EXCLUSIVE Interview with: Yves and the Talent


NEW LEASE MUSIC caught up with frontman of YVES AND THE TALENT Yves Gravel, whose single ‘Montreal’ was named Song of the Week in January by the blog. If you don’t know this Canadian band, I HIGHLY recommend you check out their discography –  these guys sure know how to put the rock and roll into folk music…

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

YG: All the pleasure is mine. We need more blogs like this!

NLM: So what have you been up to on the music circuit?

YG: In recent months, I had the opportunity to play live on the radio which was a great experience. We had a couple shows here in Calgary which were instrumental in establishing our new sound; A departure from all acoustic to electric (with drums).

NLM: Your single’ Montreal’ was named Song of the Week by NEW LEASE MUSIC. What was the public reception of the single?

YG: It’s certainly one of people’s favourite being that it is very high-energy and backed up by an incredible performance from our fiddler Niki Romeril. I have since introduced a French part to the chorus and working with a rapper to mix things up. Stay tune for the next remix!

NLM: What was your inspiration for writing ‘Montreal’?

YG: It is definitely an ode to Montreal; a source of inspiration which I re-discovered 20 years after leaving the city. It’s falling in love all over again with this muse, leaving the listener wondering if certain lines are about the city or lovers. A mystery I intend to keep alive😉

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

YG:There is certainly some folk influences in the sound but not so much in my writing. It has been described as Edgy-Folk but Indie could also be a label. I’d rather say it’s very “Yves”!

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

As a lifelong Leonard Cohen fan it would have to be him on a personal level. But sound wise I would have to say Arcade Fire because of their broad range of styles including an electronic angle.

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

YG: Make tickets more affordable to live events, more emphasis on lyrics (rather than catchy hooks) and open music lover’s mind to more “unknown” artists.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

YG: We’re currently shopping for a producer to get into the studios in 2019! And in the immediate future, we will be performing live with the whole band on the University of Calgary radio station this fall while promoting our next show. As for myself, more writing.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

YG: My website is currently under construction (yvesandthetalent.com) so Instagram @YvesAndTheTalent.

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

YG: Novelist or Sommelier. Although those are 2 things that are fun to do simultaneously; Drinking good wine while writing!

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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.

 

New Music Video: Queen – Jessie J

After months of fueling excitement and anticipation, JESSIE J unveils an epic four-part rollout for her anxiously awaited fourth full-length release R.O.S.E. [LAVA/Republic Records]. The schedule is as follows: R.O.S.E. (Realisations) out May 22, R.O.S.E (Obsessions) out May 23, R.O.S.E. ( Sex) out May 24, and R.O.S.E. (Empowerment) out May 25.

Additionally, she shares a poignant, inspiring, and powerful music video for her latest single “Queen.” On the track, her delivery practically chills, stretching from vulnerable verses into a seismic refrain befitting of its crucial message. The empowering lyrics, “I love my body, I love my skin, I am a goddess, I am a queen,” come to life on-screen in the video.

The QUEEN video celebrates a series of all women from multicultural backgrounds, including Lizzie Velásquez star of the powerful documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velásquez Story and Fullscreen’s Unzipped. It’s JESSIE J’s rawest and realist statement to date.

JESSIE J first heralded R.O.S.E. with the single ‘Think About That,’ singing an honest lyric giving her heartbeats an insight into her new feel and sound. Followed by the release of ‘Not My Ex’ which has already reached seven million Spotify streams and 20 million YouTube/VEVO views. In addition to working on the anticipated release, JESSIE J also launched a sold out headline tour of intimate venues worldwide, and contributed ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’ to the Fifty Shades Freed Original Motion Picture soundtrack.

Recently she had tremendous success in China, joining the TV show SINGER – a singing competition where she performed each week in front of a television audience of 250 million with a grand finale viewership of one billion. Not only was JESSIE J the first international artist to ever compete alongside the biggest artists in Asia, but also the first to ever win.

Check out this stunning single…

Song of the Day: Doing It Stealthy – Oloff

Coming from his latest EP ‘Abyssopelagic’, released earlier this month, OLOFF drops his uptempo offering entitled ‘Doing It Stealthy.’

The accompanied video features the Bristolian working the stage, while slamming his wayward but satisfying flow over State 808-esque bars.

The EP itself features a mix of genres, ranging from hip-hop to ambient/experimental, where he plans to release each one as a single. Take time out and check out ‘Abyssopelagic‘ here.

Before you head off though, hit the play button on ‘Doing It Stealthy.’

Song Premiere: Dahlia – Billow Cloud

Billy Lash – aka – BILLOW CLOUD premieres his infectiously hazy springtime single, ‘Dahlia’, released today across all download sites. The dream-pop melody-maker is all geared up for a release show of the single on the 19th of May at the Cavendish Arms in Stockwell, London.

Produced by Guy Fixsen (Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Wyldest), ‘Dahlia’ is described as ‘the soundtrack to a belated spring: when the scales of winter have fallen from your eyes and the excitement of the new season brings a fresh perspective.’

‘Dahlia’ follows the South Londoner’s debut single ‘Smokestack City’, which received airplay on Amazing Radio where DJ Shell Zenner called it ‘a gorgeous, dreamy number’.

Be the first to hear the stunning ‘Dahlia’…