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/



Kalibé – The Latest World Music Phenomenon

India Mãe da Lua, a multi-instrumentalist with no formal music training of any kind, is the focus of a new album from Kalibé , a musical collective who have been mentioned in the same breath as Grammy-guzzling, World Music phenomenon, The Buena Vista Social Club. We spoke to the album’s producer, Matteo Crugnola about the difficulties and inspiration the project brought..

“Of course I’m a fan of Ry Cooder and you’re not the first one to find this similarity. More than Buena Vista Social Club I would say his album with Ali Farka Toure, “Talking Timbuktu”, maybe because of the common African roots with the [first] album “La Danse d’Harmattan”.

Ry Cooder is a great guitarist and producer and I’m not even worth the comparison [we beg to differ!]. But of course, he has explored world music with great success, meeting and recording with some of the greatest musicians of different cultures. I also love his Indian album “A meeting by the River” [with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt] , where guitar, sitar and tabla dialogue together as though they belong to the same tradition.

That’s the power of music: the power to unite and transcend cultural barriers. Power to communicate at a deep level with people who don’t even speak your language and to create a sense of community.

That’s surely the spirit also of Kalibé.

But -as I said- I am not Ry Cooder and we also don’t have the same budget! There are so many amazing musicians around (it doesn’t necessary mean also famous), I had the great luck to meet a few and they have been open, generous and happy to become part of the Kalibé family. To be honest, in the last album there are not so many collaborations, since it’s focused on India Mae da Lua. Most tracks is just her and me. The next album will have many more people involved and won’t be focused on just one person; but India Mae da Lua deserved a full album!

I think nowadays we are getting used to living in a multi-cultural society, to share a flat with, for example, an Indian student, a Korean engineer and a Ghanaian refugee and slowly starting to mix our habits: to start adding Indian spices on a French salad, than having some sushi and a Mexican guacamole. Kalibè goes in that direction.

So, I think it’s more of an open attitude that brought me to know other musicians, rather than a process of research and discovery.

I’ve never called a musician I don’t know to propose a recording collaboration or to hire him for a recording session. It’s more genuine friendship and sharing the same message, or the will to do music together. I met India Mae da Lua in Spain more than 10 years ago when we were both street musicians (she was in Spain to represent Brazil in a musical event, then decided to stay there a few months). I described our meeting in the website (  https://www.kalibemusic.com/music). A few months before meeting her, I met Ermanno Panta who’s the co-founder of Kalibé. We are close friends and have done many gigs together – he also participated in all my albums. He spent one year working in Burkina Faso in 2010 and started playing with all the best musicians of the country, then he invited me to go there to play together, to get to know African music an maybe create a band together.


We didn’t even mean to record an album or to write those songs…it’s been the magic of that moment, it just happened! We were staying in an old house and, as people started to know that there were two “white” musicians in that place, local musicians started to appear just to play together! In other cultures, music is a way of communicating and having fun together, something to share easily with great humbleness and laughter. That’s also the spirit of Kalibé, we don’t go to big studios for recordings (we don’t have the budget!) but try to use high-quality microphones and equipment. In Burkina Faso, our “studio” was the same bedroom where we were sleeping. The hardest thing is to get moments of silence.

Once in Italy, I spend a lot of time selecting and editing recorded material in order to make sure the audio quality is the highest possible and the mastering has been done in one of the best studios in Italy by experienced professionals.

So, it’s never -I mean not even once – been difficult to unite, nor I should say, have I ever perceived so much difference between us. There’s much more in what people share than in what makes the difference. And I always try to see differences as a source of richness”

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Jt6cYg3W1OX7iPNrwt7MG

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWHlGNnczHrTPGC5S2Hd7CiFJLe9AG6S4

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

Website: https://www.kalibemusic.com/

GET TO KNOW: Mark L Oakes

When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I’ve always been passionate about arts and music. I started playing drums at the age of 16 and quickly felt the need to turn my own words (poems and lyrics) into melodies. I fell in love with guitar playing and my first real musical “electroshock” was Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.
Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to all kinds of artists: Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers etc. In my late 30’s I discovered the genius of Townes Van Zandt. His eponymous album featuring “Waiting Around to Die” & “None But The Rain” is my bedside favourite.
How long have you been playing/writing?
I’ve been writing my own songs for more than 25 years now.
How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I’m mainly playing open mikes in the US.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
Meeting Tucker Zimmerman at his place and playing him a bunch of songs I wrote about his stellar “Bicycle Poems”.
Where is the best place to find you online?

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.
You can find me performing acoustic demos of my songs on Instagram.
You can find lyrics from my love songs on Twitter.

Stephen Harrison – Interview

1– When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
From my old brothers who already had guitars. I was tremendously impressed by them, and their interest in music scene in London in the late 1960’s and early 70s. One of my brothers gave me a Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar which I still have. They were listening to Donovan, Dylan, The Beatles, The Doors, etc. I wanted to be like them and copied my older brothers! It was a very exciting time musically and soon I was writing my own songs.
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to The Beatles, Donovan, Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, TRex, Bowie. In my late teens I was influenced by Punk and Post Punk. Like many, when Punk came along I kind of rejected what went before, but have since come round to accepting what was great in the 60’s and 70’s before that time. I like ‘pop’ but most of all I like the music of ‘The Greats’ who wrote from deep within themselves, and not to any market or with any particular formula in mind.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
Since my teenage years. It seemed imperative to have a guitar and sing. I was simply drawn towards writing songs. It became an important part of my self expression.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I try to play live at least twice a month – even if it is just at an open mic event. See my website for details on love shows.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
Having a song of mine played on BBC Radio Scotland.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
I enjoy maintaining my music website at http://www.stephenharrisonmusic.com
There you can find all my latest news and follow developments.
Also, you can stream my new album on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/5UIExhhU8VbhcMXbIr8Tgj

Fireproof Giant

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
We’ve all been playing music from a very young age and grew up playing in various circumstances. Gareth taught himself on his grandmother’s piano, Ash and Joel come from classical and jazz musical backgrounds and Cat also comes from a classical music background. I think we all learnt because we were given the option and it was more fun than anything else we were offered… it still is. Our parents had a very large part in encouraging and inspiring us to play music.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Yeah, for sure all the music we write has been influenced by what we grew up listening to. I think that’s inevitable. The problem is we all grew up listening to very different things, from Erik Satie to Foo Fighters and anything in between. We have a love for all genre and allow our music to organically drift through a variety of styles… the best way we can describe our music is Pop-rock/Folkstep with classical influences.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
We’ve been writing and playing together for the last 4 years touring around Europe with a company called Nofit State Circus. Whilst travelling we’ve met all kinds of people from different backgrounds and cultures that have helped shape and develop our sound. We just left the Circus this year to pursue our musical ambitions and have just released our first studio EP.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
We like to play at least once a week. Even if it’s busking, just to get the songs out there and share with whoever wants to listen. We’ve got a couple of gigs coming up in Cardiff (Four Bars at Dempsey on July 4th, Brewhouse on July 6th) and London (Notting Hill Arts Club on June 28th, Proud Camden on July 12th).

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
Probably playing on the back of a moving truck that was turned into a band stage on the streets of Toulouse. We were quite burnt by the end of the day but it was worth it!

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Our website has all you need for all things Fireproof Giant but we also have twitter and facebook for those that way inclined.

Colin Clyne

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
Probably about 14, the whole Manchester scene inspired me to want to play guitar.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
When I was a kid there was a lot of Bob Dylan. Neil Young. Simon and Garfunkel, The Corries and The Furys on my mums record player

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I started very late! Mid twenties after I had severed fingers.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
As much as i can. I’ve toured a lot and then I’ve done periods of time where I’ve kept it a lot more regional. Particularly when I was living in the US.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
When I finally realised that the record I’ve been chasing my whole life finally happened. I’ve been chasing a Harvest or a Blood on the tracks (as most artists do) for example and I believe I’ve done it with my new record.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Www.Facebook.com/ c0linclyne

Kelly Oliver

Kelly Oliver PRHaving only started gigging in May last year, folk singer-songwriter Kelly Oliver has made quite an impact. Within months of starting she found herself invited to open Folkstock Festival before, incredibly, bagging herself a spot at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival. It marks a mighty rise for someone who has been on the circuit for less than a year, and with single ‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ out March 17th, we took the chance to ask her a few questions.

Many of our readers won’t have heard of your music before, how would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s influenced by traditional folk music. Traditional Irish folk music definitely, but I do have country influences. I’m influenced a lot by Dolly Parton, and people like Kenny Rogers, singers like Alison Krauss and Cara Dillon. But I think the way I write songs is influenced a lot by Irish folk music, the traditional ways. Really I take influences from all sorts, so I’m not sure how I’d describe it but that’s probably the best way.

The upcoming single ‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ features BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year nominee Will Pound on Harmonica. How did that collaboration come about?

That was through Twitter! I followed him on Twitter – I was a fan of his a little bit before – and because I play harmonica I’d already had the song recorded [for EP ‘Far From Home – Ed]. But my manager just approached him to see if he wanted to do a collaboration, we sent him the song and he agreed. So it was quite quickly done actually, it was really good fun.


Your rise since starting out last year has been stratospheric – did you have any inkling you’d get the reaction you have when you started out?

Not at all. I went travelling basically, and once I went I decided while I was out there that I wanted to at least have a go at the music. I didn’t know anything, I never thought what could happen. At the beginning I just focussed on trying to do gigs, got myself a Facebook stage and started at the bottom really. Started with trying to promote myself online and approach people for gigs. I guess it’s the same way every musician starts, so I never thought I would even have the chance to record an EP let alone the things that have come from that so it was really shocking!

‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ was originally released, minus Will Pound, as part of your EP ‘Far From Home’, which has been a big part of your success so far. Do you have any plans for a follow up as yet?

Yeah, we do. There’s going to be an album that will be recorded and released this year. I have got some songs that I’m looking to put on there but then there might be some that I haven’t written yet, depending on finding the time to write and record.

Where is the best place to find your music online?

My website is www.kellyoliver.co.uk, and from there there’re links to my Facebook page, my Twitter and Soundcloud.

You can listen to ‘He Walked in the Side of the Sea’ here: https://soundcloud.com/kellyoliver/kelly-oliver-ft-will-pound-he

And it can also be found on Amazon and iTunes.