Monthly Archives: October 2009

Music Without Labels & Beat-Play Interview With Jaway

Give us some background. Where are you from originally, where are you now, how did you get there?

I’m from Liberia, West Africa, but I’ve lived in Los Angeles, California for the last six years. I fled from a very bloody and destructive civil war to make a better life for myself and to help my family.  It’s kind of funny—I never intended to pursue a career in music even though I grew up singing in a church choir. In fact, my mom still directs that choir. When I got to Los Angeles, my only goal was to pursue a career in business. But I’m also an athlete and I like to stay fit, so I go to the gym a lot. Anyhow, one afternoon I was singing in the locker room at the gym, not knowing anyone else was there. But in fact another gym member overheard me and assumed I was a professional singer. When he asked me about my next performance, I laughed. I told him I had no upcoming performances because I was not a professional vocalist. He gave me this weird look and said, “So what are you doing in LA, then?” Before I could answer, he said, “Look, son, I think you have a natural talent, but don’t take my word for it. Let me introduce you to a friend of mine who’s been a vocal coach for the longest time. Listen to what she has to say then decide what you want to do.” I took his advice and here I am now. 

What Genre would you classify yourself as?

My music crosses Pop, World, and Adult Contemporary. 

What is it that drove you to pursue a career in music, and what it is that drives you individually as a musician or a band?

Most of all, my passion for the craft. The challenge of seeing the start, development, and completion of a song. The thought process, persistence and dedication needed to put all the pieces together so that a song will transcend the ordinary but also make sense to the next person.  The fact that I can share my thoughts and feelings through this medium still amazes me.  What drives me as a musician? Like my song “Feeling” says, I got a feeling in my soul that’s running twenty miles a minute. A feeling that has taken a serious hold of me and won’t let go. And believe me I’ve tried. But no matter what I do, it’s always there. I’ve come to realize that this is me and has always been for as long as I can remember. Like another one of my songs, “But U,” says, “Don’t try to be no one else but you,” because it won’t work. It just won’t work because you can only be you—so here I am. 

What struggles have you faced with having your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?

Hummm, where should I start? Seriously, being an independent unknown artist says it all. It’s difficult getting on the radio, getting paid gigs in LA, getting promotion and advertising, weeding through the people who talk lots of game and connects but have none, weeding through the real and the fake, getting the music to the right people. The list goes on and on. This is because indie artists are still up against the labels with all the money and connects. However, you have to continuously seek the way. It takes a lot of work, time, and energy but you have no choice—especially if you want to make a living in this game. And, yes, unfortunately that’s what it is to some people, a game. But, I’m doing what I can through friends (grassroots marketing), social networks, word of mouth, and a medium like this interview. Hopefully, all that effort will kick things off.  You see, I appreciate this interview so much because it’s a great way to get the word out there. So thanks very much to Music Without Labels for this opportunity. And those of you who are reading this, please help spread the word about my music. I greatly appreciate it and promise you won’t be disappointed.  
 

What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself?           

Charity begins at home and ends abroad. As I mentioned above, I started with my friends and asked them to share my music with their friends. Social networks like Facebook, twitter, Myspace, etc. Go into your individual communities. You take every opportunity to perform; you do fliers and post them everywhere you can. Also, I always ask friends for help as well as ideas because you never know. These are just a few of the things I’ve found that you can do yourself, and you build on that. 

Is there a predominant message you hope to get across in your songs?

The most important message is to care for, love, share with and help one another. This will definitely make our world a much better place and alleviate most of our problems. I can guarantee you that.  

What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where it’s going?

The future is very promising because artists now have more control over their craft and the fans will benefit from the variety. The industry as we know it—big record labels—will be gone or change dramatically because of the new tools and media that are becoming available to artists. 

Are you currently unsigned, and do you plan on staying independent?

Yes, right now I’m unsigned.  Ultimately, the opportunities presented to me by a major label will determine my decision on whether to go that direction. 

What are your reasons for being an independent artist?

I’m smiling because at this point I have no choice, but the big advantage to me of this situation is the control I have over my music and my image and how they’re presented. 

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Maxwell, Seal, Luther Vandross, Jason Mratz, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Boyz II Men, Neyo, James Ingram, Beyonce, Bob Marley, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, just to name a few. 

Do you ever feel that people will be missing out on your music because you are not signed to a major record label?

Some people may miss out on it because I’m not signed to a major label—but I’m trying to overcome that by reaching out in various ways—like this interview—to connect my music with people I’ll never meet. I hope I succeed because I believe almost everybody can relate to my lyrics even though we all have different tastes in music. 

What would you say if I told you that there’s a new force in Independent Music that will give you all of the power of the Major Labels and more, while at the same time giving you complete control over all aspects of your musical career, and you will never have to sign a thing?

I’d say I need to be connected to that new force ASAP. 

And you would have access to the world’s first ever audio component auction, where pieces of songs are sold off at auction prices to be repurposed in other songs.  What kind of impact do you think that would have on your music?

Potentially a very big impact, especially in regard to opportunities for collaboration, different types of exposure, opportunities to work with different people and genres, as well as opportunities for new revenue streams. 

The only catch is you have to choose to use it to your benefit, or not.

I’d like to hope that any benefit I gain in terms of promoting my music is also in some way a benefit to everyone who hears my music and message. 

It’s called Beat-Play, and it will be beta tested this Fall 09. Sign up at www.MusicWithoutLabels.com

Advertisements

Apex Vibe Album Review

Band Name: Apex Vibe

Album Title: Rhythm Music

Band Members and Positions: Tim Sanchez (Vocals/Guitar) | Chris Howells (Guitar/Backing) | Sam Caudill (Keys/Backing Vocals) | Will Lovell (Bass/Backing Vocals) | Dubs (Drums)

Genre: Reggae / Hip-Hop

Record Label: Independent

Difficulty of Music: Apex Vibe applies very catchy verses along with smooth transitioning into their chorus and solos. The difficulty in the verses is fairly simple while still raising the bar a bit with the transitions and solos.

Comparisons to Other Artists: Apex Vibe would be most compared to Sublime and 311, with a touch of The Roots within their beats.

Lyrical Significance: The lyrics used in this album are very up beat and positive, making it nearly impossible not to sing along.

Overall Rating (out of 10): I would give Rhythm Music an 8 out of 10.

AnalysisThis album is very well constructed but lacking in the track list given the fact that there are only four songs on the entire album. From their perspective it is a decent idea to focus on making four very well written tracks rather than having a 10 or 15 track album and only have a few actually good songs. However plans for a full album are in the works and production is set to start soon. More info about the new full album will be updated as we receive it.

Band Website: www.apexvibe.com

Lindsay Katt Album Review

Artist Name: Lindsay Katt

Album Title: Picking Out Boxes

Band Members and Positions: Lindsay Katt: Vocals, Piano, Keys / Ian Hendrickson: Drums, Percussion / Greg Samothrakis: Guitars, Keys / Mark Turrigiano: Bass, Guitars, Keys

Genre: Alternative & Punk

Record Label: The Petticoat Treason

Difficulty of Music: The music alone, minus the lyrics, contains very positive upbeat rhythms that call for extremely intricate vocals. Lindsay does a phenomenal job piecing her every word within the well above average musical composition. This develops a smoother transition between time signatures giving them a more original sound.

Comparisons to Other Artists: Lindsay Katt compares her music to… “coldplay, postal service, the shins, neil young, rufus wainwright, the police, ben harper, james taylor, miles davis, , bowie, bright eyes, jack johnson, rachael yamagata, modest mouse snow patrol, imogen heap, damien rice, norah jones, feist, aimee mann, regina spektor, fiona apple, brett dennen, beck, Billy Joel, Matchbox20, Live, Couting Crowes, Cat Stevens, The Indigo Girls, Guster, BB King, BNL, The roots, Rhiannon Catalanello, Carly Simon, Steveie Nicks, The Fray, Tracy Chapman, Paula Cole, ……….All the voices that snuck their way into my subconscious.”

Lyrical Significance: Lindsay clearly puts a lot of time into her lyrical illustration. Her lyrical content is very candid, personal, and emotionally moving.

Overall Rating (out of 10) : 8.4

Analysis: The overall theme seems to be geared towards questioning human actions, and love.  The lyrics fit well within the catchy melodies of each song. There are many signature changes within an individual song on this album keeping the listeners attention.

Band Website: www.lindsaykatt.com

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

MusicWithoutLabel.com’s Weekly Indie Artist Review

Band Name:

Apex Vibe

Album Title:

Rhythm Music

Band Members and Positions:

Tim Sanchez (Vocals/Guitar)

Chris Howells (Guitar/Backing)

Sam Caudill (Keys/Backing Vocals)

Will Lovell (Bass/Backing Vocals)

Dubs (Drums)

Genre:

Reggae / Hip-Hop

Record Label:

Independent

Difficulty of Music:

Apex Vibe applies very catchy verses along with smooth transitioning into their chorus and solos. The difficulty in the verses is fairly simple while still raising the bar a bit with the transitions and solos.

Comparisons to Other Artists:

Apex Vibe would be most compared to Sublime and 311, with a touch of The Roots within their beats.

Lyrical Significance:

The lyrics used in this album are very up beat and positive, making it nearly impossible not to sing along.

Overall Rating (out of 10):

I would give Rhythm Music an 8 out of 10.

Analysis:

This album is very well constructed but lacking in the track list given the fact that there are only four songs on the entire album. From their perspective it is a decent idea to focus on making four very well written tracks rather than having a 10 or 15 track album and only have a few actually good songs. However plans for a full album are in the works and production is set to start soon. More info about the new full album will be updated as we receive it.

Band Website: http://www.apexvibe.com

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

HMRH3WEQW9CJ

Dave Mathews Posing Backstage

So I wasn’t gonna go to the Dave Mathews concert, until a friend of mine didn’t show up and there was an extra ticket. So then on the way the guy I went with, who I didn’t know too well, gets a call from some guy at the arena and he was told that we were getting backstage.  We were hopeful but not expecting too much. About 2 minutes after we walked through the gate to the backstage area, we see Dave Mathews walking by. I stopped him and asked him for a picture. Cool guy.