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3 Artists, 5 Questions Each: Get to Know Pierce Fulton, Kember & Cobi Mike

June 10, 2015

With so much impressive new music and so many rising artists today, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up! Because I know how tough it is for the average person to read up on every emerging act, I am giving you the Cliff’s Notes – so to speak – on three talented musicians with fresh material. Get to know their sound, their background and what they stand for in just a five-question skim for each.

Read on to learn about and listen to Pierce Fulton, Kember and Cobi Mike

PIERCE FULTON

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Hailing from Vermont, 22-year-old DJ/producer Pierce Fulton is an EDM star on-the-rise with the success of his latest single “Kuaga (Lost Time).”

Although the currently touring artist has been producing music for several years, this is considered his most notable track to date. In less than two weeks since its release, Fulton garnered nearly 600,000 plays on Spotify, he currently gets more than 40 spins per week Sirius XM and he is set to perform at a handful of summer festivals, including New York’s Electric Zoo.

An added bonus? He’s pretty tight with Ansel Elgort, who – under the actor’s musical alter ego Ansolo – launched the song “Shirts & Skins” with him.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Stuff I make when I’m bored. That’s technically six words, but whatevs.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I always talk about my song “West Egg” because I made it in an afternoon and it was just so quick and natural that it still sounds fresh to me. Sometimes I listen to it now and think like, “When the hell did I make that sound?” I just love that feeling. Sort of disconnecting from the ol’ brain while in work mode.

3) Describe your fan base:

The coolest cats in the world. I love everyone who takes part in my life. They’re literally the coolest and kindest people ever. The Tweets, Snapchats, Instagrams and Facebook posts I get make my day every day. Y’all rule.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Paul KalkbrennerBathsEgbertSteel PulseAmerica

5) What is your motto to live by?

Do weird stuff and just have fun.

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KEMBER

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Kember is still basking in the joy of being recognized as a new artist worth knowing by Jay-Z‘s Tidal app. And one listen to his Love EP, released on May 7, you’ll understand just why he’s getting such recognition. The 28-year-old resides in good ol’ L.A., and just played a successful show at The Mint.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

PunchDrunkLoveFueledFun.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I write a lot! This whole EP is an embodiment of how love has affected me over the past few years. But if I must pick one I would have to say, [the Outro, “Nana’s Curtain Call”]. As funny as that may sound, reenacting those phone calls to my Nana as I once did when she was here brings me so much joy I can’t replace that feeling with anything.

3) Describe your fan base:

Underground lovers and dreamers of all ages who enjoy riding wave after wave of happiness.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

MJ and Prince – The immortal gods who can never be dethroned.

Bill Withers – The greatest song writer of my world.

2Pac – His aura: bigger than life.

Rage Against the Machine – They taught me to question everything, and their amazing collaboration of hip hop, funk and rock fueled me daily.

N.E.R.D. – Being a biracial child, Pharrell [Williams] and Chad [Hugo] showed me how important it is to simply be yourself. Everything else works itself out. #OTHER.

5) What is your motto to live by?

Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. – Anthony Bourdain.

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COBI MIKE

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Cobi Mike – formerly the lead singer of Boston-based indie-pop band Gentlemen Hall – made a recent decision to leave the award-winning band to rediscover his voice and share his personal message. It has seemingly been a wise decision thus far, because “Walking Through Fire,” the first single from his four-song self-titled EP, charted #1 on Hype Machine. He also just performed at last weekend’s Make Music Pasadena festival.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Alternative, rock, pop, electronic, psychedelic

2) Which of your songs has the most meaning to you and why?

“Walking Through the Fire” has a very significant meaning to me. I think the music video for it explains it better than I ever could.

3) Describe your fan base:

Free spirits

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon, Miike Snow, Son Lux, Toro Y Moi

5) What is your motto to live by?

“I will never betray my heart” – D’Angelo 

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Music

Hortlax Cobra, Gigamesh, Tove Styrke & 17 More Artists: New Music Monday, 5.18.15

May 18, 2015

Hortlax-Cobra-Night-Shift-300x296Wow, this is one of the best New Music Mondays I have encountered in quite some time!

For starters, Hortlax Cobra‘s “I’m Still Here,” featuring Ane Brun is the gem of the week. John Eriksson of Peter Bjorn and John is the mastermind behind this act, which is named after the area of Sweden in which he was raised.

For the nu-disco-lovin’ lady (or gent) like myself, Gigamesh‘s “The Music” is like the best thing ever. I can’t stop listening to its melodic goodness. Then you have Tove Styrke‘s super catchy “Number One” for the indie-pop fans.

And for those EDM lovers, Borgore teamed up with Addison for “School Daze,” while Just a Gent brings you “Driftless Spirits,” Oliver Heldens has “Melody,” and Tritonal and Cash Cash came out with “Untouchable.” Rest assured, none of these are too bass-heavy.

I am also super stoked for new Wilkinson. If you even slightly enjoy drum n bass, Wilkinson is like the ultimate. Super melodic, easy-on-the-ears kind of sound. I’ve been a huge fan for years.

Give a listen below for 20 fresh tracks, which also include Ghost Loft, Metric, Disclosure, Elliphant, Powers and Oh Wonder.

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Music

Ultra Music Festival Artist AronChupa Tells Skyelyfe About Young Fame, His Drug-Free Lifestyle and Why He Refuses to Sound Like Other EDM Artists

March 26, 2015

AronChupa

At just 23 years old, AronChupa joins Avicii, Zedd, AlessoMartin Garrix and Porter Robinson on the list of currently booming EDM producers who shot to wild fame at impressively young ages.

As he prepares to hit the main stage tomorrow at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, the Swedish artist, whose real name is Aron Ekberg, sat down with skyelyfe earlier this week in L.A.’s Santa Monica, to discuss becoming an overnight sensation with the release of his oddball single, “I’m An Albatraoz” (which features his sister Nora Ekberg on vocals). The hit went certified double platinum in Sweden and platinum in New Zealand, Italy and Denmark. It has also been streamed more than 200 million times via Spotify and YouTube and has been Shazammed four million times. 

Ekberg certainly doesn’t credit those (not so) hard-hitting lyrics for the song’s success, explaining with a laugh: “They’re not poetry. I was focusing on the beat pretty much, but we needed something to sing. I can’t even remember the lyrics myself now.” 

Read on to find out what annoys the rising star about EDM, what he thinks the pros and cons are of young fame, why “hip-hop-swing” should be on everyone’s radar and how he’s paying it forward with his fans.

skyelyfe: What is your take on L.A. and what has your experience been like when you’ve visited?

Aron Ekberg: It’s the bomb [laughs]. I really like L.A. I’ve been here a couple of times. The shows are always good here and I don’t know if there is anywhere else on earth where the EDM or music scene [in general] is as big as it is here. It’s hard not to like L.A. There’s a little too much traffic, but I like L.A. a lot. I had a show last Friday at the Palladium with David Guetta, Zedd and Alesso. It was fun!

SL: Going off of that, what is the vibe among artists in your genre? Do you guys mesh well? Feed off of each others’ ideas?

AE: [Regardless of what field] you work in, if you meet someone in your [business], you connect in some way. That’s the same with producers. We have a lot to talk about. It’s cool.

SL: Which artists do you look up to or have a style you somewhat want to emulate?

AE: To be honest, I don’t have anyone like that. It’s hard to explain exactly what I want to do. I didn’t start off as a DJ. I started off in rock bands and stuff like that. How I first got into making music was when I got a piano and guitar from my parents and I started to play when I was around 10 years old. I’d be around these bands who would go to big studios and record and I thought about how I wanted to do something like that. So I started recording myself playing the guitar and singing. Eventually, I was just adding more elements to the vocal tracks I was recording myself. And then it just suddenly turned into EDM.

SL: And you’re only 23. Do you think to yourself, “Wow, if I’m 23 now, just imagine where I can be at 30?”

AE: It’s crazy for sure, but at the same time, you get a little spoiled in a way. I went to college and then had to quit college because I started with music and it went so well, so I didn’t have time for college. I feel like to me, I’m getting a little spoiled because I never really worked. I don’t call what I do a job. I get to do whatever I want, so I’m scared of someday maybe … actually having to work for real. I might get depressed, I don’t know.

SL: Tell me about “I’m An Albatraoz.” The video is quite entertaining and the song is interesting, to say the least

AE: I’ve always been influenced by old music. I really like swing, blues, jazz and those types. I like to mix it up with EDM, and that’s how I came up with the beat to this song. I was sitting myself down in the studio, telling myself, “Ok, now I’m going to do something totally different from everything else.” And I did. What is [that lyric]? “Mouse – mmm that little mouse. Fuck the little mouse.” I wanted something to rhyme with mouse. And then we were thinking about different birds. I was like, “Albatross. Let’s say say Albatraoz. Ok, that works.”

SL: As an emerging artist, what is something you want to avoid? And what’s something you want to maintain?

AE: I wouldn’t want to call myself an “EDM” artist in the future. I don’t want people to be surprised if I were to release a rock song. Maybe not rock, maybe that’s a little too far out there, but I want to be able to do different stuff. If I do a hip-hop song or whatever, I wouldn’t want my fans to be surprised.

SL: What do you think the biggest problem with EDM is these days?

AE: I’ve got to be honest and say that I think everything sounds way too similar to each other. I swear to god, before my sets sometimes, I go through Beatport and all these lists all the time to look for new music, and everything is too similar. I remember two, three years ago, when I heard Martin Garrix’s “Animals” and stuff like that, it was really, really cool to hear for the first time. But that’s all I hear these days. Every time I do something, I want to do something that’s different. Sometimes I’m even tired of the tracks I’m playing myself. But I mean I think there are tons of good producers. Oliver Heldens is a genius. It’s a totally new thing that he’s been coming up with. I think Avicii was great when he first came out, but now there are now so many producers who do the exact same thing [he started with]. Yeah, sure, it works, I guess, because people like it, but I feel like something new needs to happen.

SL: What’s a current song that really exemplifies the fresh new sound you’re interested in? Or what’s playing when you’re just driving around or getting ready for a night out?

AE: I don’t really just listen to music anymore, to be honest. If I listen to anything, it’s something completely different. Because if I listen to EDM tracks, I think, like, “Oh, maybe I should try this or that.” I get into work mode, so I don’t really listen to EDM in that way. I’m listening to a lot of electro-swing right now, like Parov Stelar. And Movits! does hip-hop swing. I’ve always liked weird music.

SL: Tell me about your YouTube Billionaire project

AE: It’s basically for anyone. Anyone can upload a video on my website YouTube Billionaire, and for each view, you get a cent [out of my pocket].  You can really upload whatever you like.

SL: So now that you’ve conquered the YouTube space and have become a name to know in the EDM scene, what’s next for you?

AE: That’s a good question. I don’t really like thinking about that. I just want to go with the flow. I don’t really set up plans, but I have a lot of cool things coming up in 2015. Aside from playing at Ultra, I’ll be touring pretty much all over the world. It’s fun, and I just can’t wait to release more stuff.

AronChupa2

Photo credit: Alex Wessely

5 FUN FACTS

Last thing I splurged on: “Before I got to L.A., I flew to Ottawa first and I walked by Sunglass Hut. I bought a pair of new Ray-Ban sunglasses. They were like $250. I put them on and then I walked on the plane. And I put them in the little pouch in the back of the seat in front of me, and obviously I forgot them. So I had them literally for like five hours.”

Last time I cooked: “I cook every day. I love cooking. My specialty is Swedish meatballs. I’ve been on tour for two-and-a-half weeks, so I usually don’t cook when I’m on tour, but before that, I did.”

Last concert I attended that wasn’t my own: “My friend was hosting a party and he wanted to be a DJ. It was like three weeks. It was all right. It was fun. To be honest, since I work with shows, I don’t really go watch. When I’m off, I don’t really like going to concerts because that’s where I work. When I go back home and people want to go out clubbing, I’m like, ‘No.’ ”

Last time I was upset: “I was really upset last Wednesday. They suspected me for being high in customs. They thought I was on some drugs, but I hadn’t slept the night before. I was up working all night and I told them that. They asked me if I was on drugs. I’ve never taken drugs in my entire life. They said they didn’t believe me and they went through my entire bags and everything. Then the let me into the country.”

My last regret: “I had been working on a song for three days and I put it on a hard drive and before I went to bed, I took my laptop and was watching a movie and my hard drive was still connected to the computer. I was too lazy to eject it and the whole song was gone. I regret that. I didn’t back it up because I was too lazy.”

Check out the “I’m An Albatraoz” video below:

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Music

Grammy Winner Cedric Gervais Gives Skyelyfe the Story Behind ‘Chic’ New Music Video, ‘Love Again.’ Watch All the Wild, Paint-Filled Fun!

December 11, 2014

CedricGCedric Gervais recently got himself into a bit of a mess – but for all the right reasons!

The electronic dance musician, recently best known for his Grammy-winning remix of Lana Del Rey‘s “Summertime Sadness,” just released the ENDS-produced music video for “Love Again,” his melodic collaboration with singer Ali Tamposi. The black and white video features a slew of people dancing and tossing paint everywhere. Amidst the paint throwers, Gervais and Tamposi sit in agony over what is portrayed as their failed relationship. Finally, at the end, they get caught up in the paint action as well – a shooting experience Gervais says “wasn’t too pleasant,” but still “fun” nonetheless.

Skyelyfe caught up with the regularly touring French producer, who talked about how the song came to be, working with Tamposi (whose lengthy credits including writing Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger”) and keeping the video “classy,” unlike “a lot of the cheesy videos out there.”

skyelyfe: Obviously the message behind “Love Again” is clear, but what was the actual inspiration behind the song?

Cedric Gervais: I was working on new material, and I work with a lot of songwriters and they send me songs very basic that are written on piano or guitars. If I hear something [I like], I take it and I turn into in my world. So I went through a lot of songs and [when I heard “Love Again], I was like, “Wow, this is a major song and I want to take this song to the next level.” Ali’s voice is unbelievable. The way she’s writing is amazing.

SL: How did you and Ali end up teaming up on this song?

We got together through managers. We met and started working together, and she’s an amazing person – very fun to be around. Then we came up with the concept of the video and shot the video. It’s great to work with such great people.

CedricAli

SL: I love the video. It’s so much fun. Was that real paint?

It’s real paint. It wasn’t too pleasant, but it was a fun video to shoot. I have to give credit where credit is due. That was Ali’s concept from the beginning to the end of the video. She had a vision and just kind of rolled with it. It wasn’t something where we had scripts sent to us. The song meant so much to her, so I just let her vibe with it. We started at 6:00 a.m. and finished at midnight. I think the video is very classy. There are a lot of cheesy videos out there and I think this is a chic-looking video. I really like it.

SL: Can you explain more of the story in the video?

It starts out with the younger versions of ourselves. We’re two people who lost interest. We’re heartbroken, but when we were young, [things were different].

SL: What can we expect from you in 2015?

A lot of new music. I’ve been back in the studio. I want to win another Grammy, so I’ve got to get back to work! You can expect a lot of exciting stuff.

CedricSingleArt

Check out the video below!:

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Music Uncategorized Featured

Electronic Duo Cazzette Dishes to Skyelyfe on the ‘Problem’ with ‘EDM,’ Who They Think Will Be the Next Big Thing in Music and Why They Miss the Old Stuff!

November 4, 2014
cazzette

Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

Cazzette has made 2014 their year! The Swedish duo, consisting of Sebastian Furrer and Alexander Björklund, are fresh off the heels of releasing their new melodic dance track “Blind Heart,” and they feel like they’re in a great place.

The lovely lads, who are under Avicii‘s LE7ELS label and are best known for 2012’s “Beam Me Up” and this year’s “Sleepless,” recently sat down with skyelyfe on the picturesque rooftop of Sixty Beverly Hills to talk about being more in control of their sound now than before, why they refuse to be classified as “EDM” artists, how they are “down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff” and why Flume is going to take over the music world.

SL: What do you guys think of L.A.?

Sebastian: We love L.A. It’s a very nice city and obviously the weather is very nice. There are very good vibes here. It’s obviously a big city to music and film and we’ve been meeting people here. It’s so easy to meet people in the music industry. Everybody’s here basically, so it’s nice. I wouldn’t move here because I’m still in love with Sweden and I’m a big New York guy more than a West Coast guy, but I love it here for work and for a short amount of time to hang out.

SL: You guys recently performed at Avalon in Hollywood. What was that experience like?

Alex: Avalon is great. It’s a big venue, which is cool. It has that theatre vibe, which we like. And this time was the most fun we’ve ever had playing there because we’ve changed a lot over this past year. I feel like we’re way more honest to ourselves now and with the music that we make and play. It’s more exciting to play now because we’re playing 100 percent what we like. We slightly try to educate the crowd a bit with playing the music that we grew up on even though it doesn’t sound like the typical Top 40 for music. We play tracks from 2004-2007, like old Axwell, all old stuff.

SL: Going off of that, who are some more artists whose old style of music you miss?

Alex: Laidback Luke. I miss his old stuff.

Sebastian: Yeah, he was great before. I mean I haven’t heard his [newer] stuff that much. I just love his older stuff. Everybody has to evolve in a way, so I get it, but his old stuff was incredible. As producers, we were like, “Whoa, what’s this?” It was so interesting at the time.

SL: What’s your take on this whole “EDM” craze?

Alex: I think there’s a problem with that word “EDM.” I mean, sure, it’s electronic dance music, but I’d rather it be “EM,” electronic music. You can’t compare dubstep and house. They are two completely different things.

Sebastian: I think they misuse the word, and that’s the problem. This became a big term in America. It probably will never be a term in Europe. I’ve never heard anyone use it there. I think when people got educated here, they put it on blogs and they were [labeling] a dubstep act with EDM. I’m not saying not saying it’s the blogs or anyone’s fault, I just think it’s been misused. People think everything is EDM and it’s the same stuff. If you compare rock music, it’s very broad. There are tons of stuff within rock music. There’s indie rock and there’s pop rock, but you can’t put them in the [exact] same category. And that’s the same here. Dubstep is completely different from house music. House music is completely different from electro and techno. Of course they have the same elements, but it’s still different vibes.

SL: Do you guys classify yourself in what’s considered “EDM” or in some kind of sub-genre?

Alex: It’s a problem for us because we’re like so many different kinds of genres, but right now I would say house.

SL: Congratulations on “Blind Heart.” Tell me about the inspiration behind that song

Alex: The inspiration was from just listening to the acapella. That’s usually how we work if we receive an acapella. When we hear something, it’s like, what kind of vibe does this track have? How are we going to capture what we fell for in the acapella?

Sebastian: It was a very long process to make because we were changing our minds all the time about arrangement. We were discussing what the chorus is, but then we decided, fuck it, there’s no chorus. Let’s just go with vibe and people can decide what the chorus is. The song is very specially structured. It’s not the typical verse-chorus.

SL: Aside from people you’ve worked with, who do you admire in the music scene in general?

Alex: Kanye West.

Sebastian: Pharrell Williams, Moby, Justin Timberlake, obviously. From the hip-hop and trap stuff, we like Flume. He’s incredible. There’s a guy from Sweden called Skogsrå. He’s a new guy. There are so many people who inspire us in general. We love rock, we love hip-hop. Sometimes we listen to jazz.

SL: Any predictions on who’s going to be the next big music thing in the states?

Sebastian: I think Flume is just going to get bigger. What he does is incredible and he’s just going to keep growing.

SL: What’s something about you guys that your fans don’t already know?

Sebastian: [laughs] We have no dirty secrets at all. We just want our fans to hear our music. Our personal life is kind of irrelevant because at the end of the day, it’s about the music. Of course it helps if you have  a personality. I wouldn’t say we’re boring, but there’s not too much to know. I think we’re very calm. We’re down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff. If there’s something people should know, we work a lot. We always spend time in studios. That’s our crazy life [laughs].

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Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

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