I like minor keys…actually, I more than “like” them – I’m INFATUATED with them. Something about the raw darkness of the attack & sound just makes me feel like it’s about to get real – that we’re about to fight this war masks off in the mud – OVER our freedom. Whether it be for our freedom to love, our freedom to speak, our freedom to deserve, our freedom to be…..I see life staring up from the deep end, I refuse to dip my feet to play in the shallows. That has just ALWAYS been who I am. It’s either: I DON’T go in the water or I run FULL THROTTLE till I can no longer touch the ocean floor. I fuel my body like I live my life – with MOTIVATION. I used to foul out every ball game because I played that much harder than the rest & my feet stay planted and I wanted that damn ball so bad – no one or no thing could ever get in my way to stop me. I go hard because I love hard, the vulnerability of my capability flies behind me like a cape and I light fires without lighters and own it all because I’m a fighter. These songs encompass the magic of the minors, articulate voices full of angst & swag, not here to mess around. They are triumphant and LOUD & the hip/hop edge is definitely influencing this era of my life & art. I embrace it, I learn from it, & I bend it. To the next generation of sound do I march.
Keep up with Phenix here.
After releasing their EP in 2016, hip-hop/rock collective Juice – consisting of Ben Stevens, Daniel Moss, Kamau Burton, Christian Rose, Miles Clyatt, Michael Ricciardulli, Rami El-Abidin – Is back again with a new song titled “Sugar”. An upbeat song, it is about temptation. The song talks about being addicted to temptation and falling into temptation’s trap. Upon first listen, “Sugar” is a song that you will get addicted to because of its appeal from the perspective of several different genres.
Keep up with Juice here.
Knox White is dropping his brand new track, “You’ve Been My Girl” this Friday, and we couldn’t be more excited. The artist has had quite a star-studded bunch of mentors, meeting Lionel Ritchie and Paul McCartney while bartending in Los Angeles. After moving to New Orleans for a time to get inspired by the music scene there, Knox White is back in L.A. and preparing to release his debut self-titled record this July. “You’ve Been My Girl” is the first single off the EP, and with this small taste of his music, we can’t wait to hear the rest of his songs.
“You’ve Been My Girl” is the perfect marriage of R&B and chill indie pop; the Prince influences shine on this track. It’s got emotion-packed lyrics, smooth vocals, and one heck of a guitar solo – the trinity of a great song.
Says White of the track, “When it comes to love we all have that one person we come back to, no matter what.” Anyone will be able to vibe to this song.
Keep up with Knox White:
Instagram // Facebook // Twitter
“Show me the magic” is the single release of an E.P. soon coming from Aja Warren
. The epic theatrical intro sets the scene with a soft synth and graciously applied strings. As the mountain conquering intro leads the way into bass strings and strong vocals the goosebumps begin to swell and that hair on the back of my neck started to stick upright all I can say is, Wow.
“Show me the magic” slides from this soft power into a really driving impactful chorus in full symphonic surround sound. While the vocals could be the leader in this instance, it’s appealing that it’s perfectly mixed and that there is no leader, it’s all or nothing. “Show me the magic” instills that feeling right before you give up and ask one more time, give me what you got if there is really something there. It’s sad but with hope. Soft and powerful.
Aja has a voice. A really compelling voice that delivers emotion on a scale that reaches into your chest. I’m gonna say if you cant feel it, you likely have no soul. This is Tori Amos talent minus the obscure lyrics. “Show me the magic” has delivered a high that you actually have to come down from. It’s just so chilling how expressive Aja projects her voice.
This music belongs in a theater of the utmost elegance and backed by a gracious symphony. If listening at home, I recommend a calm candlelit environment, some flashy satin sheets, red and black would be ideal, and that perfect bottle of wine.
Keep up with Aja Warren here
Last we touched base with Russian Baths, they were releasing “What’s Your Basement”; now, they are gearing up to drop their debut EP, Penance, on February 23rd. The four track record features “Slenderman”, “What’s Your Basement”, “Poolhouse” and “Black Cross” and is released via Good Eye Records. The Brooklyn-based noise rock band is made up of Luke Koz (guitar, vox) and Jess Rees (guitar, keys, vox) along with Evan Gill Smith (bass) and Jeff Widner (drums). Previous to the release of their upcoming EP, Russian Baths dropped a split single, “Ambulance/Ghost”.
“Slenderman” opens the EP and sets the tone immediately. Filled with intense percussion alongside floating vocals, the track sets the stage for the next song splendidly. “What’s Your Basement” follows “Slenderman”, and is the most noise-rock of the four tracks. With some killer guitar and drums, “What’s Your Basement” takes its place as a solid punk/noise rock track. Check out more about the track here.
“Poolhouse” is next up on the EP, and is closer to the the sound of “Slenderman” rather than “What’s Your Basement”, but still stands alone. Opened with a marvelous minute-and-a-half instrumental interlude, the track provides for a musical tour of an emotional ground zero.Guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Jess Rees says of “Poolhouse”: “This song was inspired by a friend’s tumultuous breakup. The idea can apply to any situation where you wake up and say ‘how the f*** did I get here, I don’t want to be here and I don’t even know who I am’. It’s about an existential crisis.” “Black Cross” closes out the album with some well crafted bass and guitar. The last track finishes strong, leaves you with solid understanding of Russian Baths’ musical style after this tour of their soundscape. Penance is a record that will shake off that dreary winter feeling, and get you motivated to do great things.
Check out Penance by Russian Baths on February 23. Follow Russian Baths: Facebook // Instagram
Recently we had the particularly amazing opportunity to interview Raju and Chai about their creative process and where they see themselves going forward in the music community! This is what they had to say….
What was it that inspired you to start writing music?
Chai: I think my exposure to music outside the radio scene showed me how multidimensional music. My brother also opened me to both many genres and types of music, and both of these, paired with finding artists such as Frank Ocean and Coldplay, helped me develop my writing style.
Raju: I’m assuming it’d be a surprise to everyone, but its my little sister who inspired me to write music. She started both singing and writing before me, and seeing that kind of talent from someone who was 10 years old at the time brought both singing and songwriting out of me.
In a hundred years, how do you want people to remember you and your music?
Chai: i want people to remember my music as something that matters to them, helps them learn about themselves, and reminds them about certain times. Thats the type of music i consider the most powerful.
Raju: I definitely want to be remembered as an artist who provided meaning in his lyrics and used his platform to give people something they could hold close to their heart and relate to during all the moods an individual can go through. I want my music to be remembered as a force that brought people together and helped when people needed to hear the right words.
When you are having a mental writer’s block, is there something that you do to get those creative juices flowing?
Chai: i like to watch documentaries or interviews on my favorite artists to get more insight on their creative process. It really helps me push past the mental barrier and try new things that keep me going.
Raju: I like taking a shower, because mentally i can keep coming up with endless melodies and lyrics that rhyme and maintain a flow when im in there. The only difficult part is remembering what was particularly relevant to what i was working on after i get out.
Being an up and coming artist also means a flood of new fans and social media contacts from people who appreciate your music–has there been an experience that has stuck out to you with your fans?
Chai: not particularly, because It all still feels new to me. However, this makes any form of support i receive, whether in person or social media, so incredibly important and vital in terms of what it does for me. It gives me a reason to give back in the form of music.
Raju: The support i received from my classmates really struck me. People who i saw everyday but never talked to made me believe that they were numb to my existence, but seeing how they were responding with such pride and faith in me after hearing my stuff gave me more faith in my ability and in other people.
Out of all of your songs, which one is your favorite to perform or the one that gets the band pumped?
Chai: Probably “Diamonds.” It really sets the tone and puts everyone in a good mood, including myself. It follows a universal concept of having fun with people you care about, and its simple, which makes it enjoyable to everyone.
Raju: Definitely “Ambition.” Everyone ive showed it to loves it the most out of all my songs, and i think its a good expository of how i can bring a very intricate flow without compromising lyrics or melody. Its definitely something that reflects my true self in terms of music, and the beat goes hard too.
What is your current guilty pleasure song or album?
Chai: flower boy by tyler the creator is definitely my guilty pleasures because i hopped on the bandwagon for that album, having never listened to tyler before. Nonetheless he’s now a huge inspiration.
Raju: Im gonna have to say everything by Lil Uzi Vert is my guilty pleasure, because some of my friends bag on his lyrics and “repetitive” flows that are found on many trap songs. However, i dont share these views, nor am i really guilty because i actually take pride in listening to a nas song and then going to uzi right after, for example. Both of them inspire me, nas more lyrically, and uzi more melodically.
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the lives of these two up and coming artists!