Nelson Navarro brings Soul to R&B with Thought Provoking Rap Lyrics

Photograph by Elias Kerasidis (Insta:@krsds_)

Nelson Navarro born and bred in Sunny Worthing, a small coastal town in the South of England. He may be from a small town but he has a worldly sound. The music released by Navarro combines multiple genres of music bringing the Soul to R&B with catchy rhythms alongside thought provoking Rap lyrics. Navarro enhances all of your musical senses with a variety of different collaborations with various artists. Scrolling through Navarro’s Spotify you can experience Drum & Bass remixes of original songs by the likes of Ben Rolo and Alfie Frank. One of my personal favourites of his songs is ‘Picket Fence’ – GiwHa Remix. It makes me imagine summer days laying on the grass and staring up at the blue sky contemplating the meaning of life (in a good way of course).

Navarro is constantly bringing out new songs and music videos on his various social media platforms. Engaging his audience not only with the music but with his edgy appearance, head full of dreads and unique clothing style. Is it feelings of adoration that he arouses or do we just plainly want to be him ?

‘Late Nite’ by Nelson Navarro

The latest music video release of Late Nite, has a classic old school HipHop instrumental with Navarro rapping to the tune of pursuing a woman. The video itself is filmed like a 90’s homemade video, giving off nostalgic retro vibes. The art of a good rapper always lies in the flow and rhythm of the bars. It is safe to say that Navarro has nailed it down to the T. Check out the link above to see more.

Navarro has been getting noticed in recent months featuring on BBC introducing and getting well deserved radio time. He is not only a singer/songwriter he is also involved in the production side of every song release to date. He goes on to say:

“I’ve been recording and mixing my songs for like, 11 years. Shits crazy, when I see that number written down and I’m telling the truth. I started when I was using GarageBand at 14 and kept it moving ever since. Let’s go!”

Nelson Navarro

Collaboration is such a huge part of Navarro’s creative process that he even has a list of artists that he would love to collaborate with on his iPhone. He explains the reason behind it and whose on it:

“I keep a “Dream Collabs” note in my iPhone for manifesting these kinda things. Anderson Paak. Smino. Most recently, Rick Ross. I’ve been reading his book about Bossing Up and that sh*t slaps.”

Nelson Navarro

NOTE: For those of you who aren’t down with the latest slang; “slapped/slaps” means ‘to be excellent or amazing’.

‘Virtuoso’ by Nelson Navarro

As many great musicians, music has been a big influence in his childhood years. His parents met through being in bands, and thus grew up listening to his mum singing and watched his Dad produce music. When asked about his creative process when making music he responded with:

“Nowadays I’m getting really collaborative and that’s great. I’m frequently finding beats online and inviting new producers to the studio because for me it all starts with an instrumental. Once that’s there I start freestyling and recording and I keep going until the songs’ done! I gotta have some time too. Don’t rush me. Give me 2 hours tops. That’s the whole song, top to bottom, mixed and mastered. Done.”

Nelson Navarro
Photograph by Elias Kerasidis (Insta:@krsds_)

With music literally pumping through his blood, it also runs right through to his fingertips being able to play all the western classics like drums, guitar, bass, ‘keys, saxophone and ukulele. Although talented in many musical instruments his main focus at the moment is on vocals. When asked about what music Navarro grew up listening to, he responded with:

“My parents played so much sh*t as I was growing up that slapped – Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Marley. Particularly my mum nurtured my Craig David obsession and looking back, that has been monumental in terms of the flex I come with on tracks these days. Entaa selectaaa.”

Nelson Navarro

You can find out more on Navarro and his inquisitive nature through a series of short videos on TikTok. In which he talks about current trending themes like positivity and manifestation. He conveys personal opinions and words of wisdom, giving a greater understanding to his audience about who he is and why. The short videos reveal the mind behind the great lyrics of his music, which is just fascinating to watch. To see what I am talking about, watch the video below.

@nelsonnavarrouk

Which do you default to: sympathy or empathy? 🤔 #emotionalintelligence #wisdom #question

♬ One Love – Bob Marley
TikTok: @nelsonnavarrouk

A reason to start following and look out for Navarro in the future is the big plans he has for 2022. He has 3 albums planned to be released throughout the course of this year. To make sure to keep up to date, here are his social media platform links: Facebook, Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube.

Finally, a question that I love asking and will carrying on asking even if it is unanswerable – Favourite song of all time, Navarro say’s:

“Dude! How you gunna stick this on me?! I can give you my favourite song of this moment which is 2AM by Don Toliver. Now that’s some sexy shit”.

Nelson Navarro
Photograph by Sam Rogers (Insta: @sambooka_shots)

Indie Pop-Duo INÉS release their debut single

Photograph of Inés by Alba Morassutti

INÉS is composed of singer/lyricist Inés Morassutti-Vitale and producer/composer/mixing engineer Wilko Schmidt-Dannert. This duo are based in the Dutch city of Groningen which is in the North of the country. Their debut song was released on January 21st 2022 with independent record label Metropolis Blue. Metropolis Blue is a record label that has been created and run entirely by students of the London Academic of Contemporary Music. They went on to combine forces with London Metropolis Studios to bring Metropolis Blue Record label.

INÉS brings to you a dreamy sounding summer soundtrack vibe called ‘You’ they describe it as:

“If Brian Burton had produced a Lana Del Ray-EP on cassette tapes in a beach house somewhere in England while feeling severe 90’s nostalgia this is what it would sound like. Maybe…”

INÉS

You can see their brand new video that has been released on the 4th February 2022 below, where you can enjoy the blissful, romantic and calm song ‘You’.

You by INÉS

INÉS goes on to describe the feeling that the song conveys:

“YOU is an embodiment of the classic post-breakup feeling, it is a reminder of an exciting and loving period, which had to be left in the past and now ‘You’ fades into the nostalgia of one ordinary human experience. The lonely voicemail rowing a guitar through a lake of lo-fi drum infused melancholy towards a sunset of a quiet day, when they were happy together”.

INÉS

INÉS is focused on writing songs to express her own life experiences, they go on to say:

“I hope to open and evoke the listeners emotionally, maybe they might relate to them in one way or another”

Inés

Inés’s main influence for her music is her half Italian and half French heritage. Growing up in Italy until the age of 12 and then moving to France, exposed her to many different sounds, music and genres. Her father bought her the love for music by spending countless hours jamming together to the sounds of his guitar. Her first ever CD that she owned was by artist Björk. Other favourites included one of Italy’s most popular singer songwriter Franco Battiato whose main genres concentrated on experimental, new wave and progressive pop. Later on in life she started to listen to artist’s of the likes of Amy Winehouse which opened her to more soulful genres like Jazz and Blues.

Photograph of Inés by Alba Morassutti

An artist’s creative process can be wide and varied between each individual. To understand the mind of INÉS and how they have come up with their songs she goes on to say:

“I write music together with my music partner Wilko Schmidt-Dannert. When I start making music, I am never really sure where it will lead. I just start playing some chords, improvise and then add some vocals on top. We meet about once a week to talk about the songs, show each other what we made and exchange the demos and then go on to work on it. Once they are fully written, we re-record all the vocals and some of the instruments and then go on to finish the songs.”

Inés

Future endeavours include the release of their second single and finally releasing the whole EP which is definitely something to watch out for. INÉS can be found on multiple platforms including Instagram, Spotify and Facebook.

Top Pop Summer Bangers

  1. Kiss Me More – Doja Cat ft. SZA

I love it, you love it, your neighbour loves it, everybody loves it. Doja Cat does it again.

2. Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran

We can expect nothing less from Ed, the song speaks for itself.

3. Indian Summer – Shuba

You might know her as the female Eminem, rapping her way through TikTok. She recently released this song becoming an advocate for Indian women around the world and giving them a voice. Damn, did she slay it!

4. Trinidad Cardona – Dinero

Released in 2018, viral in 2021. You can’t say summer without having some latin beats.

5. Love Runs Out – G-Eazy, Martin Garrix, Sasha Alex Sloane

Can’t have summer fling without a little heartbreak.

6. High Horse – Nelly, BRELAND, Blanco Brown

We tapping, we killing, we thrilling, we funking. Making the grooves into your summer playlist.

7. Her Wrongs – Celina Sharma

Australian singer and songwriter Celina Sharma’s newest single Her wrongs.

8. Sweet Dreams – Alan Walker and Imanbek

Beebaabaabaapaarapa your way through this absolute dance tune.

9. Flowers & Sex – EMELINE, smle

This song basically describes the 21st century dating culture, which I am not sure is a good thing or not. BUT…Who doesn’t want flowers & sex?

10. Inferno – Bella Poarch & Sub Urban

Filipino personality and singer Bella Poarch collabs with Sub Urban to bring out Inferno. Hell has been a running theme in recent popular culture. Maybe it’s all the lockdowns making us think that hell is actually on earth.

11. Industry Baby – Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow

Lil Nas X recent clap back to the controversy that raged the internet through his last hit Montero. Loving the LGBT vibe portrayed in this video. All about the equality of expression. Lil Nas X trolls us back, watch it and you will get what I mean. What a VIBE!

12. Everytime I Cry – Ava Max

Having a bad day? Ava has got you sorted. Headphones in, feel empowered.

13. Dead Girl! – Au/Ra

Au/Ra born and bread in Ibiza, it explains how she brings out banger after banger in her electro-pop genre.

14. Need to Know – Doja Cat

Doja Cat hits the list twice. Her video takes you through a journey of euphoric futuristic alien storytelling.

15. Nirvana – Stone

Up and coming Detroit-native artist brings raw lyrics to a soulful and dark catchy song Nirvana.

Favour The Brave Record’s WREX Brings Out Smashing New Single

George Donoghue (left) and Mae Seaton (right)

WREX are a newly formed band, made up of the perfect duo bringing Posi(tive) Pop-Rock back with their new single ‘Wide eyes’. Mae and George first met at a Rock show in their local town of Brighton. Their mutual love for music brought them together to create WREX at the start of 2020, making the most of the lockdowns we have endured this past year. You will hear Mae on vocals and George on guitar, bass, vocals and drums.

Both Mae and George have been writing independently for various other projects prior to WREX. Their writing process for WREX tends to start with Mae bringing a very basic version of a song into the studio. She goes on to say, “Usually this will only go as far as chord progressions, lyrics, melody, and maybe a few rough ideas for harmonies and hooks, and as if by magic George turns this into a full band set up, playing all the parts in, fully writing the drums, guitar and bass parts – I am yet to find something he can’t do! After that we’ll both put some vocals in and find a synth that makes your lips curl!”

Preview of single ‘Wide Eyes’

Playing, writing and producing their own stuff makes it easy to respect and appreciate what they do. The lyrics of their new song ‘Wide eyes’ are beautifully written and extremely catchy. From the moment I heard this song it was on replay for the rest of the day in my head. George has freelanced in being a musician, record production, mix engineering, songwriting and specialising in Alternative Rock/Pop and Metal for over 5 years. His works reached No. 1 in the Independent Music Charts along with plays on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, KROQ, Planet Rock, Kerrang Radio and many more. To date, George has contributed to over 5 million Streams across his collective works.

Pictured: George Donoghue

Both coming from a musical background it has made it easy for them to understand what makes good music. They go on to describe how they first got into music. 

Mae: “This has definitely got to be my Dad, he was and still is in bands, and I grew up watching him write and perform, and naturally I wanted to follow in his footsteps! I think the first time I started singing, I was really inspired by Amy Lee (Evanescence), I already owned a few of their piano sheet music books already and loved the idea of the delicate piano and her operatic voice being brought to life by rock music.”

George: “My dad ran an indie label as I was growing up, I’ve always wanted to make music for as long as I can remember.”

Pictured: Mae Seaton

They both grew up listening to the same style of music including Pop, Rock and Punk/Alt-Rock.

Mae: “It was a mix of pop and rock. Artists that stand out in my memory are The Red Hot Chili Peppers, ABBA, and Dido, and I’m still into all three! As I grew up I steered more towards the rockier end and became pretty obsessed with Evanescence, Papa Roach, and Bullet For My Valentine – which was my first “proper” rock gig my dad took me to when I was 13! I think it’s the energy behind this style of music that kept me wanting more, being a shy child it was almost an escape for me, which hopefully I’m bringing into the music we write now.”

George:  “I grew up listening to mainly pop punk/alt rock, but contrasting that, I would also listen to soul and motown. It taught me that great songs can be timeless!”

The message they want to send to their listeners through their music is to “Enjoy life and share that happiness with everyone around you! Be yourself and love yourself!” A great message, for a great band.

‘Wide Eyes’ OUT NOW on Spotify.

They have several tracks lined up to be released over the next coming months, with the plans of creating an album over the next year. You can find them on various platforms including Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to keep up to date.

The Ultimate 2021 Brit Awards Lowdown 

Some of the Brit 2021 winner’s. Photos not owned by LadyMusicBiz101

Leaning into my sofa with a G&T in one hand and my notebook in the other, I set up on ITV hub ready to watch the 2021 Brit Awards. The Brits were opened by Coldplay being on stage in front of the 02 with red and blue smoke making vibrations in the Thames water with their newest song release ‘Higher Power’. What a better introduction to the Brit awards by having one of the best British Rock bands to open it. 

Jack Whitehall hosted the awards, making sure viewers knew that it was being run completely COVID safe. All attendees took COVID-19 tests in order to enter the awards. Due to this year’s pandemic all international artists and bands that attended had to follow Government guidelines and isolate for 10 days prior to the event. The live audience were socially distanced and this year made up of key workers to show appreciation for all their hard work this past year. The Brit awards were a part of Government research programme to see whether negative testing could prevent the spread of COVID during and after the event, paving the way for future mass gatherings.   

The camera soon switched to Dua Lipa performing a number of her hit songs dressed in a red and blue suit signifying the colours of the British flag. Set in an underground tube station stage with multicoloured lights she performed ‘Physical’, ‘Pretty Please’ and ‘Don’t Start Now’. See her performance below. 

Radio presenters Clara Amfo and Miya Jama presented the first winners of the category of best breakthrough artist:

  • Celeste
  • Young T & Bugsey 
  • Arlo Parks (Winner) 
  • Bicep 
  • Joel Corry 

Adam Lambert & Olly Murs present Best British Group:

  • Bicep 
  • The 1975
  • Biffy Clyro 
  • Young T & Bugsey 
  • Little Mix (Winner) 

Little Mix made history by winning this award by being the first females to win in this category, a great accomplishment. They humbly said that they accepted the award “This award isn’t just for us its for the Spice girls, Sugababes, All Saints, Girls Aloud and all the great British female bands”. It is nice to see that the music industry is slowly changing and the recognition is being giving to the great women of the industry as well. Women need to support and empower other women in order to gain gender parity in such a male dominated industry. It’s looking up, it’s looking hopeful, what a great award’s show.

Olivia Rodrigo goes on to sing the heart wrenching song ‘Driver’s License’ that has brought so many Tiktokers to tears in recent months. She performed in a long red dress, with a harp and piano being played behind her. 

Corrupt FM present best British Male Solo Artist:

  • Joel Corry 
  • AJ Tracey 
  • J Hus (Winner) 
  • Headi One 
  • Yungblud 

Arlo Parks winner of breakthrough artist performs Hope. 

Annie Mac presents Best International Female Solo Artist:

  • Cardi B 
  • Taylor Swift
  • Ariana Grande 
  • Billie Eilish (Winner)
  • Miley Cyrus 

Best British female solo artist:

  • Dua Lipa (Winner)
  • Arlo Parks 
  • Lianne Las Havas 
  • Jessie Ware 
  • Celeste 

Elton John and Years & Years perform ‘It’s a Sin’ with Elton on the piano and Years & Years elegantly dancing while he sings. 

A video of The Weeknd goes on to be played singing ‘Save your tears’.

Best international male solo artist 

  • The Weeknd (Winner) 
  • Burna Boy 
  • Tame Impala 
  • Bruce Springsteen 
  • Donald Glover 

Billy Porter presents best international Group 

  • Foo Fighters 
  • Fontaines DC
  • BTS 
  • Run the Jewels 
  • Haim (Winner) 

Griff goes performs the beautiful ballad ‘Black Hole’ 

Boy George presents best British Single 

  • Young T & Bugsey ft Headie One – ‘Don’t Rush’
  • Joel Corry ft MNEK – ‘Head & Heart’
  • Aitch & AJ Tracey ft Tae Keith – ‘Rain’
  • Dua Lipa – ‘Physical’
  • Harry Styles – ‘Watermelon Sugar’ (Winner)
  • Nathan Dawe ft KSI – ‘Lighter’
  • 220 Kid & Gracey – ‘Don’t Need Love’
  • Regard & Raye – ‘Secrets’
  • Simba ft DTG – ‘Rover’
  • Headie One ft AJ Tracey & Stormzy – ‘Ain’t It Different’

Headie One featuring AJ Tracey & Stormzy perform ‘Ain’t it different’ 

Maisie Williams presents Taylor Swift as global Icon in which Taylor accepts with an empowering speech.

Mastercard Album of the year 

  • Arlo Parks – ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’
  • Celeste – ‘Not Your Muse’
  • Dua Lipa – ‘Future Nostalgia’  (Winner)
  • J Hus – ‘Big Conspiracy’
  • Jessie Ware – ‘What’s Your Pleasure’
Rag’n’bone performs

Needless to say The Brit Awards 2021 was hugely dominated by women this year. The hard work, creativity and love put into these female artist’s work is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

Artist and Producer 3RVD Makes Kicks to enter your Playlists this Summer

3RVD ie. 3 Raptures, Victories and Defeats is a talented North London based artist who evolved his love for playing guitar in front of his school assemblies to creating some great original electronic music. His music includes influences of Dance, Garage and a little Rock. His talents extend far and wide, by being able to play multiple different instruments including guitar, bass, drums and jamming out to a bit of keys. Writing all of his own material; he produces, mixes and masters all his own songs, making us music nerds just pop out of our seats.  

‘Space that Works’ – 3RVD.

Scrolling through his majestic and mysterious Instagram page, you never know quite what you’re going to stumble on to. He shares his creative process throughout many instagram live feeds, where viewers are able to devour his experimental music live sessions. You can witness his creativity by watching him cover songs. An example being Twenty One Pilot’s ‘Level of Concern’. 3RVD aka Brad, uses various instruments, a Loop Station and his MacBook to create his own version of a great song. You just can’t help but nod your head and shimmy your shoulders, whilst appreciating the magic being made. Check out the video below to understand exactly what I am talking about. 

Growing up in North London he first got inspired by his Indie rocker next door neighbour who was constantly playing throughout the day, making his 8 year old self crave to be able to rock out just like him. Picking up a guitar at such a young age was a form of escapism being able to create a world within the form of music. As many other 90’s kids growing up in the UK, 3RVD grew up listening to Garage and Metal, making it understandable why his style of music is the way that it is. He goes on to say: 

Linkin Park was a huge favourite when I was younger, and still now of course. I mean Rock music, with a DJ? Back then was like wtf! And then collabs with people like Jay-Z. It’s what I love, and what I try to do. Make stuff that’s never been heard before.”

Make sure to keep an eye out for 3RVD in the next coming months, with schedules of singles being released. Single ‘Margaritas‘ coming out on the 31st May and ‘Trying‘ coming out on the 25th June. He is also hoping to get a few live shows on the way, of course that is Covid permitting. 

One of my favourite questions to ask artists is the message they want to portray to their listeners, as I think it can show what the artist stands for. 3RVD goes on to say: 

The whole point of my name 3RVD is to try to help people overcome difficult situations mentally. To help people focus and move forward.I try to write music that encapsulates Raptures, Victories, and Defeats in life.

For example when I have an anxiety attack, or I am depressed I try to use ‘3RVD’ to help regain focus and bring myself out of it. By thinking about 3 things that truly make me happy in life (Raptures), then 3 things I have been successful at in life (Victories) and 3 things that I want to overcome or improve on (Defeats), this helps me push on, starts to make me feel better about myself or the situation, and also gives me a goal and drive to move forward.

I made a cringey video about this on YouTube a while back if anyone wants to understand it a bit more. It helps me, so I thought it might help others. If it doesn’t float your boat then I hope you at least like the tunes, and if you don’t like the tunes, better luck next time (haha).

That’s why I will drop a happy sounding or positive tracks but the next will be a melancholy sounding, that’s how life is right.”

I think it’s fantastic to see artists spreading mental health awareness and tips on how to handle difficult situations. It isn’t talked about enough and great to see new and upcoming artists being 100% real and relatable to their fanbase. To better understand and deep dive into the 3RVD world, you can check out the youtube video he is referring to here:

We have an exclusive preview of 3RVD’s newest song ‘Margaritas’ being released on 31st May which you can check out below. It brings me summer vibes chilling on the beach. Make sure to get the full version on his Distrokid on the 31st May.

Margaritas out on 31st May.

Check out his various platforms on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Youtube Music, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, Bandcamp, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Twitch and of course don’t forget to support artists through this pandemic by buying some Merch, the T-Shirts are hella fresh!

CultDeep Record’s Lyricist Idyll.

Idyll is a lyricist that was born and bread in Brighton. Signed by CultDeep Records he has released songs with King Girl which encapsulate songs of guitar infused alternative Rap. He gained his love for music from his parents, they were Punks back in their bygone days. At just 4 years old he was gifted his first guitar which sparked his motivation to learn and create music.

Idyll’s latest 2021 release.

Being signed to CultDeep records it allows Idyll to meet and work with other Brighton based local talent. He is a huge fan of the both Brighton and Newcastle scenes with his main music inspiration coming from people he gets to work with.

“Writing songs is just as natural to me as someone else making a toastie”

As we approach to end of lockdown and hopefully a bit of normality with gigs starting out again, it sparks the question of who would be Idyll’s favourite artist to open for.

Opening for Mike Skinner would be idyll, his shows look insaaanee and he’s a proper vet, went on tour with a broken arm ‘n’ that, pure legend.

Idyll has a few projects that you should look out for in the future including some self produced songs steering away from what fans are usually used to. A track with Taff and Jamie Unknown is also in the works for Idyll which is an underground dance record and something that he is very excited for.

Idyll’s favourite release so far is a song called Apples & Pears by Idyll and King Girl, which he says “describes my sound down to a T.” Check it out below.

You can find Idyll on various social media platforms including Instagram, Spotify and Youtube.

KarmaTax Band Releases New EP

KarmaTax is an alternative indie/rock band that you need to watch out for. They recently released their first EP at the end of February. The band mates that make up KarmaTax are vocalist/guitarist Umar Ganai, bassist Chris Melfi and drummer Michael Melfi. All based in the the nice town of Hayes, Kent. KarmaTax has been on my radar for a while now, they have a unique sound which you can’t help but jam out to. Read their interview below to dive into their world.

Nikki Lamboura: Describe the sound of your new EP

KarmaTax: Simple, ambient, guitar driven and a little bit dark! All 4 of these songs transition between echoey spaciousness and tight grooves. We’re a three-piece band so we have to be really resourceful and creative about what we play and where we play it! Bright Jingly guitars on top of a tight rhythm section seems to work well for us at the moment (kinda like The Smiths). We’ve also taken some creative liberties in the studio and started to experiment with piano and synths just to add that subtle modern touch! We used Radiohead’s song “Weird Fishes” as a reference for our title track ‘Zero’ and kind of went from there; agreeing that we wanted a sound that would be engaging through headphones, whilst playable live.

Nikki Lamboura: What genre would you classify your music to be?

KarmaTax: There will always be an underlying rock influence in our music, but typically we would say indie/alternative rock, with the ambience of shoegaze, and the hooks of pop.

Nikki Lamboura: Which song is your favourite on your new EP?

KarmaTax: Our producer Tony Sage has done a tremendous job on all of them, but I would have to say track 3, ‘Cyclone’. It’s the hardest to play live (especially vocally) because sonically it’s so open and exposed, but through recording it we’ve come up with a great arrangement. It’s a dynamic, emotionally driven piece, in which all of us were able to shine.

Nikki Lamboura: What/who are your music inspirations?

KarmaTax: Jeff Buckley is probably my biggest songwriting inspiration, I love his band’s compositions in ‘Grace’ and vocally he was ridiculously good. Guitar wise I will always reference Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Andy Summers from The Police, both amazing guitarists in amazing three-piece bands. Collectively we’re all into Foals at the moment, as they’ve found a great modern sound whilst still being mostly guitar driven.

Nikki Lamboura: How did you meet your band mates?

KarmaTax: Me and Chris have known each other for nearly 15 years now; we met in our first year of secondary school! I met his brother Michael shortly after that when our parents came to pick us from school one time, but he doesn’t remember because he was a very young, hyper-active child who was climbing up a fence as I recall. Anyway having graduated with a music degree in 2018, I was looking to start a band. I knew Chris had a tonne of musical experience from playing in church so I messaged him asking if he fancied jamming. He mentioned that his brother had become a really good drummer so I was reintroduced to the (nearly) adult version of Michael. We played a short original song called Enemy at our first rehearsal and it sounded great!

Nikki Lamboura: What is your creative process like?

KarmaTax: It’s mostly a case of me bringing an idea (anything from a riff to a fully written song) and the Melfi’s picking it up and giving the right energy. We’ll play around with it; take out parts, write new ones, shorten, lengthen, until we have something we’re happy with, we usually have a complete song after one rehearsal. The songs are lyrically very personal, and together we are musically driven by our influences whilst steering away from the clichés. Authenticity is always the goal.

Nikki Lamboura: What is your dream venue to play in?

KarmaTax: Any venue is my dream gig right now! At this stage I would love to play a venue with a 100+ capacity to a crowd who know and love our songs, that would mean the world. Somewhere like The Underworld Camden would be perfect!

Nikki Lamboura: How have you been coping with lockdown?

KarmaTax: It’s had us all down at some point, inevitably. However, we’re very proud of what we managed to do in 2020; in April, during the peak of corona virus we remotely recorded, mixed and released our first single ‘Unapologetic’ onto Spotify with help from no one but ourselves. When we were allowed to meet again in the summer, we started to record our EP ‘Zero’ and record our first proper music video for ‘Paradise is Mine’. So lockdown 3 isn’t as bad as it could have been because we didn’t take one day for granted when we were free, hence, world domination starts when Covid has sodded off.

Nikki Lamboura: What message do you want to convey to your fans through your music?

KarmaTax: All of the songs we have released so have been about mental health in some way or another. Our EP ‘Zero’, in particular, is about the extremely difficult transition (in my experience) between adolescence and adulthood. Topics like isolation, learning how to deal with sadness and regret from the past, taking responsibility for your happiness, doing things that scare you, addressing bad habits you have and celebrating small victories. There’s a song about heartbreak in there too but we’ve already said we avoid clichés so don’t tell anyone! That’s just me personally, but the take away message is that you’re far more capable than you think you are, and it’s within you to achieve big things, even if it doesn’t feel like it yet.

Nikki Lamboura: If you could choose any band/artitst to open for, who would it be?

KarmaTax: A band I follow very closely is Everything Everything, I think we would compliment them well as an opening act. Foals are a powerhouse of a band too, so we’d love to support them. All in good time though.

You can find KarmaTax on various social media platforms including Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Spotify. Go check out their EP that is out now.

10 Playlists for your every Mood

Music for me is a way of dealing with whatever life brings. Whether it is heartbreak or love, Monday motivation or Friday night tunes, empowering anthems or badass hardcore rock. Whatever it is, music has the capability of enabling your mood through a creative outlet. Lyrics to songs are a common way of me categorising music into playlist, along with genre and tempo. I like to understand the intentions of the artists message through their songs. Then relate them to an appropriate group of songs that compliment each other. Spotify being my main source of music streaming, here is a list of some of my favourite playlists that I have created and listen to for every kind of mood.

1.Sunday Morning: the day of rest, the day of love, the day of gratitude.

This playlist has a mixture of genres and a variety of artists. There are some feel good classics and some mellow acoustic songs to make your Sunday morning breakfast more enjoyable.

2.Boss Lady: “We have to teach our girls to reach as high as humanly possible!” – Beyoncé.

The motivation behind this playlist was to empower women of all ages. It features some of the most influential women in Pop. The themes of the each of the songs have the power to remind each and every girl out there, that they have what it takes to go after your dreams. That being a woman is something to be proud of, and that you should never let anyone take that away from you.

3. Club Nights in my Head: Stuck in Lockdown but still want to feel the Friday night vibes.

This playlist has a combination of new and old club anthems. With all bars and clubs closed for over a year now, reminiscing a good night out with my girls is a common occurrence for me. Before the pandemic crept up on us like annoying pestering little brother, dancing in a club until 5am was one of my favourite forms exercise. Club nights in my head, because that’s the only place I dance nowadays.

4. Friday & Saturday Mash: Funky, groovy and uplifting modern soul vibes

Originally, I had created this playlist for a restaurant that I used to work at in the fun but dark city of Copenhagen, Denmark. With a complete new management team where we were all under the age of 28 of an 150 seat restaurant. Innovation and creativity were key to bring life to the place, to make sure that the right ambience and mood was created. This playlist did just that. The Friday and Saturday Mash was put on at exactly 8pm every weekend. You could feel the switch up in motivation of the staff, as well as in the customers, drinking their cocktails ready to enter their weekend with a bang. It is a great playlist for all ages.

5. Broke Up with your Ass: “I hate you, I love you, I hate that I love you”

Have you broken up with your partner of 5 years ? Or have you have unrequited lover? Or maybe you just got ghosted. Either way this playlist will get out your frustrations. It involves some of my favourite break up songs of all time, including “Fuck it” – Eamon (Gen Y’s guilty pleasure) and “Bad at love” – Halsey. Another one of my favourite songs is “Hi, its me” by Ashnikko, your go to tune for the weak days.

6. Gaming Vibes: Gamers don’t fear the apocalypse, we’ve seen it many times before

One of my preferred ways pass my time, is through gaming. I love great storylines, 1st person game play is my best-loved gaming modes. I like to set myself up with some chilled Rap music, a nice hot cup of tea and lose myself in the world of virtual reality. It calms the mind, rids of the spontaneous in-game frustrations and sets you on a path of victory.

7. Electronic chillin’ maybe trippin’

This one is hits the nail on the head for multiple moods that I have risen, including chilled solo drives, adventurous connection to higher self moments or just letting my mind wonder into day dream. Check it out.

8. Bedroom Steam

This is playlist is pretty self explanatory. If you know me personally you would know that I am a complete cringe ball and hopeless romantic. Some people might find it awkward to play music during their intimate antics, however when you find that one person that you connect with on a completely different level. Music for me, encourages the romantic energy when words of love fly in the air.

9. Heal the Earth

This playlist was created by Elizabeth April, she is a spiritual channeller and influencer. I wanted to include this playlist because of the magical way it makes you appreciate life. The music is alternative tropical house themed. I am lucky enough to have the beach just 5 minutes from my flat. I find myself taking a break from life by going to the beach, putting in my headphones, listening to this playlist and merely appreciating the natural beauty of the crashing waves.

10. Nuko Kind of Love: “Love is not what you say, its what you do.”

This encapsulates pure love energy. Unconditional love. The kind of love you would dream to be your forever.

Why TikTok is the best platform to promote your music in 2021

TikTok is a social media video sharing platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It’s an app that has taken the world by storm and has been downloaded 2 billion times through various app stores. According to Omnicore Agency stats of TikTok, there are over 800 million active users with an average of 1 billion views per day. The average user spends 46 minutes on TikTok a day, which is highly likely that the average number has risen for UK nationals in the most recent lockdown, because what else have you got to do?

The Tiktok algorithm on 3 main things, this includes user interaction, video information and the device settings. The User interaction refers to the individual like-ability of another users account, therefore the more you engage with a particular account’s content the more you will see from them. Video information refers to the hashtags used to categorise the type of content, so the more you like a video with the hashtag ‘music playlist’, the more content you will get on your feed with similar/same hashtags. Finally your device/account settings refers to the location and language preference, this optimises the user experience of the app.

So why should you promote your music on it?

  1. TikTok has become the easiest platform to go viral on, the algorithm allows your content to be viewed by such a vast audience in a small space of time. It isn’t like Facebook or Instagram, where the only posts that are shown to users are the the accounts who already have a huge following and user engagement. TikTok shows all videos regardless.
  2. It is easy to interact with your following/fans directly through commenting and/or creating a complete separate comment reply video. Direct user interaction will create lifelong super-fan’s, and will encourage them to come to your shows after the Pandemic has exited the door.
  3. 41% of it’s user’s are between 16-24, this is the audience that you will most likely seek as a new artist, as these are the people that are most likely to stream your music on alternate platforms.
  4. TikTok is available in 150 different markets, with a total of 75 different languages. Meaning your music can be viewed around the globe by… many, many people.
  5. Creating your own 15-60 second video’s allows users to not only hear your music, but also understand who you are as a person. You can add personal charm, love, and humour to everything you do, to build that rapport, trust and intimacy with your following.
  6. Earning money which is probably one of the most important factors of a struggling musician. Enables you to earn money through your TikTok content. Live streams allows you to receive donations from your users. Promote your merchandise on your platforms. Direct people to your various streaming accounts. If you become a frequent and consistent content creator, TikTok has made a creator fund which pays and incentivises it’s users to keep creating content.
  7. A&R Music managers are using TikTok to find new talent before anyone else does, TikTok will get you noticed.

If these points aren’t enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will. TikTok is highly likely to take over platforms like Facebook and Instagram this year. You should jump in and start already.

Get your music out there!