Interview with: Soho Kings

It’s Bryce Alvord (left) and DJ Celsius911’s turn – aka SOHO KINGS – in the NEW LEASE MUSIC hot seat. Hailing from the Big Apple, the duo dominated the blog with latest track, ‘Life of the Party’, stealing the blog’s Song of the Week title for three weeks running in August and for two weeks this month (check out the chart show on Instagram). I think it’s about time we find out more about these guys…

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

C: Anytime! We appreciate what you’re doing for independent artist and music overall.

B: Thank you so much for the support!

NLM: How did Soho Kings come to life?

B: Cel and I met back in the day when we were both young artists on a now defunct indie label here in NYC. We became friends and collaborators, and I used to front rock bands and Cel would perform with my band on stage. The label fell apart, and my band starting to head different ways so I started to produce myself. I was gonna make a solo pop album, but the very first track I made, it sounded like hip hop to me so I was like “Let me hit my boy Cel, the best rapper I know to get on the track”. It ended up being the easiest, most fun and best sounding track I ever made, all my music connects went crazy for it, and we just kept making records. Done about 50 together now I’d say….

C: Yeah it was just easy to collab with Bryce. It felt natural. Once we made that first song we just said we should be doing this more often.

NLM: Your track ‘Life of the Party’ went down a treat with NEW LEASE MUSIC’s readers. What’s the public response to the track beyond this blog?

C: It’s getting a lot of love and sounds great in the club. It was fun to record so I’m glad that people feel that energy and reciprocate it.

B: Yea people close to me and in the industry have said they think it might be our best yet. So, great!

NLM: You guys have a pretty electrifying discography. What’s your proudest work and why?

B: We try to progress every track. Honestly I think we both feel that every time we record it’s the best we’ve ever done. We have some unreleased stuff we’re sitting on and ‘Life of The Party’ is our most recent release. We’ve made some biting political tracks that I’m proud of that I wish would’ve gotten a little more attention, like “War”, “Who Will Save Us”, and “No Luck (Birds Chained to The Sky)”.

C: Those records are even more relevant now. We,ll always continue to speak our minds through music regardless of what people think.

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

B: That’s a tough one. I’d say it’s a lot like what’s hot in hip hop now with the melodies and trap influence, but has elements of electronic music and alternative rock, and of course all with that Brooklyn edge.

C: We’re current because we love music but we’re also different for the same reason.

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

C: One is tough but I’d probably say Big Sean.

B: Damn, another tough one. I might go with Young Thug that dude is so sick.

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

B: I remember being a little kid and really into music and the CD store was such a magical place. The artwork was more important, album releases planned meticulously, and you had to buy the cd or someone else had to show you the music. I wish there was more money for more people in the industry, there weren’t so many slimy dishonest individuals on the outskirts, and live shows had more musicianship.

C: More originality, less corporate . I also wish there were better music videos out there. I see a few independent artists and some major artists getting creative with visuals but overall there’s not too many good music videos out there.

NLM: So what are your plans for 2017?

B: Gonna hit a lot of college campuses and tour some this fall and winter, and release our best music yet. Hopefully you might hear us in some movies or TV shows coming up.

C: A lot of shows and a lot more music. We love making music and the process of continually trying to make better music. So look out for more music,shows, and more videos. Our best video yet is coming real soon. You heard that hear first!!

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

B: @SohoKings everything, hit us up online, or come to our main hangout Pianos in the lower east side, we might be there!

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

C: Something involving film so directing, producing, and writing. Though films utilize music so i don’t know if that’s the best answer lol.

B: I’d probably be concentrating on my acting. I love comedy and Improv. And nightlife, always partying!

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Interview with: Mz Jeannie Duval

Ms Jeannie Duval

In March, MZ JEANNIE DUVAL appeared on NEW LEASE MUSIC, gracing us with her debut track  P.U.S.H from the upcoming mixtape, Public Speaking …I think it’s about time we get to know the conscious emcee.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Please introduce yourself and tell us where you from.

MJD: My real name is Olivia Hamilton and Jeannie Duval is my pen name, not an alter ego or a super star personification of the real me.  She IS me just when I’m writing and performing from my soul.  I’m from Baton Rouge Louisiana specifically Scotlandville the neighbourhood located directly behind Southern University.

 

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

MJD: Whoa!  LOL!  I have about 3 to 4 different projects I’m working on at one time most days, with two at the forefront.  My label mate Tyghe and I are preparing a song behind the Truffle Butter instrumental sort of a reply to the subliminal negativity we found in the original song that’s polluting our children right now.  We are also planning an original release with another infectious beat with the subject matter pretty much being the hustler’s point of view in arguments.  Bringing it into a conscious level by subliminally speaking on how the Bible says we should love each other regardless but my hustle is being fuelled by all I want to do for you.  You aren’t the person that should be arguing with me.  I’m extremely excited about the both of them.

NLM: At what point did you want to become a hip-hop artist?

MJD: I was 18 years old.  Shout out to my mentors Warner and Chris or as they were otherwise known in frequent freestyle battles on campus FAME and Chris-Style.  I was a college radio personality and FAME was my boss Chris-Style and he were room-mates and my show was called poetry in motion.  Warner would see the passion I had for writing and when he read some of my poems he just said write me 16 bars because if you can do this you can rap.  Chris-Style is the genius behind  the beat for “Home Sweet Home” and he’s also my children’s godfather.  He’s the one that stayed up till 3 in the morning or later with me making me get sharper with my delivery, giving me the foundation to be a lyricist not just a writer.

So I didn’t decide it actually God blessed me with 3 great teachers and I just became a hip hop artist but I didn’t decide to rap revolution until I met Mr. Augustine.  You guys know him as Dee-1.  Watching him rap upliftment and his struggle with staying righteous and being in this world made me change the cursing in my music and my name.  I wanted to touch people’s spirits the way he touched mine but bring a woman’s point of view to this struggle.  One day I’ll get to tell him Thanks for that.

NLM: Were you in a group before you were a solo artist? Please spill!

MJD: LOL!  I tried so hard to create another TLC but they didn’t take me seriously or just didn’t have the time to get with me so I still talk to both of those women and I’m not mad at them or anything.  They have amazing voices and faces to match..who knows what the future may bring.  They see I wasn’t just blowing smoke now maybe that will be something we can do on the side when they’re ready.

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

MJD: It’s soul music in hip hop form, so it can be mistaken for gospel but it is honestly conscious preparation music for the war.  I always tell people don’t label it gospel because I’ll lose a whole half an audience of young people if you do and those are the minds I’m after.  The return of Christ is real and the war between good and evil has started already.  We have to be mentally prepared to fight the enemy.  I’m Jeannie baby..lol!   Any native of Louisiana is a mixture of everything.  The music you hear is that gumbo.  It’s the Gap Band, Kool N The Gang, and Digable Planets with a little Monie Love the revolutionary spirit of Ms. Queen Latifah packaged like Jill Scott, Angie Stone, or India Arie.  It speaks to the spirit so there are several soulful influences.

NLM: So What do you think of the female role in the hip-hop game today?

MJD: It has appeared to me that her role changed from standing out as a business woman or game changer to a submissive sex kitten on all ends.  It gives young girls the wrong impression of themselves, life, and their worth but the beat is nice so no one pays attention that the words are being implanted into mentalities.  We’re slowly becoming a product of what we’re taking in and the woman has the power to change all of that with the proper message.  We were born teachers and leaders, we just need that information put out there more.

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

MJD: I am listening heavy to my labelmate Mr. Tyghe.. find him on Soundcloud and Reverb under our label which is N.O. House Records.. I listen to a lot of T.I., Wale and Kendrick Lamar.  My favourite indie artists from my city are Young Gage and Itzil Duce.  Great wordsmiths and just great hearted guys overall.

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

MJD: Erykah Badu because when I was 13 years old and did performance poetry for my first talent show that’s what the judge called me and I was so very honoured.  My mom brought me to Essence Festival 3 years later to see her perform and I fell in love with her genuine spirit and how free she is when she’s on stage.  She’s my inspiration so that would be a dream come true.

NLM: If you were granted three wishes, what would it be?

MJD: LOL.. only 3?  My first one would be to give each person on the police force in each state psychological exams and if they refuse them fire them because they’re obviously hiding something.  2nd I would go to each juvenile detention center and jail and give them the option of having a one week pass or to be released completely after completing either a GED program where I’d have the job right there set up after the training, higher education or a trade school. Lastly I would put all the most financially successful women in one room and speak to them on their role in pulling up people in our communities.  The man was made from dust but the woman from a bone so strength is there regardless we have to continue to remind each other

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

MJD: I am on Instagram @livduval30 On Twitter @jeanieduval with ONE N lol and my fan page Jeannie Duval on Facebook as well as Reverbnation.com where I have been number 6 on the local charts for about 2 weeks now.  I answer all messages as quickly as I can.  I am in school at the moment to be a Medical Assistant and my state board is in June so it may take a minute for the reply but it’s coming I promise.  I’m just a regular lady with a dream to make an imprint on the world through the music but I’m aware I can’t do this by myself.  I welcome anyone who wants to be a part of this family and this movement. We’ll keep it pushing.

 

Exclusive Interview with: Kastilano

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He gave us Still Dreaming (which is the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC), It’s All About The Money and more recently, the hard-hitting What About.  Philly hip-hop artist KASTILANO is now in the interview seat, pouring out his passion and love for music. So if you heard his tracks through NEW LEASE MUSIC but don’t know nothing about the guy, well this is your perfect chance to get to know him!

NLM: Hey what’s up? When you first appeared on NEW LEASE MUSIC, you said you wanted to make a dent in the hip-hop game – so what’s the reception been like on your music?

K: Aw man the reception has been great so far only getting better and better. I mean I get so much love from my city of Philly all the way to London. It keeps me going daily  and motivates me to go harder on each and every track. I have concord having my very own unique sound and am blessed to be able to touch strangers who never met me to where they say they can really feel my  music and that’s a beautiful feeling. A few people don’t get it yet but they soon will.

NLM: So what do you think is wrong with the hip-hop game today?

K: Well a year ago I would have said its not enough music with substance  not enough artist being original (which I still agree with to an extent) but now I feel people are too worried about what others are doing instead of sticking to what it is that they do. I mean it’s ok to use different sounds and methods to make music, we all steal from each other at some point. The most important thing to me is staying true to self making the best quality music possible, that’s what I focus on. Times will change and the music will constantly change with it that’s just the facts.

NLM:  How would you describe your music and what make you different from the rappers today?

K: My music is what I like to call quality music! I actually give you me, my life, what’s real in my life. I don’t base my music off of what sound is catchy or in at the moment but instead I try to do the opposite of that automatically separating myself from the competition. I’m so different because I’m not afraid to touch on different subject that need to be spoke on or not just make music for the clubs but music for your brain and for ya soul touching the heart of people crossing boundaries going places I shouldn’t almost forcing others to do the same to keep up hahaha.

NLM: You have a catalogue of REAL  dope music. What’s your proudest track and why?

K: Thank you very much I truly appreciate that. My proudest track is a track from my 1st mixtape entitled The City’s Hero called Still Dreaming which is a song dedicated to my mother who passed away when I was a baby. I originally just did the song to get out my feeling for her but didn’t think it would get such the response that it did. I mean people said it actually made them cry feeling sad for me and others who could relate really feeling my pain. Best feeling is to be felt.

 NLM: Who do you listen to and who are your musical influences?

K: Honestly i listen to everybody from rap to R&B because I love music. I alway get handed cds in the streets and I always try to give them a listen at least once to see if it’s hot or not (I know the feeling of wanting people to give you a play).

I like lots of the 90’s early 2000’s Hip-Hop and Rap from Big L, Nas, Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang, L.O.X, Jay-Z, DMX, Beanie Segal, Mobb Deep, CNN, Snoop Dogg, Fugees, Big Pun, Diplomats just to give you an idea. On the softer side of things Isley Brothers, Whispers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, R. Kelly, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Sade, Tina Marie, Chaka Khan, etc, etc I really can go on and on as you can see.

Little kids 5, 6 ,7 8 years old inspire me. The drug addict on the corner with talent you would not believe inspires me. Of course the greats like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Run DMC, 2Pac, Eminem and many other greats inspire me. I’m just musically influenced.

NLM: Let’s take a step back for a moment: at what point did you want become a hip-hop artist?

Ok I wanted to be a rap since like middle school and really saw the light of it happening about 16 or 17 years old but with the streets taking a serious toll on my life music became last on my list of things to do. Now being a real live artist came into play about two years ago when I realized I really had what it takes with a sound like no other.

NLM: Were you in a group before you venture out as a solo artist?

K: Yes I was in a group called DB which stood for Da Buls (a Philadelphia word used to describe a boy, guy or man” which was me and my right hand man at the time who is also my blood cousin Da Bul Joe aka Superstar J aka Young Ca$h. His incarceration is what originally led me to go solo until he returned.”

NLM: If you were granted three wishes, what would it be?

K: Hmmmm these questions just get better huh? This is a great interview by the way but to answer your question I would wish for everybody to be equal to where color or race did not matter any longer nor would money everyone would be equal having the same ability to receive the same education, living circumstances and all. eliminating a lot of the problems we have here on planet earth as we know it. My second wish would be for it to be only 1 religion eliminating separation of people with just 1 GOD to pray to. The third and final wish of mine would be for it to be no diseases like aids, cancer and etc. We would all like better and healthier lives but still would have to be responsible with those dangers and worries no longer being around. Yeah I know I’m on my Nas /ft Lauren Hill-If I Ruled The World tip huh

NLM: So you have any upcoming project?

K: Yes after release of my latest mixtape Best Of KillEm Kastilano, my official self titled album Kastilano will be released on iTunes and every other major music outlet September 23rd of this year. Featuring my best work to date really taking it to the next level with 8 classic songs followed by 2 skits (somethings albums are missing lately)  trust me you will not this quality music like nothing you hear now.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

“Contact on Twitter & IG @215KKastilano like my page Facebook.com/KillEmKastilano also like my page Reverbnation.com/KillEmKastilano and subscribe to my channel Youtube.com/OneHalfadb for latest update of my vlog KillEmTv. Oh yeah search Kastilano on Youtube and Google Kill Em Kastilano for easiest and fastest ways to find me.”


NLM: Before you sign off, there’s one I’ve been dying to ask… it’s a silly question but I’m gonna put it out there…what’s your real name!

K: Wow haha my birth name is Kahseem! I actually say it in a few of my songs but yeah that’s me so until next time it was a pleasure talking to you and thanks for such a amazing interview I enjoyed every minutes of it! Signing out The City’s Hero, it’s KillEmmmmm!!! PEACE”