Sophie Dorsten on her stunning new single and hopes for what ‘Tomorrow’ may bring

Written by: Charlotte Bredael

18 year old singer-songwriter Sophie Dorsten has been performing around the Phoenix area and beyond since she was just 9 years old, turning heads with her uniquely stunning voice that is powerful beyond her years. Once she turned 13, she began releasing singles and has since worked with top producers to release her new single ‘Tomorrow’, which features vulnerable lyrics exploring the uncertain and exciting times that await beyond her recent graduation.

With a clear drive and passion for music, Sophie has built her career from the ground up, letting nothing get in the way of pursing her dream. To find out more about her journey and hopes for the future, I sat down with Sophie to chat all things music, writing and more which you can read all about below.

Let’s start at the beginning, I’d love to learn more about you and your musical journey. What inspired you to start making music and who have been your biggest influences?

My name is Sophie and I’m an 18 year old from Phoenix, Arizona. I have been performing around the valley here since I was 9. In the beginning I was in a band with my brothers called “Sophie and the Boyz” in which I sang and played bass guitar. After several years the band broke up and I picked up the acoustic guitar and taught myself as I started writing songs. Some of my biggest influences back then were Adele, James Bay, and Vance Joy.

Your new single ‘Tomorrow’ is absolutely stunning, what inspired you to write the track and what was the recording process like for you?

I wrote my single “Tomorrow” at the beginning of my senior year when I realised that I would be graduating soon and was overwhelmed at what would happen after high school. It was released in May of 2020 and seems to be relevant in a different way right now with the unknown of what tomorrow brings in this crazy time. I went to Nashville to record it with Jordan Lake at Sound Kitchen Studios – it was an awesome experience. My older brother recorded electric guitar on it with me. I walked in to the studio and my producer had it all planned out with the other musicians; we recorded it in a couple of takes. I’ve recorded several EPs and singles since I was 13 and this one song was the coolest experience so far.

Many songwriters have a specific set up/mindset that they like to be in in order to be their best creative self. When do you find that inspiration for a track comes to you and do you have a special place or mood that you prefer to be in while writing?

I prefer to write alone and imagine myself in a beautiful place; I need calmness to be in the right mindset.

What is your favourite song to cover and why?

My favourite cover to sing is “Fireworks” by First Aid Kit. I love the dynamics of it; I tend to make covers a little bit of my own when I perform them.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?

I would love to collaborate with Billie Eilish because I like her songwriting and the meanings behind her songs.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects that you’ve been working on recently?

Currently I’m working on a music video for my song “Tomorrow.” My original plans for the video were changed with Covid-19 so I am creating it myself now. I am also writing several songs right now and hope to record them soon.

What is your ultimate goal for your music career within the next 10 years?

My career goal is to go all the way with my music; whatever that may mean these days. I would love to share my songs with the world.

Do you have any recommendations for other up-and-coming artists that you think we should all be listening to?

A local band I enjoy and would recommend checking out is Jane N The Jungle.

You can listen to Sophie’s beautiful new single ‘Tomorrow’ on Spotify below as well as her many previously released tracks that date back to 2016. Make sure to follow her on social media to be the first to be notified when her music video is released and to stay in the loop with upcoming projects, I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from Sophie!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiedorstenmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SophieDorsten

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sophiedorstenmusic/

Meet the teens set to take the UK indie scene by storm

Written by: Charlotte Bredael

Revivalry are the female fronted indie-rock group planning to take over the UK music scene. With an average age of just 13, these Cleethorpes based teens have already landed impressive gig and festival performance opportunities since they formed in 2019, all while still in school.

I sat down with Connie, Ben and Lewis who make up Revivalry to discover more about this breakthrough band and how they plan to take the industry by storm, which you can read all about below.

Let’s start at the very beginning, how do you all know each other and what inspired you to come together as a band?

We all go to the same school but hardly knew each other before. Ben (guitar) and Lewis (drums) got together through mutual friends and started jamming. They then saw Connie perform in a school concert so when they needed vocals they knew who to ask! Revivalry took shape.

You have an effortlessly cool indie rock sound, who are your main inspirations?

We all have our own taste but in general : Arctic Monkeys, Green Day, Stereophonics, Black Sabbath, Slaves, The Cranberries.

You said that your band formed in late 2019 and you were supposed to be performing at Kendal Calling last weekend. It seems you’ve managed to land some impressive performance opportunities very early on in your journey as a band, what’s your secret?

We work very hard each week to include all of our ideas to make great songs. It’s helpful to start with small gigs and work your way up because you never know who is watching. Which is a great lesson – we were offered Kendal Calling because we were playing a gig at the Fringe of an arts festival. Unbeknown to us the founder of Kendal walked passed, stopped for a listen and liked what he heard. The next day we got the offer – Always play your best!

Despite your mature sound, have you faced any barriers with getting your music out there or booking gigs because of how young you are?

On a couple of occasions venues have turned us down due to our age but most have been fine. Sometimes it even helps that we have a “cute factor”. At other times people hear us first and then are shocked when they see us at how young we are.

If each of you could collaborate with any artist, who would you pick and why?

Connie: Arctic Monkeys because they diversify a lot but retain their authentic sounds.

Ben: Metallica as their energy and musicianship is amazing.

Lewis: Slaves due to their onstage presence which is spellbinding

Do you have any recommendations for other up-and-coming artists that we should all be listening to?

Connie (Miles) has a solo project which has a very different sound to Revivalry and is definitely worth checking out. Besides that it’s difficult to pick one or two out as we have had so much love and support from so many bands. The new UK scene is buzzing right now so we recommend listening to Graeme Booth on Radio West Fife and Shiner Sam on Radio Free Matlock. All of which support us and lots of other young artists.

You can check out Revivalry’s addictively gritty indie-rock discography on Spotify below and make sure to give them a follow on social media as this definitely isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from these Cleethorpes rockers.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/revivalryband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/revivalryband

Instagram: https://instagram.com/revivalryband

Upcoming artist Anya Gupta on the rise of TikTok, quarantine creations and the importance of LGBTQ+ music

Written by: Charlotte Bredael

Upcoming singer-songwriter Anya Gupta’s music features stunning, gentle vocals, relatable lyrics and catchy hooks giving her tracks an addictive quality comparable to artists like Mal Blum, Girl In Red and Phoebe Bridgers.

She’s one of the many young artists who have utilised their time during quarantine to focus solely on music, away from the distractions of school and all else life throws their way. Having recently experienced a spike in Spotify streams after gaining popularity on TikTok, Anya has found a community of like-minded people who relate to her music and hopes that her tracks can become a safe-haven for the LGBTQ+ community. She is now learning how to produce her own tracks in anticipation for her latest single ‘Way To Love’ that she’s planning to release in September.

I sat down with Anya to discuss all things music, social media and inspiration. With a clear passion for what she does, Anya’s confidence and interesting outlook lead to an insightful look into what it’s like to be a young person entering the industry, which you can read all about below.

Let’s start at the very beginning, what originally inspired you to start making music and who have been your biggest influences.

That would probably be Twenty One Pilots for me, I started listening to their music when I was in middle school, like 7th grade. I used to write a lot of poetry back then and I realised that a lot of their songs are like if you were to mash up six-seven poems together and create a song, so the first song I created was kind of like that. I never ended up releasing it but that’s what started my little music career. And then there were artists like Dodie, I’d watched a lot of her videos and I really liked how she would write songs about mental health, sexuality and life experiences, so I started writing songs about the things I saw and experienced. 

I’d love to know more about you in general, are you aiming to pursue music as a full time career and what else do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m hoping to pursue music as a full time career, I know the music industry is quite brutal and it’s a lot about talent but it’s also about luck, if I do get the chance to pursue music as a full time career I’m definitely going to. I spend a lot of my free time writing and producing around being at school but since we’ve been in quarantine I’ve been learning how to mix, master and create songs, as well as how to properly record things to make it sound good. I went into quarantine with six unfinished songs and I was able finish them all by having the time to use my creative process for something good.

You have an impressive following on TikTok which seems to be a very popular platform for up and coming musicians at the moment. Do you feel that having easy access to wider audience has and will continue to benefit you in your musical journey?

Definitely, I started using TikTok during quarantine and my first video got around 700 views, I’ve never had that many on YouTube or Instagram. When I started I had 200 monthly listeners on Spotify and now I have over 4000 so it’s definitely helping a lot. I got 200K on a video that I didn’t expect to do well at all and I gained around 3000 followers so it’s really helping me and I’m definitely going to continue to use it.

What is your favourite song of yours to perform and your favourite song to cover, and why?

My song ‘Heart Of Gold’ was the one that a lot of people started listening to, mostly because it’s really upbeat and one of my happier songs. It’s the most fun to play because it’s a very simple song, it only consists of four chords and every time I get to perform it I’m able to jump around without messing up any of the guitar. My favourite songs to cover are honestly anything by Billie Eilish but I cover a lot of different songs that I love.

It’s great to see a smaller LGBTQ+ musician beginning to gain recognition, as well as LGBTQ+ relationships slowly becoming normalised in music. Do you feel that the industry has progressed over the past few years when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation and how do you aim to use your music to express your own identity?

Representation is definitely growing because now there are artists like Girl In Red and King princess who are specific to helping the women love women community and normalising LGBTQ+ relationships and I love that. There’s also Dodie who is openly bisexual and writes about men and women, she’s happy with it and it’s music that is relatable to her audience. I’m hoping to do the same thing, being open with the fact that it’s okay to be figuring things out. A lot of the songs that I’m about to release are about just figuring out who you are and I think a lot of people can relate to that. Maybe they’re scared of how their family are going to feel or they don’t understand themselves so my goal is to be that reassurance that it’s okay to figure it out and to create music that people can relate back to if they feel a little lost.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?

I’ve been listening to Dodie for like six years so I think she would be really cool to collaborate with, I relate to her music a lot. Also Billie Eilish, I feel like every single song she creates is so unique and it’s always a different sound. She’s one of the biggest artists in the world right now but I started listening to her when she released her first song ‘Ocean Eyes’ so that would be really cool.

Do you have any exciting projects that you’ve been working on recently?

Before quarantine there was one song called ‘Way To Love’ that I was really struggling to write and I think it took me like 2 days to figure it all out, I’m hoping to release it around September time. I’m very excited about it, I think it’s going to be another ‘Heart Of Gold’ and that people will really be able to relate to it. It definitely shows how confident I’ve grown in my sexuality, I’ve been reluctant to release music that has she/her pronouns before and even though they’re not in the song, it’s definitely more evident and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out.

You said it took you two days to figure out the logistics of the song, do you have a specific place or mindset that you like to be in to get into that creative zone?

I don’t have a specific place, it depends on how I’m feeling. There’s this bench near where I live that’s shaded by a tree so I’ll take my guitar there and I’ll write there. Sometimes you just need different scenery but since we were in quarantine I mainly just do it in my room and I get most of my inspiration at night so it’s normally like 3am. Sometimes I’ll use my diary entries to see how I was feeling and then I’ll find a way to articulate it into lyrics. I have this cute little yellow journal that’s like my lucky journal so I’ll write in that or I’ll use voice memos if I think of something cool so I can just record it and then come back to it later.

What is your ultimate dream goal for your music career within the next 10 years?

I want to play more shows, I’ve definitely gained the confidence to do that but my ultimate goal is just to make a career out of doing what I love to do and to inspire other people to be confident in themselves. I reached out to an artist for advice recently and he kept saying ‘make stuff that makes you feel things’, it’s such a simple phrase but it shows that if you make music that’s authentic and true to yourself, there’s always going to be someone else who will relate to it. I just want to make some people happy and I think I’m doing that at the moment so I want to gain a bigger audience so I can continue to do that for more people.

You can find all of Anya’s previous tracks on Spotify and Apple Music via the links below and make sure to give her a follow on social media to be the first to know when her new single ‘Way To Love’ is released. We can guarantee this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from her.

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/anya-gupta/1434780958

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj-7zRKSs8jnfaVRmJX9L0Q

Instagram: @anya4204

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@anyagmusic?source=h5_m (@anyagmusic) 

How Gavin Luke Produced ‘In Search of Home’

In 2010, songwriter Gavin Luke decided to divide his time between composing his own pieces and composing music for visual media. This was followed by a storm of success online, which saw him gain over 25 million plays on Spotify, and several billion views on YouTube.

Gavin grew up with musical parents and grandparents, so had a keen interest in piano from an early age. The art of creating music became more than a passion, as he went on to study music synthesis and film scoring at the prestigious Berklee College of music.

His latest release, ‘In Search of Home’, was another of Gavin’s attempts at perfection. So eager to achieve the perfect timbre and effect for the song, Gavin customized his piano, utilizing a thinner piece of felt between the hammers and the strings for a truly unique effect. Creating a muted and intimate sound, the pianist described it as: “reflecting a longing or a sense of wanting to belong, to feel loved, or to feel at peace”.

Follow Gavin Luke:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gavinlukemusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Gavinlukemusic/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/gavin-luke

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2bqAlaRiT91dCQ7KMGnP8i/about

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmGwcys2eGLToWk-UCZ_0xg

Wang Chung Revisit Your Favourite 80s Hit ‘Dance Hall Days’ With New Orchestral Version

Conquering the UK, US and global charts in the 80s, Wang Chung have released their orchestral version of hit ‘Dance Hall Days’ – a track that undoubtedly contributed to the shaping of a decade.

Having become a staple of movie, TV, game soundtracks and commercials over the years, their name has almost uniquely passed into popular culture. The line “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” from their mega-hit Everybody Have Fun Tonight has developed a life of its own, prompting the band to appeal to their fans around the world to have it officially recognised in dictionaries as a verb.

Returning in the form of their key protagonists Jack Hues and Nick Feldman, the band have taken ‘Dance Hall Days – Orchestral Version’ from their forthcoming album Orchesography – an orchestra-boosted version of their best-known tracks, including both ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’ and ‘Let’s Go’. 

Welcoming their return will not only be their legion of fans but also a new audience that would have heard their songs on popular cultures such as The Breakfast Club, Sex and The City, Breaking Bad, Grand Theft Auto: Theft City, Walking Dead and the soundtrack to legendary William Friedkin’s ‘To Live & Die in LA’. 

Following their reform in 2010, their latest release has set an exciting precedent for the new versions of nostalgic tracks we all know and love.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WangChungMusic

Website: https://www.wangchung.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/august-day-records/sets/wang-chung-dance-hall-days-2019-orchestral-version/s-ASd7r

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6LSZttltZM

The Impersonators Bring Back Vintage-Pop with True Flair

Back with their forthcoming single ‘Sad Cafe’ out on March 22nd, The Impersonators are a two man project comprising of Tom Tikka and Antti Autio (lyricist) that flawlessly provide the depth of a full band. A treat for the fans of R.E.M, The Go-Betweens and Matthew Sweet, their previous releases ‘Broken Snow’ and ‘Burning Blue’ offer an abundance of sonic textures and ‘vintage’ pop rock sounds and their forthcoming track looks to be their best release yet.

Having grown in the States and being previously signed to Sony/BMG with Carmen Gray, one of Finland’s biggest-ever rock bands, Tom Tikka injects Finnish elements into his sound. ‘Burning Blue’ elicits this fusion in the intro’s accordion, with a tune that is essentially Scandinavian. Their forthcoming track ‘Sad Cafe’ also follows suit with the chorus melody. When writing the melody Tom drew influence from classic “schlager” tunes – tunes that were labelled by Benny Anderson of ABBA as “Pan European music”.

The inspiration behind ‘Sad Cafe’ was fueled by the universal hardships of relationships and the illusions we come under when ‘in love’ and The Impersonators accompany this perfectly with their trademark alt-pop melodies, honing in on the late 70’s sound of The Eagles – a track to watch for all cross-generation music lovers!

 Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-impersonators  

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxEq8p5waRWe1Gp7DBAzCg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImpersonatorsBand/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1mpersonators 

Hypnotherapist and Folk Music Innovator Elyssa Vulpes Promotes Self-Reflection and Spiritual Awareness in her Debut Album ‘Holding On, Letting Go’

Folk singer-songwriter Elyssa Vulpes releases her debut album ‘Holding On, Letting Go’ – an inspirational collective with lead tracks like Front Line and Charlene that exhibit genre cross-over and combines acoustic guitar and upbeat folk melodies with elements of indie-pop and Americana resulting in a modern take on traditional folk.

Inspired by the shamanic concepts of reaching altered states of consciousness, Elyssa searched for a modern equivalent – leading to her occupation as a professional hypnotherapist. The folk artist’s concentration on the psychology of self healing radiates through her music and allows a spiritual depth to her sound that isn’t commonly found.

Often categorised as a folk artist, Elyssa concentrates more on the lyrical content of the songs and enforces that she wants to be free to fit the music to the message rather than try and squeeze it into a marketable genre box. Her aim to write songs that speak to the soul and touch people in a non-superficial way is led by her emphasis on dealing with negative and uncomfortable emotions and her method of avoiding the notion that we must repress these emotions and instead promoting expression of these emotions through art, coupling this with reflection.

Drawing from her Italian roots with her love for melody and storytelling but also celebrating the Celtic folk influences of her new home in Edinburgh, Elyssa’s music evokes cultural variances that make her sound unique and offer the listener a feeling of empowerment, accompanied with the contentment that folk music often elicits.

Click on the links below to listen more:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/elyssa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elyssavulpes

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyFN-8QTsLgu38Bk71kd0iw

Website: https://www.elyssavulpes.com/

 

 

14 year-old pop starlet Hitha talks about her latest single ‘Special’ and the challenges of self-doubt that young people face

After the success of her debut single Standing Up With Pride, Hitha has an aim to give young people a voice with her latest single Special. The song is an original take on modern Western pop whereby Hitha draws on her Indian heritage by lacing the pureness of the flute through the rich sound of the saxophone and rhythmic pop beats.

Although given the ballad’s title you might think this is strictly a boyfriend/girlfriend message it is in fact to dedicate to anyone special in your life, from friends to relatives to those who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve – a tribute of recognition to anyone of any age.

Hitha hopes to inspire young teens and to encourage older generations to take time to listen to them and to understand that their thoughts and feelings are just as important – a topical subject for the nation currently. Her latest single release enforces this message as she says that the song is one that many people can relate to – not just teenagers like herself – because it touches on themes that are true for all ages. With young artists like Shawn Mendes, Madison Beer and Billie Eilish taking the pop scene by storm, Hitha joins them in the representation that young artists have the capability to inspire and achieve and that age is just a number.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/0M4zbLWx3Q4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hitha2018/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByHitha

 

 

The Wit and Wisdom of George Swan

This post was originally featured on Roughly Recommended blog.

We’re not sure what’s more intriguing about George Swan: that his press release tells us he was ‘born in an unspecified swamp and raised by alligators’ or that his musical pseudonym is Big Dik Blak. Either way, we figured his lyrics might offer a hot take or two on those big life-shaped obstacles we’ve all encountered at some point or another. Without further ado, here’s an introduction to George Swan via some questionably advice.

George Swan – Claudette

He started out wanting to rule the world
He found out it was a little too large
So he thought, let’s just rule a really small part of it
Maybe start with this garage

What we learned: Donald Trump should’ve just pottered around in his garage.

George Swan – Connector’s In Your Mind

She’s a highway girl 
She’s a highway muffin inside

What we learned: You really don’t know what’s going on inside a woman.

George Swan – Danger Zone

I got the blues so bad
My baby gone and left me for good
She took all of my money
Just like I knew she would

What we learned: Trust your instincts- women can be golddiggers.

George Swan – I’ve Got A Boyfriend

I’m Bruce’s wife she said to me
Nice to meet you
As she walked past it occurred to me
I don’t know any Bruces!

What we learned: Don’t believe everything they tell you. No-one is called Bruce anymore.

George Swan – Jellyfish

You said you got stung by one once before
The first time you saw one by the shore
The burn was so bad it made you cry
The vinegar helped, it made you smell like a cute little French Fry

What we learned: vinegar is an antidote for jellyfish stings and also a pheromone to some men (esp. George Swan).

George Swan – Morgue in E Minor

And as I stand there laughing molars falling from my mouth
They somehow sense my displeasure

What we learned: Dentists won’t be sympathetic if you haven’t looked after those pearly whites.

George Swan – No Past

Walk softly to the car
Pull it out of gear
It rolls slowly down the hill 
I start it 200 yards away

What we learned: It’s important to put the handbrake on when you hill park.

George Swan – Sunset on Double Time

Where the river meets the ocean,
Where the ocean meets the sky
Where the fish journey ten thousand miles,
Then return to die, then return to die

What we learned: behind every Instagrammed sunset, there’s a lethal fish pilgrimage.

George Swan – Butterfly

I’m very tired, kinda sleepy
Oh yeah, you know what I’m talkin about
I need to drink about 10 cups of coffee just to wake up
So I can get back to you girl
So we making love all night long

What we learned: 10 cups of coffee is the optimum amount for love making.

Follow George Swan:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-571409490

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7brDLTnkrW9zCLZhVOQ9Je

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5ewTTm_tCTLfTjBzFHDw

Bandcamp: https://bigdikblak.bandcamp.com/music

Website: www.bigdikblak.com             

We Talk To Brazilian Jazz Fusion Pianist Ricardo Bacelar Just In Time For The Release Of His Brand New Album ‘Sebastiana’

 

 

Multi-instrumentalist Ricardo Bacelar has recently released his brand new album ‘Sebastiana’, a collection of sounds influenced by different musicians, and instruments. However, the main theme is seemingly Brazilian, which suits, as leading man Ricardo is from Fortaleza in Brazil.

We got the chance talk to Ricardo about the life he has lived leading up to this time, and how he feels about where he is now:

Q: At what age did you start to really take music seriously, When did you know that’s what you wanted to do? 

A: The piano has always been very present in my life since childhood. My father plays the piano and used to sit me on his lap to play with him since I was a baby. I started studying music at the age of 5 and after studying harmony, ‘still an adolescent’, I began to accompany some Brazilian singers. The music began to take up a lot of space in my life and I was gradually entering the world of recording studios and concerts.

Q: What has inspired you most throughout your career? 

A: Keith Jarret, who opened my mind to wide improvisation, a specific training that promotes its creativity. The second one is Chick Corea, which mixes various colours and influences, creating an environment with a lot of personality. The last one is the Brazilian Egberto Gismonti.

Q: Over the years, what has proven to be difficult or challenging?

A: I understand that coherence and discourse are important pillars. I understand that the musician should not remain in a comfortable zone. They need to push their boundaries, recycle, advance in their studies, and try to record discs that have pre-set concepts that bring together elements that add value to their music.

Q: And finally, as a musician, what is your definition of success?

A: Success is being able to touch what you like and have a faithful audience. In fact, success is not what you do, but what you did.

 

Spotify: http://bit.ly/Sebastiana-Spotify

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ricbacelar/videos

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ricbacelar

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ricardo_bacelar

Website: http://bit.ly/RicardoBacelar-Sebastiana-en