Album Interview: Take My Power – Tunnel Traffic

He was featured numerous times on the blog with singles including, ‘I’ll Be Sorry’, ‘Skip’ and ‘Another Story’ plus albums ‘Age of Conviction’ and ‘Meesh’, but I’ve never formally introduce Adam Hachey, otherwise known as TUNNEL TRAFFIC to you guys. Well I’ve caught up with him, to talk about his brand new album, ‘Take My Power’ – out from the 15th July on all music platforms – and what inspired him to produce the 11-track collection.

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

TT: Pretty great. Pandemic-wise, I feel fortunate things seem to be looking up within my circles. That and finally releasing this album have been a couple chapters I’ve been eager to close.

NLM: You recently shared your album ‘Take My Power’, where you unveiled singles ‘Gets Me Out’, ‘Through The Day’ and ‘Next To Me’ ahead of its release. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

TT: I’ve been hearing good feedback on several different aspects of the songs – the production, guitar tones, string arrangements, lyrics that stood out. I’m happy that I was able to create music that could be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I spent a lot of times with these songs and it’s reassuring listeners find a way to appreciate something from each stage of the songwriting process.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

TT: I’ve been working on a project that is really complex in scope and thematically heavy, but I also had a few ideas for simpler songs bouncing around in the back of my mind. I figured I’d have some fun with those first, even if they didn’t amount to anything. When I realized the new ideas were converging on a common theme, I knew they had to become this album.

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

TT: I’d have to go with ‘Through the Day’. I like the way it captures the push and pull of keeping it together while facing some mental baggage, and it does it in a quirky, off-kilter way. I also want to give a shout-out to ‘Truth’, which stands out to me as having a simple song structure that progresses in an extremely satisfying way.


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


TT: It boils down to a mix of acoustic and fuzzy indie rock, all with a DIY aesthetic. I actually went with my acoustic guitar throughout the whole album and clipped the signal through my interface to get the overdrive effect. I think fans of The Microphones or Neutral Milk Hotel would appreciate the sound.

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

TT: The album explores my thoughts/emotions whenever my mental health reaches a low point. It enters some dark places, but I also made sure to include theme of love and support. I think the pandemic made these ideas universal. I hope listeners see it as an expression of solidarity in struggling with mental health and feel appreciation for their loved ones who lift them up.

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

TT: Not sure if this is mainstream enough, but I’d have to go with Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. He’s a versatile indie rocker with underlying quirkiness, characteristics that I strived for on this album.

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

TT: I have lyrics and rhythm guitar written for my next album already. I know the full arrangements will keep me busy for a while, and I’m hoping to work with other people again. I don’t want to say too much yet but it will be a bit of a pivot from my other releases.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

TT: All tunnel traffic music is available on every music streaming platform. I have accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Write to me and I’ll respond.

Links: https://linktr.ee/tunneltraffic

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

TT: I sing to Jacky Muñoz on several songs on the album. She definitely deserves the shoutout here. On top of her constant support in life, she is able to listen to my work as both a fan and a critic, and I am a better songwriter for it.

‘Take My Power’ is out now all music platforms

Album Interview: I, 5tash Bank$ – 5tash Bank$

Although he appeared on NEW LEASE MUSIC a few times last year, Ryan Lamar Alexander – aka Atlanta-based hip-hop rapper 5TASH – was never formally introduced to you guys. Well I finally caught up with him to discuss his latest EP, ‘I, 5tash Bank$’. I asked him about his inspiration behind the popping set and whether he had any challenges during the production process due to the Covid pandemic.

It was an absolute pleasure virtually meeting this fiery upriser…and I hope you guys enjoy his company too…check him out below…

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

5B: Thank you for having me, 2021 has been great to be honest, a lot better than last year so far. Money up, family doing great despite the case I’m currently fighting but I finally released my long awaited Debut EP, I, 5tash Bank$ now out on all DSP’s everywhere. So Life’s good, yu already snow.

NLM: You released your album ‘I, 5tash Bank$” last month. What is the public perception on the project so far?

5B: Based on the numbers, people are eating it it up! I’m up over 7,000 streams in just under 10 days on Spotify alone. I’ve started gain a growing fan base overseas in Holland, Australia and The Netherlands to name a few, which is pretty dope!! Right now , “Trvpbunkin” + & “RLA+” seem the fan favorites so far.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

5B: I have been a working on the album for over two years now teasing my fans all the way since late 2018 through 2019 & this year, with early singles off the project like as “Benjii Frenzy” featuring Dionta Sullivan a.k.a. “Yung Caf”, and “ADAYGO” featuring Pluggy Simmons, and Philly Redface of the Formula Gang.

“I, 5TASH BANK$”, in my opinion, may go down as one of my best projects when it’s all said and done but only time will be able to tell. The project highlights n captures a unique and yet complex sound not quite heard or seen by the likes of anyone ever before. The entire EP is riddled with distinct flows, unorthodox cadences, and clever / beyond whit bars; the kind you have to play back a few times to catch; over an array of gritty beats meshed with a multitude of smooth sounds all to the very “Low” key that is “5tash”, pun intended. Executive Produced by my boy, Joshua Branden Welch aka Brutus The Melodist, & the Atlanta southside’s very own, Annie O, the EP consists of 15 original records and I feel like I definitely out did myself with this one and came thru with some major heat to start up and kick off 2021 in a strong way.

The EP is a masterpiece, content & production-wise to say the absolute least. The very distinct and familiar Intros to each song definitely give the project character and are reminiscent of another DMV Native, Wale’s More About Nothing, Series. Im sure this will be the project that separates me from the rest and what I need to gain the attention of the real industry heavy hitters & send me on my way to true stardom. With an assorted cast of production on the album from the likes of Princeamgn, Lito, Purls, Yung Glizzy, Guierrmo, 183realchance and of course his seemingly go to guys as of late, RXKZ & Brutus the Melodist.

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

5B: ‘Personally it would be a tie between “ADDVICE+” & “Benjii Frenzy”. The energy on this Benjii is definitely crazy as always wen my bro Yung Caf gets on a record. But the subject matter and overall vibe of ADDVICE+ are “IT” for me and easily why I chose both to shoot visuals to first. My runner ups would have to be my lead single “No Hoe$” & “ ‘13 Durk” for sure. but I love all the songs on the album and had a very hard time not only selecting which ones, but even harder time deciding n locking in the final track order. The projects doormat record and first song on tracklist, “The FLORIST +” is definitely a personal favorite of mines b/c of the features, my boys Devon Burch aka Fly Von, Yung Caf & Meraki all came through with heat to pop the project off more than properly.

NLM: So how would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?
5B: The overall Sound of “I, 5tash Bank$” can be described as a compilation of the different flavors of me and my different musical personalities all in one introduction project. I felt I had to give them a piece of all my different sides to display my range. It’s a blend of my older and newer sounds. Strong bars, distinct flows and unforgettable memories some familiar, but mostly unforeseen before. My tamber, tone and deep voice are something they haven’t heard the likes of since Devin the Dude & Nate Dogg. The EP is an overall vibe jammed packed with back to back lit singles that stand just as strong alone as they do assembled on the project.

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

5B: ‘That’s definitely a great question and one I haven’t been asked yet so far in my press run. But to answer it simply I don’t think I would really want to feature any mainstream artist on my debut project because I wouldn’t want the weight of their name to be the reason people tune in. I felt that it was one of the best projects I could assemble without any major features however if I was to realistically reach out to someone to remix or possibly feature on the 2nd installation of the I, 5tash Banks trilogy series, it would have to be another artist with a similar complementing sound and weirdly enough but more importantly to me would have to have another “money-related” name like I do. For instance I would definitely consider reaching out to Moneybagg Yo’s team especially to tap in to that Memphis market. I would also strongly consider reaching out to Roddy Ricch’s team for a feature from as well, as I definitely do enjoy his work.

7) Did the Covid pandemic presented any drawbacks in the production of your album?

5B: COVID definitely threw a pretty big wrench in things for me as I’m sure it did for all of us, whether they’d like to admit it or not. From a production stand point, pretty much everything was unfortunately haulted when the lockdowns/shutdowns began. So I was left to try and work my magic in personal studios for the time being. I ended up linking up with a lot of my contacts here in Atlanta personally to get the project finished in home studios which was a pretty dope experience.

8) Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

5B: Yes I definitely do. In 2021 I plan to release an onslaught of new music and clear out the “5tash” as I’ve been sitting on a whole lot of music that I’m finally ready to package and deliver to the masses. My next project will be “I, The MELODIST” dropping tentatively in February. This will be for lack of better words, “a Side B” project to “I, 5TASH BANK$”, and display my vocal range as the artist formerly known as “The Melodist”. After that the onslaught continues with my 3rd studio project, “The Luxury of Abundance” and the 2nd installment of the “I, 5TASH BANK$”, trilogy series by the end of the year with a couple collab projects with my fellow Greenfolkz! artists sprinkled in between.

NLM: How can potential fan find you?

5B: You can find me and the entire gang on all Streaming platforms under 5tash or Greenfolkz! Where ever music is found you can find us!

Twitter: @5tash
IG: @5tash_

NLM: Finally, any special shoutouts to those involved in the production of ‘‘I, 5tash Bank$’’?

5B: MAJOR SHOUTOUTS to the producers on the project Princeamgn, Lito, Purls, Yung Glizzy, Guierrmo, 183realchance and of course my go to guys as of late, RXKZ & Joshua Branden Welch aka Brutus the Melodist, & the Atlanta southside’s very own, Annie O, who Executive Produced the project along with myself.

HUGE SHOUTOUTS to all the featured artists on the project, Dionta Sullivan a.k.a. “Yung Caf”, Pluggy Simmons, Redface & Tsunami of the Formula Gang. Not to mention Fly Von, Merkai, XLG OFFICIAL & Jigga Flames. Last but not least my entire GVNG, Yoxay”- Joseph Allen, also from Prince George’s County, Maryland, “Odashow”- Oluseyi Olaore, Outta Cincinnati, Ohio, of “MT!“-Marcus Thomas, a native ATLien, “LunLun”- Lunden White, “Glorious Queen“- Carolyn Simpson, “Steffany Saffire”- Ehime Sadoh and Producers “Brutus The Melodist“,-Joshua Branden Welch, another native ATLien, “Yung Swizx“, Brian Hardwick of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & “knykeys”, Kenneth Reyes, from Guatemala.

And even bigger shoutout to my family, my mother & father who have always believed in me regardless my endeavors, my beautiful daughter. To Prince George’s County, and the whole DMV area that raised me and to myself to be honest. Me, Ryan Lamar Alexander, made a lot of sacrifices so that “5tash” could exist and I have to take the time give my self my flowers if you will.

Finally to you New Lease Music for the continued love and support. Thank you all for your time.

5Tash Banks’ EP is now available on various DSPs. Be sure to look out for the official video for his track, ‘Big 5tash Bank$’ coming soon on the blog…

Album Review: Son On A Sunday – Son Of Tony

New York’s underground hip-hop heavyweight, SON OF TONY rallied up his troops, fellow underground hip-hop heavyweights, Micky Factz, Skyzoo, Tish Hyman and Ren Thomas for his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Son On A Sunday’, released on Friday (8th January).

‘Son On A Sunday’ seamlessly transitioned from modern laid-back hip-hop/boombap, (that’s so toe-curling,) to old style rap with samples of old-school soul. The album also features dauntingly airy soundscapes with a rhythmic drumming providing a hard-hitting bass, where each rapper’s flow adding a raw gangstra vibe (listen to ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Zoo’).

So if you’re the type that’s well into underground hip-hop, then you know that ‘Son Of Tony’ and the mentioned featured artists are on top of their game –  and you should know that this album should NOT be overlooked…check it out below…

Must Listens: Energy, Comicon, Snd, Fore Thought

Album Review: 2020 DIvision – JYellowL

Irish rapper JYELLOWL jumps right down to it with his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘2020 DIvison’ and addresses the issue of having self-worth through the introductory track ‘2020’, which possesses an intimate, stripped-back setting later joined by drums, idyllic runs of piano keys and a gusty thump of the b-line.

Melodic tones (which becomes patently clear that this is JYellowL’s trademark) against a seamlessly smooth hip-hop/R&B dropback and boisterous bass, continues through the first half of the album, putting a thought-provoking spin on serious topics such as systemic and institutional racism.

‘2020 DIvision’ then ventures into the realms tropical dancehall/Afrobeats (in ‘Hypocrite’ and ‘Change’), moving onto an air of tranquil trap-hop, 90-inspired afterhours in an acoustic setting and even elements of New Jack-ish era in ‘Tunnel Vision’. Along the breadth of genres, JyellowL continues to cover a breadth of tropics, including his experience in the music industry and taking proactive steps to elevating the youth in today’s society.

From the moment I hit play on ‘2020 DIvision’, it became very clear that JYellowL is more than just a musician who is instantly recognisable through his distinctive sound and catchy flow – he’s a strong activist that isn’t afraid to tackle political and social issues that intrigues as well as disturbs him, urging his audiences to find that inner flame to do the same.

Even through his singles ‘Ozone’, ‘Jewels’, ‘Doesn’t Feel Like’, ‘Mademoiselle’
and ‘Tunnel Vision’ were all well received ahead of the album’s release, JYellowL (personally) will be now further placed as one of the most intriguing and promising artists from the Irish rap scene and perhaps beyond – and may well be look upon as a Juggernaut-like political figure among his peers with ‘2020 DIvision’.

Check out 2020 DIvision check below plus the blog’s songs recommendation:

Must Listen: 2020, Call It What You Want, Doesn’t Feel Like, Change, Tunnel Vision 

Album Review: Stillborn Flowers – Rain To Rust

Mert Yıldız, the brainchild behind project RAIN TO RUST, continues to provide – and I quote from the man himself: ‘miserable music for miserable people’ – through his latest album, ‘Stillborn Flowers’.

Showcasing hazy and downtempo post-punk, which occasionally takes on the most sinister form of Darkwave (listen to ‘Died’ and ‘Dead Violets Night’) and 90s-style German Gothic rock influences (in ‘Marbled Sunlight’), ‘Stillborn Flowers’ also features remixes of singles (For When It Hurts, A Farewell With Regret and Time and Time Again) from previous album, ‘Flowers Of Doubt’ (2019). Originally an easy listening combo of soft pop/rock spanning of the 80’s, arguably similar to the seductive styling of Bryan Ferry, ‘For When It Hurts’ (TSU Remix) adopts a crisply light electro-pop tones, possessing the same tranquil tempo of the original.

With ‘Stillborn Flowers, Rain To Rust doesn’t fall short of filling the gap for those who yearn for the post-punk/new wave era. He also potentially leave his fans wanting more with dishing up something new with the remixes. Well I, for one, is left hanging for more as I now see him more than just a figurehead of the underground post punk/rock scene in his native Turkey.

Have a listen to ‘Stillborn Flowers below….

Must Listen: Died, Dead Violets Night, For When It Hurts (TSU remix)