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Interview

Exclusive Interview With Pop Rock Artist Jay Elle

2021-22 has been the year of the Jay…Jay Elle, that is!  In August, Jay released his hot new record, “Ride The Wave,” which includes two international iTunes hits, “Miss Mess” and “Tequila Kiss.”  He’s not sitting back to enjoy success…noooooo!  He’s got more planned for the rest of the year, and we found out what’s coming up for the man with 2 letters in his name… Jay Elle.

Hi Jay!  Thanks for sitting down with us for a few minutes.  With the release of your album, “Ride The Wave,” you’ve had quite an eventful late 2021-22.  What’s been the biggest thing that’s happened for you, so far?

Hello. Thank you for the opportunity to chat. I love how Honk Magazine brings in music, fashion and lifestyle under one banner. Great read.

The release of my new album “Ride The Wave” has been a blast! It started with the response from my friends and fans. They are always very supportive but they were particularly excited about this album and it’s been very humbling.

We also received a lot of excellent reviews. We’re in just about 40 magazines/blogs, including getting an album of the year nomination from Indie Shark. All of these reviews have been positive.

We are on over 100 radio stations across the U.S. That is terrestrial. At some point we made it to the top 100 of the College chart and on other various charts. I have not tallied the Internet stations but we still get added on these as well.

Also, the album was selected for the 2022 Grammy Nomination Ballot for the Best Pop Vocal Album category.

The biggest thing is hard to pinpoint. Every little bit of support means the world to me. I read every reviews a few times. I dissect them really. I enjoy the radio and blog interviews. It’s quite wonderful to have the opportunity to talk about the album. It’s been a great experience. Much of the credit goes to Michael Stover at MTS Management for letting the world know about the album. Michael does an amazing job.

There’s a great song on your album called, “Tequila Kiss.”  We heard the song is about someone in particular.  Care to share?  How did you come to write the song?  Do you know if that person has heard it yet?

Yes. “Tequila Kiss” is getting a lot of great feedback and made it to number 19 on the Top40 Chart from nationalradiohits.com. “Tequila Kiss” is about the star of The Vampire Diaries TV Series, Nina Dobrev @nina. I spent a great deal of time binging on TV shows during the lock down. I loved the show and I thought Ms. Dobrev was really, really good, playing two characters to perfection. Ms. Dobrev has a lot of energy and is very emotional. Always very precise and totally engaging. Then I followed her on Instagram. She does things that I would never do, like swimming with sharks and jumping off airplanes. She travels a lot. She’s definitely a daredevil. So I found myself living vicariously through her posts. She supports great causes and loves animals. And I read that Tequila is her favorite drink. So, it inspired a song. A fun, tongue-in-cheek appreciation for Ms. Dobrev’s ability to entertain us. This fan/follower imagines getting to meet her… I don’t know if Ms. Dobrev has heard the song yet. We did ask her agents if she would be available to appear in the video. They said that “there is availability and we should discuss the fee”. Nothing since. That was in October. Who knows…

You’ve worked with some pretty incredible artists and producers.  If there was one industry person that you have learned the most from, from your time together, who would that be and why?

I am so grateful that I have been able to work with so many talented artists and music industry folks. I learned and continue to learn so much from each and every one of them. I wrote with Margaret Dorn, John Dubs, Warren Schatz, etc. I learned a tremendous amount from Bill Aucoin and other business people.

My most recent and intense learning experience is the time I spent working with Caleb “kbc” Sherman who produced my last album “Ride The Wave.” Caleb is really brilliant. I had written 30 songs at the beginning of 2021 and he chose 12 of them and orchestrated and produced them marvelously. To this day I listen to the album and appreciate the amazing work Caleb did. I always seem to find something new in each of the songs. You have to listen to the details, the finesse, the cleverness of the orchestrations and the sounds Caleb selected. Everything on the track is there to support the song. It all stems from the lyrics and melody. Listen to the bass lines on every song. 12 different songs. 12 different approaches to the bass, not just in sounds but how it complements the melody and the grooves. Check out the bass line in “Tequila Kiss”. Phenomenal work. It’s really a great record. You would expect me to say that because it’s mine but Caleb did a phenomenal job. He is a brilliant producer.

We love the video for “Miss Mess!” Very cool effects.  What can you tell us about that production?

Thank you. So glad you love it. Actually, it’s another Caleb “kbc” Sherman gem. He directed it. It’s a product of the pandemic for sure. Adela Sutac is the lady dancing in the black dress. She is wonderful. She danced in front of a green screen in Romania. I had very little space to work with in my apartment in New York City. Getting a green sheet up was a trip. When I got that up I filmed myself. We wanted to contrast Adela being “in charge” as per the lyrics with me not moving much at all. Small New York City apartments can actually turn out to be great if you don’t have to move. And Caleb put all of this together in Nashville. Again, it really supports the spirit of the songs and the lyrics. It’s a lot of fun. Not only can Adela dance superbly but she’s also gorgeous.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would it be, and why?

Wow! Great question. That is a tough question. Of course, I could cheat and make myself a CD, compiling my favorite songs but that would mean that I would press a box set really. It would take dozens of CDs to compile my favorite songs.

I would pick Eric Clapton’s “Ocean Boulevard”. I am a guitar player. My songs are guitar driven. “Ocean Boulevard” has amazing songs throughout in various styles with great sounding guitars both electric and acoustic. And I love the feel of it overall.

What’s YOUR personal favorite track from your latest album, and why?

They are all quite wonderful for many reasons. I enjoy them all. My favorite is “Angeling”. I think it really captures what I’m about: great melody, fun singing, witty lyrics and really cool fingerpicking guitar. And Caleb did a magnificent job building it up from beginning till end. The song is about my puppies. They all passed away unfortunately. But pets are little angels.

What’s next for Jay Elle?  Any more singles/videos from the current album?  Any plans for a new album?

All of the above and some… I’d love to do more videos of course. We’ll see how that plays out. Who knows, Ms. Dobrev might send us some clips of her from some picturesque faraway place on the other side of the planet… I still have my green sheet in a drawer so I’ll pull it out for the occasion. I might just sit there with a bottle of Tequila. We’ll let Caleb do the rest.

I am writing of course. But I could not say when a new album might be ready. We are still promoting “Ride The Wave.”

Congrats on all of your success, Jay.  We can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!

Thank you very much. Thanks for the opportunity.

 

Find out more on Jay Elle at www.jayellesongs.com

Interview

Exclusive Interview with Danny Hughes (DCPA)

Please describe to our audience how you came about on the music scene and what is the biggest difference between your first piece of music to your latest! 

I was a musician growing up, and I played a few instruments (piano, guitar, trumpet). In high school I took a music production class and fell in love with the software, electronic production methods, song writing and scripting melodies. Although my passion for music took a back seat in college, I always contemplated what role it would play again in my life once I got settled as an accountant in Dallas TX in 2011. From my high school days through 2015 I watched the electronic music scene grow exponentially in the USA. I was always very much into European dance music early on. Eventually I realized that my favorite style of music and the showcase aspect of DJing went hand in hand and it all made sense. I wasn’t meant to remain a classical musician or play guitar in a band, I’m the type to go mad scientist in the studio and mesh all these different sounds together in a unique way, then bring it to a live audience while also sharing great music from other inspiring artists.

Initially, I was producing progressive house and trance instrumentals. I wasn’t too focused on the commercial aspect and had no idea where to find a vocalist or how that process worked. I outsourced some of the production work to a Netherlands based studio and eventually found a roster of vocalists via that outlet. I learned more about songwriting and producing music around existing vocals, enjoying the collaborative aspect. Over time since my first release in 2016 I’ve gotten a lot more flexible as to my style and making it commercial while keeping its integrity. I can thank the EDM stars who preceded me for acclimating society to electro-pop fusion. Lately I’m incorporating pop, electro-house, nu disco, and punk into my 2023 release plan! I’m aiming for the music to be edgy, catchy, and danceable.

What are you doing to push a positive message as the year comes to an end and there is a new beginning coming up with this new year?

I’m always looking to leave the listener feeling understood and empowered with my music. I want them to relate to it and be part of my ‘soul tribe’. It’s important as an artist to have a positive mission statement. We can be highly influential to people we’ll never meet, and in ways we don’t always see. Apart from the music I share, I only put out content with an insightful message, share my life experiences with a tempered mind, or post something funny/wholesome. Viral negativity is a real scourge these days.

Are there any rituals you have developed over the years that are helpful for any upcoming changes happening? 

I try to add creative value every day whether it’s many hours on one upcoming song or jumping around to many different ones. I keep a normal sleep schedule and get outside regularly; I stay active and eat well to keep a sharp mind and body. Live gigs are big physical and mental battles and aren’t always routine in nature. So being up to date on the latest music while staying organized with older libraries is important in being ready for anything. I check my gear regularly too, the last thing you want is to show up and your stuff doesn’t work as expected.

Could you talk about a success that happened this year that you would attribute to all your hard work?

I’ve been focused on growing my fanbase and traction on streaming platforms. It’s important that those can grow organically and generate ‘true fans’, not just play counts. Based on the relevant data, my Spotify grew 56% and is getting a lot more of that algorithmic traction, so I’m happy my efforts are paying off. Also, I reached the top 5% in Spotify artist rankings this past Fall for several months, and that was a shock! It really gave me perspective on how far I’ve come. Lastly I charted on iTunes House: Poland for ‘Iconic Love’ and iTunes House: United States for ‘Filmatic – Carefully Together (DCPA Remix)’.

Could you talk about an obstacle that you persevered through?

Times of loneliness are inherent to a music career, usually those are counterbalanced with moments of abundant attention from others. Personally, when going toward my music career, I accepted a reduction of income and really challenged my physical self. It’s a different world than my prior desk job but endlessly fulfilling in so many ways! In addition I’ve used music as a way to revisit past experiences and reconcile/transmute leftover and confusing energies. My latest track ‘I Feel It Too‘ is a perfect example of this.

How do you think these experiences have helped you shape your career and approach your music? 

It’s brought back a grittiness to my life; and though I value the time I spent in a corporate environment, I currently appreciate these new opportunities to fly by night and get out in front of new audiences, sharing my passion for music and a side of myself that was mostly hidden for many years. For a long time I was more reserved with my emotional energy but I’ve realized the value of honest and intense expression in life, spreading light through art and intend to fully embody this in my personal relationships as well.

How do you continue to develop your community of fans over the years? 

Being present and available is important. I see fans as being collaborators on a bigger project. To make that collaboration work, I know I need to show up in conversation and in my actions. By responding to others in a genuine way and appreciating everyone’s time and input, you start to feel a larger community forming around you and feel more significant and motivated in your role as an artist.

Thank you for sharing all your music with us! Can you give us any exclusive on more music coming up?

My next song is called ‘Broken Heart’. The chorus line for this electro-pop-punk track is “Someone tell me how to let it go…I don’t wanna feel this anymore.” Look for this track to drop in February or March 2023!

Socials for everything happening NEXT!

 

⇒        Amazon

⇒        Apple Music

⇒        Audius

⇒        Beatport

⇒        Deezer

⇒        Facebook

⇒        FENIX360-iOS/Android App

⇒        Instagram

⇒        Pandora

⇒        Soundcloud

⇒        Songkick

⇒        Spotify

⇒        Tidal

⇒        TikTok

⇒        Twitter

⇒        YouTube

⇒        Website

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Interview

Paige Corwin drops a stunning new single, “Better Than That” [Interview]

Paige Corwin

New York singer-songwriter Paige Corwin shares the pop single “Better Than That,” with a pop sound that grabs the attention of many listeners.

“Better Than That” is a neo-soul, pop-crooner record. It is a heart-wrenching tale of dreamt romantic insecurities that turn into reality.

Paige Corwin had a Conversation with us and answered our unique 8 Questions. Check it out below.

HONK: Let’s start by telling us how it all began. What encouraged you to start playing and making music?

Paige Corwin: I have always written songs and ideas, and once I began networking and meeting the right people, they helped turn my ideas into records that have translated into actual releases. I am grateful to all the people I am lucky enough to have worked with so far and am excited for whatever comes next! From day one, the plan has been to be my own artist.

HONK: Talk me through your creative process when you write new music.

Paige Corwin: My creative process begins with creating a beat with my producer that I feel connected to. Once the rhythm has been established, I write the top line inspired by personal life events. 

HONK: Can you tell us about your new single, “Better Than That”? 

Paige Corwin: “Better Than That” is a neo-soul, pop-crooner record. It is a heart-wrenching tale of dreamt romantic insecurities that turn into reality. Make sure to listen to it to get the full story. 😉 

HONK: What do you like most about being a music artist?

Paige Corwin: I firmly believe that music unites people from all walks of life, no matter their differences, and that, for sure, is a beautiful thing! Playing music is soul-fulfilling, an emotional release, and means of self-expression like no other. Connecting with an audience is the best feeling in the world, and I have met so many incredible people along the way. 

HONK: What projects do you have coming up? Can you give us any info on them?

Paige Corwin: I am working on an EP consisting of six tracks, including the intro. Each record will first be released as a single, followed by a music video!

HONK: Do you have any advice for our readers who may be trying to enter the game of music?

Paige Corwin: Don’t let the long, winding path to success get you down. Stay the course, do not deviate, and believe your hard work will eventually pay off. Putting your blood, sweat, and tears into your work and then not receiving the recognition you feel it deserves is hugely discouraging at times, but do not give it up. It is all part of the journey! 

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

Paige Corwin: I use the calendar on my phone to set reminders which usually avoids scheduling issues, but when I feel overwhelmed, I take hot yoga classes. Yoga calms me down, clears my head, and grounds me again. 

HONK: Name Three things you can’t live without when recording in the studio.

Paige Corwin: Water, tea with honey, white claws : )

Stream Paige Corwin’s “Better Than That” on Spotify. 

Stay connected with Paige Corwin: Instagram | Facebook | Spotify

 

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