Interview with: Turya

Nicki Wells – aka TURYA – made her first entry on NEW LEASE MUSIC with debut single, Rain, which was named Song of the Month by the blog in June. The accompanied video was named Music Video of the Week for two consecutive weeks (check out the chart show on Instagram). With growing interest surrounding the South Londoner, it’s only fair to invite her to the interview hot seat.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

T: Thanks for having me.

NLM: First of all, can you tell us the meaning of your stage name Turya?

T: It’s interesting because I was searching for names for ages. I had a list of about 150 names and words and I wanted to have a name that meant something profound to me. I found Turya spontaneously. It is originally a Sanskrit word: ‘Tooriya’. There are several meanings of it, the most commonly known being the Fourth state of consciousness after dreaming, dreamless and waking. But what resonated with me, is that it also means the Silence one experiences after Sound.

I loved the idea of that and wanted the word to manifest my artistic persona in the sense that, after hearing a Turya song, one could be left in a moment of silence…

NLM: Your latest single Rain was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC in June. What’s the public’s perception of the single beyond the blog?

T: Wow that’s cool, I didn’t know that. Thank you. Well, we’ve had a great response considering it’s the first single I’ve ever released as a solo artist, (as Turya), even though I have done many things as Nicki Wells. So it’s daunting but exciting at the same time. ‘Rain’ has also already been used in a Ridley Scott produced film ‘India in a Day’ which is cool.

NLM: How would you describe your sound?

T: It’s definitely a singer/songwriter approach with folk, soul, cinematic and Indian classical influences.

NLM: Where do you get your inspiration from to create such unique sounds?

T: It’s all a culmination of what I listen to and absorb subconsciously.

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

T : Um mainstream, ok… Maybe Ed Sheeran, why not? He writes catchy songs and seems like a down-to-earth kinda guy.

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

T : That’s a hard question because it DOES in fact change so quickly. I would probably say I wish it wasn’t so utterly full and saturated. In a way it’s a good thing because there is so much music available for our consumption but now it’s almost become too much because every Tom, Dick or Harry can write, record and upload an album in his bedroom so it can be overwhelming because everyone and their dog wants to do it and be a Taylor Swift or an Ed Sheeran. Lol!

Number 2, to have more support and exposure for upcoming unsigned songwriters and artists and number 3, to have more government funding for young musicians and youth projects to create music.

NLM: So what plans do you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album in the pipeline?

T: I’ve got (drumrolls please) my first gig as Turya on the 25th July at the Union Chapel with Common and Kind, which a fantastic cause about how music creates a sense of unity and integration in these trying times: (Grenfell tower, London Bridge and Manchester incidents). So it’s essentially about artists and musicians coming together to spread good energy and a sense of hope. So I’m happy to be a featured artist in that. And I will eventually do some of my own gigs around London.

NLM: How can potential fans get in touch with you?

T: Facebook: Twitter, Instagram, Spotify

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

T: I would try to make it exist by banging two rocks together to form a sound and then do a repetitive rhythm and then gather my fellow villagers and say: “Guys! Check this out! Now you do it with two rocks and let’s try to do it together!”

Interview with: Nino Wes

NEW LEASE MUSIC welcomes back NINO WES into the interview hot seat for the second time. The award-winning singer/songwriter/producer was last in the Q&A spot in 2014 to discuss his single, ‘You & Only You’. As his latest offering, ‘Destiny’ was the most listened track last month, I think it’s about time we find out what he’s been up to….

NLM: Welcome back to the NEW LEASE MUSIC Interview seat. What have you been up to since the last time we spoke?

NW:Thanks for inviting me back first and foremost, Thank you for your sincere and unconditional support; it means a lot. Things have been a bit different within the last few releases but good nonetheless. I have a new body of work done (an album I guess) I’m just taking my time with releasing things nowadays I’ve been a bit critical, or at least trying too.

NLM: This is your second time in the Q&A spot and I’ve never asked you this question: What’s the story behind your stage name NINO WES?

NW: LOL I’ll put it like this: the polar opposite of Nino Brown.

NLM: Your latest single ‘Destiny’ was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC last month. What’s the public’s perception of the single beyond the blog?

NW: Thank you again for the support, I’ve gotten good feedback, I believe it’s a bit mixed because the record is not the most moderate but the next release hopefully will generate more
people to listen.

NLM: For those who haven’t had the chance to listen to ‘Destiny’, please tell the story behind the single?

NLM: With this song, I just wanted to be honest, one of those music is therapy moments lol! I didn’t want to come off too dark or what not but for the longest time it was only a feeling that i couldn’t describe and when I finally came to describe it, the song came out as destiny.

NLM: What mainstream or indie artists are you into at the moment?

NW:  I’m into a little bit of everything. My taste in music is a bit diverse but R&B is my foundation. Off the top of my head …. Bj The Chicago Kid is dope, and The Weeknd he’s killing it. And Chris
Brown, still can’t deny his talent.

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

NW: That’s a good one….I’m not really sure, but I would really like to see artists just be
themselves.

NLM: So what plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album in the pipeline?

NW: Yup, I’m taking one step at a time, one show at a time. I do have an album done but haven’t
decided when to release it. In the meantime, I’m engineering with other artists, and trying to expand, more behind the scenes. I’ve always been into production.

NLM: If music didn’t exist, what would you do?

NW: if music didn’t exist, neither would I!

How can potential fans reach you?

NW: IG and Twitter –  all @ninowes

Interview with: Sophie Longshaw

SOPHIE LONGSHAW is well on her way to becoming one of NEW LEASE MUSIC’s new favourites. Not only the flame-haired songstress bagged of herself the Music Video of the Week title for latest single ‘Hold You’ – for two consecutive weeks – her previous effort, ‘In the Morning’ was also featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC’S Top Ten Songs of 2016. I think it’s about time we find out more about this star-on-a-very-steady-rise.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

SL: Hey! Not too bad thank you, I can’t believe Summer is here. Thanks for having me!

NLM: First of all, I wanted ask you about your latest single ‘Hold You’ – which was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in March – what was the public perception of the single beyond the blog?

SL: Yeah it did incredibly well. I think people were surprised to hear something that wasn’t indie-folk and a little bit different to my other tracks. It’s got a real punch to it and it’s the track I get the most messages and comments about!

NLM: Your single ‘In the Morning’ was ranked #8 on NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2016. Have a generated other accolades elsewhere? Please share!

SL: That’s nuts! The video for it premiered on Gigwise and we were No.1 trending for over a week. I’ve had the most amazing messages where fans have told me they really connected with the song and it helped them through difficult times in their life. For me, knowing my music can help someone is an accolade for me.

NLM: You’ve cranked up quite an impressive discography! What’s your favourite track to date and why?

SL: Definitely ‘Let’s Go To The Beach’! When I first started writing it, it was a private letter to myself to get through a tough time and now it’s my most listened to track on Spotify! I love playing it live, I’ve seen people slow-dancing to it and the love you feel in the room at that moment is unreal.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

SL: I guess you’d say soulful indie-folk with a modern twist.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

SL: She’s not exactly chart-topping but I absolutely ADORE her… and that person is Lianne La Havas. She is so so so talented. I don’t know anyone else who can hold an audience like she can. What a woman.

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

SL: *Creating quality music takes time and it’s a shame that unless you’re selling millions of albums you just can’t make a living so I’d say higher rates for streaming and YouTube views. No-one wants to pay for music anymore but unfortunately we can’t make music all our lives for nothing.

* EQUALITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN!!! More women in higher jobs with better pay – Vanessa Knight is a prime example. She mentored me at the start of all of this and I think she is just fantastic…. she runs her own label, has managed and helped many artists and I think we need more women like her. It hasn’t been an easy road for her but slowly but surely we are paving the way to equality.

* Unfortunately to get anywhere these days you need the image. I’d want press to change completely. Image isn’t everything and I am so sick and tired of seeing polished photoshopped artists all over magazines and the internet. Critiques of female artists often refer to their appearance as well as their musical ability which is ludicrous!

NLM: So what plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

SL: No plans for an album as of yet, but we’ve definitely got a few singles in the pipeline… watch this space…

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

SL: If you want to have a little listen to my tracks you can search “Sophie Longshaw” into Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Soundcloud and YouTube.

If you wanna keep up with what I’m up to, you can find me on the usual social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

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

We’d probably have turned into some mutant zombies by now if music didn’t exist. What a dull world that would be! If I wasn’t writing songs I’d be writing anything and everything!

 

EXCLUSIVE Interview with: J.A.S (Just A Star)

Jayd Soliar – aka J.A.S (Just A Star) is in the NEW LEASE MUSIC interview seat this month. His collaborative club filler, ‘Set Me Free’ stole the top spot back in April. So I think it’s about time we get to know this talented rapper/producer/songwriter from South Africa – after you read the full interview, you’ll know him better than you know yourself! Happy reading!

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

J.A.S: Hey, I am great! Thanks for the interview and thanks so much to New Lease Music for always showing love. Will definitely be giving you the exclusives on any new tracks I release.

NLM: So tell us a bit about yourself?

J.A.S: ‘ve been pursuing this music thing for about 15 years now. I started off as a songwriter, writing lyrics in primary school for both myself and others. It was very basic at the time, but it was a start. I began rapping soon after, my friends and I would form cyphers and just rap all day. Hip-Hop was in my blood due to my brother and neighbourhood friends introducing me to the genre at a very young age.

I moved to a new high school and met two guys who were also passionate about Hip-Hop and we formed a rap group. This is the point when I started making beats. I started off using beat making software such as FL Studio, then moved to Acid Pro and Reason. I invested in recording gear and we began to record our first project. We were together for two to three years recording and performing around Durban, South Africa.

After high school, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to study music production and this where I was introduced to the music software Logic Pro which I still use today. I began working with the amazing vocalist Nevita, who you will hear on many of my songs; she is the vocalist on my single, ‘The Moment’. We formed a group and produced an album together.

A few years later we met another talented producer/engineer and formed another group called Tiger.X. We began producing electronic music and had great success with it. Overtime I perfected my craft and created my own unique sound.

So jumping to 2015, I decided to pursue a solo career as a producer, engineer and rapper. My debut album, as J.A.S, is the embodiment of this whole journey and thus took at least 10 years to make.

NLM: Your collaborative house track, Set Me Free, went down a treat with the readers on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What was the public’s reception of the track beyond the blog?

J.A.S: Everyone loved the track. I received a lot of messages on my social medias from fans showing love. I’ve received a huge number of streams on various platforms. The House scene is big in South Africa, so Set Me Free took off well. The hard part is maintaining the hype.

NLM: Your discography comprises hip-hop and (of course) house music. Are there any plans to cover other genres in the future?

J.A.S Well I produce and engineer many different genres for other artists, such as, Rock, Blues, Jazz, etc. I produce music from emotion and feeling, so whatever I feel at any point in time I will produce. At the moment, I just completed my Hip-Hop album titled L.I.F.E: The CAUSE, I’m in the process of finishing up my collaborative House album with Mpho and I’m also producing Sy’Defect’s EP, who is the rapper on The Moment.

NLM: What’s your proudest work/track to date and why?

My entire album, L.I.F.E: The CAUSE is my proudest work. It’s a journey through different moments in life. When you listen to the album, all songs lead into one another to create one whole story. It is my life’s journey and everyone will be able to relate to it. It’s too hard to choose a single song that I am most proud of, as I am proud of them all in their own way, but my favourite song on the album is ‘Scattered’, because of the authentic emotion that I managed to capture and portray. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and it doesn’t depreciate in its emotional value and impact.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

J.A.S: This is a tough question. If I had to choose any rapper to collaborate with, it would be Eminem. From the newer rappers, I would choose Kendrick Lamar. My dream, however, is just to be in studio with Dr.Dre.

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

J.A.S:• Eradicate the corruption in the industry. Radio plays are being bought, awards are being bought, many other corrupt dealings are transpiring and it really needs to stop.

• A better way to consume music than online distribution and streaming because it has degraded the quality of music and devalued the time and effort that the artists, producers and engineers put in to create the music. I don’t have a solution, but I think there will be one within the next 5 years.

• Lastly, investing in artist development and mentorship is important. If record labels invest in mentoring and developing their artists, the artists would have longer lasting careers, not one-hit-wonders or one-year-wonders. The problem is that labels don’t want this, because to them artists are disposable objects that have a sell by date. They acquire the artist/s for 2 years or less and then dispose of them and move on to the next.

NlM: So what plans do you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

J.A.S: I plan to release my album this year, I am just working on the best marketing deals so that when I drop it, it’s an explosion that has a long-lasting effect and not just hype for one week. I’m also working on a few gigs, I think the last quarter of 2017 is going to be good for J.A.S.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

Fans can reach me on my social media pages or via email:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jas.justastar/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JAS_JustAStar
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jas_justastar/
Email: jas.justastar@gmail.com

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

J.A.S: I can’t see myself doing anything but music. I’ve always been fascinated by sound, I often record natures sound and produce music out of those sounds. I used to take a rock and throw it against another rock, record that, manipulate it a bit and that would be my kick drum. So basically, I construct different sound elements together to create ‘music’, so if music didn’t exist I would be the person who creates it.

Lol I just curved this question. Ok, if not music, I would be a sound therapist. I studied sound frequencies and brain waves, and sound frequency can be used to alter brainwaves and entrain the brain to follow a certain pattern, therefore, sound frequencies can be used to alter emotions and cure various illnesses.

 

Interview with: The Fireflys

Runcorn rockers THE FIREFLYS made quite an impression on NEW LEASE MUSIC with their single ‘Sever’ which stole the Song of the Month title in March. Frontman Lee Wylding took time out from his very busy schedule and jumped into the interview hot seat to give us the lowdown on the band’s plans for the year and more…happy reading!

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking out the time to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

TF: Hi Tracey! We’re fine thank you, and it’s our pleasure to be talking to you now. We’re incredibly busy rehearsing and recording our 5th We have 2 new members in Joe Forber and Phil Conway, who are filling out our sound a lot more with their guitars. Our rhythm section is tighter than ever too as Sam Bramhall and Andie Packer have such a great chemistry. Cannot mention our Keyboardist Chris Tann too, he’s there, keeping it all together.

NLM: How was The Fireflys formed?

TF: We formed waaaay back in 2007 initially just to play the songs I was writing to our friends. It’s our ten-year anniversary in May – but that’s not strictly true as I lived in Canada until 2009, so it’s more like 7 years of us being an actual fully –functioning band. The way I looked at it was – indie music wasn’t really saying anything or sounding like how it fundamentally should, I’m a sucker for verse-chorus-verse, not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, if you’re an indie band then at least try to be one – that’s how we came about.

NLM: What’s the reason behind the band’s name?

LW: I was blown away by the Rob Zombie film “The Devils Rejects” how visceral it was, from the characters to the cinematography, stark sunlights and desert landscapes, everything about the film just kind of clicked with me, as I’m such a huge horror movie fan, I thought it fitting that I’d name our band after it. What does make me laugh is most people have said at one point or another that we’ve spelt the word wrong, but that’s how it was spelt in The Devils rejects and in turn “Duck Soup” by the Marx brothers who are name checked in the film. Also the thought of these cute little bugs seems nice – but in reality we’re named after a gang of psychopaths!

NLM: Your single ‘Sever’ (from the album ‘The Illumination of Everything’) went down a treat on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What’s the public’s reception on the track?

LW: That’s easily one of my favourite songs, and I’m very proud that you featured it. I think our fanbase like that song but we have maybe only played it live once, I need to put a bit more effort into getting back into our live set.

NLM: What’s your favourite track from the album and why?

LW: Well ‘Branches’ was the song that lifted us a few rungs up the ladder popularity wise, I think with Old Trafford Stadium, the Homeless Ashes movie, MUTV, That’s Manchester TV, Bay TV Liverpool, BBC Manchester, BBC Liverpool and literally hundreds of college radio stations playing it, we went from “Almost totally unknown” to “Cult Indie band” in the space of 6 months, so I’ll go with that song as my fave, in terms of what it’s done for us.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

LW: A lot of people say that you can hear many of our influences but we sound like none of them in our music, from City & Colour to Stereophonics to Gin Blossoms & Counting Crows, it’s a real melting pot of Americana & Indie music. I’d like to say we sound like R.E.M but I’m afraid they’re too legendary to be even considered in the same sentence as our band.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

LW: Great question! And I have a very quick answer because the charts and the top 40 are absolutely full of the same staid pop formula with all the fingerprints wiped away, if you’re a 14-year-old really getting into guitar music right now, the only hope you have is to rifle through your older brothers or dad LP’s. Search out Neil Young’s Harvest and The Beatles White Album and link them up all the way through The Smiths to Pearl Jam & Oasis, the charts now represents none of this I’m afraid, so my answer would be no-one! Guess that wasn’t such a quick answer after all. 🙂

NLM: So what other plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

LW: Well we’ve just signed a record deal with the fabulous folks at Strawberry Moon Records, and they’ll be releasing our next single “Grace” in the coming months. We play Bowlers arena Manchester on April 14th and return to the brindley theatre in the Autumn. Basically we will be doing as many shows as we can, and trying to record our fifth. Very busy times.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

LW: Twitter mostly which is @thefireflys and facebook – facebook.com/thefireflys

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

LW: Wow imagine if music didn’t exist! That would be horrible, no point living! When I was younger I was a cracking left back when I played football, so I think I would have really put the effort in to become a footballer for my beloved team –Manchester United!

 

 

Interview with: Brooklyn

brooklyn

Come and meet BROOKLYN – a newcomer who’s tearing up the underground pop music scene with her out-of-sight track, ‘Cupid’. It’s only right to invite the eccentric songstress into the interview seat…so come on and get the lowdown on a star-on-the-rise.

NLM: First of all, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

B:It’s my pleasure, thank you for having me !

NLM: you your single ‘Cupid’ came out late last year. What’s the story behind the single and what’s the public’s reception since its release?

B: So basically the story behind it is that my best friend got cheated on by her boyfriend at the time, with one of the girls that were in our circle so it was kinda deep ! The reception has been more than I could have ever asked, the support and love for it is just crazy and I’m so grateful!

NLM: How would you describe your sound/signature to potential fans? Would you compare yourself to any of your music influences of today?

B:I don’t like to compare myself to other artists cos we’re all doing our own thing u know.. but my sound is very mixed.. the core is very R&B but then definitely has influences of Grime, Hip Hop, etc..

NLM: What mainstream (or even indie) artists you’re into at the moment?

B: Angel – I’m still hooked on his ‘Her’ EP, Yxng Bane aka captain wave lol, Nadia Rose is a boss, Big Tobz I’ve really followed his journey, oh there’s an Afro Beat act I’ve just discovered called Yemi Alade she is awesome!! JA=KI Wolfe ‘the wizard’, Lady Leshurr, Stefflon don, obvs Stormzy too many to mention the UK scene is really producing some great music right now!
NLM: If you had a choice to collaborate with just ONE mainstream artist, who would it be and why?

B: Chris breeeezy.. I’ve been a fan since day I just love his music, his voice just does summmmmin to me, I could literally marry his voice

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

B: I’d probably not change anything as whatever negative issues exist contribute indirectly to the organic creation of great music anyway. Sometimes politics lead people to go above and beyond and think outside the box

NLM:  So what are your plans for 2017? Any coming gigs?

B: Yessss, I got some festivals lined up which I’m super excited about I love the vibes at festivals and the vodka tonics certainly go down well.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

B:They can @ me directly on Twitter @artistbrooklyn the same for Instagram and my website is artistbrooklyn.com you’ll find all my socials on there 🙂

NLM:  Finally, any shout outs?
My family, my team Actually Music, Tenletter and seriously EVERYONE supporting big up!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with: Becalli Bruh

becalli-bruh

Chase Kephart, otherwise known as BECALLI BRUH, made his entry on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in November with track, ‘Leanin’. As his offering was a big hit with you guys, I’ve invited the upcoming emcee from Nashville back into the hotseat…so sit back for a few minutes and read all about this new contender who’s ready to take underground hip-hop scene by the balls…

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

BB: I am doing great thanks for asking, and no problem it’s my pleasure

NLM: First off, I have to ask you: what’s the reason behind the name Becalli Bruh?

BB: Ummm… that’ s a good question! My reason behind the name was to pick a state that best suits my reckless high-spirited personality, and the first thing that came to mind was California or Calli, as I call it. The Be part of the name is just saying be in the moment and be who you are and don’t change for anyone, so I came up with Becalli and it sounded pretty legit so I went with it.

NLM: You released your super slick single ‘Leanin’ last November. What’s the public’s reception since its release?

BB: ‘Leanin’ got some great reception. There were a lot of people who enjoyed the free-spirited lyrics and the uptempo beat.

NLM: You have a pretty dope discography! What’s your favourite track and why?

BB: My favorite track would be ‘Haven’t Had Enough Of It’ because it really tells my story and how I am maturing over the years and how people and music have really brought it all together for me.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

BB: My sound is definitely unique and kinda has a raspy tone to it and I think can be really awesome with a lot of new and bright tunes

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

No doubt, it would be G-Eazy. That man has inspired me to start doing my own stuff. I have been a fan of his since his early mixtape days. I have seen how he has really grown into the music he makes over the years, and how he really brings his fans together while doing something he loves. He is definitely someone who inspires me to be the best and most creative one out there.

NLM: So what other plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

BB: I have a couple of new releases coming up around the summertime and will definitely be something different and new that I hope the fans enjoy.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

BB: Anyone that needs or wants to reach me can contact me by my instagram which is @becallibruh

NLM: If music didn’t exist, what would you do?

BB: Well damn I don’t even want to answer this question, but I would probably go with something that involves being creative and unique through a type of art

NLM: Finally, any shout outs?

BB: A shout out to Liveassmemphis, true friend of mine that has a song coming out on soundcloud february 10th, so go check that out!

Listen to Becalli Bruh’s latest track, ‘Misconceptions.’

 

 

Interview with: Kyle Lettman

kyle-lettman-1-2

It’s been almost a year since KYLE LETTMAN graced his presence on NEW LEASE MUSIC with his epic EP, When It Rains. So it’s an absolute privilege for this smooth R&B crooner to take time out of his busy schedule and give us the lowdown of his near future projects – and more. So I hope you guys are ready!

NLM: First of all, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

KL: Thank you for showing an interest in what I’m doing, it means a lot.

NLM: Tell us what projects you’re working on at the moment?

KL: Right now I’m in the process of recording an album, whilst also working with my team on promotional music and material that introduces a dance & versatility aspect to my artistry. There’s also some special features coming up to look out for…trust me we have a lot going on at the moment!

NLM: What is your favourite project to date and why?

KL: Hmm.. I love all the projects I’ve done so far because I feel like they’ve all taught me something and I’ve grown from each musical experience, so I couldn’t just pick one haha. However, I could pick a favourite song…which would be Matter Of Time from the Under Construction project. I feel like it’s one of the best songs I’ve written in my short career.

NLM: You were in a R&B/pop group called Fundamental. How does being in a band compare to flying solo?

KL: No comparison, it’s like you’re using a completely different muscle set altogether. With the group, I had my brothers on stage with me and that made performing easier. Going solo means that I have to cover all the bases on my own whilst also doing all the entertaining. Although being in a group is easier, flying solo forces maturity and has more personal rewards.

NLM: You’ve written some lyrics for some of the credible artists in the industry – Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo, Nicole Scherzinger, Kele Le Roc, Varren Wade. What’s it like working with these heavyweights?

KL: I wouldn’t say for, working “with” is more accurate, lol! I could definitely tell you some stories but all in all, each credible artist is just a normal person who happens to be well-known. Frank Ocean and Fundamental 03 practically grew up together while we lived and worked in LA. Neyo is actually a pretty respectful person and really easy to work with -his songwriting skills are a lot better than people think. Kele Le Roc is a beautiful woman inside and out, our duet was the 1st time I was granted a chance at songwriting without the guys from Fundamental… and she was lovely enough to allow that to happen. Varren Wade & Jermaine Riley will be my Brothers for EVER haha.

NLM: How would describe your sound to potential fans? Would you compare yourself to any of your music influences of today?

KL: Hmm… I wouldn’t compare myself but I am definitely a reflection of the artists I love, i.e Usher, Ginuwine, Janet & Michael Jackson. My sound is heavily based in R&B & Soul, but not exclusive to those genres.

NLM: What mainstream (or even indie) artists you’re into at the moment?

KL: I’d love to work with Emeli Sandé and I’m pretty sure that’ll happen in the not so far future.

NLM: If you had a choice to collaborate with just ONE mainstream artist, who would it be and why?

I’d work with Chris Brown or Drake as the truth is whoever they co-sign gets noticed lol. But apart from the obvious, I’d love to work with Lela James, Pixie Lott, James Bay or Ed Sheeran.

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

NLM: Bring back how music felt in the 90s, unfortunately nowadays there’s literally nothing like that feeling. Bring back Hip Hop too, I miss the Busta Rhymes, DMX, Lisa Left Eye Lopez and the Eve’s. Finally to bring back proper artist development, more raw, real and unique talent such as Prince. Rather than those who have been almost formulated by the music industry to look and sound a certain way.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

NLM: My Instagram & Twitter is @KyleLettman
Website is KyleLettman.com

EXCLUSIVE Interview with: The Optical Illusion

Kieth Cousins from The Optical Illusions

Rock duo THE OPTICAL ILLUSION have made their presence known here on NEW LEASE MUSIC. Their latest single, See You In The Stars, is currently the Song of the Month – and has subsequently stolen the Song of Week hotspot for five consecutive weeks! Frontman Keith Cousin takes the interview seat this month, revealing the band’s near-future plans and the reason behind their latest effort.

NLM: First of all, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

OI: It’s my pleasure. I think you’re doing great work, and you’ve always been very kind and supportive to The Optical Illusion. We’re big fans.

NLM: Thank you! Your stage name – THE OPTICAL ILLUSION – is really cool! What’s the reason for choosing the name?

OI: Thanks for the compliment! The Optical Illusion came to me in a dream. I always wanted to be a rock n roller, and I woke up one morning and muttered to myself “Optical Illusion, Optical Illusion”. For some reason, it has stuck with me to this day. I placed a “The” at the beginning because so many great bands had it: The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, The Kinks…etc. So, you could consider me a rock and roll traditionalist.

NLM: You’ve released your single See You in the Stars in June. Describe the story behind your latest effort?

OI: David Bowie was a legend. He touched so many lives and, in my opinion, was a musical genius. I’ve been a lifelong fan of his work. When he died, I was in shock for several weeks. I felt I had to do something about it. Since I don’t like to write about a subject without doing some serious research, I committed about a month to watching various documentaries, and interviews (the Heathen interviews in particular) about the man. When I was finally ready, I penned “See You In The Stars”. It was a serious labor of love. I put in over 15 lyrical references about Mr. Bowie. I even sang it the way I felt he would (without the British accent, of course). I wanted OI fans to feel as if David was actually telling the world about his life through me. I hope I’ve done him justice. I’d like to believe he would enjoy the tribute.

NLM: What’s the public’s reception on the single since its release?

OI: The reception has been awesome. I’ve gotten some really positive feedback and I’m very humbled and appreciative for anyone who has listened. These days, there’s so many ways to spend your time, and so many distractions on the Internet. Anytime someone selects “See You In The Stars” to listen to, over a cat video, or the latest Beyonce/Taylor Swift/Cold Play stuff that is most prevalent in the mainstream, I am honored.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

OI: The Optical Illusion is a power/pop/rock band. We also have some elements of progressive rock. Wayne and I make a great song writing team. I’m usually more of the structured, straight up rocker (influenced by The Beatles, The Cars, The Kinks, Rick Springfield, Joe Jackson), and Wayne is the more progressive force (influenced by RUSH, Spock’s Beard, Porcupine Tree). I never try to have the same type of sound, which can be a blessing and a curse. You can’t listen to one of our songs and immediately know who is singing, because I try to change things up so often.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be?

OI: Dave Grohl is the man! If I could collaborate with any rocker, it would be him. He has a huge respect for the greatness of rock past, and the vision to make new explosive rock in the future. Plus, he seems like a really nice guy; someone I could bounce ideas off of; and he plays every instrument. He’s just a really great, all-around rocker!!

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

OI: Good question.

1. I wish radio stations would have a wider variety of music. Regular radio (air waves, not satellite), has such a narrow rock format. In New York, there’s only one or two stations that play rock at all, and I can only stomach The Rolling Stones so much…I need to hear some new stuff.

2. I’m hoping for a rock resurgence. I think overall, unfortunately, rock music is a dying breed. I think it needs to make a comeback in a big way.

3. Streaming services need to pay artists more than .0001 cents per stream. At this rate, I can retire in the year 2500. Ha!!!

NLM: What are your plans for the rest of 2016? Do you have any upcoming gigs/other projects?

OI: The Optical Illusion is going to do a little more studio work (a couple more singles to be released in the near future). After that, we may have plans to do some stripped down shows. If they go over well, a larger scale project could be in the works. If that happens, you’ll be the first to know.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

OI: Fans can always reach us at OIRocks@aol.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheOpticalIllusionBand/. We also have a presence on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/oirocks

I try to answer any fan mail as quickly as possible and I invite anyone to contact us. You can discuss our music, any music, or anything you like.

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

OI: A sports announcer! I’m a huge sports fan (baseball, basketball, football).

 

EXCLUSIVE Interview with: Lindsay and Isaac

lindsay and Issac

LINDSAY AND ISAAC‘s single Regress was featured on The Lost Songs UK Vol.1, a project which aims to find the hidden unsigned talents in the music industry. Featuring various artists, the 16-track production was named Album of the Month by NEW LEASE MUSIC last month and has subsequently stole the album of the week spot. Let’s find out more about the duo and how they featured their single on this great project.

NLM: First of all, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

L&I: You’re welcome! It is a great pleasure for us to talk to you! Thank you for the opportunity as well.

NLM: Please introduce yourself? Where are you guys from?

L&I: We are a Brazilian Singer/Songwriter Duo. We live in Florianópolis, which is a beautiful coastal city in southern Brazil.

NLM: Your track Regress was featured on The Lost Songs UK Vol. How did you get your song featured on the album?

L&I: It was a very cool experience. I (Isaac) learned about the project through a post on Facebook.

At that time (October 2015), we were working on Regress demo track and it seemed the song was the best choice for this competition, for several reasons.
The song wasn’t previously released and had one of the most beautiful melodies that we’ve already written, so I thought we could have some chance.

Listen to Lindsay & Isaac’s latest single, She Said, She Said.

NLM: How was your single received since its release from The Lost Songs UK album?

L&I: The reception was quite good among our followers. I think people got surprised in a positive way since we were involved in a Metropolis Studios project.
For us, it was a great joy to be part of the project, but we also see this experience as part of an internationalization process on which we’ve been working for some time now.

NLM: Apart from your own single, what’s your favourite track on the album and why?

L&I: This is a difficult choice … We’re fond of the entire compilation. The team of professionals involved in the production succeeded in giving an incredible unit to this work. It is a very powerful set of songs. But if we had to choose just one, it would be You’ve Got It (by Sweet Revenge). It is simply a perfect pop song! Very catchy and pleasant, like a fine radio hit.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

L&I: We write songs following a few guidelines based on what pleases us, in general: great melodies, beautiful atmospheres/soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be?

L&I: Well, looking at the current pop charts, I would say One Republic. They sound quite contemporary and Ryan Tedder (the band leader) is a great
‘anthemic’ songwriter and an artist with multiple skills. It would certainly be a very challenging partnership!

NLM: What are your plans for the rest of 2016? Do you have any upcoming gigs/projects?

L&I: At the moment we are working on the release of a new single. We recently recorded a version of a song by the Beatles in partnership with Vini Galant, a great musician and partner of ours, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Revolver.

We are excited not only because the recording process was a fantastic experience, but we also had the collaboration of the great artist Klaus Voormann (who designed the Revolver cover back in 66) on the cover art.

Regarding live performances: We have two dates on the International Beatle Week in Belo Horizonte (4 and 5 August).

Following these commitments, we will turn our attention to recording a new original single and start preparations for a new EP in 2017.

Our goal is to continue working and seeking partnerships with other great artists around the world, as well as increase the international dissemination of our work, either through the Internet or live performances.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

L&I: People can join us and know what we’re up to through social networks (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and hear / see our productions through YouTube and online music channels (Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify and Soundcloud).

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

L&I: We both have many interests besides music: Environment, Photography, Science and Technology, History, sewing and crafts … These are things and subjects
to which we dedicate much of our time besides music. Although those activities are from different segments, for us they are somehow connected and end up
influencing us artistically.

To read the review and listen to The Lost Songs UK Vol.1, head right here.