An interview with EDM/Pop newcomer Anastasia Silver

An interview with EDM/Pop newcomer Anastasia Silver

24-year old EDM/POP artist Anastasia Silver is originally from Oregon but now live in Los Angeles. The multi-talented artist has been dancing, singing and writing songs for as long as she can remember. However, she didn’t really start to make Arts & Entertainment a career goal until 2020 when she released her single Up in Smoke. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of becoming an Actress, an Influencer, and a song writer. Excited to see what 2020 brings !

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

Anastasia Silver [AS]: I think my songs are unique because I can write from my heart with past experiences I have lived through with my family, my friends, and myself.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

AS: I have a lot of support from my family and friends. However, since I was young, I enjoyed all types of music and appreciated the talents of individual artists from their genres of music. Everybody from Michael Jackson, to Julia Michaels, to Halsey, to Zedd. This has shaped me into the artist I am today.

1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

AS: Since the release of Up in Smoke in 2020.

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

AS: I listen to a vast variety of music but have a passion for EDM.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

AS: Martin Garrix.

Anastasia Silver1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

AS: My breathing exercises as well as hot tea with honey and peace and quiet.

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

AS: I am blessed to be acting. I currently have a part in a series that is on Amazon Prime as well as a few paid partnerships (brands) which have labeled me as an Influencer. So between all of those I am kept very busy.

1 In Music: Success to you is…?

AS: Success to me is when a person can listen to my music and feel something. Whether they get moved by the words that they can relate to, or just smile because the beat is making them happy.

Success is touching people with and through my music.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

AS: That not everyone is going to appreciate your music. The music industry is very difficult and is a struggle. You really have to have thick skin to be in this business.

Be true to yourself and dont ever give up no matter how hard.

1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?

AS: I am currently working on releasing another single which I hope to release April/May, and start performing in 2022 as well as continuing my acting career.

1 In Music: Where do we find you music: You can find me on Instagram at Stasiavuu, Facebook, You tube and on Spotify.
https://facebook.com/stasiavuu
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=anastasia+silver

https://www.instagram.com/stasiavuu/

An interview with Award-Winning Entertainer The Ebonizer

An interview with Award-Winning Entertainer The Ebonizer

The Ebonizer is an Award-Winning Entertainer, Certified Coach and Speaker, Author and CEO of Music Evolved Records and Ebonize Me LLC. It is her fierceness and fearlessness on stage has earned her the name “The Ebonizer”. Her many musical experiences, coached vocal training, and development of audience focused stage presence has made this artist the gifted singer she is. The Ebonizer released “ Gotta Know Your Name” to great appeal from Music Industry Professionals and fans alike in 2021. In 2022, The singer will release new music to compliment her growing fanbase and presence.

1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?

The Ebonizer [TE]: My music is a reincarnation of the 90s with a new school twist. Music has the power to many great things: heal, empower, and provide an ease to the soul. That’s what I create! I create music that make people excited about music again and make them feel good! My whole brand is “Ebonized”. Ebonize means transform into greatness! When people see me perform, speak, etc. they should feel greatness within them!

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

TE: I have many influences that shaped my sound: Toni Braxton, Sade, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, and Michael Jackson. I love their music and the legacy and impact that their music still has today! I have huge support from my family, management and staff at Music Evolved Records.

1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

TE: At the age of 7, when I joined the renowned gospel group, Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

TE: I listen to all types of music from Pop, House, R&B/Soul. I have a broad range of music taste.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

TE: That’s a tough question. I feel a lot of artists are undervalued, especially independent artists. There are so many talented underground artists, that don’t get the recognition. It’s too many to name.

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

TE: I pray and meditate! It’s good to be in a calm spirit and relaxed before you hit the stage!

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

TE: I write books, plays, etc. I do motivational speaking and I LOVE TO BAKE!!!!!!

1 In Music: Success to you is…?

TE: Success to me is to be able to create wealth and a legacy based on my gifts of music and entertainment!

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

TE: Know the business side of the music industry first! It would had saved me a lot time, money and disappointment!

1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?

TE: Yes, I will be going on tour this summer!!!!! Please check out my website for details soon! I have new music coming out soon and my book, Ebonized Part 1: Self Identity will be officially released, Feb. 18th, 2022!

1 In Music: Where do we find your music?

TE: You can find my music on all streaming platforms and digital stores! Follow me on instagram @theebonizer

https://www.theebonizer.com/

 

The Popular or Pop Genre: Some singer-Songwriters and songs

The Popular or Pop Genre: Some singer-Songwriters and songs

Summary: Popular Contemporary and Easy-listening Singer Songwriters

Several singer-songwriters are renowned in popular music (20th-21st century) for having had their songs interpreted in the various music styles that define it. It is the field is often so-called ‘commercial’ music. The singer-songwriter is no-longer the sole ‘creator’. They often share part of the process with a producer. The producer tends to make the song more ‘appealing’ and/or ‘entertaining to the mass audiences. This is also part of the general standardisation that has been deemed ‘necessary’ in view of internationalisation of markets.

Different styles of production will tend to define the music style of the song which fleshes out the song. The style typically mirrors a particular age. However, the heavier the production, the more the melodies and more often the lyrics are lost in the process. This seemingly benefits a more ‘general’ feel. The aim is to alienate as few listeners as possible. The reflective aspect of the singer-songwriter genre is often lost for the benefit of the entertainment aspect which many have deemed ‘less serious’. This has led these types of singer-songwriters to often be overlooked. Only the very, very best being acknowledged by obligation. There has even been a case of re-categorisation of music styles by labels to separate ‘serious’ music from ‘commercial’ (deemed soulless). Teenager-type music split from more adult sounds. Those separations mean to reconquer any lost audience. The creation of the ‘adult contemporary’ and ‘alternative’ music style were an example of such doings.

However, facts are independent of our opinions or acknowledgement of them. In addition and fortunately, although these songs might be better known by their popular interpretation, they have increasingly been heard stripped of the frills of too much over-production, over-harmonisation and/or over-instrumentation to reconcile the listener with the song or maybe just to fit in with yet another new trend. And so the experiment to create a style that unifies and attracts the audience carries on.

Every generation or so creates their set of popular music styles no doubt inspired from previous ones and their own contexts. Popular singer-songwriters therefore span various music styles including Adult contemporary (if ever it really exists) such as Dianne Warren. The R&B genre has R. Kelly and Babyface. Hip-Hop and Rap has the likes of Eminem, Missy Elliott, Drake and MC Solaar. Craig David once dominated the Urban scene. Bob Marley arguably made Reggae popular enough to be included here.

Michael Jackson

Some other known Artists in the genre include British diva Elton John, French songstress Mylène Farmer, American icon Michael Jackson, the so-callled King of Pop. British singer-songwriter, turned songwriter Cathy Dennis is the creator of more than one successful pop songs. Her most successful creation is Toxic. American princess of Pop Britney Spears popularised the song and Yael Israeli-Tunisian music artist Naiem brought it back to its essence.

It’s easy to forget that entertainers such as songstress Mariah Carey, Queen of Pop Madonna, the voice that is Christina Aguilera, or talented musician Alicia Keys, write a lot of their own songs.

Cathy Dennis

Elton John

Mylène Farmer

Mylène Farmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typical pop songs end up having multiple interprets. The most popular interprets of their era can afford the best producer and propel a song to its highest peaks. This cements their own position at the top. But the real popularity comes when an indie band or a less ‘pop’ artist takes it on. Cathy Dennis’ Toxic is one example. Yael Naiem is by far not the only non-pop interpreter of the song. Another example is Baby One More Time. This Britney Spears’ first single topped the international charts for its fair share of time. Later, indie band Travis interpreted it. The news were almost as astonishing as when the Manic Street Preachers took on Umbrella which Rihanna had taken to a very solid and obsessive top. An additional Rihanna “song”, Don’t stop the music had the same treatment. It is a fact that many consider it a negative and argue that Jamie Cullum’s jazz is ‘pop Jazz’ that brings the complex sound to the masses. However, his interpretation of the song is still a great one in this writer’s opinion. One way or other other, covers allow the audience to see the different faces of a song, independently from its label. This allows pop songs to be seen outside their commercial robes, for what they truly are.

first published 11th of November 2013 on Singer Songwriters Worldwide at worldsingersongwriters.com

Kev Gray and The Gravy Train release Time to Live Again

Kev Gray and The Gravy Train release Time to Live Again

“Time to Live Again” – Released July 14, 2021 on all major streaming platforms

https://songwhip.com/kevgrayandthegravytrain/time-to-live-again

GENRE: Pop, Funk, Funk Rock, Dance Pop, Singer-Songwriter

MOOD: Happy, Sexy

Time To Live Again – The track

Written on a beach in Thailand during lockdown, Time To Live Again is a post-pandemic feel good anthem to get people living and loving again. An 80s inspired pop funk tune to kick in the doors of Covid boredom and turn on your inner light.  Recorded during the pandemic over the internet in 6 countries, feat. on the drums Grammy winner John “JR“ Robinson.

The song features a world-wide team of top notch musicians, who were forced to stop playing live during the COVID pandemic in America, Brazil, UK, Thailand, Italy, and Germany. They found together and recorded, mixed and mastered online In a world of separation. Our message is MUSIC UNITES US.  Music is UNSTOPPABLE.

On the drums, the song features Grammy Winner John “JR“ Robinson, an American drummer and session musician who has been called “one of the most recorded drummers in history”. He is especially known for his work with producer Quincy Jones, including Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Off the Wall album and the charity single “We Are the World”. John has played drums with more than 50 Grammy winners, including Lionel Richie, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Madonna, Seal, Rod Stewart, Whitney Housing, Stevie Winwood, Chaka Khan etc.  On the bass, he is supported by the German funk bass guru Oliver “JABBA“ Frerichmann. Giacomo Pasquali from Italy plays the On the Funk guitar.  A groovy rhythm dream team.


Official Youtube video for Time To Live Again – https://youtu.be/iXBaTZtoMmE

A progressive house dance version of the song will be launched in August for the Ibiza/Miami beach club scene.

Band Bio

Kev Gray and The Gravy TrainKev Gray and The Gravy Train are an award-winning, multi-genre band based out of England, America and Japan – depending on the weather. Based around the lyrical songwriting of lead singer, Kev Gray, their music is a melting pot of lush melodies from acoustic lounge, folk gospel, bossa, funk, original blues and blue-eyed jazz. A fusion of traditional genres, resulting in an antidote to modern conformity. Soulful vocal textures add a nice polish to contemporary lyrical content that mirror everyday themes – cold feet at the altar, the rat race, having children, escaping responsibility, swingers parties, the inability to grow up. The band’s mission is unashamedly that of bringing music back to the listener.

During the Covid lockdown, Kev embraced the opportunity to reinvent himself as a recording artist and is finalizing a new lockdown-inspired album – Time To Live Again – using fellow musicians from over 30 countries recorded and arranged online by Thomas Hilse.  Singles will build up to the album release during 2021. The new album will show an artist with the rare ability to transcend difficult conditions and creating truly moving music perfectly suited to the chaotic yet incredible times we are living in.

Band Contact Info and Social Media Links

Email: info@hemlockmusic.com

BAND WEBSITE: https://kevgrayandthegravytrain.com/

SPOTIFY ;https://open.spotify.com/artist/5EaYHG0JWVJI6P4Uva1H4i

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/KevGrayandTheGravyTrain

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/kevgraymusic

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kev_Gray_%26_The_Gravy_Train

Time To Live Again Musicians:

  • Lead Vocals – Kev Gray
  • Synths – Thomas Hilse
  • Electric Guitar – Giacomo Pasquali
  • Bass – Oliver Frerichmann
  • Drums – John Robinson
  • Percussion – Larry Salzman
  • Backing Vocals –Kev Gray & Sanna Hartfield
  • Mixed and Mastered by Paulo Germano at PG Audio, Brazil
  • Arranged and Produced by Thomas Hilse

Oliver JABBA Frerichmann - Bass

Oliver JABBA Frerichmann – Bass

John JR Robinson in his studio - Drums

John JR Robinson in his studio – Drums

Larry Salzman - Percussions

Larry Salzman – Percussions

Thomas Hilse – Keys & Producer

Thomas Hilse – Keys & Producer

Giacomo Pasquali - Guitars

Giacomo Pasquali – Guitars

Sanna Hartfield – Backing Vocals

Sanna Hartfield – Backing Vocals

Time To Live Again – Lyrics (reprinted by permission of the band lead)

(Kev Gray/Thomas Hilse)

Somebody told me
I was so lonely
I can’t disagree

People who know me
Tell me it’s wrong
That I should be alone

Look at me now
Look at me now
But still I believe
Lost in the dark
Waiting too long
Time for me to be free

But it’s our time now
I see you’re beautiful
And the stars will shine
Time to live again

Somebody told me
You were so lonely
This I can’t believe

People who know you
Tell me it’s wrong
For you to be alone

Look at me now
Look at me now
I see you’re beautiful

Lost in the Dark
Waitin’ too long
Time for you to be free

But it’s our time now
Time to love again
And the stars will shine
Till the morning light

Kick in the doors
Turn off the light
Time to live again
Lost in the dark
Waitin’ too long
Time to live again

Twenty-four days
Locked in a cage
Heart full of pain
Barrel of rage
Went to the river
Washed my hands
Washed away the sins
Of that other man

But it’s our time now
Time to love again
And the stars will shine
Till the morning light
Kick in the doors

Turn off the light
I see you’re beautiful
Lost in the Dark
Waitin’ too long
Time to live again

And it’s our time now
And the Stars will shine
Till the Morning light
And the Stars will shine
Till the morning light

Kick in the doors
Turn off the light
Time to Live Again

An interview with Kev Gray and The Gravy Train

An interview with Kev Gray and The Gravy Train

Kev Gray in the studio - Kev Gray and The Gravy Train

About Kev Gray and The Gravy Train:

“My Dad asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I said, ‘A musician”. He said, ‘Well, you can’t do both’.”

Kev Gray and The Gravy Train are an award-winning, multi-genre band based out of England, America and Japan – depending on the weather. Based around the lyrical songwriting of lead singer, Kev Gray, their music is a melting pot of lush melodies from acoustic lounge, folk gospel, bossa, funk, original blues and blue-eyed jazz. A fusion of traditional genres, resulting in an antidote to modern conformity. Soulful vocal textures add a nice polish to contemporary lyrical content that mirror everyday themes – cold feet at the altar, the rat race, having children, escaping responsibility, swingers parties, the inability to grow up. The band’s mission is unashamedly that of bringing music back to the listener.

During the Covid lockdown, Kev embraced the opportunity to reinvent himself as a recording artist and is finalizing a new lockdown-inspired album – Time To Live Again – using fellow musicians from over 30 countries recorded and arranged online by Thomas Hilse.  Singles will build up to the album release during 2021. The new album will show an artist with the rare ability to transcend difficult conditions and creating truly moving music perfectly suited to the chaotic yet incredible times we are living in.

Interview with Kev Gray – Jul 2021

Q1: Can you please tell our readers your real name as well as your stage name?

Kev Gray [KG]: Our stage name is Kev Gray and The Gravy Train, so my real name is not Gravy Train. It is Kevin Alfred Gray. I was named after the Irish Saint Kevin (Caoimhín) who my dear mother prayed to during the Caesarian section. I was 3 pounds heavy, 6 weeks early, and stuck in a box for a month – and have been escaping its return ever since.

Q2. Where are you from and Where are you based?

KG: I am a Geordie, that is to say, I am from Newcastle, England. But I live in Japan 6 months of the year and England and the US the rest of the time, touring and promoting my songs. Took me a while to set up but finally got the balance I need. Stuck in Japan due to Covid, this winter I was playing gigs in the Winter Olympic resort of Hakuba, for the season – snowboarding the hangovers away.  Over half the hotel got Covid and I was quarantined, so we built an igloo on the hotel roof and live-streamed a gig from inside.  The Music Igloo & Bar cheered people up all over the world at that dark time, so planning a giant one next time. Without knowledge or training, they are actually really hard to construct, and need lots of constant love and attention, just like everyone else.

Q3. At what age did you start making music?

KG: I got into it late, not until my 30s – the last cherry blossom.  I wrote a few songs for wedding presents as I was skint. People liked them and I was encouraged to take it more seriously. Starting playing gigs, despite being really shy at first, but got sponsorship after a producer saw me playing in a total dive. I had to give up my journo career, which, looking back was a good thing as it was as garbage as I was. So it’s all been worth it. If you keep going along your chosen path, you will get where you wanna go. And even if your Shangri-La is not what you imagined, it’s as much about the journey than the destination. A meme we have seen a million times, but it’s true if you really live that road.

Q4.  What genre would you consider yourself?

KG: This is a toughie. We are a multi-genre band, which is both a blessing and a curse. The general theme of the music is to write about modern stories in classic vintage genres from Funk, Jazz, Blues, Gospel to Bossa-Nova and Pop. Most songs are based on people I meet and stories I hear or experience. Humans are amazing – an endless source of inspiration, amazement, and utter despair.

I also started doing Deep House with a Russian DJ in Thailand last year, too. He just sends the track and I bang out the melody and lyrics. I think anyone can crossover if they get the chance. It is all a total love of music.

Q5. If you were given a chance, which Artist would you love to perform with?

KG:

Dead – Hank Williams – I could have learned a lot drinking and singing with him. A lyrical genius and extremely funny.

Alive – Paul McCartney. The more I know about him, the more I see what a creative genius he was. Apart from all the classic tunes, he was an incredible singer of both power and delicate beauty. He wrote masterful story-telling lyrics like Eleanor Rigby; plays every instrument on his albums; wrote a guitar classic in Blackbird. Invented MTV Unplugged back in 1969 with Let It Be album, and wrote a Symphony with no training. A total natural talent and a fountain of music. And he is still playing 3-hour gigs at 77. So yeah I would like to hang out with a 77 year-old Scouser – when you still got it, you still got it. What a champ.

Time to live again - Single Cover - Kev Gray and The Gravy Train

Q6. Tell us more about your latest track or Video (what is it all about) and please explain the concept or message.

KG: It was just released and it’s called “Time to Live Again”, hitting hopefully the right sweet spot in the summer once the vaccinations have rescued the art of live-playing musicians. The song was written on a beach in Thailand during lockdown, a post-pandemic feel good anthem to get people living and loving again.

It features a global team of top notch musicians, recorded, mixed and mastered online during the COVID pandemic in America, Brazil, UK, Thailand, Italy, and Germany.

We are especially very proud that the song features Grammy Winner John “JR“ Robinson, an American drummer and session musician who has been called “one of the most recorded drummers in history”. He is especially known for his work with producer Quincy Jones, including Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Off the Wall album and the charity single “We Are the World”. John has played drums with more than 50 Grammy winners, including Lionel Richie, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Madonna.  On the bass, he is supported by the German funk bass guru Oliver “JABBA“ Frerichmann.  A groovy dream team.

We decided to release the song on July 14, the day the Frenchies liberated us from our chains, and blessed us with a new era. Hopefully post-lockdown will be as auspicious.

Or as the poet and mad genius, William Blake, would say it: Bliss Was It in That Dawn to Be Alive

In a world of separation hopefully behind us, our message is

MUSIC UNITES US.  Music really is the ANTIDOTE – IT’S TIME TO LIVE AGAIN.

Contact Info & Social Media Links: Email: info@hemlockmusic.com

WEBSITE https://kevgrayandthegravytrain.com/

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/artist/5EaYHG0JWVJI6P4Uva1H4i

YOUTUBE https://youtube.com/c/KevGrayandTheGravyTrain

FACEBOOK https://facebook.com/kevgraymusic

WIKIPEDIA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kev_Gray_%26_The_Gravy_Train