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Artist Spotlight

EMBRACING RECOGNITION IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY—Stratøs

Short and sweet interview with Los Angeles’s rising star, Stratøs! He shares his favorite aspects of making music, working with veterans in the game, and more upcoming fresh music.

Let’s start off by introducing yourself, you know the basics like name, age, where you’re from. As much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.

My name is Stratøs, I’ll be 26 this October 1st, and I’m from Ann Arbor Michigan. I currently live in Los Angeles, California.

What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?

That the learning process Is cyclical. I don’t need to (and in fact, can’t) learn a concept perfectly before moving on. I’m supposed to come back to concepts again and again. It can be years before I revisit something I’m practicing. This helped me get over the paralysis of trying to get something “perfect” before moving onto the next thing.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Practice, write, produce, photograph more when I was younger and had more time!

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What is still your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge would probably be just navigating the music industry as a whole. It’s a tough industry that’s currently not equipped to sustain actual musicians, and that’s a struggle every day.

What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?

The music does. No matter how tough things get, the art is still here. I’ll never stop making art because I simply cannot – it is my purpose in life. Taking a step back from your art is something stigmatized, but is perfectly okay, and healthy, and normal. This industry is grueling. It’s important to take a step back sometimes to gain perspective and preserve your sanity. It’s okay to step away for a bit and come back.

Talk me through your creative process.

There’s a lot that goes into my creative process. I’m a saxophonist, composer, producer, and film photographer, and each discipline takes a different set of skills. These days I’m doing a lot more composing because I’m working on my third album. My composition usually involves taking unrelated elements and try to make them relate. My tunes usually have some sort of concept at the core of them that I’m trying to work out.

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How do you currently feel about the state of “Your genre” in general?

The state of “jazz” has always been interesting. Firstly because this style of music isn’t even really called “jazz,” because that was a name originally given to the music intending for it to be derogatory. This music falls under the “Black American Music” umbrella and from its inception it’s always been about progress and pushing boundaries. There’s a lot of amazing “jazz” these days because people from all walks of life and backgrounds are adding to it and making it more and more unique. It’s great!

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

I’d love to open for Flying Lotus some day!

How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?

I keep an organized calendar, and I try to write things down.

What are you focusing your time on now?

As I kinda touched on before, I’m currently working on my third album. I don’t wanna say too much, but I’m using all of the resources and knowledge I’ve learned from all parts of the album making process and putting them into this record. Also, since I just moved to LA, I’m focussing on getting connected in the music scene here and just getting settled down.

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How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on all social media platforms @stratostones, as well as my website www.stratostones.com. I also have a print shop where you can buy prints of my film photographs here: https://stratos.darkroom.tech/. You can buy my first album Planets here: https://stratosmusic.bandcamp.com/album/planets and my second album Hohenheim Suites here: https://stratosmusic.bandcamp.com/album/hohenheim-suites. I’m also on all of the streaming platforms like spotify and apple music, just search “Stratøs.”

Artist Spotlight

Morojele Music Debuts New Artist Lil Kizzle

Lil Kizzle

Canadian music label Morole Music Group has officially announced the debut of the freshest hip hop artist to grace their roster, 16-year-old Lil Kizzle. With the considerable amount of talent pouring out of Toronto, Lil Kizzle has come an incredibly long way for someone who is surprisingly still a teenager. The animated and perfectly seasoned artist is undoubtedly one to watch.

Though he has never attended a concert or stepped foot on a professional stage, the lugubrious artist is currently readying to join the label on its 2022 “Proceed With Caution” Canada-wide tour this fall alongside four other artists on the MMG label.

The label launched the artist with the release of the new single “Don’t Step”. In the video, viewers can take in Lil Kizzle’s infectious flow over an unshakable gritty, underground production.

Watch “Don’t Step” down below.

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Artist Spotlight

Los Angeles Producer Kosie Is Taking Over The Game

Buzzing producer Kosie is taking over the game one placement at a time. His skill has been carefully crafted over the years, leading him to work with some of the hottest acts in the game. With accolades and recognition growing daily, Kosie is mushrooming in his moment.

If you aren’t familiar with Kosie, let me just give you a hint on what not to expect. ”His just another producer”. Wrong!! his not just any producer, he is the producer and he’s here to prove that by overtaken the spotlight. I had a chance to talk to Kosie and set up a Q&A interview. Check out the interview below and let us know what you think!

Let’s start off by introducing yourself, you know the basics like name, age, where you’re from. As much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.

My name is Alekos Syropoulos but some people call me Kosie. It’s been an old nickname that turned into my producer name. I’m 31 years old and I’m from Philadelphia via Miami, FL. But I’m currently based at Los Angeles.

What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?

One song will not define you. Most artists are so concerned with being labeled as something they don’t relate to or a genre that maybe isn’t their most preferred. Nowadays, the more songs you put out, the more likely people will come to relate to your vibe or message over time. Make something, put it out, and don’t hold onto it.

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What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Learning through the experiences and mistakes is what builds character and will power.

What is still your biggest challenge?

Having said what I said about putting a song out without holding on to it, it still is the hardest thing for me to do! I’ve tried for years to be less judgmental of myself and accept where I’m at in the process. This all comes with time and positive experiences with those in your community! Be honest with yourself, develop solid relationships, and you can move past the self-judgment and mental roadblocks.

What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?

Knowing that being creative is what brings me the most happiness and sense of purpose in my life. Even if I’m not making as much money in a particular project or let’s say a pandemic hits again, I try to cling on to what I know most about myself. Creative freedom keeps me ticking.


If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

I’d love to open for Kaytranada. His music has been very influential to me and I’d love to make the connection.

How do you currently feel about the state of “Your genre” in general?

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I don’t necessarily feel that I always fall into one genre but I do like where music has been in this past decade. Soul, r&b, hip-hop, jazz, and electronic music are all relatively in a cool place. I’m not always up to date on everything that comes out so that I’m not always comparing my music to a standard. Overall though, the 2010’s have been solid!

What are you focusing your time on now?

I’m focusing my time on making my own music, producing for other artists, traveling, and being outside.

 Talk me through your creative process.

Creating songs of my own versus songs for third parties vary in method, but there are many similarities in the process! Typically, when I create my own music, I write chords and melodies at the piano first. In this beginning stage I try to find core inspiration for a song through a particular sound or feeling that defines the identity/vibe/energy. I’ve always loved the use of synthesizers and vintage keyboards so finding a way to create a dark, bright, or a color in between helps unify the theme at hand. If I’m not starting with this direction, I’m building a song based off a groove or tempo that I connect with the most. I always try to listen to what I personally love most and not let mainstream standards dictate my creative templates. Creating for others obviously requires more attention to the artist and the vibe they want to create so that’s another ball game. As the process unfolds, I pay more attention to the arrangement and production as a whole, which is very exciting. Not following one particular song form formula is usually the best way to retain creative freedom and an open mind. This helps productivity when many songs are to be completed!

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How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?

Crystal clear communication, positive reinforcement, consciously setting up warm vibes, and having fun!  As silly as this sounds, the most productive sessions and projects I’ve had with artists/musicians have all stemmed from goofing around and making decisive moves ahead of time. The less the artist feels that the project is a serious, high pressure situation, the more likely they’re able to deliver something that feels most organic and true to themselves. Talking through the details and common goals beforehand keeps the process professional and people relaxed. This may not always relate to the content of the music specifically, but for the expectations for sessions, workflow, and references in common.

How can our readers follow you online?

My artist name is Kosie! My personal music is on streaming platforms under that name. Much of my sideman work is under my real name “Alekos Syropoulos.” On Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, my handle is @kosiemagee. Cheers!

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