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The Basement Songwriter
44 minutes | Jul 30, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview 6: Devon Moody from Toronto Synth Pop Duo TWNRVA “Twin Rova” @TWNRVA
TWNRVA: Andrew Falcao (left) and Devin Moody (right) Duo with a full band sound, experimenting with different genres/ styles, and finding opportunities to perform live and grow as an artist. Full band sound with just two members Devin Moody & Andrew Falcao. This interview with TWNRVA’s lead singer Devon Moody covers the full TWNRVA story and tons of great advice on everything from artist development to production techniques to live performance. Instagram: @TWNRVAFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/TWNRVA/Twitter: @TWNRVAbandSpotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/75wpYvtM6ae9E2XPkDTVuX Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/twnrva/1437152267 Changing up the format of these notes now and shortening the write up so I can get more interviews done for you guys! Thanks, Nick.
53 minutes | Jul 9, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview 5: Pavel Soltys from Toronto Indie Rockers Fonfur @thebandfonfur
Writing an EP vs. Singles, Playing in Two Bands, And Studying at Metalworks College. https://www.facebook.com/fonfur/ In this episode of the basement songwriter we interview Pavel from the Toronto based Indie rock band Fonfur. The band has a variety of songwriting processes, with no one person solely in charge of writing, so we hear several different stories and ways these songs come about. All attending Metalworks college in Toronto, we hear a bit about what programs they offer there and learn about other organizations in the music industry beyond labels. www.metalworksinstitute.com Their 2018 debut EP “New Rules for Classic Games” – out on all streaming services, features 6 songs all recorded by friends from other bands in the Toronto area, Big Lonely and Valley. Additionally, the band outsourced it’s mastering to Grey Market Mastering out of Montreal. @biglonelyband@thisisvalley https://www.greymarketmastering.com/ Pavel also plays in the band @grizzlycoast however we are planning to have Alanna, the founder of the band out for an interview specifically on that project.
44 minutes | Jun 28, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview 4: Lankesh Patel aka Brampton Rapper ‘Spitty’
How to break out of your shell and make your dreams a reality, methodical development, and the album process Originally a super shy kid in Brampton Ontario, Lankesh was a basement songwriter/rapper for the earlier part of his life. It wasn’t until the end of his highschool days when he built the confidence to start pushing the ‘Spitty’ project. It takes hard work and perseverance to start as an artist, and that’s what Spitty demonstrated early on. ‘If I’m going to keep telling myself I’m going to do it, then I have to do it’. View this post on Instagram "Existential Addiction" directed by @alxznder NEW MUSIC VIDEO – LINK IN BIO // YOU KNOW THE DRILL SUMMERTIME SPITTY MY SEASON. A post shared by SUMMERTIME SPITTY (@spitty95) on Jun 21, 2019 at 3:28pm PDT Around the same time Youtube was on the rise, Lankesh started looking at those around him and it became clear that everyone now had an outlet to push their content. For the first time he had a unique opportunity through this rising platform to tell his story, even if it wasn’t as iconic as the legendary rappers he looked up to. It was only then, in the later half of 2011, that he overcame the fear of the basement songwriter and got his start as Spitty. We cover so many topics under the artist development umbrella. Spitty started growing through rapid content releases, and when it was time for his first mixtape (Flight YYZ), he was able to step back, learn more about the art of production, finding beats online, and set strict project deadlines for himself. With each release following his debut album, he has taken a new approach and has learned new best practices from it – now working with other producers and collaborators vs. Flight YYZ being a solo project. I think every musician could learn a lot from the best practices we cover in this interview. Now with three album releases, Flight YYZ, Brown Town 1, and Brown Town 2, Spitty is no stranger to the studio, and it shows in his development through each project. Not surprisingly, Spitty has taken a different approach in his next upcoming project, demonstrating his maturity as an artist, and has set the deadline to next summer (2020) to ensure that it really embodies everything that he has worked so hard for in the past 8 years of the Spitty project. I am looking forward to hearing that album in 2020 and will be getting him in for a second interview at that time. Instagram @spitty95 Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBdy6c_2rawSoundcloud https://soundcloud.com/spitty95Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/spitty/981612050
31 minutes | Jun 12, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview 3: Nathan Janes aka powerhouse producer ‘Nativ’
Importance of Mentors, Grinding out the Learning Curve, and Developing Your Brand as an Artist Instagram @nativmusicFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisisNativ/Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6EhLC5t3uj4Ds3eMswi4uHApple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/nativ/1456059783 View this post on Instagram Waves is out today on all platforms! Link in bio. Super excited about this one, think it’s a great summer track. Shoutout to @mikedooray for the dope artwork once again! . . . . . . #housemusicfamily #newmusicfriday #edmmusic #progressivehouse #chillhouse #nativ #deadmau5 #housemusic #summervibes #abletonlive10 #musicproduction A post shared by Nativ (@nativmusic) on Jun 7, 2019 at 3:09pm PDT Nativ has been in the EDM scene for quite some time – his roots as a producer & DJ go back to his freshman year at Western University where he would throw res parties to DJ at. From there he was introduced to the University club scene where he really started to develop as an artist. With mentorship from Dean Guilbault – producing half of the Toronto R&B duo Always Never – Nate has taken a lot of the right steps in designing his career path as a producer, sharing a lot of the same advice in this interview. It has been a long time coming for Nate James, but 2019 saw the first releases for his newest alias Nativ. With Wonder, Epoch, and Waves he is primed for success in the industry. In this interview we speak a lot to the development of Nativ and largely cover the long and difficult learning curve to becoming a professional sounding producer. These learnings are universal beyond just EDM music and the hard work and effort that Nativ has put into his art really speaks to his dedication and the work ethic you need to be successful in any field. Referenced Links Hyperbits Production e-Classes (Nativ greatly recommended the Masterclass): https://hyperbitsmusic.com/Always Never (Dean, early mentor to Nativ, is one half of Always Never): Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0iiDqBBNToKJG4YoyESrBfApple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/always-never/1128825367Instagram @alwaysnever
28 minutes | Jun 12, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview #2: Power Pop Rocker ‘Ron The Baptist’
From Solo to Full Band, Second Opinions in The Studio, And The Importance of Stage Presence Stoked to have had the opportunity to talk with Aaron Carley, better known as Toronto’s Power Pop Rocker ‘Ron The Baptist’. A project that originated as a solo project but quickly grew into a full band project Follow Ron the Baptist on Spotify Being a life long musician it was only a matter of time before Aaron made his way on to the music scene. With their debut single ‘Adonis’ – about a love affair with a statue?! You’ll have to listen to the podcast for more on that – to the much anticipated EP ‘Sorry This Happened to You’, released early 2019. These tracks did not disappoint, they’ll get you singing along and dancing off just the first listen – and that’s exactly what the guys were going for when creating the record. There are countless influences that shape the sound we hear in the record, everything from Van Halen, to The Killers, to his close friends – Toronto’s present day indie rock sensations – The Elwins, who actually helped engineer the record as well. Now with their first release behind them, Aaron speaks to the importance of stage presence and how he has worked to develop it through the years. Practicing in the bathroom mirror with a hair brush, adding a couple choreographed dance moves, to adding a little ‘razzle dazzle‘ to the band image with his teal blazer… Even if the sound isn’t necessarily your style, at the very least you’ll love the performance. Give these guys a follow on social media and keep an eye out for their next shows, you won’t want to miss it. Hope you enjoy the interview. And will definitely be reaching out for a second interview after his next release. Links: Instagram: @ronthebaptist Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronthebaptistmusic/ Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ron-the-baptist/1425514327 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3KqNHTUNcdUIEXMp1od6Rh
44 minutes | Jun 11, 2019
The Basement Songwriter Interview #1: Indie Pop Duo SLACK
The Band Naming Process, Adapting the Writing Process to Your Unique Circumstances, and Getting Your Music Radio Ready We had the pleasure of interviewing Kaelan Lupton, one half of the indie pop duo “SLACK”. The full interview can be found in the Podcast player above Instagram Link: @slack.wav Spotify: Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ca/album/television-99-twentyfour-single/1462502514?app=music What is SLACK The two originally met through a mutual friend when Kaelan visited Vancouver last year. However, SLACK was actually born months later over a curious DM slide when Stacy posted an instagram story of a Pheobe Bridges cover she was working on. This clip later became their first release, the Smoke Signals cover. Beginning with sharing memes over instagram, it then developed into sharing samples and Logic files via the workplace messaging app Slack. The entire story of the band, including choosing the name, has been built around second nature/unforced decisions – and thus far has blossomed into something absolutely unique and beautiful with their latest releases – Television 99 & twentyfour. Although both songs were initially written entirely separately, with Kaelan writing Television and Stacy writing twentyfour – Kaelan shared the story of how both songs became to play off of each other. With Televisions main lyric “What’s the first thing you remember, you think you’ll carry it through” – Kaelan highlights that this song is all about childhood and how even the smallest experiences can end up shaping ones entire life and worldview. Both of these songs are synth driven, with a dynamic composition that will immediately peak your curiosity. I personally love the drum tones, as I know this is something these two pride themselves on putting extraordinary amounts of effort into creating. The lyrics and instrumental work in conjunction to build an evolving story surrounding how we to, evolve as human beings throughout our lives. Based on Kaelans interview and how much he subtly spoke to the development of ‘themes’ in their songs, it should be safe to assume that the powerful emotional embrace of their instrumental and lyrical composition is going to be the reoccurring style of SLACK. Uncovered in the interview, the synth driven structure to their songs is ultimately a product of their circumstances. Both multi-instrument musicians, they have had to work to adapt their workflow to creating their music almost strictly in the DAW – due to the convenience it brings when sharing their audio files with each other. While there is still a line between production and songwriting, SLACK has found a middle ground that provides for a much more dynamic final result. What can we expect from SLACK? Stripped song (uncertain if it will be of an existing or new song)First EPLive sets Kaelan has said that sometime in the near future we will have a stripped version of a SLACK song in the immediate future – and was incredibly enthusiastic so it sounds very promising! With a catalog of about 15-20 demo songs written, they are currently focusing their efforts on finalizing the track list of their first EP. While both are in the middle of major life transitions, moving, changing jobs, and finishing schooling – Kaelan promised that once they overcome these transitions and find a more central location to work, putting on live performances is the priority. While no dates were given, hoping to hear these announcements around next summer! View this post on Instagram friday, may 17, 12AM. we’re ready. are u? Television ‘99 / twentyfour presave link in bio @spotify @spotifycanada @spotifyforartists A post shared by SLACK (@slack.wav) on May 15, 2019 at 8:08am PDT SLACK’s post announcing their first two releases Television ’99 & twentyfour Interview Notes: Note: There is some additional banter that provides for a really fun podcast but does not translate to text so I’ve largely summarized the conversation here! I guess the first question I should ask is what is ‘Slack.wav’ (Instagram handle @Slack.wav). Sweet yeah, what is SLACK… that is a very fair question, basically I had been out of making music for about three years… And I was kinda getting back into making things on my computer, just on the side on spare time. I had a very good friend that lives in Vancouver, not Stacy… Stacy is the other half of SLACK, but I actually met Stacy through her, and we kinda just sent memes… or liked jokes and followed each other on general social medias… View this post on Instagram new phone who dis (new tunes shortly i’m srsly so excited @slack.wav) A post shared by kaelan (@aelank) on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:28pm PST I ended up going into Vancouver a couple years back and met her for the first time and we kinda just hit it off like dang this is fun, and that person was Stacy. About a year later she posted an Instagram story that had a little clip of her playing something on a midi keyboard recording something. I was pretty curious about what was going on, think I was drunk at the time too, so I DM’d her “hey yo what do you record on, what do you do, can I learn from you”. Turns out we both used our very similar setup. She ended up sending me a link of a Pheobe Bridges cover she was working on, very barebones, just a piano and her voice. So we ended up just sending files back and forth and it was a workflow that actually worked. I would work on something then send it to her before work, then she would wake up and work on it before work. So it strangely worked out really well. Basically 100% of the time someone is working on this new project – Time change ended up helping Slack get their start. There’s definitely a bit of a negative in the sense that we didn’t have shared time really, but it was cool, it meant that no matter what there was always work being done on these files. Ultimately what we were using to send these files back and forth was literally the workplace app ‘Slack’, because it was the only thing that could handle giant logic files of that size. Like anytime we would refer to this project we would just call it Slack so we at least we would both know what we were talking about. Ultimately, we decided ‘hey this was fun, we should do this more often and actually make music together – and then it came to naming the project, it was like we couldn’t look at it any other way. It was Slack, but, do we call it Slack? Okay we are just going to drop it in all capital letters and go for one of those classic ‘yes this is different’ kind of things… And it was just away to the races after that. We had a lot of fun with that first release, the Pheobe Bridges cover (Smoke Signals), and we’ve been working ever since, that was last July? (2018), so we are coming up on about a year now. So you really took the least stressful approach to naming the band, which I think could be the hardest decision to make as a band. I think when I’ve had to come up with band names for projects in the past… It’s such a process that’s so arduous and can be turned into this way bigger thing than it really is. At the end of the day, people are going to associate with your band name based on your music, it’s not going to be (the other way around). Unless you’re like ‘Slayer’, you have a pretty good idea what they’re making, great band. But at the end of the day the band name doesn’t really matter as much as you can really tell yourself it does. We just kinda said “yeah this” and she said “yeah this” and we just said let’s run with it and never talk about it again. ************* Nick: That’s very insightful on the band naming topic, because I feel like a lot of our listeners are going to be new musicians or aspiring musicians and they’re going to be trying to get help from the people we interview on how to get started. And the band name can be the most difficult decision, it can be the biggest stunt, and can really shutdown all progress. Kaelan: It is the biggest stunt, you’re absolutely right. Nick: (in the past) I would have friends that would ask me what my new band name is before we have any music out and I will be almost embarrassed to tell them, like I’m ashamed of the name… do even I like this name? Kaelan: Wow I bet that’s such a shared experience. I have personally felt that with every single band I have been a part of. Even a little bit now, which is funny because I just thought of it… The whole band name decision process is so interesting to me because it’s such a psychological thing because we don’t have a lot of cards on the table right now, but one thing we can definitely control is our band name, so you start to feel a pressure you put on yourself to nail it, but you don’t even have a song yet… Very much trying to control (the one thing that) you can control… Nick: Yeah I mean we can’t control what they thing of our sound. But we can control what they call us. ********* Lets move along to what you are moving along to now… SLACK currently has the cover, Pheobe Bridges Smoke Signals, and two singles ‘Television 99’ and ‘twentyfour’. So before we dive into the songwriting process… Why don’t you tell us a bit about these songs that you guys wrote… And what they mean to you. View this post on Instagram TELEVISION ‘99 / TWENTYFOUR IS OUT EVERYWHERE NOW, LINK IN BIO seriously, we put so much of ourselves into these two tracks i don’t even think we rly know how to feel right now. these are our first released original tunes!! our babies!!! eek. television ‘99 is a little song about being young and impressionable, how your
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