Meet Upcoming Pop Vocalist: SITA. “I’m driven by the desire to create art.”

Today, we get the chance to speak with upcoming pop singer, Sita. Sita knows a thing or two about to how to succeed in this industry because for one, she’s been in it for a while. Getting her start as an intern, she’s understands what it takes to be in this industry. I got the chance to speak with her about her journey thus far, being an independent artist, and much more!

Read below for full interview:


 

Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself to the readers?

A: Hi I’m Sita. I am a singer-songwriter from NYC and currently live in Nashville. I love the sun, reading, traveling, and I can’t sleep without socks on.

 

 

Q: I read somewhere that you’ve been interested in the Arts – specifically music, since you were a child, is this a career you’ve always wanted to be a part of – or was it more a hobby / pastime that developed into something more?

A: I always knew that music would be a part of my future, and envisioned myself singing professionally since I was three. I love singing and making music, so I have actively and intentionally pursued it throughout my life.

 

 

Q: When you initially began writing / recording music – did you have the support of your inner circle? (family / friends / peers)

A: I was lucky to have a supportive family. Although extremely critical, my mom and dad did show me that they were rooting for me and there for me if I ever needed them.

 

 

Q: Are there any tips / words of advice you could offer aspiring artists who may be too afraid to start their career in an industry as competitive as music?

A: I’ve found that in general, one should never let fear determine your course of action. If something motivates and fuels you, then by all means, go for it. Life is too short to not engage in something that brings you happiness, regardless of the outcome. I make music and sing because I enjoy the artistic process…not for fame or a fattened bank account or to prove myself to peers.

 

 

Q: Since this industry is a tad “competitive” what do you think sets you apart from other musicians?

A: Well, there is SO much music readily available these days. So, I try to create soundscapes that I find unique, when combined with my vocals. I would like to think that I bring listeners to a soulful place in a smooth way.

 

 

Q: I know some of the artists you feel are in a lane of their own include: Jessie Ware, Kimbra, and Kevin Garrett. What are some qualities you feel set them apart?

A: Each one of these artist’s music brings such vivid imagery. Their choice of unconventional instrumentation under soulful melodies is what I am personally drawn to, and I feel sets them apart.

 

 

Q: Would you ever collaborate with these artists if you had the chance? Do you happen to have any dream collaborations?

A: Yes! I would love to collaborate with any and all of them. Frank Ocean would be another artist who I admire, respect, and with whom I feel I would create something beautiful.

 

 

Q: Now, (correct me if I’m wrong) – you got your start in music by writing for film and television? Can you explain the process to becoming a jingle singer?

A: Yes..people often say “jingle singer” a lot of the times. It’s so much more than just hopping in the studio and singing a silly 3 second catchy motive. What I’ve done entails composing and recording melodies and lyrics for demanding clients in a highly competitive advertising industry. It’s about nailing the right vibe at the right time. I got started interning for music agencies in NYC, which gave me the opportunity to work (singing and writing) with various composers who submit music for commercials and shows. One open door led to another.

 

Q: Do you think that’s a certain career path that’s often overlooked?

A: I’m not sure that it’s overlooked. It’s very competitive and requires hard work and talent, like any artistic career. I’m lucky that my work has found so much favor with people within that industry.

 

Q: Is the lack of recognition what drove you to become an independent artist – or did you always have hopes to become the one in the spotlight?

A: I don’t think that a lack of recognition was my drive or is my drive presently. I’m driven by the desire to create art and we’ll see where it takes me.

 

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Q: When you released one of your first – if not, the first song as an independent artist “Closer” – did you know what to expect?

A: I had NO idea what to expect! It was something that I just put out there, and hoped for the best.

 

Q: Since its release, you’ve been consistent in dropping quality music with songs such as “Around Me, Back and Forth, and your newest song “Low”. With every song you create, does it become harder to stay creative?

A: Thank you 🙂 Every song is different…so some come way more easily than others. I aim to create music that I like and that inspires me. Sometimes, it is a challenge..but, at those points you can’t get discouraged. You have to get through the crap in order to get the gold.

 

Q: Because you are an independent artist, it is a little harder to gather a fan base and get your name your there (but in due time it will happen). What keeps you motivated?

A: Well, I guess life is what motivates me. Music is the way in which I express myself- my thoughts and emotions. As long as I‘m living, I feel like I will always feel the need for expression through music.

 

Q: Do you think major labels are still necessary to become popular in the industry?

A: I think that while major labels can significantly help an artist gain exposure, I do not think that they are a necessity. There are so many music platforms available these days. So, it’s certainly not impossible for indie artists to achieve success on their own.

 

Q: You have yet to release a full project but you do have a lot of music out – is that something you’re working towards in 2018?

A: I think that the music industry has changed significantly in the last decade. I don’t believe that full projects are 100% the way to go for indie artists at this point. So, I am just concentrating on releasing singles for the moment.

 

Q: What are some of your main goals for the year?

A: My goal is to keep releasing as much music as possible. I don’t have a set number, but I ideally, I would love to release one single per month. I would also love to collaborate with more artists, too.

 

Q: Lastly, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?

A: THANK YOU!!!! Your words and love for the music have been amazingly encouraging. It’s such a great feeling to know that I am able to connect with people through my favorite art form.


Make sure to stay updated with Sita make sure to follow her on: SoundCloud, Instagram

To listen to her latest single “Low” click here.

Meet Upcoming R&B Songstress: Cassidy Shooster. “. . .If I stay true my art then it doesn’t matter what people think.”

In this interview, I had the privilege of speaking with upcoming songstress, Cassidy Shooster. At only 18 years old, this Coral Springs native has been described as “alluring” and “ethereal” since the release her debut song “Waste” back in October. Although she only has one song under her belt as of right now, the song was good enough to accumulate over 75,000 plays on Spotify, 14,000 plays on SoundCloud in 4 months, features on countless music sites, and even became Arcane’s Video of the Week. I got the chance to speak to her about her decision to become a musician, what it was like hearing “Waste” for the first time, and much more!

Read below for full interview:


Q: Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: My name is Cassidy Shooster. I am 18 years of age and a senior in high school. I am from Coral Springs, FL and was born and raised here. I am a singer/songwriter and play piano and guitar.

 

 

Q: You’re relatively young – how long have you been interested in music, at least professionally?

A: I have been singing all my life, but I started writing seriously and making music professionally when I was 16, a junior in high school. I was writing since I was very little, but when I started to experience more ad had more to write about, that’s when it all became real for me.

 

7_16_3367-Edit_BWQ: Is it true that besides singing, you are also pretty good at piano and guitar? Is it safe to say that music is something your family supports?

A: I have been playing piano since I was 6 years old and I started playing guitar when I was around 14 years old – so I’m a little stronger in piano than guitar. I’m interested in mastering both instruments and being able to incorporate both in my live performances. I love them both equally, but sometimes I like playing one more than the other depending on how I’m feeling. Music is surrounded in my family; my family is filled with musicians and artists. They support everything that has to do with music.

 

 

Q: Since you are a new artist, I must ask – did you have any fears/concerns about putting yourself out there?

A: I don’t have many fears about showing my artistry, but, still being in high school, it’s hard to have people accept the choices you make with being an independent artist. Since the stereotype of a high school teenager is to go to college after high school, not many understand why I don’t want to go to college right away and work only on my music until I decide to go to college (one day).

No matter what, someone isn’t going to agree with you in something and that goes with anything – not just music, so I just have to prepare myself to stay true to and humble, no matter what.

 

 

Q: Is there any advice you could give those who may want to become artists – but are too afraid of what others may say/how others will react to their music?

A: I advise people who are too afraid to show their music to go see locals perform live. Seeing others do i helps you get over the fear of saying you can’t. Also, engraving in your mind the mission you have behind your music will help you get through the fear. If you know why you want to do it, then nothing should get in your way.

 

 

Q: I know that you are inspired by artists like Banks and James Blake – what is it about these artists that influence you?

A: I mean, many artists inspire me (just like anyone else would say). I love Banks because of the dark vibes she presents to her audience. She also inspires me when it comes to clothing . . .

James Blake has a similar vibe to Banks because of the “dark” underground electronic sound, but he is someone who’s gotten me through periods of my life, so his music is what inspired me to write my own.

These artists don’t necessarily inspire me with their vocals, but their production does.

Artists like Lianne La Havas, Allen Stone, Etta Bond, etc. inspire my vocals.

 

 

Q: If you had a chance to do music with either (or both) of them would you? What do you think that collaboration would sound like?

A: If I had a chance to collaborate with James Blake and Banks that would be incredible. I think it’s important that you create a human connection with someone before being able to just create music with them. I can’t necessarily answer what it would sound it like, all I know is it will sound however it’s meant to sound.

 

 

Q: Are there any new artists that you want to collaborate with?

A: Billie Eilish is really dope and young, which is cool. Like I said before, the human connection is going to be really important when it comes to collaborating so if I create that type of relationship with an artist than the music will come out more authentic. Someone who is becoming big from an album that just came out this year is SiR with his album “November”. I would love to collaborate with him in the future. Also, FKJ is one of my favorites and I would like to collaborate.

 

 

Q: Speaking of music, you released your debut single “Waste” at the end of the year. For those who have yet to hear it, can you briefly explain what the song is about?

A: The song is about a difficult breakup I had experienced. It’s not really a typical break up song because throughout the tune I am contradicting myself and pointing out my flaws thinking it was my fault when in reality it wasn’t. I try to empathize the importance of women empowerment by stating, “I am a woman of love” and that it’s okay to love a lot . . . just like I did. Some people just don’t deserve the love you give.

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Q: Because this was your debut, were you nervous about how people would react to it? Do you remember your reaction the first time you heard it in its final stage?

A: From the moment I came up with the lyrics to “Waste”, I fell in love with it. The next day, I was with the producer CrashTandy (we had already began working on the production for it) and I was really excited to share.

There was definitely a fight between which song we wanted to release as my debut single but after a couple listening sessions and showing a certain amount of people, we thought it was a great idea to have “Waste” as the first single.

I can’t say that I was nervous because this is the art I have created and as long as I’m happy with it, it shouldn’t matter what negative approaches I get from it. I can say I was nervous on how a select few would react. (only because it was my first time putting something out about someone)

 

Q: Since its release, it has accumulated over 100,000 plays between SoundCloud and Spotify. Did you ever imagine that it would get such feedback?

A: Not at all . . . I didn’t think it would have gotten that many plays, especially on Spotify, but we got a lot of hype and amazing feedback, so that was really cool. This just makes me more excited to release more now that people have a little taste on the type of music I’m getting into. (And I just learned I’m almost at 100,000 listens on Spotify!)

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Q: You accompanied the song with a video (released in November). What was that experience like?

A: The experience with creating the video was amazing because I was surrounded by my family. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them there. This was my first time shooting a music video like this, but I had a clear vision and the creative directors know me so well that they took my vision and brought it to life. I loved shooting the video in general though.

 

 

Q: There is a saying that “your image is an extension of your music” – How important is image for you?

A: Image is not important to me at all. Unfortunately, social media makes you think that way, but I just want to set the example that the art will always be the more important aspect than image. No matter what, society will think whatever they want to think of me, but if I stay true my art then it doesn’t matter what people think. I plan to keep my image strictly relating to my music.

 

 

Q: From the content you’ve released thus far, it appears that you have at least an idea of the type of artist you want to be. What advice would you give aspiring artists when it comes to creating music and finding their sound?

A: My advice is going to live shows ALL THE TIME and listen to tons of different types of music to see what sticks with you, Don’t limit yourself and don’t just stick to one sound. Change things up to keep the music interesting.

 

 

Q: I know that you’ve performed a number of times. Is there any event you want to perform at in the future?

A: I want to perform at as many festivals as possible and especially ones out of the country.

 

 

Q: Is that something you look forward to (or dread) when it comes to being an entertainer?

A: I can’t wait to be able to perform my originals and have a showcase to share. I most definitely look forward to performing live.

 

 

Q: What are some of your goals (when it comes to your career) for the future?

A: I want to work with as many people as possible to gain knowledge from each human and see how they process things as a musician. Being in a self-absorbed generation, I want to set a goal to have people become more open minded to things and music.

 

 

Q: Do you have any plans to release new music / content throughout the year?

A: Yes!!! (: It’s a work in progress. I should be getting back into the studio very soon.

 

 

Q: Last but not least, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?
A: I hope the people who support me understand my mission as to why I make music. Also, I want to thank everyone who has supported me thus far. Makes me excited for future occasions.


To stay updated with Cassidy, make sure to follow her on: Instagram, Twitter

To listen to her debut single “Waste” click here.

To watch her video for “Waste” click here.

 

Meet Swedish Pop Singer: Kassandra. “I think, as an artist you’ve got to choose what you want to communicate. . .”

In this interview we meet Kassandra, the electro-pop artist coming all the way out of Sweden. In the midst creating her project Fantasma, she generously spared some time to speak with me on topics such as the current state of music in Europe, debuting almost five years ago, and what we should expect from her in the future!

 

Read below for full interview:


 

Q: For the readers who are being introduced to you today, would you like to introduce yourself?

A: Hello! I’m a passionate and nerve wrecking singer, songwriter who’s 100% part of my music productions, from Stockholm/Sweden. It’s also safe to say I’m opinionated, stubborn and at the same time silly af. As a person I wouldn’t call myself happy, although I want to make sure everyone else is which makes me a little clowny. I’m pretty talented in various sorts of aesthetics but pretty darn terrible at things like earning money.

 

 

 

Q: Is music something you’ve always been interested in?

A: I sort of always stumbled across opportunities, applying to music schools and getting in, ever since I was a child. To be honest I was more into doing arts with my bare hands than making music for a long time, but the environments I was in made music the easiest way to imagine some sort of artistic career.

 

 

Q: When did you realize you wanted to do it professionally?

A: It wasn’t until I found the blues at age 17 that I really understood singing is my core expression. Plus, having grown up side by side and dreaming together with some of Sweden’s pop stars of today such as Icona Pop and Tove Lo, has of course triggered me to do something more with my singing.

In 2008 I moved to London and besides playing with my live band, I was put into auditions and sessions but frankly, hated the music I was singing. Three years on and realizing I needed to be able to introduce my personal sound to the industry before going into sessions, I moved back and taught myself some basic music production. Eventually I found my perfect producer match; Martin, this metal guy writing songs for Polish pop stars who worked in a studio deep in the forests of the country, too many bus hours from Stockholm to mention… But when I found him I knew “this is it”.

 

 

Q: Is becoming a musician something your family/friends was supportive of?

A: Everyone has always been beyond supportive, but more for their pleasure of listening than for me surviving economically I’d say. It’s easy for people to have ideas and give advice on how I should be doing this, but it’s such a fragile thing and no one but me will ever know how to do it in the way that I feel is right. Sometimes it feels rather like a curse than a great thing to know that this is what you’re aimed to be doing.

Overall, yes, very supportive. Through some phases I’ve wanted to just let go of the inhumane idea of pursuing a music career as a female indie artist, but it’s when I see the questioning and shocked faces of the people around me, that I’ve understood I better just keep going.

 

 

 

Q: You are from Stockholm which is the home of artists such as Loreen, Léon, and Tove Lo, do you think Sweden is finally getting the recognition it deserves?

A: Well, I don’t know… Personally, I think Swedes are suffering from serious hybris when it comes to our music export and that is ever since ABBA. I don’t believe I’m possessed with this hubris hysteria within the Swedish music industry, although I’m majorly proud of my well deserved friend and old roomie Tove Lo. ❤

 

 

Q: Speaking of Loreen, the way I was introduced to music from overseas was because of her performance during Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision has been held in Sweden two times in the last 5 years, the last time being in Stockholm in 2016. If they were to be held there again, would you think about trying out?

A: Over my dead body. There’s no risk in universe.

 

 

Q: A lot of the music from Europe that makes airwaves here in America is typically pop, you do have songs that are pop but there are some cases where you incorporate genres such as trap and even a little reggae; do you think it is important to experiment with different genres or should artists stick to one sound?

A: Artistry and sound don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand according to me. Although, at some stage – in today’s social media boomed society – I think, as an artist you’ve got to choose what you want to communicate and that includes the sound.

I personally separate what I “inhale” from what I “exhale”; meaning what I take in/listen to, for pleasure/cure doesn’t exactly match with what I’m in need of creating and expressing musically. Those are two different things. I listen to quite minimal, electronic indie music with no clear pop melody such as Kllo or FKA Twigs, because I need to calm my brain, while my own expression is much more dramatic and melodic.

I’m not a huge fan of radio hit songs and feel that Swedish songwriters generally are, but since I origin from here I’m obviously influenced by the Scandinavian way of writing songs. I’ve always been torn between what I feel l am and how I sound but after many years of experimenting I feel like I’ve now come to the perfect, distinct sound of Kassandra.

 

Q: Who were/are some of your musical influences?

A: Aretha, Janis, Nina, Ray

 

Q: Is there anyone you want to collaborate with in the future?

A: Blood Orange!!! And someone at the radio please…

 

Q: Do you have a dream collaboration?

A: Singing opera with Grace Jones. There’s a YouTube clip I can watch over and over where Pavarotti had the honour to do it.

 

Q: What are your favorite 3 songs out right now?

A: Nikes by Frank Ocean, In The Morning by Nao, not Despacito…

 

Q: You released one of your first songs Abdicate in 2013, do you remember what you felt to release your first piece of music for others to hear? Were you nervous about how it would be received?

A: Abdicate took two years to finish and it’s still not yet mastered. As a nobody in this industry and on top of that a girl, it is a struggle just to make people believe in you and want to put their precious time on you so after a lot of convincing I finally had it finished.

Yet a year later when I was mentally crashed from my full time job I woke up one morning and just felt “fuck it, I’ve got to just throw myself out there” and used Universal’s distribution site for unsigned artists for the release on where Martin found me! So I suppose the crash did something good/meaningful in the end. But to answer your question; I was terrified.

 


Q: Since then you have released a number of songs including “Run and No Longer Lovers“, what is the process you go through when creating a song? How do you usually come up an idea of what to write about?

A: I collect stories, not one night stands. I think that’s how I fill up with content. My forthcoming album Fantasma is all about how to live like a human being as the survival spirit of a killed relationship. I was in a 7 year relationship which I realized I had to cut. From the darkest rooms my songs are being created. For me I don’t get any stimulants from re-telling a happy, pleasant experience. Cliché as it sounds, but writing songs is my therapy. There’s no other way to put it.

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Q: Your latest song “Friend Zone, was released last June. Can you briefly explain what the song is about?

A: I’m quoting my words on it from my official Facebook page on the release day:

“I wrote this one in the midst of a sudden turn in life. In the feeling or non-feeling of being weightless and not being able to predict the outcome, as the income came as unpredictably. Or predictably. Not even my gut knew anymore. I let the words flow from my brain through my tongue into a computer and haven’t changed a single one since that one demo recording. No metaphors, no beautiful, brainy sentence could make this song sound “a little less sad”. FriendZone equals complete darkness – the experience of murder and death of something which was intended to be so alive and so sweet and how you, after having made the decision to slice two bleeding hearts into pieces, will have to eat them for dinner, night after night, after night, after night afterwards.”

 

Q: Out of all the songs you have released what are your top 3 and why.

A: Abdicate – because it was a milestone for me to have it finished and then for my self critical persona to dare to throw it out in the cyber world.

Run – because it’s the first song that I felt was 100% “me” after all the years of working towards my sound. It was also the first one I release together with Martin and it got a huge response with no PR what so ever.

No Longer Lovers – because it’s my first release after having been bound to a major record deal for two long years (it was supposed to be three but I managed to get out of it finally). And then again, a huge response even though released all indie with no PR backing me up. It was just another sign that proved to me that I know my vision best.

 

 

Q: What kind of advice could you give someone who may want make a career out of music but is too scared of what others might think?

A: I’d say, don’t do it if you’re scared. There is no spare room or time to worry about what others might think. You are too easily replaced in this industry, it doesn’t matter how talented you are. And regarding family etc. who means well in telling you not to go for a music career – there’s no point in trying to convince anyone of that this is a clever choice of work. If YOU know you gotta do it, you just gotta. When it’s a matter of feeling alive or feeling like a walking dead, I choose the feeling alive option.

 

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Q: You have officially been out for nearly five years and have yet to reach mainstream success. For a lot of artists, especially independent artist, they tend to give up because they feel their efforts aren’t being shown. What has kept you going for this long, and do you have any words of wisdom for other aspiring artists?

A: To be fair, I have given up many times. Strangely, I always tend to be sliding back in here after a couple of months trying to live like an ordinary homo sapiens, going to my job, getting promoted yada yada. But two months is apparently enough for my urge to do this. And it’s all thanks to people like yourself which motivates me to continue, thank you for that!

While now famous artists have been releasing music that has changed a lot through the years, I could say that I’ve been experimenting in “silence”. I guess I respect my project and potential listeners so bad that it’s been the way for me to grow into the artist I am and to be sure I present a cohesive sound and artistry. I’m very sensitive and obsessed with and dedicated to honesty.

I would say: Don’t listen to men, like really don’t. And let me explain. I don’t mean that men have nothing to say or add to your vision. I mean, just don’t make yourself think they know something about you and your potential and how it should be managed, better than you do, because they don’t and never will. No decision I’ve ever made with my brain has taken me somewhere I’d wanna stay. When times are rough or when you’re lacking experience in the industry it’s easy to start trusting in what people with more power say they’ve got to offer. But I say, don’t waste your time, just keep going with your heart and conviction.

 

 

Q: You’ve been signed previously but now you are independent. Do you feel there are benefits to being signed? Do you think a machine (label) is still needed when we have platforms such as social media to connect with others and find success?

A: The machine is going down. At least until a new generation is taking over who understands the part of which the machine is ought to play today and will do onwards. The role of the labels is changing majorly at the moment and they’ve got to adapt to and follow this change before they lose all the brilliant artists out there and they really don’t have any work anymore.

Kassandra - Run

 

Q: If I were to introduce someone to your music, what song would you want me to play for them?

A: Run

 

Q: Last but not least, do you have anything you want to tell your supporters?


A: Please stay patient and please follow me on Instagram/Facebook . . . (also request live shows)


To stay updated with Kassandra make sure to follow her on: Instagram, SoundCloud

To listen to her latest song Friendzone, click here.

Meet London’s Newest Star: Paige Bea. “. . . You have to 100 percent believe in what you are doing . . .”

Meet upcoming singer / songwriter Paige Bea. This London native has been in the spotlight for the last couple of months due to her impressive debut “Pick Up Your Heart” which was released in November. I got the chance to speak with her about feelings leading up to debut, future collaborations, and much more!

Enjoy!


 

Q: Before we start, would you like to introduce yourself to the readers?

A: Sure thing. My name is Paige Bea and I’m a singer-songwriter from the burbs of London!

 

Q: You officially debuted last November, is it sort of surreal that you’ve launched your career as a musician? Is this something you’ve always wanted to have a career in?

A: Yeah totally, I’d spent a lot of time telling myself and other people that that’s what I wanted to do, but actually making that decision at 22 (which is kinda old) and finally getting somewhere was in a way unexpected but simultaneously, completely inevitable. I have a deep need to communicate whether that be through languages, writing or music, but singing is where I feel most at home.

 

Q: What were some of the emotions you experienced leading up to your debut? (if you remember) (Ex: anxious, excited)

A: As anyone in music knows, releasing music whether it be one track or an album is an incredibly lengthy process so I think the nerves had kind of dulled themselves by the time I actually released, I was just ready for that song to not be just mine anymore. And I was, and still am, intrigued to just see what kind of reaction (if any at all!) my music might provoke.

 

Q: When you decided to pursue music, did you have the support of your inner circle? (family / friends / peers)

A: Yeah definitely, I mean I don’t think my parents really believed I was actually going to do it but they have always given me a lot of space to work out how I want to live my life, and that’s super important and I’m so bloody grateful for that. Now that I’ve started releasing and they understand how the industry works a bit more, they’re even more supportive. And my friends seem to love it – if they don’t, they haven’t told me yet!

 

 

Q: Are there any words of advice you could give aspiring musicians – specifically, those who are concerned about what others will say?

A: I’m not sure how much of a position I am in to be giving advice, but I suppose what I’ve learnt so far is that you have to 100 percent believe in what you are doing, because if you don’t no-one else ever will. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or fail, or be bad at something for a while. If you care too much what other people think, or think that you might look stupid if you fail or you think, “well I’ve written a couple of songs and they’re bad, so that’s that”…. That’s just a bad attitude. You can get better at everything else (songwriting, aesthetic, your instruments) provided you have true passion for it. Oh, and don’t compare yourself to others on social media, that will just make you very very sad. (Guess I did actually have quite a lot of advice…)

 

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Q: You released your debut song “Pick Up Your Heart” along with its video in November. What was the inspiration behind the song?

A: I’d sung at a funeral the day before for a girl who was about my age when she died and I just sat down at the piano and thought how ridiculous it was that we’re so passive, and we complain so much about things in our life that in the grand scheme of things, just don’t really matter. I know it’s all relative but I just felt kind of compelled to write something about that. I also hate writing conventional love songs, I think there’s so much else to be written about. Having said that, the next tracks kind of are about relationships, but hopefully not in a way you’d expect…..

 

Q: Since its release, critics have described your voice as having an “effortless sense of soul” “immaculate” and “rich, soulful” ; Did you ever imagine that people would respond to you so well?

A: Yes because I am totally amazing. Nah, I’m kidding. I absolutely was not expecting it, and it’s so interesting to see all the soul comparisons as I definitely wouldn’t define myself as a ‘soul’ singer as such, but it’s definitely a big compliment.

 

Q: Growing up, who were some musicians that influenced you?

A: My parents listened to a pretty diverse range of musicians, my Dad was always playing Moby, Moloko or Sade and my mum was really into Carly Simon, Phoebe Snow, Roberta Flack, Janis Ian. And just like everyone else, I spent most of my teenage years trying to sound like a Joni Mitchell/Jeff Buckley fusion but I don’t think it really suited my voice. It wasn’t til I was a lot older that I started listening to neo soul and rnb music, but I remember hearing Erykah Badu’s “On + On” or Jill Scott’s “Love Rain” and being like that’s closer to where I want to be. I think I’m now swaying a bit more towards electronic/rnb music, but we’ll see…

 

Q: Are there any current artists that you are influenced by?

A: I’m really into this French electro rnb artist Bonnie Banane at the moment, she’s a bit nuts and I appreciate her slightly bizarre aesthetic. Oh and I’ve just discovered Dutch-Iranian trip-hop/rnb singer Sevdaliza, it’s pretty dark but I’m into it. Also you should check out this Irish rapper Kojaque, he’s got some big things coming his way.

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Q: South London has been a hotspot for new music recently with artists like Ms. Banks and Mina Rose gaining international fame. Are there any artists coming out of there that you would want to collaborate with in the future?

A: I’d like to croon with Puma Blue and if Loyle Carner wanted to spit some bars on a track of mine, that would be great.

 

Q: Do you have any dream collaborations?

A: It’s always changing really, but probably Dev Hynes (Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion). He’s kind of a magician, everything he does is just next level, he was kind of the architect behind Solange’s A Seat At The Table. Or maybe Dave Okumu, he’s worked with Jessie Ware, Rosie Lowe, Connie Constance, Nilufer Yanya etc.

 

Q: Are there any international musicians you’d want to work with?

A: *See above!* – Maybe add Kelsey Lu, I really like what she’s doing at the moment. Watch her “Boiler Room” set in Iceland, it’s magical.

 

Q: Is there any place in particular you’d like to travel and share your music?

A: I think people in New York and LA would totally get what I’m doing, and I’d like to move to Paris at some point in the next five years and try out the scene there.

 

 

Q: Some artists value sharing music through live performances; I know you’ve performed a number of times – do you remember what your first time performing was like?

A: Yeah it was really nerve wracking, I’d never played my guitar and sung at the same time, and for some reason there was a bunch of industry people there and I kind of wanted to die. I tend to get quite a lot of adrenaline on stage though and I tend to thrive off it in the end. (95% of the time…)

 

Q: Is that something you look forward to (or dread) when it comes to being an entertainer?

A: It totally depends, sometimes the vibe can just be a bit off and you’re not feeling like yourself and you sort of psych yourself out. I’ve found that a very large glass of pre stage wine helps for some reason.

 

Q: I know in London there are two very notable stages every artist, both local and international,  dreams to perform at: The O2 and Royal Albert Hall. Can you see yourself performing there in the future?

A: I’m not sure, it depends what kind of music I end up making. I don’t know if my music is suited to big arena shows. I was at Nick Hakim last week at Koko and that’s now definitely on my list of venues.

 

Q: Aside from performing, what are some of future goals for your music and your evolution as an artist? How do you hope to affect people?

A: I want to take risks, I want to create something that’s completely new, that people struggle to put into boxes. I feel like so many people in music have stopped taking risks and I really want to push myself, and the people that listen to my music. That doesn’t necessarily mean creating something experimental or abstract, but I don’t want to just create “another neo-soul, rnb song about love” – I want to try to use interesting instrumentation and deal with topics in a new way.

 

Q: Lastly, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?
A: Buy my song on iTunes.


Make sure to support Paige’s music by following her on: SoundCloud, Spotify

To watch her video for “Pick Up Your Heart” click here.

Stay updated by following her on: Twitter, Instagram

Meet Upcoming R&B/Hip Hop Artist: 696XY. “I’m a complex person, so my music tries to paint that picture.”

As the first interview coming off of Arcane’s brief hiatus it brings me great pleasure to introduce you all to upcoming r&b/hip hop artist: 696XY. If you ever questioned who Arcane was created for, XY is the perfect example: a great artist, with great music, and no exposure. As an artist who’s only been out for around 2-3 months, I got the chance to speak to him about his debut, promoting his music, and much more.

Enjoy!


 

Q: Before we start, is there any meaning behind your name?

A: 696 is the name of my crew. My older cousin Jacky Kickz came up with it when we were younger. I carry it because I’m really into family. The XY  part is pronounced “shy” and is also a sex-determination for boy. The inside joke is that I’m a shy boy, and it’s true.

 

Q: What type of artist are you / How would you generalize your sound?

A: Don’t know if I can generalize my sound, because I’ll do an R&B track one day and then a drill or trap song the next. Maybe an explorative artist at best? I’m adventurous, I’ll try different beats to see how my voice sounds.

 

 

Q: You are relatively new to the industry – is (creating) music something you’ve always been interested in or is it relatively new as well?

A: I’m new. Starting making music to heal myself.

 

 

Q: Is there any advice you could give those who may want to become artists – but are too afraid of what others may say/how others will react to their music?

A: Just make music. Rather do something and fail than to regret you ever tried. Make music for yourself most importantly.

 

 

Q: Speaking of reactions – what was the reaction from people in your circle (family/friends/peers) when you told them you were doing music? Were they supportive / against it?

A: I think people who know me generally support me. No one has messaged me like “yo stop bruh” 😂

 

 

Q: Did you have any worries coming into an industry this competitive? If so, what were some of your concerns?

A: I don’t think it’s really as competitive as people think. The world is really big so there is an audience for everyone and one person can enjoy many different artists at any given time.

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Q: You’re debut came with the release of your debut ep Dreamwave. What was the process in creating this project?

A: I’m so glad you brought up Dreamwave because those plays are looking weak (I don’t even push it to be honest). I started it in November, finished it in December. Like I said earlier, I started making music to heal myself and I made those songs as they came to me. Engineered it myself and listened to it over and over again in my car until I felt like it sounded good. I released it when I felt like I needed to wipe the slate clean for 2018.

 

 

Q: Did you put any pressure on yourself to get it done?

A: No, it all came pretty easy. I don’t force anything, I’m not in any type of rush.

 

 

Q: How do you feel about the response it’s been getting so far?

A: Dreamwave is not getting as much response as I’d like, and that’s mainly because I don’t do enough to put it out there to my friends. Somehow that “Meu Amor” song was a hit with girls I know. So that one got put on their IG stories and Snapchat stories etc.. Guess I need to market Dreamwave a little harder?

 

 

Q: How much of the project (if any) is based off of your personal experiences? Are you influenced by personal experiences or do you take inspiration from anywhere?

A: Dreamwave is very personal. So if anything I take inspiration from my life or the lives of others.

 

Q: Do you feel that who you are as a person and who you are as an artist is similar / opposite?

A: Yes it’s similar. Unfortunately I’m a complex person, so my music tries to paint that picture.

 

 

Q: A couple weeks ago you released the song “Meu Amor” — for the readers who have not heard the song, can you briefly explain what the song is about?

A: It’s about me telling a girl I’m not really what she wants, but we can try a different love that’s more open ended and not commitment based.

 

 

Q: Even though you’re just starting out, you are consistent — whether it be releasing Dreamwave, to now, with “Meu Amor” — where does this drive / consistency come from? In your opinion, is this quality a must — especially when you’re first starting out?

A: It’s just fun to make music so I record a lot. My cousins tell me to not oversaturate my soundcloud page or else stuff will get buried so I’m holding back a little. I believe consistency is fine, but I’ve seen lots of artists get their followings by being sparse. Good music sells itself. Better to have 3 great songs then 20 ight ones.

 

 

Q: What are some qualities you feel make an exceptional artist (or person in general)?

A: As far artists go: think you need good taste, and the energy to keep creating. You need to be persistent. To be an exceptional person you need to be honest and not attached to anything. Attachments lead to fear, and fear will ruin you in more ways than can be described.

 

 

Q: You’ve already done a few collaborations — do you enjoy doing features? Is there anyone in particular you want to do a song with? Do you have dream collaboration?

A: I’m guessing you are referring to the 696Ave page? I love doing features, they are so fun. Also I don’t really listen to much music so a dream collaboration is hard to think about. Like Sade would be dope but she retired. Raava, if you ever read this stop hiding and let me sing on your beats.

 

 

Q: I happened to find your music through social media. With the internet connecting people from all over the world, is there a place you would be shocked you have fans from?

A: Cape Verde.

 

 

Q: If you had the chance to travel and promote your music, would you? If so, where would you go?

A: That would be dope. I’d go to Toronto, UK, and any country in Africa that rock with me.

 

Q: What are your hopes for your career in 2018?

A: Keep making music, hope people stop sleeping on me in the name of art.

 

 

Q: Is there anything you want to tell your supporters?

A: Thanks for the likes and reposts. Maybe one day I will be able to perform in front of you guys and meet some of you in person. Would be a dream come true.

Sasha, thank you for hitting me up. You’re my first interview ever.

 


To stay updated with XY, make sure to follow him on: SoundCloud, Instagram

Make sure to listen to his ep Dreamwaves, and his latest single “Money Talk