At EP, we have long been admirers of the singer-songwriter Katie Kittermaster who has just signed a global publishing deal with BMG. Her new single ‘Out Of Love’ was released on June 18. Katie often uses TikTok to engage with her fans and released a teaser of the single on the platform, gaining more than 500,000 views and 98,000 likes. In bringing in her fans to her songwriting sessions, Katie accumulated a total of 2 million views and over 700,000 likes. It’s been inspiring to watch Katie continue to write and engage with new and old fans using social media but in September she will play a sold out headline gig in London and in July and August play at Chris Evans’ Carfest North and South, sharing the bill with stars like Rag ‘n Bone Man, Tom Grennan, James Blunt, Texas, Nile Rodgers & Chic, McFly, and James Bay amongst a host of others. If you can’t get tickets to these events, then Katie will be playing the superb Garage in London in February.
We got to ask Katie a few questions about this exciting time.
EP: Katie, you’ve recently signed an incredible publishing deal. How will this change things for you as an artist?
KK: It’s actually crazy I still can’t quite believe it. To have a company such as BMG think that I’m ‘good enough’ really gives me a confidence boost. I am super proud to be part of the BMG family and I am sooooo excited to start working with talented writers, artists and producers from all around the world. I am starting to write for briefs now which is something I’d not done before; I’ve even written my first topline – being pushed out of my comfort zone and I love it!!!!
EP: Tell me about your new single which dropped last week.
KK: It’s a track called ‘Out Of Love’ which I wrote in 2020 with Matt Wills – I love writing from personal experience as I think that really helps the listener genuinely connect to the song. I am now and was at the time when I wrote it, in a very happy relationship, however as it reads in my instagram bio ‘I don’t write happy songs’, so I had to delve into my past in search of some heartbreak material. The track is about a relationship where on reflection, both parties had very different interests and had just grown up and apart. I had fallen out of love with someone and really hoped they too felt the same because that way you feel slightly less guilty about it. Breaking up with someone is scary, so I think sometimes it can take a while to bite the bullet!
EP: You have sold out your headline London gig in September and might just be performing at one of the first major festivals after the relaxation of restrictions at Carfest North. I bet you can’t wait to play to a crowd again?
KK: I know!! Madness – as it’s been so long! I’m itching to get back on the stage and play all the music I’ve written and released since the first lockdown! There is something so inspiring and almost magical about performing live especially when people are singing YOUR OWN lyrics – still blows my mind! I have now also announced another headline show for February 26th at The Garage in London – gassed!!
EP: What do you feel is the direction of your music at the moment and will that be affected by the publishing deal?
KK: What I love about BMG, as well as my team at Revanche Records is my freedom over my creativity! I am still everyday finding my way direction-wise and I’m so glad that it’s okay to do that!!! I’m writing with so many different people at the moment and that in itself influences the music I make as I can learn so much from all of them.
I think overall the direction is still ‘sad’ but disguised as slightly more upbeat, bedroom pop – hopefully songs you can dance to and cry to at the same time!
EP: As we come slowly out of lockdown, hopefully, how do you see the year ahead panning out release wise ? Can we look forward to an album?
KK: I am the most indecisive person I swear! Probably not the best thing to admit but it’s real…ahah! I have so many songs I want to release like RIGHT NOW! But I also want to make sure I am 100% sure about everything I put out – hopefully an EP by the end of the year.
EP: Finally, I hope you’ve been well. Have you got your vaccinations booked up and would you encourage young people to get theirs done, not only to stay healthy, but to help get us back to normal gigs again?
KK: I’ve luckily had both of mine already!! I have asthma…so yes – definitely a pro-vaccine queen over here!
If you’re going to be a success in the rap world, you’re going to have to be a fighter. More so if you’re a female rapper, and even more so if you’re one from Ottawa, Canada. Just as well Mischa knows exactly where to lay her punches, because she fits into every single one of those categories. The Canadian hip hop artist has dropped her most recent single, ‘G2G’, accompanied by a music video which sees her spitting bars in the middle of a boxing ring. Lisa got a chance to speak about her latest release.
There’s a good reason boxing is a recurring metaphor in hip-hop videos. When you’re under the lights and in the heat of battle, it’s just you, your wits and skills, and the power of your punch. Mischa doesn’t look like she’s got the goods – she’s wearing a long pink skirt in the clip – but once she opens her mouth she leaves you in no doubt about her quick thinking, and fleet-footedness. Likewise, in the video for ‘G2G’, we see Mischa backed on the ropes…until she isn’t; once she breaks free, woe betide anyone who gets in her way.
Mischa sees the huge mic in the ring, and with an aggressive delivery she cuts down anyone who stands in her way. Aggressively rhyming, her song could be aimed a partner who simply isn’t making the grade, or it could just as easily be targeted at slower, less talented (presumably male) vocalists who won’t get out of Mischa’s way.
‘G2G’ is the latest release for Mischa, including the sassy ‘Woke Up’, a collab with fellow Ottawa singer-songwriter Baëbe Ruth; the exquisite ‘Cruise Control’, and ‘Alpha Barbie’, which is a statement of purpose and mission from an emcee whose time has come.
You can find out everything you want to know about Mischa and her music here. Watch the video for ‘G2G’ below.
Lisa also got to chat too Mischa about her music and new single, ‘G2G’. Check it out!
Heya Mischa, thanks for speaking to us! Your new single, ‘G2G’ dropped last week with a hard-hitting music video set in the boxing ring. As a female rapper, do you feel you’re in a fight against male rappers (the shackles in the clip would suggest so), and if so, what is your go-to punch in order to win the bout?
Thanks for taking the time to reach out and chat with me! To touch on the “G2G” music video and your question: yes and no. The music industry lacks the representation of womxn, and it can be tough to be heard over the numerous male voices that are often looked at as the ones dominating the Hip-hop scene. It’s not so much of a fight against the male rappers themselves, as it is against the system that has instilled these disadvantages from the beginning of time. The amount of male rappers that I personally listen to, support, and/or know, have a great respect for women in the industry pursuing their craft, but it goes into the depths where a lot of business bodies in the industry will actively look to pin other females against one another, or make it seem as if there can only be one top female in the industry. The “G2G” music video represents me being ‘held back’ by anyone or anything that doubts or underestimates me. The toxic negative energy that continuously speaks into the moves I make, and actively tries to take me down a notch, if I take one step forward. It’s the way that if I take on a venture with a fellow male colleague in the industry, he gets all of the respect and praise for this venture while I get looked at as tagging along on the side-lines, meanwhile I’m the one who is navigating the opportunity in a major way. It’s the lack of respect that is given to me when I’m working with people in a business music setting, and that can range from the pay I’m receiving, the title that’s assigned to my job description, or being told that I’m overreacting when all I want is the same respect that I treat everyone with. “G2G” is breaking free from all of that, and coming to the realization that saying ‘I don’t need you,’ to all of these toxic industry people is the knock-out punch, and best decision that I can make. I’ll always be in my corner, but these people come and go in abundance. This is only the start of my journey.
The Canadian rap scene isn’t one we’ve heard much about before; can you tell us a little bit about it, and what got you into this style of music? (by the way we’re loving all the Canadian references in the track – and also “Norton anti-virus” made us smile!)?
There is such a myriad of styles that fall into the Canadian Hip-hop scene, and it’s so wonderful to see that contrast amongst a genre and culture that has greatly transitioned over time. Toronto gets looked at as the hub of Canadian Hip-hop, but what a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that the talent in Canada goes above and beyond Toronto and the GTA (greater Toronto area). Being an artist based out of Ottawa, I find that we have such a diverse group of people that are navigating through Hip-hop in a way that either honors the culture, or strays into a sub-division of the genre. Either way, it’s great to see what we offer, and I find that Ottawa itself is often slept on as a whole. We are the capital of Canada after all.
Your single, ‘Woke Up’ was released in collaboration with Baëbe Ruth. How important is it, do you think, for women artists to support each other? Do you feel a certain camaraderie with other women artists?
I think it’s crucial, and unfortunately due to the system that’s put in place, a lot of womxn think that there can only be one on top and it sends them into defense mode. Thankfully, the amount of womxn that I know in the industry that keenly support one another, is truly amazing. I believe that the support starts within each and every single one of us, and when one of us wins, we’re all winning. I love to see my fellow womxn industry moguls shine, and as we further progress in this new wave, more are coming out of their shell to have their voice heard.
Who do you count as among your inspirations musically? What about life in general?
Musically, I’ve always been inspired by Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Drake. Young Money is the reason that I got into music and focus so greatly on my word play. I began freestyling to instrumentals as a teen, long before a career as a musician even grazed my mind, and I’m forever grateful to find a group of great emcee’s as such to further allow me to explore Hip-hop as a culture and see the roots that go back to 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. In life, I’m inspired by the people that I surround myself with, and I find that’s the key to living a happy and successful life. Whether that be fellow musicians, Hevve, Dominique Gorley, Vante Poems, Jonny Brown, J Morris, and Quest, or my mother, sister, and father, the lessons that I’ve learned over time with these individuals have shaped me to be the person who I am today. This includes the person who is continuously looking to grow and evolve.
If you could start all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently, and why? What advice would you give to your younger self, or indeed someone else starting out right now?
I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing. I am a firm believer that my journey is the one that is destined for me. This is what’s written in the stars, and the path that I’m meant to be on. Being a very spiritual person, this means that I graciously welcome in the highs of the journey, and accept the lows of the journey as well. If I were to give advice to my younger self or anyone else beginning this journey, it would have to be: ‘Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Your voice matters, and never be coaxed into keeping your voice down.’
Finally – and I ask this of everyone I interview – What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
I would say ‘What is the best way for your listeners to support your art directly?.’ – and to answer this question, there are various ways that everyone can listen and support my career as a Hip-hop artist. Sharing my links on their social media or directly to their friends and followers is a huge step. It’s so appreciated every time I see someone repost my content, and to be genuinely excited to share my craft with others. Other ways to support are by buying merchandise, attending live performances when possible, and ultimately buying my music directly from my BandCamp. (www.mischaofficialmusic.bandcamp.com). This ensures that the money that’s made from my artistry directly goes right back into my music in an impactful way. Also, pre-saving the song on Spotify or Apple Music before it comes out increases the chances of the track being picked up for an editorial playlist, and helps me get a coffee’s worth of royalties to brighten my day. All of these ways are greatly appreciated, and help me further pursue the depths of the music industry while being heard.
Released 24th September, ‘Shifts’ is the latest single for London-based singer-songwriter, Jaonere. Alongside the track, he has dropped a music video, the perfect accompaniment to the sensual and sexy song. You can watch it below:
Always on the look out for new beats to match to his lyrics, Jaonere instantly began writing lyrics when he discovered a lo-fi beat, which had been created by producer Studer Sound. The end result was ‘Shifts’.
The video is packed full of passionate dance moves, and features a love scene, and should prove to be an iconic moment in Jaonere’s musical career.
Jaonere has been singing since he can remember, and gets his inspiration everywhere. The artist has a diverse range of musical interests, starting with listening to rock and Motown with his father, mimicking the hi-life his mother would play as she cooked, or staying up late to watch Trevor Nelson’s Lick Chart on MTV Base with his siblings. All these experiences set in motion his passion to pursue music as a career, and with ‘Shifts’ it seems he’s well on the way having a long and successful one.
There are few movie franchises that have created a whole music genre by themselves but this is exactly what the Bond movies have achieved. Now, I’m not saying that a genre is created by countless sequels; a genre is defined as a style or category of art, music or literature and that is exactly what the Bond soundtrack has become. In the past, the music has been written by the brilliant John Barry, who composed eleven soundtracks, David Arnold who, after revolutionising the sound of Bond with his release of ‘Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project’ went on to score five movies including the stunning score to ‘Casino Royale’. Other composers of note have included Marvin Hamilisch, Thomas Newman and Bill Conti. For Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond, a film which the actor says draws several story lines together and brings his evocation of the character’s story arc to a close, the producers have chosen Hans Zimmer, a composer whose previous movie scores include the unmistakable music to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Inception’, ‘Gladiator’, ‘The Dark Knight’ series, ‘Dunkirk’ and the Oscar winning ‘Lion King’. Movie legend Quentin Tarantino has said that “you could define the decade by” Zimmer’s score for ‘Dunkirk’. After listening to Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to the latest Bond movie, you may well feel, like me, that you might be able to define Craig’s incredible Bond and his relationship to the character as a whole by Zimmer’s score for ‘No Time to Die’; it is quite simply a Bond symphony that will enthral the listener and transport you to a world of 007 without even having to see the movie. What Hans Zimmer has achieved is to take familiar themes from older movies and weave them beautifully with the new themes for this movie in a way that will be permanently in your soul.
From the opening track ‘Gun Barrel’ we are immediately in a world of martini, espionage and the secret service. We don’t need to be sat behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, or be wearing a perfectly cut dinner suit or expertly concealing our Walther PPK to feel like Bond, the music has done it for us. John Barry’s instantly recognisable theme is given just a slight twist to let us know this is a new soundtrack and as if confirmation was needed the next track, ’Matera’, weaves Barry’s ‘We Have All the Time in the World’ into Zimmer’s own ‘No Time to Die’. This is not the only time that Zimmer will play with themes from ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ in writing this new piece and it adds a nostalgia to the piece as a whole that links this closing of a chapter perfectly to the last time James Bond was in love, and we all know how that turned out.
The music is layered and offers an insight into the composers that Zimmer himself loves. In a track ironically named ‘Not What I Expected’ we are treated to an almost Ennio Morricone like guitar theme which drifts behind the strings of the orchestra. We lost Morricone during lockdown, a film composer of such note that he almost created a genre all by himself. I’d like to think that this is a nod from Zimmer, who many critics feel is the composer most like Morricone in the way he constructs his music, to possibly the greatest film composer of them all.
The whole album seems to move from piece to piece as if it is building to a crescendo. Tracks like the brilliant ‘Cuba Chase’, where strains of Cuban music drift in an out of the driving Bond music like a summer breeze across a desert of action, offer stunning interludes. The syncretic style of Cuban music lending itself beautifully to the big sounds of Bond music at its best. The brilliant way that the synonymous Bond theme transcends the whole thing only to morph into Cuban music styles instantly take us to a whole different place. With music like this who needs an audible book, we can create our own story in our mind as the music unfolds.
The music moves seamlessly into ‘Back to MI6’, Zimmer’s own version of the Barry theme that is surely the most famous piece of film music the world over, before drifting into ‘Good to have You Back’ which is unashamedly a stunning slow version of the theme from ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and is another tie between the two films. This leads into the stunning ‘Lovely to See You Again’ which, by way of a haunting piano theme, becomes ‘Home’, a piece of music so enchanting and powerful that I can’t wait to see Hans Zimmer play it live. I’m sure it will become the centrepiece of a live concert in the way that music from ‘Inception’ has before. All the way through the music there are shades of the new theme just beneath the service like a lover’s whisper in the ear that slowly become a shout.
‘Norway Chase’ has a pocket watch style refrain just beneath the service of the pulsating theme that brings to minds ’60 seconds to what’ from ‘For a Few Dollars More’ that becomes an urgent, pulsating piece with a choral element that then slowly becomes the Bond theme which moves into the guitar driven theme of ‘Gearing Up’. This section of the music, in the way it is constructed, feels like an homage to Ennio Morricone as we then hear the familiar electric guitar chords and muted trombones of Bond in the background that remind us we are firmly in a Bond soundtrack.
The remainder of the soundtrack then moves majestically towards ‘Final Ascent’, a quite stunning climax to what has become one of my favourite Bond soundtracks. It pulsates like a living thing towards its finale which delivers a quite beautiful piece of music that feels like a lament, but at the same time a celebration, it feels like a goodbye, but at the same time a welcome back. It quite simply feels like a hugely emotional end to the film cycle of Daniel Craig’s Bond, a cycle that has been the longest in Bond history and given us a Bond that changed the face of this incredible character. To have been able to write a soundtrack to match all of these emotions would have been beyond most, but Hans Zimmer has created a work of such power that it deserves to be listened to in a single sitting through headphones so that you can immerse yourself in its folds. As ‘Final Ascent’ drew to its close and the strings accompany a simple piano theme to the end, I found that I had a tear rolling down my cheek as I remembered all that Bond means to me as I have grown up.
This soundtrack is quite simply a work or art which finishes with Billie Eilish’s haunting melody which sits atop the music. I’m sure that in the movie release we will hear the theme over the opening credits but I can’t believe it will have the power it has here as it comes at the end of Zimmer’s Bond Symphony. I have no idea if the film will live up to expectations as expectations for Bond movies have become something more and more difficult in the times we find ourselves but in creating this score Hans Zimmer has not only met expectations as he enters the hallowed genre of Bond composer, he has blown them out of the water, Thank you!