to go home and practice so she could sing just like me.
If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?
So much different music. It wouldn’t even make sense. We’d go through Pop, Indie Rock, Jazz, Americana, R&B, and Soul.
Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show
Mahalia (Love and Compromise), Chet Baker (Chet Baker Sings), Lennon Stella (Three. Two. One.), Beharie (Beharie, the third), America (Homecoming).
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
It looks like performing in front of people, playing concerts around the world, and people showing up. This would also initially lead to living off of music exclusively and not having it be a stress factor.
One last thought to leave your fans with?
Go with your gut, not what other people think is cool.
CHAiLD is a young rising pop artist born in Luxembourg and currently based in Brussels. His unique, soothing, yet intense voice grabs you by the gut and takes you into his melancholic universe. Inspired by artists like Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, Julia Michaels or Mø, the artist comes up with his very own pleasing style of Pop, in which he integrates his own Italian roots. CHAiLD is a generational voice for the queer youth in need of self-expression.
At only 25 years old, the artist has already added many remarkable achievements to his tally since kicking off his career in Luxembourg in 2019, such as his opening slots for his musical idols like Dean Lewis and Mahmood or his various performances at numerous festivals like Sonic Vision Festival (LUX) or Dockville (DE).
The young artist is ready to return with a new EP, Urgent Care, written at a time when he felt helpless and used songwriting as a way to cope with anxiety. The EP is a powerful and vulnerable exploration of the artist’s journey towards self-acceptance and healing. Through honest lyrics and soulful melodies, CHAiLD shares his realization that vulnerability is not a weakness but rather a way to connect with others and with oneself.
The title track “Urgent Care” sets the tone for the album, with CHAiLD laying bare his struggles and acknowledging his need for help. This theme is woven throughout the album, as the artist delves into his past traumas and the pain he has been carrying for too long.
Overall, “Urgent Care” is a raw and emotional EP that invites listeners to join CHAiLD on his journey towards self-discovery and healing. Through his music, the singer reminds us that it is okay to not be okay, and that asking for help is a brave and necessary act of self-care.
“‘Urgent care’ is my way of opening up to myself and to others. Throughout my life, I thought vulnerability was a flaw and that showing weakness resulted in an open invitation for people to hurt me. However now, I know I am allowed to tell people I’m not ok. It is ok to break down and to accept the fact that the world feels just a bit too much to handle from time to time. So, from now on, I will try to heal from the hurt I’ve been carrying within me. And most importantly, instead of dealing with it alone, I will ask for help. Yes, I am in urgent need for care.” – CHAiLD
15/04 EP release CHAiLD, Kulturfabrik (Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg)
13/05 Tallinn Music Week (TBD, Estonia)
17/06 Fête de la Musique Kopstal (Kopstal, Luxembourg)
29/07 festival congés annulés, Rotondes (Luxembourg, Luxembourg)