Tag Archive: Los Angeles


Tarah G. Carpenter Will Rock U!

Originally posted May 29th, 2015 by Tom Tom Magazine http://tomtommag.com/2015/05/tarah-g-carpenter-will-rock-u/

Photo by Anais Brebion

Photo by Anais Brebion

Tarah G. Carpenter Will Rock U!

By Phil Cartwright

Full Name: Tarah G. Carpenter

Age: 30

Hometown: Paris, France & Los Angeles, CA

Lives in: Los Angeles, CA

Past Bands: Fräulein (punk/noise)

Current Bands: Jane Gray Black Orphan

Day Job: Musician

Endorsements: Soultone, DC California

The mind, soul, rock’s roll heartbeat and operator behind Tarah Who? is French/American singer and multi-instrumentalist (drummer, guitarist and bassist) Tarah G. Carpenter.

Born in Paris, France, Tarah got her first drum set at age 14. While in the U.S. as a high school exchange student she also picked up the guitar and starting writing songs. With a 90’s spirit, anthemic sing-a-long choruses, a punk-edged energetic live show, the power of Tarah’s songs pull you in and slam you.

Since 2010, Tarah G. Carpenter has released numerous demos and toured Europe many times. She has played at the Festival Europe des Cultures, Gibus, Le Sentier des Halles in Paris. She has been active in the London, Leeds, Amsterdam, Berlin and Hanoi music scenes. More recently, she toured the U.S. playing venues such as the Viper Room and House of Blues in Los Angeles.

PC: Tell us how playing the drums influenced your musical development?

TGC: I think the best thing in being able to play several instruments is that you can experience different positions and feel the music differently. As a drummer, I tend to naturally leave room for others and try not to always play when not necessary. Excepting for drummers, fills are not very fascinating to others. Now, being a drummer, I find it easier to play other instruments as well. For example, I take my guitar as a rhythm instrument. I pay more attention to my band’s tightness. When I play the bass, I like to have fun with the drummer.

In terms of your career, who were your biggest influences?

I first discovered Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl and Vinnie Colaiuta’ drums solos for Buddy Rich’s event. I really enjoyed how they were using the drums. At 15 all of this was new to me.

Then I listened to the Foo fighters and of course I got into Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. Then I started looking for female drummers and discovered Sheila E. I don’t know many drummers or I don’t look for any in particular. I enjoy drummers that have personality, their own sound behind the kit, that are original, or just know how to groove.

Recently, I saw Keith Carlock at a drum festival in Paris. I really, really enjoyed his approach to the drums. I have also seen Sean Winchester in his solo project called Something Bot Metro. I think his drumming is brilliant and watching the project live is a real pleasure.

What makes a good drummer?

Ha! I think we can all have our own definition!

I don’t think a “GOOD” drummer needs to have all the technique possible. I think practice is important because without technique you are limited. But there’s nothing worse in my opinion than a very good technician who has no feelings or personal touch or sound. Most people wouldn’t notice the difference, but I think you can tell sometimes from a hit, or sound who is behind the drums. Also I find it annoying for instance if I’m playing another instrument and the drummer doesn’t listen to the music and really feel it. I think a good drummer needs to find the right balance, or find the right amount of groove, fill, feel, and of course timing – feel where it feels right to put in a fill or leave it simple. A good drummer should keep the band tight for sure, but also a good band should know how to listen to each other, whichever instrument they play.

PC: Tell us a little about life with Tarah Who?

TGC: Life with Tarah Who? is an adventure! I write all the music and lyrics then send the songs to my band mates. They learn their parts and then we meet in studios to rehearse. What I like is that we can arrange every song for the live performance, and we have a lot of fun doing that. Every show is different.

A very fun moment that sticks in my mind? Yes, I have tons, but a recent one was in London. We were invited to play at this punk Festival (which is really funny to us because we are not a punk band at all…or at least we are not my definition of a punk band). So we are at this punk fest which is very cool. There were five bands and we played 4th. So we got to see the other bands, and I’m starting to sweat thinking, “This crowd is going to hate us so much! We are like the pop band of the night to these professional mosh-pitters with mohawks in every color having toilet paper fights and demonstrating talent as world renowned beer drinkers!” It’s finally our time to go and as we’re setting up I turn to the band and tell them, “ Guys! we’re going to need to give them all that we’ve got!” and told my drummer to speed all the songs up to 200 bpm or follow my lead when I have to start the songs. And no stopping in between songs.

It was a success! We definitely sounded punk, and we had a blast!

PC: What has been the highlight of your career to-date?

TGC: For Tarah Who? so far it has been to take the plunge and go in the studios alone. Make the record the way it sounds like in my head. The rest is to come.

For Jane Gray Black Orphan our first EP is about discovering ourselves and what we want to do in the project. The first album (that we are currently writing ) is going to be a huge next step, that we cannot wait to start sharing.

PC: Thinking about great female drummers, we recall Sheila Escovedo, Georgia Hubley, Teresa Taylor, Kate Schellenbach, Janet Weiss and others… but really there are not that many? Why is that? Do you think female drummers have an especially hard time being recognized?

TGC: We are a few out there and we do have our own community, which is not unpleasant. Thanks to Tom Tom magazine for instance, female drummers have a place to express themselves among others or discover other female drummers, Hit Like A Girl contest makes you realize you’re not the only one and there are AMAZING female drummers worldwide.

I have met a few well-known male drummers that are very supportive of female drummers. I also think it is changing a lot and the more girls/women are going to see other women play, the more they are going to see that they can do it too and dare to make their first step.

From my experience, I have kept it for myself for a while that I was playing the drums, because I was tired of men’s reactions. I travel a lot and as of today I still deal with guys making a face when they see that I am the drummer. I think unless your name is out there, Cindy Blackman with Lenny Kravitz, for example, you’re still going to deal with people’s first judgment and then it depends on us to change their opinion or not.

Drums are for everyone, just like any instrument (or anything in life, as a matter of fact!).

I think people are more open to female drummers in North America than elsewhere. I think girls used to have a hard time, because it was set in people’s minds that drums were for men, but it has definitely evolved and keeps evolving.

Maybe female drummers have had a hard time being recognized, but I know that today things are changing and I don’t know if the male drummers are in special need for some female drummers around all of these dudes! But I have been encouraged a lot by people like Thomas Lang, to just keep playing!

And I keep meeting more and more supportive people. I have just been endorsed by Soultone cymbals and DC California for instance. On social media I have a lot of supportive comments, and everyone I meet at gigs tell me “it’s nice to see a woman play the drums!” Sound engineers also come very often after the shows to show their support. Soon it will be a new trend!

PC: Touring can be particularly tough especially for drummers. There is a lot of gear involved and that means not only setting up and tearing down night after night, but making sure your gear stays safe and in the best condition. Thoughts about touring as a drummer?

TGC: I love touring. As a drummer, I find it difficult at times because you have to think of more things like numbers of stands and toms you really need. Unless you have a lot of room on the tour bus you’re just going to take too much room in the van and stage.

Touring in the States and in Europe ( as an independent band) is very different. In Europe, bands share equipment so that every band brings something and everyone stays for the other band and it’s all fair. In the US, we were really surprised that in the beginning no one lended anything, or if they did, they would actually rent it. In the end, this makes sense. Gear is so expensive you don’t want anyone to play your gear. And lately, I have heard about a few situations where gear was stolen. WHO DOES THAT??

I am very particular with my drums and I know where and how I set up my stuff, so I don’t like anyone to try to help me setting up. As band, everyone should help each other carrying gear from van to stage. But when it comes to setting up, in my opinion you’re better off doing it yourself.

PC: What words of advice do you pass along the young musicians wanting to be rock stars?

TGC: Ha! What is a rock star?! If you want to play music. Get out there and play. Do what you have to do, to make it happen. But I only have one piece of advice: BE YOU! Don’t try to be someone else, don’t learn the drums like someone else, get inspired, or learn a few things here and there from others. Other drummers succeeded because they were doing their own thing.

So do your thing, feel the music, write, play. Do what you have to do, be you and stay clean! You want to be a good drummer? You are first an athlete! Write and play music because you have something to say, something to pass on, emotions, express yourself, share it with the world, not because it looks cool.

PC: One final question… what is Tarah G Carpenter doing now and what are your plans for the future?

TGC: I am currently recording my third album (Tarah Who?). That should come out in 2015. I am also working with Ash on Jane Gray Black Orphan’s first album. Tarah Who? is planning to tour the West Coast in September 2015 and we hope to see you out there!

You can check Tarah’s Facebook and Instagram for updates on all her music!


Thanks once again to our friend Tony Taylor at Dreamwest Magazine, we’ve been able to get in touch with Katie Cole! Katie is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and now based in Los Angeles. Among her influences are platinum artists such as Jackson Browne, Glen Campbell and Kris Kristofferson. Katie appears as a guest vocalist on Glen Campbell’s final studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, and she’s enlisted Kristofferson to appear her own upcoming full length, Lay It All Down? Katie is a singer/songwriter breaking through the clouds

HVUM: Hi Katie. It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to get to know you better. You have quite an interesting story. You are from Melbourne, now living in Los Angeles. Tell us more about yourself and how you made your way from Australia to Los Angeles.

KC: I’m a songwriter chasing a dream. Corny as hell, yes, but 100% true. My record producer Howard Willing (Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow, Ok Go, Nerina Pallot) reached out to me while I was in Oz. I basically flipped out and somehow made my way over to Los Angeles. I always knew I’d end up in California…just didn’t know how I’d get there or why. I play guitar, piano and a little bass when I’m forced to and I’ve been singing since I was 2, but professionally since I was 15/16. I’m a scorpio, various favorite colors and self-confessed cat person. Also, it is unwise to leave pizza near me.

HVUM: We know from your biography that you were brought up surrounded by the rock of the 60s and 70s – Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin. How do you find the influence of these artists plays into your music?

KC: I suppose any and all music plays a role on a person that goes into a music-related profession. I think the early music and concerts I was subjected to played a huge role in the way my brain crafted an idea of what constitutes great song, song structure and live performance. I still love a soul/blues edge to notes I choose to sing and great guitar riffs are a must. As a listener, I definitely go through moods and phases, but those early influences sort of stick around whether I like it or not. :)

HVUM: You tell us that today you relate to artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow. Do you have a specific sense for how these musicians are part of your work?

KC: I think I just feel a kinship towards singer-songwriters and bands of that nature that maintain an uptempo feel to the bulk of their work. I’m a huge fan of the anthemic songs and these artists managed to deliver many songs that I consider to be staple material. Sheryl Crow, to me always had such diverse lyrics and clever but easy-sounding choruses. As a lyricist, I learnt a lot from her work. Petty brings to the table simple chord progressions with deep and often dark subtext coupled with easy sing-along choruses. Fleetwood Mac having so many lead singers bring the effect of 3 bands. Christine McVie songs, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks songs. All felt vastly different from one another depending on who was singing. That’s a rarity in a band….to get away with such diversity. I feel I learned how to take complex characters and bring them to life in timeless sounding songs. It’s hard to compare yourself to other artists, but I love the above mentioned for those reasons. That said, I’m always learning. Always trying to challenge what I write and the way I record it.

HVUM: So, describe Katie Cole as Katie Cole…How do we best describe your sound?

I always say uplifting, singer-songwriter with flavors of folk, country and rock. Strong lyrics and stories that feel relatable. My vocal style is closer to Sheryl Crow and music style is a hybrid between Tom Petty and new artists like KT Tunstall and One Republic. I write emotion from the heart with elaborate plot lines. A lot of relationship songs that aren’t standard “i love you” songs. I think it’s about the details. I like details.

HVUM: For you, personally, does any of your work to-date stand out as the crowning achievement?

KC: I suppose the first single taken from my first American EP of the same name “Lost Inside a Moment” would be that song. I knew it was a special song when it was a challenge to write. Sometimes a song is ready when it’s ready and it was definitely worth the time spent writing and recording. It was my first song to get radio play in the UK on BBC Radio 2. For me, that’s a big deal. It’s probably a big deal for any artist. It was play-listed, then another song was. It was a really important time for me. In 2011 I had released the EP in America and I felt, that song wasn’t really reaching ears. I suppose there was a good gut feeling and some luck involved when it jumped across the pond. A great song has legs, the mystery and sometimes frustration about that is not knowing when those legs will sprout. There is a lot of persistence and hard work involved in what I do.

HVUM: You do a lot of collaborative work with famed artists such as Glen Campbell and Kris Kristofferson. Tell us a bit about you collaborations. Is collaborative work something you really enjoy?

KC: I first met Glen Campbell in 2009 when I first popped my head over to Los Angeles to start the meetings and recording process. My amazing Producer Howard Willing is also Glen’s producer and helped introduce me to his team. I ended up opening some shows up for him in Nevada in 2009 then again in 2010. When it came time to record his 2011 “Ghost on the Canvas” album I was brought to sing all of the female parts. A huge honor. It’s very sad that Glen is now suffering from Alzheimer’s. His fans will always remember what he’s given to the music world though. I also found out that a few songs from that album are being re-released on a new album 2013/2014 for Glen. An amazing singer and unbelievable guitarist and showman. Chatting with him and our Producer I was quick to learn his background as a session guitarist and all the iconic albums he performed including Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys etc. Huge stuff. Then it came time to record my new album and my Producer Howard once again reached out to somebody amazing. I actually wrote the song on the album called “Penelope” for a male artist just like Kris Kristofferson to sing. When I decided I was going to record it myself, Willing reached out to him having previously engineered the last couple of Kristofferson records for Producer Don Was (also a legend). Timing was just amazing and it happened. Collaboration is an incredible thing. None of the collabs I’ve done have been fully planned. There is definitely some randomness to that equation. Randomness and magic.

HVUM: You’ve toured a lot – Do you have any special or favorite places to perform?

KC: I really enjoyed touring American cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville and Denver. I love London too. I can’t wait to get back over there. I think I just enjoy travel and visiting new cities. It’s not always about the live shows, but the people you meet and the food. The vans – not so great.

We’ve been featuring your new video, “(We Stared A) Fire” (just out November2013). The track has been described as “American Country meets British pop”. What’s the story there? We’d like to know more about the track and the video.

KC: Thank you for supporting my music!! Well, the song was the last one I wrote for the record. I just wanted one more uptempo song. To me, this one is a tad sexy in nature although it’s at a fast pop tempo. I don’t think I do slow, sexy bow chicka wow wow songs. Haha. It was a really organic recording process as the drums and bass were laid down first with rough guitars and vocals. It was clear between my Producer and me that the drum part was going to be a feature and was going to drive the song. Everything else just sits on top of that. Guitar parts punch through and keys float in and out. It’s mostly my voice and that drum pattern that drive the song. I wanted a video to match the nature of the song. I felt like I wanted the main scene to be the band shot as I was hoping to introduce the viewing audience to my live band. The colored lighting of each scene change from a red band scene, to yellow fabric scene to a black scene with a yellow fluorescent lamp and a smoky scene where I’m wearing an amazing gown. All up it has a raw, rock feel with a sultry streak. There is a real live sense to the way it’s shot. Director Justin Coloma really captured the video exactly how I imagined it and the rest!! It’s moving, flowing and changing the whole ride. Lighting was a real key to this video along with elements of fire itself to illuminate some key shots.

HVUM: We know you have a new album coming our way “Lay It All Down” Tell us about that project and when should we be looking to buy the album?

KC: I actually launched a kickstarter campaign mid 2011 and it was successfully funded. Yes, it was that long ago. It started as me wanting to record 5 songs as a new EP. Once my Producer and I started to go through costs and songs, it was clear that I had too much solid material and it was more cost effective to spend more time and record more songs. So another 6 months went by with recording and planning. Put the first single out Oct 2012 called “I can’t wait”, signed a small record deal….some time flew by (6 months)…then extracted myself swiftly from that deal. Long story and I lost a lot of time. Time that I can’t get back unfortunately. I opted to somewhat restart. A lot of artists go through this. My producer wanted to remix the record and I launched the second single “(We started a) Fire this November. The new album is due out March 3rd 2014. I wanted to allow enough time to promote the new single. To me, you get one first impression of your art …so I’d rather wait and do something right than be impatient and release something early for the sake of it. That’s the definition of vanity and this is not a vanity project. I suppose I’m trying to compete with other major label and indie artists and that takes time and planning. So here we are!

HVUM: In the meantime, let’s take some time to check out that video “(We Started A) Fire”.

HVUM: Okay! We’ll be watching out for “Lay It All Down”. Any other projects in the works?

I spend roughly 1-2 weeks every other month writing in Nashville. I’m positive I have enough for another 2 full albums…but I’d like to narrow that down to an EP of songs. I’m thinking on that at the moment. I haven’t released “Lay it all Down” yet, but I’m definitely already planning something new.

HVUM: Do you have any particular causes or charities that you support and want to mention for our readers?

In Australia I used to do a lot of work for the Cancer council and the Variety club. Since moving to the US, I have been supporting Red Cross, MS Society (as my mum has MS) and WECAN that empowers women and supports awareness of Climate Change globally. I give charitably to a lot of random causes too and when needed I will buy a subway sandwich for a hungry face. I think kindness is a daily ritual and not something to brag about. It’s quite easy to be nice and do nice things even if no one else knows about it.

HVUM: Finally, my favorite question? Do you have any special superheros of your own? Why?

My Mum is my favorite superhero. It’s really hard being away from her. She’s a strong women who has overcome some difficult challenges in her life. She also now has MS. She’s still stubborn as ever, which is funny, and demands to do as much as possible on her own. I love that sort of independence. I hope I got that from her. I also think my cat here in Los Angeles has super powers. But those superpowers are only present when no one else is watching and only when she’s not napping or eating.

Visit Katie Cole at http://katiecoleofficial.com/


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Australian native, Chantelle Barry first caught the public’s eye in 2000 when she won Australia’s version of POPSTARS, earning a coveted spot in the all-girl pop group, Bardot. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Chantelle has returned to her singer/songwriter roots and independently released her debut solo album ‘Simple Things’ which she toured in Australia at the end of 2009, featuring a performance on Good Morning Australia. She has just released her 2nd album ‘Songbird’ which she co-produced alongside writing partner Scott Whyte.

Chantelle was selected to be an official featured artist of the 2012 Canadian Music Festival.

Her songwriting has garnered her a 1st Place in the UK Songwriting Contest for her song ‘YOU’ which is currently in rotation on radio in the mid west, Top 5 Finalist in Songwriters Universe ‘Song Of The Month’ contest, a 1st & 3rd place in the Song of the Year songwriting contest and Top 10 in the Music Nation online music competition. Chantelle was also nominated in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for best song ‘LOVE SOMEONE’ & ‘TAKE A WALK WITH ME’ as well as having both songs placed on various films this year.

Chantelle has toured the LA music scene for 5 years including the renowned Genghis Cohen, Hotel Cafe, Harvelles, Room 5 Lounge, Tangier, Saint Rocke, The Cat Club & The Mint.

When not in the studio you can find Chantelle on both the big and small screens. She has starred in several feature films including a cameo appearance in Universal Pictures ‘Couples Retreat’ and has most recently guest starred on Entourage (HBO), How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 90210 (CW) and ‘The Paul Reiser Show’ (NBC). She is currently in pre-production to star in the next Kevin VanHook film “Jason and The Necronauts” playing Queen Medea starring opposite Casper VanDien.

Chantelle is a featured artist at HorizonVU Music. Visit her online at http://www.chantellebarry.com/


Fereshta is a Los Angeles rocker and peace activist. She was born in war-torn Afghanistan. Her parents fled persecution with a baby Fereshta in their arms, and hope and determination in their hearts. They journeyed to Pakistan in hopes of one day reaching America. Sponsored by a Baptist church in New York, Fereshta and her family began a new life in Virginia, where she soon found healing and inspiration in rock n’ roll.

Fereshta

Fereshta

Combining her deep love of music with her passion for sacred activism, Fereshta aims to support her homelands through peaceful dialogue and benefit shows. Her new album “Cultural Collision” shows us the beauty that can be made when three great cultures collide – her love for American rock n’ roll, her exotic Afghan heritage and the finest from Brazilian musicians in their authentic grooves.

Thanks to Fereshta, herself, and our friends at Women of Substance Radio, we’re here today to find out more about Fereshta’s story and her music; her new album in particular.

Fereshta, it’s great to have you with us. We want to learn more about your truly fascinating story. We know a little bit about your childhood and how you came to the U.S. from reading, but can you fill in the story a bit for us? Tell us about your family and how you came to the U.S.

F: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a joy to be here. Well, to answer your question, when I was born, the Soviet Occupation was in full force in Afghanistan. It became increasingly dangerous for educated men and women, who did not want to join the Communist Party, to stay in the country without the risk of imprisonment and death. My parents sensed the dangers for our family and chose to leave everything behind and smuggle us of out the country to Pakistan. It was an 8 day trek through the mountains, and eventually, 14 months later, we were able to make our way to the United States.

So, how did your interest in music come about? We’re you encouraged from a young age or did you find you own way to music?

F: I was naturally drawn to music, singing and dancing from a very young age. My family says I would sing all the time and sometimes entertain circles of children when I was little. I guess I just loved the feeling of it. It was liberating and unifying and soul-inspiring all at the same time. It connected me to something that felt meaningful and inspirational, and loved that.

The Afghan culture has a very rich history of music and dancing, and a very deep love for poetry. It’s what we do. The real Afghanistan, the one you don’t hear about in the news prioritized family, feasting, music and dancing in that order. We would have these large family gatherings and everyone would jam until the early hours of the morning. It was awesome. So that certainly nurtured my love for music at an early age.

Also, when we came to America, I fell in love with rock n’ roll. From the first needle scratch that brought me The Knacks’ “My Sharona” I was hooked. I’d never heard anything like it. It filled me with a sense of joy and liberation that still makes me smile to this day. :)

Did you receive formal training along the way and did you have any teachers or mentors that inspired you to become a professional musician?

F: I’ve been a poet all my life. That is my love first and foremost. The spoken word, how we express our hearts, how we connect with one another, it’s all in the poetry of our expression. In school I had English teachers who saw something special in me and who encouraged me to write. As for mentors, I grew up listening to a thrash metal band called Overkill, and their lead singer Bobby Blitz has always been a great source of inspiration for me. He leads by example with know-how and integrity, and from him I’ve learned what it means to be a true artist and a CEO. The importance of showing up for your craft, of doing what you love, of appreciating your fans and squeezing the last drop out of every day, while being empowered and authentic.

So tell us about the journey from Virginia to Los Angeles. Was there a special reason you decided to go west instead of (say) go to New York?

F: Truth be told, I had spent most of my life in Virginia and I was yearning for a change when I turned 18. I loved the weather in LA and felt called to acting at the time so it seemed like a good idea. Energetically speaking, there was a promise of freedom there. I could live more authentically in that city. An eccentric, free-spirited, bohemian poet can feel quite at home in the sun-kissed hills of LA if you know what I mean! I also had a great love for The Doors, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, I think intuitively I was drawn there for the music scene. I spent so much of my time writing poetry and making friends at Venice Beach, listening to music and enjoying nature in Laurel Canyon, and immersing myself in the music scene on the Sunset Strip. There was so much magic there for me, and in hindsight, it was exactly what I needed to be here now as a poet, musician and activist. I used to drive to and from work every day and pass by Jim Morrison’s house. I would promise myself that no matter what, I’d make the music and speak my truth one day. It sparked a fire in me to live in Laurel Canyon where so many talented musicians I respected created their art, and it kept me dreaming until the dream became a reality. :)

On to your music, you have two albums out, “Global Citizen” released in 2011, and the more recent release “”Cultural Collision”. The multi-cultural direction of your work is pretty clear from the album titles. While, it seems fair to say “Global Citizen” is a rock album, that isn’t to overshadow the very wide range of what you are doing. On “Global Citizen” you have the rock tracks such as “Amends” and “Global Citizen”; there are the bluesy “Tombstones” and Middle Eastern track “Human Frailty”.

Tell us about your view toward the first album and what’s behind “Cultural Collision”?

F: *smile* I love the first album. I really do. I have so many good memories from it. I learned so much in the process of making that album and those lessons still serve me to this day. “Global Citizen” was me finding my voice and really getting my bearings. I can’t help but smile when I hear it because I know how much work it took for this introverted poet girl to become an empowered front-woman. And for anyone reading this that wants to become a singer and doesn’t feel qualified: I didn’t know how to craft a song, I didn’t know how to hit a note, I didn’t even know how to keep time! I was so aweful, I had to learn how to play the drums to understand timing!

It was also the beginning of me understanding my own signature sound. It didn’t happen during the recording of the songs, so much as it happened after. I was paying homage to my influences on the record because you have to start somewhere and your influences do shine through. But later when I had a chance and really sat with the songs, I could hear a distinct voice, a signature sound that was all my own admist all the classic rock and grunch rock influences. A song like “Untie My Hands” which I wrote about the plight of Afghan widows, really opened me up to the kind of activism I could participate in through my music. It was a great journey for my spirit, and it magically led to the connections and the intentions that birthed my second record.

Let’s take a few minutes out and watch and listen to your new vid from “Cultural Collision» titled “Take The Baby And Run”.

Wow! Powerful music.

We know that you have some special causes that you support and you do a lot of benefit work. Tell us about your interests. Certainly, readers would like to know more about Half The Sky Movement: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

F: Yes, with my second album “Cultural Collision”, I have partnered with Half The Sky Movement. I strongly believe in the power of education, and I know what it has done for me personally. If it can turn an angry warbaby into an educated, expressive, empowered peace activist, I think it can change and heal the world.

I have a line in “Year Zero” that was inspired by their work, “We say, women hold up half of the sky.” I believe in this. I believe that it’s time for men and women to create mutually empowering relationships that benefit the whole, but we have to be willing to support one another. Half The Sky has this incredible documentary about the worst places in the world for women, and they go really deep into what’s going on (from poverty, to cultural traditions, to lack of opportunities…etc.) in trying to understand the root causes of oppression for women across the globe. I respect their work and all the organizations that are making a positive impact under their umbrella.

I’m also a huge supporter of the Sound Central Festival, the first rock festival in my hometown of Kabul. And I’ve just recently partnered with an organization called Combat Apathy and look forward to being a contribution to their amazing work!

Fereshta, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Please come back and update us on your music and your many other activities. Again, thank you.

F: Thank you so much! It’s been a joy to speak with you!

Visit Fereshta at www.fereshta.com and Facebook.


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Sweet Soubrette Photo Credit: Emily raw

Sweet Soubrette Photo Credit: Emily Raw

Sweet Soubrette, a “sensational” (Phildaelphia Inquirer), “enchanting” (Metro NY) ukulele-powered indie rock band based in NYC, make their West Coast debut on May 11, performing a set of their signature dark love songs at The Roxy. Sweet Soubrette’s cabaret-influenced indie rock has been described as “one part circus…one part poet…third part rockstar” (CultureMob). Time Out New York says “Sweet Soubrette’s style comes with a pinch of Regina Spektor quirk and a spoonful of old-timey burlesque.” The Deli Magazine praises front woman/songwriter Ellia Bisker’s “rock star command and intelligently crafted music.”

Check out this music video for the dark and passionate “What’s My Desire?” inspired by the literary love letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller (”a compelling bitter-sweet pop song of the highest order” -The 405) .

This show kicks off the Little Brooklyn Bridge Festival, which brings together three Brooklyn-based bands and two L.A./Brooklyn hybrid bands for a series of L.A. concerts from May 11-14. Brooklyn’s Kotorino, Sweet Soubrette, and Charming Disaster join with L.A./Brooklyn hybrid Peach & Knife to offer Los Angeles a taste of New York City’s best “parlor rock” along with epic instrumental soundscapes courtesy of L.A.’s Whale Fall.

Showcasing the best parlor rock that Brooklyn has to offer and the influence of Brooklyn on L.A. bands, each group offers a unique musical experience, united by a common thread: intimate yet theatrical songs with dark, expressive lyrics, intense harmonies, and a hint of gypsy wildness (also, ukuleles).

Visit Sweet Soubrette at http://www.sweetsoubrette.com


What’s The Buzz ?


Hi friends!

It’s been a while so I thought I’d give you a quick catch up on what’s been going on in my world since I’ve been getting a lot of emails on Facebook asking me where I’ve been, lol.  Good question!

Firstly, I hope you all had a wonderful summer,…or winter, depending on what part of the world you live in.

My summer was great.  I went to London & Paris and made some awesome new friends and contacts.  I was also inspired to write a couple new songs which may just make it onto this next album I’m finishing up for an early 2012 release.  Happy to announce that David Peters is on board to mix and so far it’s sounding awesome!!

2 really cool song placements have happened-

‘Take A Walk With Me’ which I co-wrote with Scott Whyte is featured on the movie and trailer of a documentary film really close to my heart called “Baby Let Your Hair Hang Down”.  The film stars fellow Aussie Georgia Van Cuylenburg and it’s getting some exciting buzz in the film festival circuit.  Fingers crossed for continued success.  Please check out the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXgBbzjjxl0

Another song I co-write with Scott Whyte has just been placed on the ending credits of the new Val Kilmer western “The First Ride Of Wyatt Earp”.  Yay!!   The feature is set to release around March of next year.  Scott is singing this one (for a nice change) and it has a really cool rural vibe to it.  I’ve posted it on my page for those of you who want a preview- it’s called ‘Goodbye Yesterday’.

For those of you who’ve been asking about upcoming shows you’ll be happy to know that I’ll be playing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood next month.  Downbeat happens on October 13th so save the date and stay tuned for details closer to the time.  I do believe it’s a free show and all ages event so that’s a  nice plus for all of my not yet 21 friends :)

Be sure to grab some never ending pasta at Olive Garden if you haven’t already.  I hear they’re playing the crap out of that commercial right now but since I’m in it I won’t complain ;)

Keep writing me and leaving comments on my youtube and Facebook.  Always love to hear from you and appreciate your support!!

Chantelle x

http://www.reverbnation.com/chantellebarry

http://www.myspace.com/chantellebarry

Check out Chantelle Barry’s CD “Simple Things” and downloads at SHOP HorizonVU Music http://blog.horizonvumusic.com/?page_id=4023

http://www.horizonvumusic.com/Chantelle_Barry.php

Chantelle Barry

Chantelle Barry

Commenting on singer/songwriter and actress Chantelle Barry,  Lionel Richie comments  ”long overdue,..the best kept secret on the planet”.  We couldn’t agree more.  We first came to know her through her music – “You” and “Like You Do” (Elvis-like).

She’s  intelligent,  talented and strikingly pretty. If that isn’t enough, talking with her is just…fun. You come away from meeting her feeling like you have a real new friend.  A native of Perth Western Australia, Chantelle Barry won Australia’s version of POPSTARS, earning a coveted spot in the all-girl pop group, Bardot. The group’s debut single, “Poison”, entered the ARIA Singles Chart at 1, where it spent two consecutive weeks, earning a double platinum certification. It became the sixth highest selling single in Australia in 2000, and was the highest selling single by an Australian act that year.  Since leaving Australia, she’s lived in London and now resides in Los Angeles.

Chantelle, thanks so much for taking time to talk to us. It’s such a pleasure to chat with you. We know a little bit about you – we know you are Australian, you left Australia to pursue you music and acting career, stopped of in London and now you are in Southern California. Fill in the blanks a bit if you will…how and where did you start your career in music and acting?

CB: I started singing when I was 5 or 6.  I sang in a lot of competitions and really loved being on stage.  Acting came later. When I was in my last year of primary school my music teacher who was from California, Mr Mike Leaderbrand wrote a musical based on the C.S. Lewis novel ‘The Silver Chair’ and made me the star of it.  I was like “Wait, I can act AND sing at the same time?, I’m in!!”.  Mr Leaderbrand was a huge inspiration to me.  He taught me how to read music and introduced me to a lot of great music like The Beatles and Pink Floyd.  My dad was also a musician and an audio engineer so when I wasn’t at school I had my dad teaching me about decibels and country music.  Yep, he insisted that if I wanted to be a good singer I needed to be able to sing country, so I had an eclectic style from a really young age.

I went to a performing arts high school and buried myself in theater.  I just really had a passion for learning about different techniques and playwrights and loved the idea of becoming a different person to tell a story on stage.  I wasn’t a ‘cool kid’ that’s for sure, but I truly believed that everything I was interested in was cool.

When I finished high school I moved to The East coast (Sydney) to study acting and that’s when I really started to get into songwriting.  Then I auditioned for a TV show called POPSTARS.  It was a making of the band type show, I made the final cut and the rest is a hop, step and a google click away ;)

How do you describe you music – your sound?

CB: That’s always a tough question for me but I think I’d call it ’singer songwriter/pop’.  If I had to do a pitch I’d probably say Sade meets Bruno Mars. Old school meets new school.  I have a lot of musical influences and I think they all make an appearance in some song or another.

Tell us a bit about your journey from Australia to LA – were you performing along the way?

CB: And what a long journey it’s been!!   I’ve always felt like there was more for me out in the world and I felt a little stunted in Australia- for lack of a better word.  So I moved to London first, it was an easier transition seeing that there are so many Aussies in the UK, but after 8 months of cold and writing too many songs about being lonely I moved to sunny Los Angeles CA.  I’d visited the states before and since I was a little girl I had dreams of one day living here so it seemed like the natural next step for me to take.

Your first CD, Simple Things…tell us about that…what inspired you to do the CD?

CB: Simple Things was my first album and a really big deal for me.  Being in a place like LA, it’s easy to get swept away in all the excitement and

Scott Whyte and Chantelle Barry

Scott Whyte and Chantelle Barry

opportunity, but on the flip side it’s just as easy to feel jaded and to personalize the daily rejections that this industry deals out.  So one day I was sitting in my car thinking about my life and my (at the time) evident lack of money and out came the song Simple Things.  People really took a liking to the song and it was the first time I’d written something that organic that didn’t come out of me asking “Ok, what do the labels wanna hear?  Would this sound good on the radio?”.  It resonated because it came from a real place.  So a few years later I met a really talented actor/musician on a movie I was working on, by the name of Scott Whyte. He came out to see me perform one night and once he heard my music he wanted to produce an album for me.  At the time he was a first time producer so it was a fun and bumpy ride for both of us.  The thing about Scott is that he really got my music immediately.  He wasn’t wanting to change my style or put beats to my songs- he just wanted to produce something really organic that showed the songs in their best light.  And I think that’s exactly what he did.

Now Scott and I are writing partners and have a song that we wrote on hold for the new Footloose movie.  Fingers crossed.

Let”s take a few minutes right now to watch your video, “Letting Go”…


We’ve mentioned the support you’ve gotten from Lionel Richie…tell us about how you came to know Lionel and a bit about the direction he has given you.


CB: I met Lionel years ago when I first moved to LA.  His manger at the time was trying to sign me (and get into my pants, but that’s a whole other story) and mid meeting in walks Lionel Richie.  I tried to play it cool given that he’s an absolute legend and I grew up listening to him on the radio but I think it was obvious that I was really star struck.  We immediately clicked.  He reminds me a lot of my dad in some ways so early on we established a fun relaxed relationship, and I always fee like he’s someone I can be myself around and really trust.  He’s alway given me the most honest advice in regards to my music and he respects the fact that I’m still here pursuing my passion, and admittedly it’s really nice to have that kind of support from someone as like him.  He’s a pioneer in the music business.  He’s also one of the most generous people I know- when I told him that I was going to make my album Simple Things he bought me an Apple computer completely decked out with all the music programs that we’d need.  We’ve talked about me opening for him one day,…that is definitely one of the most exciting prospects I can imagine.

Do you recall a special moment in your career – that memory that keeps you going even when it’s been a really bad day?

CB: When I was just out of high school I auditioned for big show and got really close on it.  My mum flew to Sydney with me for the callback and when I didn’t get the part I was so disappointed, but my mum gave me a huge hug, told me how proud she was of me for getting that far and took me to see Showboat that night.  I know that no matter what I always have my family and my friends and they love me no matter how successful i am.  That is a constant in my life and that keeps me going for sure.

A lot of our young friends dream of going to LA and becoming a star…Be frank, tell us about what’s it’s like to be part of the LA music scene…the great, and maybe the not so great…?

CB: I always tell people to do it because you love it,..because there’s nothing else you wanna do.  For me, when I wake up music’s the first thing on my mind and when I go to sleep it’s still there.   There are so many ups and downs (welcome to life),…I get a lot of joy from performing live because I know that my music is reaching people immediately, and I love getting letters from people telling me how they could relate to my lyrics or how one of my songs helped them through a breakup.  That’s really rewarding.  On the not so fun side often it feels like you’re fate is in other peoples’ hands.  Waiting for someone to say “yes” , which could be the one yes that changes your entire life.  But I think finding a way to say “yes!” to yourself is key.  Approval has to start from within, and I’m still learning that.

You seem to have your finger in a lot of different pots. Do you get much free time to pursue other passions?

CB: I try to stay really busy.  Kind of like the concept of throwing a bunch into the air and seeing what sticks, ya know.   I recently performed at the NAMM conference at the Sennheier booth and received an awesome endorsement deal with them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBGJ_dLqO0g .  I couldn’t be happier, especially since this satisfies my microphone fetish ;)   As a result of that Scott and I made a cool making of video where that showcases my songwriting process from start to finish featuring Sennheiser gear.  The company loved the video so much that they’re now going to put the video on their home page.  Making the video was fun.

I also just became the face of a new skincare lone called KEVO Naturals (www.kevonaturals.com).  I have really sensitive skin and this product is amazing.  It’s made from all natural ingredients like certified organic shea butter blended with jojoba and essential oils,..and having a free life time supply isn’t a bad deal!

What’s next for you? We know you are working with Gerry Ceagle…what do you two have planned?

CB: Believe it or not I met my music manager Gerry on Facebook. (I will NEVER talk sh*#t about an online social network again!)  He’s managed some really amazing artists, has an impressive career as a radio programmer for many years, and above all he’s a real fan of my music.  At the moment we’re shopping to major labels.  It’s been a weird time for me because I’m such a proactive person and have a difficult time not being in control of my career (ha, clearly I chose the wrong business), so I had to take a  lot of my content down from websites and online stores and haven’t been pursuing the same opportunities that I usually do just because we’re waiting for labels responses. I think the biggest frustration for me is that it seems like major labels wanna find the next big ‘unique’ thing but no-one’s really willing to take the risk on someone that doesn’t sound familiar or like an artist that already on the radio.  I trust Gerry though and I trust my own instincts so at this point it’s just a waiting game.  Maybe I’ll try to master the art of patience in the meantime ;)

I always have to ask my friends…who is your hero?

CB: I have a couple.  Judy Garland for sure.  That is a woman who took so much crap from the industry from such a young age- she wasn’t pretty enough or skinny enough or whatever, and she never quit.  There was something so beautifully melancholy about her and yet everytime I listen to her singing I feel so happy.  What a gift.

My other hero is hands down my mother.  An amazingly strong woman who didn’t have much growing up in terms of material wealth, but she has never let her circumstances define who she is.  My mum is one of those rare people that lives by example.  Not to mention the fact that she made every costume of mine when I performed as a kid and has done nothing but support me and every crazy idea I’ve ever had.  I’m very lucky.   Oh yeah, and she cooks up a storm!

Chantelle, it’s been a real pleasure chatting with you. Please know you have friends at HorizonVU Music…five stars for you and all the best of luck! Stay in touch!

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