Thursday 2/26 Israel-bred, L.A. based duo Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen, world renowned as Infected Mushroom, rocked the Electric Factory with their self-proclaimed “hypnotic arrangements, complex layered melodies and synthetic rhythms known as ‘Psychedelic Trance,’ leaving behind all their dying ‘Trance’ cousins in the mainstream.”
Infected Mushroom’s brand new stage is the the first of its type. Imagine; a steam blasting, eye popping, self standing mechanical “Steampunk” themed mushroom. This mechanical being is more than a stage production, but an art installation with a darkened soul. Infected Mushroom gives life to a new type of live element sure to satisfy the thirst of this ever-changing and rapidly evolving hunger the masses desire. Built by local artist Duane Flatmo, Animatronica will set a new standard in stage production and design for 2015.
The Disco Biscuits capped off 3 straight sold out shows at the Electric Factory, Saturday night [2/21], by fittingly playing 3 extended sets for an enthralled crowd of avid supporters. Braving first snow, then drizzling rain and slushy streets [add to that Uber 4x price surges and occupied cab wars — “I’m gonna run down the street through freezing puddles to hopefully snag a cab ahead of the other group waiting”], the enthusiastic many who found themselves inside the especially cozy mainstay venue were thoroughly entertained — and expressing their joy to be there.
Such expressive methods included bliss-fully, and spin-fully, jam-dancing, showing off quirky style accessories and goofy hats, all the while taking in the high-tech light and laser show beaming out from the stage.
In fact, I learned a new holiday exists as I overheard when many a delighted friends [old and new] found each other in the crowd exclaiming “Happy Biscuits…. maaaaaaan!!”
All these ‘Biscuits’ needed were some wavy gravy, and that was no doubt supplied as the Philadelphia natives, who originally formed their band at UPenn — Allen Aucoin (drums), Marc Brownstein (bass), Jon Gutwillig (guitar), and Aron Magner (keyboards, synths) — served up the lubricant soundtrack for an all out groove-fest… and just a really good time.
Legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff and International Music Producer Rich Medina Join Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots and A Special Surprise Celebrity Guest for a Classic Dance Party to Raise Funds For Women and Girls Living in Economically Disadvantaged Communities
On February 21st, Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter, co-founder and lead MC of the GRAMMY® Award-winning hip hop band, The Roots, will host the 5th Annual Let’s Move It: Philly! charity dance party to raise funds for the GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF). In addition to hosting, Black Thought, co- founder and Chairman of the Board for GCF, will perform alongside hip hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff and international producer and DJ Rich Medina. New this year is a special surprise celebrity guest committed to helping young girls and women lead healthy, happy lives. Let’s Move It: Philly! will take over Trilogy, formerly The Palmer Social Club, located at 601 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Doors open at 9pm.
The GrassROOTS Community Foundation—co-founded by Black Thought and Dr. Janice Johnson Dias—is committed to contributing to the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities. Using rigorous scientific research, GCF creates innovative, health and wellness-centered, community-based programming that provides educational and recreational services to girls and women.
“We want to interrupt the structural inequality that exists in our communities; food access and health disparities are much higher in the African American and Hispanic populations than the rest of the nation,” says Dr. Johnson Dias. “The GrassROOTS Community Foundation recognizes and upholds young girls and women—specifically those of color—as agents of change and creates spaces for them to thrive physically, economically and emotionally. We know it is not enough to just describe the water in which people are drowning, we have to move and do the work together to change the tide.”
This year’s beneficiary organization is the Anna L. Lingelbach Elementary School in Germantown. In August 2014, there was a national outcry after it was revealed the school received only $160 in discretionary funding for the entire 2014-2015 school year. With a total student body of 400, spending equates to just 2.5 cents per pupil. The budget was to cover the costs of everything from books and copier paper to stamps and afterschool activities. After learning of the unfortunate appropriation, GCF moved into action. The proceeds from Let’s Move It: Philly! will go toward building an afterschool program at the school and increasing the capacity of youth and adults in the Germantown neighborhood. This program, titled LEAVES, is a social action public health program for middle school aged-girls. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, LEAVES will educate and inform community members about health disparities; amplify youth and community members’ voices on local health concerns and begin a community partnership to establish community investment in girls’ well-being.
GCF is committed to the LEAVES program at Lingelbach for three years.
“We’re excited to be part of the Linglebach community and to start the LEAVES afterschool program. As a father, I always want my children to have access to activities that challenge their bodies and their minds, and make them better people,” said Black Thought. “This year’s Let’s Move It Philly concert is going to be amazing and will give people an opportunity to party for a purpose with me and my friends.”
Building on the success of First Lady Michelle Obama’s national call to action to encourage young people and family members to be active and make better food choices, Let’s Move It: Philly! is one of GCF’s 10 city initiative— which is also active in Newark—that addresses health inequality for African Americans and low- income communities.
The Let’s Move It: Philly! dance party is part of a day-long wellness event which begins with a Townhall Conversation about Health at Lingelbach School, which will happen in the morning.
Let’s Move It: Philly! is sponsored by Monami Entertainment, Skai Blue Media and Superfly Mom.
ABOUT GrassROOTS Community Foundation
The GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) is an anti-poverty and wellness organization that supports, develops, and scales community-driven solutions to the health challenges facing women and girls living in poverty. For more information, visit www.grass-rootsfoundation.org.
ABOUT Skai Blue Media
Skai Blue Media is a full-service communications agency based in Philadelphia. We bring together experience from the fields of public relations, journalism, video production, retail and non-profit in addition to maintaining close relationships with media outlets, business networks influencers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers. Skai Blue Media specializes in helping businesses build their communications foundation. Whether we are helping a client prepare for a store opening or generating press opportunities in regional and national publications, our unique pitching style is secures coverage in niche and national publications. However big or small, we provide each client with an individualized approach to garnering press and creating unique collaborations. For more information, follow us online @SkaiBlueMedia or visit Facebook.com/skaibluephilly. ￼￼￼￼ABOUT Monami Entertainment
Monami Entertainment is a multi-faceted boutique entertainment company specializing in talent management, brand development and film/television production. Founded by Haitian-American philanthropist Mona Scott-Young, Monami Entertainment was created on the premise of maintaining Scott-Young’s track record for success while expanding the scope of services beyond music to encompass all areas of the entertainment business.
Ever wandered around feeling a bit lost, not exactly sure what it is you’re looking for? But, you’re pretty sure you’ll find it along the path you’re on, so you keep keepin’ on with a wry smile…
One may ask, “What do you find when you go searching for ______ ?” [fill in the blank]. Perhaps it begins with an expectation or hope of what’s to come. Maybe that initial desire changes the further along the journey you progress. Of course, you’ll never know until you take each step and do the searching.
When you sift through Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers’ musical library the experience is similar. First you think, “Who and what is this?” [wry smile]. Then you may think, “Is their playful attire in their music videos simply prodding to get a rise out of me? Is this a game of smoke and mirrors?”
And there is certainly some playfulness in there. They want to party and feel good with you over funky licks and bass lines that help you let your guard down. So when that catchy horn splash kicks in you can’t help but smile and sing:
I ain’t got no money / spent it on a laser / threw a dance party / DJ in the basement
Then you just let it be what it is and dig a little deeper — that’s when you start to really find out about this outfit [no pun intended], hailing proudly from Lansing, Michigan. They are a tight-knit group of really talented musicians, who consider themselves close like family, turning over each rolling stone and putting song to their experiences — especially those that lead singer and song-writer Joe Hertler sees, hears, and feels.
That’s when you realize and start believing, “Okay, that’s where the heart-felt and honest lyrics come from… : ”
We are 10,000 dead in a war that was won / We are the fallen spirit and the smoking gun / We are the future that will repeat what we’ve done / We are heroes with a thousand faces
See, what works is when you learn The Rainbow Seekers play this x-gen funk and soul with a live horn section and signature style all their own. They’re not just blindly fishing for your token attention and raised eyebrow remarks. Summed up, as Joe explains below in our conversation, the band is looking for a unique and authentic connection when they perform and/or share their music. And if you’re also looking for that when you press play or witness their live show, then you’re in luck.
I recently talked with Joe Hertler during his North American tour — just ahead of the group’s new album Terra Incognita [released today // listen below] — not necessarily seeking any particular answers… but ya know, I got some in the end.
Aran Hart: Sum up your approach to you and your band’s music… More specifically, the shared journey and “seeking” that your band name alludes to…
Joe Hertler: I can put it this way. A song is unique to the moment it’s written. You have all these experiences that culminate and the emotions behind it might be complex. You package it into a little box to make it accessible so someone else can open it up and hopefully connect with it.
Music in general is a learning and reflective experience. As you write songs you constantly have to reflect on your experiences because that is where they come from. One mountain after the other. You achieve something, then you keep going and then there is another challenge or set of experiences to pull an idea for a song from.
AH: I quote from your [bio] in reference to your music…
“A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and—at last—into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.”
Expand on that and why that’s how you see it… Do you take pride in being able to touch on these different style of music?
Joe: Yea I do. I take a lot of pride in being a band with genre ADD. I guess we never find ourselves comfortable or content sticking to one genre. We just get bored, so we say “let’s try some songs in this direction.” It’s a lot more natural than that though, not really a conscious thing. If I’ve written a couple sad songs in a row maybe i’ll think to make something more upbeat and funky.
I remember our label [Universal] sat down with us and asked, “Okay, what’s up with all this genre jumping?”
I think it’s just us. We’re just a bunch of weird motherf*’s. There’s a lot of different musical influences that are constantly feeding into our music making process.
Plus, I mean, the human condition is one of many different feelings and emotions. We try to touch on all those and that is expressed in different styles. So, we find different avenues that different people connect to.
People will come out because they like the funky stuff… but then you have the more folky crowd who comes because they like the quieter stuff. I feel like it allows us to have a really dynamic live show.
We’re hoping you can come to our show and be part of a party but also go home and put on some headphones and have a more introspective experience. Why limit yourself to one thing when there are so many ways to experience?
AH: Amish ex-communicate?
Joe: Haa, you know… No errr, comment on that topic… for now [laughs].
AH: Fair enough. Then talk about how you got linked up to record at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit…
Joe: There are these packets of artists moving to Detroit and enthusiasm towards growing the city. The Russell Industrial Center has long been considered one of the epicenters of creative stuff going on there. It’s this massive, cheap, warehouse with these huge rooms. A buddy of ours who is a sculpture offered up one of these rooms for us to film the RIS videos.
And the theme of the record is based on impermanence. I think, especially at that time, Detroit provided a real stark image of impermanence. Simply put, something as great as Detroit was – say in the 60’s – can kind of crumble and fall after a while. The parallels between Detroit and this record were something I acknowledged and it just seemed right to record the videos there.
We wanted to do something live, no glamour, no real post-edit work, and I think it worked.
AH: What would you want someone to say about your music if/when they find it?
Joe: Music is indicative of a strong society. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what time you are living in. There’s music around and it is something that people have been gathering around as long as humans have been humans. Whether dancing around a fire and drumming, or in church, or at a metal show. There’s a coherence to all of it and it is a very connective experience. So I hope a lot people leave our show feeling like they were connected to the other people that were there, including us. I hope they got a little break and got to escape from dwelling on what they might have to do tomorrow.
AH: I’m curious, what other artists in music do you hold in high regard?
Joe: I’ve always been a big fan of Aloe Blacc and got to meet him recently at Electric Forest. I really love D’Angelo and I guess he’s really been my #1 since the early 90’s. I always loved Erykah Badu. I love Tycho for electronic music — he’s awesome and plays with a live band. I listen to a lot of house and techno…that takes up a lot of my music time. I’m a raver, have been for a long time! Oh, and the The Flaming Lips.
Talk about you/your band’s song-writing and creating process…
Joe: Pretty much the way it has worked the last few years since we’ve been a band is… I write the songs and the music and I see them as a skeleton. Then I bring it to the band and they flesh them out and give them muscles. So they take what sounds like a folky, acoustic song and take it up to the next level.
Even if I’m writing something that’s more funky or in an R&B vein, I still feel a lone dude with a guitar comes off as a folk song. I usually try to get them to about 75-80% complete, in regards to the structure of the song, and then I give it to the band and I’m like, “have at it.”
I don’t tell my band what to do. There’s a real trust that we have with each other as musicians. They don’t tell me how to write my songs and I don’t tell them how to play their instruments. It’s a really cool thing that I’ve never had with other musicians.
Of course I share my over-arching vision for a song, which pretty much comes down to, “Hey, I want this one to be a quick funk and groove song…” And they’ll take it from there. Just a quick sentence to get them going. I think we’re all aware enough to see if something’s working or not working.
Like “Jetski” for instance. It totally didn’t work the first time we put instrumentation to it and everyone was aware of that. Then it came up again later and it just happened — we found an instantaneous groove. A lot of it comes down to trusting each other as musicians.
AH: What would you hope to find at the end of the rainbow?
Joe: Hopefully a little bit of fulfillment. Connections that have formed between me and my bandmates and the people at our shows. We make art and we want people to connect with it. And hopefully one day we can support our families off of it. So, yea a pot of gold and all of those things too!
AH: I hope you find it! Have a great tour, come see us in Philly, and thanks so much for your time…
Joe: Awesome, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Author: Franceska Rouzard | Photographer: Molly Rose
Music, particularly rap, is a fiercely competitive industry. In Hip Hop, every rapper is “the greatest to ever do it” and there is very little room at the top. However, in recent years there has been a subtle yet significant shift. Alongside records about lavish lifestyles and beautiful women are the equally popular songs that preach about spreading love and self worth. Along with the change of subject matter in Hip Hop comes a surge of good sportsmanship – artists wanting to help other artists. And while I’ve seen a distinctive growth in this amongst creatives, none have exemplified the desire to see fellow artists prosper as much as Verbatum Jones, East Coast rapper and curator of the vibrant artist showcase, Vibezz. Jones is also well known for Everbody Eats, an intimate potluck performance.
I met Jones in college in 2010. His presence was commanding yet warm, like the leader of revolutionary movement – he was ambitious and passionate. When he speaks about music, it moves those around him into action. For this reason, no one was surprised when he announced that he would be curating Vibezz, a show featuring a plethora of local and brilliant but somewhat underrated artists.
With Vibezz, held on Saturday, February 7th, Jones expanded the spotlight to his musical extended family. Not to be confused with your typical showcase, the event’s energy was just as welcoming as its host. Jones was inspired by his Haitian background, remembering attending parties filled with home-cooked food and libations so guests were treated to homemade pizza muffins and goodie bags in addition to dope giveaways like Power Beats 2 Wireless headphones. However what set Vibezz apart is due entirely to the unmatched amount of audience participation. “Vibezz!” was shouted from every corner, some in reverence of the performers, others in excitement for music played by DJ Tank Top, cousin of Jones and New York native.
The evening began with soul singer Andrea Valle, the youngest of the artist collective. Contrasting her sweet appearance, her music was raw and soulful.
The tone of the event quickly changed with rapper Gabriel Wolf. His high energy and passion infected the crowd into unparalleled participation.
Jamir Milligan, accompanied by Andrew Aulenbach of Halfro on the piano, brought the audience back to a familiar place with a beautiful gospel rendition and covers of John Legend and Kanye West.
The night was closed out by The Bul Bey, accompanied by his live band Hazie Blu. I would definitely award him “Most Moving Performance” for his cover of Verbatum Jones’ single “Nappy”, a symbolic song of the theme for the event – share love and positive “vibezz.”
At the end of the night, I spoke with attendees over cigarettes outside of the venue. As we floated and recounted the best parts of the evening, each of us were left with a single question: “When/where will Vibezz land next?”
Moving forward >> no matter the context, is so often attached to neglecting the here and now. When you’re ready to slow down, but still keep that right pace of progress in the foreground, allowdenitia and sene. be a part of your journey. Just keep in mind they warned you there will be Side Fxalong the way.
This past year has been one of emergence for the captivating duo. Combining forces in 2011 at the communal artist enclave in Brooklyn dubbed the “The Clubhouse” [or Club Casa], there is a special energy produced by the pair that translates into an organic artistry, distinctly portrayed both visually and sonically. In fact, their collective art-form works to heighten and aware your senses, leaving you peaked and ready for its delivery.
Capturing the eyes and ears of many a publication and audience, [Red Bull Sound Select, Rolling Stone, REVOLT, NPR … just to reference a few…] most recently their own nationwide “Side Fx” tour brought their music to a further-growing number of cities and fans.
Denitia’s sultry voice and delivery evokes what first entices a youthful love, then certainly carries enough weight and edge to remind you this isn’t just child’s play. Sene’s rhythmic, dreamy production and layering vocal interjections succeed in defying a restrictive ‘genre-label’ to be attached. The duo’s music more aptly aligns with forming to the listeners own mood or situation.
During our interview they’ll suggest when they think is the best time to listen to their jams, but really leave it up to how you — and maybe that special someone next to you are feeling…..
…… A feeling of a new passion or fleeting love affair that you are wrapped up in before you know it, but you’re okay with the uncertainty, and you’re ready to feel some more. denetia and sene. bring just that to your day, or evening: That letting go and admitting, “I’m not really here for answers” while knowing questions will sooner or later be asked……
Citing their song “It’s your fault” :
But who’s to blame? // there’s nothing really I can change // there’s nothing really I can say // to make that go away
And I’m not ashamed // please don’t say you’ll change // I know it might seem strange // but I think it’s okay
I sat down with denitia and sene. at UBIQ in Philadelphia — the final stop on their tour— just before they took the stage for their Heineken Green Room performance.
A special treat for all of you out there who aren’t ready to give up filling up on ‘goodness’ after Thanksgiving. Plus who doesn’t need something nice to pick you up on a Monday?! Below we’ve got fresh new mixes from the recent WKDU Philadelphia Electronic Music Marathon ft. King Britt & a bunch of other great DJ sets.
– Enjoy the tasty beats/treats ya’ll …
The 11th Annual WKDU Electronic Music Marathon (EMM) brought together over 30 Philly DJs to raise money for WKDU and two arts education nonprofits: Musicopia & The Village of Arts and Humanities.
DJs that spun the marathon included: King Britt (Ovum / Hyperdub), Dave P (Making Time), Rob Paine & Willyum (Goodie / Worship Recordings), Matthew Law & Mr. Sonny James (Illvibe Collective), DJ Sega (Mad Decent), DJ Apt One (Soul Clap Records), Noah Breakfast (former WKDU DJ / Rare MP3s), Matpat (Exploited Records / Plant Music), Les Professionnels (Nurvous Records) and DJ SYLO & Jansen (STUNTLOCO / Pizza Party), amongst others.
The EMM had listeners from France to San Francisco and raised over $2,000 to be split equally amongst WKDU, Musicopia and The Village. WKDU is continuing its fundraising efforts for the station and their nonprofit partners by selling limited edition EMM t shirts and other KDU gear at wkdu.org/store (donations are also accepted at wkdu.org/donate). WKDU intends to use their portion of the proceeds to buy DJ equipment for hosting even more events in the future.
In addition to DJs donating their time and money to be part of the marathon, many local businesses donated to WKDU to make the EMM happen, including Federal Donuts, Red Bull Philly, Mama’s Vegetarian, R5 Productions, Brewerytown Beats, Creep Records, Philadelphia Record Exchange and many more. “Rival” station WXPN even offered support.
The full DJ lineup and sponsor list can be found at wkdu.org/emm
A definite highlight from the marathon were the two sets from King Britt (a blistering 40 minute afro-future / techno mix & a 90 minute ‘connecting the dots’ mix tracing the history of electronic music from to boogie to hip hop to footwork).
Over the past month, WKDU has gradually been releasing all the DJ sets on their Soundcloud. Friday Dec 5th, WKDU posted the remaining sets from the marathon, including King’s, to wrap up an amazing weekend of 75 hours of continuous electronic music.
WKDU is Drexel University’s free-format, non-commercial, student-run radio station located in the basement of the Creese Student Center at 3210 Chestnut St.
WKDU broadcasts at 91.7 FM Philadelphia and wkdu.org worldwide and is known for its eclectic mix of quality programming that cannot be heard elsewhere on the radio dial.
Some DJs have had their shows for over 10 years and have cultivated dedicated listeners worldwide.
At the time of the marathon, King Britt was an artist in residence at The Village of Arts & Humanities, a nonprofit organization focused on community empowerment in North Philadelphia. King’s project with The Village called ‘Playback Musick’ took some naturally talented musicians and provided them with guidance and oversight in producing a radio show and an album titled “Strong and Independent” that is out now. King brought some of The Village / Playback Musick team with him to the studio to talk about their work and to MC his set.
Watch the Video on King’s project SPACES Episode 1: Designing Together from The Village:
The other nonprofit organization which proceeds will be going to is Musicopia.
Musicopia provides support to Philly area school music programs by giving teachers whatever resources they need to support music education in their resource deprived budgets. One of the groups that Musicopia brought in to perform was the Andrew Jackson Rock Band: HOME.
Teacher Chris Argerakis and his student band ended up spending so much time together in their band room, that they decided to call their band HOME.
For more information contact WKDU Electronic Music Director Chris Burrell.
Guest contributor Ryan Quint talked with Will Hehir of MisterWives about their upcoming LP, life on the road and much more. MisterWives, made up of Mandy Lee (Vocals), Etienne Bowler (Drums) and Will Hehir (Bass) began making music together in late 2012. They played their first show together in February of 2013 and signed to Photo Finish/Republic shortly after.
Although a new band, their sound was focused and self-assured, quickly earning them a slew of blog love, including early nods from Pigeons and Planes, Earmilk, Neon Gold and more. In October, the band hit the road with Half Moon Run on their first national tour. The tour ended with a two triumphant sets at last year’s CMJ before heading out for a six week stint with American Authors & The Royal Concept. They released their debut EP “Reflections” this January and were featured as the first iTunes “Single of the Week” of 2014.
The lead single “Reflections” now boasts over 1.5 million views on Youtube and has reached the Top 40 Billboard Alternative Chart — as the band continues to tour in between writing and recording their much anticipated debut full length album.
Conversation with MisterWives | by Ryan Quint
Ryan Quint (RQ): First off, happy Thanksgiving and congratulations on all of your recent success, from the “Reflections” EP to the tour with Twenty One Pilots. How did you guys spend the holiday?
Will: I spent some time with my family and Mandy cooked a huge meal for herself & Etienne & their families in our apartment in Riverdale. We actually spent last Thanksgiving on the road and Mandy somehow miraculously cooked a huge feast for us in our hotel in Columbus, Ohio.
RQ: Let’s talk about your upcoming debut album. You have been in the studio for some time now writing and recording it; what is the current status of the album?
Will: The album is basically done. We’ve tracked pretty much everything. We’re looking at a release date around the beginning of the year with a pre-release hopefully starting in January and then a formal release in mid-February.
RQ: Do you have any plans for a single?
Will: We’ll probably have a single released towards the end of the year or during the pre-release and then more songs will begin to come out in January.
RQ: Can the fans/public expect a similar sound as your EP on the new album?
Will: We’ve been describing the project as Misterwives 2.0. When we first started doing the EP we had the idea that they would just be demos so we recorded them all in Etienne’s bedroom, but this time around we were able to do everything with the producer of “Reflections” in an actual studio. Our sound has definitely graduated as far as production quality, but as a band, everything has gotten a lot tighter. We’ve had the luxury of being on tour for the majority of 2014, which has definitely helped. With that being said, we’re really, really excited for this new project.
RQ: Did you get to record any music on tour with Twenty One Pilots?
Will: We didn’t record anything, but our trumpet player, who also plays keyboard, accordion and glockenspiel, would go on stage and perform one song with them each show, which definitely helped bridge the gap between our band and their band.
RQ: “Reflections” is in the Billboard Top 40 of both the Alternative Radio and Audience-Driven Alternative Songs charts, one of Mediabase’s forty most-played alternative songs, and has over 1.5 million views Youtube. Did you ever expect this much success?
Will: (Laughs) No. We basically wake up every day like, “What the hell is going on?” When we started playing together we loved it so much that any potential success was in the back of our mind. I think we were trying to get past the fact that everything gelled so well and we were having so much fun with each other that we didn’t think so much about the potential success as much. It’s definitely a shock. We take it as it comes and we’re so grateful for everything. We really can’t express the level of gratitude for each and every person supporting us; it’s incredibly humbling. I don’t think we’re capable of getting an ego after seeing people sing the words to our songs in 5,000 person venues on tour with Twenty One Pilots.
RQ: It’s good to hear that you appreciate everything and do not take it all for granted, even though the success is coming so quickly.
Will: I was just talking to Etienne about what Sundays used to be, dreading work and the end of the weekend, and now we’re like: “Ok, let’s jam for a little bit tomorrow. Yea that’d be a productive day.” We’re definitely in awe of it all and extremely grateful for everything that’s happened.
RQ: You guys recorded the single four times. What did it originally sound like?
Will: It sounded really different at first. We recorded it when we first started playing together back in 2013. It was one of the first songs we ever recorded. We actually left it for a little while, then went back to it, but couldn’t capture the right energy that we were going for. When we sent it off to the producer, Frequency, he took it over the edge. That song really reflects our relationship with Frequency. We had the meat and potatoes of the song and he threw in a few ideas with the melody and harmony and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him.
RQ: Did you know the fourth time was the charm?
Will: We really took our time and definitely don’t half ass anything. When he sent us a mix of the song, we had a few notes for him, and we obviously weren’t a huge priority at the time, so we were just patient with everything. He sent us the final mix back about three weeks later and once we heard it, we knew it was exactly what we wanted. We are definitely proud of the “Reflections” that everyone hears today. There was a ton of time and energy put into getting it to that level.
RQ: The cover of the “Reflections” EP is very unique. Can you explain the significance of the gramophone with the different animals?
Will: We were trying to figure out a cover art while we were on the road and we came up with the idea to incorporate each of our own individual spirit animals. Mine is a dinosaur because I’m basically a five year old trapped in a 26 year old’s body and I love dinosaurs. Etienne’s spirit animal is an octopus for a variety of reasons. His favorite number is 8, his nickname is 8 and he was born in October so he’s all about the octopus. Finally, Mandy’s animal is an elephant. It’s a majestic creature and she can definitely relate to the nurturing nature of the elephant. The hummingbird was just thrown in there and then the gramophone is obviously not only a reflection of the music, but also the way that we view music. The gramophone represents a time when music wasn’t overproduced. When we recorded our EP and album, we made sure to use live instruments and have a real authentic musical feel, which is represented through the gramophone.
RQ: Can we expect similar artwork for the album?
Will: I can’t say too much, but what I can say is that it’s basically a Misterwives 2.0 cover. It will be a more evolved version of the first cover. The spirit animals will still be represented, but in a different way. We’ve been working with really great photographers and artists and we’re really excited about that.
RQ: When the album drops, do you plan on going on a headlining tour?
Will: Yes, we are currently working out the details for a headlining tour. Were not 100% sure on the timing of everything. The way we always envisioned everything was to get the album done, then do a headlining tour, but basically be on the road as much as possible. It’s so much fun working on the album and recording new music, but our heart is really in the live show and performing the music, meeting new people and personally showing our gratitude to everyone who’s supported.
RQ: Do you still expect Mandy to cook for the band as you continue to grow?
Will: I’m always very hopeful of that. I’m grateful for every meal that she cooks for us and fortunately she does it a majority of the time on tour. So I hope she continues to cook for us because even as we grow and can afford to eat wherever we want, it still wouldn’t be as good as Mandy’s cooking.
RQ: Favorite recipe of Mandy’s?
Will: Does Thanksgiving count as a recipe? All of that stuff. If I could eat what Mandy made last Thanksgiving for us everyday, I’d probably be really happy… and about 700 pounds.
RQ: (Laughing). Thank you very much. Good luck with everything moving forward!
For many, only waiting until you are 24 years old to achieve success, let alone begin a career, is not too long at all. But for an artist long since tapped to emerge beneath the bright lights of the music industry it can feel much longer. All is relative in the end, and for Miami’s bright young music star – or blooming flower if you will – Kat Dahlia can tell you her story indeed includes a patient and at times trying chapter.
Whether canceling multiple tours due to a pseudo-cyst on her vocal chord, or overcoming personal hardships and a “toxic relationship” that have challenged her these past few years, Kat has dealt with the weeds and has gained an understanding that this is all part of “My Garden.”
Live on stage [see photos below], Kat shares her story and the many sides of her personality and musical flavor that she describes as “honest and diverse.” This provides the audience with a full and engaging show while displaying sharp vocal talents and a soaring voice alongside a talented group of young musicians representing Queens, NY, Toronto, Canada, and Cali, Colombia.
I sat down with Kat in the afternoon before her show at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia [Nov 24]. We chatted about what this long awaited ‘beginning’ means to her and the thought behind the title of her album and tour. I also learned a little bit more about who this talented, exciting storyteller is.
Chances are she’ll have a few more stories to tell after her tour…
KAT DAHLIA2014 U.S. tour dates preceding the release of MY GARDEN, in stores January 13, 2015 and now available for preorder at iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Amazon. Anyone who preorders the album will receive four instant gratis tracks, including “Crazy,” “Gangsta,” “Mirror” and the Salaam Remi-produced “Clocks.” Fans who Shazam Kat’s “Crazy” can enter to win a pair of tickets for to catch her#MyGarden tour in the city of their choice. Spotify users can also enter to win tickets to see Kat live in concert by creating a #CRAZY playlist on @Spotify and sharing it with the tag #CRAZY4KAT.