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Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview: Rising Artist Luay

Hello Luay, Thanks for coming to Honk Magazine to talk about your career.

Tell us a little more about when you first got into music?

I first got into music real young, at about 5 years old. My parents put me in piano classes, and we had this box of music toys in our home, filled with shakers, flutes, drumsticks, etc. Me and my little brother would just create our own little impromptu songs with that. And from there, it progressed, I kept doing my thing, dropped the piano classes at some point, and switched them for songwriting, which I did over Youtube beats in the beginning. I then picked up FL Studio, a Digital Audio Workstation that I started making instrumentals on. It all came together—I haven’t stopped since.

If you could describe your sound/style in one word, what would it be and why?

Purple. Most songs have colors when I listen to them: some are warmer, more on the orange/red/yellow spectrum whilst more stripped down, dark records may sound blue/black/green, you get the point. My music as a whole is purple, not necessarily warm or cold but somewhere in the middle of things. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t really fit into any boxes, not in terms of genre, mood, lyrics, I try to venture everywhere, in hopes of blending everything I see into my purple music-melting pot.

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What would you say to any aspiring recording artists who look up to your work?

First of all, thank you. That’s surprising. As I still have a long way to go on my own journey, the only piece of “advice” I could really give you is this: hear advice, but don’t formulate your life around it. As a young artist, I would try to regulate my musical output to the things I saw my favorite musicians talking about. I would hear someone say to “always express your true emotions”, so I would try to force that out of myself, someone else would say “it shouldn’t feel like work” and so I’d take that super literally-

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When it’s really just about having fun with it. Whatever feels good in the moment, be it thoughtful, or stupid, productive or unproductive, whatever, do that. Although I guess that is a form of advice, isn’t it?

What quote or mantra do you live by?

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My favorite quote is one about the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho. In an interview, his coach simply said “He spent a lot of time with the ball.” This was a perfectly simple explanation of the player’s greatness. Just spending time with something, will make you great at it.

What is your hobby outside of music?

Outside of music, I love writing. These two passions are pretty much interlinked, since I write poetry for my music. I’ve been into reading from a very young age, I used to inhale books as a child, stuff like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, I was in love with. That habit stuck around.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

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To be honest, in 5 years I want to be a big name in the industry. I want to have dropped my first album by then, which I’ve been writing since I was 16, and I want it to be a game-changer. After dropping that, I’d probably take a hiatus to find some space for my second album. In 5 years, at 23 years old, you’d probably find me in a little run-down apartment on the Upper West Side in New York, trying to figure things out. Hah.

Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?

Absolutely, my plan is to drop a single every 2 weeks from now on. So regular releases should be expected, including a mixtape you might want to keep your eyes peeled for…

What is the inspiration behind your latest song?

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The inspiration behind my latest song “Janan” was an unrequited love. It’s about the expectations I had of it prior to it ending. It’s kind of like an in-between song—on this one, you hear me in pursuit, if that makes sense. It’s a fairly romantic track I’d say, very wavy.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

5 things I wish someone told me when I first started…

1: Put in the hours. Back in the day, I didn’t understand that the concept of working hard applied to the creative arts too, when, in reality, work is at the center of every great artist. Simply putting in the time, like Ronaldinho with the ball, is crucial.

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2: Don’t spend too much time overthinking it. I remember working on my song “Mixed Signals” for around two months. Non stop. Changing the tiniest of harmonies, re-recording the slightest mistakes. Perfectionism at it’s finest. While this turned the song into a great product, I’m quite sure the second month didn’t really make a difference. In addition, I wasn’t even happy with it when I put it out. Now I listen back and it sounds perfect.

3: Reach out. This is a big one. I never knew that it is key as an artist to actively get in contact with the music industry. I used to think that just putting out music would somehow magically get me in contact with the right people, even though a big part of it is really just writing emails in bulk, submitting your music to blogs, and getting in contact with artists you mess with. The internet is a valuable platform: use it.

4: Be consistent. As an artist, consistent output really is key. Just drop regularly. This ties into the don’t overthink thing from before—getting your work out there is so important. I know so many artists that are inside, working on music all day, with the idea that they have to “hone” their sound to perfection before releasing anything. In reality, putting stuff out, getting reviews for it, getting in contact with the industry, etc. is what makes you better at what you do. Don’t wait around forever, saying how crazy it’ll be when you finally drop. Just do it.

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5: Don’t get lost in the idea of inspiration. This is the most important one for me. I touched on this before, but it really is absolutely necessary that you don’t get caught up in the idea of “inspiration” having to be anything specific. In fact, forget the term completely. Songs don’t need a motive. If it feels good in any way, do it. Don’t think about needing a message, don’t think about needing to make it sound a certain way (unless those are things that you want to do). However you’re flowing with it, is how it should be.

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Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

In order to not burn out, I believe you have to limit the noise around you. Leave some space for yourself to breathe. Be bored. Do nothing for a day. And see what comes of it. In addition, maintaining the passion behind your music through talking about things you really want to talk about has always been crucial to me.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can follow me under @aywaluay on all major social platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, the like. You can find my music on Apple Music and Spotify simply under “Luay”, although you might have to type a song name (“Janan”) to find me. Give my stuff a listen, if you want, and hit me up with some constructive criticism 🙂

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Linda Carter is the founder of PlexFeed and the official Interviewer of Honk Magazine. She shares stories of inspiring entrepreneurs from all around the world and tips to create a better life & business.

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Artist Spotlight

Rising rapper JNOVA releases a new single “Feeling Right”

“Feeling Right”

JNOVA’s latest release is very upbeat and lyrical with also extreme replay value because of the hook. The track “Feeling Right” is an exciting comparison between a man’s relationship with music as if it was his girlfriend or wife.  JNOVA “Feeling Right” is everything his fans love from him and a great entry point for new fans to marvel at his work. He shows no signs of letting up and keeps getting better with time with the growth in his pen shining through majorly to let the world know he will be around for time to come, for the world to be fans of this must-hear artist.

Listen to JNOVA – “Feeling Right”

What do you think about this song? Drop a comment below…

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Sam Kays Releases a New Single and Music Video for “MIRROR”

Sam Kays brings a Hip Hop fused style together to make amazing music in his new song “MIRROR” from his latest album called “BLUE MOON”. He brings an ultra-smooth tone to his vocals, that lets you feel the soul in the chorus that feels good to hear and then changes direction masterfully in the verses with great rapping to make him the total package. For this special style, he brings it all to life over a great product that has a nice throwback feel to it to give you something familiar yet oh so fresh on this must-hear record.

Sam Kays’s “MIRROR” is a smash of a record that connects in the music and a strong statement for this star that puts his full vision on display for the world to enjoy without limits. The artistry shines to the fullest, with a true master class of musicianship delivered to the fullest, and also brings that appeal to the approach to make sure it’s a song that touches the world.

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Listen to Sam Kays – “MIRROR”

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Album:

What do you think about this song? Drop a comment below…

 

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