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September 16, 2020 In conversation with empowering pop singer Ananya

In conversation with empowering pop singer Ananya

Ananya is a twenty-something songstress from Mumbai who has made her mark on India and the world. The songstress went platinum in India with one of her English tracks and currently sits over a global stream rate of 300 million. Last year, Ananya released her single  ‘Day Goes By’ with global hitmaker Sean Kingston, and this has been documented as one of the first major collaborations between the US and Indian artists to date. When Ananya is not making music, the singer breaks down mental health stigma in India as well as empowering and supporting local female entrepreneurs in India with her self-owned company Svatantra.

We find out more about this songstress and activist below.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

When I was really young, I remember being totally entranced watching my mother playing the Santoor. It is an Indian instrument with a hundred strings that you play on your lap. I used to sit and watch her for hours. It was the first instrument that I learned, and it made taking up the guitar and understanding composition a lot easier later in life.

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

Writing music has always been incredibly cathartic for me, when life feels a bit messy I love to find a quiet place and settle in with my notepad and a pen. The process starts with an emotion or a story from my journal and goes from there. Then, I’ll sit with a producer and we will take that really personal experience and put a melody to it. I love the process – it’s beautiful to take something so raw and then put it out to the world for everyone to interpret in their own way.

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

Whether I’m performing to ten people or ten thousand, there is nothing in the world like standing on stage and having people vibe with something you created. Music is all about connecting with people, and there is no better way to do that than when you are live. That exchange of energy – there is no feeling like that in the world.

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

Music has always been there for me in the most challenging times in my life and I really want my music to do the same for others. When someone sends me a message to say that they related to something in one of my songs and it helped them through a difficult time, that means the world to me.

The most memorable? It has to be when I was in a cab in Poland of all places. I didn’t even know I was playing on the radio out there, but the driver got so excited when I got in and started singing me some of my songs – it was surreal!

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

I am a big believer that the best music is raw and comes from the heart. I love those songs where you can really feel the emotion of the artist because they are singing about something that happened to them. Audiences appreciate that too because they can connect with it on a different level. Emotions are universal – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, they unite us all. I’ve always strived to be as unapologetically myself as possible with my music, every song feels like a part of me.

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

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

Nirvana – Nevermind

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Khalid – Free Spirit

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

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

Everything I do is about doing what I love and hopefully making a positive impact at the same time.  My definition of success is always evolving but for me, music has always been like a best friend, supporting me through good times and bad. I really hope that my songs can be like that for other people.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

This has been such a difficult time for everyone, it’s this unprecedented collective trauma. With my latest song ‘Let There Be Love’ I wanted to celebrate the beautiful sparks of hope and joy that we have seen coming out of this incredibly challenging period. I think our collective values have changed and we have realized the most important things are love, people, and connections. Keep your loved ones close and always be you.

Follow Ananya:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

September 3, 2020 In Conversation with London future-soul outfit Goldrain

In Conversation with London future-soul outfit Goldrain

Goldrain are Barbara Dudek, Harrison Moore and Owen Smalley, the fresh future-soul duo out of London formed in March 2019. Having studied together at the London College of Creative Media, the three creative minds banded together and have recently made a trip to Impression Recordings in Berlin to record the six songs that make up their forthcoming EP Mysteries

Their latest single, ‘Atlantis’, is available for streaming over at The AU Review ahead of its official release.

Get to know the band better below!

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Harry Moore (drummer): Well I was introduced to music as soon as I was born really, so I had no choice but to appreciate it! My earliest appreciation of music had to be from my grandad. He used to sit all day long playing old ragtime tunes on the piano, which has always been one of my fondest memories of him. My dad also played the guitar regularly around the house and in his band, where I would watch him perform in old smoked out pubs in North West England. With music production, my dad used to have this very old digital recording machine which could only record one track at a time. My older brother used it to record his first album, and I drew inspiration from him as he was the first person I saw recording music and really going for that ‘DIY’ production.

How did your latest single, ‘Atlantis’, come together? What feeling were you trying to capture or communicate?

Barbs Dudek (vocals/keys): ‘Atlantis’ came out of many things, like frustration from watching adverts for girls cosmetics, objectifying femininity, and a deeper need to find some answers on my own. What does it really mean to me personally? You know, to be a woman? It’s got so many lights and shades to it. I thought using Atlantis, the mystical land, as a metaphor would be perfect to tell a story about discovering something new within yourself — something not really tangible but very powerful. When it comes down to communicating, my hopes are always for the person listening to jump on the journey with me and reflect on those things later on for themselves. The last verse (“turn the tide”) is encouragement for change and hope for further liberation.

Why did you decide to travel to Berlin to record your upcoming Mysteries EP?

H.M: So, it all came full circle for me in a way. My older brother, who recorded his first album with that old digital recorder, relocated from London to Berlin several years ago and has managed to build his own amazing studio called Impression Recordings in central Berlin. I initially thought it would be a great idea for all of us to go there to record/film a live performance of some of our songs, as the live room in the studio is such an amazing space. Then Barbs thought, ‘why not record our EP there’, so we did! For all of us, I believe it was nice to get away from London for a short period of time to try and be creative elsewhere. As I’m sure you’d understand, being in one space for so long can be draining sometimes — especially creatively, which we’re still required to be in the studio despite having the structure and instrumentation of the songs finalised prior to recording.

Do you have any particularly good memories from these recording sessions you’d be willing to share with us?

Owen Smalley (guitars): There’s a guitar part in one of the songs where we wanted to have the overdrive on my pedal steadily increase over the period of about 2 minutes — and since I had my hands full playing the part, Harry sat down cross-legged at my feet and did the most precise pedal-twiddling I’ve ever seen for those two whole minutes. Barbs, Robbie, and Sam were all in the control room cheering us on which only added to the intimacy. Talk about your pals having your back, or in this case your feet. We also broke a new personal best during our time there by eating pizza every day for 6 days straight.

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

O.S: Such different kettles of fish, so I wouldn’t be able to say that I actually have a preference. But what I would say is that it’s usually a case of the old adage, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Like so many other artists, we haven’t been able to play for people in such a long time — so we’re all craving that pretty intensely at the moment. However, we’re also really raring to get back into the studio as soon as we can to start working on new tunes. We want it all!!

B.D: Music creation is a fairly different process to me, as it comes out with living an experience or a thought and materialising it. Building the body of a song takes very different pains and moulding procedures, while performing happens in the moment and its challenge is to stay vulnerable and authentic to yourself in front of other people. It’s hard not to go and hide under the turtle shell or that belting sound, especially when you sing about some deep stuff and your voice is cracking because it’s still painful (and then you realise that you actually have no place to hide). But that’s also the beauty of connection, and the power which lies in that place is almost sacred.

As an artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. If you could, what one thing about the music scene would you personally change?

B.D: We’re just starting here, and for us, it’s getting to know the industry so we can actually have an opinion of our own. From my experience, maybe artists could genuinely support each other a bit more. We’re not really competing. Each one of us has such a different story and life to live. I’d like to see more representation of minorities, equal racial treatments and access to opportunities based on work ethic and talent — not skin colour, gender or general looks. The industry can do better in these areas.

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

O.S: Although it may sound oversimplified, ultimately we’d like our music to make a connection with people. If our tunes are making people feel things on any point in the emotional spectrum, whether that be through our recorded music or gigs, then we know we’re doing something right. Success to me looks like being able to continue to do that for as long as is humanly possible.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

B.D: We’re building a community around Goldrain — so we’re working to engage with people, fans and fellow musicians as much as possible. Expect collaborations, remix competitions and more original music to come, including lyrics and performance video. We have another single planned for release at the beginning of October as well. Also, PLEASE LET US GIG!!!

Follow Goldrain

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August 26, 2020 In conversation with teenage lead singer Tryzdin

In conversation with teenage lead singer Tryzdin

 Photo credit: Nick Fancher

The frontman of indie band Saint Mars Tryzdin has released his first solo  ‘A New Way’, which premiered via CelebMix. Tryzdin gained publicity after releasing his remarkable rendition of pop queen Adele’s single ‘Hello’, which generated buzz across renowned publications like Huffington Post, Daily Mirror, RFM, as well as television networks like Fox News and NBC4 TV. The young singer then joined the band Saint Mars as their lead singer. Saint Mars has been streamed just under 3 million times across major music streaming services. 

We find out more about Tryzdin in this exclusive. 

What are some of your earliest memories of music? 

I remember driving around with my parent and listening to RnB and pop music in the car. 

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

I like to know what I am writing about before jumping right into the song. So first I usually find a good story or just something interesting, then I write about it. I like to find the chorus first and then build around that. Then I find the right beat and start putting the song together. 

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

I prefer a live audience because it really makes all the music make and the hard work pays off. 

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

I was in 1st grade at my Elementary School talent show. I was singing ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele; at the end of the performance, I remember the crowd cheering and clapping. At that moment I knew that I wanted to become a performer. 

You previously mentioned this about the new single, “The song to me is about empowerment and overcoming your fears and especially overcoming hate”. How does one overcome hate?

The way I did it was starting to ignore it or really pretending they weren’t there. I also started working harder on everything they were telling me I couldn’t do, I then realized that the more I did that, the less it did affect me. 

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

I would play a mix of all genres. I would do that because all music has its own stories and they all have a meaning. 

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

Billie Eilish ‘When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go’, Ben Platt ‘Sing To Me Instead’, Xxxtentacion ‘?’, Tom Walker ‘What A Time To Be Alive’, and Alec Benjamin ‘These Two Windows’

Describe the process of creating your solo single. 

It was really stressful, to be honest, there was a lot of times where I wanted to give up and I thought “no one would like my music”, there was also a lot of not knowing what to do next and how to make the song the best it could be. But I’m the end it was all worth it, and I’m happy people like the song. 

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

Success to me is being recognized on the streets, performing across the world, millions of people listening to your music. Success to me is not money or materialistic things. It’s really all about how your music or your craft makes people feel. 

One last thought to leave your fans with?

Don’t change yourself to fit someone else’s mold. 

Follow Tryzdin:

Facebook – Twitter – Soundcloud – Instagram – Spotify

August 26, 2020 In conversation with experimental pop singer That Brunette

In conversation with experimental pop singer That Brunette

Madeline Mondrala, well-known as That Brunette, is a Brooklyn based Experimental Pop songwriter and performer who began writing and performing music from the young as of eight years old. Mondrala would later attend the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in New York with peers like Mitski, Verité, and Sean McVerry. She released her first EP Cloud in 2013 and Madelin in 2017. The musician was scouted as a writer and artist BMG Publishing and would work with producers like Dem Jointz (Brandy, Rihanna), Larzz Principato (Dua Lipa, Halsey) and Ryan Marrone (Nicki Minaj). Madeline released her single ‘Coolest Girl’ last month, and is soon to release her EP Millenium Fig on the 28th of August. 

We find out more about this singer and songwriter below.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Listening to Motown in the car with my mom on my way to school, Playing Hole in my headphones under the blanket in my room when I was supposed to be asleep. Rummaging through my dad’s cd collection and discovering Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. Magical…

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

I usually like to start with me and a piano. I typically come up with a baseline, melody and lyrics simultaneously. Once I’ve written the song I’ll think about the type of production I envision for it. From there I’ll present to the producer I think would be the best fit to help bring the song to life. If they’re into it, we’ll get to work producing the track together.

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

That’s a toss-up, but I think I have to say that I like the process of creating music a little bit more. That’s what made me fall in love with music in the first place. I love the feeling of birthing a new piece of music. Every song is my favorite song I’ve ever written when I’m writing it.

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

I remember and cherish any time anyone has ever told me either in person or online that one of my songs meant something to them. There’s no better feeling than knowing you had a positive impact on someone through a melody you crafted or words you wrote.

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

It would be the perfect mix of bright shiny pop, hip hop, alternative pop, indie R&B, and musical theatre.

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

Right now I would definitely be spinning Kah-lo’s latest single ‘Melanin’, some Caroline Polachek, Sudan Archives, Taylor Swift’s latest album Folklore, and Avenue Beat’s jam ‘Fuck 2020’.

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

I would like to achieve a sense of fulfillment within myself in creating authentic songs that represent my life experience. I make music because it brings me joy. I always go back to that truth if I start to feel societal pressure to “be somebody”. Success means being me, and I’m already myself. When I look at things through that lens, I feel very successful indeed.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

Hang in there. Every day is a new opportunity. Rest when you need to. Eat nourishing delicious food. Take a bubble bath. And listen to my new EP Millennium Fig

Follow That Brunette:

Website | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter