Browsing Tag


Stix Bones is back on the skins in his funked-up jazz fusion, LEAP

Following the phenomenal success of his hip-hop-influenced LP and a string of critically acclaimed singles, Brooklyn’s most prodigal jazz son, Stix Bones, is back on the skins once more with his seminal release, LEAP, featuring Bob Beamon.

With flavours of North African Funk in the culturally layered rhythmics of the instrumental track and sparks of Latino flair within the keys, vibrancy radiates from the exuberantly sophisticated core of LEAP. While the syncopated percussive fills and seductive bassline growls set up the grooves, the horn section shimmers the soundscape with an unfaltering sense of expressive euphoria that will heighten any mood.

With his previous releases, including his debut LP, Groove Like This, Stix Bones featured on 40 radio stations across the globe and became no stranger to the jazz charts. He’s equally as accoladed in the live circuit; when he’s not opening for the likes of Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson, and Babyface, he’s helping world-renowned artists complete their albums and playing with the likes of Soulfege. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a permanent fixture in the Jazz Hall of Fame.

Stream LEAP, which was officially released on September 22, on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brooklyn’s Foreign Saints tells us all about his debut single to pursuit inside, Here With Me

Repping Brooklyn to the max and opening us his heart to guide us inside the emotions within the debut Here With Me, Thomas from Foreign Saints kindly took time out and answered our questions all about the exciting 1st release, the local music scene, and his songwriting process.

Llewelyn: Hello there Thomas from Foreign Saints. Thank you for joining us here on our A&R Factory interview platform. Firstly, we love the name. Please explain to our readers how did it come about on your pursuit and what was the inspiration behind it.

Thomas: Thanks for having me, Lu. The project name is a nod to when I hiked the Camino de Santiago, where the pull of completing a journey named after an arbitrary foreign saint showed me the beauty in the pursuit of something in and of itself. It’s how I hope to approach making music — to make art in a similar pursuit of something outside myself.

Llewelyn: Brooklyn is the city you represent. What does it mean to live there and what is the vibe currently like? Are there lots of new music venues and where would you recommend we check out?

Thomas: I moved to Brooklyn two years ago from my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, and have loved it ever since. Obviously, it’s got one of the best music scenes in the world, but beyond that, there’s just so many people here doing cool things in every niche imaginable that it makes any creative endeavor all that more possible. Conversely, it’s easy to feel small when surrounded by the sheer talent of the musicians here, but what an incredible privilege to be a tiny part of it all.

Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your 1st single Here With Me and the upcoming EP?

Thomas: Here With Me is the first song I wrote off the upcoming EP. I wrote it in an afternoon based on a small idea I had at 3am the night before, which (unfortunately for my sleep schedule) is pretty typical of how I start songs. Part of me prefers to keep the meanings of songs a little bit undefined, that way they can exist independent of me and mean different and completely valid things to different people. But what was going through my head when I was writing it was the feeling you get when you first start seeing someone where you’re simultaneously relieved and anxious to have found them. Where you can feel part of yourself becoming wrapped up in someone outside of you, but the irony of them being the relief from that feeling.

Llewelyn: Who is your rock in life and someone who has really pushed you to reach your goals & dreams?

Thomas: I’m immensely grateful to my parents for their l encouragement of my creative pursuits. We spent a good portion of my childhood moving around several countries, and I think them expanding our horizons helped me appreciate more of the world than I ever could have. My dad was my first-ever producer, pushing me to write and track songs in his home studio set up from a young age, and introducing me to many of my strongest musical influences.

Llewelyn: Who do you make music for and what is the process like? Do you sit down and make it quite quickly or do you prefer to stew on the creation and let it flow naturally?

Thomas: I’ve always found the process of songwriting difficult to summon on command. Most of my songs start as 3am voice notes of little ideas, that I then quickly try to flesh out while in the right headspace for that song. It’s really difficult for me to let something sit for weeks on end and revisit it later. I’ve found my better songs tend to come out of alternating bursts of frantic writing and overwhelming frustration. It sort of balances out in a weird way.

Llewelyn: What are some perks about being a local musician and the challenges too?

Thomas: I’m just starting to release music, so I haven’t ventured much into the local music scene as a performer. Once I have more of my songs out I’d love to start doing some of the small venues in New York, but one thing at a time!

Listen up to his music come to life via Spotify.

Follow more on his website.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

I see you looking at Me: RAIANE has come to stay on the sweet-talking Falling Too

Working with the exceptionally skilful and hugely respected Brooklyn-based music producer BACHTROY, RAIANE looks deep into our eyes and sees a loving look which will fly all sadness away and open up a real romance with Falling Too.

RAIANE is a Brooklyn-based Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-born indie pop singer-songwriter who grew up loving the Theatre and has used this brimming imagination to express herself in a smoggy world.

Sending shivers down our spines and delighting each throbbing vein, RAIANE has created a vocally charming single with BACHTROY which might cause moods to flip from the unhappy to a smile-fest which can’t possibly be quantified.

Falling Too from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-born indie pop artist RAIANE is a look-at-me-right-now sensually dance-now soundtrack for summer. Taking us higher above the clouds and bringing all listeners something special to hold hands inside, this is exactly what the doctor ordered. Or should order. This is a soul-healing kinda experience you see?

If you feel like falling in love again…or for the first’ve just found a door to walk inside for the betterment of your heart.

Listen up further on Spotify.

See the journey blossom on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Let’s Get It: Stephan wants it all over on Rock Your Body

Signed to Steady Muzik and inspired previously by Usher and Chris Brown, Stephan wants to have fun all night and makes his intentions rather clear on the superb new sizzle to get a tan with, Rock Your Body.

Stephan aka Stephan Chin is a well-established Brooklyn, NY-born RnB artist of Jamaican heritage who was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

After reinvigorating his career with new-found confidence and an unbreakable attitude to succeed, Stephan sings with so much intent and shall take us into a romantic light for the better,

Rock Your Body from Brooklyn, NY-born indie RnB artist Stephan is one of those likeable singles to hold with when you know you want to be with someone. Impressing us with an incredible soundtrack to hold onto forever, this is an attractive track which might give many blushes to those who want it the most.

Listen up deeply on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Jazz pianist legend Marcio Garcia is at his graceful best on Nocturnal

Featuring 2x Grammy award-winning conga player Giovanni Hidalgo, Marcio Garcia is at his majestic best with an ear-calming melody to play all night as the rain flows cheekily from gutters on Nocturnal.

Marcio Garcia is a multi-talented Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic-born jazz pianist, composer and educator who was classically trained at various prestigious institutions.

Marcio has performed at the Festival de Jazz Restauración Santo Domingo, White Plains Jazz Festival, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, Five Points Jazz Festival, Dazzle Jazz Club, Carnegie Hall, Blue Note NYC, Nublu, The Bitter End, Birdland Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Lincoln Center.” ~ Marcio Garcia

Known as a prolific creative who has performed on some of the best stages, Brooklyn-based Marcio Garcia is radiant here and shall cause some blushes to project out from the deepest part of our souls. This is spellbinding stuff from a true master of his craft, who has blessed all tired hearts with something rather special. Just what the world needs more of right?

Calm all worries away on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

snailosaur unveiled grungy indie-rock poetry via their single, Fake Cobblestone Alleys

snailosaur by snailosaur

The Brooklyn, NY brother duo snailosaur showed us exactly how they came about their moniker with the scuzzy Dinosaur Jr. tones and verbiage in their latest indie-rock evocative ride, Fake Cobblestone Alleys.

Reminiscences aside, the spoken word sermonics of the single bleed poetry into exhilarant guitars punctuated by the driving drum fills. Every aspect of the track was superlatively stitched together to become the sum of all its melodically fuzzy parts.

It is worth being part of the disenfranchised down-and-out masses just to tear the honey from this apathetically sweet projection of everyman blues. Snailosaur’s mark has been definitively left on the landscape of grunge via Fake Cobblestone Alleys; it’s a nihilist’s dream come to sonic fruition.

Stream & purchase Fake Cobblestone Alleys on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

It Slipped Away: Brooklyn’s Maria Lane sends our hearts into a flutter on Nashville

Sharing such a sweet message for her beloved sister after leading us deeper with her recent interview, Maria Lane misses those cherished moments and will never forget the genuinely close bond on Nashville.

Maria Lane is a prolific Brooklyn, New York-based indie pop singer-songwriter who performs the kind of melodies which are made with so much authentic beauty.

Her music, which revolves around the themes of love, loss, heartbreak, relationships, mental health, and self-esteem, reflects the varied and layered experiences of her life.” ~ Maria Lane

Gloriously genuine and teaching many about how to treasure that time close to those who we adore, Maria Lane displays a value which can’t ever be copied. Stupendously elevating and transporting us into the mirror of the message, Nashville is a quietly sublime experience from start to finish.

Nashville from Brooklyn, New York-based indie pop singer-songwriter Maria Lane is one of the most caring songs ever made. She performs with sweet serenity and guides us so elegantly through a marvellously kind moment. With ear-tingling vocals and insightful lyrics, we’re opened to a loving world where a sister’s bond shall never be broken no matter the distance.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Interview: Maria Lane tells us more about that special feeling and leads us into her new single Nashville

After sitting down with the soulfully real Brooklyn creative Maria Lane recently, our hearts were calmed by such a genuine human. Telling us more about how she got into music, her inspirations and we found out more about her new single which drops on the 7th of April, Nashville.

Thank you for sitting down with us Maria Lane. Where in the world are you today and what inspires you in life?

Maria: Happy to be here, thank you for having me. I am in Brooklyn, NY. What inspires me is experiencing different things in life, achieving my goals, and overcoming challenges.

How did you get started in the music game and what do you love about the creation process?

Maria: I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was little. I always knew it was where I felt the most like myself and I felt writing was a really good way to process my thoughts and feelings.

I love the feeling when you first finish writing a song, and then you get to take it to the studio and add the production process on top of it. My songs are so personal to me so getting to add the production to match the story and lyrics is really special to me.

Please tell us more about your new single Nashville and the lyrics behind this personal song?

Maria: I started writing “nashville” last year. My oldest sister knew in 2023 she would officially be moving out of NYC and writing this song felt like closure for me to accept that she is really leaving. My sister was my first roommate when I moved to NYC, I had my first legal drink with her when I turned 21 and hated it, she recently got engaged last year and a wedding is now on the horizon. These lyrics remind me of reminiscing on our time together in NYC. My favorite lyrics in the song are “and suddenly it’s silent, left with your bags and an empty apartment” because it’s like shit.. she’s really gone now.

Who did you grow up listening to and what was the last performance you saw live?

Maria: I grew up listening to The Beatles, Billy Joel, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, James Taylor, Regina Spektor, Paramore, lots of Broadway Cast Recordings, and a lot of Alt Rock bands. I discovered I enjoyed a variety of genres, which I think have influenced me today. The last concert I went to was Lizzy McAlpine who has become one of my favorite artists.

Who has helped you in your career the most so far?

Maria: Anyone who has ever believed in me and continued to encourage me. My producer Julian has really helped me grow as an artist and discover my sound, so I’m really grateful I get to create with him.

When you close your eyes for a few moments and visualize your ideal place in the world, where is it and who do you see with you?

Maria: In terms of outside my current reality, the ideal place in the world for me would be to be performing on Broadway, with my friends and family supporting me in the audience. It’s a dream I’ve had since I was 7 years old and I get lost daydreaming about it pretty often.

Last, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?

Maria: Know what YOU have to offer is special and there is a place for you. It’s easy to compare yourself to others because people are similar in so many ways but there is no one like you. Whether or not you sound or look like somebody else, you are your own authentic self. Also manifest and be delusional, I’ve heard that works wonders haha.

Listen up on Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

The Wheels They Keep On Turning: Socha looks deeply at the flusters of the moon on EVERYTHING’S IN MOTION

Worrying about the changing winds and what it’s doing for her sensitive soul, Socha drops a magnificent single packed with creative quality for the betterment of humankind on the quite sublime on her first of 5 singles for the year, EVERYTHING’S IN MOTION.

Socha (so-kuh) is a feminine empowerment-inspired Brooklyn, USA-based indie alt-pop dance powerhouse that makes the kind of music which could change the perception of those who enter inside this wonderful whirlwind.

Just as her name reorders to spell “chaos,” Socha seeks to rearrange painful human experiences into playfulness and compassion. Her sound is characterized by warm synth hugs, vibrant compositions, and lush vocal effects that could be their own cartoon characters.” ~ Socha

Displaying something rather mesmerizing and utterly spellbinding, Socha drops quite the outstanding track which will give so many goosebumps to us all in places which have been barren for years. This is a special song with an extraordinary aura to relieve all worries away in just a few minutes.

EVERYTHING’S IN MOTION from Brooklyn, USA-based indie alt-pop dance act Socha is one of the most ear-healing anthems possible in 2023 so far. The electric edge is what makes this stand out as a stomach-warming water bottle, which seems to keep the chilly cold away no matter the weather.

This is class personified, just when we needed it most.

Listen up to more on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Brooklyn rapper Quilley enmeshed scorn with soul in his conceptually dualistic 2-track EP, Half-Hearted


Lifting us from the monotony of ego-driven hip-hop, the Brooklyn-based-rapper, Quilley, raised the expressive bar with the resonant dualism within his two-track EP, Half-Hearted. If you have ever wanted to know what lies on the flip side of the love songs penned in the honeymoon phase that proliferate the airwaves, this conceptual release will fill in the gaps.

I couldn’t help but be remained of the philosophy from Alain De Botton listening to Half-Hearted run through. How all the great romantic stories of the ages never allow love to endure. There’s always the grip of tragedy to obliterate the notion of mundanity or the eventual slip away from the affection that inspired hot-headed limerence in the early days.

Track 1, “That’s My Baby” kicks off with a smooth RnB Pop tinged flow behind the steady kicks and the sultry bars, before the romanticism entirely evades track 2, “Valloween”, which runs through as a trippy new wave spoken-word hit of volition.

Quilley knew just how to allow his audience to catch a vibe while laying it all down on the line in his Half-Hearted EP. The smooth grooves, razor-sharp bars, and intensity of sincerity in the lyrics stand as a triadic testament to the luminary artist’s talent that shines through his expressively humble ethos. He may not be shooting for fame, but he deserves it regardless. Get his candour in your ears. You won’t regret it.

“More than anything, my EP is about that Cloud Nine feeling of being in love and eventually being done with it. How many times can we have that feeling without becoming accustomed to it? “That’s My Baby” and “Valloween” really display that contrast.”

Half-Hearted will be available to stream on Spotify from March 10th.

Follow Quilley on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast