Irene Skylakaki – Interview

Monday 19th February 2018

Born in Greece, Irene Skylakaki studied in London before moving back to Athens to pursue music full time; an endeavour that led to her releasing two critically acclaimed albums in her native country. She has also supported such artists as diverse as Macy Gray, Jessie Ware, Beirut, Daughter, and Cass McCombs. After returning to the Capital, Irene forged her path onwards through serendipitous circumstances – she met Lola Marlin (Director of Sarm Studios), who introduced her to producer Danton Supple, while trying to retrieve a lost dog in Maida Vale. This meeting led Irene to writing an albums worth of material within two weeks, containing the songs which form her upcoming EP “Planet”.

How did it all start for you, and what was the decision behind making a career out of music?

At school I guess I was a bit immature and didn’t have a lot of interests. The only thing I really cared about was music. I studied Law in London to prove to myself (and my parents) that I was capable of academic success, but I soon realised that I was following a path that wouldn’t lead me somewhere. I always wrote songs on the side and was lucky enough to be picked up by a Greek producer who loved my music and helped me make it in Greece. Having released two albums in Greece which did well, I felt like I owed it to myself to try to pursue music on a larger scale, for a wider audience, so I returned to London and met Danton Supple, who produced my upcoming album ‘Matterless’. It all happened very quickly and quite serendipitously.

You originate from Greece, but how does the music scene compare to the UK?

The Anglophone music scene in Greece is quite small. In London it truly feels like the sky is the limit, with so many incredible talents from all over the world residing in just one city. I believe it’s the right environment for an artist to blossom and it’s really a matter of endurance and staying focused, as London can be a very hard city to survive in financially, as a rising musician.

Your debut EP “Planet” is due for release on the 16th March.  How are you feeling about getting new music out there?

I’m very excited. I’m an impatient person and I’ve waited so long for this release. As it’s a very different industry compared to Greece, I wanted to first find the right team here to support me with this effort, instead of just releasing everything and hoping for a miracle. As David Bowie had said in an interview about pursuing music, 50% is art and 50% is business. He always gave a 100% to both.

How did you find the process of putting your EP together, and were there any tracks that didn’t make the cut?

Planet is a selection of songs from my new album ‘Matterless’, which will be released later this year. I didn’t want to give too much away from the album at once. I have a friend who is an artist and has great taste in music. We sat down together one day, listened to ‘Matterless’ 30 times and rated the songs. After a couple of bottles of wine, we were able to select the songs for ‘Planet’. It was a very collegial process!

Could you tell me more about the inspiration behind “Planet” and are there any artists or ventures that have encouraged you on this release?

A feeling of isolation and romantic failure inspired ‘Planet’. I love Marika Hackman, Laura Marling, The XX, Daughter, and I feel I’ve been really influenced by their sound.

How does it compare to your previous releases?

I’m older now, so hopefully my songs are more mature. I think that songs are a representation of the person who wrote them. When I release a new song, I feel like I’m releasing myself. This album is even more autobiographical than my previous ones and I feel much more ‘exposed’. In a bizarre way, I find this process very soothing. As if by sharing something so intimate, I’m exorcizing pain by helping others feel less lonely and isolated.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

Leonard Cohen is my god. He was a great songwriter from the beginning, but through the years he developed his art both musically and lyrically in an incredible manner. I believe in artists who have longevity and are not numbed and reassured by temporary success. Artists who have a fire inside them. Like Joni Mitchell, or David Bowie.

Who has been your favourite artist to support so far?

It’s a band and it’s ‘Daughter’. Apart from awesome musicians, they were super lovely people too. I have a little girl crash on Elena Tonra. Such a beautiful person and artist!

How are you feeling about your upcoming headlining show at The Islington, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re looking forward to performing live?

I can’t wait! I really like The Islington as a venue and I’m sharing the stage with a brilliant greek artist and friend of mine Katerine Duska, who is travelling from Athens just for this show – it’s going to be a great night. I can’t wait to perform one of my new songs called ‘It’s Getting Darker’, which, as the title gives away, is darker and quite intense when performing live.

What have you got planned next, and where do you hope your music will take you?

I’m recording my next EP at the moment with Andres Mesa, sound engineer of Phil Manzanera, and planning more gigs for the following months. I hope my music will take me to another planet and I’d love to take you with me!

Connect with Irene Skylakaki via Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.

MACEDO – Interview

Wednesday 14th February 2017

Creating electrifying alternative pop tunes with empowering messages, MACEDO, comprised of twin sisters Michelle and Melissa, have taken a lifetime of creative energy and talent to produce their emotionally compelling, richly textured music, and they have just released their emotionally driven album “Ghost Town”.  With their grandmother being a trained classical pianist, and father pianist and guitarist, the girls were introduced to music from an early age, and were determined to become artists.  Michelle and Melissa have also stepped in to the world of acting, having recently appeared in the Netflix show Girlboss, as well as the leads in the James Franco film titled “Blood Heist”.

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

You come from quite a musical background with your grandmother being trained as a classical pianist, and your father also teaching you to play the piano and introducing you to lots of famous records. Would it be fair to say this is what has encouraged you both to become musicians? 

Yes, definitely. Growing up we were both always singing and writing songs together. Being singers and musicians was just something that happened naturally. Our earliest musical memory is sitting at the piano with our dad. It was this amazing antique piano that my mom inherited. We still write on that piano sometimes! One thing about having a career in the arts is that usually you have to truly want to do it with all of your heart and soul, so music and acting is what we truly wanted to do. It was never a question.

What was the decision behind deciding to make music as a career? It started as a hobby for you, but what made you realize you wanted to make something more of it? 

We always knew that music was something we wanted to pursue. We realized it was such a powerful form of self-expression. It felt like a way to transform life experiences into something beautiful, like alchemy. It can truly help people. To express ideas and feelings through lyrics and music is incredibly powerful.

Could you tell me about your writing process and how you work together to create the final track, and how you know when a song is ready?

Usually Michelle will start with lyrics and we’ll work together to create a melody. Sometimes Melissa will come to Michelle with a hook or a line and Michelle will expand from there. Every song is different. Next we focus on how to tell the most powerful story combining the lyrics with the melody. After many edits and revisions we decide to move on. It’s so difficult to know when the song is actually done, but when we feel like we’ve told the story in the most effective way, we let it go.

Your album “Ghost Town” has just been released. How are you finding the response to your music so far? 

It has been amazing. We have such incredible and supportive fans. I think the music and the journey really speaks to people, especially when they have been following the journey of making the album. People are really connecting to the honesty of the songwriting which is such a compliment. We’re so grateful for them.

The album was written during a tough time for Michelle. How does it feel listening back knowing the songs represent a certain period in your life?

It is certainly powerful to listen back on such a painful period of time. It has shown me how much I have grown and it makes me grateful for what that darkness taught me. I think of the amazing support system I had and how important it is to seek help when you are experiencing depression and anxiety. It is so important to listen to and respect your mind and body. I’m happy that I was able to delve into my mind in such an raw, unfiltered way to write these songs. I’m grateful to be on the other side of that time, difficult times always pass. As women, we are so resilient, these songs are a reminder of that.

How did you find the process of putting your album together, and did you face any hurdles that you had to overcome? 

The biggest challenge has been staying true to our vision. Everyone else has an opinion about what we should be or do. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to really figure out what it is that you want and then stick with your vision. This album is about putting out what we want and representing our true selves.

Were there tracks any that didn’t make the final cut? 

Yes! Definitely a few recorded tracks that we didn’t put in the final cut. We were ultimately trying to tell a story from start to finish with this album and some songs just distracted from that concept. We wanted to make sure we were putting our best foot forward and really putting on songs that we loved.

You have both recently appeared as Stacie and Stephanie in the Netflix show Girlboss. How did the opportunity come about, and how was the experience for you? 

We are both actors so we auditioned for the show and when I (Melissa) read the script I just knew we were perfect for it. We play a fictional band on the show, Girlboss, which was a lot of fun! Acting is something that we’ve both just always known we wanted to do. We are both trained actors and have been pursuing it along with music our entire lives. We are equally actors and musicians. It’s another way to express ourselves and to really share our art with the world. We feel passionately about empowering young women and it was serendipitous that Girlboss is such an empowering and powerful show for women, it aligns perfectly with what we want to put out into the world!

Would you consider doing more acting? 

Yes! We are so excited for what’s to come. We just wrapped lead roles in an incredible feature film in New York called “Sara”. It was an amazing experience and the our fellow cast members (Marc Menchaca, Drew Fonteiro, Tyler Dash White) and crew were incredible. That is all we can say so far but stay tuned on our Instagram and we will be announcing more soon!

What do you get up to outside of music and acting, and are there any hobbies in particular that you both enjoy? 

We don’t have much time for anything but music and acting, but we feel very strongly about women’s issues. We have always supported RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and Melissa used to be a Rape Crisis Counselor for them. We interviewed hundreds of women and men and co-created a theatrical show called “Dirty Talk” with our theatre company (World Kin Ensemble) about the spectrum of violence against women, ranging from catcalling to rape. We acted in and toured college campuses around the country with that show. We also performed it as part of USC’s Visions and Voices. We feel strongly about any organization that supports and empowers women. It’s exactly what we try to create in our art. We think as artists it’s important to help empower people who feel marginalized and silenced.

Connect with MACEDO via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

MusicPlanetLive announces £1M grants and incentives for artists and promoters

Wednesday 14th February

Live music hub MusicPlanetLive has announced £1 Million of incentives and grants to support emerging UK artists and promoters.  Over the next six months MusicPlanetLive will be funding artists, projects and events up to £5k each across the UK. In addition to the grants, the site is designed so artists, venues and promoters of all levels can use its service to generate income through various means.

MusicPlanetLive has already sponsored a wide range of shows and provided funding for many emerging artists including Chapter and Verse, Lotus Eater and Big Beat Manifesto. This announcement affirms MusicPlanetLive‘s commitment to supporting live music and the next generation of talent.

Last week saw the official launch of NuuRadio, the site’s in-built user-generated interactive radio station which features artist takeover shows, industry news and more. Featured artist shows have so far included Opeth, Employed to Serve, Northlane and Wednesday 13 as well as Grammy award winning Sting producer Kipper Eldridge.

“We are funding proactive emerging acts of all genres who have the drive, determination and passion to promote their music and not expect everything on a plate. We want to see more people at more shows and keep live music thriving from grassroots venues to the biggest arenas. We’re also providing finance for hard working promoters to help them put on the shows they want. We want these shows to happen, we want the venues paid, the artists paid and as such we want to help cover costs, so promoters can afford to put on a show risk free. We’re finding huge support from many artists who believe in what we are doing, we all share the same passion, and the more people using the sites features, the better it works for all.

“We want to create a live music platform that works for all artists and everyone in the industry, this is our mission and commitment. This is NOT just another new social platform – it’s a complete working tool for the entire live music industry, and we’re just getting started. Designed with the music world in mind, this will be the best way for artists to grow fan base, reach audience for free and the opportunity to make income on a regular basis.”

Connect with MusicPlanetLive via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

SEASONS announce new EP ‘Chapters’ and Fender Squire guitar giveaway

Saturday 10th February 2018

Bedfordshire based rockers SEASONS have just announced that their next EP, entitled ‘Chapters’ will be released on 20th April.  As part of the build-up to the release, the band are giving away a brand new Fender Squire guitar to one lucky person.  To be in with a chance of getting your hands on the prize, you just need to pre-order the new EP on the band’s own store. Click here to pre-order and the guitar could be yours!  The winner will be announced at a special EP release show in April, with more details to follow.

Speaking about their upcoming EP, guitarist Steve Watts comments that:

“Our third EP ‘Chapters’ is definitely the most emotionally involved collection of music that we have written as a band. The name comes from the idea that the songs are based around a subject that each of us have had connections with or experienced in our own lives, each one a chapter of our lives, if you like. We want people to feel the emotion in each song and to really connect and relate to that. In SEASONS we all have the same view that music and lyrics in particular can have such a strong influence on a life whether it’s giving them strength to battle through a tough time, or showing them they aren’t alone in their emotions. We hope that behind the big riffs and catchy choruses, people hear the messages in the songs and enjoy them on that level too!”

Connect with SEASONS via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Paddy James – Interview

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Fresh off the back of touring with the likes of Ed Sheeran and The Hoosiers, and following a string of successful live performances with Sofar Sounds; and being featured on BBC Introducing, London based artist Paddy James is armed with his guitar and a bunch of infectious melodies for his latest release “Perfectly Flawed”.  His latest single, which is due to be release on the 2nd March showcases the the effortless talents that Paddy has when it comes to songwriting, and after watching his performances on YouTube, it’s not hard to see why his debut EP “Lost Boy” spun him straight in to the top 5 singer/songwriter chart on iTunes.  Paddy aims to focus on continuing to releasing a number of singles this year, whilst taking the time to perfect his album.

Please could you tell me about how it all started for you?  Has there been anyone in particular that has inspired you to take the step in to music, and at what point did you know you wanted to make a career out of it?

Like many a musician I grew up around music, my dad played guitar and always played in bands for as long as I can remember. He tried getting me to play guitar when I was a little tot but I didn’t have the patience, I wanted to be able to entertain immediately. So, after a fleeting attempt at learning the guitar I took on the drums from maybe 9/10 years old. I remember being bought a drum kit which was set up in the garage, the crashing about must’ve been horrendous, ha! Fast forward to my mid/late teens following a few years of studying the drums, I revisited my old 6 string nemesis in the form of a beaten up old nylon string classical guitar and thrashed around for a while with the basics. I finally got it to work and had won a school talent show within a year or two. I think the major turning point though, was when I got to Uni. I realised there, that I had the potential to make music work for me, that’s where I built a bit of a live reputation, landed some great support slots and lived through some ludicrous life experiences from which some of my early song writing fodder was born. As far as there being any one particular influential person, besides dad’s musicality and mum’s killer English language skills, Gene Kelly would be up there, Singin’ in the Rain was on a loop in my house, what an entertainer.

Your latest single “Perfectly Flawed” has just been released.  How are you finding the response so far, and how does it feel having the single out there?

The response has been great so far. I have an incredible network of friends and family who are always excited to see what comes next, and this time I’ve been privileged to receive a big chunk of industry feedback which has been very insightful. It’s a great relief to have it out, it’s amazing how long it takes sometimes when you are self funding a project. I try and enjoy the process but I’m forever trying to improve as a musician and a writer and the next new idea is always the best idea you’ve ever had. So I have to remind myself sometimes to take one step at a time and take it as it comes!

How does the single compare to your previous releases, and how do you feel you’re growing as an artist?

It’s definitely a step forward I think from the previous release. I’m slowly trying to veer away from the typical singer/songwriter set up that we’ve been bombarded with over the last few years. It will always be at the heart of what I do but I’m definitely working towards something a bit more exciting. I find myself studying songs and structures a lot more now and spending a lot of time on the technical side of things. I didn’t study music and I’m incredibly competitive so I feel like I’m constantly catching up. I try and surround myself with crazy talented musicians too who help push me to be the musician that I’m hoping to create. I’m working a lot more on the song writing and trying to find a good balance that can be both artistic yet commercial at the same time.

Could you tell me about your writing process, being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas from, and how do you know when a song is ready?

Songs are never ready, haha! Sometimes you just have to put your hands up and say that’s the song and move on. I don’t have a set writing process, I probably should do, although they tend to stem from one of two scenarios. The first is simply picking up a guitar, blurting out some chords, words and melodies and see if anything sticks. The second I tend to pick a topic and roll with it maybe write a few pages of words, rhymes and sing into my phone, (the easiest way to jot down ideas). The songs always come together more quickly once I have a clear story in my head. I’ve been fortunate enough to try writing with people for the first time over this past year and that was one of the key learning points. Its all too easy to write a load of waffle but when you have a clear subject matter, ideal or emotion you want to put across it makes life so much easier and the songs which are the most believable and the most real are the ones that stand out so much more.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon inspirations when writing and performing?

There are so many to choose from, I never really honed in on any one artist nor have I really ever idolised anyone as the people at the top of their game are just people who had a vision and worked incredibly hard at their craft to get to the top. If I were to throw a couple in I would say John Mayer because there is simply nothing he cannot do on a guitar, I would be happy with half of his guitar knowledge. Sting, his lyrics have always intrigued me, I love the way he writes songs, I find a lot of his material incredibly poetic. The Police had such an attitude on and off the stage too which I love watching. A lot of my inspiration comes from watching music documentaries and recorded live shows. It’s so easy to write after watching an incredible performance.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

My plan is to keep releasing singles for now, there’ll be 3/4 more out this year after ‘Perfectly Flawed’. I’m headed back into the studio in May once the winter season is over with some songs I’m incredibly excited about. Once this year is done I’ll see how everything has gone down and go from there. I want the first album to be special so it may take a few years yet while I figure it all out. I’m in no rush.

Who has been your favourite band or artist to tour with so far?  You’ve been lucky enough to support some huge artists…

Supporting Ed, just as he was about to explode was great fun such a lovely dude. Last summer though I played a little festival in France called The Mad Hatters Wonderland Festival, one of my favourite lesser known bands Will and the People who I’ve played with a couple of times now were playing which was ace (I still don’t understand why they aren’t huge) but Slade were headlining and I was genuinely blown away. I’ve never had so much fun at a gig, they really know how to entertain a crowd I had no idea they would be so good.

I’ve recently discovered Sofar Sounds and noticed you did a performance a little while back.  How did the opportunity come about, and how was the experience?

I absolutely love the Sofar gigs I think I’ve done 4 or 5 now, they have an application process and if they like what you do they invite you to play a show. You then become part of their alumni I guess you’d call it, and if you go down well there’s plenty of opportunities to do more shows. Their whole ethos revolves around providing a dead quiet atmosphere for people that want to listen to music. It’s incredibly intimate, you can literally hear a pin drop, which can be a strange sensation as you literally have no where to hide. I love it though, I love the pressure to perform, it keeps you on your toes for sure. You should definitely go!

Word has it that you’re also a ski instructor.  Which came first, music or skiing, and how do you balance your time between the two?

Yes! I am a qualified ski instructor, I trained over in Canada before I went to Uni and taught when I was out there. I’m pretty hectic with music now though so I save the teaching for friends and family that come and visit me out here in the Alps. I was a pretty fortunate kid, I went skiing for the first time when I was about 7 years old and pretty much wangled a trip most years growing up. Music definitely came first though I’ve been singing since before I can remember. My gig schedule is pretty mental out here so I ski more for pleasure, nothing keeps you fresher than the mountain air.

Finally, if you were given the opportunity to perform in the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – Sting. He’s just a bad ass as far as I’m concerned… Plus I can’t stop listening to an album he did backed by various orchestra’s called Symphonicities. The arrangements just hit the spot for me. I’d have to figure out how to do it in a way distinctive for me but it’s a beautiful song. When I am of a level where I can fill out the Royal Albert Hall with an orchestra behind my songs in a similar way I will have lived a happy man.

Connect with Paddy James via his Website, Facebook and Twitter.

One Flew West – Interview

Thursday 1st February 2018

Oh, how I do get excited when a new pop-punk band arrives in my mailbox!  It’s not a genre that Denver rockers One Flew West have associated the band with, until they found themselves being added to two of the largest pop punk playlists on Spotify, and now as they say, the rest is history… well, not quite as One Flew West continue to take inspiration from a broader spectrum, including rock and indie, but it has certainly helped them to produce their stand-out debut EP “Trial and Error”. Having formed the band in 2014, they have continued to make waves across the scene, winning awards and being crowned CBS Denver’s “band to watch”, and rightly so.  But don’t take my word for it, you can read for yourselves below…

Please could you tell me a bit more about the band? Have you been in other bands previously, and what has driven you to form One Flew West?

Jonah, David, and Linden have been playing in bands together since high school, but One Flew West didn’t form until college. In the summer of 2014, we decided to go a new route with our music and with that came a new name and sound that has grown into what you hear today!

Your single “Trial & Error” is already receiving quite a lot of momentum. How are you finding the support and response to your music so far?

The response to “Trial & Error” has been fantastic so far, having it in two of Spotify’s largest alternative playlists has introduced us to a bunch of new listeners in markets we have never reached before. Our fans have been very responsive as well, already throwing their middle fingers in the air and shouting “fuck you” with us at our shows.

You’ll be releasing your EP this month too. How are you feeling about getting new music out there, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re excited about being heard?

We spent a lot of time thinking about our sound with this EP and we took our time to make sure the songs we ended up recording would be songs we are proud of forever. We are excited for people to hear all of these songs. We’ve never been more excited for a release than we are with this one.

How did you find the process of putting the EP together, and did you face any hurdles that you had to overcome?

We started writing with the goal of making a cohesive five-song EP. We ended up with way more than five songs, and as we kept writing, each song came out better than the last. It was a crazy feeling having that many options going in to the studio. We kind of had an idea of the what final five songs would be, but it wasn’t until we were in The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO that it all finally came together. Our producers, Chris Beeble and Randall Kent also really helped us steer the ship in the right direction.

How easy was it to pick the final 5 tracks, and were there any that didn’t make the cut?

Like I said, we ended up finalising the tracklist once we were in the studio with the help of our producers. I think being at The Blasting Room where the Descendants, Rise Against, and a ton of other amazing punk bands recorded their albums helped us pick these final songs and shape the feel of the EP.

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they encouraged and helped you develop your sound?

By far our most noticeable influence is Frank Turner. His blend of folk and punk gave us the inspiration to blend more genres into our our own sound. Of course, we are also influenced by bands and artists like Foo Fighters, Social Distortion, Weezer, Blink-182, Johnny Cash, Green Day, and New Found Glory. We didn’t do it intentionally, but ever since “Trial And Error” was released, everyone has been calling us a pop/punk band. We’ve always considered ourselves folk/rock, but gotta say that we’re pretty stoked to be in the same category with some of the bands I just mentioned.

How do you feel that you’ve developed as a band over the years, and how does your music compare now to your previous material?

When One Flew West started we had 6 members, including a trumpet and piano. Over the last couple of years, we’ve whittled it down to just the four of us (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums) and it’s lead to us getting more creative with our arrangements and writing. Our sound has always been acoustic-based rock music, but with fewer members we’ve started drawing in more of the punk side of things.

What’s the music scene like in Denver for up and coming artists, and are there any venues in particular you enjoy playing at?

Denver is amazing for up-and-coming bands. You’d be hard pressed to find a scene within a three-states radius that shares the same enthusiasm for its local musicians. We have so many supportive venues and promoters here that help bolster the scene and grow bands into the Nathaniel Rateliffs and One Republics that you see blow up from here. From the Bluebird Theater to the Larimer Lounge to the Marquis, you can find a packed out local show almost every night of the week.

What are your plans for 2018, and what do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year?

We are focusing on growing our audience and getting these new songs into as many new ears as possible with touring at the center of it all. Denver has been great to us, but we’re ready to see what the rest of the country thinks of us!

Connect with One Flew West via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Geo Gabriel – Interview

Sunday 28th January 2018

Geo Gabriel is a London-based Soul artist who has worked with some huge names in the music industry, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, 30 Seconds to Mars, Placebo, Beverley Knight and Ed Sheeran, just to name a few!  He has also spent four years working with Bazil Meade, the founder of the world famous London Community Gospel Choir, responsible for recording the backing track of The Lion King’s “The Circle of Life”.  At the top of his mission list, Geo wants to continue contributing his own music to the world, and has just released his latest single “Destiny”, which is to be followed by an album release later this year.  I caught a moment with Geo to find out more about his experiences in the industry and latest release.

What artists and genres did you listen to growing up, and who or what encouraged you to pursue a career in the music industry?

When growing up I listened to lots of soul, rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, jazz ranging from artists like Michael Jackson, Motown music, Phyllis Hyman, Earth Wind & Fire, David Bowie, Led Zeplin, Aerosmith, Genesis, Journey, Santana, Gun N’ Roses, Queen, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, John Holt, Ella Fitzgerald, Grover Washington, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Kool G Rap, KRS -1, Leaders Of The New School, Steely Dan, New Edition, Prince, Parliament Funkadelic, etc.

You’ve worked with some really big names (Jay-Z, Madonna, Roger Waters, Ed Sheeran, to name a few). Could you tell me more about how these opportunities came about?

Some opportunities came to me via agencies I worked for, the Madonna and Roger Waters gig (Cà Ira) was via Choir connexion agency, because I used to be a member of London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) while Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z were based on recommendations.

Who have you enjoyed working with the most, and do you have any memorable moments?

I’ve really enjoyed working with them all, I say Lionel Richie was so much fun. He was very down to earth and brought such a great vibe on stage, we had a dance-off on stage and as well, he was an absolute professional!

You also spent four years working with Bazil Meade. Are you able to tell me more about this experience, and what you achieved together during this time?

Bazil Meade is a legend, he’s the real deal!! His training is second to none, he helped sharpen skill in the area of voicing, working with harmonies which today I use in my vocal productions. Bazil Meade also introduced me to the world of session singing whereby I got a large amount of work with big artists through him.

How have these experiences encouraged you in your own music as an independent artist?

These experiences have encouraged me to keep working on my craft as a vocalist, presentation of my music as a whole, develop a great work ethic and aim for the top in terms of artistry.


It sounds as though you spend a lot of time working with other artists, but how do you find time to focus on your own material?

I have to always remember my ‘big why’ I entered the music game. I believe in keeping my mission at the forefront of my vision, this means regardless of what’s going in my life I have to make time for my music, because first and foremost I am an artist/singer/songwriter/producer, this means creating and contributing my music to the world is at the top of my mission list.

Could you tell me about your new single ‘Destiny’ and the inspiration behind it?

Destiny is a song about my life as an artist/entertainer, bright lights different cities different tours, plane hopping, hotels galore, performing on different stages around the world, these are some of the elements that make me the man who I am and I embrace it all because it’s no fluke I landed here, it’s my destiny. The inspiration for the song’s concept is my life as an artist/entertainer, as for musical inspiration it’s Quincy Jones in terms of production and Michael Jackson for the vocal styling. 

Will there be a video released for the single?

Yes, there will be a video for Destiny, we’re in talks of getting one done.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

This year I will be releasing my album and I’m very excited about it.

What other artists are you listening to at the moment, and do you have any recommendations?

I’m currently listening to Gene Noble, BJ The Chicago Kid, PJ Morton, 9th Wonder, Phonte, Foreign Exchange, The Walls, Zacardi Cortez.

Connect with Geo Gabriel via his Website, Facebook and Twitter.