INTERVIEW WITH … AUSTIN SINGER-SONGWRITER ‘SAINT SPICER’

I chatted with ‘Austin songtress’ Saint Spicer about her current single ‘On Repeat’, music inspirations, Anime, and much more. Check it out all below!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?

SAINT SPICER: Twizzlers…if I have to choose.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as a singer and songwriter? Did you always know you wanted to do this?

SAINT SPICER: Yes, I did! When I was a child I had a Barbie karaoke machine and I knew I wanted to be just like Shania Twain. Then when I was 10, I wrote my first song about a crush I had on one of my YMCA instructors.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So you just released a new song “On Repeat”. Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process behind that? The backstory for this song?

SAINT SPICER: The producer of this song is Born Soul. He actually heard me perform at my first ever concert in Austin. It went horribly, the sound people completely messed up my track and I ended up getting kicked off the stage after my time went up. I was really mad. But everyone who saw that performance came up to me afterwards and said even with the tech issues they were impressed. Born Soul was there and reached out to me after and wanted to work on a new project. So we got in the studio and he pulled out this sample, and I just started singing “I remember back when I was 18…” And he put together the first verse and I wrote the first verse. Then I went home and sent over the finished song the next week. Jason Cherry is the bassist and I realized the song needed a bass player. This was the first song we did together, and now we’re working on a whole album.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about the song’s cover art … How do you feel the cover art for “On Repeat” fits in aesthetically with this song and with you as an artist right now?

SAINT SPICER: A creative partner of mine, Aleksandar Tinkovski, took that photo of me. I knew I wanted it black and white, and he had the idea to take it in a bar with the long exposure. The cover photo is very reflective of being still and pensive in a time of chaos. Also, alcohol.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are themes of love and loss something that you feel most comfortable in telling? Or just telling about human relationships overall? Be it good or bad.

SAINT SPICER: Yes, unfortunately. I feel the market for love songs is way oversaturated, but it’s what comes naturally. So when I do write about love I try to be brutally honest about what I’m feeling. The rest of the time, I try to tell stories!

TRB: Where do you normally draw inspiration from as artist and musician? 

SAINT: I draw inspiration from ANIME. I cannot state that enough. Anime is cathartic to me. Japanese culture can be very intense, and their art is a designed as an amazing escapist experience that I can’t get out of my head.

TRB: You mentioned that artists like Nina Simone, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé were huge influences for you. Why have these artists like these have been so inspiring for you? And if you could cover one of their songs which one would you choose and why? 

SAINT: These women are amazing songwriters. Their work holds up over time. Nina has done amazing things outside the boundaries of blues, soul, and jazz, and has an extremely nuance understanding of rhythm. Beyoncé and Gaga are absolute rockstars. I would cover “Save Me” by Nina Simone because it’s saucy and has a good bassline.

TRB: Dream concert venue to play at? 

SAINT: Super Bowl

TRB: Throwing in another fun one here…If you could live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?

SAINT: Avatar the Last Airbender! I’m tryna fly.

TRB: And what’s next for you, Saint Spicer?  

SAINT: Jason Cherry and I are working on an album called Space Cowgirl. It’s based on an anime Cowboy Bebop and follows the archetypical story of the Ugly Duckling. It’s a story everyone can relate to—feeling like you don’t belong, being lost, and then eventually finding your people. It’s a funk album and it’s amazing.

TRB: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time! 

SAINT: Please stream “On Repeat” and consider supporting our recording for Space Cowgirl online at saintsaidso.bandcamp.com! We release new songs every month.

Stream ‘Saint Spicer’ // ‘On Repeat’

https://open.spotify.com/track/5sgG67Y7zhaDxueH7gTknO?si=OSGMHKyfQquiSQu5w7ulUw

Until then,

Brittney x

 

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ARETÉ // TRIP – A REVIEW

I want to introduce you to New York based gender-fluid musician and artist Areté. The concept-pop singer-songwriter and producer has released a scorching and futuristic Electro-pop number, ‘Trip’. With chilling yet fierce vocals atop a cool stuttering beat. ‘Trip’ tells the tale a dark tale of making bad decisions of which could only end in disaster. Yet it being one of the best feelings in the world. Areté says of the track “It’s a sci-fi road trip fantasy – like the beginning of a futuristic lesbian Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde – you know it will end with the deaths of its thrilling rebel protagonists, but you want to go on the ride anyway. It’s about the danger of being an adrenaline junkie and jumping in when you don’t know where you’re going.”

Areté by Alicia Fischmeister

Check out more from Areté and hear the daring song ‘Trip’ below.

Stream ‘Trip’ on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/aretespace/trip-1

Areté Socials:

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/arete.space/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aretedotspace

Instagram: https://instagram.com/arete.space

Until then,
Brittney x

INTERVIEW WITH … MAY

The Dawning Of MAY …

Meet MAY, she’s the Melbourne born and New York City based singer-songwriter who voice and lyrics are beautiful and haunting. She is signed to Bastille’s Best Laid Plans where she will release her debut EP, Phantom and video “Last September” come November 2nd.

This week I not only had the privilege of seeing her play live in the most intimate setting in Los Angeles but I also got to interview her. You can view MAY’s answers below ….

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an with ice breaker question. So Early Bird or Night Owl?

MAY: I am a night owl, that is for certain… It’s the most enigmatic and curious time… When the best ideas come… Also, something mysterious and thought provoking about wondering who else is awake and who/what they are thinking about too.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as a Singer-Songwriter? What was the catalyst for you?

MAY: I have always written since I was a child and gravitated towards the piano. I would play how I felt from as young as I can remember. Writing and music have always been very sentimental for me.

TRB: Can you tell me more about your typical creative, recording and writing process and what goes on behind that?

MAY: For me, it purely begins with a feeling. I have to write about something almost immediately after it happens. I sit down at the piano and my hands find chords, depending on that feeling, and the story and words come from within those chords.

“MAY’s voice is instantly iconic and hauntingly beautiful.” – Dan Smith/Bastille

TRB: You just released a new song this past Friday called “Northern Lights”. Can you tell me more about that track it’s really is quite haunting in it’s sorrow.

MAY: Northern Lights is written in memory of my late father. I wrote it just outside of Hudson, New York, in the midst of the woods. I went up there for a few days and it, more so, wrote itself. To this day I cannot sing the whole song without a tear falling from my eye. There’s something about memories living on forever though music that has a profound effect on me.

TRB: Speaking of lyrics, Are themes of love and loss and human relationships where you feel most comfortable in your storytelling?

MAY: Definitely. I write when I cannot comprehend something or someone or a situation… It’s a natural exploration of my questions and findings in life; a way of moving on and making sense of the world.

TRB: Is there a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning to you or is your favorite?

MAY: I think as a whole, the lyrics in ‘Baby Save Me Tonight’ are my most favorite. It came almost word for word from an actual conversation I had, one whiskey filled night, with a friend in Montreal while I was working on the EP. I feel many people can relate to the meanings in this song.

TRB: Are there any current artists that have been “On Repeat” for you as a band lately? What music have you been digging?

MAY: I tend to listen to the same songs over and over again… My playlist is rarely updated… Mazzy Star, Leonard Cohen, Cigarettes After Sex. I am loving Erik Satie right now and Chopin – Prelude in E minor. One of my favorite songs to listen to whilst walking around New York is Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers.

TRB: Throwing in a fun one here… What was your favorite Children’s book growing up?

MAY: What I loved most was actually a series that my father used to make up and they were called ‘Mary Stories’ – About a little girl with green eyes and red hair and her brother Tom and all the mischief they would get up to. It was such a treat when he would be home early to put us to bed and tell us a ‘Mary Story’. Imaginary and made up stories were always my favorite.

“Insane voice “ Jessie Ware

TRB: How have your adoptive city (NYC) and hometown (Melbourne) inspired and influenced your songwriting?

MAY: New York has definitely influenced my writing. I feel, I have grown up a lot in New York and many significant life events have happened to me since moving. The imagery is all through my music and the very interesting characters I meet in the city play major roles in my stories and in my life.

TRB: And what’s next for MAY?

MAY: My EP, ‘Phantom’, will be out on November 2, along with a video for the next single ‘Last September’. I am also currently working on my next record, which I am very excited about…

WATCH MAY:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM585Mu1T5T7Iv9GJYEf68A

STREAM MAY // SPOTIFY:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5BOL6IPAKcXHbgXpiyoHUv?si=wEvKu2m6TkC-k2K89_lS3w

FOLLOW MAY // SOCIALS:

INSTAGRAM: www.instgram.com/thedawnofmay

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thedawnofmay

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/thedawnofmay

Until then,
Brittney W.

MY TOP 5 … FIVE FAVORITE SONGS THIS WEEK … by Sabrina A.

Here are my top 5 favorites from last week, the week of October 21st! Enjoy!

DRUNK ON HALLOWEEN

Wallows

Drunk On Halloween is the definition of new age Simply Red. It’s retro motif touches onto what would typically be heard on classic alternative radio stations. The lead singers voice has a grungy and raspy tone, yet it has a welcoming feeling that makes you want to hear more from the band. The clever keyboard riffs intertwined with catchy vocal melodies combine and make a song that lingers with you.

WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER

Billie Eilish

The 16-year old performer, Billie Eilish, has once again created another beautiful melodic tune for her ever growing fanbase. Billie is one of the few female artists who can change her persona in songs and therefore make the moods be so different from one another. On when the party’s over, the track is haunting and beautiful with a certain melancholy to her lyrical approach. Billie’s effected lyrical style helps helps her pull off the feeling of the song very effectively, tying the song altogether.

MIDNIGHT IN TOKYO

Mini Mansions

As an Arctic Monkeys enthusiast, it’s easy to match the idea that Mini Mansions are one of the bands I frequently listen to. But this band does more than just emulate the ideas and concepts of Arctic Monkeys. Mini Mansions consistently deliver high quality music and this song is no slouch. It features a heavy moving bass line that match to intricate guitar riffs that they have built their lyrical melodies off of. The band also hints at a new age David Bowie with their production.

YOU TOO.

Chase Atlantic

Chase Atlantic has been rapidly growing as a band and with this newest release, it makes total sense as to why they are gaining more in popularity. When explaining their genre, there isn’t one topic that the band falls directly into. YOU TOO. perfectly displays that idea with it’s saxophone riffs playing through the music, it’s a quick-paced lyrical construction, matching drum skills that hint towards rap. Chase Atlantic never disappoint bringing with them an interesting instrumentals and amazing compositional skills. Catch the band on their upcoming tour and I can promise you will be dancing the whole show.

CAUGHT IN THE STARS

Cherry Pools

Cherry Pools are one of the best indie-pop bands out on the scene currently. With very little following and very few songs out there under their name, the band is still building up a fanbase to call their own but I do believe that this band will be blowing up the scene with their newest 6-song EP in which Caught In The Stars is featured on. Caught In The Stars includes a synth-pop sound that is catchy but yet unique when matching up the lyrical production. The lead singers vocals come into the track with a clear sound to them that is totally a Cherry Pools trademark. Not only do the band produce music that is aesthetically pleasing to the ear but their show doesn’t disappoint. Their stage presence is one of the best I have seen and their stage setup is even more memorising. The band will be touring with Chase Atlantic in late fall, this tour is one I recommend attending as both bands always produce an amazing show.

– Sabrina A.

BLINKY BILL // SHOWDOWN – A REVIEW

Today I bring you, Blinky Bill, he’s a Kenyan Rapper and Producer hailing from Nairobi. The rapper, whose real name is Bill Ochieng Sellanga got his moniker from a childhood nickname that just stuck. His new track ‘Showdown’ from his self-produced debut album (out October 19 on the French label The Garden) ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales’ is a must listen! This Electronic tinged jam is a genre-bending number that features elements of 90s Rap, 70s Funk, African Drums (a huge nod to the Rappers’ heritage). Along with a super heavy futuristic bass line, that’s reminiscent of Industrial rock from late 80s and early 90s.

“Blinky says of the track; “I was experimenting with bass sounds in the studio. I love how Busta and Missy made songs that referenced African percussion and I wanted to make something in the same spirit but with my own vibe, that bridges African drum and bass that I’ve heard in the countryside and how that links to electronic music. Plus I had been making a lot of music that is heavy and political lately and I wanted for this beat, to make a song to make girls/women feel good about themselves.”

The lyrics within the raps in this song are quite clear and concise. Yet they keep a great rhythmical and melodic quality to them. The song also has a fun message to it instead of a heavy one which makes ‘Showdown’ a perfect addition to any party playlists, or really to just to vibe to. It’s definitely a big mood. So hit play on this track now.

STREAM/BUY ‘Showdown’ HERE

LIVE –

14 October LONDON – https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/London/Birthdays/Blinky-Bill–Dope-Saint-Jude/13315663/

SOCIALS –

www.blinkybillmusic.com | https://twitter.com/HeyHeyBlinky | https://www.instagram.com/heyheyblinkybill/ 

Until then,
Brittney W. 🙂 

INTERVIEW WITH … ELECTRO-POP ARTIST RILAN

I got the chance to interview Rilan, an eclectic Electro-Pop artist and songwriter from New Orleans now based in Los Angeles. We talked music (including his current single ‘Money Talk’, creativity, influences, and more. Check it all out below …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You got invited to perform at Style Fashion Week LA and NYC. What was that experience like?

RILAN: It was surreal. I love fashion. I see it as a tool to elevate your music from audio to a full multidimensional experience. All of my biggest musical inspirations used fashion as an extension of their performances, from Bowie to Prince to Madonna to Gaga. It was great to showcase my music on such a unique stage and to see my designs on runway. I make most of the costumes for my dancers and me myself, and Style Fashion Week NYC also allowed me to showcase some of my original jacket designs. Pretty surreal.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What are some of your favourite lyrics you’ve written? Which lyrics were the hardest to write?

RILAN: Some of my favorite lyrics are from the chorus of my last single, “MoneyTalk.” I wrote it about how much I hate social media. It distorts our perception of real beauty and fantasy. The chorus says, “It’s a sad, sad city when you’re not that pretty,” and that’s exactly how I felt living in LA about a year ago. Everyone’s flawless, but none of it’s real. I always find I’m much better at writing when I’m pissed or depressed. I’m bad at happy. It’s the emo kid in me.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have any fun rituals that you do before a performance?

RILAN: Honestly, I’m a pacer. I can’t sit still before I go on stage and always look for something to do. Usually it’s fixing costumes or making last minute changes to outfits, but it’s always something.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Where do you draw your biggest inspirations and influences from?

RILAN: I love fashion. I love the 80s and the decade’s idea of what the future would look like, from movies like Tron and Bladerunner and Aliens. I love horror movies, good or bad, and the paranormal. Anything creepy inspires me. So mix that up together with pop music and you get this weirdo.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have any dream collaborations?

RILAN: To be honest I already work with my dream collaborator, Richy Jackson. I admired him so much for his dancing and choreography for Gaga growing up, and the fact that I get to work with him on my own music is still a dream come true.

Billboard ‘MoneyTalk’ Video: Premiere

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Did you always want to be a Singer-Songwriter? Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? What was it like?

RILAN: I always knew I wanted to be a performer. I grew up in musical theatre, but when I was about 13 I realized I wanted to sing my own words instead of somebody else’s. I fooled around on the piano until it sounded something like a song and started writing and never really looked back. My first work was a cheesy mess of a piano ballad called “Runaway.” I still remember every word and every chord, but it will never see the light of day. Over my dead body.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell me more about the recording and writing process for “Moneytalk”? Also about the music video as well?

RILAN: “MoneyTalk” is a satire. Social media has completely distorted our perception of beauty, Hollywood promotes it, and because of it living in LA sometimes sucks. People are shallow and fame is fleeting and everything and you can get a twisted sense of reality if you believe all the bullshit surrounding you. “MoneyTalk” is what Hollywood looks like to me nowadays. It’s fantastical and exaggerated and ridiculous. People’s body proportions are cartoonish, their facial features are insane, and everyone buys into it. It makes you feel hideous. The song and the video were my way of getting out my frustrations with the world around me.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was it like collaborating with Lady Gaga Creative Director, Richy Jackson? How did that come about?

RILAN: I met him two and half years ago when I was gearing up for a performance at LA Pride. I’d always choreographed everything myself before then. I was hesitant to work with someone else because I always knew exactly what I wanted my shows to look like from start to finish, and I feared another creative would try to change me, but Richy was totally different. He was unlike anyone else I had ever worked with before. He totally understood my weirdness and my quirks and my inspirations. It was a dream come true honestly. Since then we’ve worked on every one of my projects together. He’s a miracle worker. I love him.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Why Electro-pop? What drew you to that genre in particularly?

RILAN: I grew up with 80s music. I listened to my mom and dad’s favorites as a kid – Madonna, Bowie, Prince, Cher, the greats. As I got older, I discovered darker pop and industrial music. I fell in love with Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, and later Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson all while still involved in theatre and dance. I think the combination of all of these different influences led me to want to create the music I make now. It’s a little dark, it’s a bit of retro theatre, it’s a lot of dance, and it’s all brought to life best on stage.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What artists or bands have been ‘On Repeat’ for you currently? Who have you been listening to lately?

RILAN: To be frank, I don’t really listen to anything current. I love pop music, and it feels like pop music has disappeared. I don’t think it’s dead. It will never die, but it’s certainly not around right now, and I can’t stand it. My mission is to bring it back. Until then, I listen to pop albums from yesteryear like Madonna’s “Immaculate Collection,” Gaga’s “The Fame,” Britney’s, “In The Zone,” Marina And The Diamond’s “Electra Heart,” and Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill.” And then there’s my out of the box everyday favorites like Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars,” Prince’s “Controversy,” and Nine Inch Nails’ “A Downward Spiral.”

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER:

And what’s next for Rilan?

RILAN: Right now I’m writing a lot of new music that I’m excited about. I’m working a with some new people creatively and strategically as well. There are lots of things on the table, and I’m looking forward to all of them. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been brewing.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Anything else you would like to add?

RILAN: Thanks for caring about pop music.

Stream ‘Money Talk’ here:

Follow Rilan on Instagram here

Until then,
Brittney W. 🙂