Interview With: ThBenj

NEW LEASE MUSIC has caught up with THBENJ, who’s debut album, ‘T.H.B’ stole the top spot on the blog’s Top Ten Albums of 2019 list.

Get to know the upcoming Italian rapper, as he discusses his critically acclaimed album and his plans for 2020…so are you ready? Good!

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How’s life treating you?

TB: Hey, It’s a pleasure to be a part of the New Lease Music blog and I appreciate the support you’ve shown my music so far. I’m doing good, I recently moved over to Australia, everything is going amazing. I’m working on a lot of new music, I’ll be releasing a lot this year.

NLM: You released your album ‘T.H.B’ last year (which is #1 on New Lease Music’s Top Ten Albums of 2019). Have you received other accolades on the album?

TB: Being #1 on NLM Top 10 Albums for 2019, was a nice surprise. I’m very grateful and glad you guys enjoyed the album. Yes, 2019 has been a good year for ThBenj. We hit #1 on Google Play for the most albums sold in Hip Hop in Italy for 3 days and stayed in the top 10 for 5 consecutive weeks. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Really cool!

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

TB: The inspiration to write T.H.B. came from all over the place. Really, it’s a spontaneous album where I tell my story through my experiences. I tried to absorb as much vibe as I could and translate that into sounds, melodies and words everywhere I went.

Although, I always say it’s not me writing the songs, it’s something through me that makes the magic happen.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

TB: I like all of them and I think it makes sense to listen to them in the exact order that we’ve chosen for the album. But taking them singularly I would say “Mumble Acid”, “All Stars” and “Myself Again” for the deep messages they hold.

NLM: Do you have any plans to release a video for any of the songs on the album?

TB: Not at the moment, but definitely will be for the new music I’ll be releasing.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

TB: I make music mostly for clubs and that’s my sound, a club sound.

NLM: If you had the chance to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist on the album, who would it be?

TB: Russ, he’s not afraid to make something different.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

TB: I’ve only got one, changing the main topic. I Can feel it’s already changing though.

NLM: lol OK fair enough! So how can potential fans contact you?

TB: Just hit me up on IG @th_benj or FB ThBenj

NLM: Finally, any New Year’s resolution(s)

TB: I’ve just dropped my most recent single “2020” and I’m exclusively letting you know that I’ve scheduled the release of “Reasons” for February 14th. I may even leak a song or two before that, so yeah, this year is going to be a movie. Lot of music coming out.

I wish lots of success, health and joy to anyone reading this. A big thanks to New Lease Music, this is dope!

Interview with: Dorian Thorson

Canadian singer/songwriter DORIAN THORSON should be on your radar for 2020. His debut album, ‘The Come Up’, released last October, claimed the blog’s Album of the Week title for two consecutive weeks last month and went on to claim the number five spot on NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Albums of 2019 list.

NEW LEASE MUSIC has linked up with the newcomer-on-the-rise to discuss the album, his plans for 2020 and more…

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How’s 2020 treating you so far?

DT: Well thank you for asking me to be a part of it. So far, the year has been great! I was able to play on the biggest stage in my home city (Saskatoon) to end 2019 and two of my featured collaborations have been released already this month. It’s been a great start.

NLM: You released your album ‘The Come Up’ last year (which secured a well-deserved place at #5 on New Lease Music’s Top Ten Albums of 2019). Have you received other accolades on the album?

DT: That was a highlight for 2019 for sure. So far, “The Come Up” has gotten some coverage on a few blogs across the world. Your blog certainly showed it the most love up to this point. The biggest milestone from its release was when “Flex” achieved over 100 thousand streams over all platforms.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

DT: I’ve been striving to be a professional musician since I was 13. Early on I was fortunate to be a part of a record label, but that experience was cut short before any real ground was covered. This album holds most of my story from then (2012) until now. The biggest challenge was doing everything myself in the production.

On another note, when you reviewed it back in December, I was really pleased to see you caught on to the “stages of a relationship” concept. My intention was to make a series of singles tell the events that brought me to this point of my life and career.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

DT: My personal favourite is “Better.” Even though the hook from “Done” was the first melody conceived for the whole project, “Better” was the first song completed for the project. The voice recording in the middle of the track was a cool story. I’ve just finished recording most of the song and I send my brother-in-law a clip on snapchat. He called me immediately and what you hear in the voice memo was the phone call. That song signified a change in my style, something really shifted after that song was made. Of course, It’s important to keep growing but it was a big step in the right direction.

NLM: Do you have any plans to release a video for any of the songs on the album?

DT: There are two out already actually. One for the first single “Trust Issues” and one for “Flex.” They are on my YouTube channel.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

DT: I haven’t really figured that out myself yet, haha. Truth is I don’t really sound like anyone else. I’m heavily inspired by early Mike Posner (when he was a Hip-Hop singer), the pre-pop star version of The Weeknd, Drake, and Ne-Yo. Some compare my style to Tory Lanez because I fit right in the middle of Rnb and Rap, but at the end of the day I’m just my own thing, “Dorian Thorson.”

NLM: If you had the chance to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist on the album, who would it be?

DT: Drake feature would fit perfect.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

DT: I’m just enjoying the ride and thankful I can get paid to do what I love to do, so nothing on the industry’s part. When it comes to the people that I’ve run into outside of the industry, I wish they weren’t such haters. It’s funny how some will congratulate you when you’ve become successful, but their blood leaves their face at the same time. That’s when you know they’re hoping for you fail. I’d say that would be the one thing that I’d like to change. Everyone be more supportive, man! That hater shit is whack.

NLM: How can potential fans contact you?

DT: You can find my music on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, Deezer, and all by searching “Dorian Thorson.” If you want to contact me, Instagram is best. I’m on Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tiktok via @dorianthorson. Twitter is a bit different at @dorthorson.

NLM: Finally, any New Year’s resolution(s)?

DT: I was hoping to take a break from making music for a while, but now I find myself busier than I’ve ever been. I’m just going to be consistent with giving my followers new music and hope to grow the following worldwide. On a personal note, I’m looking to get my physical and mental health back in order.

Interview With: Rebekah Hawker

NEW LEASE MUSIC has caught up with REBEKAH HAWKER, whose single ‘Kempenfelt Bay’ was named Song of the Month by the blog back in August.

Stick around to find out what’s she has been up since the release of the single (taken from her EP, ‘Careful Women’) plus her general views of the music industry of today.


NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

So what have you been up to in the music circuit?

RH: I feel so honoured you would ask me, it means a lot to be able to share with you so thank you! I’ve mostly been focused lately on touring, specifically in Ontario to support the release of my EP ‘Careful Women’. I have some songwriter showcases coming up in November and more shows planned for the new year as well. I’m excited to showcase these songs in front of people who might connect with them.

NLM: Back in August, you released your single, ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. What was the public reception of the single so far?

RH: So far listeners have been so generous and kind with their responses to ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. I feel really grateful to those who have reached out to me to share how the song has impacted them. So many people I know have moved away from their hometowns and share the same nostalgic feeling I’ve written about in the song.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

RH: I wrote Kempenfelt Bay when I moved away from home for the first time and was renting a single room in a boarding house in downtown Toronto. It was the most isolated and lonely I had ever felt up to that point in my life. I was terrified at the overwhelming weight of the future, and having to move forward into it. All I could do in that moment was look back and remember my home, and an old relationship that made me feel so comfortable and safe, it had me longing for home.

NLM: You also released your four-track EP, ‘Careful Woman’, back in August. What’s your proudest single on the project and why?

RH: What a tough question! That’s the musical equivalent of asking a mother to choose her favourite child. It’s really hard to choose one, although I will say ‘Round of Fools’ will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first single I released from the EP. I felt a lot of pressure riding on that first song and its reception. I was really joyed to learn after its release how much it was resonating with people , it carried itself so much further than I could’ve anticipated.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

RH: I would say it’s this country folk hybrid that focuses on storytelling, both through the lyrics and the melodies I write. There are also some traditional, more vintage country sounds woven in.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist, who would it be?

RH: Maybe this is super expected but it would be so fun to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves. She’s an incredible writer, so honest and such a powerhouse. I feel like I could write the most badass songs with her.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

RH: 1. I think I’d try to make mentorship more accessible to artists (especially female) of varying success levels. To create a community where we can share more freely across levels and can better instil knowledge of both the business and creative side of music for artists in the beginning stages of learning and playing.
2. I would take over the country radio stations and change the old model of the boys club, more women on the country charts!!
3. I would change the vibe of ‘there can only be one’ that plagues so many artists. That mentality, especially for women (even more so for women of colour) who see there are only so many females allowed in that space is so damaging and leads to this insane competition that pits women against each other in a very unhealthy way. Collaboration and community always wins.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

I’ll be continuing my touring, hoping to make some new friends across the way and collect some new experiences. I’m applying to some festivals domestically (in Canada) so hopefully most of next summer I’ll be on the road. I also have a few music videos planned in the next couple months so that is something to be looking forward to…

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

RH: You can find me most active on instagram and facebook! @rebekahhawker as well as through my website http://www.rebekahhawker.com. I’m very friendly so they can reach me on those platforms and I’d love to chat with them 🙂

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what profession would you do?

RH: I’ve always been so interested in the minds of those people around me, how they work and how I can understand them more clearly and understand how to navigate those relationships effectively and positively. I totally would have worked in the psychology world, as a therapist but probably also as a researcher of a sort. Being a couples therapist as well could be so interesting!

Interview with: Gentry Kozia

After making an impressive splash on the blog with latest effort ‘I Just Wanna’, NEW LEASE MUSIC has decided to catch up and find out a little more about the man behind the single, GENTRY KOZIA.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. So what have you been up to in the music circuit in your hometown?

GK: Thank you for having me! I really appreciate it and I’m currently not living in my hometown I relocated to California. But I have gone back home a few times within the last two years, doing radio interviews and a few shows.

NLM: You released your single ‘I Just Wanna’ back in April. What was the public reception of the single so far?

GK: It’s doing very well & gaining more streams.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

GK: Love songs from the past something that is missing greatly in today’s R&B music.

NLM: Are you planning to do a music video for the single in the near future?

GK: We shot a video for it back in October of last year but had to do some re-shoots..I’m planning to release it in July…

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

GK: A touch of vintage soul with a little funk, layered with some rock rounded off with today’s sonics..I try to stay away from trends but still maintaining a sound that is familiar today – if that make sense.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist, who would it be?

GK: Well it would actually be two… Prince and Pharrell Williams. Those guys are not afraid to push the envelope with their fashion and music.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

GK: More originality, diversity on radio playlists and better artist deals.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

GK: Currently I’m on tour until the end of September and continuously release music on all digital platforms. I also have a few major placement deals in place, so I’m staying busy.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

GK: I’m on all social media platforms as gentrykozia (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Snapchat). All my music is available on all streaming platforms as well.

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what profession would you do?

GK: I would be a professional boxer..I was boxing before I decided to pursue music professionally..

Interview with: Shiraz Hempstock

Introducing SHIRAZ HEMPSTOCK, the young songbird who made an impressive entry on the blog with single, ‘Simmer Down’. As one of the most exciting artists to have come out of the UK,  who received support from the likes of BBC 1xtra and BBC Radio One, it’s only natural that NEW LEASE MUSIC hook up with the newcomer…

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. So what have you been up to in the music circuit?

SH: Released two tracks ‘Done The Dirty’ and ‘Simmer Down’ and have a track going out shortly being released on Pussyfoot Records called Rain, Tilt Ft Shiraz, going out on a couple of different mixes, which I’m really looking forward to as it’s a little bit different from my current stuff.

Also, I’ll be supporting Leee John from imagination at the Jam House Birmingham on 6th June.

NLM: Your single’ Simmer Down’ has been named Song of the Month by NEW LEASE MUSIC last month. What was the public reception of the single?

SH: The public reception of the song was amazing, it was taken on by BBC Introducing, who then forwarded it to BBC WM, Radio 1XTRA and BBC R1, it has a lot of following still.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

SH: I don’t tend to have any inspo behind my songs, I tend to just write where my heart takes me. It tends to be an imaginative story that I make up there and then, I tend to dive in deep to any emotions this character may be feeling.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

SH: My sound is very RnB pop.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist, who would it be?

SH: If I had to collaborate with one mainstream artist it would be Drake as he uses a lot of Rnb and pop clips throughout his albums.

NLM:  If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

SH: I don’t have any wishes for the music industry to change, but if there were to be one then it would be for everything to be fair.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

SH: My plans are to get an EP released hopefully, do a couple more gigs and festivals and to get myself out to the public eye more!

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

SH: Potential fans can contact me by my social media:
Instagram- @shirazhopee
Facebook- Shiraz Hempstock
Twitter- @officialshiraz
Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/artist/1coP2ucjK8Twjn8RqNuXyg

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what profession would you do?

SH: If music didn’t exist I would be a prison/police officer.