Tag: Quickie

After collaborating with Rihanna on Stay, Mikky Ekko took time out to create what can only be described as a musical masterpiece. A project so emotive and special, that we defy any listener not to be sucked into his world. Ekko by name, and echo by nature, this project lingers long after listening - not only sonically; but lyrically and intellectually.

Complexity in the most intriguing way, Mikky Ekko's album Time left us with a few questions. We caught up with the man himself in High Street Kensington to talk about the album, concepts of spiritual time and growth, and influences.

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Your album is called Time. What can we expect?

It's really diverse. There were three things i wanted to accomplish; keeping it as diverse as the music i love listening to, keeping the songs as vulnerable or as edgy as possible, and that i give people a window into who i am as an artist.

So who are you?

I'm such a sponge. I feed on other people, experiences and everything for inspiration. At the end of the day, it's a blend. I'm the type of singer, where if i fall in love with a voice (just like i fell in love with Victoria Le Grande from Beach House, Santi Gold, etc) i'll wind up emulating them. I see it as learning from masters. That for me is what's important.

What are your views on 'time'? Time is in our opinion, the one thing that gets us all. 

That's something i think about all the time. It's just a funny thing. I mean, i don't know how deep we need to get on that right now - i really enjoy talking about that type of thing; but really, time doesn't exist... but we've given it a name and a place. This album is very much the opposite of that. It was 250 songs, shaved down to 12, with a couple of bonuses.

Pressure Pills. We love this track. It sounds like a different vibe from you. Tell us more?

Yes it is. That's why it's not on the American release. It was really hard for me not to put that track on the album. It's a true story and it was really hard for me to write. It took me back, and the production reflects the feeling i felt then. Justin Parker did some, but it was primarily me and Clams. When i hear that song i go back there.

So is music therapeutic for you?

Absolutely. It's really the only pure form of communication that i've got.

When a musician puts something into a track, the listener doesn't always feel the same thing; but they will always feel something. Pressure Pills did this to us. 

I love that. I love working with Clams - everything i get to do with him, we have so much fun. We work really hard to make the music feel really visual. I'm a big fan of films... Scarlett Johansson is in this movie called 'Under The Skin', and when i saw that, and the movie was over, i knew i'd seen something i'd never seen before. When i get together with Clams, this is what i'm trying to create. Something that leaves people with that feeling.

Do you know any UK producers, or acts you'd like to work with?

I always love what Epworth does; but i've worked with him - although i'd love to work with him again. I really like Labyrinth, Jamie XX... he's incredible. Everyone who hears Jamie XX, wants to work with him. I think we'd have fun.

What about advice for people who want to sing?

You've got to find the one thing that you can do, that nobody else does. And if you don't know what that is, then you need to create it. All the greatest artists know how to create a place where people can go to get a very specific thing. Thats why people get scared when great artists change up their sound, or when Bob Dylan went electric. The most important thing is growing and evolving and being the best... you have to be better than everyone else at what you do.

So, how do you like to make music? What's your process. Does it start with lyrics, or sounds?

All those things. For me there's no right way. There's only what needs to be said, or what doesn't. The most important thing is a point of inspiration.

Does it take a long time for you?

Sometimes, it really varies. Pressure Pills was half the song in 5 minutes, and then the other half, was about three days. I think that's a pretty long time to write a song. We started it and then came back to it several months later - so i guess in reality it was several months; but i try not to work on a song for more than 2 days. Unless i know it's got something that's really important to say - because i feel like the momentum of the emotion you were feeling can be lost. It's like a fire starting, and you come back to it three days later, and instead of it getting bigger, it's just burnt a lot of shit. It's like getting lost in a forest and not being able to find your way back.

We are Who's Jack Magazine. Do you have a special Jack in your life?

Maybe Jack from Fun/ Bleachers?

 

We caught up with emcee of the moment COCO to talk all things music, "Target Practice" and more. Read on to find out a little more about this burgeoning talent…

Tell us how Emceeing started off for you?

I started MC’ing around the age of 13 when a friend approached me in school, him and a few others just formed a music group called ‘Youth Camp’.

Where did the name ‘Coco’ come from?

I got given the name by some other friends I’d made when I moved house, we were playing with a flat basketball, when I headed it it made a funny sound so they called me Coco bean head lol, eventually the Coco just stuck.

Who are your musical influences?

Being a UK artist I think Skepta is one of my main influences, I listen to a range of different music just as long as it's good.

 

Tell us about your latest release ‘Target Practice’?

Target Practice wasn’t really planned as such, me & Toddla just got together in the studio and he showed me a beat he’d been working on, I just put a few lyrics down, he tweaked it and then asked me what I wanted to call it. It is just me warming up to be honest so Target Practice seemed like a fitting name.

 

You just released some visuals for ‘Target Practice’ on GRM Daily, what was the inspiration behind the video?

Well the video was mostly directed by Andy Nicolson from Clubs & Spades, shout out to Clubs & Spades, he had the idea of the black and white attire theme against the simplistic wall backdrop, the XOYO shots were Toddla’s idea, we already knew we’d be performing the track there so we thought we’d get some footage for the vid.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Dr.Dre, he’s just a veteran in the game, he more or less birthed Eminem, and put 50 cent on, not to mention he’s probably one of the worlds biggest producers. Being in the studio with him would inspire me a lot!

 

Where can we see you live? Any upcoming performances?

I’m at the Coronet in London on the 24th of September, I’m also in Manchester and Birmingham with Toddla on the 7th and 8th of August. The best way to keep up to date with my tour dates are to follow me on Twitter or Snapchat which is @CokesM3.

 

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What can we expect from coco, this year – are you currently working on any upcoming projects?

Just more music really, I’m taking it all as it comes, my manager and Toddla are always working hard to put me onto the next step, but definitely more wicked music.

 

We are Who’s Jack Magazine, do you have a special Jack in your life?”

No not that I know of haha.

As My Baby have now released a stellar album [ http://www.mybabywashere.com ], and just shared the stunning "Seeing Red" (below), we thought it only right that we had a quickie with the three-piece. Find out more below...

Describe your sound...

It's a sound inspired by old blues and folk music, but played with the rawness of sixties/seventies soul and funk​.​ ​It's got ​an edgy trance like infusion of electronic dance without having to branch out​​ into using samples and loops. What you see is what you get!

If you could collaborate with anyone alive, or dead, who would it be?

There would be a whole list​! Sly ​S​tone, ​S​easick Steve, Jim​i​ Hendrix, ​J​ack ​W​hite​... I could go on. ​
But perhaps the best thing would be to be transported back to 1936 and jam with Robert Johnson when he cut his first tracks in a make shift studio in the Gunter hotel in San Antonio.

Tell us about your latest release?

Shamanaid is our second album.
The title is an interesting one. People often ask what it means.
Shamanaid is in our imagination a drink or magic potion used in a shamanistic ritual.
Music is also an important part of those rituals. Repetitive beats and melodies are used to get into a trance, we always try to achieve something akin to that with our music.
The previous record "My Baby loves Voodoo" was more of a protest album with socially conscious lyrics. There was a lot a venting of frustration concerning society. We have not done away with those ideas but have focused more on songs reflecting on the journey of the inner self, matters of the heart and narrative driven fairy tales and murder ballads.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Touring the world, playing festivals, recording a new album in 2016 or perhaps we will sit amongst Buddha statues in Chinese gardens and listen to raindrops falling on leaves and in puddles. It's orchestral. Music is everywhere​.​

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Is 'Live' where it's at? Where can we catch you performing?

Our live act hangs somewhere in between a theatrical voodoo ceremony and a dance rave. The whole ritual of performing is an important one. The collective consciousness that vibrates throughout the crowd is such a joy. Connecting with the audience in such a way is a powerful thing. What we live for.

We will be returning to the UK quite a bit in the coming year. After the Seasick Steve tour we will do a UK release show in '229 the venue' in London on the 12th of May, followed by performances at the Great Escape, feature on festivals such as Rhythms of the World, Glastonbury and Wilderness. And ​o​f course a UK venue tour in autumn.

We are Who's Jack Magazine - do you have a special Jack in your life?

Well ....we have a bottle of Jack in the beverage cabinet in our studio​, that's pretty special​ ​b​ut​ can we be​ honest ​and say​ we prefer tequila​?​

He's just dropped his debut EP "Est.1990"; but J Warner is no stranger to the music world, having written for the likes of Tinie Tempah, JLS and more. Bringing his own unique hybrid form of RnB into the mix, J Warner has collaborated with the likes of poet Kojey Radical and Wretch 32 on this sublime project. We caught up with him to discuss the release, and his musical endeavours...

 

 

Tell us about your debut EP, why is it called ‘Est.1990’ and how long have you been making it for?

My EP is entitled "Est.1990" simply because i thought it was the easiest way to differentiate who I am and how my music reflects that, in regards to the creation process of the music there was no particular start or deadline, I would say from the final quarter of last year till the beginning of this year the songs started to piece themselves together.

 

Wretch 32 and Tinie Tempah are pretty big names to have worked with - how did you come to work with these guys?

Signing my publishing deal and with it being a joint venture involving "Disturbing London" as a half, affiliated me to the team and of course Tinie, naturally the stars aligned I guess and the rest is history

I started working with wretch through a mutual friend and talented producer "Wizzy Wow" who had worked on many projects and established a great relationship with wretch, it was kind of as simple as me sending a demo to Wizzy and he played it whilst being in a session with wretch, immediately he was excited and literally called me and booked me a cab down to work on his project. Me being a big fan of wretch and his wordsmith like abilities urged me to play him my EP as it was at the time and "Chill Chase" was the one that grabbed his attention.

 

Kojey Radical features on your EP, as a poet. Are you a fan of poetry? Do you think it fits into music?

I'm a fan of anything expressive! In my world it is all art, so I wouldn't say I'm a fan in the sense of going to a open mic bar to click fingers, but I really respect the art form and I would say it's inspired me today as I would refer to myself as a "melodic poet". In regards to Kojey I really respect and I'm really excited about the way he delivers and the passion he has to find middle ground with poetry and music, so fusing the 2 step jazzy garage soundscape on "Live" was a special moment for me.

 

J Warner

 

Will we see a video to accompany your project? 

Yes, working on something as we speak.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

Michael Jackson. Not that the magnitude of his greatness could be taught because I believe some gifts are just beyond words and action, But I guess seeing his creative approach to a song would leave me with notes for decades.

 

A blind date question: If you were a packet of crisps, what flavour would you be?

Sweet chilli

 

We are Who’s Jack Magazine. Do you have a special Jack in your life?

No not really... But who is jack who's jack ?

We caught up with newcomer Tallia Storm to talk everything social media, music on her phone, Kendrick Lamar and DJ Q. Liking what you're hearing? You can nab a copy of Tallia's "Social Security" here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/social-security-ep/id984449668

 

Hey Tallia, how's it going?

Mental busy but great!

 
Tell us a bit about the upcoming EP, Social Security? 

Well finally i get to release my music which is liberating to be honest. I've been like a caged bird desperate to get music out there. I'm really happy with the EP as i wanted to select 4 tracks that introduced my vibe as an artist. I hoped it would show what I'm capable from my jazz and soul roots to a more current urban/garage vibe. I don't like to be constrained with my vocals, I love to experiment and freewheel. The voice is an instrument in itself and I feel that 'pop' can be too clinical sometimes with structure and tone.  Each song has an interesting story to tell, I'm just hoping the audience likes them as much as I do.

 
What can we expect from the new project?

Simply put this this is an introduction to me. The clouds have moved and the storm is gathering good pace! You can expect an education into my style, what my roots are, what I'm all about as an artist. I've been writing with my team for years believe it or not. Now and we have over 30 songs to share with the world - this is simply a flavour of what's to come. You can expect an urban vocal, with motown, funk and soul influences but most importantly a Tallia twist. I love to improvise when I'm singing, i love to tell a story with the notes and my voice. Most of all i want people to grow with me, understand me and enjoy what I do. if people can enjoy my songs and really feel them, then that's a result. Music should be like an emotional roller coaster - if you want lifted and to party - there's a song for that. If you're feeling melancholic then you'll find a song for that.

 
Let's talk about the lead track with the same name, what's the concept behind it?

Well as the song says 'These are the rules' - I guess you could say its a lesson in social media etiquette. Some people have no manners on twitter, we almost tweet unconsciously now, liking, following, retweeting without considering the meaning of it all. We don't think twice about asking complete strangers for a retweet or a follow. If you think about it, you wouldn't walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to share your picture so why is it acceptable on social media? People flood their feeds with random rubbish.  The other message in the song is about the sharing of your personal space or homes.  If you are in someone's house, you certainly shouldn't be sharing private spaces without permission? imagine a photographer walked into your living room and took a photo and published it? But you know, it's a light hearted and fun take on all these messages. It's about our obsession with emoticons - so much so we created my own Tallia Storm emoticons - you must check out their hair lol!

 
How did the DJ Q mix come about?  

I've been a big fan of DJ Q for sometime now. You know before i moved to London, I lived in a sleepy little village in the Scottish highlands. My life always evolved around music, especially the urban scene. I would flirt between 1Xtra and Kiss Fresh online from my room - it's an addictive genre.  My manager got in touch with Q to see if he would be interested and he said yes - he loved the track (which helps ha ha). I love what he has done with the remix - he's just put his layer of magic on it, which hopefully people will respond to as well as the original.

 
Growing up, who did you listen to?

Well i write music with my dad Sascha who is an incredibly talented musician. He wouldn't allow me to pick up an instrument before i could read notes - which i cursed him in my head at the time but i'm grateful for now. He plays the piano (along with many other instruments i must add) and we would jam - playing the jazz legends to motown, soul and funk. I would be singing Ella, Dinah and Sarah when I was about 8 years of age. These women were my idols. As I grew up I definitely felt an leaning towards this style of music far more so than straight pop. i adore Amy Winehouse, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, John Legend, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and all those guys. The list is endless.

 
And what artists/songs would we find on your phone?

Here is my top songs on my phone right now:

  • Misty by Sarah Vaughan
  • Summertime - Billie Holiday
  • Someone To Watch Over Me - Amy Winehouse
  • Blessed - Jill Scott
  • Good Times - Chic (I actually went on stage and joined Nile and Chic to this track when they were in Glasgow last year - wow that was an experience)
  • Your Song - Billy Paul. (Written by Elton John but performed by Billy Paul)
  • I - Kendrick Lamar
  • Ordinary People - John Legend
  • Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
  • Price Tag - Jessie J
  • Old Thing Back - Notirious BIG & team
  • Jennifer Hudson - Its Your World
  • See You Again - Wiz Khalifa
 
You've received co-signs from a ton of artists, one that stands out for us is Elton John - how did that happen? 

Well i was on holiday with my parents and grandparents - my grandparents actually took us away for my papa's 80th and he got ill at the end of the trip and we had to change hotel for one night only. We discovered Sir Elton was staying in the same hotel and I basically became a stalker in the lobby hoping to bump into him. No such luck. The next morning we are having breakfast and I spot David Furnish a few tables away. I took the bull by the horns, went over to speak to him, (with my wee bro's in tow) and asked if he would mind passing my demo over to Sir Elton. I was pretty scared but I figured this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Anyway, he was so nice and kind and asked me all about my music. He promised to pass it on. We had a stop over in San Francisco and Elton john called my mobile. Insane right? It was crazy - my battery died, we were going through security at the time and thanks to my quick thinking big sis, she swopped sims. When I spoke to him he was so excited and raved about my soul signature saying it was one of the best soul signature's he'd heard in years. in fact he played my demo through stadium speakers at his gig the night before at his sound check to let his band here it. He couldn't believe I was just 13 years old at the time. Next thing you know, I'm opening his Scottish football stadium concert to 17,000 people a few months later. Even when I think back its crazy and almost surreal. He literally changed my world. He opened a magic door and now its up to me to prove I can keep it opened. I will be forever grateful to him for that opportunity.

 
And what about Nile Rogers tweeting your his fave new artist in the world?! 

i know - another legend - i really do feel blessed. i first met Nile also when I was 13 years old - just after the Elton gig, he got in touch and said he loved my sound and story and could I speak and perform  at his TEDXTeen conference in New York. Next thing you know I'm on a plane to NYC with my mum and hanging out with Nile. I also presented his first London TEDXTeen conference last October at the O2 and ended up jammin on stage with Nile. He's become a mentor really. He gives great advice and has so much wisdom about the music industry in general. He's passionate and works like a demon - he really is an inspiration. We are trying to find time to do a song together but he's been crazy busy with his new album and tour but it's definitely on the 'to do' list. So watch out for that one!

 
What can we expect from Tallia Storm this year?

Music, music and more music. For me its just about singing live and getting as much music out there as I can. I would love to get another EP and album out by the end of the year. I also have a 2 book deal with Scholastic UK - there is a fun teaser short story published on 10th May on iTunes called 'A Storm is Coming' and my first fictional novel is out in September / October time this year. I'm the face of California brand Paul Frank and we're shooting a new campaign next week actually.  I'm doing quite a few festivals over the summer months. i'm looking forward to  Big Gig Jersey in July and Jersey Live in September to get to hang on those Californian looking Jersey beaches! I love golden sands and I find the sea the perfect place to write. But hopefully 2015 is not going to be dull - lets say that!

 
and lastly.. We are Who's Jack magazine, do you have a special Jack in your life?

I've no time for a special Jack - I'm 100% focused on my music and career. Plus everything gets taken so completely out of context too - when Brooklyn Beckham came to see me perform with my sister it was front page news that we were an item. I had paparazzi chasing us. It was insane and most importantly it wasn't true. We're all just friends. Right now my career comes first - plus I'm just 16 so plenty time for all that.