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Music

Kurtis Simmons – Safe Place: Unadulterated Pop Rock

First impressions? This track wouldn’t be out of place on a Disney soundtrack. But beyond that, even as one with more raucous tastes, I became enthralled under the charm that US based Pop Rock artist Kurtis Simmons created with his debut angelic hit ‘Safe Place’.

With a backing track that kind of reminded me of the Lion King, it took a lot for his vocals to win me over, yet ultimately, they did. He leaves the window wide open to his soul, inviting you to come inside with his poetically lyrical fixings which are a constant feature throughout his work. With better direction, as a vocalist Kurtis could be unstoppable. Yet with such sickly melodies the sound hinders his true musical talent, I was waiting for the passion, the anger, the real feeling. But sadly, the cacophony never came. His influences include Steve Perry, Paul McCartney and David Bowie, if only their attitude was more evident throughout his back catalogue.

Safe Place is available to listen to now! Check it out using Soundcloud via the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/kurtissimmons/safe-place

Check out Kurtis’ website for more information on how to download his music & keep up to date with his tours.

https://www.kurtissimmons.com/

Music

Gene Blank Tests The Power Of Your Love

Gene Blank is a multi-discipline musical creative, writing, producing, mixing and mastering songs across any number of genres and styles. Here we find him indulging in the funkier side of his musical brain. The Power (Of Your Love) was co written with Laszlo Horvath and sits somewhere between energetic blue-eyed soul, dance grooves and jaunty ska where the foot is very much on the musical gas and the result is an infectious delivery of upbeat, upscale, uptown pop funk.



At a collision point where pop contagion smashes into soul vibes, where just enough rock solidity underpins strutting funky moves and then all topped off with vocal hooks so strong you could hang your coat on them, this song and indeed its authors are masters of all that they survey. This is funk ground zero, this is point Blank. They walk a line between unselfconscious cool and industrial strength party anthems creating a sound which has only one function…to get you up and dancing and even on the first play of this wonderfully addictive track, it is difficult to see how it could ever fail.


Music

Superlative Ice – Backdoor: Not for The Faint Hearted.

Superlative Ice or otherwise known as Cameron Mayne is an underground Hip Hop & Rap artist from Compton, United States. Being from Compton Cameron is in no short supply of competition in the rap scene. Yet with Backdoor he’s created a standout hit that from the rest. Once you start to listen to the lyrics, you’ll soon see why. As I naively hit play on the track tiled ‘Backdoor’ I enjoyed the rhythm, the flow, the celebration of melodic resonant sound and reached a state of ubiquitous zen.

Until it dawned on me, that this may have been the most crassly misogynistic tracks I’ve ever had the experience of listening to. Sure, chauvinism is common place in the Hip Hop Rap scene and guns, bitches and bling are part of the fundamental elements of most rap stylings but the lyrics to Backdoor take it just one step too far and are bordering on the grotesque and I can’t wholeheartedly condone the conscious condescension towards women in music in the 21st century.

Whilst Cameron’s sound may not be my cup of tea, for the less easily offended you can check out his hit (if you dare) on the SoundCloud link below:

https://soundcloud.com/ayne320/backdoor

Music

Belvy Jones – Major Way: This One’s For The Haters

Belvy Jones is a Hip Hop Rap artist from the West Coast of California, USA. His new hit Major Way is more than just the pseudo-macho ramblings of yet another Hip Hop Rap artist on the scene. His entire 14 track album ‘1988: The Diary’ which was released late October is a flux of organic sounds with dashing’s of New Wave and Trance weaved into the mix. He possessed all the funk of Busta Rhymes. The back beat to his new single Major Way is a chaotic ensemble that, you’d lose your mind before you deciphered it. What better reason to simply just get lost in the sound that has been so deftly produced?

He subdues the crass lyrics to Major Way which are undoubtedly fuelled by his haters’ contempt, the women that have dared to cross his path and complex relationship with the capitalist nature of Hip Hop with his adorably drawling voice.

Music

The Wryters Drop Their Flammable New Track ‘I’m on Fire’

The Wryters don’t need any formal introduction to this Hip Hop heavy Californian rap duo to true Rap Fans, they’ve got a back catalogue of tracks that will have you hooked for hours.

There are no shortages of Rap acts dominating California, but The Wryters have the ability to stand out in an over-crowded scene. With their self-proclaimed old-style flow and their modern punchy bass, it’s a sound that is definitely not to be missed.

Their music bounces between seductive, humorous and testosterone pumped, but their new track On Fire definitely caught our attention; with its super catchy chorus it infuses you with up-beat cacophonies of heavy swag sound. What really made this track stand out was the wrenching energy beyond the realist lyrics. They refer to all of the shootings at the clubs with their smooth style which stamps authority with over their hard sound. Their attitude is refreshingly honest raw and powerful. Their playful attitude makes an awesomely upbeat track.

My only criticism that the track  at 2:07  minutes long wasn’t long enough just as you were immersed within the pounding, perfectly polished packed full of bass it fades out, demanding you hit reply.

Music

LA MiiShia: The Queen of Trap

LA MiiShia’s new track “Love Too Fast” has quickly become an unlikely favourite. She’s a welcome introduction to the sub-genre of trap music. Her humble small-town girl reinvention of the 90’s grunge aesthetic will undeniably make her a hit for women looking for empowerment through urban music. Whilst her lyrics are full of dark pensive soul they’re effortlessly uplifting.

LA MiisShia tours all around the US, originating from Raleigh, but she’s won over music lovers from all walks of life with her romantic dulcet lyrics that will have you hooked. Rather than wallowing in her heart ache and making tragic music, she’s created something fresh, upbeat, and refreshingly natural. There’s no overproduction to take away the essence of this truly evocative sound and the poignancy of the lyrics “her mind ain’t never right”, I think we can all relate to that feeling. La MiiShia’s music is an unashamed invitation into her soul through her sound, she’s been performing since a young age, but her debut track Love Too Fast will undeniably be the making of this urban artist.

She’s followed in the Trap footsteps of Manny Fresh, Gucci Maine and Young Jeezy to create her unique, raw R&B sound.

If you’re a fan of slow tempo’s, straight rhythm and the cacophony of orchestral sounds over heavy drums check out her new song on Youtube

Music

A&R Factory Present: Alain Bonus

At its best R&B is slick and succinct, it needs a certain sophistication in its production but a simple and direct contact with the listener. These are exactly the strengths that Last Night, the latest track from L.A. based artist AB plays too. A measured and clean-limbed beat gently moves the song along, whilst cool minimalist sonic enhancements and distant sounds wash through.

But such a song is nothing without the right vocal prowess and AB has this covered, and then some. Without forcing the point his delivery wanders from the understated, hushed and almost conversational to some unexpected highs. And whilst there is some smooth and deft guitar lines exploring the space between the beat and the lyrics, a lot of what this song is built on is atmosphere, as if the music is mainly there to harness emotion, anticipation and a whole host of intangible qualities – a sonic bubble, shimmering, translucent and delicate.

The phrase “less is more” might be a cliché, but clichés are there for a reason and it is a term that is actually very relevant here. Most artists concentrate on what they need to add to enhance a song, AB, I feel is more about knowing what to leave out.

https://www.facebook.com/alainbonus/

Music

A&R Factory Present: Sam Woolf

SAM WOOLF is a 20 year-old folk/pop singer songwriter known for his original arrangements, beautiful pitch perfect tone and emotional original songs. His performances and recordings have obtained millions of views on YouTube and Sam receives tremendous support from his fan club, the “WOOLFPACK” on social media. Sam Woolf has gained national recognition as a finalist on American Idol’s 2014 Season where he placed in the Top 5. Independent Grammy-winning producer Danny Blume produced and recorded an EP “Pretend” containing Sam’s originals for release. It debuted at #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

Sam was born in Detroit and lived in West Bloomfield, Michigan until he was 10. Sam has since lived in Florida and he graduated from Braden River High School in June of 2014. Sam’s father, Scott Woolf, introduced him to acoustic folk-rock music when he was a young child. Sam’s grandfather (“Papa Roy”) sent him to singing lessons with opera singer Bob Lischetti for several years, and Sam taught himself guitar. During high school, Sam began performing locally in Bradenton at restaurants and cafés and was a mentee of the Del Couch Music Education Foundation, which booked him for performances at local events.

In the summer of 2013, Sam attended a five week program for high school students at Berklee College of Music (the world’s premier contemporary music school) in Boston. He was one of four students chosen to perform live in the “winners” showcase as well as one of four students selected to perform in the theater-in-the-round singer/songwriters performance. He was also one of the Berklee students referred to American Idol for auditions.

Sam was a featured performer at an Alex Preston concert in New Hampshire, co-headlined with the Doobie Brothers, War, and Jefferson Starship, opened for We The Kings and has performed extensively at other public and private venues in Florida. He has toured throughout the Northeast with the Como Brother’s Band, and was featured on a track of the Como Brother’s EP, Live at 89 North. Sam is currently writing a set of pop originals with Israeli musical prodigy/guitarist Orion Meshorer.

Music

A&R Factory Present: WYLAND

Sometimes inevitability dictates the roads we take, leading us to fateful coincidences, Craigslist ads, and a little bit of blind luck. That’s exactly how four-piece Wyland came to be.

Marrying atmospheric rock with a modern pop sensibility and traditional strings and piano, Wyland skillfully crafts tunes that show appreciation for both the present and the past. The band has appeared alongside quite an impressive roster thus far, including Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, and the Vaccines, to name a few.

The up-and-coming quartet has received much praise from publications like The Jersey Journal, PopMatters, The Deli and All Things Go. CMJ stated, “Wyland has an instantly digestible sound. The band blends suburban angst with city kid confidence.”

https://www.facebook.com/pg/wearewyland/

Music

A&R Factory Presents: Stevie Talks

Stevie Talks resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Six months ago, he was offered an opportunity to play guitar full-time alongside his friends in Atlas Genius, but instead decided to buckle down and pursue his personal project, Stevie Talks. During this time he crafted pop songs with a nostalgic singer/songwriter feel, while showcasing a undeniable talent for chord work and melody. He has had the opportunity to work alongside members of Young the Giant, Sir Sly, and Mating Ritual in the studio to contribute to a collection of his recordings.

His big personality is seen in these recordings and live performances, and brings life to a collection of songs that are as timeless as they are fresh. A lover of Americana, his recordings have blended the vintage warmth often associated with this genre to the crisp punch of contemporary pop, replete with the infectious charms of the pop genre. He has professional experience as a touring guitar player, having had the opportunity to play on several international tours with recording artists on Universal Republic, and Warner Records, but has remained sedentary until his music is released in the forthcoming months.

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