Sunday, 7 July 2013

Robert DeLong: The Indie Calvin?

According to Nigel Harding (Radio 1 Executive) Robert Delong is the Indie Calvin. A sloppy description I believe but I see the point. He does sing on his own club production...

That aside, Robert Delongs first big offering called Global Concepts gives us an insight into his background of EDM and House whilst his Indie influences come across in his laid back vocals. The main synth line is typical of the genre but what makes his track stand out is the rhythmic elements.

Besides the four on the floor kick pattern, his use of percussive synths and hat samples and what sounds like a djembe that run in and out of the track provide some interesting grooves. Then of course there is the snare! Very few producers would be daring enough to put such a bombastic sound into a dance track but it gives the song something to stand out against all the other Indie House acts that pop up every few weeks.

DeLong has a background in percussion having studied drums at Azusa Pacific University, his interest in percussion and rhythm makes his music come into its own and seems to put it on another level to the barrage of EDM tracks that plague the airwaves. Besides he himself looking like a bit of an addict, his orange X gives him some great branding that his fans have taken to painting on themselves at gigs.

Whether he will really break into the mainstream music is yet to be discovered but I think on the strength of his latest EP/Album "Movements", he will be creeping more and more onto our iPods and Spotify playlists.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Writing with Sarah Proctor

Meeting someone that you've never even spoken to before and knowing that you've got to spend five days in a room creating material that is hopefully going to be ending up on a record is always daunting. However, I imagine travelling from one end of the country to work with two people who speak and work with each other in a daily basis, and having to find a voice in the tracks we were setting out to create has got to be an even more daunting thought. Luckily for us, Sarah Proctor has got to be one of my favourite people to work with as a songwriter and we all seemed to hit it off quite quickly.

Miss Proctor is a blank canvas sound wise which meant we got to spend some time trawling through our cyber record collections picking apart artists that we like and finding production ideas that we felt would represent her in the right way. Rather refreshingly for me, Sarah isn't out there to create your standard top forty four on the floor type pop and I got to experiment with big dirty dubstep style synths with symphonic orchestras and more interesting drum patterns and ideas.

Sound wise, if you threw in Lana Del Ray, Ellie Goulding and Rihanna into one little Northern songstress you would probably start to get a good idea of the mixture of influences that are going into this record. A big starting point was looking at experimental DJ remixes of Mikki Ekko and capturing a darker element of solid pop songs. It was good to stray away from big string synths and over zealous harmonies for a sound that is a bit more elegant and focused on lyrics and story telling.

So far the feedback from both our management has been good and we're talking about some more dates to write more tracks for the EP or album as well as potentially putting a music video together. However, for now, keep an eye out for some acoustic videos from Sarah Proctor appearing on YouTube very soon!!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Ria Ritchie: I Feel Close When You're Next to me

Younger Sister of actor Reece Ritchie (10,000 BC and Prince of Persia), Ria Ritchie is a singer songwriter hailing from the most easterly point of the UK.

Another YouTube starlet she reached over 11million views of her pop covers and then went on to have a seemingly ideal run of collaborations, writing with Plan B and creating a studio partnership with one of Pixie Lott's writers, Ruth Anne Cunningham. She then gathered the attention of Jay Z's business partner Jay Brown (who had discovered Rihanna and Ne-Yo) and was signed in 2011 to Takeover Entertainment and Jay Z's label Roc Nation.

Ria then released the anthemic single "Only One"in May of 2012 and promised an Album in February of 2013.

The song is great, her vocals are on top form, she has all the right people behind her so why haven't you heard of her yet? I can only believe its a timing and PR thing because everything about this amazingly talented singer songwriter screams chart topping hits and success. However, for some reason people haven't quite caught on... yet.

Her latest "release" on YouTube displays a stripped back acoustic rendition of "Wrong Side of Paradise" which is testament to her songwriting ability. I think we definitely have a lot more to hear from Ria Ritchie and I really do hope there is an album coming. I for one am looking forward to hearing it and hope that the BBC R1 playlist execs catch on to it to. Ria is there and just needs the exposure that will make her career fly!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Lauren Aquilina: Fools

After hearing the Berkshire based singer/songwriter on BBC Radio Ones Introducing I almost immediately had to look her song and EP "Fools" up on Spotify to have a listen. A lot of great acts come up through BBCR1 introducing but very few sound so complete and as finished as Lauren Aquilina.

Lauren made her name the way that so many pop stars are now doing on YouTube performing covers and originals on the social networking site developing a strong fan base and eventually getting some recognition.

Still only a 17 year old school girl Lauren is juggling her time between school work and sold out shows of which I haven't got a ticket :( and has her career being handled by some of the best people and companies in the business. Her music itself is a great blend of influences from the XX to Ellie Goulding and it seems that "Fools" is a great start to Lauren finding her niche and making her mark in the pop world.

I'm genuinely excited about watching Lauren's career blossom. Despite her age she has a very confident EP with a sound that seems to represent her songwriting style perfectly. A lot of songwriters and Artists who get noticed at a young age are pushed into different styles and sounds and are produced into perfectly manicured and manufactured pop stars but Lauren has managed to get this far without compromising on her integrity and most of all, from her twitter account it seems like she is having a lot of fun with it too.