The Don Kap interview

We were lucky enough to catch up with the artist, The Don Kap. Find our interview to read below.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is The Don Kap and I have Hawk Eyes and a Dog’s Nose (I see and sniff fake people out instantly and from afar)

What is your songwriting process?

I create subject matter and/or lists of content I’d Like to speak about. Then I find and lease a fire beat that is to my liking (I have golden ears) Then it takes me about an hour to come up with the hook and then finally the verses.

What is the best gig you have ever played?

I don’t perform live. I do stand up and speeches.

Tell us about your latest release?

‘Cannot Listen (Fake People Diss)’ is a song I wrote during a breakup with a best friend of over 20 years. He ended up being the fakest person ever and I saw right through him. He was jealous of me, he was always trying to one-up me, he was always playing ego games. Just a terrible friend. I don’t know why I put up with it so long, I guess because I was insecure. Now I see the light! Bye Bye Fakes. 

Funniest gig moment?

Performing at a club in NYC with my grandparents there. My grandfather got an eye infection from the excitement I believe. 

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?

Bye Bye Fakes! The Don Kap is here to bring Justice and substance back to rap. 

Who are your musical influences?

The Lonely Island and Future.

Who are your non-musical influences?

Donald Trump, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?

Being p******. 

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?

Focus on an income first. 

What are your hopes for the next 2 years?

Perform in space. 

If you’d like to catch up further with The Don Kap, either on earth or in space, you can check him out here: 

https://open.spotify.com/track/19Dx2TZbHTDc6OTjVVei7o

https://soundcloud.com/user-759536157/cannot-listen-the-don-kap

@thedonkap insta

@trustthedon twitter

Interviewed by FVReviews April 2019

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Screams From the Sun – ‘The Battle’

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Screams From the Sun are an alternative synth pop/rock duo hailing from London. Band members Francis Jupiter and Mimí Out are releasing their latest single, ‘The Battle’ in 2019. It is a stunning track which showcases their excellent skills in composition and musicianship.

The song opens to the sound of mysterious synths. They are melodic and inviting with elements of uncertainty too. The warm in tone vocals enter along with claps, a luscious thick kick drum, and clicks. During the first chorus, the song picks up pace and intensity. This use of texture is exciting and thoroughly compelling to listen to.

We loved the composition of the song, it does not follow the usual verse, chorus, verse chorus. Instead, they have opted for a verse, chorus, instrumental, chorus which is a refreshing and welcomed change. The instrumental builds with the kick drum and electric guitar providing the foundation for a second guitar to enter. It has been mixed to one side and plays a subtle yet intoxicating solo. We hear distant breathy vocals before the second chorus comes back in. Simply wonderful.

This is pop music at its finest. It features excellent musicianship, catchy writing, and elements of rock music mixed in too. We loved the mix of synths to ‘real’ instruments and they have gotten the balance between the two just right. There is so much happening in this piece, it is like any good piece of art, one listen is not enough. Each time we hit the repeat button we heard something new and ‘The Battle’ sounds consistently fresh.

The entire track has been mixed, produced and mastered well. We adored the correct use of reverb and delay on the opening vocals which allows them to sit well in the track and create atmosphere. The phasing of the synths is powerful and adds extra dimensions to the piece.

Screams From the Sun remind us of Imagine Dragons and The 1975. Their brand of pop/rock is inviting and invigorating the genre. The catchy melodies mixed with heartfelt lyrics make for a combination which is destined for big things. We can not wait to hear what will come next from such exciting artists as these! They are most definitely a band to check out in 2019.

Reviewed by FVReviews January 2019

Facebook: http://bit.ly/ScreamsFromTheSunFACEBOOK

Instagram: http://bit.ly/ScreamsFromTheSunINSTAGRAM

YouTube: http://bit.ly/ScreamsFromTheSunYOUTUBE

Twitter: http://bit.ly/ScreamsFromTheSunTWITTER

Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/ScreamsFromTheSunSOUNDCLOUD

Storming new EP ‘Nature’ by the phenomenal Pastobal 

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Pastobal are a Folk Rock band who have released their latest EP ‘Nature’. Comprised of 5 addictively enjoyable tracks, ‘Nature’ is a relatable showcase of Pastobal’s composition and skilful musicianship. This is an EP for music lovers and once it has been listened to, we guaranteed it’ll be placed on repeat time and time again!

The EP opens with the song, ‘Did you Know’. First, we hear a bass, kick drum and woodblock quickly followed by an acoustic guitar which is playing single chords until the rhythm swiftly kicks in. The guitar playing is extremely skillful and it sounds as though the guitar is being played all up and down the neck. The layers of instrumentation build, creating texture and interest. The kick drum feels like the heartbeat of the song and the rhythm section creates a foundation for everything else to be built upon.

‘Do You Want’ has a Captain Beefheart feel at the beginning with spoken word being heard first. This is quickly followed by an acoustic guitar, ascending bass and the rock feel enters as the drums begin playing. The drums skilfully come in and out and the entire track is a toe-tapping and thoroughly charming song.

Our favourite song is ‘No Time’. It is a beautiful track which sees the bass, drums, and guitars working together to create a song which is filled with energy and harmony. There is a hint of a slapped bass, loose high hats and the double-tracked vocals which all make for a divine piece of music. We adored the vocal performance during ‘Nature’ as it is acrobatic and thoroughly engaging.

‘Funeral Blues’ has a Spanish feel to it which is a departure as to what we have heard previously. From the rim hits on the snare to the interesting chord progressions to the harmonics on the guitar, this song tells a detailed story from beginning to end.

The final song, ‘Let’s Dance’ is an impressive 20 minutes in length. It opens with the lyrics, “And now, let’s dance!” That is exactly what it made us want to do! There are layered vocals in English and French and simply stunning guitars, bass and drums. Divine.

This EP really is Folk Rock at its finest. The instrumentation provides interest and intrigue throughout and there are catchy songs which will be stuck in your head all day!

So if you are in the market for excellent musicianship and enjoyable music, make sure you check out ‘Nature’ today!

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

https://pastobal.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Pastobal/

https://www.youtube.com/user/pastobal

Jonathan Alexander – ‘17:34’  

Front CoverDallas based artist Jonathan Alexander is releasing his brilliant EP on 20th November 2018. Entitled, ’17:34’, the EP is a wonderful collection of 5 songs which give the listener a glimpse into Alexander’s life. Compelling from start to end, this EP is going to be a big hit this winter.

‘17:34’ opens with the song, ‘House On Fire / Smile On Faces’. It has an ambiguous beginning which evolves into a piece of work which is filled with imaginative melodies, luscious lyrics, and formidable instrumentation. The addition to the traditional drum kits lay in the percussion which elevate the song to another level.

We adored, ‘Better Off Without You’, from the piano and acoustic guitar opening to the layered building of instrumentation as the song progresses, this song has been composed brilliantly. The piano sounds like an old upright which is full of character. The main piano part follows the melodic vocal and together they make for an instantaneously recognisable riff.

‘Light On’ features distorted instrumentation and the drums drive the piece along magnificently. Syncopated drums feature on the track, ‘If & When’. These are further complemented with the use of delay and reverb on the double-tracked vocals. Blissful.

We also loved the title track,  ‘17:34’. It has a feel which is reminiscent of the Stereophonics. Each part of the instrumentation feeds off of one another and the subtle changes in rhythm, make for a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

All of the songs on the EP have the ability to be released as singles in their own right. They have catchy hooks and memorable melodies which will have you listening to them all day. The standard of the composition and musicianship are so high it blew us away. We could hear these songs standing tall on any playlist, placement in TV and/or film, or being showcased on the radio.

Jonathan Alexander truly is the magic behind ’17:34’. His voice is spot on during all of the songs and his tones will have you reaching for the repeat button. Alexander’s impressive falsetto is simply stunning. Make sure you check out this exciting artist today!

Reviewed by FVReviews November 2018

Website: www.ListentoJA.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKr1CtHW4XSfpJOKjlJO0Bg?view_as=subscriber

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JA__Music

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jonathanalexandermusic

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/17-34-ep/1438137488?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MusicbyJonathanAlexander

Interview – Paul Middleton

We were lucky enough to catch up with the UK based artist Paul Middleton. Please find our insightful interview with this mesmerising talent below.

Hi Paul, Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. For those who don’t know you, please tell us about yourself?

I was born in the U.K but I grew up in different parts of the world: Egypt, Nigeria, and the Caribbean. Mainly through my mother and sister, I learnt about music. I had my first experience of singing at the age of 8 whilst singing in the school choir in Nigeria. We were asked to record a charity song and we were taken to a recording studio. I remember it being really dark with lots of cables and very exciting. The producer reduced the choir to the final 6 and I was part of that 6. A few years later I joined the church choir at a school and loved singing hymns. 

At 21 I joined a tribute group but also did solo work. I did my first gigs in a restaurant in Essex which had two floors and I was expected to go up and down to entertain everyone which was really difficult – but I learnt quickly how to grab a crowd. It was like an apprenticeship. Since then I have grown as a singer, performer and artist. I have been so lucky to: sing and travel all around the world, write my own song called ‘Hanging In There’ for an independent film and meet so many incredible people. I still pinch myself.

Brilliant. What has your best gig been?

Recently, I sang at a festival in front of 4,000 people and I had the best time. They were up for it and so was I it was such a buzz. A career highlight. Another favourite was in Belgium in front of 40 people in a pub. Intimate gigs are a lot of fun. I go out into the audience and despite the language barrier we all had a blast and I loved connecting with them.

You are releasing your latest album ‘Covers 3’ soon, tell us about this latest release? 

‘Covers 3’ is a lot more diverse in that it has uptempo, fun pop to dance to a little folk to ballads compared to my previous two which were more ballad driven. I started this album with the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Everywhere’. If I look at my top 25 most played songs- it was number 1 for a long time. I love their music and this song is so uplifting. With ‘Careless Whisper’, I came out of a difficult time with someone I was heavily in love with and it wasn’t to be. I listened to the lyrics of ‘Carless Whisper’ and just connected whereas before I hadn’t. I loved recording it and I hope I have given the song a new feel while being respectful to the original. The lyrics ‘I’m never gonna dance again’, ‘I feel so unsure’ and ‘we could have been so good together’, just drew me in. It was a great chance to let out some pain I went through. On the other hand, there are lots of happy moments like ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling!’- such a great pop song. Generally, this album has been very autobiographical about the last 4 years. Each song connects to a time in my life. Some great times and some sad times.

What has been your funniest gig moment?

Trousers ripping on stage. Another time, and it doesn’t happen a lot but I got the lyrics wrong to ‘Wake me up before you go go’. Instead of singing ‘ Cause you’re my lady, I’m your fool’ I looked directly into a guys eyes whilst on one knee and said ‘cause I’m your lady’- his reaction was priceless. 

Who are your musical influences?

Eric Clapton, Abba, Justin Timberlake, Adele, Eva Cassidy, Daft Punk, Take That, The Lighthouse Family, George Michael and Queen.

Who are your non-musical influences?

My mother died of cancer when I was 15. She loved to sing and dance. It wasn’t until 5 years ago with my first album that I decided to do something in her memory. All the profits from my first two albums (mostly CD sales) went to Cancer Research and I did a lot of charity gigs to raise awareness and support the charity. I never thought about why I got into singing and performing until recently and I think it is one of the ways I carry my mum in my heart. Another influence is the people that support me because I want to do the best I can do for them. I still can’t get over that people are so supportive. I wake up in the morning and I look like a zombie and I think if only they could see me in this state. 

What would you say are the biggest obstacles in the way for artists today?

The download and streaming industry has crippled artists. They have everyone by the neck. You can’t make a living off streaming and downloads from an album and considering that is the heart and soul of an artist, I think that is really sad and disgusting from the digital companies. You put blood, sweat and tears into a piece of art and the return is ridiculous. 

Also, be prepared for a lot of knock-backs. I was the lead singer in a group and took some time off as my life was all over the place and I needed to get better. They replaced me. I just felt really let down. I help set up this group and invested heavily in them. Two of us carried the group and as the lead, I would say a lot fell on my shoulders. There were a lot of egos and the band moaned about each other and the management. That massively affected my confidence. 

What would your main advice be for bands and artists who are starting out?

Work hard. Don’t expect it to land on a plate for you. Be an artist because you love the process and journey, not for the destination.

Very true. Finally, what are your plans for the next two years?

It is time for an original album. The last 5 years I have been thinking about who I am and what I can offer to the world. I have a lot to say, lived and experienced a lot but it’s deciding what direction to take my music. I also hope I will continue to gig and sing on stage and meet more amazing people.

Having been privileged to hear Paul’s latest release ‘Covers 3’ We can not wait to hear what will come next from such an exciting talent. You can find out more about Paul Middleton from the links below. 

Interviewed by FVReviews October 2018

http://www.paulmmusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/paulmiddletonofficial/

https://twitter.com/PaulMmusic

https://www.instagram.com/paulmmusic/

COVERS 3 SPOTIFY

Curtis Newart – ‘Rock the Chandeliers’ 

Rock_the_Chandeliers_Cover‘Rock the Chandeliers’ is the brand new release by Canadian artist Curtis Newart. Having been released on 8th June 2018 on Immaculate records, ‘Rock the Chandeliers’ is an upbeat, electronic and fun album which will have you reaching for the repeat button. The album is comprised of 8 new original songs plus a re-recording of Newart’s song ‘Perverse’ and a cover of the popular ‘Man on the Moon’ by the legendary band, REM.

‘Rock the Chandeliers’ opens with the title track. It is a hard-hitting opening which features infectious claps, Newart’s recognisable silky tones and gorgeous synths galore. It is our favourite track on the album as it encompasses the nature of the album as a whole. There is a cannon style, folk singing at the end which crosses genres and creates layers of texture. 

Other favourite songs include, ‘Confetti and Beachballs’ for its beautiful piano, tom filled drums and snare which are filled with rich reverb. ‘Down the Garden Path’ has syncopated claps and a sound which is reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys. The lyrics are relatable and will reach out and speak to many different people. The closing song, ‘Trippin’ on the High Horse’ is a strong ending which features vocals reminiscent of Mick Jagger in style. The song leaves the listener wanting more from this undeniably talented songwriter. 

The classic cover of ‘Man on the Moon’ is most certainly an example of Curtis Newart taking a song and making it his own. There are nods to the original with extra harmonies and instrumentation, taking the song to the next level. 

‘Rock the Chandeliers’ has been superbly engineered and produced by Jacob Wing at Ill Eagle Studio in Florence, Montana and by Robert Newart at Immaculate Records in Superior, Montana. They have done a magnificent job at making the album sound clean and crisp with charming character and flair. The artwork has been provided by Justin Lewis at Dermagraphink in North Hollywood, California. Additional effects are provided by the talented Robert Newart.

‘Rock the Chandeliers’, is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and iHeartRadio. It’s also available to DJs on djpool.com. CDs will be on sale to the general public soon. Check out this exciting release today!

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018

https://www.curtisnewart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/curtisnewartmusic/

https://www.instagram.com/curtisnewart/

‘Heartbreak Diaries’ – Ohxzy, Jack Gutteridge 

Attachment_1538923145‘Heartbreak Diaries’ is the new EP release from the phenomenally talented Ohxzy and Jack Gutteridge. The 6 track EP is a moving, dark and emotional glimpse into one person’s heartbreak diary. It is relatable and honest throughout and would appeal to many different ages and genders.

The EP opens with the track ‘Heartbreak Interlude’ which is used to set the scene beautifully as to what is to come. We hear a superbly well-played acoustic guitar, snare drum, then the vocals. Next, the gorgeous backing vocals kick in and elevate the sound. The song ends with a solo vocal which is haunting and atmospheric.

‘Skipping Pages’ features similar instrumentation with the vocals shining at the heart of the piece. The performance and delivery of the vocals are spellbinding. They sing from the heart, the rap is eloquent and there are wonderful cadences to be heard throughout. They speak of tough subjects such as depression and death but they do it in such a way where the listener can relate and doesn’t feel so alone.

‘Am I Alive’ again features a beautifully played acoustic guitar. It talks about anxiety over a thick bass kick, claps, and interweaving instrumentation. The kick gets faster at one point echoing a heartbeat until everything cuts away and it is just the delicious vocals left to digest at the end. Blissful.

‘Voices’ features an electric guitar with a jangling sound and is a different avenue for the listener to go down. We loved ‘WhothefukisDaniel’, it is possibly our favourite track on the EP. It feels beautifully aggressive, emotional and raw. There are gorgeous strings to be heard which are present throughout. They harmonise with each other and have been divinely composed to shine on their own as well as an accompaniment to the luscious vocals.

The final track ‘Allstar’ features an appearance from the artist Jude Ellen. Her vocals work well with the male vocals and compliment each other throughout. They sing in unison together in different octaves and create new textures. They have been mixed beautifully to opposite sides of the mix giving them space to shine alone as well as with one another. There is a trapp syncopated beat behind the vocals, electric guitars and the entire track works together seamlessly.

This is music that speaks to you. If you are in a dark place it makes you feel less alone. If you have previously been in a dark place, it is a reminder of that time with the benefit of knowing there is always a way out the other side again. We strongly advise you check out this magnificent EP today.

instagram: @ohxzy

snapchat: lil.wezza