Brooklyn based musician Frank Cogliano recently shared his delightfully eclectic and experimental album Computers of the World. Comprised of 17 vibrant tracks, each song has its own unique flair to them. Incorporating downtempo notes, electronica, and ambient sound effects of busy streets and spaces, one can easily lose themselves in this vibrant sound fusion. Previously forming part of R&B band Sugarbad as their guitarist, the producer wanted to explore his abstract music production further, and the result is breathtaking.We asked music producer Frank Cogliano a few questions about his artistry below.
Bulgarian instrumental hip-hop producer Bojidar Vasilev a.k.a. TromBobby has teamed up with New Jersey vocalist Jermaine Holmes for this forthcoming album release PAUSE VOL.1. The album is slated for release on the 21st of April via Stereofox. We got a taste of this new album with ‘LONGING’ which featured vocals from Jermaine Holmes. With a sensual fusion of jazz and an undeniable groove, we are hooked on this track and look forward to what the rest of the album is going to sound like. We chatted with TromBobby about his latest project and artistry below.
What are some of your earliest memories of music?
I guess it will be hearing the Bulgarian National Bigband when I was about four at Studio 1. My grandmother took me because her brother was the conductor. I also remember being fascinated by the sound that the lowest piano keys made. Could play them for hours.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I start with either the melody or harmony. Then continue with bass and drums. In the case of ‘Longing’ – Jermaine recorded it on a different beat. It was like a resampled, faster version of a very slow, older one. After he sent me the vocals, I deleted everything else, kept the tempo and reharmonized the whole thing. The next single that we’re gonna drop was made for something like two days. Sometimes you need to search longer for the right vibe and sometimes it’s right there from the start.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I would say music creation is my thing, just because I love the process. Although, live shows can charge you for days, giving you a better perspective on how your music can be improved.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
That moment when the audience sings the lyrics that you made up in your head in a moment of honesty. That’s beautiful.
If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?
Sweet soul music.
Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show
D’angelo – Voodoo
Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
Otis Redding – Dock Of The Bay Sessions
Arthur Verocai – Arthur Verocai
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Special Occasion
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
A Grammy would look great in my parents’ house, although paying the bills and living a normal life thanks to music feels like a blessing every day.
One last thought to leave your fans with?
Peace & love. “Keep in mind that I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my s*it”.
Sharing his new album Skills, German composer Sven Helbig gave us a taste of what to expect with the release of the album track ‘Metamorphosis’ ahead of the official release. Drenched in passionate violin arrangements, this classical track carries a tense but intriguing atmosphere nonetheless. The musician shares that this album was inspired by people around him, exercising their abilities to create new and wonderful things. Also featured on the album, is the noteworthy track ‘Flow’, which takes a more adventurous route with its blend of electronica, string instruments, and ambient embellishments. Today we present an exclusive Q&A with the composer below.
Describe your sound for us. What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
My sound consists of classical instruments in synthesis with subtle electronics. For the new album, I used French horns and tuba beside a string quartet. I can’t say what people should feel. I am transmitting energy and I hope it finds some receivers.
Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?
John Tavener for his deep spiritual composing, the drummer Questlove for the incredible joy he pours into my body with a simple 2 and 4 in their right places, and Stevie Wonder for everything.
How did you discover your particular sound?
I always loved the musical waves that an orchestra or classical instruments, in general, can produce. This is very different from any other sound source, and I wanted to work with this type of musical energy.
Tell us about one of the first struggles you faced (as a group or a solo artist) and how you overcame it?
It took me a long time to see sense in making my own music, after growing up with the masters and their complex perfection. Do we need more music? That doesn’t matter! Am I good enough? That doesn’t matter either. It sounds simple but finding those two answers was incredibly hard for me.
What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?
For creation: My brain, my intuition, a pencil, and paper.
On stage: I couldn’t live with a laptop.
Music for the individual or the masses – which do you want to create?
I can’t answer this. It is a typical western-world-21st-century-question. There is a difference between whether by “for the masses” you mean the audience of Johann Sebastian Bach, or that of McDonald’s. Bach’s music was created for the masses and still is accessible for everybody. I wouldn’t make music that is only limited to a few individuals.
Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far?
Yes. The most touching moments have been the after-shows with my choir project. When a choir of St. Petersburg or Minsk or Cuba is singing folk songs for you, in a pub after the concert, that is incredibly moving.
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?
I would very much like to collaborate with Ryuji Sakamoto. His work was with me for so long and it would be a dream to write something with him.
What kind of message are you trying to send with your music?
My music is made to make it easier to stand up again. I want to share energy for this. Every one of my projects is written in search of leaving a foggy time and finding a new way out.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I am looking forward to performing my new album Skills live. Especially being invited by the London Contemporary Orchestra to perform with them at Southbank Centre makes me very excited.
Now, if you’ve been following RCRD LBL for the past year, chances are you would have heard about the Chinese-British songstress Fifi Rong and her fantastical build towards releasing her latest crowd-funded album, There Is A Funeral In My Heart, For Every Man I Loved. The singer first arrived on our radar in February 2021 with the release of ‘Another Me’ and the artistic music video that accompanied it. In the nearly full year to follow, we saw Fifi Rong investigate the world of live performance, become a forerunner in the NFT community and launch the impressively successful crowd-funding campaign that helped her give back to her followers and collaborators alike.
It seemed only fitting to round off the year with Fifi Rong as we explore her mind, creative process and plans for the future. Find it all in the exclusive interview below.
Tell us about your first memory of music and how it inspired you
I was 4 watching this TV show about pianists and I developed this aching desire toward it and begged my parents to get me a piano.
In your biog, you mentioned how you’ve struggled to reconcile the two different sides of society (Western and Eastern). Do you feel you were able to bring the two together in your latest album?
Yes absolutely. It’s effortless now, and I can dial to any side as I wish.
There Is A Funeral In My Heart, For Every Man I Loved was crowd-funded, reaching the goal before the campaign ended. Tell us how you feel about this success and what you envision the next step to be
I’m very proud and loved. We reached the goal 2 weeks before the end of the campaign and ended at 164% crossed Indiegogo and my website’s crowdfunding period. This is proof of the ‘1000 true fan’ theory of how modern artists can have true creative freedom and full support from a relatively small number of true supporters instead of millions of distant listeners/fans. Going forward, I will be taking my connection with my real supporters to web3, which is an environment where this culture I have developed in my community can really thrive.
What is your favourite aspect of your video for ‘Out Of Clock’? What makes it stand out from the rest?
I speak in Chinese and English in the monologue at the intro, and tell the story of Why There Is A Funeral In My Heart in Chinese on one of the stereo fields, whereas I kept repeating the Album title in the other stereo field. It sums up the album really, and the production style is my favourite type in all my productions too: ‘passive aggressive’. Also, the chorus really spells out the general emotional signature of the entire album. ‘My heart is running out of love, for anyone, to stay’… after every funeral I gave to every single love affair. It’s a memoir of love after all.
The world of NFTs is quickly evolving, with you as one of the forerunners in the community. Tell us why you believe this new digital world is so important?
Cryptocurrency and NFT is a new technology, a disruptive one. Technology is a one way street, and NFT as a technology will take over the whole world before everyone realises it. It creates a better, fairer world and financial system, a win-win situation for creators, fans, and collectors, and adds much more utility and ownership to the relations between them.
Metaverse is the immediate future that will integrate with most of our lives and NFT is the builder block of this meta universe we are moving into.
Where is a good starting point for an artist looking to enter the NFT game? What tips would you give to a newcomer?
Web3 is powered by people and communities and the key is self governance, so education and connection with others in the community is the first and foremost aspect of longevity in NFT. So I’d recommend finding us on twitter, we have community space to educate and connect all the time around the week/cock. My twitter is @fifirong so follow me and connect on my daily onboarding show and I’ll set them up.
Tell us about your latest album. Which track shouldn’t fans sleep on and why?
‘I’m Enough’ has been talked about a lot from the feedback so far. I didn’t expect that, as I didn’t get special ‘love’ earlier during the making of the album from my peers, so I was sleeping on it. But now the album is out, people are loving it, and felt that it should have been a single as well. But then, the traditional industry may think there’s no single in my album, whereas my true supporters think every song is a single. Guess whose view I care more about?:)