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January 16, 2023 Hooked like Helen offers a tantalising new song

Hooked like Helen offers a tantalising new song

Image credit: Rat Majesty

Pleasing and alluring vocals erupt in Hooked like Helen’s latest song ‘Winter (Tori Amos cover)’ released under Stipp Manor Music. The new track is powerful in its lyricism which is expertly interpreted by both the simplicity of the gentle piano notes and the contralto of the singer. consequently, as the vocals rise and fall throughout the melody, an out-of-body experience takes place because the song can transcend happy emotions to expose the hidden tender need a girl holds for assurance towards her father. Continue reading for the interview below.

Stream/ download: ‘Winter’

How has ‘Winter’ (Tori Amos cover) changed your lives?

The song is about a girl’s relationship with a father figure who believes in her and sees greatness in her that she might not see in herself, even as time goes by and dreams fade. Ironically, I did not have anyone in my life who fit that role for me as I was growing up, but I think this might be the very reason the song resonates with me on such a visceral level. Music allows us to escape, imagine, and build castles in our minds. When I sing and play “Winter”, I am (for 4 minutes and 30 seconds) one of those girls with a dad who loves her. I get to have a moment in the snow where I’m protected by gloves too big for my hands. Creating our version of “Winter” has been cathartic and painful and healing and challenging…and just what I needed.

What would you like listeners to take away from the song?

We really just wanted to introduce this beautiful song to our listeners through our lens, without compromising too much of Tori’s vision. Art is open to interpretation, especially music like this; it paints pictures and evokes emotions without too much specificity. We wanted to create a modernized version of Tori Amos’ musical perfection for our audience, and let them consume it in whatever capacity feels right to them.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Music has been our deepest love since both Jon and I were kids. Babies, honestly. When I was 3 years old, my big sister had a little Casio practice keyboard. I remember vividly, all these years later, that one of the demo songs pre-programmed into the keyboard was “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. The cheesy synth sounds that floated out of those cheap internal speakers painted streaks of colour and moving patterns across my mind, each musical part in the arrangement creating a different visual against the black backdrop of my consciousness. This was the first time I experienced Chromesthesia that I can remember, and the beginning of my obsession with music.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

The songs come about in different ways, but there is always an “ah-ha!” moment in the process; that moment when we know we’ve struck the right note with the right chord with the right lyric. Sometimes this comes quickly, and sometimes it takes hours or even days of coming back to it, but the song is not a song until it hits that sweet spot when you just KNOW it’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Writing songs is preferred over recording – Jon and I are perfectionists so it can get a little tedious in the recording process. The writing part is our self-expression and our contribution to the world, so it feels incredibly satisfying to create something that we think is worth other people’s ear-time. Playing live is our fuel, our life source, our energy. It is SO incredibly fun and cathartic and we can’t live without it.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Over the course of our career, we have had quite a number of people on the autistic spectrum and parents of autistic children tell us that our music – and our live performances in particular – have soothed them and connected with them in a way that other music does not. We have tried to analyze why this might be the case, and we’re not sure, but it means the world to know that these special, neurodivergent individuals are able to take something from our art that they might not get from other music.

Also, Fiona Apple saw us play once and told me she was in love with me haha. That was a highlight for sure!

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

All the best music from the 1980s and 90s! Pop, rock and alternative.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

Michael Jackson – Dangerous

Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

Green Day – Dookie

Mariah Carey – Butterfly

Prince – Purple Rain

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

Success looks like reaching people who are truly positively affected by our music. It’s earning enough money to be able to have freedom and opportunity for our son and to make a difference in the world.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

The world is full of monsters disguised as men. Protect yourself and believe in yourself no matter what.

Follow Hooked Like Helen:

Website –  FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYoutubeInstagramSpotifyTikTok

November 1, 2022 Interview with skilful jazz-funk musician Rose Noir

Interview with skilful jazz-funk musician Rose Noir

Image credit: Diane Sagnier

Masterly producer Rose Noir shared his brand new radiant EP Bloom and the mesmerising track ‘Hope’ via Halfeti Records on the 28th of October. The musician extracts his inspiration from the ‘70s motion pictures and obscure music libraries to produce fascinating musical sounds that demand attention. 

Stream / Buy on BandcampSpotify

‘Hope’ excites the ears with its powerful philharmonic delivery, its dancing bass guitar strings and its gentle drum beats. Should you close your eyes whilst listening to the song, it guarantees that you would see yourself walking the streets in the 1971 Shaft movie. Continue reading below for the interview.

Hope is a powerful emotion. Why did you choose this word for the title of the focus track?

We just got out of a very complicated pandemic period, even though it continues today, and we are now entering what looks to be a long recession. The world is going through so much right now that it’s essential that we stay unified and positive because it will eventually improve. The power of music is its ability to make people feel better and free themselves emotionally for a moment. All of those things are in ‘Hope’, a track that is a little intriguing, builds tension and gives you hope that a better ending is on the way.

How would you like the listeners to be impacted by the EP Bloom?

Taking a breather from the real world, you experience different states of mind, such as happiness, sadness, tension, stress, relief; all of these sensations make you feel alive. I would love the listener to take their time and get absorbed in the music for a moment. Music is meant to be appreciated, not consumed and digested immediately. You should be able to discover new flavours as you go back to it, as it ages like wine. 

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Music was introduced to me at an early age. On my portable turntable, I played 7” vinyl records of anime soundtracks repeatedly. I started skateboarding at the age of 9 years old, and I’d practice with an older guy who introduced me to Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, which was a game changer for me. As this was my first encounter with hip-hop and rap, I was very intrigued by it. Both of my brothers were DJs, one in the ‘70s and one in the ‘90s, which exposed me to amazing music like funk, soul, disco, or early house and dance.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

In 2020, I started working on the project during the first Covid lockdown. Recently, I moved back to France after living in LA for the past six years and had access to a great studio filled with musical instruments and analog gear. At that time, I was making electronic music, but I needed a breath of fresh air. I remember hearing a track in my dream, and it was so good that I recorded the melody on my phone in the hope of recreating it in the studio the next day, which I did. The music was just pouring out of me, and I was writing track after track for months. The process was very simple and without any pressure or stress. I would usually learn a few chords and record some melodies with the Rhodes or the Yamaha CP70 and build around it, tracking drum elements one by one and recording percussion sounds, adding a good amount of computer magic. It’s just really a big experiment that turned out very well in my opinion. Me having fun and learning things as I go is a big part of the project.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Since the project is at a very early stage and having only released my debut EP so far, I have not been able to play live shows yet. I am building a band of very talented musicians from different horizons, and we’re planning on playing shows sometime next year. This will be totally new for me as I’ve never played with anyone before. I have been playing shows for the past 20 years with different aliases but always alone, so I am really looking forward to that new experience. Right now I’d say I feel more comfortable making music in the studio by myself, but I also love to DJ.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I don’t personally consider myself a good “live” musician, but I know how to use a computer. The best feeling is when I play my music to experienced musicians and jazz men, and they ask me who’s playing this or that instrument, and I tell them I wrote all the music by myself and that sometimes no one is playing the instruments. Definitely tells me I am doing something right with the project, my main goal being to make music that sounds like a live band recorded in a studio.

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

Rose Noir is a 2 parts project. So far I only released the Jazz-Funk Library side, but the next EP will be a collection of instrumental beats a la maniere de Madlib or Jaydee which were some of my biggest influences since the beginning of my musical journey. With Rose Noir, I really wanted to showcase my roots, and If I had to put together a radio show, I would play a mix of Jazz-Funk, Jazz-Rock, obscure library music, 90s hip-hop, original sampled songs, all the music that has shaped me musically and inspires me to this day.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

– David Axelrod – The Edge (amazing record released in 2005 compiling music he produced between 1966-1970).

– Marc Moulin/Placebo – any early album (Belgium jazz musician, I’m in love with his music).

– Brian Bennett – Voyage (one of my all-time classics).

– Quasimoto – The Unseen (This was an eye-opener record for me, changed my life).

– Jaylib – Champion Sound (nothing to say about this album, 2 genii together).

Those aren’t rare records but really some of my all-time favorites off the top of my head right now.

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

The only thing I would like to achieve with my music is to touch as many souls as I can, leaving a mark on their musical journey. Not just being “one more record” between the now over 70.000 tracks released a day on Spotify. That’s also why I decided to press it on vinyl: I want Rose Noir’s music to be fixed on a medium that’s going to be here for a long time. A record that could be found by a crate digger/producer, be sampled even, recycled in a way. I want the music to be timeless, to bring back memories, to inspire people. Showcase the music live, bring people together and appreciate it. That would be success to me nowadays. The project is not driven by money or fame, I achieved both these things earlier in my carriers, and they don’t make you happy.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

We’re building this project together from scratch right now, and I’m hoping to bring something great to the listeners. I’m having fun and all I want is for them to have as much fun as me.

Follow Rose Noir:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterSoundcloudYoutubeInstagramSpotify


April 5, 2022 Q&A with dynamic experimental musician Frank Cogliano

Q&A with dynamic experimental musician Frank Cogliano

Image credit: Frank Cogliano

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.

‘Brainscape’ features on XPERIMENT_GROUND.fm

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

My parents always had music playing when I was growing up; the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys, Nirvana.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

Usually, I hear ideas and sing them into my iPhone. But also, particularly for Computers of the World, each track started with a sample and I built the track around that

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Studio work, because I have complete control over the end product.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Whenever anybody responds positively to any of my music it is a good thing. It happens sometimes.

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

I post short videos with music I like every day on my Twitter, so probably along those lines.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

Uku Kuut – Vision of Estonia

Googoosh – Mano Tou

Antonio Carlos Jobim – Valse

Popol Vuh – Aguirre I

Teisutis Makacinas – I diena einam

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

I would like to make good music. Success is making good music.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

Take a deep breath.

Follow Frank Cogliano:

IMDB / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok / YouTube / Soundcloud / Bandcamp / Merch / Spotify / Apple Music

March 25, 2022 Q&A with instrumental hip-hop musician TromBobby

Q&A with instrumental hip-hop musician TromBobby

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”.

Follow TromBobby:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / AppleMusic