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Diana Ross Monki Remix OUT NOW – Essentially Pop

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After the release of Ms. Ross’ eagerly-anticipated album ‘Thank You’ earlier this month, Monki, one of the most in-demand electronic DJs in the country, has remixed the uplifting stand-out single, ‘I Still Believe’.

Taken from Diana Ross’ very personal 25th studio album, the ‘I Still Believe’ dance flip comes from a highly respected UK tastemaker and epic underground talent, South London’s Monki.

“It was an absolute dream to work on this for Diana Ross. She’s an all-time great and I was really honoured to have been asked by her and her team to remix ‘I Still Believe’. I rarely hang mementos on my wall, but this will definitely be going up there. It’s a feel good, end of the night kind of record and I’m looking forward to dropping it at the perfect moment in a set soon.” – Monki

‘I Still Believe’ (Monki Remix) is an Amazon Original, and can be streamed and downloaded here. Read our review of Diana Ross’ new album, ‘Thank You’ here.

 



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LA Laura Paris Is ‘Kissing Boys’ In Her New Video And We Asked Her About It

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You’ve read our review of ‘Kissing Boys’, by LA Laura Paris; now check out our interview with the artist herself! Ooh La La!

Your video for ‘Kissing Boys’ is somewhat evocative, tending toward the erotic. What was the inspiration for the clip? How much fun did you have making it?

I was inspired by my love for Ibiza and the electronic music scene in Paris mixed with all my adventures Kissing Boys and Girls.

It was really funny asking 2 people to kiss each other for the first time because you could see exactly what the song is all about, discovering somebody new and then really enjoying it and sometimes, even after the shoot, they would just continue kissing.

We like the message of the song, in that it’s about being free to be who we want and kiss who we want (not just boys), and we especially enjoyed the variety of locations, showing that love is love, and it’s universal. Have we got that right, or is there something we’ve missed in the song?

You’ve got it! My goal was exactly that, showing different people kissing, people with different ages, different nationalities and genders.

You’ve been involved in music for a very long time. Has it been something you’ve always wanted to do, or was there a time when you wanted to be a doctor, or a teacher, or whatever? Do you feel that music is a part of you that you can’t ignore even if you wanted to?

Since ever I knew that I wanted to do music. I remember when my dad asked me in the car what I wanted to do when I was 4 years old and I answered: “I want to sing and dance like Britney Spears” ahah

It’s impossible to ignore it, I’m married to music. Music has always been special for me and is always there for you in good times and bad times..

On that note, what advice would you give to anyone who wanted to get into the music business? What would you have done differently?

I would say believe in yourself and trust in yourself only.  It took me a while to understand that I had to do most everything myself. The first few years I used to depend on people (producer, etc…) But at the end everybody would say something different and the only one who can make it happen it’s you. Kissing Boys is the first song I released that I produced completely on my own. In the past I was doubting my production and always relying on others. So never doubt, never expect someone else will do the job for you.  If you really want to succeed, just do it! 

What’s next for you? What can fans expect, and will there be tour dates?

I have an acoustic EP in mind I want to release first. It is another side of my personality and I can’t wait to show it all.. Many surprises and live shows.

What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what is the answer to that question?

Maybe a question about the origin of my dance move. I have been dancing since I was very young, classical ballet, jazz, tap dance but also Bollywood. On the other hand, at sixteen, I was really impressed by American Sign Language (ASL) while watching the TV show  Switched at Birth. So I started to study ASL and translated my songs to incorporate Bollywood dance and ASL in my choreography to include everyone.  



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We Say Hello To Andrew Reed And Speak About His Music, His Influences, His Instruments, And Latest Single, ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’

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Back in April we wrote about ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’, the latest single from Andrew Reed & the Liberation, that comes with a super trippy music video that will get you thinking. We were so inspired that we sent off a few questions, and we’re very happy to say that Andrew answered them in even more depth than we’d ever hoped. Hope you enjoy his responses as much as we do.

Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you!

It is my pleasure! Now I will try to impress you with my IQ of 40! Ha! Really, the truth is that when I try to impress people, normally don’t… So I just do my thing and tell it the way I perceive it! Holding nothing back! And usually the truth about things is more interesting than anything I could make up! Ha!

You wrote your album, ‘Twisted World’ while isolating in the Appalachian wilderness. What were the greatest things you learned from that experience, and how – apart from the album – have you been able to apply them to your life since then?

Just to be clear, I FINISHED recording it in the wilderness! The event or fuel for the song happened years before with wife #1 when she locked me out of our apartment after a morning band practice and a double shift as a waiter! My things were thrown outside and the door locked…when I came home to the apartment around 1:00am! That anger or feeling of injustice after working so hard to be a “good provider” created the energy for the song! As far as my wilderness life, it continues! And I appreciate the question! Nature, I suspect, is our guide to how life “actually” works on this planet. I think Nature is the truth! And you can have all kinds of cute and clever ideas about life, but when you’re hundreds of miles from the nearest town, without anything to eat or shelter, you learn what reality is! And it doesn’t give a rip about your fancy philosophy! It cuts through all the societal rules and traditions… The wilderness and the loneliness of a hermit-type setting, is really the way most seeking truth or spirituality take. That makes sense to me as “society” is a made-up thing. I find that there are no problems in Nature…and that all works perfectly! It is a perfectly balancing system of birth and death, light and darkness, a constant oscillation of vibration and variety! “Problems” are mere projections or perceptions in my humble view. Life is automatic and it is all worked out…and is quite clear…and there is an Intelligence behind Nature! All is pattern and random does not exist.

The video for ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ is quite the trip – the religious imagery, the psychedelic colours, blurred footage – what was the concept behind that?

The song is about “the Great Certainty” – Death! Death has a lot of ritual behind it! It is something that most human beings fear, and thus repress. From my own near-death situation after being swept overboard on a fishing boat in Alaska, I perceived that Life continues! And that is a good experience!  Oh, there may be a brief period of darkness, but I suspect that this “floating set of eyes” in which I experience the world will still exist! “Hey, I’m still here! Ha! Death is one of the richest topics one can confront! And if one learns to not fear it, great energy to live is freed up! I live quite recklessly and with great abandon! And it pays off! It is a good life when you leave the “huddle masses” behind and say, “Hey, I’m going for it! I’m going to literally throw my life away on what I love! There is no real risk in this deal!” That’s living!

Who or what has been the biggest influences on your sound? Back to ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’. Sonically it reminds me of some of my favourite rock artists of the 80s – Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, Joy Division/New Order, U2; am I heading in the right direction here or am I completely off beam?

You got it! Though I didn’t plan it to sound like those artists…as songs “just happen” for me. And then it is a matter of finding cool sounds, through vast experimentation, and letting the words come organically…even if it takes 10 years to complete the song! I don’t let “trends” or what is “hip” dictate anything. I just like music that touches me or sounds cool! And then “let go” and “let it happen!” All recorded organic in the moment and not being over-rehearsed or perfect technically!

What has been your experience of the Covid 19 pandemic, and have there been correlations between your self-imposed isolation and that which we’ve all gone through the past 2 years?

I’m so used to be in the wilderness that I really didn’t notice it that much! I sit, observe reality (Nature), write what comes to me, usually in high-vibrational states, and then hunker down and record! The recording experience is my main focus…and my best concerts have been to an audience of forest of trees! Ha! The Pines and Oaks love a good show! Illness and sicknesses come and go… History informs us of that…and if I am one of the ones that dies from it, then I can be useful and be used by Nature to feed and fertilize the Earth! Ha! Nothing is ever wasted in Life! Waste isn’t even possible! Yet, I go on! Without scar or regret…

Now we seem to be moving (slowly) into a post-Covid world, what does the future hold for you and your music?

I’m feverishly trying to get these thematic “trilogies” albums (sets of 3) out! All are concept art albums with the similar style and an organizing theme. When I got on with INgrooves and Universal Music, we pulled my entire catalog of songs down from all the major music platforms! So that all could be re-released, with perhaps a bigger bang! SO now it’s a matter of releasing my prior music as well as cool new prog rock as well as more acoustic music…but not so much at a time that people choke on it!

What is the songwriting process for you? How do you come up with a song? Which comes first –  the concept, the words, the melody – or do they all happen together?

I have no formula. Except that I go into these “high vibrational” states…and I find myself so inspired by Life! I get up in the morning, light a candle, grab a cup of coffee and sit on the couch with the windows and doors open (if not winter) and just let my mind go with guitar in hand or keyboard ready! And I always have a recorder, usually my iPhone! Sometimes, a song will come when I’m at a campsite…with the fire crackling and all the animals smelling my food! Songs “happen” spontaneously, life “gifts,” at weird times so often!

I asked about the influences on your sound, but who or what have been the greatest inspirations in your life?

That is a great question. There are so, so many. For lead guitar, I love Jeff Beck! Acoustic, Cat Stevens or Gordon Lightfoot. Blues, John McVey who I produced and recorded a couple albums with. I like the Weeknd and Taylor Swift too as far as modern music! Portugal the Man too! R.E.M. is another group I love! And Blue Oyster Cult! Way cool stuff! Jethro Tull for prog!

Do you have a preferred musical instrument brand, and if so, what is it?

Regarding acoustics I play a lot of Martins, but some Gibsons too. Electric – Gibsons – Les Pauls, SGs, 339s. But sometimes I love Strats and Teles!  I used to be a bit of a guitar snob. Now I love them all! I just love guitars! I love el-cheapo guitars and weird pawn shop guitars! I play for hours every day unless I’m traveling and playing is inconvenient! To me, practice is not about getting better…as that is like trying to postpone happiness for a future date! That’s a ridiculous idea to me! I enjoy the NOW! The Zen of the moment! So I enjoy practicing! It is not work! And this way, I am completely satisfied in the moment! As well as when I arrive at the Destination! Ha! I get BOTH with that type of consciousness! For pianos, I play Yamaha baby grand.

What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?

Just Life questions really… Ideas about how life works. To me, the best question may be perhaps, “How best to live?” With that question posed, I find that singular explanations are insufficient, as all topics are infinite. So all answers are incomplete at best and are a dead stop. The zest of life seems to be in the questions and the quest! That is where the conflict, struggle and action are! “How best to live?” I suspect, that it has to do with coming into a consciousness of complete self-acceptance, knowing that there is nothing really to fear, nothing to regret or feel guilty about…that you are perhaps happy all the time…but just may not know it! And that, like Nature, all unfolds perfectly. Like a flower blooming when it is time to bloom, beyond command. Then, after its season in the Sun, if curls up and goes back to the Earth… No problemo! Life just cycles! Ha!

Watch the video for ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ below and find out more online about Andrew Reed & The Liberation and their music on their official websiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

andrew reed & the liberation - Don't Say Goodbye (Official Music Video)





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Towersey Festival, The UKs Longest Running, Announces Imelda May As New Headliner Addition For 2022

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Towersey Festival, the longest running in the UK, is pleased to announce that Imelda May joins an incredible lineup which already includes Del Amitri, Bill Bailey, Turin Brakes, Kate Rusby, Anaïs Mitchell, Howard Jones Acoustic Trio, and many more!

Towersey Festival will take place the long weekend of 26-29 August this year, in their stunning new location of Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire.

Tickets are now on sale via the Festival’s official website.

Towersey is an independent family festival of music, comedy, dance, ghost walks, storytelling, children’s activities, and more than 24 hours of Ceilidh!

The festival has been organised by generations of the same family, and will take place this year in the stunning new location of Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire over the August Bank Holiday weekend. It’s come a long way since the first event in grandpa’s back garden in 1965, and the now well-established festival is a firm favourite of the local communities throughout Bucks/Berks and Oxfordshire, as well as lovers of folk & alternative music from across the UK. 

With a mix of contemporary and traditional acts such as sea shanty band The Longest Johns, to Scottish alternative Rock Band Del Amitri, Towersey are proud to welcome Irish superstar Imelda May to the top of the bill.  

“I’m really looking forward to performing at Towersey over August Bank Holiday – It’s a great family festival with its roots in folk, Celtic and alternative music, so I’ll feel right at home! Along with performing tracks from my new album and some old  favourites, I’ll be taking my family and joining the Ceildh,the crowd at Towersey are always super friendly and  it’s such a great way to bring people together and lose your inhibitions” Imelda May

As one of Ireland’s most respected female singer songwriters, Imelda May’s most recent album, ‘11 Past The Hour’ (Decca) featured Ronnie Wood, Noel Gallagher, Miles Kane, and a cohort of female activists, brimming with sensuality, emotional intelligence, spirituality and intuition, it was Imelda at her most authentic. Imelda May’s performances are always an invigorating statement of rock n’ low slung blues. Last year’s album release saw Imelda playlisted on Radio 2, and she performed live on Graham Norton’s TV show, garnering many accolades from print media.

The four day event will also see performances by Barnsley folk royalty, Kate Rusby; acoustic indie trailblazers, Turin Brakes; Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell; comedy legend and Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey; and 80s pop icon Howard Jones, who will be performing a fresh take on his best-known hits, as part of the Howard Jones Acoustic Trio.

Other confirmed additions to the music and comedy line-up include Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader; alt-folk artist This Is The Kit; Scottish rock band Skerryvore; Celtic folk-punk band Ferocious Dog; multi-instrumentalist, comedian Rob Deering; folk band Talisk; the Americana-influenced Police Dog Hogan; contemporary Highlands fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles; folk singer-songwriter Kris Drever’ London’s Hackney Colliery Band; Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Big Band; Mighty kids comedy-beatbox show from Jarred Christmas & Hobbit; London-based song-writing duo Ferris & Sylvester; comedian Laura Lexx; English roots band Edward II; festival favourites The Langan Band; ‘bloke-folk’ band Faustus; and over 50 more music and comedy acts, across 10 stages and venues.

Over at the Festival Dance House, there will be swing & jive dancing, along with ballroom, ballet, contra, a silent disco, music from the Yiddish Twist Orchestra,  DJs playing Afrobeat, roots reggae and blues and over 24 hours of ceilidh.

Away from the music, there are plenty of fantastic activities to ramp up the joy at this wondrous festival. With family at its heart, Towersey hosts a range of thrilling activities for families of all ages including circus & theatre shows, storytelling, outdoor games, history & ghost walks, a fun run, forest school, campfires and music jams, alongside a new “Evolving” young people’s area launching in 2022, which will feature everything from crafts to discos.

There’s so much happening at Towersey, some serious re-fuelling will be in order and the festival is upping the grub game. Expect dedicated street food areas where festival-goers can feed up, wind down and send their bellies on a world tour with cuisines from every corner of the globe. Add to this cafés, bars, shops and stalls, plenty to keep everyone with a full tank!

Festival Director, Joe Heap, said:

“The sense of community, joy and togetherness that is at the heart of Towersey  is something we are all longing for right now. We  want nothing more than to be back in a field dancing with you and your loved ones under the sun. We’re excited to be in our beautiful new home of Claydon Estate in Buckinghamshire for  the most exciting festival yet, a worthy testament to my grandad it’s founder  back in 1965”

Full line-up information and tickets available from Towersey Festival’s official website.



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