Archive for August, 2011
One of the big things I pay attention to when it comes to listening to new bands is the kind of mood the music puts me in. & As soon as I started listening to 321 Stereo, I was convinced it is impossible to be in anything besides an amazing and upbeat mood when you listen to them. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get up and move and it’s the kind of songs that get stuck in your head for days. 321 Stereo is a new wave/pop/dance band from San Diego who’s been around since 2009 and consists of Aubrey King on vocals, Jennie Ortega on bass, Patrick Dela Cruz on drums, Allan Celio on keyboards, and Raj Rajasingh on guitar. You can catch them playing at the Playground Festival in Irvine this Saturday, alongside acts such as Lil Jon, New Boyz, Shiny Toy Guns, The Game and Panic! At The Disco. If you’re looking for fun, upbeat music and a band that is full of energy, I would definitely recommend this band… But be prepared that their song Tell Me is pretty likely to be stuck in your head for days, like it was for me. I asked the lead singer Aubrey King a few questions about what’s helped the band’s success, where they get inspiration from, and what their plans are for the rest of the year. Check out what she had to say:
BLD Music Quest: The amount of accomplishments 321 Stereo has made only in a little over two years is absolutely amazing. What do you think has helped the band’s success?
Aubrey: We’ve been fortunate to have great team around us starting with our Manager Fale, Booking Agent Lauren and the many friends/family that have helped us in some way with either PR/marketing or booking us. We also try to play as many shows at as many different venue’s as we can to continue to gain exposure and hopefully while gaining experience and new fans. Thankfully that work has translated in being invited to play some great shows, and in our 2 time nomination for “Best Pop” at the San Diego Music Awards
BLD Music Quest: Where does the band get inspiration for new music?
Aubrey: From various places…life experiences, other musicians and bands such as Pat Benetar, The Human Leagure, and The Jets. Each member of our band has a heavy influence into our sound. Whether it’s our keyboardist Allan’s love of 80’s music and synth sounds, or Patrick’s intricate punk style of drumming, we all contribute our different musical influences into one unique sound.
BLD Music Quest: What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2011?
Aubrey: Our #1 priority before 2012 is to record our 5 song EP, while continuing to play more shows in Southern California to promote, and get our music out to as many people as possible. September is also a huge “festival month” for us as we are playing in 4 consecutive music festivals on every weekend in September.
BLD Music Quest: Is there any possibility for touring in the future?
Aubrey: We’ve had some opportunities but our focus is having the EP done by November. After the EP is finished, touring is definitely next on the list! As of now we are in the works for a possible tour in Arizona, and in the Portland/Seattle area, while of course still playing where we can here in Southern California.
You can check out 321 Stereo for yourself at the following links:
Allie Persinger is a 22 year old singer/songwriter who recently moved to Los Angeles after growing up in Ohio, to pursue her music career. She is currently working on a new EP, starting monthly events in downtown LA and expanding her music career. She’s already had radio success, after being highlighted on over 50 radio stations across the country. She plans on playing festivals and events around San Francisco and San Diego in the near future. Her voice is absolutely amazing. & She has this extremely contagious ‘never give up’ attitude! This girl is going places!
I asked Allie a little more about how she got started in music, where she gets her inspiration, what her future plans are and what advice she would give to musicians who are just starting out! Here’s what she had to say:
BLD Music Quest: How did your music career begin?
Allie: In my senior year of college, I joined a cover band based in Dayton, OH to earn some extra money. It was a cover band that had been together for at least a decade so all of the guys in the band were a lot older. It was like I had 5 new fathers. After a month of singing with them the keyboardist asked if I would lay down some vocal tracks as demos for some of his original songs. I agreed and afterwards I showed him some of my original music. Eventually we starting co-writing songs, put together an album, got on iTunes, and then I turned down a career on Capitol Hill to pursue music and moved to Los Angeles. I had always sang and been known as “a singer” but it wasn’t until an accomplished musician took interest in me and had faith in my abilities that I actually committed to it. I had been running away from a career in entertainment and music for a while, because it can be so unstable but after someone believes in you as much as you believe in yourself, you just have to jump in and go!
BLD Music Quest: One of the first things I noticed was you have an amazing voice. Did you have any type of singing lessons?
Allie: Ah, I took some. They all seemed to be trying to train me for Broadway. I was constantly singing show tunes and learning “proper singing form” in my lessons but was severely uninterested in that. It’s not an art if you have to be trained. I was on a music scholarship at my university and one of the requirements was that I had to take voice lessons. My voice teacher hated me because I wouldn’t sing the way she wanted me to. I would add my own stylistics and sang in a very sultry way. She told me once, “You cannot sing like that. You’re not a lounge singer.” My primary income in Los Angeles this summer was made off having my own weekly show in a lounge at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Coincidence? Turns out I was practicing becoming a lounge singer…haha
BLD Music Quest: Where do you get your inspiration for new music?
Allie: Most of my music, and all of my best pieces, were written based off my own life and how I was feeling. My material is very, very personal. I have a friend that looks at situations and people around him and grabs ideas from that. I don’t write well that way. If I am hit with lots of feeling from a particular person or a life circumstance, out comes a song. Last summer, I went to Maui with my family and had a fling the last few days I was there. On the last night, I wrote an entire song start to finish, based off of that fling, and never changed a word, the structure or the melody. It came out perfectly. When I feel strongly, an entire song will just appear. I almost hate dating or having my band learn new music because then they know exactly what’s going on in my head and how I’m feeling. It’s hard to play those little love games when it’s all out there just like that. A lot of times, little hooks or choruses will come up mid-day or right before I go to sleep so I have all of these little song ideas written in the yellow notebook. I hope I hang on to that notebook for a while.
BLD Music Quest: What plans do you have for your music for the rest of 2011?
Allie: I have an album done that’s very “country” or “americana” but at the moment, that’s not my style. So, I’m finishing an EP and putting the material on a vinyl, I’m in the process of putting together an entire band–right now I’m missing a bassist and I need a permanent drummer. I’m going to play at more music festivals on the west coast and I want to do weekend tours in San Diego and San Francisco. I’m in the middle of writing a pop song that I’m hoping to sell to fund MY music. If I could sell it, that would be a major, major accomplishment. A career in music is so unpredictable and you never know what’s around the corner. So, anything could happen at any point–that’s the rush. I just want to perform as much as possible and take hold of the good opportunities that come my way.
BLD Music Quest: Can you tell us more about the monthly events you’ll be doing in downtown LA?
Allie: YES! Now, I am a businesswoman when it comes down to it. So I figured since there is no “regular” party in downtown (well, besides Mustache Mondays) that I would start one. It’s called “Detention: Where the Bad Kids Get Worse”. The first one is on September 15th but we will have them every month. A big group of us are throwing it, we’re booking local, popular bands for the event so it’ll all be live music. The decorating is going to be outrageous and we’ll pack the spot with tons of just really absurd stuff. I want the space itself to be amusing. But the purpose is to promote the music, the bands, and for it to be a party. There is no cover because no one is wanting to make money from it. We’re literally in it for the fun. So, September 15th, 9pm, Mezz Bar, Downtown. BOOM!
BLD Music Quest: What advice would you give to musicians just starting out in their careers?
Allie: I’ve only be really going for it for under a year and here’s what I’ve learned. You have to be ruthless. Push your way into things and let people know what you do. Don’t be shy or humble about it- tell them! Also, make as many friends as possible and support them in their endeavors. Be sincere in your friendships and soon you’ll have tons of fans. Be yourself and write music/look the way you’ve always imagined. Don’t let someone tell you what is “hot” at the moment or what you should wear/how you should do your hair ect. I used to have this manager in NYC and that’s all it was. It was awful. We stopped working together because he was asking for “dirty pictures.” It was unbelievable. Get creative about how you’re going to make money off of music and how you’re going to get “known”. You are a business, so you have to treat your music and your image as one. Take all of your good, interesting qualities and make them more extravagant. Finally, never ever stop. Ever. Even when you’ve reached a dead end and you feel like you’re life sucks, another and better opportunity will present itself.
You check out more about Allie at her website:
Breathe Carolina has always been a band I’ve enjoyed. I got their album “Hello Fascination” just about two years ago and I had it on repeat for weeks afterwards. It’s still one of the CDs I play often in my car. Right around when their new album “Hell Is What You Make It” came out, I first listened to the song Blackout. I was instantly addicted to it and had it get the whole album. Just like I assumed, I absolutely love the album. The thing I love about Breathe Carolina is they aren’t like every other band out there. Their sound is their own and it’s unique. They have a rock sound, with a little electronic mix and even some screaming parts. The rhythm easily gets stuck in your head. Listening to this band will instantly put you in a good mood.
Blackout is still one of my favorite songs from it, but there are numerous other good ones. I also really like Wooly, Last Night (Vegas), Gone So Long and Take It Back. The new album has a little bit of a different sound than the last album. I was instantly hooked on the last album, but “Hell Is What You Make It” took a little while to grow on me. “Hello Fascination” may still be my favorite album by the band, but the new album is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re already a fan of Breathe Carolina.
If you’ve never listened to “Hello Fascination”, I would recommend you listen to songs like Take Me to Infinity, My Obsession, Hello Fascination…or pretty much just the entire album.
You can check out the band at the following websites:
When I first started my music blog, I did a review on the band Every Avenue and their album “Shh, Just Go with It”. I had never heard anything from them before and I instantly loved them. Some of my favorites from that album are Think of You Later (Empty Room) and Between You and I. The entire album is amazing. So when the band recently came out with a new album “Bad Habits”, I had to get it as soon as possible.
I wasn’t expecting the band to outdo their past albums, but they clearly have. In my opinion, the songs on “Bad Habits” are easily some of the best music to come from Every Avenue yet. The lyrics are amazing and there are some awesome guitar parts in a lot of the songs. Some of my favorite songs on the new album are Fall Apart, No One But You, Only Place I Call Home, and Somehow, Someday, Somehow. There honestly isn’t a song on the album that I didn’t enjoy.
The song No One But You has some amazing guitar parts in it. My favorite part of the song is towards the middle where it sort of pauses and it’s only the vocals with a simple drum beat. Only Place I Call Home has a great little guitar solo right in the beginning of the song. I really like the lyrics in Someday, Somehow. Fall Apart has a great melody to it too. Overall, I think the band has simply progressed a lot when it comes to their music. I didn’t think it was possible, but the band’s talent has only gotten better.
The band recently just played all the dates at the Vans Warped Tour, while promoting the new album. If you like bands like Mae, Paramore or Mayday Parade, then I’d recommend you should check them out.
The City of Dusk may be a young band, but they are definitely a band heading in the right direction. When I first listened to some songs from their demo, I was amazed by how great the sound was, especially for being only a demo. Any band that has acoustic versions of songs is instantly on my good side, so I was definitely pleased once I listened to Words Become Nothing.
When the band first began at a school talent show around Hermann, MO, it was only Alex on guitars/vocals and Brandon on drums. A few years later and after going through a couple band members and different music styles, the band has found a style that has really become their own. Tate has joined the band as the lead guitarist/vocals and their bassist is Keegan. The band has a similar sound as bands like All Time Low or Mayday Parade.
When it comes to inspiration for their songwriting, Alex said “Basically, whenever we feel it. I usually start with a melody or a particular line of lyrics I like and start pouring my heart into the song. It’s almost like being an author sometimes when I write “story songs” like Tonight.” For the next year, the band plans on finishing their demo and sending it out to different radio stations and record labels. They’re doing all the promoting themselves.
For what advice they would give to bands just starting out, Alex recommended “We write what we would listen to. That helps a lot. It also helps to have a group of friends, almost like a street team who love your music, to share with everyone. It’s also good to raise awareness.”
To check out The City of Dusk for yourself, you can visit their Facebook or Myspace:
If I had to describe Ainjel Emme in one word, it would be inspirational. When I first listened to her song Straight to Hell, I was blown away by her outstanding voice and the melody of the instruments all coming together. Her music is simply beautiful. Yet I quickly found out that there’s a lot more to this singer/songwriter than her beautiful music.
Once I started getting to know more about her, I was instantly inspired by her passion and dedication to her music. Ainjel is a DIY singer/songwriter. She has pursued the whole record deal thing in the past, but she realized it wasn’t the right path for her. She grew up in a very music oriented family. Her mom is also a singer/songwriter and she would open up for her mom once she started writing her own songs. Something I found interesting was that she hasn’t had any voice lessons and she struggled with her voice when she was growing up. She said “I struggled with my voice for a long time, to be honest. It’s such a weird, awkward instrument. I’m only now starting to feel comfortable in knowing how to use it.” Her new comfort with her voice really shows when you listen to her music. I am simply in love with the vocals in her songs. When I asked her where she gets her inspiration from, she answered with “People things. Love. Fear. Empathy. An unapologetic, indulgent passion for the many shades of the human spectrum.”
For the next year, she’s working on a fundraiser for a small tour to start reaching a more nation wide audience. Since she doesn’t have any type of management, she does a lot of the promoting work herself. “I have to pace myself in a way that I don’t get overwhelmed by all the different things I have to do to stay up and running. My to-do list is always pages long.” Along with promoting her music, she’s also working on material for a third album!
When it comes to what advice she would give to bands or singer/songwriters that are just starting out, Ainjel said “Figure out who you really are and what you really want. Don’t do it for the money or the fame. Don’t compare, don’t compete. Do it with love. Don’t flake out on the rest of your life. Don’t believe the hype. Practice, practice, practice. Treat your career like a gift at all times.”
After discovering Ainjel and her music, I’m really excited to follow her music and see where it takes her. She’s playing at Genghis Cohen in LA on September 2nd. (& It’s all ages!) I will definitely be going, so you can expect to see more about Ainjel on the blog in the future!
You can find out more about Ainjel and listen to her music for yourself at her website: