Where music stars discuss how they make their music.
Where music stars discuss how they make their music.
Turning fear into excitement with Austra and Dan Deacon
Prepare to be inspired by this week as Canadian singer Katie Stelmanis, AKA Austra, sits down with Dan Deacon, Cosmo Sheldrake and Dry Cleaning’s Florence Shaw.
Dan Deacon is a singer-songwriter and film score composer from Baltimore, USA, who is known for his exhilarating live shows and is described by his record label Domino as an "alchemist of electro-acoustic recording tools". He released his latest record Mystic Familiar in January 2020, his first to display his natural singing voice.
Another artist known to surprise his audiences is Cosmo Sheldrake, who often brings sounds from the natural world into his records and live performances. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter, Cosmo released his debut album in 2018, and his compositions have featured in theatre, film, and London's Natural History Museum.
They’re joined by Florence Shaw, who is a visual artist and university lecturer as well as being the lead vocalist and lyricist for London-based band Dry Cleaning. Her sources of lyrical inspiration include social anxiety, YouTube comments and even takeaway menus.
They’ll be discussing the odd places they find inspiration, how an album’s format can impact the music itself, and overcoming anxiety.
Creative freedom with Labdi, Hibotep, Karun and Faisal Mostrixx
A show dedicated to artists from the Kenyan and Ugandan underground. Kenyan musician and singer-songwriter Labdi, the only female Orutu player in East Africa, is going to guide us through the episode. She’ll be asking the group how they settled on making their authentic sounds, if they feel free creatively, and whether the influence of West African music is a positive or negative.
Answering those questions is: Hibotep, a Ugandan counter-culture visionary, DJ, filmmaker, fashion designer, installation artist, rapper and producer. She’s performed twice for Boiler Room at Nyege Nyege Festival and is one of the lead artists in East Africa’s New Wave. Karun is a Nairobi-based singer and songwriter, Berklee College of Music alumni and formerly part of the BET Awards nominated Camp Mulla. She’s now a solo artist and one of Kenya’s most celebrated soul voices, appearing in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 last year. And Faizal Mostrixx is one of Kampala’s most recognised contemporary dancers and a producer giving traditional Ugandan sounds a modern makeover with electronics in an effort to preserve its heritage. He also featured in the Resident Advisor artist 15 East African Artists You Need to Hear, and he recently provided the music for the Adidas Originals campaign Freedom.
'Why didn't I think of that?' with Ella Eyre, Mahalia, MNEK and Hamzaa
A huge episode of Music Life this week, with Ella Eyre, Hamzaa, Mahalia, and MNEK.
Our host today is BRIT Award and MOBO winner Ella Eyre, a singer who's worked with the likes of Rudimental, Sigala, Meghan Trainor, Bastille, and French Montana. She's joined by Mahalia, an R&B/Neo-Soul singer, songwriter and actor who started playing the guitar at 13, and has worked and toured with the likes of Rudimental, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran. Her album Love and Compromise, released last year, features Burna Boy, Lucky Daye, and Ella Mai - as well as another of our guests today, Hamzaa. She's an alt-soul singer-songwriter and pianist who’s worked with Wretch 32 & Ghetts, been championed by Stormzy and compared to Adele, and supported Ray BLK.
Completing the lineup is Grammy-nominated songwriter, record producer and recording artist MNEK . He’s had a major impact on the British pop charts by co-writing hits for the Saturdays and Duke Dumont, and has since gone on to work with the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Little Mix.
They’ll be discussing what you look for in a co-writer, what you want out of a producer, and how easy or hard it is to get the record labels on board with your music.
'I don't like rules' with Moelogo and Silvastone
This week on Music Life, Nigerian born artist Moelogo welcomes Pongo, Silvastone, and Viva Mysimang (Penya).
We are very lucky to be joined by; Pongo, a vocalist and songwriter based in Portugal, born in Angola. She has renewed the Kuduro music by mixing her African roots with EDM, Bass, Dancehall, and Pop and her videos have been watched over 11 million times online. Silvastone is an genre-defying artist, producer and songwriter, raised in Freetown in Sierra Leone, and born to Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean parents. He describes his music as “a creative hybrid of African Beats and UK Street Sounds marinated in Global Melodies”. He’s worked with everybody from Popcaan and Davido to Damian Marley and Rita Ora. And finally, Viva Msimang who is a trombonist and singer of Chilean and South African heritage from the band Penya. She’s also worked with the likes of former Music Life host Sarthy Korwar, the Mercury-nominated Go Team, and Tanzanian musician Msafiri Zawose. And host Moelogo is an Afrobeat, R&B, and Hip Hop singer and songwriter who has collaborated with the likes of Giggs, Mostack, Tiggs Da Author, Mr Eazi, Adekunle Gold, Da Beatfreakz, Wretch 32, and Jonas Blue.
Together, they’ll be discussing how to stand out in today’s music scene, whether record labels help or hinder the creative process, and how their music connects with audiences.
The influence of family with Soweto Kinch and Shingai Shoniwa
Music Life this week sees British jazz saxophonist, MC, and poet Soweto Kinch host Shingai Shoniwa, Eno Williams, and Barney Artist.
Singer and bassist Shingai Shoniwa is formerly of the band The Noisettes. The name Shingai, according to Wikipedia, means "bold/courageous/strong" in the Shona language. Eno Williams is the lead vocalist in the electronic funk band Ibibio Sound Machine. She was born in London but spent most of her childhood in Nigeria where her family spoke Ibibio, the native language of the Ibibio people in Akwa Ibom Staten. And our final guest is Barney Artist, a London rapper, who’s worked with George The Poet, Tom Misch, and Jordan Rakai. Soweto is a Mercury prize nominated / MOBO winning artist who’s been championed by Mos Def and Rodney P and has supported the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele, and TY. He’s also the nicest guy in music.
Together they explore themes in music that revolve around family and its influence, the idea of homecoming and identity, and the importance of language.
Music therapy with Kane Brown and Holly Macve
Young country stars Kane Brown, Holly Macve and Olivia Lane discuss writing songs as therapy, recurring themes, and being put in a difficult position by their lyrics.
Kane Brown is a superstar in the making from Tennessee, and has been called the ‘Justin Bieber of country’. He has worked with the likes of Khalid, Becky G, and Marshmello, and his influences include Chris Young, George Strait, Lee Brice and Garth Brooks. He’s also the only artist in to simultaneously top all five of Billboard's country music charts.
Olivia Lane is an up and coming artist who is also from Tennessee, but was born in Texas. Her lyrics cover a wide range of topics from romance to mental health struggles. She cites Shania Twain, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King and Taylor Swift as some of her musical influences.
And this week’s host, Holly Macve, is an Irish alt-country singer and guitarist, who has shared a stage with the likes of John Grant, Benjamin Clementine, and Ryley Walker. Her grandfather was a classical composer and her mother sang and collected blues, country and jazz records, so music definitely runs in the family.