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.

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!

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.

The Wonderful World of LULALONG Band

Interview with upcoming artist Lula of the unsigned band Lulalong gives an enticing insight into her music, her background and her values.

Lulalong is a London based artist, originally from Barcelona, Catalonia. Known for her signature pink hair and catchy melodies. She has her favourite song of all time ‘How soon is now’ by the Smith’s tattooed on her arm.When she was 18 she bought a one way ticket to London and never looked back. Her music career began from a very young age. She started by playing piano at 4 years old which intrigued her to study classical music until the age of 15. Her teenage years introduced her to music that steered her away from the classical composition that she was used to. Like many of us 90’s babies with an inner rebel ready to come out, she spent her days listening to strong female artists like Avril Lavigne and Blondie. She says “I decided Classical music wasn’t for me, I didn’t want to sit down peacefully, I wanted to play rock and jump around a stage like there was no tomorrow”. This led her to start performing live gigs in the bustling city of Barcelona by the time she was 16.

Lulalong is an active member of the LGBT community identifying herself as queer. A lot of her music is written about women “I want my listeners to be comfortable with who they are and their sexuality”. According the Human Dignity Trust there are still many countries across the world that criminalise same sex couples. The map shows that there are 72 jurisdictions that criminalise male same sex couples, 44 jurisdictions of female same sex couples and 11 jurisdictions that have the death penalty. I think by having bands like Lulalong, who aren’t afraid to release songs on being LGBT, is admirable. It works towards building a world without hate and normalising love for all. Being a part of LGBT community myself I have seen first hand what inbuilt homophobia can do to a person. Quite frankly, life is too short to not embrace who you are. The more love we spread, the better the world will be.

I feel that in this day and age, portraying strong female musicians is vital. The music industry lacks female representation still. Especially the type that go against the norms of society. So many female mainstream artists are confined to a box. Having to dress a certain way, sing a certain way and go against their own values and beliefs in order to achieve success. Therefore, we need to take it upon ourselves to widen this box and give credit to artists that excel at rebelling against the tide of normality.

Lula gives an in-depth answer to her worries and challenges in the music industry as a woman. “I hate how women are seen as too old from a very very young age in the music world. The biggest female pop stars all started from an insanely young age. Only a few start a career when they’re older because the music industry doesn’t see it as commercially viable, whereas when it comes to men, age doesn’t matter that much. I’m only twenty-two years old and already feel like I’m getting too old to be an upcoming musician, which is heartbreaking because it shouldn’t be like that. The only way to overcome this is saying ‘F#!k it!’ and go for it anyway, not caring about the music industry standards. Although it is getting better, women are still seen as a pretty face who don’t know about the music business including behind-the-scenes (producing, engineering, etc). The amount of times I get to a venue and the sound engineer talks to my bandmates (who are men) instead of me is hilarious; the same with contracts and deals. They try and explain everything in a very simple way so I can understand it. I overcome this by politely confronting them, making them aware I understand the music jargon and how the industry works.”

Lula writes all of her own songs, and makes sure to write any little idea that pops into her head down, whether it’s on her phone, an audio recording or a restaurant napkin. Her creative process includes taking these ideas and jamming with the rest of the band to find a badass arrangement. The other members of the band include guitarists Umar Ganai and Calum Lockie. As well as the bassist Kieran Fergusson and drummer Tosh Mihalev.

I asked Lula which are her favourite songs that she’s released so far, she said “I feel a strong connection to all my songs, since they all come from real life experiences. As much as I love to play Goddess live, I think my favourite one is Black Vespa. It’s one of my most personal songs, the lyrics tell the story of someone I dated and it went wrong. The bridge of the song features that girl’s voice. FUN FACT! After releasing the song I sent it to that girl, and she is now my girlfriend! Winning! What a love story.

One of my favourite Lulalong songs that have released so far includes ‘Goddess’ and ‘Your side of the bed’ which you can follow on her Spotify. The lyrics to Goddess are saucy, provocative and captivating. The guitar solo, rocky vocals and lyrics have made it one of my top favourites on my Ladymusicbiz101 introducing playlist. Check it out.

Her musical influences growing up were very vast. “I listened to loads of different music growing up. From Catalan pop like the band Manel, the famous Avril Lavigne (especially her album ‘The Best Damn Thing’), my dad’s rock influences like The Chameleons. I remember going on road trips with my family singing the words to Manu Chao’s album ‘Proxima estacion: esperanza’ to the top of our lungs. As you can see, I had influences from loads of different genres, cultures, languages and eras; and I think this shows in my music, I do rock music but you can easily hear those influences.”

You can hear these cultural music influences in her song ‘I made Mona Lisa smile’, where she sings in Spanish. I lived in Barcelona for a short while, and it’s amongst one of my favourite cities. The lifestyle is chilled, the parties are insane and the alcoholic beverages are mostly alcohol mixed with a tiny amount of soda. There has been an ongoing movement in Barcelona to try to gain independence from Spain to become the country of Catalonia. The first Catalan Independence party was formed back in 1922, but the unrest dates back to the mid 19th century. If you ask a local whether they are Spanish, their instant reaction is no. I love Spanish music, the language itself is sexy and mysterious. . It always adds 10 points for me when an artist can switch languages. It also boosts Lulalong’s appeal to a wider market.

Go check out her EP Lover’s I don’t love and engross yourself in her music. Give her a follow on her social media accounts (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to keep up to date with her new projects and releases planned for the future. Also check out her merchandise shop and help support artists through this pandemic. Because we sure as hell know that Boris isn’t.

Oz the new Alternative-Pop Music Sensation

Born and bred in Croydon, South East London, this singer/songwriter gives alternative-pop music a new name. I just can’t stop playing her music on repeat, and I bet you will too.

Photo Credits: Natalie Sakstrup.

I am constantly on the prowl to discover new music that is actually worth listening to. I first stumbled across Oz’s music a couple months back whilst slumming it in my pj’s and munching on my local shop’s finest 65p bag of popcorn. As I recall, it was like the music heaven’s had opened and shone down a rainbow of delight to my ears. Her voice is unique and identifiable, her melodies are edgy-pop with hints of badass rock elements. Her image is very femme fatale, the type of girl my mum warned me about. Who doesn’t like that?

Check out her latest release Jupiter here.

To gain a better understanding of the wonderful world of Oz, I managed to ask her a few questions. Currently based in the sunny seaside town of Brighton, this 20 something year old artist spends her days writing music for some pretty big names and her nights focusing on writing her own. She has written for the likes of Ella Hendersen, Gabrielle Aplin, Sam Feldt, Sody to name a few. Her talents are not only limited to singing and writing lyrics. In her own words she said “I play guitar, bad piano and even worse clarinet”. This made me chuckle. I play bad guitar, bad piano and a great triangle, we clearly have a winner here.

Her music inspiration came from her Fathers’ love of music, which over time influenced her to go down this path herself. When asked about her music taste in her younger days she said: I have a very eclectic music taste. I grew up listening to all kinds of music. Nothing was ever genre specific, so I think just having that freedom in my music taste has allowed me to be more experimental perhaps and that is a huge part of the music I make.

One thing that I can’t wait for after this pandemic passes, is to go to a live gig again. I miss the crowds of people joining together over their mutual love of music. The incredibly loud sound systems, leaving my ears ringing after exiting the venue. I miss the group adrenaline rush and excitement kicking in as soon as the artists step on stage. The act of being just a few meters away from the person that you have been listening to through your phone for months. Something you would never think you took for granted, until 2020 happened.

It’s not only me who misses it, when asked what Oz enjoyed most about performing live she responded with There’s an energy you can only get when playing live to an audience. When there are people staring up at you singing your lyrics and you’re all having the time of your life. It’s a feeling that can’t be recreated in any other place. That’s what makes it so magical.”

I hope to be able to see Oz live once venues start opening up again. One of my favourite songs that I can’t wait to be performed is Foot Down. It starts off slow and simple, then at 40 seconds in, the drums kick in and this powerhouse voice starts belting the chorus. There I am in lockdown, head banging at my reflection in the mirror singing ‘So foot down, cutting no slack, nothings gonna hold my big time back’. Have you got one of those songs? A song that just fills you with power? Yeah, this one is my current one.

Photo Credits: Natalie Sakstrup.

Being new to the music scene myself, my research has led me to constantly hear about the challenges that women are facing within the industry. It’s the problems that female management and female artists are encountering. Is it the lack of female representation? Or the common stereotyping and sexualization of women that holds talented women back in this industry? Is it that women that are significantly underpaid compared with their male counterparts? This topic is an article in itself, but I was interested to know the challenges that Oz has faced and how she was able to overcome them. Her comment on the topic was:

“There are almost too many to pick from. I think it’s the stereotype that people feel. Because you are a woman, you must always be thin, pretty and well dressed before being recognised for your talent, intellect and boldness. So instead, I just started doing what I wanted and felt good in myself, so when others had an opinion on me it didn’t bother me. That’s something that is quite specific to female artists.”

I think it’s so important to have female artists within the industry doing what they love and powering on through even if it goes against the flow of the archaic values of this industry. We need more of you Oz.

Being an aspiring A&R manager myself, I was interested to know what Oz would change about the music industry. She said I think it’s such an ever changing beast, I wouldn’t even bother choosing something as it would be different in a year anyway ! Haha. I think more A&Rs should take risks. The public is bored of your choices. Do something different!” I think this is common amongst many professional musicians whose wings have been clipped. Now I have my first task as soon as I graduate; to shake sh#t up!

Photo Credits: Natalie Sakstrup.

Oz has been ploughing on through the pandemic, working her magic in her home studio setup with the company of her rescue dog, Otto. Spending her down time chilling, watching movies, eating, missing friends and family. Similar to the rest of the world right now. If she could choose any other artist/band that she could collaborate with at this present time it would be Foo Fighters as she has the utmost respect for Dave Grohl’s inspiring creativity and talent. It’s an obvious answer but he’s a legend so why not, haha.” Obvious it may be, but Foo Fighters were the holy grail of my teenage years, so I get it.

I think one of the best questions you can ever ask anyone, is their favourite all time song. Not that you should ever judge anyone on this. I know my favourite song of all time 6 years ago is very different to what it is now. But you can definitely depict the type of person one is based on their answer. She said Favourite song of all time. That is so hard because there’s so many. My favourite song of all time today would be Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley.” Having only been introduced to that song today, I’d say that Oz is a pretty cool lady. Would probably put my favourite song of all time ‘A little respect by Erasure’ to shame. But hey, it’s a classic, and I love a bit of cheese.

Finally, what are we to expect from Oz in the future? She is currently finishing up her second EP, you can listen to her first EP ‘Jupiter’ here. You can find her on multiple platforms including Spotify, Apple, Deezer, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I asked her what is the one thing that you want your fans to take from your music? She replied “Be bold, be honest and be true to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you no!” I hear you sister. Can’t wait for the new EP, she also mentioned there are going to be little surprises and extras to come. So make sure to go and follow her to get all the latest!

Peace out!