Interview with: Makk Mikkael

If you had your eyes peeled on this blog or its chat show on Instagram recently, then you’ve definitely seen this pretty little face around – MAKK MIKKAEL – thanks to her debut ‘Jungle’. Featured last November, the single found its way to NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2017 list, ranking at #7 and is currently named Song of the Month by the blog. With a grand entrance to the music scene, I think she deserves a place on the interview hot seat…

NLM: Thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

MM: Thanks so much for reaching out to me, and the constant support you guys have shown me.

NLM:  First up, I have to ask you this question: is Makk Mikkael your real name? If not, how did the name came about?

MM: It is my real name with a swedish twist on it. The correct spelling of my name is Mackenzie Michael but I prefer going by Makk Mikkael.

NLM: You released your debut single‘Jungle’ back in November.What’s the public’s reception beyond this blog?

MM: I’ve been stoked on the feedback I’m getting from listeners. I recently won a contest with “The Deli Toronto” as artist of the month. The fact that I was even included in that is just bizarre. Excited for everything that’s happening and the journey I’m on.

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

MM: Artist wise I would say my music is in the same category as “The Weeknd, Esthero, Alina Baraz, Imogen Heap” to name a few. I really look up to those artists. Toronto has a really cool thing going on sound wise right now so I’m inspired by the scene there. I think my sound would be described as spacey, ambient R&B.

NLM:  What’s your inspiration behind your unique sound?

MM: I experimented with a few different sounds earlier on in my career when I was around 14-15 and released a country album. haha I don’t do country now and could never see myself doing that again… In the last few years I would say my style evolved to my sound now and keeps evolving constantly with artists I’m inspired by and from experiences I have. I love the R&B sound a bunch so I think that’s just what I gravitate towards naturally.

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

MM: Just one? That’s brutal. I would without a doubt collaborate with The 1975. I’m constantly inspired by what they do and who they are as human being’s. They produce their own records and co-produce with Amber Bain of “The Japanese House”. The sound they’ve created for themselves is a sound that really speaks to millennials. I think we’d make some great stuff and dive into something unique.

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

MM: I would put all three of my wishes towards making sure all artist’s can make a living doing what they love. Having the financial freedom to create whatever they want whenever. Artist’s are so valuable in our society, if we could focus 100% on our art it I think it would make a difference.

NLM: So what are your plans for 2018?

MM: My goal is to start touring with artists and obviously continue to release music. I’m currently working on my album and more music videos.

NLM:  How can potential fans make contact with you?

MM: I love having fans/artists reach out to me. On my website you can send me a direct email. Or on my instagram: makkmikkael you can leave me a direct message.

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

MM: I think I would be a photographer, screenwriter, author, or director. Anything in the creative field really. I Love the idea of being behind the screen and creating for people. I’m very into directing I think that’s super cool. Sophia Coppola is my favourite movie director, would love to work alongside her on a project in the future.


Interview with: Amani

AMANI made quite an entry on NEW LEASE MUSIC. Her debut EP Perpendicular sits pretty at number one on NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Albums of 2017list. Before that, the six-track set was Song of the Month in December. I think this quirky diva deserve a place on the interview hot seat…

NLM: First of all, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. You released your debut EP Perpendicular back in November. What’s the public’s reception beyond this blog?

A: I have been invited to tour in china for a month with my band off the back of the EP release & there are talks to support the Wild Beasts at Hammersmith Apollo on the 17th of Feb 2018. The Vice Creators project were a big fan of the song and video for Feathers Falling and premiered the video online, Line of Best fit and Kaltblut Magazine also were keen supporters like yourself at NEW LEASE MUSIC. Point Blank Recordings the label I released the EP through, together we held a sold out EP launch party at the Rye Wax in Peckham which Smirnoff kindly sponsored. The Launch party was a great way to see the fans reactions to the EP, the night was full of love.

NLM: What’s your proudest track on the EP and why?

A: Man In A Mini Dress – because it’s the most outlandish track on the EP. It’s a very different vibe to the rest of the tracks & takes the listener on a very alternative trippy diversion.

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

A: Electronic, cinematic, industrial soundscape, raw honest emotive lyrics.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind your unique sound?

A: I’m heavily influenced by electronic music, and trippy soundscapes. I was fortunate enough to experience a lot of electronic bass heavy raves in my teens and fell in love with everything that was on offer there!

A: lot of my emotion for my songs tends to come from a very raw sincer place, i’m very honest with my lyrics, they come from the core and where my head is at, at the time. It’s also a personality thing, and an environment thing – i’ve always been a bit of a strange child as well as growing up experiencing quite a lot of heavy weight truma my vibes could be seen as unique and a bit far from the norm.

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

A: Bjork, loooove Bjork !

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

A: More performance art nudity, free venue hire for artists/musicians to put on more shows independently, fewer restrictions on noise pollution, that could be in festivals, clubs and your own home. Levels pls!

NLM: So what are your plans for 2018?

A: I’m going to release another EP Late March before I drop an album & put on events in London / UK in random quirky venues, working with interactive light design technicians, dj’s and other musicians to set up nights for peeps to come and enjoy. I’m also keen to set up my own record store this year!

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

A: You can get me on all social media sites Facebook, Insta, Twitter here’s my website with all my links and my email – Hey !

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what would you do?A: I would dedicate my life to endangered Paranas.

Interview with: J. Kas

J. Kas Dreamlife Tour By Pishi Modaressi

If you’re a regular visitor of NEW LEASE MUSIC, then you’ll definitely know Javan Wright – aka J. KAS. He’s sitting pretty in the interview seat this month as his music video for fiery single, ‘Rio’ was the most viewed production on the blog in October. It’s time to get to know Sheffield’s most consistent emcee and his extensive plans for the rest of this year and beyond.

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

JKAS: Thank you for your time and efforts and I’m grateful to New Lease Music for their endless support.

NLM: When did you have that ‘eureka moment’ of becoming an artist?

JKAS: I’ve always enjoyed singing and dancing from an early age as I’d always be entertaining my family and my peers at school, so I guess it was a natural thing to become a performing artist.

NLM: Lately you’ve released a string of music videos – more recently for the single RIO – what’s the public’s reception on the production so far?

JKAS: I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with different people in order to produce the latest video’s and we have many more which are yet to be released.

‘Rio’ is one of my favourite tracks, it’s vibrant, full of energy and good vibes. When you watch the video it makes you wanna just dance, and the reception we’ve received for it has been extremely positive. I believe it will grow bigger in popularity over time.

NLM: You have an extensive (and pretty dope) discography. What’s your proudest track and why?

JKAS: As for my proudest track that’s very difficult to say. But If I had to choose one I would say ‘I Will Not Lose” taken from my EP “The ‘MVP’ Project” as that was the beginning of J. Kas music.

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

JKAS: My sound varies from project to project. I’ve gone from dark rap like on The ‘MVP’ Project to more upbeat and conscious #Hometown and then onto commercial sounding vibes of One Six & Snapchat EP. So I’m very versatile, whilst keeping it clean-cut and fresh throughout. You could say my sound is universal.

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

JKAS: That would have to Kanye West. Many people have said that would be a likely collaboration. It’s like we are the same but different.

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

JKAS: I wouldn’t change anything. It is what it is.

NLM: So what are your plans for the rest of 2017 and 2018?

JKAS: I’ve just done a collaboration with Sheffield band Cellar Door Moon Crow for a track called ‘East To The West’ which is a single taken from their forthcoming album which was released at the end of last month. They recently dropped a video to accompany the track.

We have a performance for Google in Sheffield in December which were looking forward to. Hopefully a trip to Germany by the end of the year for on another musical venture. We recently travelled to France & Belgium for my ‘Dreamlife’ tour which was to film videos to tracks taken from my forthcoming EP ‘Dreamlife’ which will be out January 2018. Whilst out in Belgium we also caught up with my brother 87Buj and recorded a freestyle video which is doing well on social media.

2018, we plan to continue to be consistent, make as much noise as possible and collaborate with more artist domestically and foreign. Enjoy life and do what we do best.
I have a quite a back catalogue of music ready to go and 2018 looks set to be a pretty noisy and busy year.

Also myself and my man Ruell have a collaboration EP arriving in 2018, which is sounding large – so look out for that!!!

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

JKAS: All my social media handles including Snapchat is JKASMUSIC apart from YouTube which is MUSICJKAS
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

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

JKAS: I’d probably be that person inventing it.


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!

Interview with: Money B

NEW LEASE MUSIC is very proud to have MONEY B in the hot seat. The former member of Digital Underground has teamed up with Young Hump for single, ‘Come Here’,  featuring Too Short and 4Rax.

Check out the video where this veteran emcee talks about his latest single, his close relationship with Tupac Shakur, plans for the rest of 2017…and defends Tupac’s Biopic ‘All Eyez On Me’ from film critics who panned the 2017 production.