Chatting with: J.J Leone

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Unsigned Interviews were lucky enough to have a conversation with emerging singer songwriter, J.J Leone, who blends his masterful guitar skills with touches of R&B and soul.

 

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

I first picked up the guitar when I was 12, largely due to my older brother. He was already out touring when I was a kid but when he’d come home, I was amazed by what he could do with this piece of wood with six strings. My first guitar cost £20 from Argos. Patience is something I’ve never had a lot of, so when I couldn’t play anything by Metallica after a day, I lost interest in it! Then I heard this guy called Jimi Hendrix one day, and it blew my mind completely and made me pick up the guitar again. Just by listening and watching live videos on YouTube, I taught myself how to play, and I did the same with drums, bass and electronic production too.

 

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

I grew up on a lot of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Rahsaan Patterson and other soul singers. This was mainly my brother and mum’s music as my dad was into Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Rod Stewart – all that type of stuff! The guys I would include as my top three influences are Stevie Wonder, Prince and Cody Chesnutt. Prince was just an incredible artist, a real musician and he had such a wide variety of music. I really liked his attitude towards everything too, he just wanted to play music and that was it. Stevie Wonder has been in the game so long and made maybe two songs I don’t like. Both he and Prince have influenced me so much in terms of their longevity, it’s something I really aspire to! Cody Chesnutt influenced me as a DIY musician – he’s someone who in the early days really didn’t fit in to the manufactured scene. ‘The Headphone Masterpiece’ which he recorded entirely in his mum’s kitchen is still one of my favourite albums today. They’re not necessarily influences in terms of a musical style, since what I write doesn’t sound like their material, I would describe them more as role models.

How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been playing music since I was 12, but only really gigging and performing since I was 14. My first show was in a high school assembly where me and two of my mates performed ‘Californication’ by RHCP, I just played guitar though, didn’t sing. Then I won the school talent contest the next year with an acoustic version of Paolo Nutini’s ‘Last Request’ – and that’s the first time I had any confidence in my voice. Then me and some mates formed a band where we’d play birthday parties and ‘battle of the bands’ kinda stuff before we started writing originals – I was lead guitarist and singer. Then we got picked up by a promotions company at 15 and we opened for Hot Chocolate and Suzi Quatro amongst others, we toured Barcelona and other places in the UK- we thought we were the bomb! I write everything myself, including all lyrics and instrumental sections and perform them all too.

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

I play live pretty regularly, back in 2011 when I was living on the streets – I performed everyday for six months so I’m trying to put that to good use! I’ve been lucky enough since then to play in so many different countries though, and met other amazing musicians and great people. In July I’m playing at the ‘Urban Food Fest’ in Shoreditch, then in August I’m going to Murcia to play a show for ‘Sofar Sounds’ and will be performing at another one of their events in Birmingham in late August.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

I haven’t really got one favourite moment, but rather lots of little ones that have added up. Just seeing people’s faces when you play something you’ve written that touches them, or messages of support from people saying ‘your song really meant something to me’. Even in different countries where the culture, language and values are so different, music really brings people together and that always gets me – it let’s me know that I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. It’s still kinda weird to me that people are coming out to see me – a traveller who’s had some real hard times, and they want to come and see me sing my songs!

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

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using: @iamjjleone. My website is over at www.jjleone.com too, which has got further links to my Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube – come along for the ride!

 

Listen to J.J’s latest single, ‘With You’ here:

GET TO KNOW: M3staken

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

I first got into music heavily about 7 years ago.  Nothing in particular inspired/influenced the music I make.

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

Both of my parents frequently played music around the house and my father is an avid music listener.  What they listened to then definitely shaped my foundation in music.

How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve played music for about 12 years and I’ve been focusing on writing/producing for about 7 years.

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

During the spring/summer I DJ live events for fraternities/sororities at the uni I attended.  On request, I also perform my solo work at a local pub in my hometown (http://www.newbrooklandtavern.com/events)

What has been your favourite moment in music?

I don’t necessarily have a favourite moment with music.  I just really like making it

Where is the best place to find you online?

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/stefoncakley

GET TO KNOW: KADI

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

I first got in to music in Church to be honest. Going to a Pentecostal church the drums would always being going, someone on keyboard, the singers and there was always that energy so that was always around me. I could sing so I started to rap and write poetry as it gives you that freedom of expression. Next thing you know your flowing over a beat and it all started from there.

 

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

I grew up listening to Tupac, Nas, Lauren Hill and so many artists. But the artists I just mentioned had the biggest impact on me as they always had a message through their music. No matter what I write there is always a positive message in it for someone.

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I  used to write poetry as a form of expression then starting turning them into songs. Even if I’m not recording I’m still writing.

 

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

My last gig I played I was the before act for singer Omar. This year I will be focusing on doing more live shows especially as my EP will be released this year to so that is a priority .

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

My favourite moment in music was when I first heard a song I was featured on playing on the radio. That feeling was just amazing knowing that what I created was appreciated and being heard by others. It was completed unexpected as well which made it an even better moment.

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook- Kadi_official and Kadiofficial

Get To Know: Pimlican

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Unsigned Interviews got an insight into the world of collaborative artist and producer, Pimlican.
When did you first get into music? Who or what inspired you?
I have always been into music and loved listening to the radio especially Radio 1 for great pop music. More recently I feel that Harris and Ford would be one of my greatest influences as they know how to produce great pop / dance music, play live and create a party atmosphere. They also produce brilliant videos for their hits. Klankarussell were also one of the inspirations that got me writing tracks and in particular, the tracks ‘Sonnentanz’ and ‘Netzwerk’, again great videos. Other influences include Chris Brown and tracks that feature Rich Gang and assorted rappers such as Tyga and Young Thug, just great street music.
Who did you grow up listening to and does that impact on what you create now?
I grew up listening to the all of types of music and styles from The Rolling Stones to Dance and Pop music, plus some classical composers like Beethoven. I believe all of these have had some form of influence on my writing/production nowadays.
How long have you been playing/writing?
Seriously about two years now, but it has moved up a gear or two in the last twelve months which has been reflected in radio plays.
How often do you play live?
It can be a struggle getting gigs for acts that are not traditionally guitar based but we finally have a line-up that works and have 2 or 3 in the pipeline, these include playing in a record shop which is I feel the purest way to get the music heard! Our first gig at the Riverside in Leeds went down very well.
What has been your favourite moment in music?
Being invited to London to have my music heard by a top A&R dept. That will always stay with me even though they decided not to sign at that time.
Where is the best place to find you online?
Links:
https://www.facebook.com/belgraveroadrecords
http://www.belgraveroadrecords.com/
https://pimlican.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/pimlican-97234536
https://twitter.com/belgraveroadrec
https://soundcloud.com/belgrave-road-records
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puczuTIE4nA

GET TO KNOW: Jethro

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

I was always inspired from a young age, I used to always feel so much emotion listening to music as a child, I got into writing poetry and expressing myself and I started to make it rhyme when I was really young and that progressed into rapping over music. I think the song “Dear Mama” by 2pac really inspired me, I felt if  Tupac could be a tough alpha male rapper but still talk about loving his mama and the song “Brendas got a baby” about teenage abortion, raw human needs and pain then so could I, I started to write and release and it felt like therapy to me.

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

Lots of Irish music, real story telling music, folk, bob Dylan, bob Marley, 2pac , native American music, classical a whole melting pot of all music, it has all inspired me in some way or another. 

How long have you been playing/writing?

Since 2004. that was when I released my first CD “clipped wings” it was just experimenting. 

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

I haven’t played live for a while as I’m so busy in the studio producing for myself and others and writing. 2017 is gonna be a big year for gigs I’m getting booked up! were launching my new website alonestar.co.uk next month. All my gigs will be listed. 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Gig wise performing in Russia to 90,000 people. it was insane! Hearing my song on the radio for the first time and performing gigs and seeing a fan sing or rap along with you is pretty awesome.

The best thing though was when an American lady messaged me she had lost 2 sons in the Iraqi war and was so alone and depressed and was about to commit suicide but she was listening to my song “Catalyst” and she said it changed her mind, she started crying and made a decision to keep on living. It really touched me of course and made me realise the power of music. It was real! 

Where is the best place to find you online?

Twitter.com/alonestar

facebook.com/alonestar

soundcloud.com/alonestar

smarturl.it/AlonestarMUSIC http

instagram.com/alonestarphoto

Adreyn Cash

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

I’ve been surrounded by music since I was very young. I remember my mother singing Whitney Houston songs to me and being mesmerised by The Micky Mouse Club.

What inspired me most was the art of music, and the freedom of expression that comes along with it. I loved literature and really loved the idea of using my voice to paint mental pictures.

 

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

I grew up listening to everything from R&B to Rock. I was introduced to Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Otis Redding – essentially the greats, everything from the early 40s till the 00s.

The people I grew up listening to definitely have impact on what I create now, for example Sam Cooke as a creator really inspired me growing up, and to this day is one of my Idols. His song ‘A change is gonna come’ certainly had an impact on ‘Anthem,’ in terms of the raw passionate soulful tone, the string elements and the poetic nature of the lyrics.

 

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I wrote my first song when I was around 12 years old; I began taking piano lessons (on and off) when I was about 16.

 

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

Usually I perform quite regularly; my last three performances were in December. I’m currently focusing on getting all the new material for the EP ready before I start performing, however if there are any gigs I will announce them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

I’ve had a few moments in my journey that I’m proud of. Firstly performing at the indigo2, and then performing at the Big Music semi-finals in front of MTV, Capital FM and one of Coldplay’s assistants and finally gaining my Bachelor of Art with Honours in Music.

My favourite part in music is the journey and I’m really enjoying and excited about the direction that my brand and my art is heading in.

 

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

You can find me on my personal Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or my Website:

www.twitter.com/_adreyncash

www.adreyncash.com

www.adreyncash.tumblr.com

www.facebook.com/adreyncash

Unique

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

I’ve  been into music before I was even walking as a toddler. My Grandfather was a professional gospel singer I use to go on tour & Perform with him at the age of 7 to the age of 9 in his group called The Northernaires. I’ve played the drums for my kindergarten graduation so I kind of got in to showbiz a little early. I was inspired by Chris Brown, Usher & 50 Cent growing up listening to them I think plays a big part in the artist I am today.

 

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

I grew up in Brooklyn New York So I’ve listened to a lot of music coming up but artist like usher, Chris Brown , Neyo, Fabolous & The Dream was catching my ears at the time & I feel that’s what gave me My Urban R&B edge growing up listening to them I think plays a big part in the artist I am today.

 

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I Started Playing The Guitar, Drums, & Piano at 5 Years Old But I’ve been Writing Music Since I was 13 Years Old Weather it was hooks for other artist or writing my own music. I’ve been basically doing music my whole life but I started to take it serious & started recording 2009

 

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

My latest peformance was opening up for Fred The Godson at The Delancey in NYC But I’ve been focusing on this EP & I have been really putting 100% In To This Project So I Have Been Calm With Performing.

Some Of My Performances
Unique – Green Sofa Promo: http://youtu.be/amIsWekC7VI

UNIQUE –  6flags  open up for Fabolous: http://youtu.be/QNU772IActQ

 

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

I would have to say my favourite moment in music would have to be performing at the Anti-Bullying Rally. To see kids scream my name & go crazy for my music while inspiring them to do positive things & to never let anyone have control over them was mind blowing for me as an artist to experience at a very early stage of my career.

 

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

You Can Find Me Best at
Twitter – www.twitter.com/uniquedaartist

Facebook – www.facebook.com/prettyboiiunique

Instagram – www.instagram.com/uniquetheartist

View Some Of My Latest Music

www.soundcloud.com/uniquepyb

http://m.audiomack.com/artist/unique-the-artist

Scarlett Baxter Interview – New Single out now ‘Backsliding’!

Scarlett Baxter

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

 I have been into music all my life, my first love was when I was about 2 years old and I first started singing to Abba, I would sing every word from every song round the house, my mum was a massive fan and she was a singer to so I would just copy her.

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

I grew up listening to all the female divas, like Christina Aguilera, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain I was really into the female power houses and I always wanted to be like them, I would pretend that I was them, Christina Aguilera and Lauryn Hill have the biggest impact on me, When I perform live I like to challenge my voice and play around with the vocal acrobats but my tone is very soulful.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I have been performing since I was very young, When I was 9 I started doing local stage productions because it was a chance to get on the stage and perform and I just got stuck in that side of performing and I trained in musical theatre up until I was 21, I still knew though that the music industry was where my main focus really was so it wasn’t until I graduated from Mountview which is where I trained in Musical theatre for 3 years that I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do, I wanted to do music and perform as myself as an artist, So I started to mainly focus on being an artist in the music industry and that is absolutely what I want to do, I’ve been doing gigs all around London for over a year now and then started to write my own material with my guitarist who is also my co-writer.

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

I love doing gigs, it is my favourite part of this whole musical journey, I try and gig as much as I can, but recently it has been a lot of work behind the scenes I have been able to work with amazing people, writing and creating music in Glasgow and soon to be filming my first music video for my track ‘Backsliding’. Gigging at The Archer Street in Soho which is run by singer/songwriter Portia Emare and it is an amazing platform for artists which is organised by the music industry, so I am very excited about performing there.

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

My absolute favorite moment in music so far was spending a week in Glasgow at producer John McLaughlins studio writing and creating music with hugely talented writer and producers Jud Mahoney who has worked with Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Mariah Carey and Dolly Parton to name a few! and Natalie DeLucia who is associated with Britney Spears, It was the most surreal week! It was then when I thought I could absolultey get used to this! They had billboard awards for songs everywhere, very surreal and just amazing. I cant wait to get back in that studio soon with those amazing people.

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

You can find me on Twitter @scarletbaxter,

Facebook at ScarletBaxtermusic and my website www.scarletbaxter.co.uk 🙂

 

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

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