Tag: new music

AN Interview With Hip-Hop Artist Vernon Little

 

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Vernon Little is a Hip-Hop artist who just released the album, Double Minded; here is a link to his Reverbnation page:

https://www.reverbnation.com/vernonlittle

 

Q: What made you interested in Music? 

 

A; I was  fan of rap music since I first heard it while growing up in the Bronx. A Local DJ named Joe Stick gave me my first opportunity to rap.

 

Q:  Why did you choose Christian music? 

 

A: After so many years of trying to put out a project, I felt in my spirit that God was telling me to honor Him with my music, and He’ll open some doors for me.

 

Q: Who are some of your influences and how can we hear it in your music?

 

A: Kool G Rap. On my song, The Chance To Tell You, I tried to make three or four words rhyme in every two bars like he does.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of  ‘”Double Minded?” 

 

A: Put God first in your life, and everything will fall into place.

 

Q: If someone were only going to listen to one song on the album, what should it by and why?

 

A:  The Chance To Tell You. It has good music, rapping, singing, and a positive message.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work? 

 

A: I work for the transit authority in NYC. I come in contact with 100’s of people a day – five days a week which enables me to cross paths with music lovers and network.

 

Q: What separates you from other Christian Rappers? 

 

A: My music has an old-school feel to it.

 

Q:  How did you come to be affiliated with Bentley Records? 

 

A: I submitted some music to an independent music promoter. They heard it and reached out to me.

 

Q: What kind is your strangest performance story?

A: My very first performance with my former group, Def Duo, at Rice High School, we had to perform on lunchroom tables.

 

Eliza’s interviews are done by email; all answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Singer Clayton Morgan

Clayton Morgan - Front pic

 

Clayton Morgan is a singer and songwriter who recently released the album “Taste for Love”; here is a link to his website: 

Q: When did you know you were a musician?

 

A: I knew I wanted to be a singer from early childhood. My earliest memories of performing date back to preschool.
Q: What themes do you like to explore in your music? 

 

A: I like to explore themes of love and happiness in my music. I am a person that loves love and it’s a universal theme that transcends all cultures and backgrounds. Love is a message that creates a common bond between people.

 

Q: Who are some of your influences and how can we hear this in your music?

 

A:  My biggest influences are Michael and Janet Jackson. I especially like the way Janet’s music makes me feel. Most of her music is upbeat and happy. Those are qualities that I like to put in my music. I want the music to be upbeat and happy. I want my music to make people happy when they hear it.

 

Q: What kind of day job (or income source) do you have and how does it influence your music?

 

A: I currently work a 9 to 5 in the Banking industry. Right now, my 9 to 5 pays the bills. It also helps me create the music that I make.

 

Q: What is the most effective thing you have done to promote your music?

 

A: The most effective thing I’ve done to promote the music is work with Michael Stover at MTS Management. Michael has been very instrumental in the success of my career. I can’t thank him enough for all his hard work and dedication!

 

Q: What is the worst advice anyone has ever given you about your musical career?

 

A: Performing live is an important part of connecting with the fans and building a following for what you do as a musician. Every artist is different regarding the types of gigs they choose to perform. I don’t think it’s in my best interest to perform at any gig dropped in my lap. I like to decide what the live performance opportunity will be and what feels right for me.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I’ve had vocal training. I’m also working on dance training.

 

Q: Your father is Eddie Daniels. What did you learn about the music industry from him?

 

A: My dad’s time in the music industry ended shortly before I was born. I only heard stories about his time in the industry. He told me to watch people around you, meaning management wise. The music group he was part of had shady management. That was one of the main reasons he left the group.

 

Q: What inspired “Taste for Love?”

 

A:  Taste for Love was inspired by the instrumental track. Once I heard the track, the lyrics came to me instantly. It’s a sensual song about wanting to be with that special person.

Q:  What are you working on now?

 

A: My latest single ‘The Beat is Calling Me’ was released on November 12, 2018. I’m in the process of working on the live show set. There will be live performances coming up in early 2019.

 

 

Eliza’s interviews are done by email; all answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview with Jordan Casty of Eleven Dollar Bills

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Jordan Casty is the lead singer for the band Eleven Dollar Bills; here is a link to the band’s first album:

All Our People

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

 

A: I’ve been singing and messing around on instruments for as long as I can remember but something strange happened when I was sixteen and I found out just the slightest bit of music theory.  I felt like I was stepping into a different world and speaking the same, mysterious language all my musical heroes were speaking.  I felt like I had joined a new club and I never wanted to leave.

 

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: My creative process starts with drinking a whole bunch of coffee and messing around with my guitar or piano.  I feel around in the dark, humming melodies and fiddling on the guitar until something sounds like the beginning of a real idea.  Some melody that feels sturdy enough to build on or some group of words that sparks a song idea.  It’s just a construction job from there.  That’s how our new single ‘Waves’ came about.  Some mumble sounded like the key to a joyful idea about serious fun.  A couple hours later we’d fashioned up a whole new chapter of our musical lives.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of your album, All Our People?

 

A: The All Our People EP is about bringing people together through celebration of life.  It’s about amplifying experience across the entire spectrum of emotion so that life becomes a deeper and more exciting ride.

 

Q: Did Bob Dylan inspire your name or is there another meaning behind it?

 

A: Bob Dylan has been my favorite songwriter since I started diving deeply into his work during my college years.  I felt like if I named my band after one of his lyrics, I might be able to direct a bit of whatever spirit has been speaking through him to come through me for a while.

 

Q:  How did you and the other band members get together in the first place?

 

A: This incarnation of the band came together in Los Angeles and we all met through playing music in the bars out here.  There are so many places to see killer live music in LA and when I got out here, I just started talking with everybody I thought was great after they got off stage.  We’d jam and play some trial-shows together and then it congealed into the lineup you see today.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?

 

A: I drive a bit of Uber when the music money is slow.  I like to talk with my passengers if it feels like they’re open to it.  I feel like it helps in my songwriting to get so many different people’s stories.  The more varied your perspective, the more powerfully you can write.

 

Q: Your recording is very professional sounding! How did you get the album financed?

 

A: Thank you for the kind words!  Our producer Jim Huff is indeed a master craftsman.  And a master with the budget!  He called in a lot of favors to get this record made and we had a bit of family funding for whatever we weren’t able to cover ourselves.

 

 

Q: What would you change about the music industry?

 

A: If I could change one thing about the music industry, it’d be updating the royalty rates for songwriters.  Songwriters are really getting shafted lately and it’d be nice to see the money split up more fairly.

 

Q: What is your weirdest LA story?

 

A: One of my weirdest LA stories came while driving Uber.  I picked up this guy who told me to “just drive”.  I said okay and when I looked over, he was ‘making it rain’ on Tinder.  That’s when you rapidly and indiscriminately swipe right to rack up a swath of matches.  He kept it up and I kept driving through Los Angeles until he’d found a match that met his criteria.  He must’ve been a pro sweet talker because he had her address in minutes and we headed that way.  I pulled up and he went in.  But not before asking if I’d like to join.  I told him I’d have to take a rain check.

 

Q: At which club do you most look forward to having a concert?

 

A: Since I grew up in Chicago, playing the main stage at Lollapalooza will be a pretty serious thrill.  But the Hollywood Bowl might be even more fun.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Musician Nounverber

Nounverber Logo

Nounverber is a New Orleans based musician; here is a link to his website:

http://www.nounverber.com/

Q: What made you interested in music?

A: Growing up in a musical family, being twelve years old and hearing an interesting guitar solo on the radio, then wanting to make people feel how that made me feel. Young angst and the prospect of creating works of art out of thin air. Maybe girls and money as well. Yes, all of those things in unspecified amounts. Over time, I learned to respect and appreciate the art of composing and it became its own reward.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A: Formally, I was trained in the art of tenor saxophone in school. As I picked up on music theory, white and black piano keys made sense to me. That translated into harmony and tension and all of the other things that make music interesting. The neck of my guitar went from a puzzle to a map. It’s best to know what you’re doing on some level, but maybe not too much. Too much technique kills the soul.

Q: What is unique about your sound?

A: Just subtle structural things that I don’t realize that I’m doing. I’m too close to it to see it, but if I tried my hand at a waltz there would be something in it that people would recognize as one of my fingerprints. That’s what I’m told, but I don’t hear it. It’s like trying to analyze your own handwriting, I think.

Q: What kinds of things inspire you to write music?

A: The human condition, black and white films and mathematics and being someplace where there’s too much silence. In a crowded room, I’ll map out a busy horn section in my head and try to duplicate that level of dissonance. It’s a way of painting the world as you see it in a different dimension.

Q:  What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote yourself?

A: I took the final version of my Midnight Animal EP and dropped it in the lap of Shelby Cinca, the head of Swedish Columbia records. I hope every other artist on the label recognizes how hard he works to make us look good. Shelby is a wizard at promotion. It’s fun to see him come up with an idea and get so excited about it that you can’t follow his train of thought. Brilliant guy. Every artist needs a Shelby.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: Early electronic pioneers like Raymond Scott amaze me. Dave Brubeck was a master of time manipulation and Paul Desmond’s saxophone haunts my soul. Bowie was my musical father figure and I’m still in mourning. Pink Floyd, all day long. I bought the entire Tortoise catalog this year because I think their music is a necessity. The Misfits are always a part of what I do, in attitude if not in style. Every sound in Mr. Bungle’s album Disco Volante is programmed into my brain. John Frusciante’s solo guitar music inspires me. Flying Lotus is doing electronic jazz way better than I ever imagined it could be.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your ability to make music?

A: I have worked in the collision repair industry ever since I graduated high school. This was going to pay my bills until I became self-sufficient by writing music, but it seems to be taking a few decades longer than I anticipated. I keep a small keyboard in my office that I use to record melodies as they creep into my head. I also license out music to film, commercials, video games, and TV shows on the side. It’s strictly supplemental at this point, though…I’m not moving to Beverly Hills quite yet.

Q: How did you come up with the name?

A: When I was looking for an alias in 2005, everyone was coming up with these “noun plus a verb with ‘-er’ at the end” band names. Monkeythrower, Facemelter, Brainbuster, etc. I used their formula but found purpose in leaving the spaces blank. There’s no specific thing and no specific action being taken. It is a name in structure alone, and I think that lends itself to the androgynous nature of my music.

Q: What do you like about New Orleans?

A: I get a thrill from the polite madness and potential danger of fellow strangers. Find the weirdest looking person on the block and ask them for directions. You’ll never forget it. The whole city supports a certain kind of insanity that I feel very comfortable being around. It’s endearing to my eccentric nature.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: There are truths that people ignore while promoting false ideals as solutions to problems that are self-perpetuating. Elevation above sea level would be nice also. If someone could fix those things, that would be great.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Musician And Director Mikhail Tank

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Mikhail Tank is the founder of Darksoul Theater, a musician and a film director; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.mikhail-tank.com/home.html

 

Q: What is Darksoul Theater?

 

A:  Darksoul Theatre is a trademarked entity of original psychological multi-media art, which I have been in the process of developing since age 12. This has included multiple written, recorded, and audio-visual works (some of which you can find on Amazon, iTunes and other quality internet sources). I have presented live shows in Japan, Canada, California, also the first virtual show via the Edinburgh Fringe (garnering BBC coverage). Additional notable moments include a Guinness Record, and a heartfelt approach which spans art and psychology as a form of creative inspiration and as a form of subjective spiritual healing.

Q: What kind of educational background do you have?

 

A:  I have a strong multi-level background in performance art, having started my education at a young age with personal coaches, later a Bachelor’s degree in the field, followed by schools, seminars and training with the likes of the Stella Adler Academy and the wonderful teacher/author, Gerry Cousins. I have also studied Jungian psychology extensively and presented (in part to Jung’s family) at the Art and Psyche conference, in Sicily (in 2015).

Q: What is a common misconception Americans have about Russia?

 

A: As an artist, I prefer not to discuss politics, misconceptions are generalizations and I specialize in a personalized ‘Soul approach’ rather than assuming what one culture sees and thinks about another. I can attest to the supposed fact that both cultures are absolutely brilliant in their own right.

Q: How would you describe your music?

 

A: The music is a Soulful spoken word, with an electronic backbeat, a form of positive possession in the key of Soul. My most recent work is distributed by The Orchard Music Group (parent company, Sony). I am interested in working with record labels to further my upcoming audio projects. An upcoming Halloween album, a collaboration with the multi-talented Brett Bibles, is currently in the works (see working cover art image).

Q: Who are some of your artistic influences?

 

A: My music tastes range, however some of my favorite music artists are: Irina Allegrova, the Empress of Russian Dramatic Pop, the late and truly great David Bowie, his Russian counter-part Valeri Leontiev, and the original music performance artists, Laurie Anderson and Grace Jones.
Q: What was Soul Photography about?

 

A: Soul Photography is an original concept which I presented in Tokyo, and later though Scotland (see:http://www.scotsman.com/news/a-virtual-first-for-the-fringe-1-1210205), it deals with storing positive memory energy within — through a distinct process (available on iTunes and Amazon, circa 2009). This is art which can inspire the depth of the Soul and has helped me during difficult times.

Q:
How does one set a “Restore point” for one’s soul?

 

A: Check out the Darksoul Theatre musical art album, Soul Photography for the artistic concepts placed therein. The secret is located in the art: http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Photography-2009-Mikhail-Tank/dp/B005VU6P1C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463645070&sr=8-1&keywords=mikhail+tank+soul+photography


Q:
What is the “Dollar Baby Film Festival”?

 

A: Dollar Baby Film Festivals are worldwide events which are the sole screening mechanisms for Stephen King dollar baby films. It is a way to unite fans and create beautiful old-fashioned honeycombs of non-internet film enjoyment.

Q: How did you become involved with it?

 

A: I am grateful to have directed three official Dollar Baby films, based on stories written by the great Stephen King (whom I consider the Shakespeare of our time). The first two films have screened in multiple countries, appeared in a book about the subject, along with the first being nominated for a German Independence Award. You can find further information about these projects via the following links:
http://www.mikhail-tank.com/king.html
http://mikhailtank.com/dollar_baby_films
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1026237/awards?ref_=nm_awd

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work?

 

A:  I’m a student in the field of Jungian psychology, along with being an author, radio host, and creative consultant/director.
 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Singer and Model Tonary Modal

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Tonary Modal is a dancer, singer and model; here is a link to her Instagram page:

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/tonaryofficialpage/

 
Q: What made you interested in music?

 

A: I love dancing and love songs so I make a creative blend of music with dance , pop , with an r&b twist.

 

Q: Your bio says you have opened for Bruno Mars at the V20 night Club, how did you get the gig?

 

A: Correction: I opened for B.O.B, He was a rapper who collaborated with Bruno Mars in a song that became a hit during the time called , ‘Nothing On You.’ B.O.B. performed at this huge nightclub and I knew a club promoter who hooked me up to perform there because I told him I was interested in performing there one day. And he said , “Hey do you want to open for B.O.B ? It’s a good opportunity for you.” And I accepted the gig.

 

Q:  What inspired the song, Check Me Out?

 

A: I had a goal in my modeling and entertainment career for people to check me out, check my works out, So I thought of an idea what better way than to make a catchy attention grabbing song called Check Me Out.

 

Q:  What kind of musical training have you had?

 

A: I started playing the flute and sung at the age of 9 at soprano level . I had very little training. I learned how to create my own music by listening to beats of the music and blindly write as I hear the tunes of the instruments.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it affect your ability to pursue modeling and music?

 

A: I work in accounting and auditing  . I have a regular day and night job. Most of my modeling and music gig isn’t last minute or an on-call basis so that’s a good thing , it is pre-arranged ahead of time .Nobody will give the time to anyone who don’t have the time for them or make you drop your job unless they have a good offer in exchange. But when my big break opportunity comes I will definitely drop everything for modeling and entertainment career.

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Q:  What is your strangest show biz story?

 

A: That’s a good question , now this is just the start of my show biz I haven’t been in one strange one yet & would hope it to be as good as it gets lol.

 

Q:  What are some things you have done to promote yourself?

 

A: I network a lot , go to events, you will see me on Instagram@TONARYOFFICIALPAGE for more details.

 

Q;  What do you like about Los Angeles?

 

A: I love shopping , plenty of work , plenty of cultures, plenty of places to go out . Bars, dining, clubs, red carpet events, the glamorous life.

 

Q:   What would you change about it?

 

A: Nothing in mind at the moment 🙂

 

Q:  What is the secret to an attention getting Instagram photo?

 

A: A classy, unique, bright close up selfie summarize it all .

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Singer and Songwriter Lenny Gerard

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Lenny Gerard is a singer and songwriter; here is a link to his website:

http://www.lennygerard.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in music?

 

A: I became interested in music when my brother and I started taking guitar lessons together after school. I was young (like around five/six-ish years old?). It was when my hands couldn’t fit around the neck of our beloved and shared guitar that I gave up the guitar and decided to learn the piano instead. My brother was happy to have the guitar all to himself and I was content playing the piano and humming tunes along with it. Songwriting came later when I got emotional as most kids do in their teens (lol). It was certainly a great release J

 

It was when I got a generous scholarship from The New School University in NYC at 18 Years old that I started to take myself seriously as a singer/songwriter. I performed at open mics almost every week and snagged and performed my own gigs about once a month throughout Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan.

Music is therapeutic not only for myself but for the people that enjoy it as well. Music is a bonding experience. When I’m singing while playing the piano (especially if it’s a tune I wrote) and I really “get into the groove,” It’s like the best high in the world. It feeds my soul in every way and for that reason I will forever be interested in music and art.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?.

 

A: When I was younger, I learned to read and write music on a staff, transpose, and arrange it. Going to college for contemporary music definitely reinforced these skills in me. I double majored in school with a B.A. in Contemporary Music and a B.F.A. in Photography. In college, a big part of my music major focused primarily on recording techniques and music production. We learned various software like ProTools and Logic. I also had the pleasure of taking numerous songwriting classes in college. I absolutely LOVED the experience and performing with classmates. Getting these degrees have broadened my skill set and have transformed me into a musical jack-of-all-trades.

I have recently taken up the ukulele and have been having way too much fun playing and songwriting with it! I’d never played a ukulele until some weeks ago but picked it up almost instantly because of my musical background (I am forever grateful for this, thanks Mom!)

 

 

Q: You started working as a photographer before you graduated from Parsons. How did you get your work in front of the right people?

 

A: It all began when I started taking senior portraits for the graduating seniors in high school out of my garage. I saved up from working at a local frozen-yogurt shop and bought strobe/flood lights, a fancy camera, and seamless backdrops and set up a studio. I kindly asked my parents to move their cars out of the garage so I could utilize the space in its entirety during my many photo-shoots. I gained local recognition as a photographer and was doing business as a 13-year-old from my own home. My mom enrolled me in a class at UCSD based on photography. I was definitely the youngest one in the class – at the tender age of 15.

 

Later in life when I moved to NYC for college, I started freelancing as a photographer for record labels, publications, and magazines. I believe it was my extensive portfolio and experience shooting back home in San Diego that landed me the gigs I got in NYC. I sought out specific people at record labels/ magazines and emailed them. Persistence, and an enthusiastic demeanor was the key to my success. Word of mouth helped a lot too. I got my work in front of the right people through networking via cold-call emails and social media and through the help of the many mentors that I acquired over the years. A lot of the professors at my school were extremely successful outside of class and willing to connect their students to opportunities. The professors also mentored some students on a long-term basis and I found this very rewarding.

 

Q: What is your most memorable celebrity encounter?

 

A: I have two:

 

  1. When I met Ludacris in the living room offices of Island Def Jam in New York City. He was not only one of the nicest and warmest people that I’ve ever met, but he had perfect skin. It was so smooth and porcelain-like! We had fun taking pictures together.
  2. I was taking behind-the-scenes photographs for Bon Jovi’s new video at the time “Because We Can” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXJFjrl-Q4) and Jon asked me for some water. I took a bottle out of the nearest cooler and water dripped on his (I’m guessing expensive) pants as I handed it to him. He looked down at the drip stain on his pants and back up at me. I smiled and scurried away.

 

 

 

 

Q: What inspired you to write, Old Enough For Love?

 

A: Old enough for love was inspired by the thought of romance blossoming over the phone. The words “I only know you over the phone” are meant to describe a sexual relationship based on the phone, as many relationships are today. I felt compelled to write about cyber and cellular relationships because there are now new non-traditional ways to meet people, and they often do not involve face-to-face interaction.

 

Q: Your bio says you are an LGBT activist. What are some of the things you have done for the cause?

 

A: Being an LGBT activist, I have performed at LGBT charity events and have always been a huge supporter of the LGBTQ rights movement. My fondest memories as an activist were in San Diego, California when I was still in high school. It was when proposition-eight (a ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment) was a big focal point in the news/ media. The proposition was to ban gay-marriage in the state of California (2008). I was the president of the G.S.A. (Gay Straight Alliance) in my high school and rounded up all of my club members, friends, and fellow allies to protest with signs that we made during our lunch breaks at school. We marched throughout downtown with these signs every weekend and finished every protest in front of the city courthouse. We made it on the news a few times!

Recently, I put out a music video that was featured on Huffington Post along with an interview about it: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lenny-gerard-feel-me-now_us_56bce834e4b0c3c550508246). The mission of the music video “Feel Me Now” is to show that domestic and sexual violence is prevalent in the gay community just as much as with our straight allies. Men are battered too and there needs to be more resources for men to turn to and be taken seriously. Next month (March 2016), we will be conducting a social media campaign with the hashtag #MenRVictims2 to raise awareness on the issue.

 

 

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

 

A: What I like about the music industry is how it is dynamic and always changing. I like how the music industry is based on collaboration amongst all sorts of artistic mediums. At the end of the day, the music industry depends on artists albeit: film, sound design, fashion, production, camera operation, etc.

The music industry allows me to be creative and express myself in ways I never thought possible. I am so glad to have found a career in the music industry as it enables me to bring my visually creative side into my musical projects. My music videos are the ultimate medium in which I express myself – as they are the melding of both my sonic-artistry and my visual-aesthetic.

 

 

Q:      What would you change about it?

 

A: The music industry has always seen change and will always see change, which is one of the many reasons why I love it. I recently founded an entertainment company (http://www.OinkEntertainment.com) whose mission is to represent under represented talent and artists. That’s what I want to see change in the music industry; I want to see more minorities taking on big musical rolls and more TV appearances.

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

 

A: Lady Gaga, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Amy Winehouse, Le1f, Bruno Mars, Kat Dahlia, Sam Sparro, Adele, Beyonce, Lorde, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Queen, Animal Collective, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, James Blake, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Tune-Yards, Regina Spektor, George Ezra, and Missy Elliot… (Just to name a few).

 

Q: Do you think looks or talent are more important in music today?

 

A: Talent. If you have enough talent, no matter how funky your look or lifestyle is, you’ll be recognized and valuable to the masses for being authentic. I do however feel it is the artist’s responsibility to maintain an image that serves their artistry and products.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.