Interview with: Turya

Nicki Wells – aka TURYA – made her first entry on NEW LEASE MUSIC with debut single, Rain, which was named Song of the Month by the blog in June. The accompanied video was named Music Video of the Week for two consecutive weeks (check out the chart show on Instagram). With growing interest surrounding the South Londoner, it’s only fair to invite her to the interview hot seat.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

T: Thanks for having me.

NLM: First of all, can you tell us the meaning of your stage name Turya?

T: It’s interesting because I was searching for names for ages. I had a list of about 150 names and words and I wanted to have a name that meant something profound to me. I found Turya spontaneously. It is originally a Sanskrit word: ‘Tooriya’. There are several meanings of it, the most commonly known being the Fourth state of consciousness after dreaming, dreamless and waking. But what resonated with me, is that it also means the Silence one experiences after Sound.

I loved the idea of that and wanted the word to manifest my artistic persona in the sense that, after hearing a Turya song, one could be left in a moment of silence…

NLM: Your latest single Rain was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC in June. What’s the public’s perception of the single beyond the blog?

T: Wow that’s cool, I didn’t know that. Thank you. Well, we’ve had a great response considering it’s the first single I’ve ever released as a solo artist, (as Turya), even though I have done many things as Nicki Wells. So it’s daunting but exciting at the same time. ‘Rain’ has also already been used in a Ridley Scott produced film ‘India in a Day’ which is cool.

NLM: How would you describe your sound?

T: It’s definitely a singer/songwriter approach with folk, soul, cinematic and Indian classical influences.

NLM: Where do you get your inspiration from to create such unique sounds?

T: It’s all a culmination of what I listen to and absorb subconsciously.

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

T : Um mainstream, ok… Maybe Ed Sheeran, why not? He writes catchy songs and seems like a down-to-earth kinda guy.

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

T : That’s a hard question because it DOES in fact change so quickly. I would probably say I wish it wasn’t so utterly full and saturated. In a way it’s a good thing because there is so much music available for our consumption but now it’s almost become too much because every Tom, Dick or Harry can write, record and upload an album in his bedroom so it can be overwhelming because everyone and their dog wants to do it and be a Taylor Swift or an Ed Sheeran. Lol!

Number 2, to have more support and exposure for upcoming unsigned songwriters and artists and number 3, to have more government funding for young musicians and youth projects to create music.

NLM: So what plans do you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album in the pipeline?

T: I’ve got (drumrolls please) my first gig as Turya on the 25th July at the Union Chapel with Common and Kind, which a fantastic cause about how music creates a sense of unity and integration in these trying times: (Grenfell tower, London Bridge and Manchester incidents). So it’s essentially about artists and musicians coming together to spread good energy and a sense of hope. So I’m happy to be a featured artist in that. And I will eventually do some of my own gigs around London.

NLM: How can potential fans get in touch with you?

T: Facebook: Twitter, Instagram, Spotify

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

T: I would try to make it exist by banging two rocks together to form a sound and then do a repetitive rhythm and then gather my fellow villagers and say: “Guys! Check this out! Now you do it with two rocks and let’s try to do it together!”

Interview with: Sophie Longshaw

SOPHIE LONGSHAW is well on her way to becoming one of NEW LEASE MUSIC’s new favourites. Not only the flame-haired songstress bagged of herself the Music Video of the Week title for latest single ‘Hold You’ – for two consecutive weeks – her previous effort, ‘In the Morning’ was also featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC’S Top Ten Songs of 2016. I think it’s about time we find out more about this star-on-a-very-steady-rise.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

SL: Hey! Not too bad thank you, I can’t believe Summer is here. Thanks for having me!

NLM: First of all, I wanted ask you about your latest single ‘Hold You’ – which was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in March – what was the public perception of the single beyond the blog?

SL: Yeah it did incredibly well. I think people were surprised to hear something that wasn’t indie-folk and a little bit different to my other tracks. It’s got a real punch to it and it’s the track I get the most messages and comments about!

NLM: Your single ‘In the Morning’ was ranked #8 on NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2016. Have a generated other accolades elsewhere? Please share!

SL: That’s nuts! The video for it premiered on Gigwise and we were No.1 trending for over a week. I’ve had the most amazing messages where fans have told me they really connected with the song and it helped them through difficult times in their life. For me, knowing my music can help someone is an accolade for me.

NLM: You’ve cranked up quite an impressive discography! What’s your favourite track to date and why?

SL: Definitely ‘Let’s Go To The Beach’! When I first started writing it, it was a private letter to myself to get through a tough time and now it’s my most listened to track on Spotify! I love playing it live, I’ve seen people slow-dancing to it and the love you feel in the room at that moment is unreal.

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

SL: I guess you’d say soulful indie-folk with a modern twist.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

SL: She’s not exactly chart-topping but I absolutely ADORE her… and that person is Lianne La Havas. She is so so so talented. I don’t know anyone else who can hold an audience like she can. What a woman.

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

SL: *Creating quality music takes time and it’s a shame that unless you’re selling millions of albums you just can’t make a living so I’d say higher rates for streaming and YouTube views. No-one wants to pay for music anymore but unfortunately we can’t make music all our lives for nothing.

* EQUALITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN!!! More women in higher jobs with better pay – Vanessa Knight is a prime example. She mentored me at the start of all of this and I think she is just fantastic…. she runs her own label, has managed and helped many artists and I think we need more women like her. It hasn’t been an easy road for her but slowly but surely we are paving the way to equality.

* Unfortunately to get anywhere these days you need the image. I’d want press to change completely. Image isn’t everything and I am so sick and tired of seeing polished photoshopped artists all over magazines and the internet. Critiques of female artists often refer to their appearance as well as their musical ability which is ludicrous!

NLM: So what plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

SL: No plans for an album as of yet, but we’ve definitely got a few singles in the pipeline… watch this space…

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

SL: If you want to have a little listen to my tracks you can search “Sophie Longshaw” into Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Soundcloud and YouTube.

If you wanna keep up with what I’m up to, you can find me on the usual social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

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

We’d probably have turned into some mutant zombies by now if music didn’t exist. What a dull world that would be! If I wasn’t writing songs I’d be writing anything and everything!

 

EXCLUSIVE Interview with: J.A.S (Just A Star)

Jayd Soliar – aka J.A.S (Just A Star) is in the NEW LEASE MUSIC interview seat this month. His collaborative club filler, ‘Set Me Free’ stole the top spot back in April. So I think it’s about time we get to know this talented rapper/producer/songwriter from South Africa – after you read the full interview, you’ll know him better than you know yourself! Happy reading!

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

J.A.S: Hey, I am great! Thanks for the interview and thanks so much to New Lease Music for always showing love. Will definitely be giving you the exclusives on any new tracks I release.

NLM: So tell us a bit about yourself?

J.A.S: ‘ve been pursuing this music thing for about 15 years now. I started off as a songwriter, writing lyrics in primary school for both myself and others. It was very basic at the time, but it was a start. I began rapping soon after, my friends and I would form cyphers and just rap all day. Hip-Hop was in my blood due to my brother and neighbourhood friends introducing me to the genre at a very young age.

I moved to a new high school and met two guys who were also passionate about Hip-Hop and we formed a rap group. This is the point when I started making beats. I started off using beat making software such as FL Studio, then moved to Acid Pro and Reason. I invested in recording gear and we began to record our first project. We were together for two to three years recording and performing around Durban, South Africa.

After high school, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to study music production and this where I was introduced to the music software Logic Pro which I still use today. I began working with the amazing vocalist Nevita, who you will hear on many of my songs; she is the vocalist on my single, ‘The Moment’. We formed a group and produced an album together.

A few years later we met another talented producer/engineer and formed another group called Tiger.X. We began producing electronic music and had great success with it. Overtime I perfected my craft and created my own unique sound.

So jumping to 2015, I decided to pursue a solo career as a producer, engineer and rapper. My debut album, as J.A.S, is the embodiment of this whole journey and thus took at least 10 years to make.

NLM: Your collaborative house track, Set Me Free, went down a treat with the readers on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What was the public’s reception of the track beyond the blog?

J.A.S: Everyone loved the track. I received a lot of messages on my social medias from fans showing love. I’ve received a huge number of streams on various platforms. The House scene is big in South Africa, so Set Me Free took off well. The hard part is maintaining the hype.

NLM: Your discography comprises hip-hop and (of course) house music. Are there any plans to cover other genres in the future?

J.A.S Well I produce and engineer many different genres for other artists, such as, Rock, Blues, Jazz, etc. I produce music from emotion and feeling, so whatever I feel at any point in time I will produce. At the moment, I just completed my Hip-Hop album titled L.I.F.E: The CAUSE, I’m in the process of finishing up my collaborative House album with Mpho and I’m also producing Sy’Defect’s EP, who is the rapper on The Moment.

NLM: What’s your proudest work/track to date and why?

My entire album, L.I.F.E: The CAUSE is my proudest work. It’s a journey through different moments in life. When you listen to the album, all songs lead into one another to create one whole story. It is my life’s journey and everyone will be able to relate to it. It’s too hard to choose a single song that I am most proud of, as I am proud of them all in their own way, but my favourite song on the album is ‘Scattered’, because of the authentic emotion that I managed to capture and portray. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and it doesn’t depreciate in its emotional value and impact.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

J.A.S: This is a tough question. If I had to choose any rapper to collaborate with, it would be Eminem. From the newer rappers, I would choose Kendrick Lamar. My dream, however, is just to be in studio with Dr.Dre.

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

J.A.S:• Eradicate the corruption in the industry. Radio plays are being bought, awards are being bought, many other corrupt dealings are transpiring and it really needs to stop.

• A better way to consume music than online distribution and streaming because it has degraded the quality of music and devalued the time and effort that the artists, producers and engineers put in to create the music. I don’t have a solution, but I think there will be one within the next 5 years.

• Lastly, investing in artist development and mentorship is important. If record labels invest in mentoring and developing their artists, the artists would have longer lasting careers, not one-hit-wonders or one-year-wonders. The problem is that labels don’t want this, because to them artists are disposable objects that have a sell by date. They acquire the artist/s for 2 years or less and then dispose of them and move on to the next.

NlM: So what plans do you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

J.A.S: I plan to release my album this year, I am just working on the best marketing deals so that when I drop it, it’s an explosion that has a long-lasting effect and not just hype for one week. I’m also working on a few gigs, I think the last quarter of 2017 is going to be good for J.A.S.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

Fans can reach me on my social media pages or via email:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jas.justastar/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JAS_JustAStar
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jas_justastar/
Email: jas.justastar@gmail.com

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

J.A.S: I can’t see myself doing anything but music. I’ve always been fascinated by sound, I often record natures sound and produce music out of those sounds. I used to take a rock and throw it against another rock, record that, manipulate it a bit and that would be my kick drum. So basically, I construct different sound elements together to create ‘music’, so if music didn’t exist I would be the person who creates it.

Lol I just curved this question. Ok, if not music, I would be a sound therapist. I studied sound frequencies and brain waves, and sound frequency can be used to alter brainwaves and entrain the brain to follow a certain pattern, therefore, sound frequencies can be used to alter emotions and cure various illnesses.

 

Interview with: The Fireflys

Runcorn rockers THE FIREFLYS made quite an impression on NEW LEASE MUSIC with their single ‘Sever’ which stole the Song of the Month title in March. Frontman Lee Wylding took time out from his very busy schedule and jumped into the interview hot seat to give us the lowdown on the band’s plans for the year and more…happy reading!

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking out the time to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

TF: Hi Tracey! We’re fine thank you, and it’s our pleasure to be talking to you now. We’re incredibly busy rehearsing and recording our 5th We have 2 new members in Joe Forber and Phil Conway, who are filling out our sound a lot more with their guitars. Our rhythm section is tighter than ever too as Sam Bramhall and Andie Packer have such a great chemistry. Cannot mention our Keyboardist Chris Tann too, he’s there, keeping it all together.

NLM: How was The Fireflys formed?

TF: We formed waaaay back in 2007 initially just to play the songs I was writing to our friends. It’s our ten-year anniversary in May – but that’s not strictly true as I lived in Canada until 2009, so it’s more like 7 years of us being an actual fully –functioning band. The way I looked at it was – indie music wasn’t really saying anything or sounding like how it fundamentally should, I’m a sucker for verse-chorus-verse, not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, if you’re an indie band then at least try to be one – that’s how we came about.

NLM: What’s the reason behind the band’s name?

LW: I was blown away by the Rob Zombie film “The Devils Rejects” how visceral it was, from the characters to the cinematography, stark sunlights and desert landscapes, everything about the film just kind of clicked with me, as I’m such a huge horror movie fan, I thought it fitting that I’d name our band after it. What does make me laugh is most people have said at one point or another that we’ve spelt the word wrong, but that’s how it was spelt in The Devils rejects and in turn “Duck Soup” by the Marx brothers who are name checked in the film. Also the thought of these cute little bugs seems nice – but in reality we’re named after a gang of psychopaths!

NLM: Your single ‘Sever’ (from the album ‘The Illumination of Everything’) went down a treat on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What’s the public’s reception on the track?

LW: That’s easily one of my favourite songs, and I’m very proud that you featured it. I think our fanbase like that song but we have maybe only played it live once, I need to put a bit more effort into getting back into our live set.

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

LW: Well ‘Branches’ was the song that lifted us a few rungs up the ladder popularity wise, I think with Old Trafford Stadium, the Homeless Ashes movie, MUTV, That’s Manchester TV, Bay TV Liverpool, BBC Manchester, BBC Liverpool and literally hundreds of college radio stations playing it, we went from “Almost totally unknown” to “Cult Indie band” in the space of 6 months, so I’ll go with that song as my fave, in terms of what it’s done for us.

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

LW: A lot of people say that you can hear many of our influences but we sound like none of them in our music, from City & Colour to Stereophonics to Gin Blossoms & Counting Crows, it’s a real melting pot of Americana & Indie music. I’d like to say we sound like R.E.M but I’m afraid they’re too legendary to be even considered in the same sentence as our band.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

LW: Great question! And I have a very quick answer because the charts and the top 40 are absolutely full of the same staid pop formula with all the fingerprints wiped away, if you’re a 14-year-old really getting into guitar music right now, the only hope you have is to rifle through your older brothers or dad LP’s. Search out Neil Young’s Harvest and The Beatles White Album and link them up all the way through The Smiths to Pearl Jam & Oasis, the charts now represents none of this I’m afraid, so my answer would be no-one! Guess that wasn’t such a quick answer after all. 🙂

NLM: So what other plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

LW: Well we’ve just signed a record deal with the fabulous folks at Strawberry Moon Records, and they’ll be releasing our next single “Grace” in the coming months. We play Bowlers arena Manchester on April 14th and return to the brindley theatre in the Autumn. Basically we will be doing as many shows as we can, and trying to record our fifth. Very busy times.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

LW: Twitter mostly which is @thefireflys and facebook – facebook.com/thefireflys

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

LW: Wow imagine if music didn’t exist! That would be horrible, no point living! When I was younger I was a cracking left back when I played football, so I think I would have really put the effort in to become a footballer for my beloved team –Manchester United!