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



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

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

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

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

Q: What has inspired you most throughout your career? 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ricbacelar

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ricardo_bacelar

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


In conversation with: Short Sharp Scratch


This week, we’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with long time producer/songwriter, Jak Chantler, of Short Sharp Scratch who is currently releasing his latest soul-funk hybrid single ‘Shell Suit’. Here’s what he had to say:


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

My earliest musical memory is my mum making deliveries in her pickup truck for the family business, my sister and I strapped in together in the front seat (it was the 80s!), with Appetite for Destruction blaring out the truck stereo.  Mum always used to turn the volume down at the sweary bits!

When I was about 10 I rediscovered this record and it inspired me to start playing guitar.


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

I was obsessed with rock growing up, back then you were not allowed to enjoy other stuff too as it was seen as soft, so for many years I also had a secret pop and disco flirtation.  Thank goodness when you reach the age where you can proudly enjoy all music! I’m not sure if it’s like that for rock kids today, I think people can listen to whatever they like peer pressure free!


How long have you been playing/writing?

I started out writing guitar parts for my old band Kingskin.  As we got busier with gigs our singer was less interested in writing lyrics so I started doing that just as it had to get done in order to finish anything.  Then at some point I discovered Prince and saw that he would write, play and record everything!  I’m not on that level as he is a God as far as I’m concerned, but it definitely helped me.


How often do you play live?

I am very busy live performer, it’s often private events.  However there are some live opportunities coming up, watch this space…

What has been your favourite moment in music?

My best experience has been either recording with Steve Albini in Chicago or recently I got to record my new single Shell Suit at Abbey Road

Where is the best place to find you online?


‘Shell Suit’ is set for release 15th September.

Chatting with: J.J Leone


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:

An interview with: Soul-man Les Kirsh


Unsigned got the lowdown with 70s soul-man, Les Kirsh, who’s making a comeback with his remastered tracks of old.


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

It started in the 60s when some friends and I started a band and because at the time I couldn’t play an instrument, they said I should be the singer. We started to get lots of good feedback from the students and teachers who used to come listen to us rehearse in the school hall. I was inspired after a friend played me some imported LP’s from America which featured artists such as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett and the rest of the soul scene.


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

I grew up listening to lots of Motown and early soul and I try to combine the two. I love writing songs with meaningful lyrics.


How long have you been playing/writing?

Since the 60s


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

I haven’t played live since the 70s. It’s been a long time.


What has been your favourite moment in music?

I have had so many good moments its hard to say which was my favourite. Probably my first recording contract.


Where is the best place to find you online?

Sound Cloud , YouTube – check out the links below:





Listen to ‘Tell Me To My Face’ here:

‘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.’

Roberta Howett

Roberta Howett BW

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

I’ve always loved singing, since I was really young, and always wanted to perform.  I learned to sing and play piano at school, when I was 5 or 6 years old – that’s when I started.  I used to sing in competitions growing up but never ever thought of it as a potential career.  When I went to college, I set up a band with 2 of my best friends and we recorded some demos and were signed to a management company.  Then an opportunity came to audition for X Factor, and I got through to the live shows.  That was when I thought ‘ok maybe this could work!’

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson and loved how he expressed himself in each song.  So many amazing female vocalists too who inspired me – Annie Lennox, Minnie Ripperton and Karen Carpenter.  I’m from a family of 12 so it helped that there were different types of music playing at all times!


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

I grew up listening to Michael Jackson – I was obsessed with him!  His rhythm, lyrics and delivery were always perfect!  It’s a different style to what I write but I take inspiration from his commitment and delivery, and try to really tell the story behind a song whenever I sing.


3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I started learning to sing and play piano when I was 5 or 6, in school.  I started writing lyrics when I was about 18, and then melodies came after.


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

I‘ll do a small tour later in the year, but I haven’t confirmed dates just yet.  Im focussing on recording and writing at the moment.  For any updates you can find me on twitter @robertahowett, Instagram @bertyhowett and on my website, www.robertahowett.com


5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

I have played with some fantastic musicians over the years at some great festivals.  My favourite moment was probably playing at Glastonbury Festival (Acoustic tent), or at Oxegen Festival in Ireland.  My dressing room was next to Dave Grohls at Oxegen Festival – doesn’t get better!!


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

You can hear more about me on www.robertahowett.com, and more tracks on Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/roberta-howett.  You can follow me on twitter @robertahowett, and also on Instagram @bertyhowett.

Lola Lamour

Lola Lamour

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

I been singing for about 10 years now. My husband, Kevin has always played in Bands so I have always been in a musical environment. It was Kevin who encouraged me to start singing and he has been so supportive in my career


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

I have listened to all sorts of music from the 20’s onwards since i was a little girl. I used to love singing along to Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee as I was growing up. I always loved old movies and glamour. I have always dressed in Vintage clothes and loved old music. This has a massive impact on me now. I anything retro with a bit of old fashioned glamour thrown in!


3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I have been working for 9 years as a professional singer. I started as a solo act and then I started working with 2 Bands. It was only last year that I acme interested in writing original material. You never know what you can do until you try!!


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

I am lucky to have a lot of work and it’s always different. All my show dates are on my website www.lolalamour.net


5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

That’s a tough question. There are so many highs that you experience as a singer. You can sing to 5 people or 5000 people and always draw something different from it. Music is an amazing thing and can reach so many people in so many ways. I always enjoy speaking to the audience after a show. If you make people happy, you always come home smiling. That is my favourite thing in this business


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

On Facebook and also at www.lolalamour.net and youtube

Aysha Loren Interview!


Aysha Loren has just released her latest EP ‘Back to you’ along with a reggae soul single called, Keep it like it is. It was this new that got us interested in finding out more about the young caribean singer. So we spoke to her and here is what she told us!

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

I Started Singing at the age of 14, in talent shows and school productions. I would say Whitney Houston inspired me listened to her music a lot growing up and also listened to a lot of reggae music.

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

I listened to Whitney, Destiny Child, Lots of Lovers Rock Music by Various artists. I would say yes my music is versatile and I try to mix the different genres that I grew up listening to and do it my own style.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

I’ve been Writing for only 2 years as I feel I now have the life experiences to write about so it comes easier to me.

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

I Perform most weekends and even when I don’t have a gig I keep busy by popping  into my favourite open mic night.

You can catch Aysha at the following Events:

27th July – Reggae Summer Jam – Gappy Ranks, Randy Valentine and others  Catford Broadway Theatre

1st August – John Holt, Errol Dunkley 02 indigo

2nd August – John Holt, Christopher Ellis 02 indigo


26th September – Adult Weekender – Camber Sands


5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?

I would say my EP launch that was on the 5th July. I performed with a live band for a 40 min set and was able to share my EP with the public. I am very proud of my EP and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.



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






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

Lerish: Unofficially, since the crib, stories of bouncing and dancing to music and crying when it was turned off, lol. Officially, I really started singing in elementary school in chorus and at 11 was writing and producing my own songs with a Casio Keyboard and a cassette tape deck. Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop and Gospel were always an outlet and inspiration for me growing up. There was domestic violence early on in my home and music was a therapeutic way to deal with the hard times.

Vizun: I was pretty much surrounded by music growing up. My father would play his old school records in the basement at home, (Parliament was one of my favorites) and that became my hangout spot. My mother loved gospel and soul music. My older sister and cousins would always play the latest Hip Hop or R&B songs and that eventually made me want to try to make songs of my own. I wasn’t much of a singer, (Even now, I leave that part to Lerish, lol), so I gravitated to writing rap music, which wasn’t too much of a stretch because I was already writing poetry at the time. As I got older it became less of a hobby and more of a passion. I couldn’t (and still can’t) go through a day without listening to music.

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

Lerish: I grew up listening to LL Cool J, Run DMC, Boyz II Men, Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, New Edition and Commissioned (A gospel group that birthed the solo careers of Fred Hammond and Marvin Sapp). This diverse playlist has allowed me to pull from different characteristics throughout the years and come into my own eclectic style of singing. I would say I’m very melodic and can be soulful at times with a touch of pop. I think this has allowed me to be in a group with a rapper and not seem out of place. Lol.

Vizun: I grew up listening to many of the same artists that Lersih mentioned as well as Anita Baker, De La Soul, BDP and a wide array of other artists, and I think that it caused my taste to be pretty broad. While rap music is what I consider to be my area of expertise, I like trying to infuse other music styles into it such as jazz, rock, neo-soul, etc. Our range in taste is what allows our music to be so diverse. When you listen to a Go2 album, you won’t hear the same old thing from song to song. It’s one of the strengths of our group but it’s also made it hard for people to put us in a particular category (which I am actually happy about.)

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?

Lerish: I’ve been writing and playing since the age of 11 years old.
Vizun: I think my first rap was written when I was about 8 or 9. I haven’t stopped since, lol.

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

Go2: When on the road we try and perform mostly on the weekends. Right now we’ve taken a short break to finish up the new album and music videos to a few of the upcoming singles.

5 – What has been your favorite moment in music?

Go2: One of our favorite moments in our journey so far was in Chicago. We were there to perform on Rev. Jesse Jacksons weekly broadcast and stopped at a local youth event. The kids there were off the chain! They even rushed the stage while we were performing. The energy was electrifying and it was so encouraging to see the youth so on fire for what God was doing through our music!

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

http://www.twitter.com/therealgo2 – http://www.facebook.com/therealgo2 – http://www.ourstage.com/therealgo2 and http://www.soundcloud.com/go2


1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I started singing from the age of 5 years old and dancing from the age of 7 years old. My first childhood memory was of singing and i don’t recall what inspired me to start, so i can only assume that it was something i was naturally born to do. I know that music was always around me as i come from a musical family. My mother was an A grade radio singer in Sri lanka as well as a dancing teacher before she became a well known actress there. My father bought a piano for the house when i was a child, as he plays the instrument and sings by ear and i remember starting to tinker on it from the age of 7 years old. I started taking piano lessons from the age of 10 years old, sitting for my AMEB exams as well.
I love music from the 1970’s, soul, disco and funk and would often listen, sing and dance to the songs of artists from that era. These include Lionel Richie, Boney M, The Jacksons, Diana Ross, George Benson, The Pointer sisters, Earth wind and Fire, Olivia Newtown John, Motown and the Bee Gees.
At the age of 9 years old, i was introduced to Michael Jackson, who became my music mentor and greatest influence. I would rehearse dance steps by watching and emulating his moves on video, to the point that now some of the moves have become a part of my muscle memory. My all time favourite album is Off the wall. Other artists who inspired me as a singer and musically, growing up, were Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, Madonna, Prince, George Michael, John Lennon and Billie Holiday.
I enjoy singing blues and jazz and my voice has been likened to artists such as Sade, Kathleen Battle, Minnie Ripperton, and Bjork. I was classically trained in piano and vocals as a teenager and all my teachers inspired me as well to become the best i can be in the art of music.

2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
Most definitely. The music i create is soul/funk and RNB primarily. However, i was also exposed to traditional Indian and Sri Lankan music growing up and i love to fuse instruments such as tabla and sitar with western grooves to create my own style. I grew up listening to my mother perform on stage and in films and developed an instant love for these instruments and grooves. A friend of mine introduced me to the music of artists such as Viswanathan Mohan Bhat and Ravi Shankar and i would attend classical Indian shows from a young age. Several songs on my album, Infinity, use elements of South Asian instrumentation such as Voodoo Girl, Free, No more, and New day. I have worked with Maestro tabla player Bobby Singh who resides in Australia and sitarist Sarangan Sriranganathan and they have lent their talents to my current project, Infinity.

3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I started performing from a young age of 7, putting on shows with my sisters for friends and family at parties. I entered my first music competition, which i won in dance, at the age of 10 years old and started performing on stage as a teenager for music schools and festivals.

I won several competitions in my late teens and was chosen to perform at the Mattara Music festival, alongside artists such as Silver Chair and Margaret Urlich. I was also chosen as a dancer in Peter Andre’s video clip for his song ‘Let’s get it on’.

I have been performing in Sydney with my soul/funk band over the last 7 years at clubs, festivals, private functions and events.

In 2013 i travelled overseas to the USA, in particular, Nashville, Austin and L.A. working 2-3 times a week with local musicians as a duo and band in venues such as Room 5 lounge, and Douglas Corner.

I started writing songs from the age of 14 years old, which i started to fine tune in my late teens, inspired by a friend from University who was writing Christian music. The themes were often about Love and loss, bluesy in nature initially. These days, however, i write music of all genres from Soul/Funk/R&B to pop and alternative/fusion. Ballads as well as dance club tunes. Most of the creation of music occurs through a process of inspiration or channelling, whereby the musical ideas are brought to me from a higher source, such that i am just the transcriber. This usually occurs in the middle of the night, waking up or falling off to sleep or in dreams. Occasionally ideas will come to me while i am driving or doing an activity where my left brain is switched off.

4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
Currently i am working in the studio on a new project and have been performing less in the last 5 months. My next performance is at Forest Lodge Hotel in Glebe on Thursday, June 12th at 8pm where i play as a duo with my guitarist Tommy D.

I am also doing a promotional tour of Sri Lanka in July and will be playing live in Colombo. To keep up to date with my gigs, please visit my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/senanimusic

5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
My favourite moment in music is whenever i perform on stage and feel at one with the music, without thinking and judging. I am totally in the moment. Experiencing joy and sharing that with my audience.
Apart from that it was also when i received notice that my song Free was nominated for a 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the R&B Soul category and when i was listed in the hot 100 unsigned artists of 2013 by reputable U.S. music magazine Music Connection.

6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Either through my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/senanimusic or my website http://www.senani.com
You can also find me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/senaniw
You tube http://www.youtube.com/senanimusic