A Quick Chat With Denim Blù

Ever since Toronto-based singer/songwriter, DENIM BLÙ came on my radar with single, ‘I’ll Die’, I was immediately captivated by his breath-taking storytelling along with the dramatic cinematic production. So when he released his debut album, ‘Blue’, I had to catch up him with about his inspiration behind the new eight-track set.

I really love what this guy stands for… and I hope you do too…

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

DB: Hey, New Lease Music, thanks for having me! 2021 has been treating me well – I know a lot of people hate 2021 because the pandemic has stopped them from living their life in the way they used to, but hey – because of the pandemic, I got to slow down and experience my life in different perspectives. It made me cherish my life more and I got to taste different flavours of my life. I have no complaints!

NLM: You released your album, ‘Blue’ last Wednesday (10th November), where you unveiled singles ‘Extraordinary Feel’, ‘I’ll Die’ (both featuring Lizzy Clarke) and ‘Burn (ft. Randy) ahead of its release. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

DB: I guess the public perception is good, hehe. My songs were played on the radio, featured on different media platforms, and I made lots of friends in the music industry. I just started my journey, and I was overwhelmed by the support I got from my supporters.

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

DB: My music is both compelling and complex, but infectious and accessible. Today’s youth want to get lost in music, but they demand narratives that reflect their experiences in a real way. Sonically I would describe my album’s sound as pure pop fantasy with emotional intrigue – sounds draw from blues, dance, electronica, and R&B elements, all while being unapologetically queer. However, it is the lyrical content making the connection with my audience: it speaks about love, loss, heartbreak, and lament. It gives you a sound that you can get lost in, but if you dive deeper, there’s a powerful story being told.

NLM:  What inspired you to produce the album?

DB: Love – youthful love, volatile love, queer love, and my love for music. The concept for the album is centred around a relationship. It takes the listener on a journey from the exuberance and magic of falling in love (“Extraordinary Feel”), to deep and dark places of lament (“Blue”, “I’ll Die”, “I Miss You”), to coming to terms with love lost (“Young and Foolish”, “Burn”, “Again”). The album is the physical manifestation of my love for music. The whole process of making the album, from song-writing to producing, recording, mixing, and mastering, is me expressing my love for music. The sound of every sound, every foreshadowing, every push, every climax, and every reveal, is about my love of music.

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

DB: My favorite song from the album is the last track – Again. I would describe this song as “an epic love ballad in the galaxy”. The songwriting is classic me – smooth melody, pop but dramatic. I produced the song in a way that reflects the songwriting, a way that corresponds to the development of the song. When listening to the song in the right sonic environment, you would see the galaxy evolving from nothing, to everything, and to nothing again – there is emergence, collapse, collision. It is an experience.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?

DB: Never be afraid to love, because love is beautiful, love is an experience, love is the meaning of life. No matter where life goes, it always comes down to love.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?

DB: Paloma Faith. She is from the UK, and I have been a fan for almost 1o years! She is not well-known in North America, but she is pretty big in Europe. She is so artistic, I love her visuals, her outfits, her artworks, not to mention her music is extremely amazing. So if I could have her on my album, that would be a dream come true! – Actually, going to her show is one of my dreams too 🙂

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

DB: Well, there is only one month left for 2021, and I am not planning to release a Christmas song…but I do have some projects coming next year! I worked with some amazing Toronto artists on the remixes for Blue that I am going to release in 2022. Also the pandemic gave me time to slow down and see my life from different perspectives. I drew inspiration from those perspectives, sat down with my song-writing partner, exchanged our feelings, and we got to finish another album together. I am planning to work on these songs next year and release the album in summer 2023.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

DB: That is also a question I want to ask – how can potential fans find me?! It is really hard to promote myself as an independent artist, so my next stop is to find an artist manager, A&R, or a record label. Hope that can happen soon!

NLM: Finally, any special thanks to those involved in the production of ‘Blue’?

DB: I have a lot of special thanks – I want to thank my lyricist Nick Ram for sharing his stories with me, and allowing me to tell his stories in my way. I want to thank my friend Lizzy Clarke, Randy Chang, Kristen Antunes, and Marshall Jacklin for being there and being my friend. It was really fun writing music together. I want to thank Jack Hughes, Julian Fatsound, Tyler Novak, and Eugene Hwang for their amazing musical performances on the album. I want to thank Elizabeth Petzold, Keshav Sharma, Eliot Britton, Issac Nemec for their remixes and friendships. I want to thank Francis TQ Hudson for bringing my mixes to life. I want to thank Fernando Nickolas and Jason Tenn for their photography and creation. I want to thank Zetong Liu for his amazing creative design with my album cover. Last but not least, I want to thank my family for believing in me and supporting me along the way. THANK YOU!

Listen to Denim Blù’s album here

A Quick Chat With…K-Riz

I am so chuffed to have caught up with K-RIZ, one of the hottest Canadian artists around, to discuss latest critically acclaimed album, ‘Peace & Love’ as well as his plans for the rest of 2021.

I don’t think there’s no need for a big introduction for this guy – by the time you finish reading this Q&A, trust me, you’ll love his music as much as I do…so let’s get down to it.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

K: Thank you for having me! Y’all have been showing so much love over the past year, I’m truly thankful. 2021 has been good to me. Released a lot of music this year, and I’m finally feeling as close to 100% as I can from a car accident in 2020. Feeling good and looking forward.

NLM: You released your album, ‘Peace & Love’ last month (24th September). What is the public perception on the project so far?

K: The perception has been really cool, and surprising. I’m pretty surprised by the songs people are loving. “A City Too Small,” for example, is really hitting people. I don’t really expect much when I release music, so any love shown is always a plus.

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

K: The sound ranges from classic hip-hop to full out R&B songs with live instrumentation.
I’m definitely a student of the game and I embrace all styles of music, from the old to the new. So I wanted that aspect represented throughout the album.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

K: I wanted to make a happier and more conscious album, but there were so many negative things in my life that I never dealt with or maybe I avoided them. In order for the music to be authentic and genuine, I had to embrace what I was feeling. An album I was listening to was The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson. She was very raw and emotional on that record. I heard the vulnerability and I felt that was the way to go.

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

K: “A City Too Small” – love the darkness of the track and the bassline in the hook. “The View” – I loved how this song came together. It’s a song you can close your eyes to and drift away from start to finish. I always feel better after listening to it. “I Don’t Trust You” – it’s a song that gets me moving every time.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?

K: I hope people hear a person who is human and healing. I’m sure we are all healing from something, so I hope the music heals and shows that it’s okay to go through these things, to feel and find a way to release these feelings and thoughts.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?

K: It would have to be Nas. That’s my favorite rapper of all time. That will always be my answer until it happens.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

K: We got some visual projects in the works, as well as features. I’m currently headed back to the studio to begin work on the follow-up. Staying busy, always.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

K: The best place to find me is on my website at krizmusic.com and you can also find me on the socials.

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Peace & Love?

K: I want to shout out and thank the entire HonorRoll Music Collective. This album is a stamp on a great era for us musically. Also, everyone involved in making this album and encouraging me to release it. Y’all know who y’all are! Thank you to the people out there listening.

Listen to K-Riz’s album ‘Peace & Love’ right HERE

Quick Chat With…Cilla Raie

I have to confess…CILLA RAIE has got to be one of my top three favourite singers right now. Her latest EP ‘Reconnected’ has definitely got me jumping out my seat, so it’s an absolute pleasure to catch up with the North Londoner to talk about her six-track set.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

CR: Thank you for having me. 2021 has been the best year for me so far career wise. I have been extremely busier than ever and so much has happened in a short space of time from having backing from Arts England/National Lottery which enabled me to release two singles ‘Motives’ and ‘Open for Love’ Ft Tiffany Evans. Including my debut EP ‘Reconnected’. I’ve now just gotten support from Help Musicians/MOBO to put together another project, so its been up and onwards from the start of the year.

NLM: You released your EP, ‘Reconnected back in August. What is the public perception on the project so far?

CR: Honestly the reception has been AMAZING! the EP reached number 2 on the UK R&B/Soul Albums chart on Itunes just behind Amy Winehouse’s album and before The Weekend’s album. Never ever in a million years did I think I could achieve that. We did something special for it and sent out gift packs to everyone who has supported. All the tastemakers at BBC 1xtra, BBC Radio London, MTV, Wonderland, Earmilk, Trace Urban etc all showed love. Most importantly I have an amazing fan base who are constantly streaming, sharing, posting, showing love. I feel blessed.

NLM: How would you describe the EP’s sound to potential fans?

CR: The sound of the EP is nostalgic late 90’s/early 2000’s era, I wanted to bring back that old school feel as far as the production went. That era of music was and still is one of my favourite eras so I wanted to bring that element back within UK R&B and just vibe out.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

CR: The EP was actually a long time in the making, I had taken a break for 2 years when I had my child in 2017, before this I was actually in the studio 24/7 making the new EP. I created a journey of events that happened before, during and after that period of time. I wanted to convey those series of events on ‘Reconnected’ hence why I named the EP this, as it represents being reconnected back to my passion of music, after being away for so long and loosing all hope. Once Arts England/National Lottery stepped in I knew it was the perfect time to put everything together as I has the freedom to do so.

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

CR: U & I ft Subten is my favourite song, at the moment on the EP. I am literally always changing my mind depending on the mood and season. But I love everything melodic about the song, the harmonies, the rhythmic changes, the switch up on Subtens verse. Again it’s another throwback feel track that makes you feel good.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your EP?

CR: The message I want listeners to take away is that, no matter how disconnected you may feel at points in your life. Always remember everything is temporary and you can always ignite the flame back to your true self and your desires.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

CR: One mainstream artist I really want to work with and who I have grown to love over this past year is Shenseea. I truly admire here and she is so versatile so I would have her on the EP to bring in her flavours. I love seeing female artists working together too and just breaking barriers. I worked with Tiffany so working with another female artist would be great and to crossover into another market too.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

CR: Now that I have just released my project in August, I am currently actively preparing for my 2022 EP. I have an amazing single that I’m planning the creative process for and it will most likely be out in Jan/Feb. So my main focus for the rest of the year is just completing this project and recording the rest of the songs.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

CR: You can find me all over social media:
https://www.cillaraie.com
https://www.twitter.com/cillaraie
https://www.instagram.com/cillaraie
https://www.facebook.com/itscillaraie
https://www.youtube.com/cillaraietv

Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Reconnected’?

CR: There’s so many people involved in this project that I would like to shoutout. All the producers Peddy Pro, XVR Blck who spent hours mixing and recording with me, Serk Lelabo, Walter Ego, Joey Dyer. The artists Subten and Tiffany Evans. Those involved with the singles from the EP and the EP itself, Liberty Music, Wardah, Now Listen, Exkluse Media, Supreme Runners, Kofi at Yellow Fish. The list goes on thank you all SO much for making this a dream come true.

Check Out Cilla Raie’s EP, ‘Reconnected’ right HERE

Album Interview: Lightheaded III – Dizzy Rambunctious

DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS is one of the few producers featured on the blog over the years for his dramatic, attention-grabbing bangers. So when he dropped his latest project, ‘Lightheaded III, I had to hunt down this New Jersey beat master to find out how he comes up with such out-of-sight productions in the 12-track set.

NLM Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

DR: Ummm 2021, is definitely something else but it’s definitely better than last year haha. I’m hanging in there for sure

NLM: You released your album, ‘Lightheaded III’ back in June. What is the public perception on the project so far?

DR: Yes, I released it back on June 25th. my fans were very excited when they found out that I was finally dropping the album after teasing it with multiple snippets, new listeners enjoyed it as well because last year I started twitch streaming during the start of the pandemic/lockdown, I stream playing video games and I would play my music in the background so that new viewers can hear it and follow up on my entire discography. Those people from the gaming community I created joined a live listening session I hosted for lightheaded III before it dropped on midnight on all streaming platforms and they had a great response to it.

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

DR: The sound of the album is definitely dark and very spacey, it will definitely uplift any emotion you’re feeling when you listen to this album from front to back, it’s like you’re entering into my mind if that makes sense haha

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

DR: So basically what inspired this album is of course when lightheaded II dropped back in 2018 it was about a heartbreak from a relationship. Lightheaded III is a follow up after me finally recovering from that heartbreak but then other life situations hit me. Job loss, friend’s cutting me off, and dealing with anxiety from the pandemic/lockdown. It’s been hard but I’m in a great position right now in life mentally such as being in a very healthy relationship and having a better circle of people who I can trust.

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

DR: I love this question! Definitely my favourite songs has to be “The Deep End” with my bros Free Samuda and Lil Bear because When I was making the beat for it, I was in the mood like “Don’t fuck with me, don’t make me go off the deep end” and I was very excited when I heard the final product, F.E.A.R as well because the title is the main message of the album. You face everything and rise.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?

DR: No matter what you’re going through with life, it’s only temporary and you will overcome it.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?

DR: interesting, I like this question. I usually would wanna feature artists that are not really too too mainstream but like people know them really well, but if you’re talking mainstream I would say Don Toliver because he would’ve made this album so much more spacier and his sound would’ve definitely fit so well with the album.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

DR: Yes I do actually, I’m currently working on the 5th instalment of “The Blu Tape” series, I’m hoping to get it out there before the year ends if not early 2022.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

DR: You can find me on the block! Just kidding haha but you can find me on Twitter/Instagram @Im_DizzyR and “Dizzy Rambunctious” on all major streaming platforms.

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Lightheaded III’ ?

DR: I definitely would like to shoutout the features on the album. TRPLSVN, Free Samuda, Lil Bear, Donnie Durag, & Willy Gonza, without them this album wouldn’t have the sound and direction it has.

Dizzy Rambunctious latest project is now out

Album Interview: Transition – Cheryll

I was first introduced to CHERYLL through her smooth nostalgic number, ‘Fess Up’ and since then, I had my eyes firmly peeled on her next move. So when she dropped her debut EP Transition, I had to catch up with the South London singer-songwriter about the six track project. Trust me, this newcomer is FIREY and I thoroughly enjoyed the Q&A session with her and I hope you will too. Check her out below…

NLM Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

C: 2021 has been a year of change and transitioning into a better version of me. I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs however I feel as if I’ve come out of it stronger than ever.

NLM: You released your EP, ‘Transition’ back in March. What is the public perception on the project so far?

C: My project was received extremely well. Its been played on BBC Radio as well as reaching a number of local radio stations that play it regularly. It has also introduced my sound to a lot of new supporters who now listen/follow me because of the project.

NLM: How would you describe the EP’s sound to potential fans?

C: It’s a new school version of RNB with the nostalgic elements of the 90/00’s – timeless!

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

C: I’ve always known I wanted to release an EP however I was waiting on the right time. I felt like the last year I really transitioned into the artist I’ve always wanted to be and I wanted this project to be a memory of that. I had a few songs written already however when I linked up with D’wante Navire (producer) he really brought these songs to life. I had also gone through some ups and downs in my love life and wanted to express this through the EP.

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

C: My favourite singles on the EP I would have to say are Crushin’, Fess Up & What About Us. They all have that ‘bounce’ that I love even though they are all different tempos lol! I just find myself really vibing to those three

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your EP?

C: That R&B is still alive and kicking!

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

C: I’ve always wanted to work with Stormzy – I feel like having him on a feature would just be a perfect combination. His flow x My flow would just make so much sense.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

C: I have a couple of releases before the end of the year which are quite exciting. I won’t give away too much but yes its definitely something to look forward to.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

C: Twitter/Instagram – @ohsocheryll
Youtube – Oh so Cheryll
Facebook – Cheryll

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Transition’?

C: D’wante Navire – for the production of the EP. He mixed and mastered every single song and dealt with my craziness on top of that! Hes a real one!

Also Tory and Jollof who have been involved in all the videos for my EP – they are a great team!

Transition is now out