14 year-old pop starlet Hitha talks about her latest single ‘Special’ and the challenges of self-doubt that young people face

After the success of her debut single Standing Up With Pride, Hitha has an aim to give young people a voice with her latest single Special. The song is an original take on modern Western pop whereby Hitha draws on her Indian heritage by lacing the pureness of the flute through the rich sound of the saxophone and rhythmic pop beats.

Although given the ballad’s title you might think this is strictly a boyfriend/girlfriend message it is in fact to dedicate to anyone special in your life, from friends to relatives to those who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve – a tribute of recognition to anyone of any age.

Hitha hopes to inspire young teens and to encourage older generations to take time to listen to them and to understand that their thoughts and feelings are just as important – a topical subject for the nation currently. Her latest single release enforces this message as she says that the song is one that many people can relate to – not just teenagers like herself – because it touches on themes that are true for all ages. With young artists like Shawn Mendes, Madison Beer and Billie Eilish taking the pop scene by storm, Hitha joins them in the representation that young artists have the capability to inspire and achieve and that age is just a number.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/0M4zbLWx3Q4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hitha2018/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByHitha

 

 

In conversation with: Five o Five

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We were lucky enough to have a chat with Piero of up-and-coming Italian indie rockers, Five o Five, and at the tender age of just 18, this continental four piece are showing they have talent beyond their years with their new single ‘Where They Bring Sophie’.

 

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

I can’t remember a time when I was not into music, really. It was The Beatles who inspired me to start a band.

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

My father made me listen to the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who and many other bands he loves from the “good old times”, and they are still an inspiration to me. I also grew up listening to a lot of country and blues. Then my older brothers introduced me to pop punk bands that were very popular when I was a little kid: Sum 41, Blink 182 and Good Charlotte to name a few. All of these still impact what I write, as well as others genres I learned to love later, like jazz and electronic music.

How long have you been playing/writing?

My first instrument was the violin, I was 5 when my parents bought one for me. I would often watch Shania Twain in concert and I had decided that the violin was my favourite instrument in her show. Three years later I started dedicating myself only to the guitar. I would invent riffs as a game by the age of 10 and when I was 13 I wrote a song called Little Fat Girl, which will be in our upcoming album, @Y&!

How often do you play live?

In Italy we try to organise three gigs each month during the winter and four or five during the rest of the year. Our music is not exactly “mainstream” where we’re from, so it can be hard for us to find a time and place to play live. We’re coming to England in September for an acoustic tour, and again in October or November for another short tour.

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Everytime music contributes to affect how people think, like when it manages to make an impact in social protest movements or to help people claim their freedom, I see it as a great moment for music.

Where is the best place to find you online?

You can find us on our Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/fiveofiveband/?ref=bookmarks

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/3bdD4209rhtvuyGBC6KXpx

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/where-they-bring-sophie/id1255474696?i=1255475083

Deezer: http://www.deezer.com/album/44111051

In conversation with: Music Theory

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Unsigned Interviews were lucky enough to get in conversation with emerging Egyptian artist, Music Theory, before the release of his latest single ‘Down The Aisle’.

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

I started writing music when I was about 9 years old. My first song was about 7 lines. It was about a ball rolling down the street 🙂 I was a very shy person growing up. Writing music put me up when I was feeling down. It helped me release my thoughts and dreams, that I usually couldn’t share. I could be whoever I want in this make-believe world that I create whilst writing.  As I grew up, I also wrote about my experiences and emotions.

My inspiration was all those singers that I grew up listening to. Their ability to make me cry, feel loved or pumped up through their songs was amazing. I wanted to have that effect on people. My dream is to touch people’s hearts.

 

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

I grew up in the eighties and the nineties. I listened to mainstream music. Michael Jackson, REO speedwagon, Sublime, REM, Oasis, NKTOB, Boys 2 Men, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi, Stock Aitken Waterman, Pet Shop Boys, etc.

I could write an endless list. It was always about the song, not the artist. I always listen to mix tapes, never albums.

I believe that everything I hear influences me.

 

How long have you been playing/writing?

About 30 years. However, my song “Down The Aisle” is my first professional release.

 

How often do you play live?

I never played professionally, yet. I plan to do that in the near future, at a certain point.

 

What has been your favourite moment in music?

Band Aid. USA for Africa. It was inspiring and extraordinary. Music can heal and connect the world.

 

Where is the best place to find you online?

https://soundcloud.com/musictheory2016

https://www.facebook.com/musictheory2016/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNHe1k5TPYkM8EHLiaDkL_w

http://www.musictheory.zone/

http://mtmusictheory.blogspot.co.uk/ 

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/
 

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

GET TO KNOW: Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla

1- When did you first get into music? What or who inspired you?
My uncle Patrick from Birmingham used to visit us in Limerick, and he played the fiddle. He was the first person I heard playing an instrument, and he bought me my first violin.
When I started my classical studies at 12 I listened to composers like Rameau and Lilly, and the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
When I was about 17 and playing guitar my mate Cha Haran, the singer with Grannie’s Intentions, told me that The Animals had reformed (without Eric Burdon and Chas Chandler) and they had an electric violin player called Willie Weider, also their bassist. That was it – I could immediately see that I could do far more with violin than with guitar.
 
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I listened to a lot of American music – jazz players like Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Nat ‘King’ Cole with Stuff Smith on violin; also blues players like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Lou Rawls the great soul singer. I liked British bands like the Stones, the Animals, the Hollies too.
On the traditional side I was playing for Irish Dancing schools, traditional tunes out of collections. There were lots of good fiddle players around County Clare and also County Donegal. Traditional music was generally frowned on then – it was seen as too old fashioned – so there wasn’t a lot of it happening on the scene.
Yes, I’ve ‘kept the faith’ all right, but also I have added many influences over the years. The whole thing with Indian music, for example, and also jazz-rock and progressive music are very important to me now. Any music that features improvisation is potentially interesting to me.
I’ve also played a lot of Scottish and Breton music through touring in those places and working with their musicians. That’s given me a much better understanding of Celtic music as a whole.
 
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
Too long – and not long enough! I really started performing in my teens, so over 50 years ago. I started writing at about 17, but not that often until my 20’s. Gaodhal’s Vision was my first really substantial writing effort – it encompasses rock, Celtic, classical and fusion jazz and I wrote all of it including the orchestral parts.
 
4 – How often do you play live?
It varies. At the moment there seem to be more theatre gigs, but we also play festivals and music clubs.
29th October 2016  ‘Fire & Light’. The Albany Theatre, Coventry
http://albanytheatre.co.uk/fire-and-light
14th December 2016. Leam Jazz. http://www.leam-jazz.com
March 31st / April 1st 2017. ‘Egypt to Eire’.  Belgrade Theatre Coventry. http://www.belgrade.co.uk
 
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
I’ve had a few! I was touring the Vision Band supporting Rory Gallagher in the late 1970s and we got an encore – which was unheard of for a support band at the time. I think it was in Ipswich.
When I joined East of Eden I had just a month to learn the whole set! I was taking over from Dave Arbus, one of the founder members. I made sure I didn’t make one mistake! Everyone was really pleased, including me.
More recently – I think it was 2011 – Shkayla played the Great British Folk Festival at Skegness. We were second on the bill, and we tore it down! Got an encore there too!
 
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
http://joeodonnellsshkayla.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHfqphCzdhiwEgpykm1SQyg
https://soundcloud.com/shkayla

GET TO KNOW: LEAT HABER

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Check out the video here and then get to know the lovely Leat:
 

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
.       I was always around music. At home, when I was growing up there was always music playing in the background and we always used to sit and listen to music in our free time. I finally decided to be a professional singer at the age of 18, but until then you could always find me singing. When I was young I listened to what was played around the house: The Temptations, Jackson 5, Elvis and Cat Stevens. I’m also influenced by Dolly Parton, Jersey Boys, Johnny Cash, Tracy Chapman, Craig David and Amy Winehouse
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
There was a lot of music from the 50’s and 60’s played in our home, but I can truly say that I was infatuated with this kind of music. Perhaps it was the lovely melodies or the naïve and truth in the sound, I don’t actually know. I can just say that my original music is definitely influenced by it.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I’ve been singing from the age of 8 and playing the guitar from the age of 15. The writing and composing started flowing in my veins at the age of 20.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I had a vintage stores tour (playing in different vintage stores across Israel) which ended 2 months ago. Now I perform on Facebook live once a week. You can catch me live at  www.facebook.com/leathabermusic/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
.       My favorite moment in music was when my EP Flying On A Kite was ready.
If you want to listen to my original music you can visit me at my Bandcamp account: https://leathaber1.bandcamp.com/album/flying-on-a-kite
 

Interview With Francesco!

  • When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
  • I started to play piano when I was 5, classical music but very soon I was overwhelmed by the rock music movement and I started to play in bands at 12.

 

  • Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
  • when I was a kid I was crazy for Keith Emerson, for his Hammond and his Moog. He was a kind of transition from classical music to pop-rock music. He’e been a great Maestro for me. My electro pop seems very far from ELP,but on closer inspection there is a bond that covers certain harmonic progressions of classical derivation.In any case, I absorbed many musical genres, although for many years I had a kind of aversion to music, especially the music market and talent shows.

 

  • How long have you been playing/writing?
  • I always been a composer. Since I was a kid. But lately ( since last year) I’ve been seized by a kind of competitive fury.

 

  • How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
  • I haven’t played live for a long while. For a couple of beers I can play piano for you – and I have been known to make appearance in my local clubs and concert hall.

 

  • What has been your favourite moment in music?
  • As an architect my favourite moment is when I enter a building. I do that first when there are only a few lines in a sheet of paper. The same happens with music: first there is only an idea and then there are instruments, choir, voice …. and everything takes shape……This is a kind of miracle and a moment that miraculously, repeats. My absolutely favourite moment in music? When I heard Purple Rain by Prince. I cried.

 

  • Where is the best place to find you online?
  • The best place to find me on line is on the 1ofUs web site : www.1ofus.co.uk  With links to my songs, my story, my social networks, my graphics, my vid – me.

You can find Francesco’s brand new music video ‘Home’ premiered here:
http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/96931/Headline?noCache=true
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Irontown Diehards- Interview

1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I’ve been playing bass since I was 11 years old, my friends had started a band and there were already 2 guitar players and a drummer. My best friend’s older brother taught me how to read tabs and taught me my first couple of songs to get me started. I didn’t actually get my first bass until I was 12 so if I wanted to play bass I had to go to my friend’s house, in the meantime I would practise on an old classical guitar we had in the house!
 
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
I can tell you straight off that my 3 biggest influences are John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Billy Sheehan from Mr. Big. All 3 are exceptional world class bass players but their individual roles in their 3 bands are so different. I also don’t necessarily think that influences will always translate into the music you play, the 3 bands I’ve just mentioned probably wouldn’t who would spring to mind if you listened to The Irontown Diehards or even my bass playing. But they’re always the 3 I come back to and the ones who I’d most like to emulate.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
The Irontown Diehards have officially been a band for coming up on 2 years now. I actually just found a facebook post saying that it was 2 years ago last Friday that me and our guitar player Andrew Baxter have been friends. My uncle Declan put me in touch with him after they were struggling to find a bass player, they had me down to audition and Andy will be very kind to say “we didn’t audition anyone after Mark”, but I can’t help that maybe Andy could just as soon say “we didn’t have anyone else to audition”.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
Our next gig is 7th May at the Limelight in Belfast. It’s a pre-release show for our album which will be available 27th May but at this show we’ll be doing a limited run of digipacks for the people there!
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
The next goal is always my favourite! I don’t look back all that much and am more interested in what is in front of me, what am I working towards next? What do I need to achieve it? What do I need to learn to get there? Doing this is what makes me better at what I do because with each goal, whether that be on the music side or on the social media side or business side it’s a new skill that I need to learn and can bring with me for the next stage.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
Like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. Our videos are on youtube and the album will be available on iTunes, amazon and Spotify from 27th May!
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