Friday, July 27, 2012

Skype Interview with Indie Rapper Playdough

TheSIBandGuy has a chat with indie rapper Playdough, over Skype. This is his second interview with him, read the first one below.

Check out some of his music videos below!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Interview with Acoustic Rocker Joe Taylor by Paul Marino

Where did you get your start in the music industry?
Well, I got my start in Toronto where I attended Humber College to study vocal jazz. This helped launch my career in Canada. My music career didn't really start to kick into full gear until I made the move to NYC a few years later.

Did you plan on being a solo act from the beginning?
I actually started out in a band, the James Band, and was with them for about nine years. We were touring all over the Greater Toronto Area in Southern Ontario. I realized that to get to the next level, I had to do music on my own. It was a very difficult decision at the time to break from the band.

Where did your ideas and inspirations come from for the recording of 'Anything's Possible?'
My ideas come from life experiences. From day one it has been a struggle for me in the business. I started thinking about if a guy from the western suburbs of Toronto can move to NYC to pursue his music career, play in every dive in the U.S. and end up working with a Grammy winning producer in Los Angeles, then anything is possible.

Has your single "Around the World" fared as well as you hoped?
The song has done very well in helping me reach a new audience, however, until it's the top selling single in the world it has not reached my expectations. 

Any plans for your music after the summer?
Yes, I'm always writing new music. I am looking forward to going on tour to promote and support our current CD, Anything's Possible.

You've been dubbed the "Subway Idol" by the New York Times, what was your reaction to this title ?
I was very surprised to be called the Subway Idol by the Times! Of course, I was happy about it, however, my main goal is to make great music that I enjoy so whatever successful titles come from this is a bonus.

Do you prefer sitting down and recording in a studio or do you enjoy the experience of a live performance?
Honestly, I love both, but there is nothing more fun than performing in front of a live audience! The energy you get and the rush is amazing! On cloud nine! 

I have always been a big Beatles fan and it's the work that they did that gives me the direction in the studio. John Lennon always loved the raw, stripped-down live sound which you would get in front of a live audience - dry separation of sounds and lots of space. Paul McCartney on the other hand loved lots of production in the studio with lots of instrumentation and heavy mixing.

I love performing live and studio work equally.

If you were able to write a soundtrack for any movie, whether it's been released or not, which movie would you choose?
The next James Bond movie. Love James Bond...classic.

The quiet country life or the fast paced living of the city?
I love the country however NYC is my home. I need the hustle and the bustle. Make me feel alive and the energy of the city inspires my passions.

Any relation to the famous Taylors, like Zachary or Elizabeth?
Well when I was much younger I did have a crush on the 1960's version of Elizabeth Taylor but no relation to any famous Taylors.

InDisguise Album Update and Contest

InDisguise's debut album, Ashes Divide is coming along great according to vocalist Dave Incognito. 

InDisguise begins vocal tracking after their July 28th show in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

The show is a benefit concert called, "Sounds for Scoliosis 4." Also in development is the band's TV appearance on "Late Night with Johnny P," which airs this month on Fios and Cablevision, July 26th.

Lastly the band is asking you to vote for them as they have currently entered the top 10 in a contest they are in. Help them get to the top three  in order to perform August 8th at the NJ State Fair as finalists to win. 

Dave says, "You can vote for us once per day until July 30th. Thanks to everyone for all the support."
Please vote below 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Interview with Art Off Paper Artist Chris Malfi

When did you know you wanted to be an artist, and what goals did you set for yourself while getting into it?
It's something I've wanted for as long as I can remember. I have a lot of goals I'd like to accomplish but the first one I set was to hold a successful art show and make whoever came leave with a reason to come to the next ARTOFFPAPER event. 

What type of art do you specialize in? What are your strengths, and what do you feel are some of your weaknesses? 
I wouldn't say I specialize in any type, I just run with my emotions and experiences in each piece; my art is an extension of me.  My weaknesses are stick figures and kryptonite.

What is Art Off Paper? Explain what you do and who the other members are.
ARTOFFPAPER is about recognizing that art does not have to be defined by a brush stroke or pencil line, we all have our own ARTOFFPAPER. Art is about personal expression, from canvas to the street, fashion, music, dance, literature, to the rhythm of your speech.

Society has a way of influencing people to believe that if something is exclusive it adds an undefined feeling of value to our lives. ARTOFFPAPER was formed to create a philosophy that can connect everyone. There are no outsiders; we all have our own ARTOFFPAPER because what makes us different is what makes us the same.

ARTOFFPAPER was started by Brendan Munday, Jared Long and myself; in our eyes everyone is a member. 

What makes your art so different as a crew, and what do you all bring to the table?
We are complimenting opposites with an indefinable chemistry. We all have our own unique styles and abilities that are strong enough to stand-alone but together we form like Voltron. Because of this we are able to accomplish any creative task at hand. We do illustration, graphic design, jewelry/accessories/fashion design, murals, interior design, commissioned artwork, as well creative consulting.

How important are expression and inspiration to you? Is it possible to make something from nothing?
Expression and inspiration is an essential part of any creative process, inspiration can come from anywhere, anyone, and anything.  Yes it's possible to make something from nothing, because it's just an interpretation of what nothing and something is, what one person views as nothing maybe something to the next.

What events/shows have you displayed or done work for?
I've been fortunate to be apart of a few but my top 5 so far;
Special Sauce- Huntington Long Island
Rare - Tribeca, NY
The End Recording Studios - Green Point Brooklyn 
Research Fundraiser at Nicotra Ballroom - Staten Island 
The Leaky Life Boat- Seaford NY 
Each show has its own special meanings to me as well as personal accomplishments. 

Have you been commissioned to do any really big projects, or is most stuff local and/or private?
The first check I ever received from designing jewelry was from Maurice Galli, a French designer who has designed for royalty as well as Tiffany & CO., when I met him he was the head designer at Harry Winston but most importantly, he was my teacher. Needless to say it was a big deal to me when he approached me willing to pay for my creativity.

I have also been commissioned by Dr. Sherrill Antonio who is the Associate Dean for Film, Television, and New Media in the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television and the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. I was asked to do the book cover for Dr. Antonio's book on Spike Lee, a truly rewarding experience which became even more of a dream come true when I heard Spike Lee has been to my website and loved the portrait I did of him.

Another great moment for me was when ARTOFFPAPER was asked to be part of the grand opening of The End Recording Studios. We got to paint a large scale mural on their building's rooftop in front of hundreds of people while watching the sun set over Manhattan. 

What project are you most proud of?
I'm proud of every project I am a part of but the one that sticks out the most to me is when we were asked to donate our art for a cancer research fundraiser. I knew I wasn't born with the mind for science or medicine, but I still wanted to be a part of the fight for a cure. 
I'll always be proud to know my graffiti inspired art raised money for the fight against cancer.

What are your plans for the future and are you currently making a living off of "Art Off Paper?"
I have many plans for the future but things don't always happen according to plan so I'm just going to continue my journey and try to enjoy my life the best way I can. Yes, I currently make a living off of my art. 

What is the most rewarding thing about being an artist?
The most rewarding thing about being an artist is doing what I love to do every day.

What would you tell someone who wants to get into a specific type of art, but may feel they aren't creative enough?
I would tell them Creativity and confidence kind of go hand in hand, if you don't believe your an artist no one will. 

Anything else to add?
Shout out to Rawthentix, Rare Salon, Richmond Hood, DeadLine, The End Recording Studios, Stefan Barone, Tre Giovani, Untouchable Cutz, FSP, Eargasms, The Voices of the Summer, and The leaky life boat. Thank you to everyone who has supported my art and ARTOFFPAPER. 

A.O.P will be painting live July 21st at Van Duzer days in Staten Island.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Merissa Xhelili Lends Her Artistic Services to Bands, Movie Projects, and More

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Merissa Xhelili, and I am an artist who also creates custom-made jewelry.

When did you first begin experimenting with art, and was it a natural talent of yours?

I began experimenting with art for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child. I would say it is a natural talent of mine; the art of drawing seems to run in my family.

What is your preferred style of art, and what are your strengths and weaknesses?
I love colorful abstracts; according to the organic curves and structured lines, the image paints a different picture to what each person sees, pun intended. However, my favorite method of art is sketching in black and white. It makes the viewer focus on the importance of how dramatic shading and lighting can make a picture appear. My strength is in bringing portraits to life, I have a fascination with faces. One thing I would like to learn more about is photography. I’ve taken pictures as a hobby, but would like to have more professional experience in this.

How important is expression and inspiration to you? Is it possible to make something from nothing?

Art is where you can express yourself through your own take on reality or a dream you see in your own mind to share with others. I get inspired by the everyday things in life in even the most mundane objects, focusing on the way natural curves and lines are shaped through man-made objects and in nature.

Have you ever had your art displayed at a gallery or event?

I’ve had my drawings and paintings displayed in the College of Staten Island’s gallery, as well as in Snug Harbor’s gallery.

Do you get commissioned for projects or are you working on your own stuff?
I do get commissioned by people coming to me for various art projects. I also work on my own for enjoyment and to keep adding to my portfolio.

Tell us a little bit about your jewelry work and start up.

About a year ago, I made a unique necklace I had in mind but could not find in stores. I received many compliments on it and people asked me if I could make other pieces as well, and it began a snowball effect from there. For both women and men, I make pieces that have an artistic flair to them which makes it different from what you would find it stores.

You are currently storyboarding a project, tell us a little about that.
I am currently working on a storyboard and concept art design for an independent film project which is currently still a work in progress.

Do you think there are any similarities in being an artist and a musician? Why or why not?

I think there are definitely similarities between art and music; I feel they go hand in hand. Both are created by people expressing themselves through an art form. I know that music is an extremely important part of my life, and it inspires me totally. I can’t create art without listening to music that speaks to my soul, just as musicians see the beauty in art and become inspired to put that inspiration into song.

What is the most rewarding thing about being an artist?
Being an artist, you do not feel chained to your work. You have the ultimate freedom to create and sometimes even a mistake can become a happy accident, becoming the most interesting part of the piece.

What are your future plans as an artist and where do you see yourself in a few years?

I am currently a freelance artist and hopefully will become more successful with my jewelry line. Within the next few years, I would love to design album covers for bands, combining two of my favorite passions together.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Contact me if you need an artist for a project or want to purchase custom-made jewelry. And to the bands out there, if you are interested in me designing an album cover or accessories for your band merch!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Link Drop - Affiliation Red, POF, Fairday Skyline, Cig and More

Affiliation Red
(This song features a cameo by me on the third verse!)

Check out their new single as well!

Breaking Even
New lyrics video from this local punk band. Be sure to learn the words!

Fairday Skyline
Check out this track and free download from Fairday Skyline's upcoming release!

Process of Fusion
Vote for POF on WSIA as most popular band.

Be sure to read Backstage Interview's talk with Justin.

Check out Chris Taranto, JD, Radioactive Material, Affiliation Red, Four Nights Gone, Process of Fusion, and It's Not Over at the Full Cup July 27th!

Kritikal and Anthony M.
This song received airplay on "Franklin & Bash"

This S.I. emcee is finally back in the studio recording some bangers. Here's a sample of what he's done so far...

Be on the look out for this young R&B, Pop- rapper as he works on his first studio release!