Fresh off her opening tour slot with Bastille, Best Laid Plans Records, Singer & artist Akine talks music, her band members and collaborators the Wavewalkrs, plus more at The Reclusive Blogger

The Reclusive Blogger: Hi, Akine. I always start with a fun ice breaker question so …

The Reclusive Blogger: Morning Bird or Night Owl?

Akine: Definitely Night Owl. I’m most productive from 10pm and 2am. That’s usually when i write too.

The Reclusive Blogger: Can you tell us how you got started as a singer and songwriter? Did you always want to be that?

Akine: Yes. As long as I remember I’ve always wanted to be a singer/ songwriter. It was either that or becoming a Pirate. There was no third option. I started writing lyrics and melodies when I was 11 or 12 and it gradually became an obsession, compulsion. By 16 I had enough material for a few albums. Some of it will never see the light of day but some of the songs are now released or will be later this year. My sister helped me record a few tracks and get them to a label. So here I am now.

The Reclusive Blogger: You released your debut EP, Don’t Foster Fear last year? What was the writing and recording process like for you? Especially being a young debut artist?

Akine: I had written a few songs that came together into a theme. I was going through a rough time at school, feeling like an outcast and just very anxious and fearful of everything. These feelings came to form the concept of the EP. Recording was pretty awesome. James Earp is a fantastic producer and now a great friend. He immediately got me and the music and the lyrics. It was so easy working with him. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me so i cant say that I’ve had to struggle in that sense.

The Reclusive Blogger: You are currently playing a few shows with Bastille? How has that experience been for you? Have any you gotten any touring tips from your fellow tourmates?

Akine: The experience of touring has been a real eye opener. Watching BASTILLE, their work ethic, the way they prep and perform its just all done on such a high level of professionalism. They have been so supportive of my music from the very start. It’s pretty surreal that I went from being a Bastille fan to performing on one stage with Dan Smith. It’s been incredible, the experience, the people who make it all look so easy when there’s actually a ton of preparation that goes into playing every single show. I cant wait to do more live, its such a high. Also, being able to perform with my friends and band mates the Wavewalkrs it just didn’t feel like work. Physically demanding but also emotionally rewarding, that’s how id summarize touring.

The Reclusive Blogger: Speaking of Bastille … what’s your favourite Bastille song?

Akine: I have a few but I guess I would have to say “Two Evils”.

The Reclusive Blogger: What musician would you love to collaborate with? And Why?

Akine: There’s so many! I would love to collaborate with Fiona Apple, Modeselector, Mitski, Brockhampton or Ben Howard.

The Reclusive Blogger: Is there a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning for you or is your favorite?

Akine: In “Cashmere” I wrote about a girl I used to be close with and as we grew apart as friends, our values also changed and it broke my heart a little bit. I guess at one point being cool and popular became a priority for her and in a way I felt like she chose that over our friendship.

“Everything you do, you do it for the camera, the likes and the views. Writing your name on the walls, i was here. Gotta remind them or they will forget”

Cashmere by Akine

The Reclusive Blogger: Throwing in a fun one here… If you could live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?
Akine: I would either live in Pirates of the Carribean themed universe or Harry Potter world. Definitely somewhere really spontaneous where anything could happen.
The Reclusive Blogger: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
Akine: Mitski, Mitski, Mitski. I’m a fan

The Reclusive Blogger: And what’s next for you Akine?

Akine: More music. Hopefully I’ll get an album together before the end of the year and release that. Like I said before, I want to travel and play live, I love meeting the people that listen to my music.

The Reclusive Blogger: Anything else you would like to add? 🙂

Akine: Have a great day))

To learn more about Akine go here: https://www.akinemusic.com

Follow Akine on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/akine.music/

Follow Akine on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/thisisakine

Stream/Buy “Don’t Foster Fear” here: https://songwhip.com/album/akine/dont-foster-fear

You can also learn more about Best Laid Plans Records and all of their amazing artists including Akine go here: https://bestlaidplansrecords.com

Until then,
Brittney x
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I recently introduced you to a new Pop artist named Lenay and her song LA LA LAND. Today at The Reclusive Blogger we feature an interview with her which you can view below!

1. Quick question … Are you an Early bird? Or Night Owl?

Lenay: Definitely night, but that can count as early morning too, just whenever it’s dark!! I used to stay up until 5am and edit or work on music. Now I’m trying to reverse it and wake up at 5:30 and get the darkness before morning and I’m equally loving it, it’s just harder to do sometimes and actually get out of bed haha. But once I do, I love it, as well as the feeling that the whole world is sleeping and I have it to myself.

2. Can you tell me a bit about the songwriting and recording process for “LA LA LAND” for you?

Lenay: Sometimes I just follow my cat around all day until he starts rapping and then I steal the words for myself and that’s how “La La Land” happened. I just had coffee. And that didn’t make sense on so many levels – not just the cat one. But for real I was jamming to the instrumental track in my car (that Disco Fries made – shout out to Disco Fries!!!) and I chose it and loved so much. I started singing the “la la la la la la la la land” part (in the middle of the verses) and loved the idea and feel of the “las” extending into its own melody so much, and then just went from there!! I wrote the verses while driving as well and would have to pull over to record them on my phone to not forget haha.

3. Who has been the biggest influence on you as a musician and singer?

Lenay: A lot of different styles and artists for my music style, but definitely Lights and Selena Gomez for my vocal style. I love the way Lights enunciates her words and then dives into high parts suddenly with so much feeling. I do that a lot in songs, especially if I write them myself. And I love how Selena’s vocals are so saturated and surround you, as well as the fact that her songs have dark, moody vibes, which I love!!

4. What are your fondest musical memories?

Lenay: My first concert was for a band called Go Fish, which is a Christian-Acapella band. I used to love them so much and went to their concert I think when I was 12 and it was the best thing ever lol. Also my very first show was in Argentina last year at Club Vorterex and 800 people went!! It was SO crazy seeing my names on signs and hearing people sing songs I had written. Something I’d seen only on Taylor Swift concert DVD’s haha, I was like, “OMG OMG I have a sign”.

5. Do you have any fun rituals you do before a performance?

Lenay: Nope, haha not yet! I should though and I’m sure I will eventually. I’ve only had 4 shows so far, and right now I just adapt the rituals of whoever is around me and do what they are doing before I go up. One time, my band was stretching so I was like, “ok, I’ll stretch now”.

6. Who are your dream collaborations? They can be dead or alive.

Lenay: Taylor Swift + Ed Sheeran!! I would love to write or collab with them SO much.

7. Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Can you describe it for me?

Lenay: I grew up playing classical piano, and reading other people’s music. But when I was little, I kind of didn’t register that someone had once created these songs … They just kind of existed for me. Then one time I sat down and was messing around and accidentally wrote a melody I liked on the piano and kept playing it once in a while. I never thought of it as me writing a song, and I stopped playing it and forgot eventually. But I wish I could remember what it was, because that was technically the first song I wrote.

8. What was the transition like of being a MTV VJ to being a Singer? Did you always want to be a Singer-Songwriter?

Lenay: I didn’t even realize I was writing songs at first or that it was even a talent! My dad would show me his songs he wrote on his guitar while he was growing up but never released anywhere or showed anyone. And my ex was in a band and was always writing songs and I started chiming in with melody ideas and eventually started writing entire songs for his project. I didn’t even realize what a big part I was playing in all of that and never asked for credit or anything, I just got excited about the ideas and melodies. Now looking back I’m like, “oh yea – I wrote that and it’s pretty darn good” haha!

9. Who was favorite guest when you were a MTV VJ?

Lenay: Macklemore, Ariana Grande, Ken Jeong, Ashley Benson + Selena Gomez. Haha, too many to count and I want to keep adding more but everyone was so nice! Ariana kept singing really cool random melodies. I could listen to her sing all day!! And I expected Macklemore to be like AAAAHH but they were super chill (which is cool to see both sides of people) and when they walked in I started rapping their song to them like, “walk into the club like what up”, and then we just kind of looked at each other for a bit and they were trying to figure me out and eventually we all started laughing. It was funny.

10. How has your life growing up and living in so many different places inspired or influenced your songwriting?

Lenay: Yea for sure! Some songs I have coming out have some Reggaeton beat influences mixed with dark pop I can’t wait for you to hear!!

11. How did the collab with Zara Bash on the song “LA LA LAND” come about?

Lenay: I actually had a bridge written at first but after a few weeks realized I didn’t like and then we were like, “hmmm … How about a rap collab? That would be so cool!!” So my manager Justin (Bieber) (jk) (hi Justin) asked a few potential people and Zara sent an idea back so quickly and it was such a PERFECT fit for the song!!

12. What artists or bands have been ‘On Repeat’ for you currently? Who have you been listening to lately?

Lenay: Well funny you ask, I just made a Spotify playlist with all of my favs!!

Lenay: Hope you enjoy!!

Stream “LA LA LAND” here: https://spoti.fi/2MzDsY0

Lenay’s Socials below:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/lenaychantelle/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/Lenayiskindofcool

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.lenaychantelle.com/

Until then,
Brittney W.
– Written by Brittney Williams with additional writing from Contributor Jessica Clemente

Bastille - Quarter Past Midnight - Single Review

The Bastille boys are back with a ‘Quarter Past Midnight’, a very British and much needed bop for the Summer”

So today is a big day for me being a Bastille fan. The band, which consists of Dan Smith, Will Farquarson, Chris “Woody” Wood, and Kyle Simmons, just released their first single off their upcoming record (no release date yet, but soon). The single “Quarter Past Midnight” premiered on BBC Radio 1 as one of Annie Mac’s Hottest record. Lead singer, Dan Smith had been filling in for her with an actual BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw all week.

The single “Quarter Past Midnight” is a beautiful and major change of pace stylistically for the Bastille. With the lyrics exploring the themes of crazy yet fun nights out. The times where most of us have already retired for the night or heading home to do so. The song explores in a unique way the alternate life of people who are not home, they are just getting started at a “Quarter Past Midnight”. It’s theme that Bastille is not a stranger to, it’s a theme that they truly find home in thus taking it to a more truly poetic and universal level.

The music still very much Bastille and with all of the lovely Bastille quirks intact reminds me of late 80s to early 90s Brit Rock/Pop from bands like Placebo, Oasis, Blur and My Bloody Valentine in some places. With heavy hits of Europop and Dance spiking in between as the music on the track slides up and down in tempo. Dan’s vocals match perfectly going from a beautiful frenetic pace, to a softer tone, to high falsetto all in the span of only a few seconds. Sounds just like a night out right? The bits of guitar add grit and yes somehow the band managed to add their signature movie quotes into the song. Although I can barely make them out.

All in all this is a fantastic start to the Bastille era. They have made so many fans (including me) very happy. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the record and see what a “Quarter Past Midnight” music video looks like.

P.S. Major props to the guys for the epic Joy Division reference in the opening lines!

Listen/Buy “Quarter Past Midnight”

Official Bastille

Bastille Socials:

Dan Smith:
Twitter: @bastilledan
Instagram: @bastilledan
Chris ‘Woody’ Wood:
Twitter: @woodythedrum
Kyle Simmons:
Twitter: @Kyle_JSimmons
Will Farquarson:
Twitter: @willyfarquarson

– Brittney W. 🙂 xx

(All photos courtesy of Bastille and their management)

The British band ‘The Kill a King’ who are near and dear to my heart has an exciting new gig you need to hear about. And yes it is of the charitable kind.

The band which features members, Ralph Pellymounter, James Ball, Josh Taffel, Grant McNeil, & Ben Jackson are headlining their first fundraising gig in support of a addiction and mental health charity named “Music Support”. The concert (on May 28th) will be held at Omera in London, UK & hosted by Pearse Grady at Baker Boy Music and Amy Gordon of Diamond Jacks Management.

“This our first ever fundraising show and we are incredibly proud and excited that a band with the calibre of To Kill A King are joining us. It goes to show that we are really receiving support from all areas of the industry across the board, and events like this enable us to continue providing the crucial services to the industry that we saw such a need for.”
– Matt Thomas, Music Support founding trustee

The band ‘To Kill A King’ released their latest album, “The Spiritual Dark Age” this past January to a set of devoted fans and led by a string of single releases which include the title track. The record is a mix of soft acoustic guitar tracks to more upbeat jazzy rock numbers. The band followed up this album release with a opening tour slot with the band ‘Bastille’ on the “Reorchestrated” tour.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the ‘Music Support’ charity to help achieve it’s mission of insuring that no one in the UK music industry who suffers with addiction and mental health issues alone.

“Music Support do incredibly important work in an industry that can be exploitative of its artists and when we were asked to get involved, we jumped at the chance. Omeara is one of our favourite small venues and we’re planning on making it a really special night,”
– ‘To Kill a King’ guitarist, Grant McNeill.

To Kill a King’ has invited Singer-Songwriter Charlie Barnes, who has also toured with Bastille as both an opening act and most notably as a touring member, to perform with them. Charlie’s beautiful and atmospheric second album “Oceanography” was released back in March with the second single “Bruising” released on May 4th. The band have also invited Monty Taft to open the show. The 18 year old Singer-Songwriter from Jersey whose unique sound is genre blending allowing him to gain critical acclaim and music industry interest since releasing his first single “These Walls” in 2015. At 18 he has already performed at over 400 live shows. Monty Taft’s latest single, “Delay” is out now.

“It’s such an honour to have been asked to be part of this night for Music Support. Being involved in music can be a pretty weird job; of course it has its dizzying highs, but those can’t exist without some, in my experience, fairly daunting lows. It can be so easy to feel like you’re the only person in the world experiencing tough times in this industry, but organisations like Music Support are doing wonderful work to help us all feel a little bit less like we’re on our own. I’m also, like, totally pumped to get to see my new best buds To Kill A King again, and make a new friend in the Marvellous Monty Taft”
– Charlie Barnes

So folks if you’re in London on May 28th. This is a gig not to be missed. A great lineup of talented musicians all looking to help a great cause in a celebratory manor.

Tickets are on sale now!

Follow Music Support here:
Twitter: (@Musicsupport_uk)
Instagram: (@Musicsupport_uk)
Follow To Kill a King’ here:
Twitter: (@ToKillAKing)
Instagram: (@ToKillAKing)
Follow Charlie Barnes here:
Twitter: (@CharlieBarnes)
Instagram: (@CharlieBarnesMusic)
Follow Monty Taft here:
Twitter: (@MontyTaft)
Instagram: (@MontyTaft)
Follow Omeara London:
Twitter: (@OmearaLondon)
Listen to ‘To Kill A King’
Listen to ‘Charlie Barnes’
Listen to ‘Monty Taft’

Brittney W.