Finally! I’ve been waiting for Bruno Mars to put new music out there. Even better that it’s with Anderson .Paak. To sweeten the deal even more, Parliament Funkadelic bassist and funk superstar, Bootsy Collins, will be featured as a “Special Guest Host.”
The last we heard of Bruno Mars was in 2019, when he was featured on Ed Sheeran‘s track, Blow, with Chris Stapleton. He also released Please Me with Cardi B in February of 2019. His last album was 24k Magic in 2016.
Grammy-winning rapper/singer/songwriter Anderson .Paak will be joining Bruno on this album. Paak has had a nice career for himself, so far. We last heard from him in 2020 when he hit the Madden 21 soundtrack with Cut Em In alongside Rick Ross.
Funk legend, Bootsy Collins joins the duo as the “Special Guest Host.” I absolutely can’t wait to hear what he contributes to the album.
Bruno made the official announcement on his Instagram yesterday:
Be ready for New Music Friday next week, as the team drops their first single from the album. It’s sure to be a banger.
There is no release date for An Evening With Silk Sonic at the moment, but at least we get a nice taste of the album next week!
Be sure to subscribe and let me know your thoughts on this collaboration in the comments below!
Hey everyone! Happy weekend. It’s time to roll out the newest tracks for the week…some good. Some not so good. Let’s go!
Post Malone – I Only Wanna Be With You
Yeah, that I Only Wanna Be With You.
Honestly, I like Post Malone…but this ain’t it, man. The song was chosen for the Pokemon 25th Anniversary event…which…doesn’t even make sense.
It just sounds like a cheap cover band version of Hootie and the Blowfish. The added Pokemon sounds in the music don’t help.
They really missed the opportunity to call it I Only Wanna Be With Mew. Shame.
Leon Bridges & Keite Young – Like A Ship
We started with a really unfortunate cover of a popular song above. This cover is much better.
THIS is music.
Leon Bridges and Keite Young team up on the cover of Pastor T.L. Barrett‘s gospel song, Like A Ship for Truth To Power Project’s Soundtrack To Empowerment.
The Truth to Power Project’s Website states “The Truth to Power Project is a creative endeavor working to engage people with inspiring new music and multimedia content to encourage community involvement. Let’s bring truth to the light so that we can heal, grow, and prosper together.”
They also state “A percentage of the revenue generated from this project will support the next generation of emerging musicians through the Music Forward Foundation. This national nonprofit organization is dedicated to transforming young lives, inspiring careers, and championing a more inclusive music industry.“
I love the message. This country really does need to heal, grow, and prosper TOGETHER.
Here is Like A Ship.
The Offspring – Let The Bad Times Roll
After a 9-year hiatus, The Offspring is back.
Their last album, Days Go By was released in 2012, and I know I have been waiting for new music from the band. We finally get it today with a teaser from the new album, Let The Bad Times Roll, which will be released April 16.
The new track has that old school alt rock sound that made The Offspring famous. Let The Bad Times Roll is about the current state of America…which sucks. The song does not suck. Check it out.
Green Day – Here Comes The Shock
More like Here Comes The Suck.
We are in year 2 of the punk band’s 2 year partnership with the NHL, in which Green Day songs are played during NHL games. The band has released songs that have been introduced during games, and they are at it again.
They introduced their new track, Here Comes The Shock as part of the National Hockey League’s Lake Tahoe outdoors game last Saturday.
As an unapologetic Green Day fan, I absolutely hate this song. The lyrics are nonsense. The band behind Billie Jo Armstrong sounds great, musically, but this is honestly just a trash sports anthem and I hope I never hear it again. You’re so much better than this, guys.
Welcome to another edition of Le Café Music Blog’s Indie ArtistInterview Series. Today, we will be joined by multi-lingual, 18-year-old German pop artist, CassMae!
Cassie’s story is as incredible as her voice and I am so happy she is here to share it with us today. Let’s get right to it.
Ryan: Welcome, Cassie! Thanks for joining us today. How about a little intro for our readers?
CassMae: Hey everybody, I’m CassMae. I’m 18 and I sing and write songs here in Duisburg, Germany. Since I”m really into the Indian culture with its music and food, I integrate this spirit in my songs.
Born Blind: CassMae’s Musial Journey
Ryan: I think it’s amazing how you have incorporated Indian culture into your music. The sound you create is unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. When I watched your video for My Inner Peace, I was really intrigued, so I did a little research and read that you were born blind. Can you tell us a bit about your journey in music?
CassMae: When I was three years old, I had already destroyed my feet by constantly “drumming” them on the ground, so my parents found me a Djembé teacher. At the same time I got really obsessed with Chopin, so naturally, it didn’t take me too long to also learn the piano. I wrote my first song for my dad (in German) when I was six, started writing in English when I was ten. Eventually, I applied for a scholarship to the 5-Week-Performance-Program at Berklee where for the first time I got in touch with Indian music. Returning to Germany I started googling for Indian songs and entered an Indian music school for learning Tabla. From there I knew I wanted to mix sounds from the East and West.
Indian Culture and Her Music
Ryan: What is it about Indian culture that fascinates you?
CassMae: India fascinates me due to the variety of languages and religions. Their approach to music as something very divine, and of course I fell in love with the food.
Ryan: The food is incredible. Mutton Rogan Josh is so good. Have you ever been to India?
CassMae: No, never been to India but it’s definately top on my bucket list. I already started planning my stay there with an organization, but naturally, this is on hold now.
Ryan: I hope you are able to safely go soon. I miss traveling. So you sing in English, German, and Hindi. How many languages to you speak?
CassMae: German is my mother tongue. My mom was partially raised in Acton, Massachusetts, so I spoke English very early. In school, I took French and Spanish, which I speak fairly fluently. Of course, I now learn and speak Hindi, and I’m very interested also in Bengali, Tamil, Hebrew and Sanskrit.
Ryan: Wow. I’m lucky if I can ask where the bathroom is in more than 4 languages.
Release and Influences
Ryan: Tell us about your latest release and your upcoming project.
CassMae: On my very first album PAST LIFE which was released in November 2020, I combined my pop music with Indian, African, and Japanese sounds. All songs are very personal and have a rather melancholic vibe. I’m now writing new originals for an EP collaborating with Golow, who produced my debut album and is working very internationally.
Ryan:PAST LIFE is a beautiful album. So unique and refreshing. Who are your biggest musical influences?
CassMae: It has changed a lot over time. I really admired Ed Sheeran for his songwriting when I was younger. I love singers like Adele, Birdy, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Aaliyah. They are now joined by great Indian artists such as Lata Mangeshkar, Shreya Goshal, Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh, and many more; A.R. Rahman is a great composer.
Life Outside of Music
Ryan: What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
CassMae: I talk a lot to friends. I meditate, read books and write poems. Whenever I can, I try to improve on languages, not really into sports but a little yoga.
Ryan: I need to find time to improve my French. It’s so hard to learn a language when you get old like me. haha. If music wasn’t an option for you, what would you do?
CassMae: I would probably train to become a therapist, glad I can do this with my music as well.
Ryan: Music therapy is a great option for you. I bet you were an interesting kid. What were you like when you were younger?
CassMae: I was pretty weird, having my own kind of language and a couple of imaginary friends. For some time I insisted people call me Chopin and sing everywhere I would go, would climb up every stage there was, and wouldn’t stop performing.
Ryan: Ha! Okay, Chopin. That’s hilarious. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
CassMae: I always call myself a “chicken-vegetarian,” since I can’t let go of butter chicken. So if there’s ever a great alternative I’ll give up meat altogether, but I doubt it can ever be replaced.
Ryan: How did I know it was going to be an Indian dish? Butter Chicken is delicious. If you were an animal, what would you be?
Ryan: My wife would be terrified of you. haha
Back to Reality
Ryan: How are you staying connected to your fans during COVID?
CassMae: I practically live on Instagram at the moment, trying to be creative in entertaining and reaching more people.
Ryan: That’s great. Instagram is a great tool to stay connected. If you could perform in any city in the world today, where you go?
CassMae: I would love to play in Mumbai, since it’s the city of Bollywood, but would also be glad to perform in any other huge city in India.
Ryan: That would be an amazing opportunity. I hope you get to perform there someday.
Ryan: What’s next for CassMae?
CassMae: I will hopefully be able to do a planned filming of a jam session in a very special location in May, finish the EP and shoot music videos, and be able to play the gigs that are already planned.
Ryan: One more question before I let you go. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
CassMae: Give some Indian music and butter chicken a try and never lose hope. Thanks for this loverly interview, Ryan.
Ryan: No, thank YOU for the loverly interview, Cassie! You’re welcome to come back any time!
Ryan: Welcome, Gabby! Thanks for joining us today. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself.
Gabby: I am an eighteen year old Pop/R&B singer-songwriter from Orange County. I have been performing live for 6+ years. I currently gig at various locations in Southern California including The House of Blues Anaheim, and Copper Blues Live, singing and playing the piano. Right now I work as a hostess at a local restaurant and spend my free time studying to become a certified personal trainer. Rushing to sessions with my producer to work on my original releases, writing songs, and gigging at the venues that are fortunate enough to be open during this difficult time.
Ryan: Yeah, you’re definitely one of the lucky ones. Not a whole lot going on in Pennsylvania. It can be a bit depressing. So, tell me about your music.
Gabby: My artistry is a reflection of how I live my life through what I do. I never compromise the integrity of a song- whether I am writing it, playing it, or singing it. Embarrassing lines, stank faces, I put it all out there because the whole point my art is connection; and the best way I can do that is being honest in every form of the word. That’s what makes co-writing such a special experience for me, having the opportunity to share those vulnerable moments with someone and getting the privilege to help each other process emotions. Similarly, performing gives me the chance to connect with my audience in real time- something so foreign in our virtual world. That is why I gave up hangouts with friends/parties/dances throughout middle + high school to do music.
Ryan: Awesome. Dedicated is good. Not many 18-year-olds have that quality. Stank face is also good. You had a new song come out recently. Tell us a little about that.
Gabby:block u out was created in a post-breakup pandemic world. I was stuck in quarantine with nothing to do but stare at my white walls and overthink every last thing about the relationship and where I was at mentally/emotionally. It was written in a momentary feeling of letting the social media game influence my view of the relationship when it was present, admitting ‘..Feels like you never loved me the way I loved you.’ When something cuts you so deep, it’s hard to not question why it look so easy for someone else to live life like the boat hasn’t been rocked at all. In the end, the rest of the EP will go to show the realization that just because two people love each other doesn’t mean they’re better together. Life is about learning from your losses and moving forward to greater adventures.
Ryan: Lets have a listen to block u out by Gabby Neeley!
Ryan: What I love about the song is that it is SO relatable. I’ve been in that situation too many times.
Influence and Collaboration
Ryan: Who are your biggest influences?
Gabby: My biggest musical influences can differ based on what genre we’re discussing. Or whether it’s my favorite producers as opposed to songwriter opposed to singers..really just depends. My favorite songwriters are Julia Michaels,Violet Skies, Chelsea Lena, and Bruno Major; Whereas my favorites producers are Joji, the Band Camino, and Mike Woods. Favorite singers are definitely Jasmine Sullivan, H.E.R., and Lizzy McAlpine. My binge-artist of the month is Ben Kessler. A voice I could listen to on repeaaattt.
Ryan: Nice. Some solid names on that list. You can choose one artist to collaborate with…who ya taking?
Gabby: I would love to collaborate with Eloise. Her music is timeless, very acoustic and folk yet pop/singer-songwriter and always feels like one big hug no matter what she is singing about.
Ryan: Eloise is great! Good choice.
Life Outside of Music
Ryan: If you’re not making music, what are you doing?
Gabby: Before last year, I honestly didn’t have any hobbies outside of music because I went from being a full time student and partial professional musician to a full-time musician. But, after COVID hit, I saw an opportunity to make one of my other passions into a side hustle since live performing came to halt. I am currently studying up for the big NASM exam to be a certified personal trainer. Now you’ll be able to come to me for all of your music and fitness/nutrition related needs.
Ryan: What is this “fitness” word you speak of? Never heard it before.
Ryan: If music wasn’t an option, what would you be doing with your life?
Gabby: If music wasn’t an option, I would be studying Psychology and be on track to become a therapist just like my mother. It’s really the only other career I could ever picture myself having and being fulfilled. With that being said though, as long as I have the ability to play the piano / sing / songwrite either all together or individually, that’s what I’ll be doing.
Ryan: Hell yeah. It’s always an option. Have you ever had any weird day jobs?
Gabby: Well I’m not sure if this is weird but I am currently hostessing at a restaurant in addition to doing music full time, and the schooling for being certified as a trainer. It started out as being a job to merely cover the bills, but even though I could’ve quite a while ago with music picking back up a bit, I’ve grown to really love the environment and my coworkers.
Ryan: Nothing wrong with that. I have had far too many food industry jobs. When you get to my age, you will have no desire to do it again. haha
Youth & Keeping it Professional
Ryan: What was little Gabby like?
Gabby: I was annoying as hell as a kid! LOL. Singing in the shower, car, living room, school hallways, you name it. I always laugh when friends or colleagues say that my family is ‘so lucky’ to be surrounded by ‘that voice’ all the time. I’m sure there were times before the vocal lessons and knowledge of how to not be sharp or flat with every note that came out of my mouth that they wanted to duck tape it shut. Haha.
Ryan: I’m pretty sure every kid in the world was/is annoying a majority of the time. It’s not just you. haha. Let’s switch it up to present-day Gabby. You can go on a date with one musician…who are you picking?
Gabby: This is a hard one..?? I don’t even know, to be honest. I have always thought of other musicians in such a professional way because I’m constantly in the mindset of wanting to collaborate/work with an artist no matter their small or large scale of fame. Adding anything into the mix that could complicate those accomplishments has never really been in my mind. Especially being a woman in the industry, it’s even more important to keep things professional because of the extreme backlash we face unlike men, so that is why I think my subconscious breeded that mentality.
Ryan: That’s fair. You know what they say, “Don’t shit where you eat.” That’s really gross when I see it written out. Yikes.
Ryan: How are you staying connected to your fans during this difficult time?
Gabby: During the pandemic I started live-streaming way more frequently to try and stay connected with anyone following my social pages. Sometimes I play a set I would’ve been performing at gigs, other times doing Q&A’s about original music, and then simply just talking about random stuff when I was bored and felt like being around people, but couldn’t due to the circumstances.
Ryan: Live-streaming is a great way to do it. It does cure the boredom too. haha. If you could perform live in any city in the world right now, where would it be?
Gabby: If I could gig in any city in the world, I would play the Pantages Theatre in LA. I know you were probably expecting me to say somewhere more grand and ya know, more than 50 miles away haha, but that venue has always been on my wishlist. I’ve seen so many artists play there that inspire me, like Finneas, Todrick, Billie Eilish etc. so the space feels like a hometown scene for me.
Ryan: Hey, nothing wrong with picking your hometown. I’d probably pick AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong. As far away from home as possible. haha.
Ryan: How do you feel about the music industry going digital?
Gabby: If it were up to me, we would turn back time to when people had to purchase songs for $0.99 or watch the video on Youtube. I love the features on apps like Spotify when it comes to helping listeners discover new music and making playlists, but the app practically ROBS the creators of the very music in which it relies on to survive! The minimal rate it pays artists, producers, and most of all songwriters, is ridiculous and is making it mere impossible to support yourself as an indie artist in this day and age. Especially with the absence of live music being an option for revenue.It is a major issue that needs awareness and change!
Ryan: I agree. I love my Spotify as a fan of music…but I also know about the low payouts. Going digital is a great thing…as long as the creatives are being paid fairly for their work. What keeps you going in life?
Gabby: My daily affirmations keep me going. My family keeps me going. My therapist definitely keeps me going. Lol. Although I try to do everything on my own, in the end, you simply can’t as an independent artist. You will indeed drive yourself to madness. Trust me. Even if that means creating all the music (producing, writing, mixing/mastering) yourself, you still have all the post-fun responsibilities to take care of….art work, promo content, release strategy, marketing plan, budgeting plan, playlisting opportunities, press release, interview opportunities, etc to sort out. Reminding myself that although I’m capable to doing each of those things, that doesn’t mean I have to or should do it all myself, was a pivotal moment in my mindset and helped me keep going because I saved energy and time.
Ryan: Therapy is the best haha. And you’re absolutely right. A lot of artists don’t consider the promotional and marketing side of things. They expect their music to just magically be heard by millions of people. Good on you for recognizing that at such a young age.
This Sh** Is Bananas
Ryan: You know you have one day left on this planet. How are you spending that day?
Gabby: If I had one day left to live, I would go for a walk around the lake across the street from my house by myself. Take in the beauty of my surroundings. Go to the beach with my family, eat at our favorite restaurant, head over to Palm Springs to see my grandparents and play cards like we always do. No point in rushing to try and accomplish tasks or try new things I never got the chance to. I’d want to feel at peace, so rightfully so I would do things and see people I know bring me much of that.
Ryan: Sounds like a nice relaxing day! How about if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?
Gabby: BANANAS! Lol. Always been and always will be my favorite food.
Ryan: You will never have a potassium deficiency.
Ryan: Alright, one last question. What’s next for Gabby Neeley?
Gabby: Lots of exciting things in the works I’m looking forward to.. But for now I’ll just say there is much more to come! I have many co-writes releasing this year, lots of originals from my own catalog that I’ll be releasing, and I’m currently taking on more vocal and piano students if anyone is in the market!
Ryan: Awesome! Looking forward to the new music!
For more on upcoming releases and all of those live streams, follow Gabby Neeley right here:
Today’s guest is Australian pop/r&b singer, Lauren Ojurovic! I heard Lauren sing for the first time about a year ago and I have been wanting to work with her ever since. This isn’t work, but it will do!
Ryan: Lauren! What’s up? Thanks for joining us this weekend. Why don’t we start off with a little introduction for the people that might not know you.
Lauren: Hey!! I’m Lauren, 26 from Sydney, Australia. I grew up in Western Sydney with my family and now live in the Sutherland Shire near the beaches, as I love the lifestyle.
Ryan: Ah, yes…Sutherland Shire. Home of the The 1979 novel, Puberty Blues haha. I love finding little random facts about places. All joking aside, that place looks beautiful and I’m jealous. You have a new single coming out soon, right?
Lauren: Yes! My track Into The Sun will be released soon (within the next month or 2) alongside my first video clip which I am SO excited for! To be releasing things that are true to my vision is so special to me.
Influence and Collaboration
Ryan: Can’t wait to hear it! You’ve got this smokey, soulful voice and I love it. Who are your biggest influences?
Lauren: Some of my many influences are Teyana Taylor, Victoria Monet,SZA, Alina Baraz, Kali Uchis, Doja Cat, and Bazzi.
Ryan: You are not heavily influenced at all…haha. If you could pick one of them to collaborate with, who would it be?
Lauren: Bazzi! His music is the best vibe.
Ryan: I can hear that collab in my head right now, and we’re going to need to make that happen. Bazzi, I know you’re reading this. Let’s go! What’s your collaboration process like?
Lauren: I haven’t had any collabs with other artists, but in the studio, I’ll book a day in with my producer who I always team up with. We’ll either start a new vibe from scratch and he’ll play some chords, or I’ll tell him the mood and we’ll jam it out from there. Or I’ll bring in a melody/lyric idea I already have and we’ll workshop that.
Ryan: That counts as a collaboration for sure!
Free Time and Day Jobs
Ryan: When you’re not making music…what are you doing?
Lauren: I love nature, and adventures, and anything that makes me feel like I’m experiencing my life to the fullest! My funniest and most random hobby is…I love hunting for glow mushrooms and glow worms and bioluminescent plankton. Yes it exists!!! And I love going for walks, jigsaw puzzles and games, and discovering new nature spots.
Ryan: I see nothing strange about that at all. I’ve seen the bioluminescent plankton in Thailand and it is beautiful! If music wasn’t an option, what kind of job would you want?
Lauren: Something creative!! I’m especially organized and list orientated, so who knows, maybe that could be of use haha.
Ryan: Professional list-maker. I like it. What’s the weirdest day job you’ve ever had?
Lauren: Not weird, but I used to pack luxury hampers and it was so cute and girly. Also worked for a flower delivery company. I loved handling all the flowers.
Ryan: You get to go on a date with one artist. Who are you taking?
Lauren: Kali Uchis, she is a living goddess and I want to experience her energy in person.
Ryan: Favorite food. Go!
Lauren: The answer to this question changes by the second..burgers, sushi, pizza……..
Ryan: The struggle is real. You have a drink in your hand, what is it?
Lauren: Water or alcohol, don’t drink soft drinks that often.
Ryan: Good for you. That sugar will kill you *cracks open a Red Bull*
Ryan: Australia terrifies me. Everything is deadly there. Have you ever had a close encounter with a deadly creature?
Lauren: I’m terrified of “S words” (rhymes with cider) and they are everywhere I look. And just so many bugs in the summer, it’s not even an over exaggeration and it’s NOT funny. I once turned my head on my pillow, and next to my eyes was an “S word” the size of my whole hand. I’m still traumatized.
Ryan: Alright. I’m not going to Australia. Ever.
Back to Life…Back to Reality
Ryan: If you could perform in any city tonight, where would it be?
Ryan: I feel that. I would perform in a barn for 100 people if I could. Last question for ya. What’s next for Lauren Ojurovic?
Lauren: I want to keep writing and creating, shooting more music videos and cover-art photo shoots. I’ve also got an originals show coming up on the 21st March at Lazybones Lounge Marrickville (Sydney) where I’ll be playing lots of new music 6:30-9:30pm.
Thanks, Lauren! Don’t forget to follow her on Spotify and look out for her release of Into The Sun!
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Time to clock out for the weekend because it’s New Music Friday! We’ve got chart-topping stars AND indie/small label artists today!
Ariana Grande – Test Drive
Test Drive comes off of Ariana Grande‘s Positions Deluxe edition. It’s 1 of 5 new tracks on the album, and it stays with that promiscuous theme.
Sex. It is most definitely about sex.
As you could imagine, Ari stans are losing their minds on social media.
Let’s go ahead and listen to what all the chaos is about.
The Fiasco – Played Me At My Own Game
In our latest Indie Artist Interview, I talked to Adam and Tim of The Fiasco ahead of their newest release. The 4-man alt-rock band from England gives off that original Warped Tour vibe, and I am here for it. Influenced by bands like The Offspring and All Time Low, you can understand why.
Played Me At My Own Game will smack you in the face with nostalgia. Be sure to check out the interview and follow these guys before they blow up.
24kGoldn – 3,2,1
Only 20-years-old, Golden Landis Von Jones has himself another hit. Coming off the massive success of his last chart-topping single, Mood, 24kGoldn might be trending on TikTok again soon.
TikTok and Mood gave us this gem from @jrzl: Asian Mood.
The young 24kGoldn has a bright future ahead of him. Here’s his new single, 3,2,1.
This is an interesting collaboration that is blending the genres of hip-hop and rock together. Trippie Redd teamed up with former Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker, to produce this fusion album, NEON SHARK vs Pegasus.
Redd’s new album features collaborations with Chino Moreno of the Deftones, MGK, blackbear, Scarlrxd, and Zillakami.
This drug-infused love song slaps, and honestly…I’m digging the whole 40-track album so far.
Jane Handcock – Ion Like Dat
Introducing: Estabrook Road Records artist, Jane Handcock. The Oakland-born R&B singer-songwriter is coming in hot and she’s ready to make herself known. She has worked with some big names as a songwriter, including Kelly Rowland (who also has a new track out today,) Dr Dre, Ma$e, and producer Teddy Riley.
Jason Payne, CEO of Estabrook Road Records is putting Jane in the spotlight with her new single, Ion Like Dat.
“We just dropped Jane Handcock’s first single with us and I have to say, there’s a lot of excitement and buzz going on with this track. Jane is definitely a new artist on the rise and we are grateful to be apart of this journey with her.” Payne said.
Ion Like Dat is now available on all streaming platforms, and she will surely be hitting radio stations near you very soon!
That’ll do it for this week’s New Music Friday! For more new music from Chris Brown, Conan Gray, Lil Yachty, Luis Fonsi, and much more, listen to Spotify‘s New Music Friday playlist right here.
Tell me your favorite new track in the comments below!
There are MUCH cheaper options out there, but the Universal Audio Apollo X4 Heritage produces incredible sound. If it’s in your budget, go for it! One thing to note, this is Thunderbolt 3 compatible only.
This mic is great for recording vocals and for podcasting or narration. It is a unidirectional cardioid dynamic microphone with a built-in pop filter, so there is no need to purchase one. I have used this mic before and I wish I could afford one right now.
The Blue Yeti is far from the best mic, but it is affordable and it is a USB mic…so if your setup doesn’t require an audio interface, you can plug this right into your USB port. I’ve used this one before as well. Again, not the best sound quality, but it gets the job done on a budget.
6. Studio Monitors
If you want to hear what your mix is going to sound like outside of your headphones, studio monitors are great. You get to hear what your mix really sounds like. They are also great for rehearsing vocals. Here are some options.
If you enjoy pop-punk from the 90s and 2000s, bands like Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard…you’ll definitely enjoy these guys.
Introducing: The Fiasco!
Ryan: What’s up, dudes? Welcome to Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Series. Let’s get this thing started. How about a self-introduction?
Adam: We are The Fiasco. Tim is the Lead Singer, Adam is the Lead Guitarist, Jack is on Bass and we have Matt on Drums. We’re from Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Tim & Adam have been best friends and in a band since our teens in high school. Jack and Matt have been part of the band for around 4 years now.
Ryan: Right outside of Leeds, nice. I hear the rhubarb there is the bomb. Tell me a little about your upcoming release.
Adam: Our next single is called Played Me At My Own Game. It’s a high energy Alt-Pop/Rock track. It’s about a young man who is playing the field when it comes to dating, being a bit of a Jack the lad. But then falls in love with someone who then plays him. Hence the title Played Me At My Own Game.
Ryan: “A bit of a Jack the lad” eh? For our American readers, that means he’s a cocky little shit. Played Me At My Own Game drops this Friday on all streaming platforms. A new music video for the single will also drop on YouTube.
Influences and Collaboration
Ryan: I’ve heard you tunes. Takes me back to my angsty teenage years, getting tickets to Warped Tour and being angry at my parents for loving me. Good times. Who are your biggest musical influences?
Adam: Without a doubt, my biggest musical influence was The Offspring. They were the first band I really loved and the entire reason I picked up and started learning guitar. In fact, I’m so excited to hear that they’re releasing a new album in 2021. Nowadays, I’m hugely influenced by artists such as Daughtry, Luke Combs and bands such as All Time Low and You Me At Six.
Ryan: I love The Offspring. Can’t wait for the new album! If you guys could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Adam: I think it would be really cool to go on a tour with All Time Low. We have been to see so many of their shows, and they are always super high energy, lots of fun and sound incredible! Plus they seem like a fun group of guys to hang out with!
Ryan: I’d buy tickets to that, for sure. What’s your collaboration process like?
Adam: We are open to lots of different ideas. We have collaborated with country singer, Lauren Faye Moss on a single where we wrote a song, and turned it into a duet. She came to the studio, recorded her vocals and we all shot a music video together. That was a really fun project. We’re always open to new ideas, so if you’re interested in linking up on a project – get in touch!
Life Outside of Music
Ryan: What do you guys like to do outside of music?
Adam: I’m a music producer and work with loads of other Alt-Rock and Country artists, helping them get great sounding records and traction with their careers. I also have a 1-year-old Cocker Spaniel puppy who is completely crazy, so spend a lot of time out walking trying to burn some energy from him!
Ryan: Man, I feel that. I rescued a German Shepherd puppy in Thailand at 3-months-old. He’s 18 months now and completely insane. So, if music wasn’t an option for you guys, what would you be doing?
Adam: Both of us are fully qualified teachers…. so that haha! I studied Biochemistry and trained to be a Science teacher, Tim did a Maths degree and became a Maths teacher!
Ryan: Well damn, a couple of smart-ass musicians. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about going back to teaching. You guys have a bright future in music. What’s the weirdest day job you’ve ever had?
Adam: Not so much weird, but I was a bartender in a hotel when I was 18-19. My hours were 7pm – 3am Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I hated it. One day, my P45 came through the post. I don’t really know if they just didn’t need me anymore or I got fired because they didn’t tell me haha. Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t have to turn up any more!
Tim: I was a waiter and hated it whilst at University. One day – I had enough, so just decided to never go back. Didn’t even tell my boss I wasn’t coming back, so I’m pretty sure I lost out on some wages…but thats how much I wanted out haha.
Ryan: Oh man, I’ve had jobs like that. The worst. What were you guys like as kids?
Adam: Music mad! We were those kids at parties that would always find the acoustic guitar and be like ‘Anyway, here’s Wonderwall‘ haha!
Ryan: Haha you were that guy, huh? What about you, Tim?
Tim: I was a super annoying as a kid, probably still am very annoying. haha couldn’t sit still.
Ryan: That’s what us singers do. We were born to annoy people. No shame in that. Alright, you get a date with one musician. Who are you taking out?
Adam: I would LOVE to go on a man-date with Jack Black. He is seriously the coolest guy in the world and everything he does has me in stitches! His TikTok is the best thing in the world right now!
Getting Back To Reality
Ryan: What are you guys doing to stay connected to your fans during the pandemic?
Adam: We have been posting every day on our socials, doing a few live streams, and have also created a bunch of new merch for our online store including trucker caps and beanies. It’s currently -2 in the UK right now so the beanies are well appreciated. We are going to be giving away a merch bundle when our new single drops on 19.02.21.
Ryan: Nice! New merch AND a new single this Friday! If you could play that new single in any city in the world today, where would it be?
Adam: Vegas! We spent a week in Vegas for Tim’s stag do! Incredible place, so much to do, loads of energy. I think it’d be incredible!
Ryan: Vegas is dope. I did karaoke with a really bad Elvis impersonator there. I had a little too much to drink that night. Speaking of drinking, what keeps you guys going?
Adam: Passion! You don’t do music unless it’s something you’re deeply passionate about and there’s an innate ‘need’ to write, perform and put yourself out there!
Dominoes and Tiny Horses
Ryan: If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
Adam: I’d love to get everyone I know in a huge warehouse, tons of beer, play a bit of a gig and just have the best time ever with all my friends, family and loved ones. That would be the ideal way to see out the end of the world in my opinion.
Ryan: That sounds like fun. I’ll bring my wife. We’ll see you there. How about food? What if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Adam: Pizza. Dominoes or ASDA Pizza Counter…I’m not fussy between those – they’re the best pizzas around.
Ryan: Dominoes is on the top of your list? Damn, we are spoiled here in the States. The thought of Dominoes being the best pizza anywhere keeps me awake at night. What keeps you awake?
Adam: Not feeling fulfilled later in life! If I try and fail at something, that’s fine and I can live with that! But I’d hate to get towards the end of my life and wonder ‘what if?’….. yeah that got kinda deep haha!
Ryan: It’s okay to get deep. It’s always better to try and fail than to not try at all. Okay, enough with getting deep. One of you has to fight. Who is it? Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
Adam: I’m nominating Tim for this challenge!
Tim: Yeah I’ll give this a go! I’m the kind of ambitious type to say ‘I’ll smash them both’ and then realize I’ve bitten off more than I can chew haha.
Ryan: My god. could you imagine the chaos? One horse-sized duck and a flock of duck-sized horses.
Ryan: What’s next for you guys?
Adam: We have loads more singles ready to release, so we are planning on releasing music every 6-8 weeks moving forwards. As soon as COVID rules allow, we will be out gigging, making music videos, and we also have secured a publishing deal for our music, which we are really excited about!
Ryan: That is great news. Congrats! Before we wrap this up, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Adam: To our fans that follow us and listen to our music – we love you and appreciate you so much. You’re the reason that we do what we do and get so much enjoyment out of it. To anyone who hasn’t heard our music yet… if you like high energy Alt-Rock music with good catchy melodies from a group of guys who have below average banter and love Dad jokes, then we are EXACTLY what you have been waiting for!
Ryan: There you have it! Great tunes and dad jokes. Doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks for joining us today and good luck with your release on Friday!
Listen to The Fiasco here, and get ready for their new release on Friday, Played Me At My Own Game.
Thanks again for joining us on Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Sessions. I really need to come up with a shorter name for that. If you’re an indie artist and would like to be featured, Contact Us today!
There are so many undiscovered indie artists out there that deserve to be heard. As an artist and A&R myself, I understand the importance of exposure in this industry. And not in the “perform for exposure” way. Independent artists need an audience now more than ever.
I also really enjoy discovering new music and having the chance to hear these artists before they blow up. I want you guys to discover these artists with me, that’s why I have started Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Series. That’s a mouthful.
Sam is an independent singer-songwriter out of Brooklyn, NY. He recently dropped his brand new 3 track EP on all streaming platforms. I’ll let Sam tell you all about it.
Indie Artist Interview Time!
Ryan: Welcome, Sam! Thank you so much for joining us today. Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Sam: My name is Sam Phelps. I’m a singer-songwriter from Kentucky. My hometown is Pulaski County. It’s a dry county…not like, “you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday…?” No, you can’t buy alcohol. Period. Legally anyway. So I got to experience bootleggers and real moonshine from time to time. I threw a backpack out a window at 17 and never really went back. I’ve lived in Brooklyn the last few years and it feels like home for now.
Ryan: Damn, man. I’ve been to little towns in Kentucky exactly like that. Definitely a massive change from a small, dry county to New York City. So, tell us a little about your latest release.
Sam: My latest release is a 3 song EP titled “Talking To A Friend.” It’s basically a nostalgic look at relationships I’ve had the last few years. One ending in a bad way. And two others that have been over for years.
Favorites and Influences
Ryan: Heartache is a bitch…but it can lead to great music. What is your favorite song you’ve ever released?
Sam: That’s a tough question. Maybe I Can’t Sing, because it was kind of the moment when I found the direction I wanna go in when it comes to songwriting. Or Talking To A Friend, for the simple fact the song came out of nowhere and wrote itself in minutes.
Ryan: I really enjoyed both of those songs. I can feel the personal connection in your lyrics. Who are your musical influences?
Sam: I’d have to say guys like Steve Earle and Tony Rice. I love a good sad song.
Ryan: Sad songs are my favorite. I’m kind of emo like that, I guess. Now, I want to talk about collaboration. If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
Sam: Steve Earle!!
Ryan: Man, I would love to hear that. I can definitely hear his influence in your music. It would be fun to see what you guys come up with. What is your collaboration process like?
Sam: It sounds fun and inspiring, but I haven’t actually done it yet.
Ryan: Solo all the way. Nice. If anyone reading this would like to collaborate with Sam, check his links below! Speaking of “collaborating,” if you could take one artist out on a date, who are you picking?
Sam: Probably Tinashe!! Cutie!
Life Outside of Music
Ryan: What are you doing when you’re not making music?
Sam: I like to read. Try to exercise a little. I kinda keep up with the fights.
Ryan: Nice. I hate exercise. So we’ve heard a bit about your life back in Kentucky. What were you like as a kid?
Sam: Not what I wanted to be. Didn’t get to have a lot of imagination. Had to stay focused. Nerves were a mess a lot of the time.
Ryan: Sorry to hear that, man. Imagination is the best part of being a kid. Being from a strict small town with a strict family must have been hard. I could imagine there were some interesting day jobs in Pulaski County. What’s the weirdest day job you’ve had?
Sam: Probably car salesman lol. I realize that’s not a weird job but it was for me. I hate dress shoes!
Getting Back to Normal Life
Ryan: It’s been a brutal year for all of us…it’s been especially brutal for artists. What are you doing to stay connected to your fans during the pandemic?
Sam: Trying to keep some social media stuff going. I wanna start doing a short IG live once a week or every other week.
Ryan: That’s a great way to do it! What if music wasn’t an option? What would you do?
Sam: Ouch! Don’t say that. But if that were the case I’d like to do something kinda secluded. Work on the water somewhere. Maybe fishing voyages on the ocean!
Ryan: That’s cool. I couldn’t do it. I get super seasick. Worked on a cruise ship for 6 months and thought I was going to die. As much as I hated that, I would kill to perform again. If you could perform in any city in the world, where would you go?
Sam: Probably Rapa Nui! Just to go back there.
Ryan: Ah, Easter Island! I’ve never been to Chile, but it’s on my bucket list. I’d go for the food alone.
Ryan: If you had to pick your “last meal,” what would it be?
Sam: Sushi. Sushi for sure. I had never had sushi before I moved to New York ( don’t know if I’d ever heard of it.) A girl took me on a date to a sushi restaurant and I plowed through a piece of sushi with a fork! She laughed at me and I was so embarrassed. It was definitely a “fresh off the farm” moment. But I loved it and eat it whenever financially possible now lol.
Ryan: I hear that. Sushi isn’t easy to figure out the first time haha. So you’re in New York…I gotta ask, what’s the best pizza in Brooklyn?
Sam: Oof. In Brooklyn I don’t know, but Proto’s in the lower East Side is clutch.
Ryan: I just looked at the menu and started drooling. Then I saw the New York prices. Yikes! Money is tight these days.
Ryan: So, here’s a deep question. What keeps you awake at night?
Sam: Wow! Regret. Nostalgia. Concern.
Ryan: All valid reasons. Good answer. What’s next for Sam Phelps?
Sam: Recording more music. Hopefully a little touring. Hopefully no more 9-5!
Ryan: Preach it, brother. Do what you love. One last question for you. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Sam: Anyone who’s ever been encouraging, I really REALLY appreciate it. It means literally everything to me. It’s what I want to do. It’s the only thing I know of passion and love.
Ryan: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today and for being the very first artist in Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Series! Congrats on the EP!
Follow and Listen to Sam Phelps!
Here is Sam’s new EP, Talking to a Friend. Tell us what you think in the comments!
And you would be absolutely correct. The song was originally released in 2008 under Scott Borchetta’s label, Big Machine Records.
Swift was only 15 when she signed with Big Machine, and 18 when her second album Fearless was released. This is the album that ultimately launched her career, with 5 hit singles, including Love Story.
So why are we posting this song on New Music Friday in 2021?
If you are a Taylor Swift fan, or even a fan of popular music in general, you have probably heard of her fight to own the master recordings of all of her previous songs.
Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun
In 2019, Taylor’s Tumblr post rocked the music world. She revealed that “For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.”
Taylor declined that offer, as she knew that Borchetta would just sell the label, “thereby selling me and my future.” Borchetta then twisted the knife in her back by selling her master recordings to well-known Taylor Swift bully, Scooter Braun.
“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” This bullying was done by Scooter (which is a stupid name) and his clients, Kanye West and Justin Bieber.
She went on to say “This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept.“
Just to wrap this up, Taylor went on to sign with Universal Music Group and focus on her future, rather than her past.
Later in 2019, Taylor told Billboard that she would deny any requests to license her old music until she is able to rerecord and rerelease it, thus preventing Big Machine and Scooter Braun from profiting off of her work.
Love Story (Taylor’s Version) was released at midnight, along with an announcement that the entirety of Fearless has been recorded and will be re-released, along with never before heard tracks.
Here is Love Story (Taylor’s Version)
Nipsey Hussle and Jay-Z – What It Feels Like
The late Nipsey Hussle and the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee, Jay-Z, on the same track at last. The anticipated collaboration appears on the soundtrack of the new film Judas and the Black Messiah, in theaters and HBO Max today.
Hussle is originally known for his numerous mixtapes, one of which caught the eye of Jay-Z. The “King of Rap” bought 100 copies of his last mixtape, Crenshaw for $100 each.
On March 31, 2019, Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside of his LA clothing store after a confrontation earlier that day. Investigators say he was shot at least 10 times by 29-year-old Eric Holder, who has yet to face trial. We hope Hussle gets the justice he deserves.
Here is Nipsey Hussle and Jay-Z with What It Feels Like.
Dua Lipa – We’re Good
She’s back with The Moonlight Edition of her 2020 album Future Nostalgia. The new edition features 4 new songs, including We’re Good.
Buzzfeed reported on the backlash Dua Lipa has received on social media for all of her pandemic travels. Ironically, the first line of We’re Good is “I’m on an island.” As fans have pointed out, she seems to be on a new island every week.
Check out her new tracks, and be jealous of her travels. I know I am.
Pink Sweat$ – Heaven
There’s not a ton of information out there on 28-year-old David Bowden. The up-and-coming R&B singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, known as Pink Sweat$, just released his debut album Pink Planet with Atlantic Records.
He started gaining traction after the 2018 release of his debut single Honesty, which hit the top 10 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts. He was later nominated for Best New Artist at the 2019 Soul Train Awards.
Bowden released his first two EPs independently, and dammit…I wish I was the A&R to discover him. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.
Here is the first single off of Pink Planet, Heaven.
P!nk and Willow Sage Hart – Cover Me In Sunshine
From Pink Sweat$ to P!nk, there’s a whole lot of pink this week. I’m okay with that.
This mother-daughter duet is exactly the kind of content this world needs right now. P!nk, 41, and Willow, 9 just released the feel-good track of 2021.
In a statement earlier, mom said “Willow and I find comfort in music, so we’re putting this song out for no other reason than that we hope it brings you sweetness, sunshine and comfort, too.”
If this song doesn’t hit you right in the feels, check your pulse…you might be dead.
Robin Thicke – Look Easy
Robin Thicke is officially putting his Blurred Lines days behind him. In a recent interview with Brianne Tracy of People Magazine, Thicke opened up about the death of his father, Alan Thicke.
Alan Thicke sadly passed away in 2016 after a heart attack. Robin says “I wasn’t in a good place when he passed.” He said it all started in 2013 with the success of Blurred Lines.
“My marriage to Paula (Patton) was crumbling,” he says. “I started using painkillers. It was a melting pot of trouble brewing, and I was so arrogant that I thought I could handle it all.”
He said the death of his father was a turning point for him.
“After my father’s death, I remember a friend of his said, ‘A big tree has fallen.’ That’s what my dad was: the big tree. Now here I am, this medium-size tree, and I’ve got to grow my branches and protect everybody. Every day I try to make him proud of me.”
Robin Thicke has some big shoes to fill. His 4 children are his biggest inspiration to fill those shoes.
Off of his new album, On Earth, and in Heaven, here’s his newest single Look Easy.
Greta Van Fleet – Heat Above
Greta Van Fleet does not get the recognition they deserve. The rock band from Michigan has been criticized for “copying” Led Zeppelin’s sound and a “lack of originality.”
Yes, their sound does bear a strong resemblance, but it takes nothing away from the band’s originality. They have brought back Rock & Roll, and as a huge Led Zeppelin fan…I love that.
The band’s second studio album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate, is set to release in April.
Here is Greta Van Fleet’s new single from the album, Heat Above.
That does it for this week’s New Music Friday. For more from Rita Ora, Kings of Leon, A$AP Rocky, and more, have a listen to Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist right here:
We’ll be back tomorrow with an interview with unsigned country artist, Sam Phelps! Don’t forget to subscribe, and let me know what new songs you love this week in the comments!