Interviews Music News

Artist Interview: Carly Shea

Carly Shea is definitely an artist to watch. Though only in the beginnings of her career, she’s certainly not inexperienced. We had the opportunity to have a video call with Carly and talk about her latest single, the music video, and her plans for more music this year. Read on!

CROWDSURFER MAG: You just released “Waste My Time!” It’s your third single of this year, how does it feel to be putting out all the music?

CARLY SHEA: The first singles I released was more the excitement of releasing, but now I’m just like, I need to do this for myself to have something positive. But it’s been good! I want to do a release every month if I can.

CSM: Where did the inspiration for “Waste My Time” come from?

CARLY: The song itself is the first thing I made in New York City. I just wanted to make this fun, upbeat, vapid pop song. It started out with a melody idea, and I really wanted the producer to take this scale of British schoolchildren singing and manipulate it. It turned into this fun, quirky, dance-pop track.

CSM: I really enjoyed watching the music video as well. Of course, I’m partial to anything set in NYC. What was it like shooting the video?

CARLY: It was one of the most hectic and fun experiences ever. The guy running a pinball arcade yelled at me, we got rained on… It was wild!

Photos by Draco Mansion

CSM: What can you tell us about your previous singles?

CARLY: “Lemonade” is a track that I think is closer to what I’m going to be releasing in the future in terms of the sound. I have two different types of tracks I’m going to be releasing moving forward that are pretty different from “Waste My Time,” “Forever,” and even my next single “Feel.” One is more dark pop and the other is pretty soulful but weird. Hopefully it works!

CSM: Tell us about “Feel!”

CARLY: It’s also an older track, and it’s a track I wasn’t even sure I wanted to release originally. But I relistened to “Feel,” and even though it’s an extremely old song, the meaning to me reminded me of everything that I’ve been going through and that I’m sure that everyone has been going to in quarantine.

CSM: When does “Feel” come out?

CARLY: July 30th!

CSM: Other than releasing music every month, do you have more plans for this year?

CARLY: I’m going to challenge myself to improve. I have a hard time writing stuff that always makes sense, so I want to work on my songwriting and making it more cohesive. I want to keep pushing my stuff, continuing with voice lessons, and I want to just get better!

CSM: So, you’ve only recently began your career as an artist. What do you want people to know about you?

CARLY: I think that I would like people to know that I hope that however they connect with the music is my goal. It’s important to me that you can take something away from it. And that I want to create music and art that is true to myself. Sometimes it will be super fun, upbeat nights out, and sometimes it will be about traumatic experiences. I want people to know I don’t want to shy away from what makes life life.

Photos by Draco Mansion

CSM: Last question: If you could tour with anyone, who would they be?

CARLY: That’s a really good question! Part of me says it should be relevant genre-wise, so I’d say it’d be really cool to tour with Dorian Electra or someone like that. But deep down if I could tour with anyone it would be Hall & Oats or Steely Dan… that would be the dream!

“Waste My Time” is out now and you can watch the music video here!

Interviews Music News

Novarium on New Single “Virus”

Novarium is a gothic-metal group comprised of lead vocalist Jen Janet, bassist Carey White, keyboardist Micah Consylman, drummer D. Anthony, and guitarists Sean Gronholt and Dean Michaels. Novarium just released “Virus,” their first single in couple years, and we’re sure fans are excited that they are back! We got to catch up with the group about their new song, how they’ve changed, and what’s in store!

CROWDSURFER MAG: Your latest single “Virus” just came out! It’s been a while since you’ve put out new music, how does it feel to release this one?

JEN: This is my first original song done with Novarium, so for me it’s really fun and I’m excited to show the song to the world.

D. ANTHONY: It feels great, and satisfying, to finally release this song. People’s attention spans tend to be short and we wanted listeners to know that we haven’t gone anywhere. I think Virus is the best song to re-introduce Novarium to all listeners as it has elements in there for everyone to gravitate to.

DEAN:  It’s been a long time coming.  We went through some lineup changes and released a single in 2018, but aside from that we’ve been low-key and working on new music.  We didn’t want to come up for air until we had something solid, and I think we’ve accomplished that. 

SEAN: I’ve been close to this song for a long time, so I’m really happy it’s seeing the light of day.

CSM: What was the inspiration for “Virus?”

JEN: I’ve always been very interested in history and theology. I think some of the most powerful questions we ask ourselves, is who are we? Is there a god? Is there life after death, or a higher power, or just some bigger meaning to everything? This song uses ancient Egyptian history and religious imagery to move the story along. That period in history was always very interesting to me because the kings and pharaohs were revered as living gods. A lot of people don’t like the idea of a human being a god, but I think it’s fun to think about. If you love someone, for example, you may treat them in a way, like a god. We treat celebrities like gods, sometimes. It’s an interesting concept. This song is about loving someone very much, to the point where they are put on a pedestal, treated like a god. Sometimes this can go to your head, and that person changes, even though they didn’t want to. Ultimately if one wants to change, they need to do it themselves. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want your help.

CSM: This single has a title that is very timely. How do you feel about releasing it during the pandemic?

JEN: We actually already had the title “Virus” for this song before anyone had even heard of COVID-19. We started writing this a long time ago. We decided now was a good time to release it because the video was finished, but the timing was actually a coincidence.

D. ANTHONY: Luckily, or unluckily, we had that title before the pandemic hit. We actually wanted to postpone any ideas of releasing the video, and single, until things calmed down. We wanted to treat the events with respect and not attract unwanted attention due to the title and the chaos that was to follow the pandemic.

DEAN: We were sensitive to the timing and had even talked about whether this was the right time to release a song called “Virus”, but ultimately we knew that our song had no relation to what was going on.  We filmed the video back in September 2019, so if we’d released it when we wanted to it would actually pre-date COVID.  I remember when the nation experienced anthrax scares and the band Anthrax came out and said, “We’re not changing our name”.  The same goes for our song, “Virus”.  Our song is about human nature, and even during a pandemic, human nature is tested.

SEAN: Kinda like a jerk at first. On the one hand I was concerned that it would be crass or come off as cavalier for us to just drop a song with that title on to a world that’s been hurting under the strain of a virus for months now. But I’ve never been a fan of self-censorship, and as a smarter man once wrote, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Now my only concern is that the title will be seen as unoriginal and cliched.

MICAH: Times are pretty rough right now. One small silver lining is that if you are home all the time, you can really let your inner goth kid out. I certainly have.

CSM: Tell us about shooting the music video! What was it like being on set and getting to tell the story visually? And what’s your favorite part of the video?

JEN: Being on set was great – we worked with a property in Pennsylvania who allowed us to use their space. It was a very large warehouse with a few different rooms. I made a storyboard for the video previously and we all put some creative ideas into it, so we knew how the story would go. Basically for the music video’s story, the band plays characters that have died in different ways, and passed on. My character is sort of a “goddess of the underworld” type of person. She appears to each person, one by one, waking them up in the afterlife. They are injected with a substance, and then transform into Novarium. We wanted this to be the story for the video to show that Novarium is back, and we figured it would be fun to have the members in normal, plain clothes first, and then transform into costumes later. On stage for live shows everyone looks very gothic and we keep that aesthetic, so it was fun to have both sides in the video. My favorite part of the video to film was actually the end when we are all performing, just because I haven’t been on stage in a long time.

D. ANTHONY: Shooting the music video was a fun event but it took a lot of work. I for one felt weird during the acting parts as I am far from being, and don’t aspire to be, an actor. The live part during the 2nd half of the video was the most fun for me. I just enjoy playing with fellow musicians and having a good time. You have to play the song over and over for different camera angles so you better like the song!

DEAN:  The hard part was telling our entire story the best we could using what we had available  for the time allotted.  We had it story-boarded out,  we had minimal equipment and wardrobe, and we had never been to the set before.  We weren’t sure if what we had planned was going to work because we couldn’t scout it out ahead of time.  Luckily the people we worked with were very accommodating and understood what we were trying to do.  They were filmmakers themselves and were on scene from time to time to watch the process.  I did a few takes for my hanging scene, and on the second take I realized that I had an audience watching me.  I’m not much of an actor and it was a bit awkward, but you suffer for your art!  I think we were there for 12 or 14 hours and my favorite part only lasted a few seconds on screen: the part where we all open the bay door, having been awakened, and enter where we are “made” for the first time.

SEAN: Personally I’m proud of the noose I tied for Dean. I’d never made one before, but when your friend asks for a noose for himself, what are you going to do, say no?

CSM: Your album Omicron came out in 2016. How would you say your sound has changed since then? How would you say you as a group have changed?

D. ANTHONY: The songs on Omicron started forming as far back as 2008. As you can imagine, we’ve progressed as songwriters since then. The new songs have more collaboration from all band members. Omicron is a great debut album and allowed us to share stages with great musicians and travel, but I feel like we’ve matured as musicians. When you first become a band you are starting to get to know each other and sometimes it takes a few songs, or an album, to figure out the formula.

MICAH: I’ve been collaborating with Novarium from the start. They have always been a talented band. They seem to be progressing toward tighter, heavier, more melodic writing and performances, with really sexy keytar players. The group has changed a lot since getting a sexy keytar player.

DEAN:  Omicron was a collection of songs by a band that was still finding itself.  We knew we wanted to blend a few different elements together, but we hadn’t worked out the ratios yet.  There are a lot of songs on that album that were written and re-written to fit into a mold that was constantly evolving. We were too heavy for the goth crowd, and too goth for the heavy crowd. We also had a different line-up.  Any time you change members, you alter the DNA.  Once we got our bearings and fell into a rhythm, we realized that instead of writing specifically for an audience, we would get better results if we just wrote for ourselves. We’re also experimenting more with vocals than we have in the past, blending what we call “beauty and the beast” style stuff between Jen and the rest of us.  Sometimes the vocal melodies inform the music, so the tracks are a lot more cohesive than before. You could say the band is more mature these days, but I’d like to think that we just stopped worrying so much about how we were perceived and just focused on writing the best songs we could.

SEAN: As a group, we’re more professional now. We have spreadsheets, deadlines, scheduled teleconferences. Only thing missing now is an HR department and performance reviews, which is fortunate for me. But really, we’re a well-oiled machine these days, and we’re far more effective than we were in years past.

CSM: How has the pandemic changed your writing/production/creation process?

JEN: For us it actually has not changed at all. We were already a remote band with members all across the US, so we were already writing remotely and sharing files back and forth.

D. ANTHONY: Our songwriting process is actually still the same. Due to how hard it is to juggle having a career and establishing your band, technology starts becoming your best friend. Even more so when not all band members live in the same state.

SEAN: Yes. Now I actually have to practice my instrument instead of my usual formula of just giving excuses. Like, “I have to go to work.” It’s a tough time to be a procrastinator.

DEAN:  Yeah, not a whole lot changed with the process during the pandemic.  If anything, it gave me a chance to finally sit down and concentrate on finishing a few things!  A lot of the pandemic has been us preparing to release “Virus”, retool our social media and web sites, and create content, so we’ve been pretty busy. 

CSM: “Virus” will be on your upcoming EP. What can we expect when it comes out? Can you tell us anything about it?

D. ANTHONY: You can expect the same elements that form the core of what Novarium has always been, with new and improved sounds.

DEAN: “Virus” set the tone for our new chapter. The EP is chock full of gothy goodness, songs about human nature, various tempos, and includes our previous single, “Christian Woman” for all the Type O (Negative) fans. 

CSM: I know the year is very much up in the air, but what’s next for Novarium?

D. ANTHONY: What’s next is releasing the first EP with our current lineup, finishing the 2nd EP, new merch, and some tours to come.

MICAH: Bass, heavy screaming, and blazing keytar/guitar leads.

DEAN: We’re finishing up the release of other singles associated with our first EP, starting work on a second, and gearing up to head to the West Coast for one of, we hope, a few performances out that way.  We also hope to shoot a new music video – the first to feature our new keytarist, Micah.

CSM: Anything else you want everyone to know?

JEN: We would love to stay in touch with anyone who enjoys our music!

Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube / Website / Bandcamp

Interviews Music News

Kyle from The Unlikely Candidates on Latest Single “High Low”

You probably know The Unlikely Candidates from their hit song “Novocaine,” which just topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in March. We got to talk with lead vocalist Kyle Morris about their latest single “High Low” as well as making music and staying creative during this pandemic.

CROWDSURFER: It’s been about a month since “High Low” came out, and I wanted to say I absolutely can connect with it. Where did the inspiration for this song come from?

KYLE MORRIS: The song is about growing up, really. I think the older you get, the more people kind of spread out and do their own thing. I wrote this about coming home from tour and realizing that this has kind of happened even more. But I wrote it a week before quarantine happened, and then I rewrote it during quarantine. It took on a new life because the whole thing takes place in a guy’s apartment where he has nothing to do but think about his friends.

CS: You were in tour when things shut down, right?

KM: Yeah, it really sucked. As we were touring, we would hear that the last venue we were at was closing. We were like, this is catching up really fast. Then we played in the middle of nowhere Wyoming and there was a blizzard. So we stayed there in a cabin, completely snowed in, and we had to make the decision to leave tour. It kind of felt like the end of the world.

CS: Was the process of making this song different because of restrictions of the pandemic?

KM: Usually I’ll go and track the vocals at my producer’s studio, but we couldn’t do that. So, I basically had my producer on Facetime and he would help me, but I was just in my closet at home. So that song was recorded in my closet! Like the old days.

CS: We’re all working from home, even in the music industry! Speaking of, what has it been like for you during this odd and difficult time for the industry?

KM: It’s been rough because we had a #1 single, and this was the year that we were supposed to harvest the fruits of our labor. And we didn’t really get to do that. So we started Flatten the Hump Day, our weekly stream, to give people something to do. We’re coming up on our 16th week of doing it which is absolutely insane.

CS: I’m so impressed by that!

KM: Yeah, I think we’re doing it to stay sane at this point! We’re running out of ideas though. We only have so many songs, but we’ve been trying to mix it up. One week we did emo week and covered our favorite emo songs. We all dressed up with black wigs and fingerless gloves, it was pretty ridiculous.

CS: Well, I definitely want to watch the emo week one.

KM: The emo week one was pretty good. Not gonna lie, it was a little rough to sing. Those voices are pretty high!

CS: I realize it might be hard to answer this question, but what’s next for The Unlikely Candidates?

KM: Just trying to write as many cool songs as possible. Last year I didn’t get to write that much because we spent a lot of time promoting “Novocaine.”

CS: Do you think you’ll be able to get out to LA for recording or will there be more closet songs?

KM: It’s basically all closet stuff. But it’s pretty dope! I’ve had people ask me if I’m going to keep doing this afterwards, and I’m like yeah. I think that this works just as well.

CS: Anything else you want us to know?

KM: We have a video coming up for “High Low.” And stay tuned for Hump Days 19-55! Maybe a drive-in theater, too. I’ve been trying to set one of those up.

CS: We’re fans of drive-in concerts, so I hope you get to play one! Thanks for taking time to talk today!

KM: Thank you! Keep watching Flatten the Hump Day at 3PM central!

“High Low” is out now, and you can listen to it here.

Music News Reviews

PACO Shares His Loneliness in New Single “Cold Love”

St. Louis native Paco just released his single “Cold Love” today, and we’re ready to keep this track on repeat.

Paco’s music defies the constraints of genre, so we asked him how he would describe the sound of this single. “Soul and R&B are my home-base,” Paco said, “but ‘Cold Love’ has a lot of pop influence, some rock influence, and a lot of electronica.”

Whatever this mashup of influences is, we’re down for it. We’ve already got “I’ve got secrets and no one to keep them / tell me are you lonely, too” stuck in our heads. In fact, we are surprised to learn that Paco didn’t think this was even a good song when he first wrote it. “For me personally, I thought it was the most pitiful song I ever wrote,” Paco told us, “but then I played it for people, and they found it relatable.” And relatability is what we really need from songs, isn’t it? The smooth vocals, music that make you move, and an irresistible chorus are truly the cherry on top.

”’Cold Love’ is all about a lack of intimacy from a desired relationship and the cold feelings he receives as he fills that void with a casual love affair.” – PaACO

Click here to listen to “Cold Love,” and be sure to keep Paco on your radar for more music this year!

Interviews Videos

Molly Lovette on “Lovin’ You” Lyric Video

Rising country artist Molly Lovette released her first lyric video today! And we, of course, are huge fans. Is this also because our own Lauren Hayes shot and edited the video? Yes. But we’re mostly excited to see Molly on our screens, and because we’re finally learning all the words to “Lovin’ You.”

CROWDSURFER: When did you decide to make a lyric video?

MOLLY LOVETTE: I knew I wanted to do something with this song, but with a lot of things being shut down these past few months and having to quarantine, it would have been hard to make a music video. So a lyric video was a nice alternative!

CS: How was your experience shooting your first video?

ML: I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know how awkward I would be or what it was going to be like, but it was fun! It was cool to act out and show the dramatics the song brings. It brought me back to my theatre days.

CS: And what was it like for you being a part of the whole process, from concept to final video?

ML: I love being creative and getting to think of ideas. I’ve had this song recorded since January so I’ve had some time to think it through and plan it. It was nice to collaborate with my publicist at Brickshore Media and with Lauren to take all of our different, but similar, ideas together to make the video.

CS: And how do you feel about the final product?

ML: I love it! Like we said, this is my first video so it took a second to get comfortable seeing myself on the screen and not cringe sometimes. [laughs] But I’m proud of how it turned out! And I think that people are going to like it. I think it’s something different and I’m excited for everyone to see it.

CS: What’s your favorite part of the video?

ML: I really like the instrumental part right after the bridge. I like all the different shots, how it goes quickly, and it’s dramatic. That’s honestly my favorite part of the song, too!

CS: And what was your favorite part of the process?

ML: Just being on set getting to sing and act it out. It was fun just living in the moment!

CS: We love that you’re excited about releasing this video! Thanks for talking with us!

If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the official lyric video for “Lovin’ You” by Molly Lovette right here!

Interviews Music News

Paco on New Single “Cold Love” and New Label with Sonca Nguyen

Artist Paco and our music curator Sonca Nguyen are quite the talented pair. Paco is a singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, while Sonca is a songwriter, producer, and engineer. Put the two together and they’re bound to make great music. As we do these days, we all talked together, but separately, through a video call to discuss new music and a new label!

CROWDSURFER: Paco, you have had a couple of exciting announcements recently! The first being your new single, “Cold Love,” which comes out June 5th. How are you feeling?

PACO: I am excited! Not a lot of people know but I’ve had this song for about two years. So it’s been a minute, and I’m ready.

CS: Did the song change much in the last two years?

P: Initially, I was ready to put it out and ready to get started. But Brian Owens, my mentor, was like, “Wait, let’s develop it.” The lyrics, melody, all that didn’t change much; the essence was still there. I had some co-production and arrangement from Sonca, who first was just a friend and collaborator, but now is like my lifeline and partner in music. As well as additional co-production, drum programming, and counter melodies from Courtney (JR) Orlando, a Grammy Award Winning Producer and mentor of mine!

CS: And your other announcement is that you and Sonca created Crush Records as a branch of Life Creative Group. First, congrats! Second, when did you decide you wanted to make your own label?

SONCA: It was kind of random. When we first pitched this idea of Cold Love as a single, we pitched it to Brian Owens, the owner of Life Creative. He said, Let’s do it, but instead, do it as your own label.” So, we didn’t even have the idea to create a label intentionally, it just kind of happened because Brian made us realize we were doing everything a label was doing anyways and pushed us to go for it ourselves.

CS: What does Crush Records mean to you?

S: It puts in perspective what I want to do and makes other people take me seriously. Crush is an outlet for us to start a community where we can develop artists the same way we’ve done for Paco. I love the whole process of it, and I want to do it for other people. So, this means that I get to do this forever. And having this name under me gives me more opportunities.

P: It was kind of always the vision to start a label. To me it was just like, shoot, I can do that. It means that one, we’re business owners and that’s amazing, and two, we get to kind of help develop other people and do what we’ve just done. So as other artists come through the ranks we’ll get to write, produce, develop them as well. So that’s exciting.

S: That’s the best part! Working with people is my favorite part besides all the business stuff. And this is what Brian told us. He said, “I just want you guys to do this thing and then give back, give other people these opportunities.” And we were like, oh, absolutely.

CS: As we said, Crush Records is a subset of Life Creative Group. Paco, you’ve been with Life Arts and Life Creative for a while now. How has working with them impacted you?

P: Working with Brian and a non-profit organization such as Life Arts has legitimately given my life direction. Life Creative Group, the creative extension of Life Arts, was just what I needed musically to get my head in the right place.I was dropping out of college, not sure what to do, and I reached out to Brian on Facebook because a friend advised me to, and that’s how we connected. And eventually, I started working in a therapeutic songwriting program and I would produce the songs that they made in the program. Now I’m working with the non-profit side, still working with the therapeutic songwriting program, still working with kids from the Ferguson/Florissant area… but we’re also building the for-profit side now.

CS: Life Creative sounds like a great place to grow that’s full of support.

P: I’m very much a loner and an introvert, and I don’t feel a sense of family many places at all. But I do with these people. Just because they’ve invested so much in me and vice versa.

CS: Anything else you want us to know?

P: I’m not the only artist under Life Creative, so I want to shine a light on some of my peers. Christopher Daniel, who I produce for, and Malena Smith, who’s like a new Norah Jones. We have a couple artists coming out, and hopefully we’ll have a next generation coming behind me soon!

CS: We’ll keep our eyes out! Thanks for talking with us!

Be ready to listen to Paco’s single “Cold Love” on June 5th, and check out the promo video for a sneak peak at the song in the meantime!

Concert Photography Music News

Drive-In Concerts: The Start of Something New?

Many industries have been hit hard or wiped out completely during this pandemic, and live music is one of them. Summer in St. Louis usually means hanging out on the lawn of an outdoor venue with friends, drinking a beer, and listening to your favorite songs. Now, that’s been taken away. Or has it?

The first of many drive-in concerts took place on May 21 at the POWERplex. Tickets could be purchased ahead of time or on arrival, and cars were spaced out so that you could have an area next to your vehicle to bring out a lawn chair and sit without compromising social distancing.

Molly Lovette kicks off the drive-in night

The stage was big, giant screens broadcasted the video feed, and you could tune in to a radio station if you didn’t want to get out of your car to hear the music. Staff, all wearing masks, came around as servers to those VIP spots on the turf and served orders of food like hot dogs and popcorn. People were dancing, singing, and honking to show their approval!

With a 450 car limit for this event, 200 tickets were purchased ahead of time. By the time they converted the setup from drive-in concert to drive-in movie, capacity was nearly full! It certainly seems like people are down to come out for this form of entertainment during a time where we’ve been without concerts and movie theaters! And at these events, you get both a movie and music.

The two bands that played are local to Missouri and mostly sang covers, but nonetheless the audience was excited to be there. Could this work for a touring artist? Probably not. But until we can return to shows the way we used to know, we’re glad to see people being safe and enjoying live music at the same time.

Music News Reviews

NOTD Partners With Astrid S in New Single “I Don’t Know Why”

You might know electronic duo NOTD from their songs “I Wanna Know” featuring Beat Miller or “So Close” featuring Georgia Ku, which came out in 2018. NOTD continues to prove that they can create hit after hit with their latest single called “I Don’t Know Why.”

The song, released today, features Astrid S. Her ethereal vocals complement the upbeat track, resulting in a mix that will make you want to dance and sing along with her. We dare you to try to not break out any dance moves during the chorus! Catchy from beginning to end, you’ll find this song stuck in your head. Even if you don’t know any other words than “I don’t know why / oh, I don’t know why,” we bet you’ll be humming the tune throughout the day.

Images provided by Island Records

Take a listen here, watch the official video here, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears on NOTD! We sure will be!

Music News Reviews

PUBLIC Follows Up Hit Single “Make You Mine” with “Honey In The Summer”

PUBLIC released a new single today titled “Honey In The Summer,” following up their hit “Make You Mine,” which you’ve most definitely heard on TikTok. And if you’ve been searching for the perfect anthem for this summer, look no further! You might not think that such a song could exist for a season tainted with coronavirus, but PUBLIC succeeded regardless.

“Honey In The Summer” proves that we can do this social distancing thing and still have a great time. “But I don’t have a sweetheart to hold when I’m alone / So I just grab my keys and snag my favorite CD / Cruisin’ and it’s just me in the front seat” sings lead vocalist John Vaughan, reminding us that listening to this song at full blast, windows down, and an open road ahead is all we really need.

Photos provided by Island Records

But don’t just listen to the song! You should also check out the lyric video. Giving us a lovely mix of live action and graphics, our animated band cruises down the road in a bright yellow SUV. It makes you want to hop in the car with PUBLIC as a cute little animated version of yourself and belt out the lyrics alongside them!

So what are you waiting for? Go listen to “Honey In The Summer,” watch the video, and then head out to your car to welcome the summer season!

Interviews Music News

Artist Interview: Jaden Gray

Crowdsurfer: What has your life been like since the end of Fourth Ave?

Jaden Gray: It has been bittersweet. It’s been bitter only because we departed and went our own ways, and it wasn’t like it was fun to leave. It was just that we all came to a point where we were like it was time to conclude Fourth Ave, but not conclude the friendship of Fourth Ave, and pursue our solo careers. And since then it’s been a great time, I’ve been living my best life. As a solo artist, these past few months have been outstanding.

CS: You just released a new single called “Love Happy.” How does it feel to put out a song as a solo artist?

JG: Whoo! So when the boys and I put our EP out it was mind-blowing. But when it came to my own song, that was only me on the track, a song that I helped produce, helped write, I was blown away. I just never thought that I’d be here and this age. I thought I’d get there eventually, but not at 19. It’s an amazing thing to see all the fans respond and do videos and sing and already know the words and it’s only been out for a week!

CS: Is the vibe of Love Happy what we can expect your sound to be in your future music?

JG: Very much, and then not at all. Let me break that down. The sound that I’m going for is Pop R&B. My voice is the R&B effect, but the music is going to be pop. So for the next few songs I’m gonna experiment, and whichever the fans gravitate to most that’s the sound I’m gonna stick to. My next song is gonna be more along the lines of Pop Latin vibe. But Love Happy really feels good so I really hope the fans stay in that lane because I love making music that makes you wanna dance.

CS: Can you tell us anything about this next song? When are we gonna hear it?

JG: I was shooting to put the song out this month but being that the studios are closed down due to quarantine, I’m going to put it out in May. I’ve been talking to a few people and there will possibly be a feature on there as well, and me singing a little bit of Spanish as well. That’s all I can give. But it’s gonna be a vibe!

CS: Well, now I’m excited about it and sad we have to wait a month! And on the topic of things getting pushed back, I know this year is up in the air, but what are your plans for 2020?

JG: Before all of this happened I was scheduled to do Coachella, I was scheduled to go on the tour with Kanye West, I had four solo shows in a matter of two weeks which I’ve never done on my own… And all of that got pushed back. It didn’t get cancelled, but pushed back. As of right now those are the things that are solidified and I’m planning on this year!

Photos by James Johnson

CS: What’s your writing process like?

JG: My writing process is different. I’m not the best writer, that’s just not my strength yet. So usually when I’m in a room writing a song, I usually bring a couple other people in because I can tell people a story and I just need them to put it in a writing format. Once they start doing that, it’s easy for me to say “How about we change this to this?” But songwriting is something I’ve really been working on perfecting probably since Boy Band since we met Justin Trantor. He gave me so many different tips on how to write songs and poems that can turn into songs. I have a passion for good writing and I want to perfect it and get to the point where I can do it.

CS: What have you been doing in quarantine? Anything exciting?

JG: The past two weeks I think I’ve been working out, going to sleep, working out, probably eating, and then going back to sleep. But today is the first day since the beginning of quarantine that I’ve had things to do! I’ve been productive for the whole day and will be for the rest of the weekend. This quarantine has been pretty rough but I’m listening to what they’re saying and I’m staying in!

Photos by James Johnson

CS: I’m glad to hear it! And to wrap this up I have a few questions from fans on Twitter!  The first is: what’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to? – @kayaxstevens

JG: Oh my! My favorite, favorite place I’ve traveled to is for sure Paris. The first time I went was quick because we had a show that night and had to be in Italy the next day. But the last time I went a couple months ago, I was there for five days. Three days were working with Kanye and the other two days were free. Being able to have two full days in Paris was amazing and beautiful and everything I imagined.

CS: If you weren’t singing, what occupation could you see yourself going to school for? -@victorigiddings

JG: Acting, modeling, and styling! I have a passion for all three of those. And then I love to build, I’d build a whole house if I could. So I’d do that just for fun.

CS: Just build a house for fun?

JG: Why not? And then I’m gonna live in it!

CS: Last question: what is your favorite part of the music making process? -@hello_dreamerr

JG: That’s a good one. My favorite part is literally the last thing in my process which is I’ll listen to the song and then ask everything extra, the runs and harmonies, to be stripped out and just listen to the plain vocal. Then I’ll go back into the room and add everything I loved the most and just go!

CS: Anything else you’d like to add?

JG: Go stream “Love Happy” on all music outlets and follow my Instagram @jadenbgray!