Hello Alex, welcome to HONK Magazine! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, First of all thank you so much for the feature! I am Alex Alexander a Swedish artist with 26 singles out and now my brand new EP Helpless. I’m from a small village in the south of Sweden. I started with music at 12 years old playing guitar and at 19 years old I toured for 2 years in Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, China). And the last couple of years I have been traveling a lot working in studios as a songwriter and producer around the world.
How is the music scene in Sweden different than the US? What made you move to LA?
The Swedish music scene is really cool. There are so many talented singers, instrumentalists and producers in Sweden and it’s overall very easy to work with people. I really like the LA market because of the work ethic. People are working 24/7 and the hustle is really on another level. My move to LA has been planned for the past 2 years, but as any European may know its really tough to get a valid Visa for the United States. I got really lucky this year since my Artist Visa got approved right before the pandemic, So now I am just waiting until things get better so I can go back.
You have just dropped an outstanding EP Helpless – what did inspire you to create it?
Yes, I am so proud and happy about this EP. The inspiration comes from my life you know so we never had any preset subject to write about. Me and Johan just went in and wrote about what we felt at that moment.
Helpless is your debut EP, but you released a bunch of projects before that. Why did you wait so long with publishing a collection?
Yes, as you may know, the release schedule is so different nowadays and it’s very focused on singles. Especially if you’re an indie artist like me and you’re building up your career and fan base! We wanted to make sure that my first bigger project was really thought through in terms of sound, style and the look of the artwork. I could have squeezed even more songs but it just felt like this Tracklist was perfect and it came together very organically.
Johan Randén produced and wrote the whole EP with you, how did the work look like? How was your chemistry during creating Helpless?
First of all, Johan is one of the most talented musicians, producers I ever worked with! His talents really are mind-blowing on the guitar! Me and Johan have a very organized and structured way of doing songs now, I think that’s what happens after your 40th song haha! We wrote and produced all these separate EP songs in literally 1-2 days from nothing to full production with vocals. I’m not gonna lie there was quite a lot of red wine involved :). But at this moment we almost always come out with a full song after our 1-day sessions.
What’s your favorite track on Helpless? Why?
I really like “Helpless” & “Lyin’ Eyes” because they blend in a lot of the Latin flavor that I am a very big fan of! I pretty much grew up playing Santana songs and a lot of flamenco, Spanish guitar so I think these influences are deeply rooted in me!
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects? Are you planning any collaborations, or maybe releasing music videos?
At this moment we are looking to push this EP to its full potential over the summer! I might do a music video for either “Helpless” or “Lyin’ Eyes” under the summer. I have a couple of singles that are ready as follow up singles. I was thinking of different features that we are already trying to lock in but we are also thinking of saving a lot of songs to work towards an album by early next year!
Anything you would like to add?
I would just like to personally thank all my fans for the support and kind comments about the EP! I also want to encourage all of you out there to stay positive and keep working forward. I know these are some very hard times, but together as a world, we can get through it!
Joelle Charan’s “Forgive Me,” a Soulful Orchestra of Redemption
Joelle Charan’s latest creation, “Forgive Me,” is a soul-jazz masterpiece that transcends boundaries, weaving together a tapestry of modern soul and Jazz orchestral horns with enchanting musical influences that are deeply emotional. This single is a heartfelt reflection of a daughter’s yearning for forgiveness. The result is a symphonic fairytale that tugs at your heartstrings, combining modern pop with the timeless elegance of orchestral and Indian instrumentation.
Drawing from the depths of her mixed heritage and spiritual beliefs, Joelle Charan pours her heart and soul into this track. The song’s genesis in the aftermath of a poignant argument, set against the backdrop of New York City, adds a layer of raw authenticity to its lyrics. The smooth-jazz verses are a soothing balm, while the choruses’ layered vocal and instrumental harmonies evoke a sense of catharsis.
Joelle’s smooth-jazz verses effortlessly lead you into a world of introspection, while the choruses, adorned with intricate vocal and instrumental harmonies, take you on an experimental odyssey. The outro, embraced by French horns, adds a touch of old-world charm to the modern Manhattan backdrop that inspired this composition.
Influenced by the likes of Laura Mvula, Norah Jones, and Alicia Keys, Joelle Charan’s vocal prowess shines brightly. Her ability to blend soulful vocals with jazz-infused melodies is captivating. “Forgive Me” is not just a song; it’s a journey through the depths of emotion, a musical experience that will resonate deeply with anyone who has felt the weight of regret and the need for absolution.
As Joelle Charan returns to the U.K. and Europe for live performances, “Forgive Me” is bound to stand out in her repertoire, a testament to her musical talent and artistic growth. It’s a must-listen for those who appreciate the exquisite fusion of captivating rhythms and emotive storytelling. Joelle Charan’s “Forgive Me” song is a soulful track that offers healing and elevates the soul. It’s a great addition to any jazz or soul playlist, inspired by Charan’s musical journey from Amsterdam. Truly an artist to watch!
CLICK HERE TO STREAM Joelle Charan’s “Forgive Me“ on Spotify.
Industry Veteran and Legend – Aria – Teams Up With Renowned World Artists For Rhythmic Single Smile
Mariano Schiavolini, aka “Aria“, is a leading representative of international world music, and collaborates with other major artists in the genre such as the Soweto Gospel Choir, Peter Gabriel, and the group of Miriam Makeba. Now, recruits a tour de force of global talent for his latest single Smile. Released August 14th of this year, the infectious single is characterised by its strong rhythms, global influences, and masterfully intricate composition.
Smile’s driving force is its undeniable rhythm influenced strongly by South and Central American musical styles, namely rumba and cha cha. However, jazz and RnB influences elevate the song with its positive vocals and message, and instrumentation such as that of American bassist Joseph Patrick, bassist for Steward Copeland of the Police.
Smile’s arrangement is in a way a testament to Aria’s decades spanning legacy in the music industry. With over 120 tracks making up the song (with most contemporary songs only reaching 50), Smile was recorded with older analogue set-ups that retain the individual frequencies of each instrument with more fidelity than their modern counterparts at this complex layering. In doing so, it demonstrates the mastery that comes with having been in the industry for so long now, such is the case with Aria.
The single and its accompanying music video continue in Aria’s trend of global collaboration. As viewers will see, the video brings together the smiles of those from all backgrounds, who interpret the dance of Smile with spontaneous and unique gestures. Behind the scenes, English author Nicolette Turner penned the lyrics which were sung by vocalist Ariel Jones, who also interpreted the song in Portuguese after contributing the lyrics in her native tongue. Smile’s Portuguese version is to be released in the South American market.
Prior to Smile, Aria’s successes have included charting in his native Italy and abroad, rotation on BBC Radio, millions of streams and views on his songs and videos, and charitable drives to help causes close to the artist’s heart. These causes include defending human rights, saving near extinct animals, and fighting apartheid, to name a few.
Smile is a song of universal brotherhood that hopes to bring people of all walks and creeds together through dance. The single is available across all platforms now.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/smile-single/1700688680
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/aria/1618070725