Interview with: Corey Kilgannon

After listening to album, ‘Soften, Continue (Another B-Sides)’, I just had to hook up with the mastermind behind the mammoth collection, COREY KILGANNON. I spoke to the singer/songwriter from Florida about the public’s reception of the album since its release in May plus his plans for the rest of the year. Ready to find out more about Corey? Good, cos he’s a really cool guy…

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

CK: Hey thanks for having me. Life has been really great the last few weeks, I finished up touring in early May and have had ample time to hang out with family, travel for leisure, camp, and catch up on books. Been spending a lot more time in Seattle, and loving the PNW vibes.

NLM: You released your album ‘Soften, Continue (Another B-Sides)’ in May. What the story behind the release?

CK: It’s my second collection of B-Sides, really I wanted to revisit a lot of the tunes on The Hollow II that we attacked with so much production, and strip them back to the way I was actually playing them on tour. There was also little to no glimmers of hope in the lyrics of that album, so it was cathartic for me to put something together that offered more full circle approach to the grief I encountered in those tunes.

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing the album?

CK: I really didn’t write Soften, Continue as an “album” per se, but that whole collection of songs deals with a series of traumas and griefs that all seemed to stack up over a few years. Songs were my outlet to process a lot of those thoughts, and I think my need/ability to do that candidly and openly lead to some really beautiful music somehow. I suppose chaos was the inspiration.

NLM: What’s the public’s perception of the album so far?

CK: All in all I think the reception has been good, admittedly slower on a streams/”success” outlook but all my records and EPs have sort of taken their time to set in with people. It’s a huge album and I think (hope) folks are just taking their time to sift through and see if any of the live takes sit with them in any special way. I get a lot of emails on the emotional side of how the lyrics and songs are impacting people, and for me as long as those keep coming I’m content with whatever success or perception the general public seems to have.

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

CK: I really love Rowen’s Lullaby (track 20). It was a simple melody I was playing on guitar to help Kyle and Gretta from Tow’rs (featured on Soft Gentle Brilliant II) baby asleep. I added some words later and find the whole song be deeply peaceful and the lyrics really keep hitting home for me even after its release.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your songs?

CK: I usually struggle to this, but I generally draw comparisons to classic “singer-songwriters” and add that we go after some modern indie instrumentation with anything from string quartets to light synths and such. It’s so hard to categorize music these days, which I think is delightful, so I try to just keep it brief and let the music speak for itself if anyone is ever inquiring.

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

I don’t know if this would be considered mainstream or not but the Avett Brothers would be a dream come true collaboration. Even to just sit and jam a few of their tunes with them for a couple of minutes would just be insane.

NLM: Besides the release of your album, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?

CK: I’m taking it easy and just starting to think about what’s next. I’ll likely tour a little bit, but I’m trying to stay off the radar for a little while and work on a proper album again. I have 40 or so songs written so I want to slowly sift through and see which ones are the real keepers.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

I’m pretty good about emails, but I also keep a website called Patreon where fans can pay a small monthly subscription for unreleased content, and also I use fanbridge to send out monthly email updates.

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

CK: I suspect if music didn’t exist we probably wouldn’t either, but if somehow we could on going I suppose I’d like to work on some kind of farm or something simple. Maybe I’d dive a little more into yoga/mental health studies and see if I could apply myself that way. Not sure, but I doubt I’ll do music full-time my whole life so I will find something to do with my days….Thanks for having me!

‘Soften, Continue (Another B-Sides)’ is also available on Google Play Music  and Dezzer

 

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Interview with Alex Bent + The Emptiness

NEW LEASE MUSIC has been chilling out with Canadian singer/songwriter/producer ALEX BENT, who released his latest EP ‘Vanilla Blue’. I found out about the progress of the seven-track production since its release…and the inspiration behind that sweet, sweet crazy (I mean that respectfully!) sound featured in the album. So are you ready to go? Good…happy reading!

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

AB: Life is going alright. Thank you.

NLM: You released your EP, Vanilla Blue back in May. What the story behind the release?

AB: I’ve been working on it for a few years now. It means a lot to me and I’m happy it is continuing to age well as I come back to it. I’ve never been this proud of a project before.

NLM: What’s the public’s perception of the EP so far?

AB: People seem to be liking it. It’s my hope that people feel an emotional connection to these songs.

NLM: What’s your favourite single from the EP and why?

AB: “52” is my favorite. I was able to tap into a feeling I’ve been searching for as long as I’ve been writing songs.

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing the album?

AB: I was inspired by life and what I was seeing as well as what I wish I was seeing. It’s a perfect snapshot of where I’m at in my life right now.

NLM: What’s your inspiration for creating such a unique sound?

AB: I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12. I’ve gone through phases of listening to everything. I think I was able to find a sound that really captured all of my influences while still sounding true to myself.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your songs?

AB: Alternative Pop Rock or something like that

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

AB: Phil Collins

NLM: Besides the release of your EP, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?

AB: I’m going through a lot of life changes right now. It’s my hope to play some more shows at the end of the summer. I’m also very early into the process of starting the next album.

NLM: Finally, how can potential fans make contact with you?

AB: You can find me on social media. Send me a message. I’m looking to make some new friends!!

Twitter: @alexandertbent
Instagram: @alexanderbent
Facebook: www.facebook.com/iamtheemptiness
Websites: www.iamtheemptiness.com ; www.vanillablue.ca

Vanilla Blue is available all major download/streaming sites

Interview with: RĀI

NEW LEASE MUSIC caught up with singer/songwriter RĀI, to discuss the inspiration behind his new album, ‘Love’s On The Way’, his plans for the rest of the year… plus other bits and bobs! Get to know this talented smooth crooner…and be sure check out the album below:

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

RĀI: Life is really good. I’m very excited about my new album. I’ve getting such great feedback and really happy about it. You hope people will like it but you never really know until it is released so I’m glad people are enjoying it.

NLM: You released your album, ‘Love’s Is On The Way’  What the story behind the release?

RĀI: It really is about love. Love is the central theme of the album. Love at different stages and during different moments in our lives. If you are in love there are things you think about or deal with and when you are sort of waiting for love to come, then there’s a part of you that believes it’s on the way. That’s really the story. I wanted to create something that felt good, that made people feel good and want to love.

NLM: You released you single of the same name ahead of the album. What’s the public’s reception on the production?

RĀI: People seem to really like the song. I like the song but I was pleasantly surprised to see how people have received the song.

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

RĀI: My favorite is probably ‘How to Love’. It’s my most personal song on the album. The song is sort of a confession of not really knowing how to love, how to be successful in a relationship. You know many people get in relationships but not many would admit that they don’t always know what they are doing and even fewer would actually ask someone to teach them how to love. I wrote and arranged the vocals for that song so another reason why it’s probably my favorite.

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing the album?

RĀI: Wanting to write an album that felt very reminiscent to albums a grew up listening to. I wanted to put positive energy in the universe of course but I also wanted to try to create a piece of work that people could hit play and just let it ride to the end. So I hope I came close to that.

NLM: What are your hopes and expectations for the album?

RĀI: I hope and expect the album to do well. It was done and created with love so I hope people feel that. I hope it inspires someone. Maybe someone who’s has given up on a dream to get back at it and just jump! I hope it helps in the healing process of someone who’s been broken in a relationship. So my hope for the album is that it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. I look forward to seeing exactly what that is!

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

RĀI: I would say my sound is R&B/Soul. You may hear sound or be reminded of a few of my favorites like Maxwell, or Ne-Yo or Joe or Eric Benet. But a smooth, soul sound that’s familiar but new and fresh.

NLM: Besides the release of your EP, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?

RĀI: I’m going to continue to promote the project, do many more performances and work on new music. I recorded over 60 songs for this project so I’m gonna go back and see how many of them I still like and see if I start to feel the vibe of the next project.

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

RĀI: That’s easy. My only living idol- Maxwell.

NLM:  Finally, how can potential fans make contact with you?

RĀI: You can find me on Instagram @raimusicworld or Facebook @therealraimusic or Twitter @raimusicworld or my website therealrai.com

 

EXCLUSIVE Interview with: Yves and the Talent


NEW LEASE MUSIC caught up with frontman of YVES AND THE TALENT Yves Gravel, whose single ‘Montreal’ was named Song of the Week in January by the blog. If you don’t know this Canadian band, I HIGHLY recommend you check out their discography –  these guys sure know how to put the rock and roll into folk music…

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

YG: All the pleasure is mine. We need more blogs like this!

NLM: So what have you been up to on the music circuit?

YG: In recent months, I had the opportunity to play live on the radio which was a great experience. We had a couple shows here in Calgary which were instrumental in establishing our new sound; A departure from all acoustic to electric (with drums).

NLM: Your single’ Montreal’ was named Song of the Week by NEW LEASE MUSIC. What was the public reception of the single?

YG: It’s certainly one of people’s favourite being that it is very high-energy and backed up by an incredible performance from our fiddler Niki Romeril. I have since introduced a French part to the chorus and working with a rapper to mix things up. Stay tune for the next remix!

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing ‘Montreal’?

YG: It is definitely an ode to Montreal; a source of inspiration which I re-discovered 20 years after leaving the city. It’s falling in love all over again with this muse, leaving the listener wondering if certain lines are about the city or lovers. A mystery I intend to keep alive😉

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

YG:There is certainly some folk influences in the sound but not so much in my writing. It has been described as Edgy-Folk but Indie could also be a label. I’d rather say it’s very “Yves”!

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

As a lifelong Leonard Cohen fan it would have to be him on a personal level. But sound wise I would have to say Arcade Fire because of their broad range of styles including an electronic angle.

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

YG: Make tickets more affordable to live events, more emphasis on lyrics (rather than catchy hooks) and open music lover’s mind to more “unknown” artists.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

YG: We’re currently shopping for a producer to get into the studios in 2019! And in the immediate future, we will be performing live with the whole band on the University of Calgary radio station this fall while promoting our next show. As for myself, more writing.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

YG: My website is currently under construction (yvesandthetalent.com) so Instagram @YvesAndTheTalent.

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

YG: Novelist or Sommelier. Although those are 2 things that are fun to do simultaneously; Drinking good wine while writing!

Interview with: Matthew De Ver

MATTHEW DE VER made his entry on the blog and in no time, stole the Song of Month top spot in May with single ‘The Gift and The Wound’. NEW LEASE MUSIC had a little chat with him about the meaning behind the boom bap-inspired single, his plans for the rest of this year – and his thoughts on the music industry today.

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

MDV: My pleasure. Happy to do it. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of new songwriters that are challenging and inspiring me to go deeper into the craft of songwriting. It’s been super rewarding to flex that muscle after writing on my own for the past chunk of years. Life is good, I’ve been feeling clear and focused lately and I have a brand new music video coming out very soon….

​NLM: ​You released your debut single’ The Gift and The Wound’ plus visuals In February. What was the public reception on both productions?

MDV: It’s been great so far. Slowly finding like-minded listeners and building step by step towards the release of my upcoming album: Surface Tension (a tincture for integrating shadow). I’m learning a lot from all the feedback and taking notes for future releases. My music doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre box so when people get the vibe it’s a great feeling. I spent so long without any social media presence that it’s strange and surreal to be engaging with folks online. The creation of the music and the sharing of the music are very different facets of the work and I want to show up and be present for both. I’m doing my best to let the love in.

​NLM: What was your inspiration for writing the single?

MDV: ‘The Gift & The Wound’ is inspired by growing up in Madison, WI. Specifically, I wanted to capture what it felt like driving around with my friends in high school, partying, getting into trouble & the feelings of first loves. There’s a warmth there with a subtle hint of mystery and grief beneath the surface. It’s a prelude to darker and deeper themes that I explore in the album. Over the course of the album, I explore a period of time after my dad’s death and when my mom was struggling with alcoholism. My aim was to make something beautiful out of an incredibly challenging time in my life.

​NLM: ​How was the filming process for the video?

MDV: Filming the video was a lot of fun. I was going for a lo-fi, nostalgic, home movie vibe so we shot the entire video using only an iPad and natural light. All the locations were spots in Madison, WI where I spent a lot of time growing up and that held resonance and meaning for me. It was cool to revisit them as an adult and see them in the context of healing and moving forward. When it was finished, there was a nice balance of elements (water, fire, earth, air) that I wasn’t consciously expecting when we started filming.

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

MDV: That’s a tough question! It’s groove based music with a an emphasis on lyricism & emotional depth. There are elements of jazz, funk, psychedelic pop and hip-hop. I had a powerful insight a few years ago about music being a carrier of intention and meaning. I felt like I had to make a conscious choice about where my music was coming from and what the essence would be. So, for me, it’s healing music, spiritual music, heart music. Hopefully some of that comes through to the listener.

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

MDV: I would love to collaborate with Erykah Badu. Aside from being a big fan of her music for many years, I respect how she carries herself and how she’s navigated her career. From the outside, she seems to have a great balance of integrity without taking herself too seriously. It would be an honor to co-write, produce or perform something with her. I think we could geek out on some new-age healing shit too.

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

MDV: 1) Higher resolution digital audio for streaming and download. The technology is available right now for us to enjoy much higher quality digital audio.

2) Fair streaming royalties for artists. I do think we’re going to get there eventually….

3) I’d like to hear more artists taking the risk to speak authentically through their music. When someone has a clear perspective and a unique take on life it really stands out to me.

NLM: ​So what are your plans for this year?

MDV: I’ve got a nice flow going on right now with releasing music and working on new material. The next step is putting together a live show with all the great musicians who worked on this album. It’s looking like mid July will be when we start gigging. Aside from my own music, I’m producing and co-writing with and for other artists.

NLM: ​How can potential fans make contact with you?

MDV: The best way is through my website & socials:
MatthewDeVerMusic.com
Instagram.com/ MatthewDeverMusic
Facebook.com/MatthewDeVerMusic
Twitter.com/MattDeVerMusic

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

MDV: I think I would be doing some form of visual art. When I was younger I did a lot of drawing, painting & metal sculpture, which I really enjoyed. In high school I even thought about going to college for visual art, but life took me in another direction. Like music, it allowed me to enter that meditative state of creation. Whatever else I did would have to include that experience of creating. Being in my body and out of my head.