Interview with: Gentry Kozia

After making an impressive splash on the blog with latest effort ‘I Just Wanna’, NEW LEASE MUSIC has decided to catch up and find out a little more about the man behind the single, GENTRY KOZIA.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. So what have you been up to in the music circuit in your hometown?

GK: Thank you for having me! I really appreciate it and I’m currently not living in my hometown I relocated to California. But I have gone back home a few times within the last two years, doing radio interviews and a few shows.

NLM: You released your single ‘I Just Wanna’ back in April. What was the public reception of the single so far?

GK: It’s doing very well & gaining more streams.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

GK: Love songs from the past something that is missing greatly in today’s R&B music.

NLM: Are you planning to do a music video for the single in the near future?

GK: We shot a video for it back in October of last year but had to do some re-shoots..I’m planning to release it in July…

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

GK: A touch of vintage soul with a little funk, layered with some rock rounded off with today’s sonics..I try to stay away from trends but still maintaining a sound that is familiar today – if that make sense.

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

GK: Well it would actually be two… Prince and Pharrell Williams. Those guys are not afraid to push the envelope with their fashion and music.

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

GK: More originality, diversity on radio playlists and better artist deals.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

GK: Currently I’m on tour until the end of September and continuously release music on all digital platforms. I also have a few major placement deals in place, so I’m staying busy.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

GK: I’m on all social media platforms as gentrykozia (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Snapchat). All my music is available on all streaming platforms as well.

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

GK: I would be a professional boxer..I was boxing before I decided to pursue music professionally..

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Interview with: Shiraz Hempstock

Introducing SHIRAZ HEMPSTOCK, the young songbird who made an impressive entry on the blog with single, ‘Simmer Down’. As one of the most exciting artists to have come out of the UK,  who received support from the likes of BBC 1xtra and BBC Radio One, it’s only natural that NEW LEASE MUSIC hook up with the newcomer…

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. So what have you been up to in the music circuit?

SH: Released two tracks ‘Done The Dirty’ and ‘Simmer Down’ and have a track going out shortly being released on Pussyfoot Records called Rain, Tilt Ft Shiraz, going out on a couple of different mixes, which I’m really looking forward to as it’s a little bit different from my current stuff.

Also, I’ll be supporting Leee John from imagination at the Jam House Birmingham on 6th June.

NLM: Your single’ Simmer Down’ has been named Song of the Month by NEW LEASE MUSIC last month. What was the public reception of the single?

SH: The public reception of the song was amazing, it was taken on by BBC Introducing, who then forwarded it to BBC WM, Radio 1XTRA and BBC R1, it has a lot of following still.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

SH: I don’t tend to have any inspo behind my songs, I tend to just write where my heart takes me. It tends to be an imaginative story that I make up there and then, I tend to dive in deep to any emotions this character may be feeling.

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

SH: My sound is very RnB pop.

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

SH: If I had to collaborate with one mainstream artist it would be Drake as he uses a lot of Rnb and pop clips throughout his albums.

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

SH: I don’t have any wishes for the music industry to change, but if there were to be one then it would be for everything to be fair.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

SH: My plans are to get an EP released hopefully, do a couple more gigs and festivals and to get myself out to the public eye more!

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

SH: Potential fans can contact me by my social media:
Instagram- @shirazhopee
Facebook- Shiraz Hempstock
Twitter- @officialshiraz
Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/artist/1coP2ucjK8Twjn8RqNuXyg

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

SH: If music didn’t exist I would be a prison/police officer.

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

 

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.

 

Interview with Gena Perala

Almost three years after being interviewed by NEW LEASE MUSIC, it’s an absolute pleasure to have Canadian singer/songwriter GENA PERALA back in the interview seat to discuss her new musical direction through her latest single, ‘Good Girl’, named Song of the Month in March.

NLM: Hey Gena, welcome back to NEW LEASE MUSIC! How’s life treating you?

GP: Hi! Thank you so much for having me back. Life is busy. I’m still in the studio recording my latest album. I just finished shooting a video for a new single that is about to come out. I have a live studio video I’m about to release and a few live shows coming up as well.

NLM: You released your single ‘Good Girl’ plus visuals in February. What was the
public reception of both productions?

GP: The public reception has been pretty mixed. Both praise and rejection. It is a down-tempo minimal track especially for a first single so I understand, but I do have a longer term plan and I think Good Girl will make more sense in the context of the whole album.

NLM: The video for the single looks great! How was the filming process?

GP: This was the first time I’ve worked with professional dancers so that was really exciting and basically a dream come true. As for the water scenes, they were interesting to shoot. I’m an independent artist so it’s not like I have a budget. Myself and the DOP (Director of Photography) shot in my parent’s carport in December, it was snowing. We filled an industrial sized kiddie pool with lukewarm water, from my parent’s washing machine and shot until we were too cold to shoot any more. I’m really happy with the way it turned out so totally worth it. It’s always extremely satisfying to take visions in my head and make them realities.

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing ‘Good Girl’?

GP: I was inspired by a friend of mine who was stuck in a bad situation.

NLM: ‘Good Girl’ marks the change of your musical style. What’s the reason behind
the change?

GP: I would say it’s less of a change in musical style and more of an expansion. I’ll always play acoustic guitar and piano but it’s nice to incorporate some synth sounds and drum machines. I’m in the process of sorting out my live shows with these additional sounds which I think will really add to the performances but again it’s more of an addition than a change. I’ll still always be a singer songwriter at my core.

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

GP: The Good Girl EP is a downtempo minimal synth sound.

NLM: You will be releasing your EP later this year. What kind of themes/stories can
we expect from this project?

GP: The EP is three songs and moves from powerlessness (Good Girl) to uncertainty in the second song and perseverance in the third song.

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

GP: The EP is part of a larger concept album I’m rolling out so still busy in the studio as well as playing live. I’m working on adding the electronic element to my live shows as well. I’m also interested in working with another female vocalist. Basically, lots of new music.

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

GP: I love hearing from fans and other musicians and people in general!
You can find or follow me here:

WEBSITE: http://genaperala.com /
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.c om/user/genaperala
FACEBOOK: https://www. facebook.co m/GenaPeralaMusic
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagr am.com/genaperala/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/g enaperala
SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud .com/genaperala
BANDCAMP: https://genaperala.b andcamp.com/
ITUNES: https://itunes.apple. com/ca/artist/gena-perala/ 285037338
SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify. com/artist/49SGUG6CqLLqOSOYeMz unF
GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/ store/music/artist/Gena_ Perala?id= Asf2yhy4mwmbutvd6oumdl5ka6e