Indie Pop Artist Interview: Gabby Neeley

Welcome to Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview with LA-based indie pop artist, Gabby Neeley!

Let’s get right to it!

Intro

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. 

New Song

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.

COVID

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.

Digital Age

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.

Conclusion

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!

Follow Gabby

For more on upcoming releases and all of those live streams, follow Gabby Neeley right here:

IG https://www.instagram.com/gabbyneeley/

FBhttps://www.facebook.com/gabby.leigh.779/

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/artist/4nvgZDf1BDNYJovkWf0T47

Soundcloudhttps://soundcloud.com/gabbyneeley

Audiomachttps://audiomack.com/gabbyneeley

Bandcamphttps://gabbyneeley.bandcamp.com/

Websitehttps://www.gabbyneeley.com/

Have a listen to Gabby on Spotify right here!

If you are an artist, producer, songwriter, or music executive and would like to be featured, Contact Us here!

Be sure to subscribe for more great content and new music!

Indie Artist Interview: Lauren Ojurovic

Happy weekend and welcome to Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Sessions! (that is a mouthful)

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!

Intro

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.

Sutherland Shire Australia

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

Lauren’s most recent single, So Into You

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: Luxury hampers? It’s a little weird.

Really Get To Know Lauren

Ryan: What were you like as a kid?

Lauren: Confident, funny, dramatic, singer, dancer, happy, annoying.

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.

Photoshop skills on point

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?

Lauren: ANYWHERE!

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.

Conclusion

Thanks, Lauren! Don’t forget to follow her on Spotify and look out for her release of Into The Sun!

For more artist interviews, be sure to hit subscribe!

If you are an artist, producer, songwriter, or music executive and you are interested in being featured, Contact Us here!

New Music Friday!

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!

Classic. Don’t do caffeine pills, kids.

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.

It’s even killing people with Asthma

Let’s go ahead and listen to what all the chaos is about.

Pull up, pull up on me, ayy-ayy
Might just recline the seat when I want it
Give you a set of keys ’cause you own it
Pull up, pull up on me, ayy-ayy
No second-guessing, checking the rearview
Ain’t looking back unless it’s right at you

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.

You changed up all the rules
To make me the fool
And god knows
I had a close escape

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.

3 sides to the story
Yours and mine and the god damn truth girl
2 lies that you told me
Said you love then you hate me I don’t know what to do girl
But 1 thang for sure
You can back that ass up n baby I want more

Trippie Redd, Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, blackbear – PILL BREAKER 

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.

There’s purple in my 7up
I’m hurtin’ this is not enough (I’m hurtin’ I can’t fix it though)
I ate a Percocet for lunch (pop that perky yea)
I’m in heaven off this angel dust

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!

Happy weekend, everyone!