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#83 Oliver Wickham


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Monday
Jul142014

042 Nova Rockafeller 

First of all, thank you so much for chatting with us.  We know you're crazy busy, what have you been working on lately?
I'm not busy at all I just do lots of things. Right now I'm trying to a produce a video to shoot this weekend, so it's fun, but I've mostly been in studio with dj nobody trying to pull together a few songs, which Is also fun, but hard because we get REALLY REALLY HIGH. 
 
What's a typical day in the life of Nova Rockafeller like, if there were such a thing?

Oooooh, wake up and eat oatmeal then go to studio and drink wine and either play lasertag after, or have the squad over for some RISK. On sad days i play the sims, on days I don't have studio I'm taking pictures or writing. 

You're known for being incredibly motivated and hard working, at what point did you know that making music was something you had to do?

When I was 16 I knew I'd do it untill it worked. 

You a prolific and talented mc, but you're also a designer. Can you tell us a bit about that?  How do you stay inspired?

I just like creating. Everything. It's easy to have fingers in a lot of things, but I constantly have to quality check myself to make sure it's all good. It's easy to think what you're doing is great, and it's hard to see it for what it really is. Right now I'm working on a small line of hats, that are actually just hoods, with heavy chain drawstrings. They make me feel like an assassin. 

We saw a video where you stated that LA's Fashion District is one of your favorite places on Earth?  What are the others, is there anyone else you haven't been that you want to check out?

Fashion district is important to my life! I'm there all the time looking for fabrics and chains and blah blah blah, I'll use any excuse to go there. And I really want to see the whole world. I want to go back to Europe, that place feels like history... But my favorite city is Manhattan. 

Who are your favorite musicians, and who would you love to work with?

I love meg Myers and die antwoord indefinitely, but this month I'm feeling young thug, stitches and I<3makkonen 

If you weren't doing music in LA, where would you live and what would you do
In another dimension I'm a photographer and I live in New York. 

In a time where music fans have thousands of options of what to listen to, your music certainly stands out. What about you and your music do you think stands apart and commands peoples attention?

I just don't think it's a lot like anything else. I am who I am and I make what I make. I rap and I'm not a gangster I'm just me, and I sing a little and it sounds cool and I'm not trying to by anything I'm not. I don't have anything to prove because I don't CARE about much. 

Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else we should all know about?
Usually I'm not this serious.


For more on Nova Rockafeller, go here. And listen here:

Tuesday
Jul082014

041 Lincoln

 Recently we were introduced to the wonderful music of Lincoln, an extremely talented young singer and musician who are sure is going to skyrocket out of this world.  We were instantly drawn to her music, and her original approach to her craft.  She's also an emergency room nurse, saving lives by day and creating beautiful music by night.  We had a chance to ask her a few questions and here's what happened. 

 -First of all, thank you for making such wonderful music.  We were fans after our first listen.  Could you tell us a bit about how you got in to making music?


I took my first piano lesson as a shy, nervous 7 year old and have been making music since that very day. I desperately wanted to write big, beautiful film scores so I used to watch films on mute and sit at my piano composing my own music to the scenes. Thats my first memory of writing music. 

-Who or what do you draw inspiration from? Who did you look up to growing up?

Anywhere and Everywhere, I am inspired by the weirdest things at times.  
Growing up - my Nana, she was the bravest woman I know. She still inspires and drives me. 

-What's a day in the life of Lincoln like?

Crazy! I can't ever sit still!  Im always bubbling with ideas and inspiration that sometimes my head feels like its going to explode.... no two days are the same ever!  

-Besides saving lives and making beautiful music, what else do you like to do?

Listen to amazing music. Oh and drink great wine.

-What can you tell us about 'Visions of a Fading Light'?  Is there anything else coming up that we need to know about?

Its my heart and soul wrapped up in approx 21 minutes. 
Im currently getting my Live show together and will be doing an EP launch towards the end of August. 

 

 

 

https://soundcloud.com/lincolnsounds

Thursday
Jun122014

040 Meg Myers

  

 

 

Governors Ball Music Festival brought it's fair share of surprises.  The adventure brought with it performances by some old favourites, introductions to some new artists, and a few eye opening experiences.  One of the most exciting performances was Meg Myers kicking off the last day day of the festival on the main stage, and one of the biggest surprises was sitting down to talk with her about the wide range of reactions to her music, her passionate performance, and how some things are better explained without words.

 

Fingers on Blast: People have asked us to describe your music, and the only word that really feels like it fits is passionate.  The first track we heard was 'Go', and part way through there is such an eye-opening, abrupt change that really got our attention.  Has pulling people out of their comfort zones been an intentional part of the process, or does that just happen naturally?

Meg Myers: I think that just happens naturally.  But I'm aware that it does make people uncomfortable.  So if somebody says they hate it, or they hate me or something, I'm like 'Awesome, I did my job.  They fuckin' feel.'.  The reaction is rarely 'Oh yeah I like her', more like 'I love her!' or 'I can't stand her...'.

Fingers on Blast:  We saw the show at the Drake Hotel in Toronto for Canadian Music Week, and that was an incredible show.  Does it feel like in a larger, louder outdoor setting like Governors Ball that this is where the music really fits?

Meg Myers:  Yeah, yeah.  It's funny my manager was just saying that, hearing it really loud at a festival that's what I'm supposed to be doing.  It's a little bright for me, if it could be dark at a festival that would be better.

Fingers on Blast:  That's one thing we had noticed, there always seems like there's a few sets at a festival that should definitely take place at night.  

Meg Myers:  It felt weird, it feels weird to be performing in the light.  It would be fine if it's a night time, but when it's light outside... I like to push myself too, because when this is what I'm doing it pushes me out of my comfort zone.  It's uncomfortable, and you can see everyone, and I think 'alright, it's going to get real weird'.

Fingers on Blast:  How does that work when you're up there and you look at people and you can see them so clearly?

Meg Myers:  I have contacts now, and I didn't for a long time and so I feel like having them is making me feel a little uncomfortable.  It's hard but I like that, it's that strange feeling of pushing yourself to the extreme. 

 

Fingers on Blast:  One thing we noticed when were doing some research for this is that your bio on Facebook is pretty hilarious.  That seems like something that a lot of artists skip, and a lot have a fairly standard formula, is yours all true?

Meg Myers:  Yeah.  I didn't go to high school, I built forts?

Fingers on Blast:  That unique approach to something so simple and often dull definitely caught our attention.  Especially since the internet is so vital these days.  What role does that devotion to the internet play in what you do?  

Meg Myers:  The internet has helped me so much in terms of contact with fans, and social media.  There's moments, uh.  I hate it, like I hate doing it, but it's something that comes with my job.  I have to do it, it is one of the only ways to communicate with fans and that's the number one thing just being my weird self.  It helps so much, it's insane.  I just can't stand technology, I'm this hermit of a person who can't stand this and I'm doing it.

Fingers on Blast:  I think it's pretty cool when you see people who aren't really big fans of the technology, but still find a way to be very genuine.  So often people present a very doctored image rather than letting the character of the artist shine through, and in your case it really does seem natural.  Social media plays a big part in how people come to understand an artist these days, when they want to look a bit beyond the music.

I've been wondering since the CMW show, and even more so after today at Governors Ball; is your songwriting dictated by an experience?

Meg Myers:  I can't explain it, every song it's like I feel something so strongly.  Whether it's something I've been through or just something that I'm feeling and I just have to get it out, every song is that.  It's almost painful to even admit, that I just feel so much pain and that's the only way for me, that's the healthiest way to express it.  Whether it's an experience which a lot of them are, or something I'm feeling that I can't even explain. Ahh! I can't explain it to humans, I can't like this.

Fingers on Blast: For me personally, that is one of the most powerful aspects of music.  Certain things you just can't explain any other way.  There was a moment at this festival where Run The Jewels performed a song for a friend and collaborator who had passed away, and they dedicated it to anyone that the audience was missing as well.  It was an instantly emotional experience for a lot of the audience, you could see it and feel it.  It's something that you have to get out here, get a sunburn and really live the whole experience to feel it.

Meg Myers:  I don't really see that all that much.  I also don't go to many shows, and it's hard to find stuff on the internet that gives me that feeling now.  Which is why I end up going back to listen to older stuff all the time, because I feel like there is something missing nowadays where there's this character and this emotion and it's raw and it's not perfect sounding but that's what makes it so beautiful.  There is that out there, there are exceptions.  That's what makes it powerful.

Fingers on Blast:  One of the best ways I've ever found to explain it was one of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's lines in 'Almost Famous' where he's playing Lester Bangs and he says 'Real music chooses you.'.  You can't really decided what you're going to get into, you hear it and it either gets you or it doesn't.

Meg Myers:  It's unexplainable too, I have plenty of songs that I would never show to people around me or would never sit and listen to with them because they do something to my mind.

Fingers on Blast:  After seeing the show a couple of times, I'm curious are you reliving the experiences that inspired the songs?  

Meg Myers:  Sometimes.  It depends on the song, but most of the time no.  Most of the time I relate it to whatever I'm going through now.  I guess I have always gone through very similar things, and they kind of intertwine and kind of weave into each other.  Like today, I felt so much, and felt a lot of pain,  it's always different things and somehow the lyrics always make sense.  There's moments onstage where you do get in your head for a minute and you're like 'shit, this is not good'.  Especially for me, my music is so emotional if I'm not there and the intensity is not there then it sucks.  If you ever see me suck it's because I'm in my head and I'm freaking out about something else.   

 

Fingers on Blast:  How does it feel to have your music used in a tv show, and especially in an autopsy scene?

Meg Myers:  I didn't know exactly what it was going to be.  I kind of find out about things a little last minute, even if I'm told about them.  I don't always pay attention until it actually happens, I'm usually a pretty stressed out person I try to just go with the flow.  When I did see it, I mean it's funny because I know my stuff is dark and it fits with that type of thing.  I realize it makes sense and it's exciting.  It was funny, and I love it.

Fingers on Blast:  It seems like that would be a pretty easy choice of where to put your music.  I remember reading something from another artist whose music is often considered very dark, and I think often that music reflects the world we live in and that label comes from people who kind of ignore the reality of what the music is, and what world we live in.

Meg Myers:  Yeah, and not to compare myself, but with some of the people I've been compared to it shows I don't want to go the rocker chick route, or the pop route.  Even though I didn't really listen to these ladies growing up it's such a compliment to me because now I want to be like a Tori Amos or Fiona Apple or Alanis Morrisette.  Now when I hear that I think it's so cool because they're just normal girls who just let it out.

Fingers on Blast:  This is a reflection of what you've experienced, how you feel and how you see the world.

Meg Myers:  And it can be even more.  I don't want to be put in a box or told my image has to be this or that, it's always evolving. 

Fingers on Blast:  I think that's one of the most interesting things for us, to find these artists that defy any easy explanation.  Once you get there, what can you do next? When there's the sense of mystery, and possibility for what can come next that is one of the more fascinating things we can discover in an artist.  We've wondered about the comparisons, because that's such a natural human response to something new.  I understand them, but also they don't really make sense, this is something brand new, and powerful, that doesn't really sound like 2014 it sounds like...  

I guess running out of words is a good thing every now and then.

Meg Myers:  Yeah, it really is.  There's so much more powerful feelings.  There are some things so much bigger.

 

 

Interview by Scott Mitchell (@yahohyah) photos by Andrew Mitchell (@itsbigmitch)

Thursday
May082014

039 Justin Martin

 

Fingers on Blast: Your bio references taking on the pots and pans at the age of 2, and then leaning towards djing.  What inspired you between that stage of discovery and the early single 'Sad Piano'?
 
Justin Martin: Everything! I had a very broad musical background thanks to my parents. I took piano lessons and played the saxophone in many jazz bands growing up, but the majority of my musical influences probably started with my dads record collection. He had everything from classic rock to classical music, and there was always music being blasted in my house on his badass macintosh stereo system which he still has to this day along with an amazing collection of vinyl. I discovered dance music in high school through my older brother christian and once I heard goldie's "timeless" album I knew I wanted to learn to dj. It started as a hobby, turned into an obsession, and by the time a graduated college it was all I could think about pursuing with my life. Music is my passion.
 
Fingers on Blast: You have a reputation for not taking things too seriously, has that always been the case?  What impact does that have on your music?
 
Justin Martin: There are certain things that I do take seriously... and having fun is one of those things. Life is short. I am in such an amazing position and feel truly blessed to be doing what I love every single day, so I try and keep a smile on my face and remind myself of how lucky I am. However I take my music very seriously in the sense that I want to provide a quality product for my fans. But at the end of the day it's all about making people smile and dance and enjoy themselves when they come out to see me, so I try and have as much fun as possible because fun is contagious. 
 
Fingers on Blast: What inspires that outlook?
 
Justin Martin: My friends, fans, and the people I look up to. I've been a dance music fan for a long time... and some of the most inspiring people for me are people who are not only good at what they do, but nice as well. Grumpy djs, divas, and shit talkers should take a good look at themselves in the mirror and reevaluate their attitudes.. There is no room for that in dance music. We are all in this together. Dance music is one of the most positive forms of escape and we are all lucky to be a part of such a beautiful thing.
 
Fingers on Blast: What led you to dance music?  definitely my brothers influence. he went off to college and would send me new music he was discovering.
 
Justin Martin: I remember hearing bjork's "debut" album for the first time and falling in love with the weirdness and funkiness of it. I think goldie was on tour with her so her music was a major gateway because I listened to his album "timeless" and my life was changed.
 
Fingers on Blast: Have you ever performed at or attended Movement before? yes!
 
Justin Martin: i have been going to the festival for at least 8 years, and 3 years ago I played and it was a dream come true! so excited to be back!
 
Fingers on Blast: In your own music the balance between beautiful melodies and hard edged beats is very prominent.  Does that come naturally or is that something that takes daily focus?
 
Justin Martin: I just try and make stuff that moves me. I was always an intelligent drum and bass fan long before I really got into house music, and I loved the contrast between light and dark. Beautiful melodies mixed with lethal basslines... I want to make music that you can still listen to off the dance floor, but that will still rumble sound systems. I try and take a new approach to every song I do, I don't ever want to be pigeonholed into as certain sound or genre, I'd rather keep the lines blurred and keep pushing my sound further. So I just go into the studio and have fun and try to keep it fresh.
 
Fingers on Blast: How does your solo work differ from the Martin Brothers music?
 
Justin Martin: When christian and I worked together our stuff is very hip hop influenced. we have always been inspired by the bay area hyphy beats of artists like 'E-40' and "the pack" so our music together usually has that vibe initially, but again we never know whats gonna happen when we get together to make music and the results are always different. It's just fun working with someone who brings a different and cool vibe to the studio. 
 
Fingers on Blast: Who are you looking forward to seeing at Movement?

Justin Martin: I may be biased towards my dirtybird gang, but every time I have seen Claude Von Stroke play there its the most insane shit ever. Also Green Velvet! He is such a legend! He has been consistently killing it for longer than anyone and he is such an awesome guy!


Check out more from Justin Martin here and get your tickets to Movement Festival here!
Wednesday
Apr232014

035 Project 46

 

This past Sunday was the conclusion of Seasons Fest in Vancouver. Project 46 headlined the final night at Celebrities Nightclub in front of a hometown crowd. They have taken the progressive house scene by storm and were ready to show the crowd why they made DJ Mag’s top 100 list. With a number of remixes, bootlegs, and mashups under their belt Project 46 had an endless supply of tracks that would please any fan of theirs to hear live. Whether it was their song ‘Collide’ or playing a remix of Steve Aoki & Linkin Park’s ‘A Light that Never Comes’ the audience jumped to every beat and sang along every time they had the chance. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with the guys before their set.

Fingers on Blast: Kinda curious since you’re from Waterloo and you’re from Vancouver. How did your collaboration come about?
Thomas: Internet
Fingers on Blast: Just internet?
Ryan: Well not really. It wasn’t really internet. It was a mutual acquaintance that introduced us.
Fingers on Blast: Was it somebody that you knew from Vancouver or from Waterloo?
Ryan: It was actually a patron from Beta. He was kinda checking out what I was doing and checking out Thomas. I was playing a dj set at Beta [Waterloo] and played a mashup that Thomas had made. “That’s the guy’s mashup!!” So I decided to call him. I called him and he sent me a track he was working on, a bootleg. We should do this and we should do this differently. That was like the first type of project we worked together. And we just kept working on it.
 
Fingers on Blast: Now is your home base Vancouver and Waterloo?
Ryan: Well home base is a relative term right now because we are never really home.
Thomas: It’s more like 30000 feet
Ryan: We are in the air more than we are in our house.
 
Fingers on Blast: How do you guys stay grounded since you spend a lot of time on the road
Thomas:
With both feet. We have hobbies and I do a lot of golfing and exercise.
Ryan: It is hard when you are always traveling. It’s not all about being grounded. The actual process keeps your grounded. It’s a grind.
Thomas: The other thing too is not that you’re hopelessly travelling. You have goals. It’s professional. You’re not haphazardly flying around. You have a system.
 
Fingers on Blast: I’ve read interviews where you’ve had a musical background [Thomas]
Thomas:
I’ve been in music since I was singing in the shower at 4 years old.
Fingers on Blast: And for you it was just something that you enjoyed the DJ aspect
Ryan: I was deejaying before anything in music. I downloaded FL and kinda screwing around. Thomas is more musical. He plays guitar and sings. He’s very musical and moderately talented and it’s taught us a lot.
 


Fingers on Blast: You’ve worked with a lot of artists recently like Laidback Luke and Kaskade. Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
Thomas: I always say for that question that I’d love to work with Red Hot Chili Peppers or like an alternative band.  Whether they would be down for it or not, I don’t know.
Ryan: I mean I always like maybe like Alesso or Calvin Harris or similar type music. It would be cool to go through the process with them because they are doing a very similar thing to us at a higher level.
Thomas: It would be cool to see how our process would complement each other
Ryan: I’d hope that most people you work with teach a lot so we learn stuff, especially if you’re in a studio with people. When we first started producing one of our first collaborations that never came out was with the producer Adam K. He taught us a load in the week we were with him. Every time you’re in the studio with somebody else you’re going to learn something.
 
Fingers on Blast: Now growing up, was it that rock side that influenced your love of music?
Thomas: Ya. Obviously it was alternative, John Mayer, Rise Against, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Metallica, Iron Maiden.
 
Fingers on Blast: Is that something off day you’d be listening to?
Thomas: For fun it’s something we would to ya. We’d listen to tech house or rock or stuff for fun. We stay true to our Project 46 sound.
Ryan: When we are making a Project 46 song we are in a different mindset than when you’re in artist mode. Thomas has been doing this deep tech stuff lately for fun. It’s like an artist mode just having fun. But when we are doing a Project 46 song sometimes you need to put yourself in that mindset. Our team is also business orientated and stay true to our fans.
Thomas: Our process is like we try to take a large spectrum and then focus it.
Ryan: Try to bring something new to bring into what fits in the progressive house scene.
 
Fingers on Blast: Anywhere you’d like to tour and travel to that you haven’t been to yet?
Ryan: Australia. We’ve both been to Australia but haven’t toured there.
Thomas: We both want to go to Australia,  
Ryan: I want to go to Thailand. Hawaii is another place. There are a lot of places. We’re going to South Africa soon.
 


Fingers on Blast: I’m sure the travel schedule can get to you. You kind of have to reset yourself after traveling. I know for yourself [Thomas] it’s golfing. What is your one thing you do to cleanse your palette after traveling?
Thomas: For me it’s actually exercise. I just need half an hour in the gym. Golf is related to that. I’ve always been physically active.  I used to do mountain biking, camping, fishing. Some of the best inspiration has been in the shower after a golf session. Now that we have such an intense travel schedule we don’t have time for that. We find it in different ways. You find it by peace of mind.
Ryan:
Shows like this too. He’s at home. We’re here and it’s sort of a time out even though we’re playing a show. We’re around friends.
 
Fingers on Blast: Random question: Most artists have one album that does it for them. Do you guys have one?
Ryan: One of my favorite albums of all time is a Collective Soul album. The first album I purchased was Bryan Adams Waking Up the Neighbours.
Thomas: Green Day album.
 

If you were ever curious about how the house music scene has grown into the mainstream, all you would need to do is see Project 46 live. The energy and enthusiasm displayed would make any new fan of EDM want to jump into the crowd and dance the night away. With a strong work ethic and passion for the music, Project 46 is sure to be around the long haul.

 

Interview by DJ Kid A

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