Cowboy Hat

DSC_40941 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I got into music when my aunt gave me an old white gloss painted semi acoustic when I was about 14. It was a really bad guitar but I got to grips with it and learned a few chords. First album I bought was Electric Warrior by T Rex and I started getting serious when I bought Machine Head by Deep Purple and started slowing down the tracks, on a brand new radiogram that my parents had just bought and learning the guitar solos.  I also started learning things Brighton Rock by Queen. By then I was playing with a 10p piece on a Gibson Les Paul that I bought for about £250. I wish I still had it!

 

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

As many people know I have had two music careers. The first from 14 to 23, the second from 2011 to now. I didn’t play in-between for thirty years.

At the age of 19 I had a record deal and i guess my music was influenced by Elvis Costello and Squeeze. The deal was with a company called Genetic Records, but they folded six months later so I carved out a career as an assistant engineer in recording studios. At the age of 23 I was working as an assistant engineer in the West Indies for Air Studios Monserrat. I was working on an Elton John album and I crashed a car on a day off. I drove the car off the edge of a steep slope and ended up upside down in a mango tree. I was bleeding to death but was rescued by an off duty cop who saw the headlights of the car in the tree as he drove past. I nearly died but worse still!! ….I had badly damaged my left hand. I had severed all the tendons and had to have many operations back in the UK to put in false tendons. Unfortunately it was a new procedure and the tendons they fitted were too short leaving my hand like a paddle. It wasn’t until I bought a Harley Davidson and used its heavy clutch lever for 14 years that I realised the bike had brought the hand back to life. So yeah,  I went thirty years without playing. I started again in May 2011 and started the Cowboy Hat project just two years ago in 2011.

In those 30 years, I didn’t listen to much music. I wasn’t interested. But as soon as I started playing again I did a lot of catching up. But the music I have listened to in the last three years has been mostly contemporary stuff. Main influence? Jack White, Jack White, Jack White. I just find whatever he is doing either with the White Stripes, Dead Weather, Raconteurs or solo, it’s all interesting. He is the saviour of Rock as Esquire magazine once labelled him. Others, well maybe Ron Sexsmith and The Rival Sons.

 

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

Again two careers 14 to 23 ……….and then 2011 to 2014 the Cowboy Hat phase. So musically that makes me only 26!

 

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

I have a new band. We’ve just started playing together. We should be ready to play in a couple of weeks and we will be doing the Camden, Soho originals circuit soon. We’re looking forward to doing a lot of gigs in 2014. Watch the gig listings for more info.

 

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

The release of the debut album June 3 A History of the American West and Other Stories. After what I’ve been through it is a monumental effort and result. I am really proud of the album and I have two more albums worth of equally strong material that I am ready toy release. I want to get to that 5 album landmark. I think that’s the point as an artist where you really know what you’re doing. The music is focussed and mature.

 

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

We have a website www.cowboyhat.tv and there links below:

http://www.cowboyhat.tv

https://www.facebook.com/cowboyhatmusic

http://www.reverbnation.com/cowboyhatandthatfuzzboxvoodoo

https://www.youtube.com/CowboyHatMusic

https://soundcloud.com/cowboyhatmusic/sets/the-history-of-the-american-west

Cowboy Hat and That Fuzzbox Voodoo

07979 802093

Alyssa English

Alyssa English Studio Shoot By Harry Pseftoudis - 01.10.20131 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

At the age of three my parents made the decision to start me in a program that introduced music to young children. I took to it really well, and from that point on I was always working on expanding my musical knowledge. I joined my church’s children’s choir,  and after my first Sunday performance with them realized myself how much I loved to sing.

My parents are the ones who inspired me, but music wise would be an artist named India.Arie. I find her music uplifting and inspiring, and reminded myself as a young woman, in a big city, that theres a lot more to life than expensive clothes clothes, and trying to fit in. Her positive message helped feed my courage to keep pursuing my career in music.

 

2- Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I would say Nat King Cole, Beyoncé, to K. Michelle and Aretha Franklin, they’re music are timeless with strong positive messages and this has a big impact on what I create now.

 

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

From the age of 3 after my parents introduced me to a music program for kids I knew this was something for me I took to it very naturally and started song writing from the age of 11.  I put my piano skills to work and wrote a couple lines that rhymed! I’ve just kept working at it over these last seven or eight years, and when I came to the UK to start working with producers, I found that writing connected me to the music even more so.

 

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)

I recently finished a UK schools tour which was great fun, I’m currently promoting the “Girlfriend” EP after which I hope to do lots of live dates including a tour so you’ll have to watch this space

 

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

Oh! there’s beenso many, I really enjoyed doing the schools tour early this year, they’re my future fans and the feedback was amazing. Working with Maxi Priest was another highlight as well as shooting the Girlfriend video but I guess I’m realy proud of my upcoming “Girlfriend” EP because I had a lot of input as an artist and songwriter

 

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

Here are direct links to where you can find me online:

http://www.alyssaenglish-official.com

https://twitter.com/EnglishAlyssa

http://www.reverbnation.com/alyssaenglish

http://www.facebook.com/alyssaenglishmusic

http://instagram.com/avenglish

https://soundcloud.com/alyssaenglishmusic

The Reads

Telacre_0241 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

There are six of us, so we all got into playing music at different times.  For Marcy (keyboards/programming) and Jamie (lead guitar) this was in school when they were in a number of bands together.  Clare (bass, lyrics) and Stu (vocals, rhythm guitar) met working in HMV ‘back in the day’ and discovered that Clare’s poetry married up nicely to Stu’s strumming, so they wrote their first song on the back of it.  Matty (drums) and Chris (lapsteel, mandolin, percussion) are brothers and had been in another band for much of the noughties.  I think our collective inspiration stems from a love of music and wanting to have a go at it ourselves!

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Very much differs from person to person, but it most definitely influences the music we make – more by osmosis than consciously setting about to write music similar to others.  Marcy is very much influenced by the likes of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada… you get the gist.  This gives the electronic feel to some of our tracks.  There are a few Pink Floyd fans amongst us and then there’s the usual mix of Indie, Grunge and Dance acts, which I suppose are typical for ‘our age group’.  We like to think that it all seeps into our own music in some way.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

Stu, Clare, Jamie and Marcy were introduced to each other by a mutual friend in 2000.  He thought we could and should make music together… and he was right!  Not knowing each other in the first place though meant that this was a slow process.  We became friends during this time and got to understand each other’s approach to music.  What was great was that Jamie and Marcy had a raft of their own, instrumental music which they were willing to turn into ‘songs’.  Even better, Clare’s poems were effectively ready-written lyrics and Stu found that they lent themselves to specific tracks and the melodies and structure flowed from there.  Most importantly, the whole period was a laugh and Marcy still has every single thing we recorded on Jamie’s BR8, much of it being nonsense.  It was only in 2006/7 that someone suggested we should leave Marcy’s bedsit and actually play in public.  The original line-up was Stu, Marcy and Jamie – with all the beats being provided by Marcy’s not-so-trusty laptop (Proteus).  Clare watched from the wings, prompting Stu with any forgotten words, whilst getting sozzled.  Thankfully, Clare moved from spectator to musician, after we realised we were falling a bit short sound-wise.  This coincided with Matty’s band coming to an end and we gained an extremely talented and sympathetic drummer in the process, which lifted the whole thing further.  After releasing our first album in 2011, we realised that we would struggle to recreate this live, so Matty’s sibling, Chris (also from the same, previous band) stepped in, adding lapsteel, mandolin and percussion, which have since become an integral part of our sound.  Since this time, we’ve written together as a group, but still like to draw on the demos of old.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

We played a lot of gigs in 2011/12 to support the release of our first album, Stories from the Border, but had to limit this during 2013 when we recorded the new album, Lost at Sea.  As there are 6 of us, with 6 lots of commitments, we need to do a lot of juggling, especially as every Sunday is already given over to practices.  So live performances are fewer in number, but we hope this makes them more special.  We’re fortunate to have a few regular slots each year, which we treasure.  Here’s where people can catch us this year…

Album Launch Night – Telfords Warehouse, Chester – Sat 19th April. 9pm

FOCUS Wales Festival 2014 – Central Station, Wrexham – Sat 26th April. 6pm

Audlem Festival – The Shroppie Fly – Sunday 25th May, 7:30pm

West Cheshire Beer Festival – Spitting Feathers Brewery, Waverton – Sat 19th July, 1:00pm

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

Erm, ever??!!  So hard to answer… and we’ve been asked this before, but I can’t remember everyone’s responses!  I think for Jamie and Marcy it was seeing Bootsy Collins live and for the rest of us, just some of those treasured moments you get at festivals over the years.  Sunsets and music are a match made in heaven.

6 – Where is the best place to find you ?

Follow us on Twitter

https://twitter.com/the_reads

Like us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/The.Reads.Music

Subscribe to our Tumblr blog

http://thereads.tumblr.com/

Watch / subscribe to our YouTube channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/thereadschannel

www.thereads.co.uk

 

Moral Panics

MP photo 11 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

Dan – As far back as I can remember I’ve been into music. Apparently, before I turned 1 years old I played a lot of different music by my parents. So I guess my parents inspired me to get into music as they’re both huge music fans themselves. I started playing instruments at the age of 6, but I remember going to see a band called The Levellers when I was 8, I remember it being such a euphoric experience that I was completely lost for words, and I remember saying to myself that night, I want to do that. I want to play music live. So that inspired me to pursue a career in writing and playing music.

Jazz –  My dad was the one who inspired me to get into music as it’s been a part of his life since he was young. My brother also had an impact as he was also into playing music.

Andy – My biggest inspiration for starting a band, and taking it seriously, was seeing foals play the sugarmill in 2007. I was in awe of the complexity, but catchiness, of their songs.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Dan – So many different artists; Bowie, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Depeche Mode, Michael Jackson, Tears For Fears, ACDC. More than I can mention. But the two artists I really latched onto as a child were Adam Ant and Duran Duran. I used to sit and watch compilation VCRs of their videos for hours every day. I think that having grown up with such a varied background of artists that I listened to, it’s made my musical creativity quite diverse, and I think we’re all the same in that regard. Due to listening all the way from Metal to 80’s Pop and Electronica, the music we make is really varied in style. So yeah, I think the music we listened to growing up really shaped how we look at music and has definitely made us extremely creative people musically.

Jazz – I grew up listening to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a bit of Bee Gee’s and Queen (my dad’s favourites). I think this affects what I write now because of how varied those bands are. It didn’t just put me in one category. So since I was young I’ve listened to varied genres of artists.

Andy – My dad introduced me to bands like nirvana, guns and roses along side artists like Jamiroquai and ELO. I think this really fed into the broadness of my current appreciation of music. My love of music is expansive and cavernous; that’s got to be extensively due to my upbringing.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

Dan – Well, I first picked up a guitar when I was 6, and I couldn’t actually play it, so I couldn’t cover other people’s songs, so I started writing my own music as soon as I started playing guitar. I don’t really think you could call it ‘music’, but I started writing (horrifically bad) riffs when I was six. I have been writing ever since that moment, and hopefully what I write has improved slightly in quality since then (laughs).

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

Dan – We play live as much as we can. We feel most at home when playing live, we love being in the studio and writing, don’t get me wrong, the creative stage of this band is incredible to experience, but we really feel whole when playing live. We were all born into the live format of music so it’s only natural. So yeah, we try to play live as much as possible. We have a few shows in the pipeline at the moment, but nothing definite. We’re trying to focus on touring which is taking a lot of planning. Actually, as of this moment we’re trying not to play local hometown shows and focus more nationally. So maybe come back and ask us that question in a few week’s time (laughs).

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

Dan – I don’t really have one due to the fact I have so many. A lot of different shows have been special, the sweaty, angry, feral one’s where everybody, including us have some sort of out of body experience of destruction and madness. They’re great. So they are definitely up there. But recording WLVS in Paris is definitely one. Being able to work with such a great producer like Dave Dahan in such a great studio in the middle of Paris was special. It’s a magical city and I feel really at home there, so it lent itself to a really beautiful experience. Being free to focus solely on our music with creatively likeminded people such as Dave in an environment such as Paris, with a contemporary Art Gallery right above the studio where you could escape and be fed inspiration has definitely got to be one of my favourite moments.

Jazz – My favourite moment in music so far was definitely visiting Paris. The lifestyle is so laid back over there, compared to back overseas, UK. It was definitely an experience and one that I hope I’ll re-live pretty soon.

Andy – For me, it was recording our record in Paris. Really feeling like we’re making steps forward with the band was an amazing thing, to start thinking “yeah, this could be my life” – that was incredible.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

Dan – Facebook. Always Facebook. You can keep up to date with everything on there. Other than that, Soundcloud is a good format for people to listen to our music. We also have Twitter which is useful to keep tabs on what we’re doing, but Facebook is probably the best place to find us. (Links below)

Facebook.com/moralpanicsband

Soundcloud.com/moral-panics

Twitter – @MOZPAZ

Jugurtha

jugurtha photo11- When did you first get into music? What or who inspired you?

Jugurtha is a project we started about two years ago. We both have different backgrounds, yet with similar influences.

Yassin: “I grew up in Tunisia, where traditional music is culturally everywhere, flowing social rites and practices. This made my ear sensitive to Arabic music, and helped me comprehend all the subtleties in oriental musicality years later.

I guess I understood music was my path when I started playing all the melodies I would hear on my first little synthesizer, moving onto the flute, and then to piano; I was so happy playing instruments, I knew I had to continue doing just that growing up.”

Samir: “When I was a kid, my mom bought me an old second-hand piano to use as decoration in my room. I started being interested in this new companion, and soon became curious with music theory; not too long after which I was admitted in music school. My passion for musical techniques grew stronger from there.”

 

2- Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Yassin: “I grew up listening to a lot of traditional, popular Oriental music such as Hedi Jouini, Salif Keita, Oum Kalthoum, some gypsy music, flamenco, and craved for the occasional western/international artists such as Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Dr. Dré, Busta Rhymes, 2Pac, etc., without forgetting the heavy French music influence we had in Tunis: Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, or even 90’s rap like IAM or 113, etc.”

Samir: “Growing up, I listened to Arabic music like Farid El Atrache, Oum Khalthoum, French singers such as Serge Gainsbourg, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, etc., American Hip-hop and R’n’B music, and then heavily evolved onto electronic music as a teen with the appearance of the first French Touch artists such as Daft Punk, Air, Laurent Garnier…”

 

3- How long have you been playing/writing?

We both have been writing music for about seven years, attracted in the early stages by the creative phase, and the possibility of message perspectives.

“Orientation”, our first album as Jugurtha, has been in the works for over a year, and has been a project we have been working on actively in the past two years.

 

4- How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

It all depends on our projects, we’ve been on and off for the past years: sometimes spending days, nights, weeks, even months composing music in our rooms, being completely secluded from the outside world, sometimes going out 3-4 times a week meeting people and playing in Parisian bars or clubs, or just in private parties our friends like to throw.

Private parties are a big thing in Paris, not everyone likes going out to clubs. Sometimes we just enter an apartment because we heard some noise in the streets, and end-up playing some tunes with whatever turntables we can find there!

We’re planning a release party for our album ‘Orientation’ sometime this Spring, and we’re currently keeping a look out for an expected, original spot to throw the gig!

 

5- What has been your favourite moment in music?

What we really enjoy in music is meeting other people we can relate to, with good vibes and energy flowing through their words and art, combining ideas and concepts for greater development.

Concerts are really exciting. We love seeing the whole set being created and prepared for the arrival of music-lovers. Playing LIVE is so intense… we live for that!

 

6- Where is the best place to find you online?

http://facebook.com/JugurthaMusic

http://soundcloud.com/Jugurtha-Music

 

Monica Azull

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Sensational new R&B soul singer, Monica Azull is just releasing her new single ‘I Like It’. Currently signed to QH Music, this is a fantasy filled track perfect for the ladies!

Listen to ‘I Like It’ here: https://soundcloud.com/monica_azull/i-like-it/s-jJ5Ji

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I took interest in music at a very young age. After hearing me sing for the first time, my father had this crazy idea of recreating ‘The Jackson 5’ with his children, but only I showed interest in his madness. At the age of 16, for my A Level I chose music to explore my musical capabilities, in the process I found more than what I was looking for. I found my passion. My personal experience and emotions are what inspires my song writing.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up listening to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, etc.. Their strong passion and often daring approach towards music may have rubbed off on me a little.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been writing music since the age of 12.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

Funny enough I haven’t publicly performed for some time now, but I’m performing in nYne Lounge (Bexleyheath) at ‘Royal Music Night Launch Party’ in the coming month or two. It’s a new Elegant night being hosted there by Qh Music and everything is still in the works. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

On my first performance at performing arts school, I can almost still feel the overwhelming audience response.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

I suppose my Facebook page would be where to find my latest update – https://www.facebook.com/Monica.Azull
More music can be found on my soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/monica_azull

Follow me on Twitter – @Monica_Azull
Instagram – Monica_Azull

Skremz

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London based rapper Skremz, is just releasing his latest track ‘Palm Trees’. Currently signed to QH Music, he takes influences from the likes of Jay Z to Eminem. It’s a dark lyrical track, with a hook that will grab you and draw you in.

Watch ‘Palm Trees’ (EXPLICIT) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxPqBb72xqk

1– When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I guess music has been a part of my life from the beginning. I was told as a child when I used to cry, I would be kept quiet by me watching The Lion King. The songs shut me up.

As a teenager I was inspired by Eminem and how he wrote his feelings down on songs. His writing skills and rapping style amazed me. I could also relate to his life and i wanted to do what he did. I guess I’m influenced by life experiences.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up listening to a lot of Jay Z and Eminem. They just were the best to me. Their rhymes and their producers intrigued me. The made Music. I did listen to lots of other genres and found some great artists. I could quote names but that will take forever. The people I listen to play a major role in what I make right now. I love mixing others ideas with mine as well as being individually unique.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been writing since around 9 years old. I couldn’t write raps, I just wrote stuff down. By the time I was 14 I started to give myself foundations and construct what I wrote down into pieces of music.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I haven’t been on the road lately. I’ve been making music and getting projects ready. I believe when its time to go on the road, it will just happen. I believe this will be soon

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

Very interesting question. I have multiple moments in music. One of the coolest moments was when Eminem returned to Hip-Hop after his hiatus

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

Twitter – @Skremz

Facebook.com/skremzworld

youtube.com/skremztv

instagram – kingskremz

Characula


IMG_6985 updatedNew1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?

I invented music.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up attuned to the call of the wild.  Sounds made during mating season have had a particularly strong influence on my intricate melodies and thunderous rhythms.  I like my music loud, primal and seductive!

3 – How long have you been playing/writing? 

Longer than anyone reading this has been alive.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)? 

The Nth Coming of Characula will occur beginning this May MMXIV with appearances in England and Scotland.  Tour dates may be found at http://characula.com/Tour.html.   Beware of false prophets!

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

July 18, 64 A.D.:  The night Nero played the lyre while Rome burned.  I was there.   It was a magnificent performance!

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

http://www.characula.com will take you to places you can only dream of!

Lateefah

Folder1 – When did you first get into music? What or who inspired you?

I was blessed to grow up in a musical family and have always been encouraged to pursue music even when I didn’t really want to. I grew up singing in church, and listening to the musicians that would come round to my dad’s studio. I remember being sent to bed and having to listen through my bedroom door to the sounds travelling on the wind. When I was about 9 my parents gave me a choice between music and ballet and I chose music. So I started learning classical piano.

My family has been an inspiration and they still inspire me every day. To be honest, if they weren’t there supporting me constantly, I would never have found the strength to continue on this journey.

 

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

I grew up listening to a whole lot of India Arie, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley. My dad loves Bob Marley and it was never too far away.  Hence, the reggae influences. Plus growing up in St. Lucia I was blessed to be around local reggae artists who my dad worked with. India Arie, I have always admired because of the ease with which she sings and the messages within her lyrics. I love the attitude that Lauryn exudes through her music….my songs are full of her ‘you either take me or leave me attitude – ‘cuz this is who I am.’

 

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I started writing when I was 9 and it was so funny because I was writing about relationship problems I had never experienced. The lyrics were really mature for my age. My dad had left us in St. Lucia and gone back to England to work and I guess writing helped me deal with the separation because I was such a daddy’s girl. Still am!

 

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

I made the conscious decision to pursue music when I finished University in July 2013. Since then, I’ve been writing and recording, so haven’t been able to do as many live gigs as I would like. It’s been a whole lot of preparation.  I’ve performed a couple of times at Live and Unplugged’s acoustic night in Croydon, Floripa in Shoreditch and at Charlie Wright’s in Old Street. It was hard in the beginning working and doing my music at the same time. Hopefully this summer will be our time! I can’t wait to get back on the stage!

 

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

While studying for my music degree, we got a visit from PP Arnold, who was one of Tina Turner’s original Ikettes! I got to do BVs for her at a master class. It was such an amazing experience and I was so blessed!

 

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?

The official music video to “Love Me Through” is being officially released on Friday April 18. It will be aired in St. Lucia on Calabash Television with simultaneous streaming on the internet, so definitely look out for that.

You can find me on

Website: www.latekorecords.com

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

Twitter: @LateefahSings

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lateefahsings

Songkick:  http://www.songkick.com/artists/7992443

Jango:  http://www.jango.com/music/lateefah

‘Love Me Through’ is out for purchase on April 18th distributed by CD Baby and available on iTunes, Amazon and other selected online stores.