THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: CD or Vinyl?

CUBBI: Digital streaming

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as singer and songwriter? Was that something you always wanted to do?

CUBBI: Yeah I guess it’s just been something I’ve always done. In high school I spent the majority of my time writing songs after school. I would even bunk math class and just hide out with my guitar writing songs.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can talk a bit about the backstory and songwriting process behind your two latest singles, “White Lies, Like Flies” and “Buzzkill”?

CUBBI: I wrote WLLF with my looping station. First came the chord progression which I had playing over and over again and about 20 minutes later I had the whole songwriting was done. I was inspired by James Blake’s vocal productions so I added some interesting vocal layers and the song was created. Buzzkill was a collaborative effort between myself and Robokid. I had the vague idea of the song I wanted us to work on in our session before hand as I had written a couple of lines and melody already and felt like it could turn into something cool in the right hands. I played him some of my other music and we chatted about the song and how I wanted it to be minimal and driven by the procussion. I really love how we did a tempo change going into the bridge section, it really drives the song.

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

CUBBI: I draw mainly inspiration from relationships, platonic and romantic. And also the relationship I have with myself.

TRB: How has your South African roots influenced your songwriting and your artistry?

CUBBI: Mainly in the production of my music. It might be hard to hear unless you are familiar with music from here. A bunch of my drum patterns are influenced by the gom scene here.

TRB: Do you have a dream music collaboration?

CUBBI: I would love to do anything musically with Tracy Chapman or Fiona Apple. Two of the greatest songwriters ever.

TRB: I’m going to throw in a fun one here … What was your favorite children’s book as a kid?

CUBBI: I’m going to have to pick the Chronicles of Narnia, but the tapes not the books. We used to go on long road trips as a family when we were on school holiday and my parents would play the tapes in the car.

TRB: What music have you been listening to lately? What has been “On Repeat” for you?

CUBBI: The 1975’s new record is bliss. Love It If We Made It, as a song, is a masterpiece.

TRB: And what’s next for you Cubbi?

CUBBI: That’s the question. Shows and shows and touring and shows and music videos and finishing up the next record. Exciting times ahead, I’m looking forward to it.

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

CUBBI: Hey thank you guys! Check me out on spotify, and follow me on instagram @cubculture_ for updates on live shows and new releases.

Until then,
Brittney x
Advertisements

I chatted with singer, songwriter and guitarist Craig Stickland about music, life on the road and his upcoming album “Starlit Afternoon” which features the current single “Burn It Down“. You can read the interview below and learn more about Craig and his music …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Coffee or tea?

CRAIG STICKLAND: Coffee.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So you just dropped your latest single “Burn It Down”. Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process behind it? A bit on the backstory?

CRAIG STICKLAND: In the final stretch of the album making process, Cat Lewis and I were writing and producing a ton of music in search of a few more up tempo songs to round out the mid tempo feel of the rest of the album. “Burn It Down” started as a song about rebellion against governments that try to oppress those who are trying to live a life of freedom. After about a month’s worth of re-writes, it ended up as a song about coming together with your fellow human being, living a life of your choosing, while maintaining a theme that no one should be able to tell you how to live the life you want to live.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Your second album “Starlit Afternoon” is coming out this Summer. Can you talk a little bit about how the recording and writing process has been for it?

CRAIG STICKLAND: Starlit Afternoon is a collection of songs that I’d been writing for the last few years while traveling across North America in a sprinter van that I renovated to be my home away from home, as well as while traveling around the world playing guitar in her band, as well as opening up for Alessia Cara. They’re songs about my relationships and experiences during that time period. After trying to find the right production sound with a variety of different producers, and ultimately ending up liking my home demos more than the fully produced versions I was ending up with, I decided to co-produce the album with a few good friends of mine; Cat Lewis and Gray Hawken. Alessia’s keyboardist Eric Rusinski, Cat and I had just finished converting a guest house garage into a studio in LA, so I parked my van in front, AirBnb’d my apartment, and we got to work over the better part of a year. We were in the studio every day, sometimes making 6 or 7 versions of the same song until we got it right.

TRB: Have you always known you wanted to be a singer-songwriter and guitarist? Who are some guitar heroes of yours?

CS: I knew I wanted to be a singer songwriter when I first picked up the guitar at age 16. When I first saw John Mayer play live, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a singer-songwriter and guitarist, and that I needed to step my guitar playing game up.

TRB: Let’s talk a bit about your music video for “Burn It Down“? What was the inspiration behind it? What was the filming like for you on the music video?

CS: Emma Higgins who directed the video is incredible, and she was the true visionary behind the video. We knew we wanted a live performance element to capture the energy of the recording, and it was Emma’s idea to drive around California and capture total stranger’s initial reaction to hearing the song on 16mm film.

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

CS: One of my favorite songs on the album is the album closer “Good Love” which is a very personal song written about how hard it is to find pure love, especially with my career choice. The verses are very personal, and I really like the way they came together.

“Staring at the city and I feel like crying out. The words you used to whisper, I now hear so loud. If I’d known you’d be so precious, I would have been more kind. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find. Lately I’ve been drinking to escape my state of mind. As I pull up to an empty bar, I read your script inside. It tells me not to be reckless, and that everything will be fine. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find. Maybe it’s the way I live, different city every night. They say that you get what you give, when you left I felt the plight. Maybe things would be different if I wasn’t working all the time. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find.”
Craig Stickland // ‘Good Love’

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

CS: Tom Misch has been one of my favorites for a while now. His first two albums, Beat Tape 2 and Geography are on heavy rotation. I’ve also been listening to Gary Clark Jr.’s new album, and Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ album Tearing at the Seams. Emily King’s new album is incredible too.

TRB: And what’s next for you, Craig Stickland?

CS: I’m really eager to share this new music. I’ll be releasing new songs from Starlit Afternoon leading up to a mid summer Album release. My Next single “Rolling River” Comes out on March 22nd. I also shot a series called ‘The Van Sessions’, where we filmed and recorded live versions of most songs from the album, fully powered by the solar panels that I mounted on top of my sprinter van. We shot a different song in each of my favorite locations around California like Big Sur, Joshua Tree, Yosemite National park and Alabama Hills, to name a few. And of course, more touring to come!

TRB: Thank you for your time!

Listen To “Burn It DownHERE

New Album “STARLIT AFTERNOON” Due Out This Summer!

Until then,
Brittney x

Leah Voysey, New Jersey native and Modern Pop singer-songwriter. She has just released a new single ‘Poison‘. Leah is at heart a singer-songwriter but her vocals and the production on ‘Poison‘ are in the vein of many modern female pop artists but with a twist. I got to chat with Leah about ‘Poison‘, her songwriting, music in general and much more below …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?

LEAH VOYSEY: Definitely Twizzlers…and maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but the black licorice is my favorite.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So Leah can you tell us how you got started? Did you always want to be a singer and songwriter?

LEAH VOYSEY: I’ve always been a lover of music, and I always wanted to be a performer (specifically an actor). It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to believe in myself as a singer and a songwriter. I didn’t think I had the chops to create music until I sat down and actually tried.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You used to play acoustic shows in London as well before returning to your roots in Asbury Park in New Jersey? What are some of the ways the music scenes in both places are same? In what ways are they different?

LEAH VOYSEY: In London and Asbury Park, I feel this strong sense of community. Everyone supporting everyone instead of making it feel like a competition. The biggest difference is the accessibility to music. London is so huge, so if you wanted to go out and support your friends, you could really only see one show a night. In Asbury Park, you can hit up 3 different venues a night if you wanted. Maybe even more. It’s a musician’s playground.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your song ‘Poison’. Can you tell me more about the writing process? The recording process as well. The backstory to this song?

LEAH VOYSEY: To be vague (I don’t want to give away all my secrets), Poison is about fighting with the angel and devil on your shoulder. It’s about realizing you are the one driving your own destruction. I wrote the song in one night. I actually filmed the entire process for some reason. It was really cool watching that back and seeing how the song progressed. I wish I could release that video, but it’s too embarrassing! The recording process was so smooth. Working with MaYaY0 (producer) and Joe Pomarico (sound engineer) was extremely collaborative and encouraging. The three of us have a few more songs up our sleeves for the future!

TRB: It you had the chance to cover any song and give it the ‘Leah Voysey’ treatment what song would you pick? And why?

LV: Well, if you come see my shows on February 23rd and March 6th, you can see this answer come to life! I am covering Pat Benatar‘s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. For the February show, our rendition will be pretty close to the original. But in March, we are going to slow it down and make it jazzy and sexy. I think Pat Benatar is such a cool rocker chick. Even though I am recording modern pop music, I want to show people I have that grit and smoky quality to my voice like a lot of women of the 70’s and 80’s.

TRB: Since your roots are in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre but lean towards pop sensibilities. Who are some pop leaning singer-songwriters that have influenced your sound?

LV: My answer to this is always the same. Halsey, Bishop Briggs, and Billie Eilish. They are all leaning towards pop, but with their own little spice added. They all fit the genre enough to be considered pop, but with very distinctive voices, lyrics, and production techniques. I don’t want to be just another voice in the crowd. When people hear my songs for the first time, I want them to think, “That’s Leah Voysey.”

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

LV: My friend Diana showed me this duo, Overcoats. They are so cool! It’s two women, who I would consider to be pop artists, but their sound is heavily influenced by folk music.. The juxtaposition of those two genres is really intriguing.

TRB: Do you have any dream collaborations?

LV: Well, I might as well aim high for this question, right? John Mayer would be an amazing person to collaborate with. His lyrics are so descriptive and unique.

TRB: And what’s next for you Leah?

LV: Besides my live performances coming up, I’ll be releasing a music video for Poison in the next couple of months. Diana, who I mentioned above, directed such an amazing concept that really brings the meaning of the song to life. I’ll also be back in the studio on March 3rd recording with producer, Andrea Morgan. There definitely isn’t a shortage of updates about my career!

TRB: Anything else you would like for me to add? 🙂

LV: If you would like to follow me in my career, check out my Instagram @LeahVoysey, and my YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/leahvoyseysa.

Listen to Leah Voysey’ ‘Poison’ here:

Stream Links:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/61rSdmmO15mDxT1WvgqkfB

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/poison/1447375862?i=1447375864

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/telegraphhillrecords/leah-voysey-poison-master-12

Until then,

Brittney x

For the Holidays I interviewed Indie Singer-Songwriter Rändi Fay whose new Christmas single may seem a bit out place on my blog but once you hear it and read my interview with her you’ll see why I featured it …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an easy and quick question. So CD or Vinyl?

RÄNDI FAY: Vinyl. I will call myself out that I don’t have a record player anymore, and I rarely listen to CD’s anymore. I am a part of the current musician’s nightmare! I do buy Mp3s still, but I mostly stream. However, if I could re-create and embellish my collection of vinyl that I basically gave away for $5 twenty years ago (I know… right?), I could brush the dust from the tip of my cartridge and then hang out listening to the faint scratch of a record starting and all of that amazing sound that follows… I would LOVE that!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was your biggest inspiration behind the song Joy Whispered? And why?

RÄNDI FAY: The inspiration for “Joy Whispered” came in a songwriting challenge where I had to choose five words from a list of ten and write a Christmas song using them. Two words really stuck out to me: “silent” and “light.” I don’t think I had considered those two words together before, giving me a fresh image of the familiar manger scene. There must have been the feeling of “hush” among the people gathered under quiet starlight in awe of the new born baby, whispering excitement – so human and so divine! Picturing the scene, I saw joy crossing cultural, socioeconomic and “earthly” boundaries; hard-working native shepherds, wealthy kings from afar and heavenly angels, all sharing love for an infant and his impoverished family – a magical sight! We are one in this world. We can’t be reminded of that too frequently.

TRB: What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?

RÄNDI: “White Christmas.” I am soooo nostalgic, and I can’t get enough of the mood that song captures.

TRB: If you could collaborate with any musician who would it and why?

RÄNDI: Hmmm… so many!! I have so much to learn! I am going to go with Sir Paul McCartney because of his beautiful and resonant melodies, but also his fearless blending of instrumentation and genre. And his easy style and vocals. I wonder if he is really that charming in person?

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

RÄNDI: I have been listening to some really “off the beaten track” Christmas music and found Hayley Westenra. Wow, does she have a voice! Another cool, less known group is Alique. Wow. Again the vocals are inspiring, and the vibe is just the right mix of haunting and enthralling, with eclectic beats, unexpected harmonies and a classical yet magical approach to their production.

TRB: And what’s next for you Rändi Fay?

RÄNDI: 2019 is going to rock!! I start it out by playing “Donna” the lead in “Mamma Mia!” Yikes! That is completely new territory for me! And also, producer/co-writer Aaron Zinsmeister and I already have five tracks finished for our new project “Intuition,” a passionate concept album further exploring “symphonic pop,” in the spirit of Moody Blues meets Evanescence meets Disney, a little Dido, a little Celine…we have 5 (or maybe 6?) more songs to go, and hoping for a late summer/early autumn release!

TRB: Anything else you would like to add?

RÄNDI: I would love to send a message of peace to all of your readers. No matter what our specific commitment to Christmas is, be it more religious or more retail ;)… or none at all, this is a challenging time of year. Take some time for yourself, but also some time for helping others who need it. There is so much joy in passing on those small favors, with asking nothing in return. Truly – give it a shot! And THANK YOU for inviting me to participate in this blog! Merry Christmas!

Stream Joy Whispered here: http://bit.ly/JoyWhisperedSpotify

Until then,

Brittney W.