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Music

A&R Factory Present: Justin Baron

Hear the words “Amish Country” and you’d be hard-pressed not to think of butter churns, windmills and a conspicuous lack of places to plug in your iPhone. So, it might be hard to believe that Justin Baron, a prodigious singer/songwriter and New York City’s best-kept secret, grew up in Lancaster, PA – the widely reputed home of the horse and buggy.

Now, Baron is quickly becoming one of the music industry’s rising stars with his infectious brand of explosive, bluesy pop. In 2013 – a breakout year for Baron – he co-wrote with Kanye West and John Legend, leading to Legend’s “Made to Love,” a single off the certified gold and Grammy-nominated album “Love In The Future.” Though Baron feels most at home on stage, captivating fans with both his mastery of the piano and his undeniably magnetic vocals.

In just a few short years, Baron has gone from playing in small coffee houses to performing on some of the biggest stages in the world, including the IZOD Arena alongside Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez and Calvin Harris and Jones Beach Amphitheatre with Jason Derulo, Justin Bieber and The Weeknd.

Influenced by everyone from The Beatles and The Roots to T. Rex and Elliott Smith, Baron’s eclectic musical taste shows in his ability to seamlessly blend genres into one intoxicating sound.

“There’s this moment when you’re making something, whether it’s a song or just a melody, where this switch flips on all the sudden,” shares Baron. “It’s like a flash of adrenaline and it’s helplessly addicting. It makes you dance around the room like a complete idiot. Getting a chance to bring that same feeling to everyone is the reason I make music.”

Justin says, “I’ve been in love with this girl for a while now, but I’ve never been able to tell her. Every time I tried, my lips went numb and my words turned to gibberish. I’m putting this song out to tell her how I feel”

http://www.justinbaron.com/

Music

A&R Factory Present: Apsley

Apsley found his love for music behind the drums at the age of 6. By high school, he was touring full time in a rock group while finishing his schooling online. His roots expanded by playing styles including rock, electronic, pop, hip-hip, and R&B. Along the way, he picked up a love for piano, guitar and singing as well. In the beginning of 2016, he put them all together and started writing for his new solo project, Apsley. He spent the whole year tucked away writing more than 40 tracks with big plans for 2017.

Sold is a song of realization, realizing that all of the pressures bestowed upon us by culture and society can suffocate us from seeing the truth. Are we truly making our own decisions or are we pressured by the fear to always do the right thing in society’s perspective? Understanding this is our first step to living purposefully, then we can grow to let go of fear and see the truth from our own eyes.

http://apsleymusic.com/

Music

A&R Factory Present: MICKY

Micky is the recently acquired moniker of singer-songwriter-stageman Michael Persall who makes melodically engaging pop music with the historical footnotes of classic rock and motown. New single “Candid”, co-produced with ​Doug Schadt​ (Maggie Rogers, Wet, Man & Ghost), is the latest example of MICKY’s modern take on ‘60s/’70s pop, rock and soul. Sounding like a halfway house between Bruno Mars and Leon Bridges, the NYC-via-California musician confidently croons his way through the retro-ish instrumentation.

You can hear the natural performer in Persall’s voice, whilst the actual delivery of these catchy words subtly hints towards the R&B that he grew up on. “Candid” also marks the first of many developments in MICKY’s ever-expanding musical landscape, one that he wishes the audience to be an intrinsic part of.

“With the first release as MICKY, I really wanted to set the tone for the direction I’m taking my songs and have “Candid” serving as a bold introduction to myself. The live instrumentation and overall arrangements, as well as my energetic performance on the song, really align with how I perform live. One thing I wanted moving forward was to have consistency with the live show and the records. The song incorporates a lot of my older 60s/70s classic rock and Motown influences, as well as my affinity for hip-hop and R&B. On the lyrical front, the song is based on my personal attitude to life. A lot of people seem to waste time putting up a front rather than being themselves and actually talking about things. “Candid,” is just the ideal alternative in my mind.”

Prior to changing his stage name from Michael Persall to MICKY, he released “Waiting For”, a song praised by the likes of Clash, I Heart Moosiq, Vinyl Noise, Baeble and several others. Another notable accomplishment was the completion of his New Year’s resolution to perform 400 shows in 2015, a feat that in fact took him to 408. Throughout this journey, MICKY had the opportunity to assert himself as a front man, to relay his music to many different listeners, and to further explore where he wanted his sound to go next. Following this achievement, Persall landed shows at renowned music venues Mercury Lounge and Webster Hall.

Before the New York shows, the blog posts and even his four-year-long education at NYU, MICKY had a humble start performing in a family-run Bed & Breakfast, where he often played songs by his favourite artist, Elvis. There’s few better stage masters to learn from, but others that Persall has been inspired by are James Brown, Otis Redding, Jim Morrison, Robert Plant and The Beach Boys. His influences don’t stop there – the singer also credits ‘90s and early 2000s hip-hop and R&B as significant contributors to his current sound.

Bringing it up to the present, MICKY has recently been working as co-producer on Taylor Bennett’s first single from his upcoming project, “New York Nights”. The NYC artist will also be stepping out of the studio for a couple of live residencies throughout January with Sofar Sounds, and February at Rockwood Music Hall (Saturdays 10pm).

Music

A&R Factory Present: The Drives

This LA based band creates a cocktail of indie rock and electro-pop that blends into a unique and different sound. Andrew Levin (songwriter, vocals) and KC (producer/songwriter) met in high school in Orange County, CA and have been playing in bands and writing music together ever since.

After searching for their sound and developing their respective music tastes in various cities including Boston and New York City, KC and Andrew returned to Los Angeles in early 2015 to put together their ideas into an EP. Their music is heavily influenced by indie rock legends such as The Strokes, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, and Kings of Leon with additional influences from Phoenix and RAC.

With catchy guitar hooks and vocal stutter effects The Drives create a unique vibe similar to modern indie acts such as The 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Listen to “Whatever” now on soundcloud.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Dear Jane

With druggy atmospherics and plenty of low end, Temporary Bed is quintessential lo-fi R&Bass – what happens when an icy, heartbroken femme fatale decides to record a song in her bedroom. Vibes.

Off the self-titled debut Dear Jane, Temporary Bed like the newly released 6 track EP is a moody escape from reality with a destructive female we all know just a little too well. Production by Nico Cary, Rafael Casal & Dahlak Brathwaite.

https://www.facebook.com/whoisdearjane/

 

Music

A&R Factory Present: Natasha-Leigh Smith

Natasha-Leigh Smith is a young British singer/ songwriter. Born near Manchester and currently living in Liverpool.

Her genre is dark pop and all her songs are based on her own life experiences or that of close friends. She has just released her first teaser video “Omen” which has already received over 8000 plays on YouTube. The track was produced by Luke Marley & Mark Winterburn (Plan B, Nine Black Alps)

Natasha is putting the final touches to her new EP which will be released in February.

https://www.facebook.com/natashaleighmusic

Music

A&R Factory Present: Live//Learn

Inspired by the indie-pop of yesteryear and the dark warehouse sounds of 3am techno, Bedfordshire based Live//Learn form an exciting, innovative 4 piece, bringing a new breed of alternative music.

‘Ego’ is an eclectic mixture of indie pop riffs and moody vocals. Think early Bloc Party but darker.

Live//Learn are Joe Savage – Vocals, Andrew Bottazzi – Guitar, Alex Gallichan – Bass and Conor Sellick – Drums

‘Ego’ is part of a forthcoming Mixtape which will be released in June this year.

Live//Learn  are ones to watch out for in 2016 for sure, you heard them hear first 😉

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