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Music News Videos

Yoste shows us his “Flaws” in new music video

Yoste (rhyming with “lost”) shares his new release, Flaws, produced by Tones and I, (of Dance Monkey fame) member, Konstantin Kersting, along with an authentically driven music video representing raw and real footage of Yoste, as the main focus, being submerged into a pool, that can be interpreted as to how our flaws remain a part of ourselves at our truest forms, like when Yoste submerged.

The video was filmed by Yoste’s father, none other than Anthony Sines, an award winning Australian cinematographer.. The song surrounds the concept of personalities in a relationship in which each person has their own set of flaws that get in the way and hold weight over them.

The lyricism is incredibly real and simple, yet remains complex. Especially at the Chorus section:

I’m not typical lately
I’m so difficult when we
Go outside, fall apart
Kitchen lights, break my heart
You were right, it was hard

Going back to the original idea of rawness that our flaws stem from, the part where he confesses his difficult traits as a flaw, speaks a hard truth. The performance is captivating but not so much distracting from the low-key production that supports it. Yoste describes his music and songwriting as the process of navigating life as a young adult, trying to express the highs and lows of relationships and personal struggles.

Yoste earned his credentials gaining attention from success of stand-out singles Arc and Blue from his debut album, try to be okay, released in 2019, amassing over 85 million streams throughout his discography. Touching into the atmosphere of ambience and pop landscape, he is
heavily influenced by artists such as Jonsi, Bon Iver, The Cure, and The 1975, in which you can hear the little aspects of each within his music. Check out his music video for Flaws, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Listen to “Flaws” HERE
Watch the music video:

SOCIALS | @soundsofyoste

Categories
Music News Reviews

Shallou creates pure magic on debut album, Magical Thinking

Whether you’re social distancing at home or driving to your (essential) job, consider putting on a track or two from Shallou’s newest album, Magical Thinking. It contains thirty-eight minutes of pure emotional joy that deserves to be thoroughly listened to. The first few seconds of the intro track immediately brought me back to a past summer and pushed all worries I had from this difficult time out of the way. Nothing like a nice drive with ‘‘Forget’’ playing in the background to make you feel like the world is back to normal, even if it isn’t. 

The album surrounds the concept of memory loss, holding onto those intimate moments before they become out of reach. It shifts from the sadness of memory loss to represent the seasons with all of it’s changes and how that relates to people. The album holds an emotional aspect to it; maybe it’s from the introspective lyrics, or the spacious, light tone of the vocals, but it definitely left me with a heavy heart and a breath of fresh air. The production seems slightly opposite from emotional as it stems from joyous electronic pop but does a magnificent job keeping the allure of ‘‘whimsical sadness’’ that Shallou describes in his music. 

The album features collaborators; Ashe, Daya, Zachary Knowles, and many others, that makes it all even more worth listening to as each artist brings their own flair without compromising the overall message in each track. 

My favorite track would have to be, Older featuring Daya. It’s everything you need in a song from the combination of Daya’s vocals, Shallou’s production, and the top-notch songwriting putting it at my number one track on-repeat. The lyrics, ‘‘Maybe one day when I am older, I might understand why love doesn’t happen to everyone who wants it’’ is so beautifully written and performed, it is just the heart-breaking, ambient ear candy we were all looking for. Shallou has built a name for himself as one of music’s most organic artists who successfully gained over three million streams thus far. I cannot wait to hear more from Shallou and expect nothing less than something magical from him on the next release. 

LISTEN HERE 

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Interviews

Backstage with Souly Had

Fresh off the stage, ​Souly Hadspared fifteen minutes in between his set to speak about his journey in the music industry, from playing guitar as a young kid to touring with Audrey Mika. ‘‘I started learning classic rock songs like Metallica and AC/DC but my genre of music, I don’t even know what to call it, leans more towards R&B/Hip-Hop.’’ He is noticeably inspired by artists like Chance the Rapper, Kali Uchis, Tyler the Creator, and Kendrick. His music resembles R&B love songs with a modern hip-hop twist, and melodies that’ll hook you from the start.

All at a young age, he transitioned from making his own guitar riffs to making beats and rapping at fifteen years old. Eventually leading to outstanding recognition on his cover of Amy Winehouse’s “V​alerie,”that reached over 70k streams on SoundCloud.

That was three years ago, and Souly continues to prove himself to be a serious artist with his 2019 EP, ​B.L.I.S.S,including hit tracks, ​”Hills​” and C​rush,” which has earned him over 25 million streams on “C​rush”alone.

Photos by David Maxwell Zanvil Cohn

His writing process varies as he continues to develop as an artist. ‘‘I used to sit down with a beat and just rap over that. Nowadays, I’ll write down a phrase that comes to mind in my notes. That typically becomes the idea of the song and I write around that. I’ve probably got like 500 voice memos alone with ideas.’’

One of his biggest challenges was getting recognized and after his success with the Amy Winehouse cover, he took a chance to show his potential. Prior to his EP, he released “Deja Vu​” in 2017 which reached the attention of a popular Hip-Hop influencer who tweeted it out. Souly hit 10k streams within 24 hours of his release and got himself the recognition he deserved. Since then, he’s been featured on many Spotify curated playlists and is currently on tour with Audrey Mika.

Whether he’s talking about young love or heartbreak, and whether you relate to it or not, there’s no denying that his music is something you can vibe with. I got the opportunity to see him perform at a sold-out show in New York City and everyone in the audience reacted very well with his performance.

Souly Had​ is making a name for himself as he plans to release two singles, Goner”​ and “H​eartbreak Hangovers,”and even hinted at an EP with seven tracks in the upcoming future. There is so much more music from him to be heard and we cannot wait until it drops. For the meantime, ​listen​ to his current tracks on all available streaming platforms!

Photos by David Maxwell Zanvil Cohn

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Reviews

Audrey Mika Sells Out Legendary Mercury Lounge

Regardless of the rain pouring and the weather dropping, fans couldn’t stay away when Audrey Mika came to town. That being said, I was one of them. Luckily, a perk of writing for a magazine means you get early access to the show and get to avoid catching a cold. Walking into Mercury Lounge, you immediately pass the long and dark bar area until you reach the light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, it was a small, but beautiful stage, lit up with rays of purple, pink, and a hint of blue, calling to be performed on. Artists like The Strokes, The Killers, Jeff Buckley, and more have made a name for themselves all with their legendary performances there and tonight, Audrey Mika added her name to the roster.

Mika opened with her single, ‘‘Fake Heartbreak’’ in which every person in the room sang word for word. With each transition to each song, Mika performed outstandingly, proving her vocal range to be impressively wide all while showing off her dancing ability (which never missed a beat). Maybe it was the pajama-like ​pink​ heart​ pants she wore or the space-bun hairdo, but Mika marked herself as one of the sweetest performers I’ve ever seen. She even made a point to bring up a fellow Paperclip Club (​her fan-base name)member, Kahliya, onstage and credit her for being a superfan and for her support from the beginning. In all my 22 years of live shows, I’ve never seen someone bring a fan onstage without having them be danced on or sang to, but only to thank them. How sweet is that!

Photos by Lauren Lamboy

Sonically, the show sounded even better in person than in headphones. With the help of her band mates, Cam Lee on drums and Joe Avio on guitars, Mika’s performances were fun and light, and you just wanted to dance all night long. She closed the show with, ‘‘Y U Gotta Be Like That’’, an obvious crowd favorite, but one of the most memorable parts of the show for me was her unreleased track, ‘‘Just Friends’’ in which she engaged with a call and response chorus section between her and the audience. The track had never even been heard and the audience responded as if they’d heard it all their life.

I wanted to wrap up with my favorite song of the night, ‘‘​Following’ that was released on her 2019 Album,​ Level Up.This song made me feel everything at once. With just an acoustic guitar and no-band at this point, she sang her heart out while the audience lit her up with their mobile flashlights as the entire stage appeared dark. While the majority of the show was entertaining and lively, it’s the precious moments like this one that took the cake for me. It was raw and pure which depicted the emotions in the song perfectly.

All in all, there is a reason that this show and many others were sold out. Mercury Lounge was lucky enough to have Mika play her music and I cannot wait until her next live show!

Categories
Concert Photography Reviews

Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5

Let’s be honest, I haven’t ​really​ known of Chelsea Cutler’s music besides her features with Quinn XCII, and Jeremy Zucker. But after tonight’s show, I can definitely say that I am a bigger fan than when I walked into Terminal 5. The whole point of a tour for a ​performer​ is to put on a good show, and for the ​fans​, it is to enjoy it. Knowing all the lyrics and songs is up to the audience. Regardless of my lack of prior knowledge in Cutler’s music, I genuinely enjoyed the music and from the looks of it, so did everyone else.

There were already high expectations as it was her second sold-out show in New York City at Terminal 5. Along with her phenomenal openers, X Lovers, and Alexander 23, Cutler definitely did not disappoint. Visually, her use of lights, colors, and visual pieces made it all the better. The backgrounds painted a beautiful picture for her to be captured in and really kept the audience honed in on her performance, whether it be a ballad or dance anthem. Sonically, her vocals were ​so​ perfect live that it didn’t even feel real. Her tone and texture in her voice remained the same all throughout the show. No cracks, no weak points, it was just spot-on which is incredibly impressive for a vocalist to have that strength and control.

From the beginning of her performance to the end, we’d moved several locations to get a decent spot as the place was packed. And each time, fans everywhere were singing and dancing, lyric by lyric, note by note. It was inspiring to be surrounded by people so in awe from the performance that Cutler exhibited, and we couldn’t get enough. Overall, this performance was raw, fun, engaging, and nothing short of magic. Until the next show!

Photos by Lauren Hayes

Categories
Interviews Music News

Industry Interview: LYRE

Betty Who, Red Velvet, Gabbie Hanna, and Mackenzie Ziegler. Names that are well known in today’s world of modern Pop. But the names you really should know are of the two women behind it all. Alina Smith and Elli Moore, together joined as ​LYRE​, are a powerful duo that make the music we know and love, while breaking down the stigma for women artists in a male-dominated industry.

LYRE​ first met in Nashville, while in pursuit of their initial dreams in Country music until they found clarity within the genre of Pop. As Elli wanted to navigate herself away from Country, Alina wanted to produce Pop music, and their collaboration has achieved much more than a name for them as a powerhouse production team, but also a valuable friendship. Each of their individual skill sets play a vital role within LYRE. Alina’s expertise in producing and engineering, and Elli’s competence of vocal production and artistry earned them their reputation.

When working with a variety of artists, they provide more than just technical services. ‘‘It’s our job as a development team to have conversations, find out what’s going on in their life, listen to what they listen to, and help create art around all of that.’’ Their creative process can vary from artist to artist. ‘‘Sometimes they already have the song and just need help, that’s when we come in. Gabbie Hanna, for example, will have a melody in her head, or wants her song to be named BLANK, and pretty much knows what she wants. We just make it into music. ’’

Hard-work and diligence continues to be a major factor in their success that their gender hasn’t really been an obstacle. ‘‘It was harder in the beginning for us. Someone actually said, ‘You’re so pretty, why are you producing?’ which was belittling, but only made me work harder. I choose not to focus on the negative past experiences or doubts. I just do my work and gender doesn’t have anything to do with it.’’ Alina explained. ‘‘It’s great that we are dissolving the stigma that women can’t compete in this. It’s exhausting to fight but we know we have to keep doing it for women. Sometimes it doesn’t even process to us that we are women, but are engineers, producers, and songwriters. It isn’t until someone brings it up that we are like ‘‘oh wow, we ​are​ women!’’ Elli shared.

LYRE​ inspires others to continue to support and make room for women. They left us with some wise words for aspiring engineers and artists, confidence as a key factor, as well as dedication to one’s craft. As a self-taught engineer, Alina emphasized the importance of using your resources to hone in your skills. ‘‘Use the internet to learn. The traditional path and programs are great, but if that is something that is not available to you, find it online, and keep developing. You can do anything as long as you’re diligent.’’ As an artist, Elli relayed her message of self-confidence, ‘‘Be excited about your work and other people will be too! If you aren’t putting yourself out there or you’re not confident in it, why would other people be? You should be your biggest fan.’’

Be sure to listen to their music, check out the ​LYRE ​Pop​ ​sample pack available on ​Splice​, and mark your calendars for Elli’s new EP, ​Confections​, to be released on ​March 11th, 2020​!

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Uncategorized

Interview with Dhruv

Trading lectures and lessons for studio recording sessions, singer/songwriter Dhruv elaborates on the life of a college student– who happens to have a single with 500k streams, and all without any industry help. If you know anything about music, you know that it is extremely hard to promote an artist without even a little help, but Dhruv’s talent proves otherwise. His first single, ‘‘double take’’ was released in May 2019 and has since amassed over 500,000 streams alone. As a data science major attending Yale University, he plans on making his way into the music industry, one way or the other.

Now, we are not here to talk about how well he seems to be doing in
school. We want to know if his music is any good! I was lucky enough to get the chance to hear his unreleased track ‘‘Moonlight’’ which is set to be released today, February 21st. The song depicts the naivety and simplicity of a relationship, and it is so well-written musically and
lyrically that you’ll be falling in love with it too. Before you go running off to listen to it, here’s the story behind it.

As a queer person of color hailing from Singapore, Dhruv spoke
about the difficulties navigating his identity in a place that was not nearly as progressive. ‘‘Lyrically, it is about pining for something that seems as if it only existed in movies. I wanted to write something intoxicating and beautiful like the love we see on the big screen, something that I’ve never gotten to see represented as much in my sexuality.’’ There are lines in the song that give examples, ‘‘poetry and hand-picked flowers, say you’ll meet me at the altar’’ and ‘‘true love, kinda hoped it would feel like a rom-com’’ that directly represents the movie kind of love that I searched for.

This isn’t just represented in his single. Dhruv plans to release an
EP, ‘‘Con Artist’’ that portrays him navigating different aspects of his
life. Whether that be in love, in his music, or in himself. Dhruv does not perceive himself as an artist, but as someone who simply creates music to share, hence the name, ‘‘Con Artist.’’ While he couldn’t reveal much about his EP, he said it is definitely worth the wait. With the help of his label, TRST. Records, he hopes to make music for those who are underrepresented, a common vision aligned with TRST, which aims to create an environment where their artists can identify themselves in their music and share it with others.

Dhruv sends his love to his fans, and apologizes for the long wait. He made sure to only release what he felt was ready to be heard. Be on the lookout for more of Dhruv and stream Moonlight on all platforms today!

Categories
Music News

Industry Interview: Amisha Sarkar

Written by Sonca Nguyen and Sonnie Nguyen.

Behind all talented artists is a team of managers, executives, songwriters, and much more. In this case, we have a jack of all trades, Amisha Sarkar. Mixing business and friendship with rising star Audrey Mika, she has gained recognition as one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the business, and this is just the start.

Amisha Sarkar may seem like your average kid on the street but her days consist of meetings with major record labels, recording sessions, and all-around music-making alongside her best friend, Audrey Mika, who also happens to be signed to RCA Records with over 1.2 million listeners. Sarkar also reigns her newly introduced title as Artist Manager and Founder of her very own TRST. Records, established 2018.

To Amisha, the idea of creating a record label herself seemed out of reach. “Well, I’ve always wanted to start a record label since I was 12 but thought it was impossible.” So what drove her to make the impossible a reality? A given factor of support is her friend and artist, Audrey Mika. “Until I met Audrey, I was just a fan of her music. Music is a passion of mine. Audrey and I were exactly what we needed for each other. We became very close as we began to live our dream together.”

At a mere 18 years old, Sarkar is earning major recognition already at such a young age, but that comes with its challenges. ‘‘I would say that being 18 is harder than being a woman in my position. We haven’t really run into any issues in gender but definitely with my age. I have had a lot of people that don’t believe I manage Audrey. They don’t take me seriously because of my age. I was at a record label and the doorman wouldn’t let me in because he thought I was some kid off the streets trying to get in. I had to convince him that I was supposed to be there and I had a meeting. I just remind myself that age has nothing to do with my abilities. I know that as long as I do what’s right for my artists and believe in myself and my team, success will come.’’


One of her first moments of success was the release of Fake Heartbreak. ‘‘The song was on my phone and it wasn’t written all the way. Audrey and I came back to it, rewrote it, and just in the first week, it got over 500k streams. Now it has over one million. As a songwriter, seeing the song go from my back pocket to where it is now is so crazy to me. I feel like I have one of these moments every day. We appreciate every small victory that comes our way.’’

Scooter Braun has been a leading talent manager to many of the world’s top artists such as Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly, and Ariana Grande. The two crossed paths in which Sarkar marked a great first impression on him. ‘‘He is my idol and someone I always looked up to. Connecting with him was by far, an amazing personal achievement for me. He even called my mom, telling her that I should drop out of school.’’

As we finished up our conversation, Sarkar talked about what was in store for the new year. ‘‘Audrey and I are preparing to go on tour soon and I am now tour managing too which has definitely been a new experience. We have an EP soon to be released next month, and plan on working on an album maybe at the end of this year or the beginning of next. TRST. Records will also be releasing our first song under the label which is very exciting. Lots of things in the works.’’ The 5 A.M. Tour has already seen sold out shows in major cities and at the rate this past year has been going for them, this year is going to be even better.

We look forward to seeing more of Amisha Sarkar and continue to support her on her journey. You can too by streaming Audrey’s new single, ”Change Your Heart” on all platforms. Lyric video below:

Watch the ”Fake Heartbreak” music video below:

Check out Amisha’s artist, dhruv and his song, ”double take” below:

Categories
Music News

The Women of the 2020 Grammy Awards

Controversy over Grammy nominees have been swirling around since the situations involving the Recording Academy’s recently appointed CEO, Deborah Dugan, who had opened up conversation about misconduct, discrimination, and even voter rigging that could’ve potentially resulted in the rescheduling of the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards Show. As the day continued on, incidents following the tragic news of the passing of athlete, Kobe Bryant and other passengers during a fatal helicopter crash left the world somber and mournful. However, as the night was also for celebration of achievements, we wanted to recognize the winners that took home the trophy and also played a role as advocates for women in the music industry.

If you haven’t heard yet, Billie Eillish took home five Grammy awards in major categories from, ​Best New Artist,​ ​Best​ ​Pop Vocal Album,​ to ​Best; Record, Song, Album of the Year​ awards, making her the youngest person ever to win in Grammy history. Even if you don’t listen to her music, at only eighteen years old, this is something that is incredibly impressive to accomplish for someone this young.

Artist and DJ Tracy Young had just made history being the first ever woman to be even nominated in this category for Best Remixed Recording for her remix of Madonna’s ‘‘I Rise.’’ Young, who had been working in the industry for over twenty five years reflected on her journey in the industry when she was awarded the Grammy in her speech, stated, ‘‘I proudly accept this on behalf of all female producers who have been overlooked.’’

For our folks in the audio world, we know the name Leslie Ann Jones. For those of you who do not, she holds her title as Director of Music Recording and Score at Skywalker Studios along with her previous work experiences at Capitol Records and ABC studios. Jones made a name for herself back then and still continues to be a role model and advocate for women engineers at sixty-nine years old. Jones holds an impressive list of accomplishments and firsts. From being the first woman as assistant engineer ever to be hired at ABC Studios to the first female national officer for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Her legacy continues as she took home her 5th Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Classical in Riley: Sun Rings.

Behind the scenes, Soundgirl member and fellow Women In Audio advocate Loreen Bohannon shared that she was the one mixing monitors for Lizzo during her opening performance at the awards show.

It is the victories like these that create opportunities for women everywhere. We continue to support those in the industry and hope to see more women winning at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards!