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Less Than 5 Weeks To Go Until Black Deer Festival Is Back And It Promises To Be Better Than Ever!

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Black Deer Festival is one of the best adverts for the breadth and brilliance of Americana. Set in the breath-taking grounds of Eridge Park in Kent, it brings together the wonderful sweeping countryside of Britain and the landscape of diversity that is Americana music. Whether you’re a Country fan, Folk fan, Pop fan, Blues fan or any other type of music fan, there will be something you’ll love, there will be something you discover and almost certainly something you suddenly find you didn’t even know that you liked. After years of no live music, this wonderful event will offer you the chance to not just dip your toe but to jump right in. 

From June 17th to 19th, Eridge Park will be filled with not just great music but an absolutely fabulous weekend for the whole family. Running alongside the brilliant music will be Live Fire which is a festival food experience like no other. In partnership with US barbecue giant Weber, Live Fire will bring together barbecue experts like Marcus Bawdon, TV Stars like Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn of hang Fire Southern Kitchen, author and fire cooking specialist Genevieve Taylor, hunter gatherer Nick Weston, artisan charcoal producers Matt William and T Bone Chops, and master craftsmen blacksmith, knife and axe maker Alex Pole. If that doesn’t tickle your culinary and lifestyle taste buds, I’m not sure what would. This is literally a who’s who of the outdoor cooking world. On top of this there will be the ultimate Chilli Eating Contest if you’re brave enough to enter or if you’d rather watch an action packed, fast paced, fire and smoke filled BBQ cooking competition then the Cookout is for you as eight teams battle it out in four different live fire cooking challenges to be crowned Cookout Grand Champion. Even if there was no music, this would be a great weekend experience. But, there is music, and what a line-up there is.

Over three days, Black Deer will bring together some incredible artists to entertain and thrill. Headlining Friday is James backed up by the superb Jake Bugg, Imelda May and Foy Vance; this could be the list of headliners for many festivals but for Black Deer, it’s just the opening day. Saturday sees Wilco and The Waterboys joined by Nashville sensation and Country 2 Country favourite CAM, an artist who will steal your heart; she does it everywhere she plays. Sunday sees the legendary Van Morrison, worth the ticket money by himself, joined by UK’s very own Country favourites Ward Thomas. Supporting these artists there is a list that is too vast to run through but one which is filled with quality, diversity and brilliance. The line-up for this year’s festival has literally been three years in the making and Black Deer have pulled out all the stops to make this the Americana event of the year so far. My only fear is that there might not be enough of me to get to see all the bands I’m desperate to see; but for a music fan, that’s the best problem to ever have.

If you are going to enjoy a festival, you’re gonna need fuel and Black Deer have made sure that to go along with high class entertainment, they have lined up top quality food and drink. There will be a handpicked collection of the finest southern style street food traders the UK has to offer and the best of local Brewery Shepherd Neame across the Black Deer Bars; Black Deer seshionable, Whitstable Bay Pale Ale, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager. If you fancy something else, the Copper Still Bar or Lloyds Bar will offer a selection of real cask ales. Whiskey Ambassador Chris Dennis will also be on hand as he takes you on a tasting across the Wild Turkey range and tells the story of the original American Bourbon in a series of masterclasses at Jackson social. If you need fuel, Black Deer has you covered.

A selection of camping is available or just pick a day, the choice is yours. It’s so good to see live music back and in such a wonderful setting, that this Festival of Americana will almost certainly become an ever present in your annual diary going forward. With music, food and drink for everyone, this festival is fast becoming a jewel in the outdoor calendar and one it’s important to support. We’ve all been away for far too long. It’s time to get together and enjoy life together and this festival seems to have all the bases covered. The party is organised, so it’s just up to us to bring the atmosphere. See you there!



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Nya Talks To Us About Her New Single ‘Closer Than Close’, Travel, And What She Would Do If She Couldn’t Do Music

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Nya has been on our radar for a few years now, and with her latest release, ‘Closer Than Close‘, and its accompanying anime style lyric video, we felt it was high time we had a chat with this incredible artist. We hope you enjoy our interview as much as we did!

We’ve been following your musical journey for many years now, and we’ve seen you go from strength to strength. Your latest single, ‘Closer Than Close’, features an anime lyric video. What was your motivation with that choice?

Firstly, thank you! I love any accompanying visual content for my songs to add another perspective or dimension to the story being told lyrically. Ayakashi created a beautiful presentation of multiple interpretations of the love story within closer than close, using an art form and style not usually paired with my work. It felt like a cool way to add a new fresh voice to my work and mix things up a bit!

You’re no stranger to travel, having been born in Florida and then basing yourself in New York, and now Los Angeles. But now you’ve got a long distance relationship that sees you split your time between LA and Uruguay – how has this had an effect on you and your relationship with your partner, and what was it like during the Covid-19 pandemic?

 During about a year and a half of the height of Covid, I didn’t leave Uruguay as I wouldn’t have been able to get back in due to Covid-related border policies. Towards the end of that period, I was a little restless to get back to the states, but it was also lovely in that I got to spend a lot of quality time with my now-husband. For the past year and a half or so, I have split my time about half and half. It can definitely be tough to be separated for 4 to 5 months of the year as I really miss my husband and our dogs while I’m away. Still, as long as we have good communication and FaceTime, our relationship is really solid no matter the distance. It also takes a lot of time to travel from Uruguay to LA, and at certain points, throughout Covid required a lot of paperwork; as a result, it can get a bit tiring. On the plus side, I can keep working on and promoting my music consistently, which I love!

Do you feel that artists really have no choice but to follow their dreams, that it’s a vocation as much as a job? If suddenly overnight music and the arts no longer existed, what would you choose to follow for a career?

 I think certain circumstances can be prohibitive for artists to be able to truly devote the necessary time to their dreams no matter how much they want to. If you’re struggling to keep your head above water, you need to prioritize being able to cover the bare necessities. That being said, I believe that most artists feel the arts are a vocation rather than just a means to an end. I think, in a way, you have to genuinely love music to put up the with the industry’s downsides, or you’ll end up pretty miserable. If I weren’t making music, I would likely have continued studying Global Public Health at NYU and gone into a career somewhere in that field, specifically in a role centered around advocacy for mental health and overall health equity. I recently began taking online college courses in GPH to keep learning and eventually get my degree. It’s a subject I feel very passionate about, and I hope to use a platform in music to advocate for better health equity, especially here in the US. It is a topic that is, unfortunately, more relevant than ever and that has personally touched my life.

What’s next on the horizon for you with regard your music? What can fans expect from you for the remainder of 2022 and beyond into next year?

I have an EP that I will release towards the end of August, and I am finishing up my first album, which will likely be released at the top of next year. Additionally, I am currently working on a cool metaverse-related project involving some of my new music and the creation of a virtual Nya. It’s pretty trippy! The new music coming is, I believe, my best and most vulnerable yet and will be paired with a lot of carefully crafted visuals. I will also have live performances built around the releases. So there are a lot of new and exciting things coming!

Who or what have been your biggest inspirations musically? What about in your day-to-day life?

Musically I am inspired by so many genres and artists, from Frank Sinatra, my first musical love, to the Eagles, my father’s favorite band, to Anderson .Paak or the Internet, exceptional genre-bending artists. Some of my top favorite singers are Sarah Vaughan and Anita Baker. I love the songwriting of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, and Sting. As you can see, my musical interests and inspirations are pretty varied. Daily, I am inspired by my family, especially my dad and husband, whose love and constant support mean the world to me. I also find inspiration in any person I meet who is kind and genuine. That is, in my opinion, what makes a person truly beautiful.

Finally, and I ask this question of everyone I speak to, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?

Hmmm, this is an interesting one. I guess I’d have to say, “What is your definition of success?”. I think the concept of success is profoundly subjective and in music is so often thought of in terms of fame and money. My definition of success is living a happy and fulfilling life filled with love. For me, success is being a human that makes the world a little better rather than worse. I genuinely love music, and I want to be proud of the work I create. I want to know that I have given my best within reason in everything I do.

Watch the video for ‘Closer Than Close’ below, and find out more about Nya and her music online on her official website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Nya - Closer Than close





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It’s More Than Just A Whole Lot Of Hot Air With Gorilla Apocalypse’s New Single, ‘Tornado’

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Gorilla Apocalypse is a musical collective brought together by Blue Collar Records. The members come from all walks of life, genres, styles, and backgrounds, and collaborate in the studio, making songs and albums that will get the party started. Their newest single, ‘Tornado’, sees singer/songwriter IZ.M.B. unite with beat producer Grizz La Flare, and lyricist Gary Bernard. We introduced you to IZ.M.B. recently with her solo release, ‘Recover‘ – now check out what she can do in a collab.

IZ.M.B. explains that Gorilla Apocalypse Gorilla Apocalypse is meant to have a revolving door of artists that can learn from one another while having a good time creating unique, powerful musical masterpieces. Certainly, they are building up something very special, from the ground up, with talented artists encouraging and inspiring each other with their enthusiasm, while sharing the lessons they’ve learned.

‘Tornado’ is the first single from Gorilla Apocalypse’s debut EP, ‘Blow Your Mind’, and it comes in very much like an actual tornado, with a sheer whirlwind of unpredictability. The lyrics were written quite some time before the group came together in the recording booth, with the collective deciding who would be the perfect pair to help the song reach its fullest potential. When the members of Gorilla Apocalypse joined forces to record ‘Tornado’ they had a spur of the moment revelation about the true meaning of the song. Just like the often unavoidable destruction of the natural event, toxic relationships evoke massive storms, leaving incredible mess behind.

The combination of La Flare’s groovy beats and IZ.M.B’s fun and edgy vibes ensured that ‘Tornado’ had found its perfect match, and, additionally, the joined forces of each artist’s fan bases, meant they had a hit on their hands.

While all this might sound a little bit clinical and orchestrated, there’s nothing new in talent pooling to make a hit record. ‘Tornado’ is a fun and catchy song, and its success will be certain in combination with the lyric video, which sees IZ.M.B. and Grizz La Flare represented by their own animated characters – IZ.M.B. is a cat, and La Flare is, of course, a grizzly bear. The lyrical chaos is matched fully by the clip, with a roller coaster pictured for the line, “A bona fide carnival ride”, while in IZ.M.B.’s favourite line, “You go from a roller coaster to a bathtub toaster, a desperado on a wanted poster” we’re shown the ride, the toaster, and a gorilla on a wanted poster. There’s plenty of fun and frolics throughout, and it’s certainly a song (and video) that warrants many replays.

Check out the video for ‘Tornado’ below, and follow Gorilla Apocalypse online at Blue Collar Records.

GORILLA APOCALYPSE  - TORNADO Official Lyric Video



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Christian Parker’s New Classic Rock Single ‘Diamond Sailor’ Is So Much More Than Buried Treasure

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From the very first frame of the video for Christian Parker’s new song, ‘Diamond Sailor’, you know that this is a treasure worth finding. Directed by Morgan Elliott, the animated clip is a feast for the eyes while the classic rock sound is certainly one for the ears.

New York artist, Christian Parker, knows what he wants from life, and in the video we see his animated likeness seeking his fortune, digging for treasure. Rather than a pirate’s trove, a chest filled with gold, he finds a guitar; to him the instrument’s value is higher than rubies.

Listen to the track first, maybe three times, before watching the video. ‘Diamond Sailor’ is a classic rock track for a modern age. It’s clear who Christian has been inspired by. There’s The Beatles (definitely John Lennon and George Harrison in there), ELO, Badfinger, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Cat Stevens, Crowded House: Parker has put his own stamp on the classic rock sound though, and his songwriting talent is evident in this as in every track on his most recent album, ‘Best Kept Secret’. It’s clear this isn’t just an homage to the classics, but rather, the result of someone who is well educated in musical history.

Lyrics like “fame can cost more than the prize / for now just say goodbye / to the world of greed and lies” just drop effortlessly and yet are packed with so much meaning and substance. Classic themes such as aspirations, dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled, overcoming hurdles, and listening to that still small voice inside you, are wrapped in a stunningly modern sound. While Parker at first appears to be a traditionalist, he very much has his finger on the pulse of the here and now.

The clip for ‘Diamond Sailor’ serves as a visual showcase for Parker’s tremendous musical talent. While Elliott portrays him as a boy seeking his fortune, it’s realistic enough to make you think that’s actual footage of Christian Parker playing piano (albeit in a rowboat), and expressing his internal passions on the red guitar he unearths.

The clip is “narrated” by the guitar-playing adult Parker, and opens with the boy in his bedroom, playing air guitar on a badminton racquet, while in his imagination he’s the diamond sailor, flying into space, transported by his musical dreams. As an adult he’s trapped in an office job, working for the man, yet his dreams are still there, the diamond sailor is able to see what his true destiny is. He buys a boat and a treasure map, and finds the very same red guitar that the narrator Parker is playing. It’s a dream fulfilled.

Watch the music video for ‘Diamond Sailor’ below and find out more about Christian Parker and his music online on his official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Christian Parker's "Diamond Sailor" (Official Music Video) Sounds Like a Beatles Song | Animation





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