Artist Spotlight: Teddy Hayes’ “Born Again” puts the romance back in R&B

“Born Again”… what a cool song and video.  This track is from Teddy Hayes’ CD “The Professor of Love Song Ology” on Spotify and iTunes.

Video link: 

Teddy’s vocals exude a classic R&B silky cool quality like Ronald Isley or El Bebarge. What really catches the ear and makes it into “a real love ballad”, is the Brazilian samba flavour mixed in along with the use of the saxophone.

By the way this song was written for Teddy’s wife as her birthday present. The eBook “Liner Notes for: The Professor of Love Song Ology telling about how this CD came to be developed can be found on Amazon.

Really nice, and highly recommended for romance.

Album Review: Nega Blast X’s “Give Me E”

We recently had the pleasure of getting to know the wildly innovative and highly skilled artist, author, and producer, Dominic Daniels.

Dominic Daniels is an on-the-rise and widely revered author/music producer based in Burbank, California. This artist has been steadily gaining exposure and increased visibility for his undeniably polished and distinct sound. Recently, Daniels developed an incredibly unique take on the EDM and electronica genres with the newly released album “Give Me E” (released under his Nega Blast X brand). Showcasing an innovative combination of EDM, Dance, Industrial, Trance, and Techno; this artist has certainly crafted a sound that he can distinctly call his own. The new album features Dominic Daniels utilizing a diverse palette of influence and crafting tracks that effectively pay homage to his influences, yet carve out an entirely unique sound.

Upon listening to the new album, it is clear that Nega Blast X has the musical impact to compete with the industry giants. Dominic Daniels is quickly proving that with his addictive, unique, and highly engaging tunes; music, as an artistic medium, can transcend the label of “commodity” and become something much more intimate and immersive. Impressively, this artist does not strive to make only one specific genre of music, and is clearly dedicated to the development of his music through experimentation and blending between atmospheres.

With Nega Blast X, Dominic Daniels has effectively unleashed his wide-spanning musical tastes and influences into a giant boiling caldron, seasoned with style and flair —  and much like a mad scientist, he has stirred ferociously until what has emerged is unrecognizable — an infectious monstrosity of incredible, emotive sound.

The audio production exhibited in the freshly released album is nothing short of spectacular. This is especially remarkable considering the music itself is ferociously dynamic and unrestrained; we imagine this must have been very challenging to mix. Each layer within the track is uniquely stunning, with each complex sound given space to breath and evolve. Beginning with the epic and cinematic first track “Alpha and Omega”, it is immediately clear that this album is going to be quite a journey. Follow up track “Breaker” capitalizes more on a techno backbeat, but maintains a grandiose sound much like the intro track.

It is important to note that Dominic Daniels has taken on the undeniable challenge of being a fully independent artist. We find that one of the most glaring setbacks for new-coming independent artists is the lack of professional mixing and mastering that is necessary to break through into the mainstream markets. This certainly isn’t the case with here.

With independent recording software and equipment growing increasingly more affordable and accessible; the music industry is quickly becoming over-saturated with hobbyists and fame-seekers. Due to this, it is becoming incredibly difficult to be noticed within the endless sea of independent noise. The number of new artists entering the industry every day is growing exponentially. With this increase in industry competition, you’d think there would be a “standard” for things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to become noticed and successful. Unfortunately, this is not the case…in fact, it seems that a vast majority of new artists have taken the lazy route —- imitate those whom are more successful than you. You would think that this competitive environment would inspire some artists to go against the grain and carve out their own identity, but this is too often not the case. It seems as if fearless, ambitious artists are becoming more and more rare and undiscovered. This is mostly due to an unapologetic desire by most new-coming artists to shamelessly reach into existing successful markets, void of any innovation, and follow an incredibly safe musical formula of commercially appealing and catchy copy of a copy Singles.

While this approach may work well if your goal as an artist is to make fast cash, albeit becoming forgettable, it certainly isn’t the winning formula for industry longevity and lasting notoriety.

Nega Blast X is fiercely rebelling against this trend and quickly carving out an entirely unique identity.

Listen to “Neo Nate”: 

The variation in sound between tracks like “Damage” and “Dreamstate” proves that “Give Me E” is one of those increasingly rare transcendent releases that doesn’t abide by the typical genre limitations and standards. Regardless of your specific musical tastes, regardless of any bias or animosity that you may have against the EDM or Dance genres; the sheer uniqueness and thoughtfulness of Dominic Daniels’s newest EP will inspire and ignite applause and appreciation out of even the most reluctant listeners. Tracks like “Give Me Ecstasy” and “The Groove” effectively shy away from the typical clichés of the genres that they borrow inspiration from, with Dominic Daniels asserting his remarkably unique style and sound which he maintains throughout each track.

Each track is fantastically sequenced in a way that maintains the listener’s interest, and contains minor mixing and instrumental intricacies that are both unique and add undeniable character to the track. Daniels consistently surprises and impresses with his arranging abilities and displays a strong command of infectious synth melodies. The album progresses with each track falling back and forth between melodic/calm sections, and spirited dynamic sections.

Dominic Daniels is a remarkable artist and is definitely a breath of fresh air within a tired industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. “Give Me E” is a MUST LISTEN!

Be sure to support/like/follow Dominic Daniels on:

 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DominicRDanielsOfficialAuthorPage

Official: http://www.dominicrdaniels.com/

CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/negablastx

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/negablastx

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drdanielsauthor

Indie Interview Series: Anton Cullen

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with on-the-rise indie-edm sensation Anton Cullen.

Anton Cullen is a highly sought-after and widely revered composer and session musician based out of Dublin, Ireland. Anton has been steadily gaining exposure and mass acclaim for his incredibly versatile composing/session work and has recently developed an incredibly unique take on the EDM and electronica genres. We recently reviewed Anton’s Stellar new EP entitled “Breaking Through”. 

Check out the EP: 

We were so impressed by the creativity and confidence showcased on the new EP, that we wanted had to learn more about this stellar artist. Anton Cullen was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions.


 

I love how you manage to render your tracks so personal and immersive. Does the melody come first, or do you focus on the beat the most?

 

Anton CullenIt usually starts with strong thoughts or feelings, or a memory, then I imagine what that would sound like as music. I usually hear the whole musical soundscape in my head, with melodies and beats! I usual put down a basic kick temporarily, then build on that. I’m not sure how others do it, but this works for me!

 

 

Do you perform live? If so, do you feel more comfortable on a stage or within the walls of the recording studio?

 

Anton Cullen: I have a background as a pianist and performer, so yes, I actually perform the lead melodies of my electronic music when I play live. I often collaborate with live musicians during my electronic gigs too. It’s a lot of fun! I do also enjoy the process of producing and creating the music with my computer, piano and synths too though.

 

 

If you could only pick one song to make a “first impression” on a new listener, which song would you pick and why?

 

Anton Cullen: Different people tell me they like different tracks. However, I would say Warfare is my recommendation. It’s my favorite track that I’ve released so far! There’s a mix of EDM and electric rock in there, and it takes the listener on an emotional journey. The track is about the internal battles, emotional and spiritual, which take place within the mind.

 

Check out “Warfare”: 

 

 

What does it take to be “innovative” in music?

Anton Cullen: Most musicians struggle with being innovative. They create music that sounds like other artists, and they want to be compared to other artists. This is a mistake if you want to stand out.

I believe being innovative in music is, put simply, doing what you want to do and love to do.  Being innovative is just being yourself, the best version of yourself you can be. Being innovative is writing the type of music you’d love to listen to, not what you think others want to hear.

 

Any upcoming release or tour your way?

 

Anton Cullen: I’ve just released my new EP called Breaking Through! Check it out! Also, I’ve being doing some local gigs and events in Ireland, but I will also be live streaming concerts in the very near future. Follow me on social media to stay updated!

 

 

 

Anywhere online where curious fans can listen to your music and find out more about you?

 

Anton Cullen: Yes! You can listen to my music on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/antoncullenmusic/sets/breaking-through-the-ep

You can stream it on Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/album/2dPscTvxOx15WVkP6nQs90?si=FX41c88x

It’s also available on iTunes, Google Play, Deezer and CD Baby.

You can keep up to date with my music and gigs here:

https://antoncullenmusic.com
https://facebook.com/antoncullenmusic
https://twitter.com/anton_cullen


 

Anton Cullen a remarkable act and an amazing breath of fresh air within an industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. We can definitely see this artist continuing his rise and becoming a household name, while inspiring a new generation of independent artists. Anton’s “Breaking Through” EP is a MUST LISTEN!

Purchase or stream the EP:

Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/album/2dPscTvxOx15WVkP6nQs90?si=FX41c88x

iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/breaking-through-ep/1313492546

Google Play- https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Anton_Cullen_Breaking_Through?id=Bwnd6mw5wkrjw6m33fl674cktw4 

CDBaby- https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/antoncullen4

Please support/share/like/follow Anton Cullen on:

Official: https://antoncullenmusic.com/about.html

Facebook: https://facebook.com/antoncullenmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anton_cullen

Youtube: https://youtube.com/antoncullenmusic

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/antoncullenmusic

EP Review: Anton Cullen’s Breaking Through

Anton Cullen – the on-the-rise composer, artist, and electronic music sensation, in my honest opinion, will evolve as one of those innovators, whom I’d put amongst some of the most groundbreaking musical masterminds. While waiting for his highly anticipated debut EP, we had the pleasure of covering each of Anton’s Singles leading up to this release. To bring you up to speed if you’ve missed the other features, Anton Cullen is a highly sought-after and widely revered composer and session musician based out of Dublin, Ireland. Anton has been steadily gaining exposure and mass acclaim for his incredibly versatile composing/session work and has recently developed an incredibly unique take on the EDM and electronica genres. Showcasing an innovative combination of electronica, ambient, dance, post-minimal, and trance; this composer has certainly crafted a sound that he can distinctly call his own. You can find our feature covering his debut Single “Breaking Through” here, and his follow-up Single “Warfare”  here.

In the freshly released “Breaking Through” EP, this brilliant artist not only act as a unique innovator; but also effectively channels his deep, emotive, and resonating vision through an impressive command of the electronic genre. In this EP he effectively supports his distinct vision with his vast tools of artistic expression, rather than exploiting them as the gimmick they could easily become; Anton Cullen stands out among an overpopulated market as a fearless and honest artist with a story to tell.

Check out “Breaking Through”: 

Anton‘s newest EP is not simply a collection of electronica avant-garde pieces per se – certainly not in a strict or literal sense. Rather, it is comprised of a large fraction of remarkably accessible, percussive, and electronic/synth EDM pieces with an expansive, encompassing, and immersive sound. Each track features ornery, engulfing sonic barrages of rhythmic sensibility and infectious synth-work.

Check out “Warfare” 

Impressively, Somewhere within these complex and fastidiously crafted tracks there’s a magnificent injection of anthemic, yet indescribable instrumental pieces and that conjure up dynamic range of feelings and emotions. The electronic textures featured within each track are lush, but not in the literal definition of the word; rather – in the very sound of the word. The sonic landscape crafted within the EP showcases a fusion of sound that feels intimately roomy, well-balanced and evocative, with a great focus on gorgeously shaped backdrops that add a dark, refreshingly organic quality to his tracks. At times, momentarily focusing on minimalism, the sounds resonate, merge and surround the listener in a sort of sonic ecstasy. They expand and meander in a flowing fashion, and sweep you in much like the dragging waves washing on the shore of a dark beach; curiously, these textures are effectively peppered by small intricacies, experimental percussion, and soothing keys.

Each sound within each track seems to memorably interfere in an oddly irregular, yet efficacious fashion. This first builds an almost perturbed monotony – a growing excitement and sense of anticipation for something to emerge which never fails to deliver.

Check out “Heaven on Earth”: 

The audio production showcased on the EP is unsurprisingly outstanding, as we have come to expect this level of expertise out of Anton Cullen now.  It is important to remember that this is  truly an arduous task for anyone defiantly accepting the challenge of being TRULY independent. This risk has undeniably paid off, as the tracks showcased here are alluringly fresh and entirely unique. The genre is brilliantly undefinable, with Anton further sculpting his own self-defining soundscape and style.

Each new track is truly a milestone and an accomplishment for this artist. When approaching newly released music, it’s hard to do so without inherent criticism. It has become tiresome and mundane within the current culture of Pop dominated music. Though these types of artists have brilliantly perfected the ability to produce safe, catchy, and infectious music; they ultimately amount to being entirely forgettable— certain to be replaced by the next musical clone. This trend has infected almost every musical appendage and genre, whether it be commercially produced or independently released. The most unfortunate result of this trend is the stifling of musical ambition and the lack of innovation to set oneself apart in the industry.

This is certainly NOT the case with Anton Cullen.

With independent recording continually growing more affordable and accessible than it ever has been; the industry is quickly becoming over-saturated with hobbyists and fame-seekers. Due to this, it is becoming ever-harder to be noticed within the endless sea of independent noise. The number of new artists entering the industry every day is growing exponentially. With this increase in industry competition, you’d think there would be a “standard” for things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to become noticed and successful. Unfortunately, this is not the case…in fact, it seems that a vast majority of new artists have taken the lazy route —- copy those whom are more successful than you. You would think that this competitive environment would inspire some artists to go against the grain and carve out their own identity, but this is too often not the case.

This is precisely what makes Anton Cullen such a remarkable and respectable artist.

Listening to the “Breaking Through” EP was truly an engaging and refreshingly unpredictable experience from beginning to end. Each track oozes independent integrity, musical ambition, and fearless creativity. Not only are they polished and meticulously crafted, but they are sequenced to perfection, leaving the listener wanting more. This releases is definitely trend-setters and set an unbelievably high standard for indie artists hoping to break through in the scene. The undefinable, unrelenting, ever-evolving Anton Cullen is almost guaranteed to continue his steady rise to prominence with the release of this brilliantly undefinable, yet insanely addictive EP.

EP Promo:

Purchase or stream the EP:

Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/album/2dPscTvxOx15WVkP6nQs90?si=FX41c88x

iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/breaking-through-ep/1313492546

Google Play- https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Anton_Cullen_Breaking_Through?id=Bwnd6mw5wkrjw6m33fl674cktw4 

CDBaby- https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/antoncullen4

Please support/share/like/follow Anton Cullen on:

Official: https://antoncullenmusic.com/about.html

Facebook: https://facebook.com/antoncullenmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anton_cullen

Youtube: https://youtube.com/antoncullenmusic

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/antoncullenmusic

Single Spotlight: LEVI – Limits

With independent recording continually growing more affordable and accessible than it ever has been; the industry is quickly becoming over-saturated with hobbyists and crowded with wannabes. Due to this, it is becoming ever-harder to be noticed within the endless sea of independent noise. The number of new hip-hop artists entering the industry every day is growing exponentially. With this increase in industry competition, you’d think there would be a “standard” for things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to become noticed and successful. Unfortunately, this is not the case…in fact, it seems that a vast majority of new artists have taken the lazy route — copy those whom are more successful than you.

LEVI has fiercely rebelled against this current trend; creating something innovative and unique, yet entirely approachable and digestible.

We previously had the pleasure of getting to know this incredibly ambitious artist, and we were beyond impressed (check out our other feature here). Recently, it seems like every new rapper we meet describes themselves similarly. It usually goes something like, “I want to be the next Kanye/Drake/Lamar…” This sentiment is then often uncomfortably showcased in their music as a shameless imitation of their heroes.

It is completely natural to become inspired by your industry forerunners, but you must stray away from riding on their coattails by replicating their distinct sound and style. This is precisely what LEVI naturally does so well. Upon discovering LEVI, we were immediately struck by what may be his strongest asset: his courage to be entirely unapologetic in his assertion of his own unique identity. This shines radiantly in his newest track entitled “LIMITS”. Recorded in Toronto, Canada, LEVI weighs in on our increasingly volatile political environment.

Listen to “LIMITS” here: https://soundcloud.com/damnthatslevi/levi-limits

Not only has LEVI recognized the same tired trend in the music industry, but he has made it a point to aggressively rebel against it. One of the first characteristics that we noticed in LEVI’s tracks that immediately set him apart was his willingness to be vulnerable and honest. Too often, rappers feel the need to push a familiar facade (which at this point, has become a parody of itself), or they mistake humbleness for weakness. LEVI does neither, he has embraced his own personal identity and has made no apologies for it.

This approach to songwriting naturally injects his music with integrity and honesty. His confidence in his own story, as well as his embrace of his own style allows his music to outshine the rest within the genre. His vulnerability in his songwriting makes it much more organic for the listener to connect with his songs on a personal level. These are qualities that are severely lacking within the current industry, and impressively, LEVI has already figured it out as a relatively new artist on the scene.

LEVI is definitely one of those increasingly rare transcendent artists that doesn’t abide by the typical genre limitations and standards. Regardless of your specific musical tastes, regardless of any bias or animosity that you may have against the hip-hop or rap genres; the sheer uniqueness and thoughtfulness of LEVI’s debut tracklist will inspire and ignite applause and appreciation out of even the most reluctant listeners.

It’s pretty damn refreshing to hear somebody so incredibly versatile and talented behind the mic (and so brilliantly selective with the production). Shying away from the typical clichés of both of the genres that he borrows inspiration from, LEVI has a remarkably unique style and sound which he maintains throughout these early tracks. While LEVI certainly pays homage to the greats; he frequently veers away the genre’s increasingly tired tendencies, making the listening experience feel entirely new and unpredictable.

This artist will almost certainly be taking the scene by storm!

Please be sure to like/share/follow LEVI on:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DamnThatsLevi  

Instagram: www.instagram.com/DamnThatsLevi 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/damnthatslevi

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0goZVllsHHSTnX7HCcbS5g

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