ARTIST INTERVIEW: Jesse Neo

59bd4aff1c00003b0079ec81

Jesse Neo is a British-Australian singer, songwriter, DJ and producer. Now twenty, he began his musical journey at seven years old, starting out with piano, violin and vocal lessons. Within only months, he was composing original music and by eighteen he had written over 100 songs. His music is essentially a unique fusion of pop, EDM, hip hop and new wave and he also runs a site containing fully produced backing tracks – http://www.gemtracks.com

I got to ask him a few questions about his music and his views.

1. Your music is an original blend of several genres, who do you regard as your major musical inspirations and do you have an all time favourite artist or group?

I grew up playing classical music, so at the heart of all my inspirations are composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Chopin. As I got into high school, I slowly got drawn more into the pop and electronic world, and became very inspired by artists like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. I remember attending festivals and raves and falling in love with David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki. I think they have all played a role in shaping my sound.

2. Some are your lyrics, such as the song Sex Magic, are very exotic, intriguing and unusual for mainstream pop. What do you consider your influences for lyric writing?

I try to make my lyrics as different, experimentative, symbolic and deep as possible, while making them catchy, easy to remember and almost reductive. This gives listeners that are only in it for the hype to enjoy themselves, and those that are more aware of reading in between the lines to truly open their third eyes as they decipher my lyrics.

3. The internet has undoubtedly changed the traditional music industry, and now streaming is the main medium that people use to listen to music. While this means artists don’t make much money from sales anymore, streaming allows worldwide exposure. What are your views on this development, and is it good or bad for you as an artist?

I think online streaming music is actually a good thing. Based on research that I have garnered from several entertainment lawyers, I learned that 20 years ago, most music fans were under 30 years old. As they got older, their spending on music began to diminish. However due to online streaming, even grandfathers and grandmothers today are spending money on music. This means the amount of money spent on music is actually increasing! This gives more chances for new artists to expose themselves, and fans to access more genres.

4. This year, you launched your excellent website Gemtracks (gemtracks.com) Can you explain what led up to the founding of the site and what it offers?

Yes, Gemtracks is actually a marketplace that I created where singers and rappers can buy beats for their songs. It may come as no surprise that the majority of my income that I have been making in the past few years were not from my music alone but writing music for other people. So one day I decided to start an online store where I could sell the copyrights of my songs for other artists to use. This eventually proved to be very successful, so I eventually decided to turn Gemtracks into a marketplace where anyone can sell beats. Not only has this helped the industry, it has also given artists a new way to earn income.

5. What’s next in the pipeline for you as an artist, are there future releases in store for your fans? And where can newcomers learn more about you and your music?

I actually have some songs ready to for release, but I was hoping to film a music video to draw up some hype before releasing them. The filming was meant to take place this year, but due to the pandemic, this now must be postponed until near year, which is fine as it gives me more time to prepare the storyline.
Newcomers can learn more about my music on my Spotify: Jesse Neo

ALBUM REVIEW: Spin Me by Project Rod Williams

Spin Me - Final Cover(1)

Project Rod Williams is an electro-dance pop studio ensemble which is the musical brainchild of songwriter/musician Rod Williams. Musically, it is a fusion of classic 70’s disco music like Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, 80’s synth pop such as Depeche Mode and Erasure and more modern pop artists like Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams. In 2019, he released his album Fire which I reviewed very favourably (you can read that review here).

This album, Spin Me, consists of ten tracks with every song written and produced by Rod Williams. Shake It On The Dancefloor gets the album off to an exhilarating start, an infectious high energy disco track that brought to mind Off The Wall-era Michael Jackson.

From its opening bars, it’s a riotous explosion of driving bass, bursts of colourful brass and catchy funk guitar licks. As with the Fire album, Project Rod Williams is a collective featuring several lead and backing vocalists who swap roles from song to song.

This one is energetically performed by Ben Dial, with some finely arranged backing vocals from Aleisha Leo. I enjoyed how the track allowed for an extended instrumental section, featuring the excellent saxophone playing of Fabian Hernandez. Loaded with hooks, it’s perfect dance pop.

Don’t Stop Me Baby is great in a different way, this one a smoky and slinky Rnb/electronica track featuring a sassy and charismatic lead vocal from Aleisha Leo. Built around an insistent beat, it starts out with a Daft Punk style synth riff before the revolving vocal melody of the verse grips the ear.

The title hook is just one of several that sticks in the mind quickly, with the “DJ, don’t you stop, DJ, turn it up” also proving addictive. The swirling, highly melodic bassline deserves a special mention here, infusing the music with great energy. Both of these opening tracks would make excellent singles, with obvious potential to be huge in the clubs.

Go To Town (Get Busy), another sung by Ben Dial, is slower in tempo but just as catchy, based around a simple but effective 2/4 groove. As usual, the arrangement is full of neat touches, such as the interplay between the sharp guitar lines and the synths. The anthemic chorus hook is the focal point, sung in octaves towards the end to great effect.

Lyrically, it is more overtly sexual, about the point in the night where you’re ready to leave the club and take things further. It brought to mind Prince at his most explicit though the words are never distasteful, just risqué: “Let’s lose control, yes bare it all, bite and kiss with our hungry lips….”.

The title track comes next and it grabs you instantly with a toe tapping, Latin American-influenced rhythm and ultra funky wah wah guitar. Ben Dial gives another fine lead vocal performance, with some excellent falsetto backing harmonies providing contrast. Once again, amorous concerns are the lyrical subject matter and it sustains the sensual mood created by the previous track.

Fifth track Dangerous Lover maintains the memorable melodic style and catchiness of the opening songs but this one has a more serious lyrical theme, about not being seduced by appearances and having a relationship with someone who isn’t with you for the right reasons: “They’ll always please their man as long as his money is in their hand, they’ll lay in bed every night, just make sure your pocket never gets light…”. Musically, the lead vocal is augmented throughout with backing harmonies from Rod Williams and the dual vocal sound is what makes this song stand out.

Crimes For Passion contains another salutary moral lesson, this one containing a lead vocal by Matt Williamson who does a great job. Whereas the protagonist of Dangerous Lover finds out a woman just wants him for his money, this song is about a woman already in a relationship and is cheating with a lover that she discards when he’s not needed: “Oh, you live your lie, pretending all is fine, while I wait like a fool here alone in my room….”.

How Can You Say You Love Is True is another emotive song, this one written from the viewpoint of discovering out his partner is cheating on him. The musical backing reflects the emotional nature of the song, with melancholy piano lines and heart rending strings providing the melodic counterpoint to the well crafted vocal melody.

Because, the eighth track, almost feels like the sequel to the previous song, continuing the musical bedrock of piano and strings and lyrically exploring the emotional turmoil that results of lies: “You moulded me this way, my heart was unsculpted clay…”. The poignant vocal melody is delivered with sensitivity by Ben Dial and these songs show the more tender side of Rod Williams’ songwriting.

Tears is an interesting song, combining this emotive lyrical style with a modern pop/EDM backing. Backed by a mid-paced disco beat and swirling synths, this track stands out for the strength of its lilting vocal melody and a further example of Williams’ songwriting craft. This one is another potential single in my opinion.

The closing song Now also has some surprises up its sleeve. Sung once again by Matt Williamson, it’s the first time we hear acoustic guitar on the album, which forms the instrumental backbone of the track. It sets the mood for another tale of heartache, giving some perspicacious insights on the possessive nature of romantic relationships: “Now I’m in deep, I can’t breathe when you’re away from me, now I wanna keep you trapped like a bird in a cage”. It’s a deep and affecting finale to an album that starts out so much lighter in tone.

Overall, this is another fantastic modern pop album from Project Rod Williams. Featuring a plethora of talented collaborators, Rod Williams proves once again he is equally adept at writing upbeat dancefloor tracks as well as the more deeply emotional, reflective songs that show the more painful side of love and romance. With top notch production and first rate performances from all concerned, Spin Me deserves to be a major success.

 

VERDICT = 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen HERE

SINGLE REVIEW: Go (Remix) by Matthew Schultz x Modern Machines

3000px_MM_MATT SCHULTZ_REMIX(1)

Matthew Schultz is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and performer who started out playing guitar in Chris Daughtry’s first band.  He has already made a strong impact on the music industry with his previous releases. His first single, Money or Me, was produced by Armando Guarnera and earned him a nomination at the 2013 EOTM Awards, as well as one for best new male artist. He followed this up with Crazy Heart (ft. Alessia Guarnera) in 2014, then in 2015 he released We Own The Night (feat. Jim Jones).

Last year, 2018, saw a plethora of successful releases for Matthew Schultz. In January, he released the single Promise For Keeps, following up with a version featuring Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian and an Electric Bodega remix in the following months.

That remix has accumulated a million plays on Spotify and the track became part of a viral craze on Instagram (#promiseforkeeps), featuring some of the biggest stars from NBC hit show World of Dance. Also hugely popular was another single, All Night Long, featuring Gyptian and Rico Tayla and Somewhere Far, which has racked up an enormous 7.5 million streams.

It was featured on Spotify’s Editorials Chill Hits, Brand New Chill, Wachenende, Pop Relax, Slo Down, No Stress and went Viral 50 in 8 countries as well as charting on Music Week and Itunes Electronic Charts. His last release, Turn Me Up (ft. Gyptian) has accumulated 650,000 streams and featured on Matchbox Indie Club Hits Volume 1 – Essential Commercial Pop Club.

This latest release is a remix of the original version of Go, which was released in May, 2019 and has racked up over half a million streams. The remix is by New York-based production duo Modern Machines (Dimitry Mak and Kapla), whose last single MakeDamnSure has 3.3 million streams and has been featured on several Spotify Editorials including Emotron. The remix is produced in the EDM/Future House style similar to Don Diablo, Oliver Harris, Tchami, Tiesto Dimitri Vegas and Borgeous.

The remix is a radical reinterpretation of the original Go, which stood out for its mellow, chilled out production style. This version sounds strikingly different from the start, opening with an instantly infectious 2/4 house beat. Like any good future house track, it breaks down for the verse then gradually builds back up, the vocal melody perfectly suited to this radical overhaul. It stands to prove that you can produce a great song in any style and it will work.

The chorus hook is augmented on this version by strident piano chords and a swirl of synths, before the snare roll kicks in and it breaks back into a full beat with a dubstep-style low-end synth riff. This arrangement pattern repeats for the second verse and build up, ending on a euphoric final section that you can imagine the crowd going wild for in a club.

Overall, this is a radical remix of a great chill-out track that takes the original vocals and reinvigorates them with a high energy Future House production approach. The result is a storming dance track that will bring Matthew Schultz to a whole new audience. With Future House proving to be one of the most popular EDM genres, it’s possible that this version could go viral in the clubs and prove an even bigger success than the original version.

 

VERDICT= 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

 

Listen here:

ALBUM REVIEW: Moon Rituals by Sienna

Sienna_MoonRituals_artwork

Sienna is an avant-garde EDM artist who is currently based in Norway but originally hails from Japan. Her music is an inventive meld of electronica, house, jazz and traditional-contemporary Japanese. She has performed extensively across Europe over a 10 year period as both a performer and DJ. She has collaborated with renowned artists like Nils Petter Molvaer, a psychedelic trumpeter from Norway, Mick Karn, an English bassist (now deceased) and famous group The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, whom she opened for in the UK on several occasions.

This latest album, Moon Rituals, is her eighth. To paraphrase her press release, it is unlike her former studio albums and “essentially consists throughout of chill-out songs – and all about the different phases of the moon in the Japanese cultural context.”

The album starts with the highly evocative Moonrise, which begins with a swirl of distant, ambient synths and haunting, echo-drenched piano. The exotic melody is juxtaposed with some unexpected, almost jazzy harmonic progressions and the low-end brooding synth adds to the meditative, mesmeric mood of the music.

Around the two minute mark the mood changes and we hear birdsong before a much lighter, more playful high-end melody emerges augmented by subtle percussion. This melody becomes the main theme of the piece and the percussive arrangement builds gradually into a captivating, intricate electronica beat as the melody is harmonized and modulated in unexpected ways. Moonrise is a very sophisticated and successful attempt at painting in sound.

After the epic, six minute opening track the more succinct but equally potent second track, A Hazy Moon, perfectly conjures in sound the imagery of the title. Opening with a scene-setting plethora of natural sounds, it is based around a complex, fast moving harmonic progression on synth.

This somehow has the ethereal effect of making the music appear to be floating in mid air, in combination with the hypnotic tempo, the result being a perfect evocation of a “hazy moon”. The brief bursts of the pipa, an exotic sounding Chinese musical instrument, adds to the magical, rich texture of the music.

Third track, Wesak on Mt. Kuruma, is about a festival that celebrates the birth, life and death of the Buddha, an event which takes place on the full-moon day of the lunar month Vesakha, which falls in April or May.

This mystical, other-worldly piece is set at a tranquil pace and consists of a simple but beautiful piano motif which is interwoven with blissful splashes of synth and a haunting female vocal (by Sienna) which gradually turns into harmonized vocals, creating a truly enchanting effect. Highly original and unique, both in terms of composition and performance/production.

This transcendent mood continues into the fourth track Moon on the Water which again uses delicate piano to paint the musical scene suggested by the title, and does so very effectively. The brooding mood, unpredictable chord changes and beatific melody brought to mind the work of French classical composer Erik Satie as well as other French impressionistic composers such as Debussy and Ravel. Ultimately, though, Sienna’s musical style in all her own and this is a real highlight of the album.

Tsukiyomi, the fifth track, is rather different. The title translates as Moon of the Underworld and Tsukiyomi is a moon god in Japanese mythology. This piece creates a tense and brooding soundscape through a sparse arrangement of percussion and brief interludes of exotic melody. It lends the music a stately grandeur with the space allowing every element to breathe. As it progresses across its five minute duration, it slowly builds in complexity and nuance, holding the attention gripped to the final bars.

This minimalistic style continues into The Harvest Moon-Viewing Banquet, with strident percussion set against swelling synth strings. It results in a powerfully atmospheric piece where a piano melody gradually emerges, only for the music to fall away. The final two minutes are a subtle crescendo of musical layers that captivates the ear.

Seventh track Snow, Moon, Flowers is one of the album’s epics at six and a half minutes long and is a return to the relatively more expansive and colourful sound world of the earlier tracks. With an unusual time signature that gives it a dreamy, ethereal feel it incorporates a pizzicato string melody with a deep bassline and glistening synths, as well as piano and flute.

A beautiful sung melody then floats serenely over the top before the pulsing kick drum develops into a full swing beat. The vocals on top help to make it the closest thing to a conventional song on the album, and it is my personal favourite.

Equally wonderful is the eighth track Crescent Moon, which is based around a recurring four note pipa melody. This piece truly showcases Sienna’s skills as a composer and arranger, gradually building up a richly woven tapestry of gorgeous counterpoint melodies and harmonies. On top of this she adds angelic vocals engulfed in reverb to create an irresistible musical melange. Perhaps the most instantly accessible piece on the album, and the most melodic.

Moon Rituals concludes with the extremely beautiful piece A Pale Morning Moon which feels like both a distillation and culmination of all the album’s lunar and musical themes. Driven initially by a moving low-end string motif and minimalist bass, the music gradually blossoms into a glorious extended climax of swirling synths and rapturous piano. It undoubtedly captures the mysterious and alluring power the moon has over us and completes the album in an inspired way.

Overall, this album is a truly captivating musical odyssey by a highly original and imaginative artist. She skilfully incorporates traditional musical styles with the modern ambient style to emerge with a sound that is quite unique .Sienna’s music has the remarkable effect of drawing the listener into intoxicating soundscapes that somehow seem to stand outside time and space. Every piece on the album takes you on a different sonic journey, yet it works as a seamless and unified concept album. Sienna has truly given us the whole of the moon.

 

VERDICT = 9.1 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Turn Me Up ft. Gyptian by Matthew Schultz

IMG_12801(2).jpg

Matthew Schultz is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and performer who started out playing guitar in Chris Daughtry’s first band.  He has already made a strong impact on the music industry with his previous releases. His first single, Money or Me, was produced by Armando Guarnera and earned him a nomination at the 2013 EOTM Awards, as well as one for best new male artist. He followed this up with Crazy Heart (ft. Alessia Guarnera) in 2014, then in 2015 he released We Own The Night (feat. Jim Jones).

Last year, 2018, saw a plethora of successful releases for Matthew Schultz. In January, he released the single Promise For Keeps, following up with a version featuring Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian and an Electric Bodega remix in the following months.

That remix has accumulated a million plays on Spotify and the track became part of a viral craze on Instagram (#promiseforkeeps), featuring some of the biggest stars from NBC hit show World of Dance. Also hugely popular was another single, All Night Long, featuring Gyptian and Rico Tayla and Somewhere Far, which has racked up an enormous 7 million streams since its release last August. His last single release, Go, also notched up streams in the millions.

This latest track, Turn Me Up, is a return to the very successful collaborative relationship with Gyptian after the purely solo releases of Somewhere Far and Go. It starts with a laid back, gently insistent triplet-based synth rhythm and the three chord structure around which the song is built emerges, augmented by punchy and intricate percussion.

On the first verse Gyptian takes the lead vocals, laying down an infectious reggae-influenced vocal melody. The overall sound is distinctly dancehall with a strong Major Lazer vibe and his vocal performance is charismatic, with an exotic flavour. Lyrically, it’s about feeling intoxicated by someone (“It’s an inferno being around you.…”) and this is perfectly reflected in the understated yet hypnotic music.

It builds to the catchy title hook before Matthew takes the lead on the second verse. His vocal melody is delivered an octave deeper, providing a nice contrast and also a variation to the first verse. The arrangement is cleverly structured so that this verse later repeats, becoming one of the song’s main hooks.

Overall, this is yet another excellent dancehall track by Matthew Schultz with a fine cameo by the gifted Gyptian and flawless, cutting edge production. With its languid, chilled out vibe and mesmeric rhythms it’s the perfect soundtrack for late summer and will no doubt become hugely popular once more both on the dancefloor and on streaming sites. After several hugely successful singles behind him, Turn Me Up sounds like another smash that will be particularly appealing to fans of Major Lazer and Tory Lanez.

 

 

VERDICT= 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

 

E.P. REVIEW: Don’t Panic by Datastar

dontpanic-e1566699685534.jpg

Datastar are an EDM songwriting and production collective based in Queens, New York City. Their members are wide ranging, from a DJ to a record store owner. Their music is similarly eclectic, encompassing various genres including techno, house, future house, pop, rock and hip hop, often with an undercurrent of the psychedelic. Most of their music is instrumental thus far, with use of vocoders and samples thrown into the mix.

This EP, Don’t Panic, consists of four tracks that are all essentially in the EDM genre, though each a little different in style. The EP starts out with the title track and it’s the perfect introduction to their signature sound.

It begins with an immediately memorable swirling synth melody, before futuristic vocoder-infused vocals inform us to “Slide…bounce….don’t panic!” over crisp snare rolls and a pulsing four to the floor kick drum groove. As the track progresses, we hear a fantastic arpeggiated synth melody that goes off to some weird and wonderful places sonically the second time around. It’s an excellent house track full of energy and musical personality, making a fine opener.

Just Like That shows their more psychedelic side, a laid back future house track with an infectious, bouncy bassline that brought to mind the modern future house classic Gecko by Oliver Heldens. Set to a languid 2/4 house beat, the track is built upon intertwining layers of syncopated and swelling pad synths, house piano and the recurring title hook, a whispered vocal. The track is arranged to perfection, with the various sections leading into each other seamlessly. The subtle use of dynamics means the music sounds fresh to the very end.

Third track Nardo is based around a three-chord progression on top of which is an array of catchy synth melodies and insistent piano backed by an energetic house beat and a simple, mesmeric bassline for the most part. In certain parts, it breaks down to an ambient style section replete with tranquil, blissed out synths and an exotic, Spanish guitar type melody that conjures images of golden beaches and crystal clear oceans. The contrast with the main upbeat section is highly effective, and this section has a particularly danceable beat which should go down well in the clubs.

The final track Blackheart is the darkest and moodiest sounding one here, built around a brooding, ominous sounding synth riff and a meaty, 2/4 beat. This one brought to mind the intense instrumentals of mid-period techno pioneers 808 State. The music has a decided hypnotic quality that is enhanced to a high degree in a section that cleverly combines a triplet rhythm in the synth over the strident beat. This track has a definite different flavour to the rest of the EP which has a more general ‘party vibe’ and shows they have the potential to move in all sorts of creative directions in the future.

Overall, this is a consistently superb EDM EP by a collective of talented writers and producers. Across the four tracks they display a wealth of creativity whilst remaining within the realms of commercial accessibility. Every track here will be popular on the dance floor but the music’s richness of detail and nuance means it’s equally as enjoyable just to listen to. On this evidence, Datastar have a stellar future ahead of them.

 

VERDICT= 9.1 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

 

E.P. REVIEW: Bodhi by Apollo Soul

Bodhi Cover updated.jpg

Apollo Soul is the artistic moniker of Taylor Doerfler, a singer/songwriter, rapper, mix engineer and producer from Buffalo, NY. Having previously collaborated with other artists and producers, he made the decision in 2018 to set out on his own path. Since that decision he has been very prolific, releasing Scattered Thoughts Vol. 1 then the albums Reborn, Apologies, Roses and 2019’s XCIV.

This EP, Bodhi, consists of four tracks. The EP opens with the hard hitting Xo, which starts with a delicate guitar figure before Apollo Soul’s compelling vocals and lyrical narrative grab your attention. He depicts someone in the throes of drug addiction with stark yet poetic imagery: “She got that ice in the mouth like a diamond veneer…“. From here the track develops into a cutting edge EDM track which showcases his skills as both singer and rapper, proving equally adept at both.

On My Grind is more upbeat, an anthemic EDM/rap track with an instantly memorable chorus: “I’ve been on my grind, trying to define this winding road inside my mind“. It features some incendiary fast flowing rapping on the verses that give the music an exhilarating feel and on this one in particular he sets out his stall as an extremely eloquent rapper with a breathtaking delivery. Combined with the poppy hook, it adds up to perfect material for a single.

Same Old You is again based on a recurring guitar line, a simple bedrock for Apollo to lay down some more rapid fire rhymes. It has another “reality check” vibe to the lyrics, as summed up succinctly by the title hook: “You got the same city with the same friends…you got the same problems as the old you“. Once again, with its radio friendly sound and catchy hook, it would make a good choice as a single.

Purple Rain is not a cover of the Prince classic but another entertaining ode to the hedonistic side of life: “Last night I woke up on the pavement“. This one is driven by crunchy, funky guitar which works with the infectious beat and the EDM sound of the rest of the track. Although the tone is decidedly upbeat once again, Apollo Soul doesn’t shy away from the dark side of excess: “What you hate most you come and do again“. A very fine way to finish.

Overall, this is a brilliant EP that maintains a high degree of lyrical and musical quality across the four tracks. Apollo Soul has honed his skills as singer, rapper, writer and producer to perfection and most importantly his music is completely fitting with the current zeitgeist. With material as good as this, I can see him being hailed as the next Mackelmore and hopefully he achieves similar success.

 

VERDICT= 9 out of 10 

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Don’t You Dare! by Red Tan

Attachment_1564456307.jpeg

https://www.facebook.com/redtanofficial/

Red Tan is a female electro pop artist originally from the Philippines. She has studied and performed music from aged 16 and performed worldwide as a jazz singer. After meeting her husband, music was put on the back burner for motherhood, but he encouraged her to get back into music and she got a spot at the World Championships of Performing Arts. Tragically, she then lost her husband to the dengue virus but she bravely carried on to win two medals. She’s since reach the grand finals of Open Mic Uk, performing at the O2 Arena.

This track, Don’t You Dare!, is part of an EP dedicated to her late husband. It’s a feisty and upbeat electro pop song that encapsulates her strength and resilience of character. The track starts with a message to anyone who has tried to hold her back: “Thanks to all of you who put me down….”.

Her voice is as strong as her character and as the music progresses her versatile vocal range and distinctive tone come to the fore. The contrast between the relatively sparse verses and the huge choruses is effective, as is the breakdown bridge which begins: “Without you I wouldn’t be where I am…..you made me realize how strong I am”.
It builds to a powerful and anthemic chorus, Red Tan defiantly singing, “I am tough, you won’t wreck me….”. She is bolstered by a punchy beat that shows an influence of dubstep along with modern sounding synths, produced to perfection.

Overall, this is an inspiring and empowering electro pop track from a highly gifted artist who’s had to overcome considerable adversity. With a very strong voice well suited to radio, the catchy and instantly memorable Don’t You Dare! seems like the perfect song to project her on to the world stage for what will undoubtedly be a long and successful career.

 

VERDICT= 9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Buzzy Bees Are Everywhere by Deltiimo & The Grandkids

190619_Deltiimo_Bee_FB.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/DeltiimoMusic/

Deltiimo are a dance/EDM music production and songwriting team led by veteran British songwriter/producer Gary Louca. They formed in 2017 when Gary Louca teamed up with international songwriter and producer Bradon Grobler. Their first song Lazy Summer Days (ft. Lisa) was a success and they followed it with Now Sing Out Loud (ft. Amba Tremain & Devin Jade) which hit no. 1 on several DJ Pool charts. Deltiimo have now produced an album’s worth of material which will feature an eclectic range of EDM styles from Tropical House to Future Bass.

This track, Buzzy Bees Are Everywhere, is an interesting and unusual collaboration as it features the vocal and lyrical contributions of Gary Louca’s granddaughters! It’s an infectious and incredibly catchy pop/EDM song mostly written by Gary Louca, with the music produced by Bradon Grobler (from Holland).

With its tropical sounding, pulsating synths that begin the track it immediately captures a summery vibe, backed by a languid ‘four to the floor’ beat. The verse contains an entertaining spoken word monologue delivered by Louca’s granddaughter but it’s the chorus hook that grabs you on the first listen, with some cute lyrics: “Buzzy bees are everywhere, playing with their friends, floating in the candyfloss field”. This is made even catchier by a refrain of “bama a lang alanga ding dong”.

The effect is gloriously addictive and after a couple of listens you will find yourself humming the melody. It naturally brought to mind the immensely popular children’s song Baby Shark, a song about a family of sharks that went viral and has now racked up billions of views on Youtube.

Overall, this is a charming and deceptively catchy pop/EDM track that has massive commercial potential. With its numerous vocal hooks and easy to learn lyrics, you can imagine it becoming enormously popular with both children and adults alike. The success of the aforementioned Baby Shark has set a precedent for this kind of fun dance track, and this could well turn out to be the biggest success of Deltiimo‘s career.

 

VERDICT = 8.6 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

 

 

Listen here:

SINGLE REVIEW: Eyes on You by Danjul

Attachment_1561140580.jpeg

Danjul is a singer/songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. He has been developing his music since 2008, when he started searching for producers to collaborate with. In 2010 he started working with Matthew A. Nelson, who intuitively understood him as an artist. He cites his influences on his work as Michael Jackson, Missy Elliott,  Brandy, Justin Timberlake and Prince. In 2018, he released his debut album Origin of Times to great critical and public acclaim (you can read my highly favourable review here).

This track, Eyes on You, is an upbeat pop/EDM song that showcases the more commercial side of Danjul’s complex artistic persona. Starting with a simple guitar melody amidst a haze of futuristic production effects it builds in tension before exploding into the verse with an infectious dance beat.

Danjul’s distinctive lead vocals then take centre stage with a seductive vocal melody that captures the attention. The track is packed full of addictive melodic hooks from the verse refrain of “Don’t stop dreaming, move your body, lose your mind” to the euphoric title hook delivered in a high Justin Timberlake-style vocal register.

Danjul’s considerable vocal range comes to the fore and as the track progresses his voice is morphed through a range of cutting edge production techniques that gives it a decidedly modern and up to date sound. Aside from the track’s catchiness, the muscular beat and pulsing bassline is guaranteed to get people on the dancefloor and I can imagine this going down a storm in the clubs.

Overall, this is an excellent pop/EDM single from a versatile artist gifted with a fine voice for pop. Eyes on You is perfectly placed between pop and dance, so has the potential to be both a huge hit on radio and on the club scene. If there’s a track that could catapult Danjul into pop’s big league I’d be happy to put my money on this song. However, as long as he maintains this level of quality then major success is only a matter of time.

 

VERDICT: 9 out of 10 

Alex Faulkner

Listen here: