Interview with King Soloman

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 What made you get into music, and what are your inspirations?

I always had a niche for music. When I was younger I started playing the guitar and then later switched to the drums. I started taking private lessons and went to Edward R. Murrow high school for music. Every now and then professional musicians would come in to give a demonstration and I would be very inspired by their talent. It made me want to learn more about music and it drove me to practice more. Growing up in Brooklyn, I was inspired by Jay-Z and Biggie, but truth is watching Joey Badass, Powers Pleasant, and other Murrow heads make it, really caught my attention. Watching them really taught me a lot of lessons.

Do you have any new music coming out or working on anything new?

Just last week I dropped a new single called, “I Need That.” You can follow updates on my Instagram @Kingsoloman_ . I also have more songs that I’m working on for the album dropping this June. Everyone will have to wait for that. I’m sure the new song will get people hype.

 What do you do if you find yourself in a musical rut?

Usually I try my best to avoid it but sometimes its inevitable. If it happens I just relax, take some time to myself. I revisit whatever song I’m working on and try to continue the vibe. If it flows smoothly then I know I’m out of it.  If I still cant write lyrics, rap, or just focus on the music in general then I wont even try to record that day. You want everything to make to be with good energy so if the vibe isn’t right then it isn’t my night.

What is your ultimate goal?

I want to get better as an artist and grow everyday. Im always working and practicing my technique so my goals constantly change. I have a lot of goals so its hard to focus on one. I guess you can say my goal is to get signed by a major label within 3 years after my debut album which will be coming up this June.

Who do you consider the pioneers of your genre?

DJ Cool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Hands down Biggie & 2-Pac. Tribe Called Quest. NWA. I mean the list goes on because rap and hip hop is always changing.

How do you feel about music pirating/ fille sharing?

Its just a big mess. I understand why people do it. Its free. But people don’t realize how much work actually goes into a song, album, or music video. They don’t realize the hours put in to producing, mixing, and editing. For creators we want recognition and credibility along with an income from our investment which is the music. I don’t like it. People deserved to get paid for their work.

What is the music scene like for you in South FL?

Everybody is trying to be a rapper. I feel like its very common in Miami. A lot of artists are making it by doing shows in Wynwood and south beach. For up and coming artists, Wynwood is great. Every weekend there is an opportunity to do a show and get recognition.  Its very different from what I’m used to because in NYC everyone is hyped up and energetic in the club. Miami is mostly has a laidback and chill vibe but if you know your spots you will get a good crowd. Events happen every weekend so If you are really determined to make it as an artist you can get your music out there.

 If you could dine with any muscian in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? Tough question, I know, but you have to choose one!!!

Honestly it has to be my boy Heavenly Thoughts. He is a local rapper in Hollywood Florida and my dude can keep up a conversation for days. I know I will entertained and he will probably pay for dinner so I’m good. You need to check out his music on SoundCloud. Heavenly Thoughts is his name.

What’s one music memory you’ll never forget?

That’s tough. I would have to say when I recorded Brighter Side. It was like a Tuesday and I was visiting new York. At the time I didn’t plan on rapping or releasing any music. I was just playing basketball with my friends Tariq & Paulie then afterwards we went back to Tariqs house to make some beats and then he showed me brighter side. I looked a paulie and I was like we making a song right now. Mind you that paulie never recorded before. Everything came together and that was the moment that started the pursuit of making an Album.

What do you love most about music?

The fact that it brings people together. No matter what background you come from, music will introduce you to people you would never meet through your daily interactions. I know from personal experience. I remember one time when I traveled to London I met someone from France who loved Biggie, and I was in shock that he knew so much about the music. He might have even been a bigger fan of Biggie then me. It was a crazy experience. We grew up in 2 different countries. Just from talking about music we instantly become cool with one another and its hard to get that interaction from most people. Shout out my boy Fred.

Listen to King Soloman on Soundcloud

Interview by Ashley Grace

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Interview with Times Like These

Times Like These is a 4-piece pop rock band from Long Island, New York, consisting of vocalist Mike Acampora, bassist Zach Dyer, guitarist Eddie Giuffo, and drummer Cody Omage, have toured throughout the East coast, finding new fans everywhere they go with their energetic and intimate live performances.

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What was is like working with Hope ( Vista), while covering Panic ! At The Disco ?Hope is amazing! She’s super talented and her band is phenomenal! Working with her was amazing and we would love to work with her again.  You can view the cover here.

You worked with Rian Dawson ( All Time Low ) on your song, “Take me Home “.  How did that go ? We clicked with Rian and his assistant Dan right off the bat. It was such a smooth process and it honestly couldn’t have went any better. We can wait to work with them again.

Where did the band name come from ? Did you have any others chosen first ?
Times Like These actually comes from a lyric in the old All Time Low song “Noel”. We had a few other names in mind but we didn’t like any of them as much as we liked TLT. Two that stick out to me are Sound The Alarm and Easy Target.
What was the very first show you played, who was it with, and how did it go ? The very first show we ever played was in our friends backyard and it went pretty well for our first show. Our friends in Break Down The Walls and Suburban Zombie also played. Everyone killed it that night.

Out of all of your releases, which is your favorite song, and why?
My favorite song we’ve ever put out at the moment is Take Me Home. Writing it came so natural and it’s so much fun to play live!

Times Like These | Interview questions by Madison Boyce

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Interview w/ Jacqueline of Jacqueline City Apparel

Hello, I’m Jacqueline City, owner and creator of Jacqueline City Apparel. Jacqueline City Apparel is an online women’s boutique with unisex, plus sized and kids’ options. Our first unisex line “The Classic Collection” is currently live on our site. Our Spring women’s line “The Manic Pixie Collection” is live on Friday, March 1st on our site. The line is a feminine black, white and pink line which is inspired by “manic pixie dream girls.” Head to JacquelineCity.com and sign up for emails to become a citizen of Jacqueline City!

  1. At what age did you develop an interest in the fashion world?

From a very early age, I’ve been interested in fashion. My mother and grandmother love to tell stories about me as an infant, before I could even talk or walk, picking out my own outfits. In stores I would feel fabrics and pull down clothes into my coach. This eventually led me to picking out all my own outfits, make shopping my number one hobby and even try creating my own clothes. I taught myself to sew at age 6 or 7 and starting making fake magazines filled with my designs. It has been a long journey filled with ups and downs that led to Jacqueline City Apparel.

       2. What inspired you to start this brand?

Since I’ve always had fashion in my veins, Jacqueline City Apparel was truly destined to happen. I’ve always dreamed of pursuing art is some way, but I’ve switched my focus a few times between painting, music, writing, and fashion. Art has always been my life, but now my focus is completely on the fashion world. I’m disabled and had to have my dreams take the back seat to my health for quite some time now; however, I’m finally able to start pursuing my passions. Jacqueline City Apparel is perfect for me because I can take my time and work from home, so I can pursue my dreams, while still focusing on my health.

      3. All of your apparel is 100% vegan, and includes no use of animal products. Why is that important to you?

As a vegan, making Jacqueline City Apparel a completely vegan brand was very important to me. I’m very much an animal lover, so I do not buy any animal products or by-products. My brand is for everyone, including vegans!

      4. While looking through the sizes, I saw sizing I don’t see often, everything from baby clothes to 5XL. Is there anything that specifically inspired you to be all inclusive?

Jacqueline City Apparel’s “Classic Collection” is a unisex collection with adult sizing up to a 5X as well as kids and baby options. The mission behind The Classic Collection is to be inclusive of everyone. I think too much pressure is put on women in fashion and the media to be a certain size, a certain skin tone, a certain height, and more. There’s a very specific ideal, unattainable beauty standard in the world today that’s truly absurd. Everyone should feel beautiful. Everyone should feel represented in the media. Everyone should be able to shop where they want to. Here at Jacqueline City Apparel, all are welcome to be citizens of Jacqueline City no matter your age, size, race or gender.

        5. While reading a bit about you I learned you are proud to be a disabled girl boss, can you share a bit about what it’s like living with your disability?

My disability is called dysautonomia, which means I can not regulate any of my autonomic systems and anything that should be automatically happening in my body. It’s affected everything from my thyroid and my temperature to my digestion and my blood pressure. It’s made my life incredibly difficult the past few years with major symptoms like nausea, dizziness, vision problems, brain fog, migraines and fainting. I was bedridden for some time. I have come a long way to be functioning the way I am now. I hid it for awhile, but now I’m proud to be disabled because of how far I’ve come on this road.

  1. What is your best advice to those with disabilities who also have big goals set like you do?

My biggest advice is to not feel ashamed or like any less of a person. I really struggled with my disability and shut a lot of people out because I did not know how to cope with it. I had to put myself and my health first for a long time; you need to know that’s okay. It’s okay to need time for yourself, and it’s okay to not be on the same schedule as a healthy person. You should not compare yourself to anyone else. I had to learn to accept help from others and I still struggle with not feeling like a burden. Your disability may make your dreams harder to achieve, but it does not make them impossible. You may have to find a new way to go about achieving your dream, but never give up the fight.

        7. What is your favorite piece you have released so far, and what are you most excited to release for the Manic Pixie Collection that drops March 1st?

My favorite design from The Classic Collection is the pop art design currently available on t-shirts and hoodies! I think the cartoon is adorable. I’m most excited to release the Not A Concept Painted Denim Jacket because they are hand painted by me. I glued the  jewels and faux pearls on to each one. I put a lot of thought and love into these jackets so I hope they’re well received. I hope everyone enjoys both lines!

      8. Where do you see your brand in a year from now?

I hope to expand Jacqueline City Apparel with many more collections over the next 12 months. I hope to have pop up shops and events as well as runway shows. I also hope to design more of the pieces by hand as well. Stay tuned to see how Jacqueline City Apparel grows!

       9. Do you plan on getting Jacqueline City apparel in stores? If so, what is your dream store to be sold in?

I do not have any plans to be in stores or own my own store at this time, but perhaps in the future.

       10. How can we best keep up with all future releases?

Signing up for emails at JacquelineCity.com should keep you informed on all things Jacqueline City Apparel! We also have Facebook as well as Instagram . You can also stay in the know with my personals being Instagram and Twitter ! I love responding to everyone. I often re-post anyone wearing Jacqueline City Apparel!

  11. What do you have to say to your supporters?

I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received so far. I was bedridden just 3 years ago, so to be able to now own my own business is so amazing to me. I hope you continue supporting me, so I can expand Jacqueline City Apparel. Please stay tuned to what else the brand has in store!

Interview by Cristine Trimarco

All photos courtesy of Veronica Takes Photos (Veronica Zin) Instagram / Facebook

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Interview w/ Gabe Fleck

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Photo courtesy of Alex Norris
1.) What inspired you to start a career in music?
I think a huge part of getting into music for me was impersonating what media was showing me about “being a rock-star”. If we go back far enough, my mom still has a picture of me in sunglasses rocking a dope, Gibson Explorer-looking toy guitar when I was like 6 years old. Same for my sister. My mom is kind of a bad ass like that.
2.) How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
For Bliss, my latest EP, it’s like if MGMT stumbled into a night club. Weird indie pop vibes.
3.) To a new listener, what song would you suggest they listen to?
Take a stab at any of them! But I’ve gotten lucky with the numbers on Colder Shoulders. So if you do check that out and like it, let me know why because I’m curious and still can’t justify the numbers.
4.) What is your biggest goal for this year, musically
Figure out why I’m doing music for sure. That’s usually the biggest goal always. Making sure I’m secure in my messaging and my sound I’m bringing to the scene. It takes a lot of work on your life in general. Art imitates life so if I wish to put out an honest message I must be living that lifestyle and surrounding myself with aesthetics and experiences that influence that message.
5.) What is the meaning behind your most recent release?
Easy is about the inner conflict that occurs around a one night stand ordeal. That experience can be hard to navigate and I was introduced and educated in it mainly in college. Declaring that you’re super into someone but don’t have the energy to invest in them all the way because you have your own critical pursuits is never a fun discussion. But it makes for a fun, open, honest time.
6.) What inspired the visuals to the “ I Want To Be With Myself” music video?
Blade Runner and the magic of Alex Robino. I gave him the back story to making Bliss and some of those aesthetics and he ran with it perfectly.
7.) Will there be any upcoming new releases or tour dates in 2019?
Probably not any personal releases and definitely no touring for this guy. There are many people in the local PDX scene I want to contribute to before coming back to a project of my own. It’s just about approaching collaboration with the same seriousness and importance as my own personal music career. I’m inspired by some of the people around me. I just need to start working.
8.) Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m not sure. I can whistle fairly loud but I can’t do that thing where you make a pocket with your pointer finger and thumb. I’m also a graphic designer if that counts?
9.) Something you want your fans to know?
Every single person is insecure about something. Don’t care about the irrelevant. Be imperfect in the pursuit of your best.
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Photo courtesy of Alex Norris
Interview by Cristine Trimarco
Gabe’s socials  : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify |Soundcloud 
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Interview w/ upcoming artist Saus

What inspired your start, and at what age did your interest in music start ?

I picked up a pen at the age of 9, I had watched family members pursue what I didn’t take seriously until age 16. I fell in-love with Hip-Hop early on but older generations kept my knowledge on music diverse.

For someone who has never listened to you before, what song do you suggest they listen to first ?

If I had to recommend one of my songs to a new listener I’d chose ” Vibe” ft L.A.F & BroGod prod deem0beats. The song brings positive energy and vies with its catchy chorus, it makes for a good first listen.

Turn the tables, if you’re attending a concert/show as the concert goer, what is the best show/ tour you’ve seen to date?

The best shown I’ve seen so far was J.Cole Forest Hills Drive Tour. He is an incredible artist and performer and sets the bar high for his peers.

State/country you would like to play but haven’t yet?

A European tour is a small yet major goal of mine.

Bucket list venue to perform at ?

Being from New York, Madison Square Garden is one venue I’d love to perform at, and sell out.

Do you have any upcoming performances?

I do not have any upcoming shows but I am always willing and looking for new opportunities.

How did you and Dan Moody meet ?

I moved onto his block in Rosebank, Staten Island NY in 2007, We were neighbors for seven years before we linked up to collaborate. The rest is history..

who/what influences you most?

The people I make music with are incredibly talented and we influence each other by keeping it real with new ideas and criticism.

How do the words at the end of the ” worth it ” music video relate to your own life?

” The choices we make in life come back full circle.”, the message I am trying to spread with both the quote and the video was that you might not realize it but even the smallest decision can alter your future. I believe that not only myself, but most people can say they feel the same.

Lastly, anything to say to your fans?

Id like to tell my fans to, shoot any shot given, to manifest positive thoughts and never let anyone hold you back.

Watch Saus’s video for “Worth It” below :

 

Interview w/ Saus, questions by Cristine Trimarco

Saus – Instagram | Youtube

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Interview w/ Cayley Spivey of Small Talks

The With Confidence and Broadside headlining tour of 2018 had one of my favorite line ups, also including Sleep On It and Small Talks. Even with sickness spreading all across these poor artists, Cayley Spivey hung out in a cold, dark alley of Lawrence, Ks with us to talk about her band’s latest single and upcoming album. I, being the social media addicted college student, I am, looked all throughout Small Talks pages and immediately found the greatest respect for everything Small Talks stands for. In planning the interview with Cayley I wanted to dig deep on her perspectives and opinions on not just this crazy talented tour, but also her own music and even the connection between music and mental health. We wanted to make this just A Conversation Between Us. (So sorry. I had to. It was the perfect opportunity.)

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Lexi: This might be weird, but I used to be a camp counselor so I always have to ask this question as an icebreaker. If you were any kind of chair, what kind would you be, and why?

 Cayley: Oh my God. Probably an antique chair. I just feel like those old looking ones you find at thrift stores, where they’ve just been through some stuff? That’s me, that’s me for sure.

They have some stories behind them.

 Yeah, yeah. For sure! I just feel like those chairs, I mean I like the floral patterns too. I don’t know. It’s my soul chair. I could have said a bean bag also, like on a good day I’m a bean bag.

I love it. I’ve just started saying I’d be a hammock just so I can relax.

So you said you’re not used to the weather here, but what is the weirdest part of this cross country tour for you, or the craziest parts of it?

We started in California so it was really hot and it felt like summer, then we ended up in like  snow and ice, and then we ended up back on the east coast where it’s like kind of middle ground. So basically the most crazy thing about it is the insane weather changes.

I’m guessing that’s why everyone is so sick lately?

Everyone on this tour is sick, they’re all going through some stuff. I can’t believe we’ve made it as far as we have. Like my band’s been out an extra month because my band is actually from Chicago so we had to do some practice dates beforehand.

And what’s the craziest thing that’s happened on this tour so far?

The craziest thing that’s happened is the crowd reaction to us has been really crazy. Like people have been picking up on us really, really well, and we’ve been given lots of gifts. I got a guitar on this tour, that’s definitely the craziest thing. Somebody made a replica of my guitar, and matched it, and gave it back to me and I thought that was the craziest thing ever. We’ve also gotten four penny boards gifted to us. People are just so nice, they’re really taking care of us. We even got an olive garden the other day, so just the kindness really has been really shocking.

For Small Talks, what is the hope for the future?

The hope for the future is really want to stick on this support tour train and get on with some other bands that we really like, and hopefully do a headliner soon. Our album’s coming out February 1st and we’re really, really excited about what’s going to happen with that. So basically just, gaining a fan-base and reaching out to more people is the main goal. One day playing arenas you know, all that cool stuff!

The album was actually one of my next questions! I know it’s “A Conversation Between Us,” what are the main points you’re hoping to say with that album?

Okay, that album is a bit of a big concept for me. I like concept albums, I prefer them more than anything else. I like everything to have a meaning and to make sense and tie together. A Conversation Between Us, when I wrote the album, I felt like it was something that was very personal to me and I felt like it was having a conversation between me and our audience. It was very important to me that I titled it appropriately. The concept behind it is actually like the human condition, which is pretty much just everything that makes up who we are as people and why we do things that we do. I have a keen interest in philosophy and people in general. Small Talks has always been about people and I love writing about other people. I don’t like writing about myself but I like the people I meet. So it’s just about people.

That was probably one of my favorite things I noticed when I was stalking you guys, was how philosophical everything was and how heart felt it all seemed. With that, what is one thing that you would want to say to your younger self?

It’s gonna be okay. I would overthink all the time, I still do, but younger me thought that nothing would ever work out the way it did, but I was so ambitious. I’m still ambitious, I’m a very ambitious person. So I’ve always had outlandish goals, but I just wish I could go back and tell myself that “Hey, they things you’re struggling with now, are things that you are going to take to the top with you later.” I learned that everything that I hate about myself, or that I was ever bullied for, or that I ever had to deal with roadblocks for are the things now that as an adult people admire the most about me and have pushed myself and my band to where we are. I don’t know, I wish I could just tell myself like, “Be you. You’re doing okay. You’re going to be fine.”

I love that. That’s a good one. Then getting to your music again, you just released Nicotine and Tangerines. I have been listening to it, just trying to figure out exactly what it means. Like, really trying to get in depth in it. In one of your tweets you said it was your favorite, so just talk about that. What does it mean to you?

Nicotine and Tangerines to me, which this is very rare. Usually I try to keep things secret because I want people to take it however they please, but I’m going to tell you this time because I really feel like it. We wrote the music first so I didn’t have actual lyrics for this when it was written. We just wrote it from a vibe I was feeling. Me and my cowrite, Eli, so it’s just me and this other guy who write together. When I was listening to it, it gave me the vibe of an indie movie. One of those ones that these teenagers run away or something, just go on an adventure, and my favorite thing when I write is to look at ordinary things and think about how interesting it would be if it was like “this.”

So I made up this whole summer story of running around and being crazy to fit an indie movie, and some of the verses, like specific lines show that. I wrote a line that was like, “You’re just here for the show.” That’s kind of a reference to some of the surface level stuff that we deal with. Like people don’t really get to know me, they just know the band, and like you’re just here for the entertainment. You don’t really care about me. It’s a tough one.

 

That so awesome, I’m so happy you shared that. And just one more question. We work a lot with music and mental health. Just how that affects someone’s mental health, how it can help them. How would you say music has helped you personally, mental health wise?

Oh my God. I hate to say this, because I think it’s discouraging, but without music I absolutely 100% don’t believe I would still be here for sure. Basically, I think a lot of people who deal with things like depression, it’s very isolating, and it can put you in a spot where you sort of lack identity. A lot of people take that sadness and make it their identity, like they make it who they are. They’re like, “I am nothing more than this illness I am dealing with.” Luckily, I found music, and it became an outlet for everything I deal with and anxiety and things like that. It being that outlet gave me a bit of an identity and put me more in touch with myself, which is something I think is really important.

Also, that’s another thing about the album. I want to encourage introspection in other people. Introspection is basically just being in touch with who you are and knowing yourself, because so many people push their external opinions and they look for external validation. They look for other people to tell them what they need and what they want but it’s like, no. You know what you want, you just have to love yourself and be in tune with yourself. Music gave that to me because I know music is what made me feel like I was alive, and it made me happy, and it helped me fight depression, and it helped me find an identity. Yeah, without music I would feel like I wasn’t even a person.

 

I ended this interview with both of us saying we were happy I stalked Small Talks a bit to see the deeper side of the music. After this freezing cold interview, I was almost ran over with one of those little moving dollies while I was just trying to get back to the crowd. It was entertaining for sure, but also just showed me just how close and genuine those a part of this tour was. This show was one of my favorites of the year, and hearing more from Cayley Spivey really made it stand above. I will be listening to Nicotine and Tangerines on repeat until February 1st when A Conversation Between Us comes out. Trust me, you should be too.

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Small Talks| Photography & Interview courtesy of Lexi Rodriguez

Be sure to check out Hope Through Headphones as well.

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Patent Pending Interview 2018

Chyenne & Joe sat down to talk about what’s coming next for the band, favorite venues they love to play, somewhere they dream to play and more.

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