GET TO KNOW: M’GOO

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?  
The inspirational tent for M’GOO is pretty wide.  Jazz, pop, ska etc.  I think what inspires us is authenticity and the context of what young breathing genres talk about. If you look at any of the classic genres, they all started out from a real place.  Jazz was the voice of a struggling black population, as was blues. The actual feeling of the music spoke to the pains.  This authentic feeling marinated to hip-hop in the 80s.  Punk and grunge were born out of feeling of a resistance to being forced what to think.  All noble voices that has shaped our world. I think what inspires us is that rawness that music and its associated art forms can speak to people.   If I look back, we call got into music at very young ages – as they spoke to us in deep ways about things we cared about.  For myself (Mike) being a child and seeing Michael Jackson, as a black person, as the biggest thing on the planet, really changed the way I looked at music, the world, and the subtle social change that happened after that.
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I (Mike) grew up listening to classic 70s and 80s music.  Music that talked to you at some level and had a strong dose of prosody.  When everything comes together: the content, the feeling, and what it leaves you with: Billie Jean, Sinnerman, Strange Fruit, Blackbird, Smalltown Boy, London Calling etc.   All of these songs were connected to a story, events, where you feel the emotion of the moment.  These songs have completely impacted and shaped how we create music.  We write songs based on emotions from true stories about love – and what it teaches us.  That approach is inspired by authentic song-writing that took people to a place.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
We (Matt, Jeff, Mike) began playing music at very young ages.  Myself (Mike) began playing and writing at 12 ish.  We all met in 2000 at jazz school in Montreal.  By then we were all improvisers and creators.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
2016 shows are currently being planned.  Our shows will be a mixture of music, classic poetry, local storytellers, video etc., all aimed at taking the audience to a moment about the lessons of love.  Here is a live showcase from the current single: https://vimeo.com/193176640.  Sign up to our website www.mgoomusic.com to get more details when they are available.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
Definitely Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.  Defied everything we believed in what was possible….
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
The best place to find us in via our moodboards, bringing music <> live performances <> storytelling <> discussions together around what love teaches us.  http://www.mgoomusic.com/tracklists/

Introducing Chey…

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
Growing up in the Welsh valleys in the 70s, Wales really was the land of song and music has always been a massive part of my life. My earliest memory was age 3 singing in a local chapel at a Christmas service where I sang Little Donkey. That’s where my love of singing and performing all began!
I was inspired in the early years by a Welsh singer/songwriter and comedian called Max Boyce, who at the time sold over 2 million albums with his Welsh humour and rugby songs!
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
As my love for music grew my taste in popular music became much wider, this is when Freddy Mercury’s unique sound and songwriting masterpieces grabbed my attention, his sound was unique and he wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of songwriting. It’s all too easy to be put in a box when it comes to genre, but as a songwriter and an artist it’s good to push your music outside that box and see where it takes you.
How long have you been playing/writing?
I have been singing and performing for most of my life, but my passion for songwriting has really developed over the last 15 years. Different experiences within my life have certainly had a big impact on the music I write now. I love to co-write with other artists and get inspiration from their experiences and interpret it in my own way.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I will be announcing live dates in the new year, check my website and social media for more information.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
My favourite moment so far has to be the messages of support I’ve been getting on social media from people telling me how much they love the song. When I first recorded the song I was really nervous of how the public would react but the feedback I’ve been getting so far has been amazing and I hope people continue to enjoy listening to my music as much as I enjoy making it.
Where is the best place to find you online?
Facebook: /officialcheymusic
Twitter: @officialchey1
Instagram: @officialcheymusic
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/officialchey

Get to know The Senti-Mentals…

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I was fourteen when I first saw Adam Ant on TOTP. It was one of those epiphanic moments in my life; I suddenly knew what I wanted to do!
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Obviously Adam Ant, as stated, but also late seventies punk, such as The Sex Pistols; The Damned; The Ruts and Ian Dury and The Blockheads. I also found myself inexplicably drawn to 70s Doowop revivalists such as The Stray Cats and The Darts. As for impacting on my style, yes, absolutely! Both apparently diverse genres share a common denominator: that of rebellion.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I started writing as soon as I could hold a pen. I began with stories; something I still do today; moved on to lyrics, poetry, and eventually novels and plays. Most recently published have been my two non fiction self help guides.
I formed my first band at the age of sixteen. I have fronted seven bands since then; four of which are still very much alive.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I gig weekly, sometimes more. Busiest time is the festival season; we did nineteen this year, including Glastonbury. I have just completed a fifty date national tour with The Antipoet and am currently in rehearsal for our next. I’m next performing at an Edinburgh Fringe seminar in Highgate next Monday (28th November). The next gig with The Antipoet is the following week at Manchester Hospital (a corporate gig for medical physicists and nuclear engineers; which is a first!) I host a monthly Cabaret night in Watford.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
There have been a few of these, such as being asked to play Glastonbury (the first of many years); The Antipoet playing with Ed TudorPole; singing with Den Hegarty of The Darts; being part of a scratch band at the end of one of my cabaret nights that included, Martin Stephenson (The Daintees), Helen McCookerybook (The Chefs) and Lester Square (The Monochrome Set) and as we played, seeing Karen, drummer of The Gymslips, in the audience. These may not be, ‘Big’ names in the grand scheme of things, but to that sixteen old boy who still lives inside me, (and who still has all their records) they are!  However, these may all be topped, as I am finally about to tick off the last item on my, ‘To Do’ list and have bagged the warm up slot for Adam Ant in Watford next May.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Ongoing diaries can be found on http://pauleccentric.co.uk/ and http://rrrants.org/
 

‘Cold Little Heart’- Michael Kiwanuka


Michael Kiwanuka returned with a new sound this year for his second album, Love & Hate accompanied by the beautifully crafted ‘Cold Little Heart’.
The track builds ever so gradually, eventually reaching a climax of weeping electric guitar solos and emotive ‘oohs’ before moving on to the second phase of the song where the lyrics properly begin and more of the classic Kiwanuka is fond again.
”Cold Little Heart’ was the first song I wrote for this album and it helped direct where the music was going. It’s really influenced by classic ’60s and ’70s British guitar bands like The Who and Pink Floyd, as well as by a lot of soul music.’
Kiwanuka also notes that ‘Those songs build really slowly and sometimes a vocal won’t come in until five or six minutes but you don’t realise you’ve been sitting and listening for that long because all the instruments are so enticing and so beautifully arranged that they grab your attention and it doesn’t matter that you’re waiting until the vocals come in.’

The 1975 aim for Glastonbury


Matt Healy of Indie Pop band, The 1975, has made the aspirations of the band very clear declaring ‘”I want to headline Glastonbury!”
“Not next year, but soon. I never used to say stuff like this – I’m not a mental, insane narcissist – but there’s so much faux modesty in music now. It’s transpired that we get to play arenas all over the world, so why now would I not want to headline Glastonbury?”
Whilst some might see this as a little arrogant, others will find it refreshing to see such an ambitious young band setting their sights high. As Matt keenly points out, it is not unlikely that they would be up there on the line-up, if not headlining: “I’m not being a d***head, but who is it going to be? If you want a young guitar band to headline Glastonbury in the next few years, The 1975 are the only real option… If Arctic Monkeys can do it on their second album, I can do it, no problem.”

Anti-Bullying Week: We talk with musician Adam Lanceley

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14th-18th November marks Anti-bullying week UK and to coincide with this, we managed to get a few words from Adam Lanceley, a talented singer-songwriter with an inspirational story.
When Adam was very young, he suffered serious injuries in a car crash that left him having to relearn a number of life skills. His parents were told it was unlikely he would ever walk again, but Adam was determined to prove them wrong and has since gone on to run the London Marathon and has released five albums!
Adam, tell us about your latest single, ‘Those Rose Tinted Days’. What’s the story behind it?
My latest single ‘Those Rose Tinted Days’ which is from my fifth album, Postcards From Then…, can be interpreted as talking about my teenage and student years as though it was really easy and straightforward back then. In actual fact, due to a severe head injury sustained in a serious car crash when I was 10, it was anything but a smooth ride.
Did your injuries lead to any unpleasant behaviour towards you when you were young?
To be honest, I was lucky that I didn’t get bullied more than I did; I spoke very slowly,  I was vulnerable & I couldn’t walk properly for a very long time. Even now, years later, I have a very pronounced limp. But the times I did get bullied really hurt.
In what forms did the bullying come?
I found the non-physical stuff more damaging & difficult to take than what you’d normally think of as bullying, which is not to say that the times people let me know they didn’t like the way I walked by giving me a kicking wasn’t incredibly painful! Still, being called ‘spastic’ or ‘a cripple’ was much harder for me to swallow; the whole ‘sticks and stones’ argument didn’t really hold up. Getting taken advantage of is another form of bullying I could have done without.
And how did you deal with the bullying, Adam?
Fortunately, I got through it and I’m grateful that I had good friends to make it easier too. I’m also lucky that I had interests that kept me striving to get somewhere, but at the same time, I know how much easier my life could’ve been without bullying in the first place.
On a more positive note, do you think there is anything you learnt from your experiences?
I once heard someone say there are no winners when it comes to bullying: the one doing it will someday feel remorse and the one being bullied carries the scars. 
 
If you’d like to find out more on Adam and his music, check him out here:
https://play.spotify.com/artist/0UFbDrAYa0cnAp41cQnyNb  
https://twitter.com/AdamLanceley
https://soundcloud.com/adam-129087330
http://www.brainandspine.org.uk/adams-story

Introducing Nancy Black…

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I think I’ve always known that I wanted to be a performer from as far back as I can remember. On my 13th birthday my mum bought me my first guitar, I taught myself the basics and things grew from there.
Whilst still a timid 16 year old I joined a local workshop for girls who wanted to get into music….
One of the mentors asked me to play one of my own songs. I played the first song I ever wrote which I had written back of an old receipt whilst on a train.
I was so nervous but after I finished she just sat there beaming at me.
A few weeks later I was on stage in front of 1500 people at a local music festival, it was an incredible feeling. I have a lot to thank her for, she made me believe anything was possible.
 
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Music has always been a big part of my life. My dad would play the same CDs in the car, over and over again.
There was one album in particular, Alanis Morsette’s iconic album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ that sparked something in me to begin exploring song writing.
I grew up listening to a diverse range of music one thing I  loved was musicals, I would endlessly play the soundtrack of Oliver and then recreate it by putting on a show for my family and the dog. But I’d also listen to the likes of Radiohead, Linkin Park, Eminem, Marilyn Manson, Britney spears and Christina Aguilera, it was a bit of a mix. My tastes have always been hugely versatile but I think that’s important as an artist, to be open to ideas and different styles, taking inspiration from all genres.
I have always liked is the idea of being theatrical with music, making it a spectacle and giving the audience something to talk about, so for me in that respect, Madonna was a massive influence and more recently, Lady Gaga.
 
How long have you been playing/writing?
I’ve been writing music since I was 13 and gigging from the age of 16 when I joined an all-girl rock band. I eventually went solo at 18, that’s where I really started to find my own style.
 
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
It’s important for me to gig as much as possible from high energy shows in clubs to gentle acoustic sets. I always like to be performing, to be using my voice and of course it’s all about networking and performing to an audience of potentially new fans.
I’m currently working on a new show that will be ready to go in the New year, in the meantime I’m keeping busy playing the new material at local acoustic nights.

GET TO KNOW: Kid Cupid

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I think we all got into music from a very young age, it’s in our blood!
Laura: My parents really inspired me as they really into music and have a large eclectic collection that’s always been at my fingertips. My mum has always sang with me and my dad is a bass player so there has always been instruments around the house to try out.
Ian: I grew with my dad recording the top 40 off the radio every Sunday. My mum always used to play Roxy Music, The Eagles, Simply red in the car when we would do errands. My grandad was a collector of Jazz records from an early age so when I’d visit him I’d always have a rummage. In secondary school i was turned onto skate punk and everything that goes with that and as I’ve got older my tastes have spread far and wide, from country, to hardcore punk, to ambient and everything inbetween.
James: Early memories of setting up my Mum’s pots and pans in front of the tv, drumming with wooden spoons to The Beatles and Rolling Stones, my dad and brother spurring me on with Jagger and Keith impersonations.
John: I’m actually not from a musical family at all. My parents thought it would be a good idea to learn piano at aged four, but I absolutely hated it! It all changed when I was 13 – a few other kids started learning electric guitar before me and I thought I’d give it a go. Almost instantaneously it became an obsession, I wanted to be better than the other kids because frankly, I was pretty awful at everything else. I’d rush home from school and play solidly for 3-4 hours a night.
A bit later on I started songwriting, and then I got into recording in a big way when I went to uni.  I actually found a love for piano a few years ago, I think it was prompted by getting into production.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Laura: I grew up listening to strong female artists like Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, Blondie, Joan Armatrading  as well as things like Bob Dylan, The Cult, New Order and Whitey Ford.
I think having such a varied mix of influences and genres is hugely beneficial to creating original music, it makes me want to be more experimental and cross genres.
Ian: Artists that have shaped me recently would people such as Ryan Adams, Radiohead, Blur and the technicalities that go with those bands. I still like to hold my punk rock ethos close to my heart though and bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, Offspring, The Flatliners have made me who I am over the years
James: It was compulsory to listen to The Beatles and Rolling Stones in my house growing up, but beyond that it has to be the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Chad Smith has always been my favourite drummer. I’ve always got Come Together, Brown Sugar and Can’t Stop on repeat. I guess all three songs have a raw, percussive sound which I’m drawn to and that has definitely influenced me.
John: I grew up listening a lot of classic rock – guns n roses, Eric Clapton, Hendrix, ect. Later I got into indie. There was a great club night near me in Kingston called new slang. I had the opportunity to see a load of great bands in a really small venue such as the Maccabees, Jack Penate, Bloc Party, Foals.
How long have you been playing/writing?
Laura: I’ve been writing songs as long as I can remember! I have books upon books with song lyrics in from age 5 up. I remember at school I used to spend breaks on the piano in the school hall or using the recording equipment in the music block.
Ian: I have been attempting to play and teach myself new things for 14 years or so. I had a band in Australia called “The Sleaze” and we toured with some established acts and had moderate success. When I moved home from Australia I tried the singer/songwriter thing, influenced heavily by Ryan Adams, but I didn’t like performing on my own as its too much pressure.
James: When I was younger I really enjoyed writing. As a teenager I started turning my attention to lyrics, playing in different bands throughout college and uni.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
We’re really loving playing live! We have been trying to do 1 or 2 gigs a month at the moment and are really looking forward to getting into the festival season.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
The last couple of shows have been really good. Having people sing and even know the words to what you’re playing is an amazing feeling! Watching people get down and groove to your tunes is ace!
Where is the best place to find you online?
We’re working on a website but in the meantime…
www.soundcloud.com/kidcupidmusic  is the best place to find our music at the moment
www.facebook.com/kidcupidmusic  is where we post reviews, pictures and where you can keep up to date with our upcoming gigs J
www.instagram.com/wearekidcupid  lots of randomness
www.twitter.com/kidcupidmusic

Introducing Tuffet Bunnies, aka Clem Darling…

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
My parents and relatives loved listening to music while I was growing up. A lot of Tom Petty. My first concert that I remember was a Tom Petty concert. I started playing guitar because I wanted to play Green Day songs. My Dad bought me a fender strat when I was in middle school that I still use to this day. Crunchy, distorted power chords. I kept trying to replicate the distortion sounds that Green Day captured on Dookie and Insomniac. Green Day posters all over my walls. I even got to meet them once because my best friend won some backstage passes from a skating contest he won in middle school. They were super sweet guys.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Green Day, Radiohead, Spoon. I used to cover Radiohead and Spoon songs in my high-school band. We built a pretty big following because of our rad Radiohead covers. We’d do renditions of Just, Airbag, and a bunch of other Radiohead songs. We also did a lot of Spoon covers. Our band was even named after a Spoon song called, Advance Cassette. We didn’t have an official name for the band for awhile and then a club owner suggested Advance Cassette because we did such a good cover of that song.
How long have you been playing/writing?
Since middle school. Ever since middle school I’ve left a trail of scribbled songs chicken scratched in my boy hand-writing on pieces of scrap paper.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I don’t play live much. I played a show for my girlfriend at a small pub in Alta Dena a few months ago to show my girlfriend the songs I’ve been writing about her. We had a great time.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
Having a conversation with my girlfriend about the power of positive music. She opened my eyes to Queen and how so much of their music is overflowing with optimism and spirit. I want people to listen to my songs and get a similar feeling.
Where is the best place to find you online?
You can find my songs from my debut EP, Love Songs For Scarlett on SoundCloud.
https://m.soundcloud.com/tuffetbunnies
You can find me performing acoustic demos of my songs on Instagram.
https://www.instagram.com/tuffetbunnies/
You can find lyrics from my love songs on Twitter.
https://mobile.twitter.com/tuffetbunnies

Introducing electronic rock group Everything Under…

 

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I was around 13 years old when I first heard the Doors.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to a lot of Hip hop music. I enjoyed the honesty in some of the lyrics. So many things other than music really inspire me though. Music is just an outlet canvas sometimes worth sharing.
How long have you been playing/writing?
Been writing lyrics for 17 years, sound engineering for 11 years, and playing guitar for 3 years.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
Haven’t had a favourite moment yet. Going to chase one down.
Where is the best place to find you online?
everythingundereu.com