Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Romeo Santos: Formula Volume 2 Release

Today, King of Bachata Romeo Santos releases his second solo album, Formula Volume 2.  The star has proven resilient, breaking boundaries in the world of bachata since his early days in the group, Aventura.  Now, with significant time and experience under his belt, he has been able to work with the likes of Marc Anthony, Drake, Nicki Manaj, and Carlos Santana, among others.  However, while blessed with extreme fame and millions of adoring fans worldwide he admits, “I am a man of few words when I am talking, I express myself better in my songs.  I get a little shy and nervous for these things, but obviously I have to speak.” 

Romeo Santos’ trajectory is lengthy, and in his early 30s he is already considered an icon in his genre, however Romeo considers his songwriting abilities to be what makes him the huge star that he is.  “Everything that I compose has to have credibility and I want people to believe what I’m writing,” he says as he describes his evolution as a composer. 

“In this particular album, I am writing about stuff that I’ve never written before.  I have a song No Tiene La Culpa and it tells the story of a guy who is homosexual and he feels trapped in the wrong body,” he notes.  Romeo, who is widely known for his private nature and separation of his personal and business life says that many may be shocked to hear a single entitled Si Yo Muero on this album, saying, “its probably the most personal song I have written.  This song does have to do with me, with Romeo, with Anthony.  With this song I talk about everything.”

Having changed the genre of bachata since the day he stepped foot onto the scene, it was interesting to note his advice to rising stars within the music industry.  “My advice for anyone who wants to make it in this music business? Above anything, perseverance, that is really important.  A lot of people said, ‘you’re not making it’…and I’m here.  Originality, that’s very important.  People don’t like copies—you can survive, but you will never be one of the greatest.”

Formula Volume 2 comes with more surprises than just the acts featured on the album.  Romeo Santos also announced that he will be performing at Yankee Stadium on July 12th and some are already expecting it to sell out, “I never visualized myself singing in the stadium and to be able to have this privilege, to be the first Latino artist to achieve this, I think is a huge responsibility.”  Romeo expressed pride, nervousness and excitement when describing his feelings concerning the concert at Yankee Stadium, “to me it is a huge honor to be Latino and to represent all of you and I thank God first, my fans and you guys [media outlets] who are always here with me in all of my events and all of my situations—good  and bad it is truly an honor.” 

Connect with Romeo Santos:
Facebook: RomeoSantos
Instagram: @RomeoSantos


Monday, February 17, 2014

Shiah Luna: Music, Love, and Inspiration


"It started as a dream," says singer songwriter Shiah Luna.  In the midst of her everyday life, the young and vibrant artist has made it her mission to spread the passion she has for music in a unique, way.  Shiah Luna, who has been writing for the majority of her life, says that her passion for music lies in her ability to spread love by bringing her work to others.

Shiah's music is unlike what we may hear on the radio today; her unique lyrical style and combination of pop, rock, and soul are a blend that is not easy to come by.  "[My music] comes from a place of different experiences that I have had, or issues of wanting to break through and open the next page in my life," the singer explains.  However, Shiah's music has one overlying message: "Love; that is truly...what I am about. Love and equality, and us all bringing the best out of each other is what I stand for."  

Her message is heard in her songs, and present in her recent trips to places like Uganda and Haiti where she brought her music to orphaned and abandoned children; something she pinpoints and her greatest accomplishment thus far.  "Bringing love and music out to Uganda was such an experience I can't even describe it," she gushes "it was amazing knowing that just a song could change their lives, or a song could make them feel great, and know they are loved by someone so far away."  Shiah even points out the universal nature of music, explaining that while many of the children did not know English, there still was an exchange of love through the music, "that was amazing," she says. 

On Shiah's Soundcloud account, you can find a compilation of her music that has been a part of her Music Monday releases.  While she is fond of each and every one of the songs featured on her Soundcould account, Shiah admits that her favorite (for the moment) is "Chasing", a song that says, "love can fill your heart with gold, the rich is in you."  She describes "Chasing" as the song, "where I really found my sound and where I see myself going [musically.]" However, she admits that since everything she has written is so different it is hard to point to one as her very favorite of them all; they are each special to her. 

Shiah's message is direct, and with her determination and focus there is no doubt in her ability to spread her message of love and passion not only to those around her but also to people around the globe.  She left me with one piece of advice to share with not only music lovers, but with all people in this world:  "Be present in the moment, and just stop for people.  Just love each other.  We should be inspired by each other in this life and have a collaborative spirit and do more together.  I think we can all go far in our passions." 

Be sure to check out Shiah's music and spread the love, through what you do the same way she does with her music. 

Connect with Shiah Luna
Facebook: ShiahLuna
Twitter: @ShiahLuna
Instagram:  @ShiahLuna
YouTube: Shiah Luna

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

*NEWS* J'Sun "Pull Me Down"

With the waited arrival of his EP "Maze", singer/songwriter J'Sun has just released his latest single, "Pull Me Down".  Check out this quick Q&A I had with the artist about the single release as well as his EP "Maze" which is on the way.  

Q: Describe the storyline behind the song "Pull Me Down" in your own words.

A: "The song was penned by myself and song writing duo "The PenUpGirls" (Natalie and Fendi), Produced by Ant Maestro, and co produced by myself. The story behind "Pull Me Down" is a love situation where one person's head is just up in the clouds and not paying attention to everything going on in the relationship. At a point, the other half wants to end everything and leave it all alone and it brings the story teller to a realization that they need that person to help pull them down from the clouds they are living in, but it’s to late."

Q: I know this is a part of your EP which was funded via Kickstarter.  What can the Limerz expect from the final project?
A: "I think they can expect the unexpected from me. I think from doing covers many people expect my original work to be just like the songs I have covered. “Maze” is going to be a maze. I’m meshing many different inspirations I’ve gotten and putting them all together to create the sound I want. Thanks to my team PenUpGirls and Ant Maestro, it’s going to be a fun and honest project. I can’t wait."

With the song released yesterday, and a performance at Joe's Pub I'm sure he won't soon forget, J'Sun has a lot more in store for his fans.  Be sure to purchase "Pull Me Down" on iTunes and stay tuned for his EP "Maze"!!

Download "Pull Me Down" on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pull-me-down-single/id807923894

Monday, February 10, 2014

PEP: 50's Pop with a Modern Twist

PEP—a 6 piece band set out to put a unique flare on 50’s pop music.  Tomorrow, the band will release their debut record "My Baby and Me" which you can download by visiting their website, www.pepisaband.com.  After talking to lead singer Karys, I’m pretty convinced that everyone is going to want to get their hands on this interesting blend of sounds.  “PEP…is paying its respects to an era that has pretty much disappeared.  The Doo-Wop Era was such a momentous atmosphere and a lot of the genuine, raw vocal harmonies and musicianship has been lost.  We’re trying to recover that and pay homage to that era while at the same time putting our own modern spin on it,” explains Karys.

50’s pop music may sound completely out of the norm for someone to be pursuing in 2014, and it is, however it is this rare approach that separates PEP from other artists.  So, why 50s pop?  Karys was swift and confident in her response, “What I think what is great about the 50s, [is that] even the ways in which it was recorded and the warm sounds you get from those vintage records—more than all of that, I think what defines the du-op genre is the vocal harmonies.”  She notes also, that her urge to write in this style was naturally inspired by her love of the era.

Currently, the group’s single and a video, “Stephen”, is one of the ways in which they have introduced the world to their music.  “Stephen” tells of “a wayward lover” as Karys so gracefully describes.  The song’s lyrics, which many can relate to, go on to tell the story of a lover wanting her partner to wait for her while she is gone—that lover being Stephen, of course.  Unfortunately, the situation does not turn out as planned.  Karys admits that the video concept is something that she had wanted to do for a while.  “I watched a lot of videotape to live performances by doo-wop groups in the late 50s and 60s.” They are such an incredible blend of tackiness and sincerity…yet when you are watching these videos you feel such a genuine feeling of warmth and that you can relate,” this is something that she wanted to recreate. 

With the record being released tomorrow, I had to ask: what exactly the fans can be expecting from this production, “What you can expect is pretty standard doo-wop-y songs.  They’re not as edgy as some of our newer stuff, they are very easy to digest and have some modern qualities to it, but pretty much they are going to throw you into the past a little bit.” Karys promises that the combination of people that are in the band brings a nice touch to all of their music.  Each and every one of them put their own influences into the songs, which allows them to come together so pleasantly that it’s heard to turn away.   

Karys’ message to the world is simple.  “If people are excited, or they see something redeeming in [the music], I would really just want people to get in touch and let us know.  If anyone reads the interview and they’re compelled to check out the music and they like it then don’t hesitate to let us know because that’s what keeps us going.”

Bandcamp Profile: http://pepmusic.bandcamp.com