Tag Archive: Pop


Lexy1Lexy Cassell is a singer/songwriter from Long Island, NY. She mixes pop, rock and punk into her music style. Songs she sings reflect her life philosophy which are to break the norms. Her song Original is about being yourself and is currently played in rotation on several radio stations. It won the people’s choice for most votes in Newsday’s Battle of the Bands contest. Lexy has performed at Jones Beach and local events, fairs, concerts and TV shows. She also enjoys skateboarding and is a sponsored skateboarder, team rider and model for sPACYcLOUd and Skate Girls Tribe. She visits high schools as a teen mentor and has spoken at school assemblies for anti-bullying awareness.

HVUM: How do you describe yourself? What are your key strengths, and generally, where might you like to improve personally?

LC: I’d describe myself as a hard working and resilient. I’ve broken 4 bones skateboarding and I don’t give up easily, I love a challenge. I also enjoy being able to entertain people. I’m always working on improving myself and moving forward, whether it’s olling a 4 step on my board or a new song on the piano. If it’s nice outside I can forget the time and skate all day so trying to manage my time can be hard if I have a few things going on in one day.

HVUM How do you view your family in relation to your wanting a career in music?

LC: Without the support from my family this wouldn’t be possible. My parents drive me to events, coordinate my schedule and pay for Lexy2expenses. They also let the band practice in my basement.

HVUM: Tell us about your background and development in music. When and why did you start playing music? Did you have any formal training?

LC: When I was around 8 I would go into my room and dance around, make music videos and post them on You Tube. When my mother found out I was doing it I thought I might be in trouble but she watched the videos and liked them. She told me she would get me singing lessons if that’s what I wanted to do and she also enrolled me in a local music school.

HVUM: Are there any particular musicians or bands that have influenced you?

LC: Yes, when I was 8 I saw Lady Gaga perform a News Eve show in Miami. I watched her from the hotel balcony and it was that moment I knew I wanted to have a career in music. There are so many artists I enjoy. I love Avril, Britney Alanis, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Evanescence and Paramore just to name a few.

HVUM: Do you think being a female in a rock band is any different than being male? If you think that there are differences, what are they?

Lexy4LC: I don’t look at it that way. I like to be known as myself. Just like when I skateboard I don’t like people to say I’m a good skateboarder for a girl. I’d like to be known as a good skater period. Most of the contest I skate at I’m usually the only girl so I’m use to competing with the guys.

HVUM: When it comes to building your individual brand as an artist or as a band how do you set your objectives and priorities? What are the toughest objectives to achieve?

LC: Part of building my brand is being true to who I am. So it’s pretty easy. I basically just do random Lexy stuff. I believe it’s me just being me. I enjoy making videos goofing around and letting people just get to know me as a person and see who I am, I do what I like and that’s how I feel I can really connect.

HVUM: Thinking about the key elements for your success how you rank Talent, Team support, Technology, Networks and markets, financial support.

LC: Talent is number one and number two is having committed people supporting you. The rest are all equally important.

HVUM: Given that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…) are so important how do you deal with the demands of networking online? What do you consider to be the pros and cons of social media as a means for driving success?

LC: I love to use social media as a tool to network.. I recently started going LIVE on Face book *Lexy Cassell and Instagram *Lexyy Cassell. I don’t see too many downfalls so far social media has been very helpful for me. I can book shows and share information and make new friends.
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HVUM: Are you ever concerned about your public image or do you expect people to accept you as you are and forget about changing to meet public approval?

LC: Something that’s important to me is to be who you are. I’m happy with being myself. I’m not perfect and I don’t feel pressure to be that way because I try to keep it real. Part of being a skater means my sneakers are a mess my jean have holes and my hair is all over the place. I feel I’m pretty authentic to who I am and it would be hard to change that. I’d look pretty silly in high heels and a dress on a skateboard.

HVUM: Given that you are young, are you ever concerned that your efforts to build a music career will “disconnect” you from your closest peer group (schoolmates, for example)?

LC: Absolutely not. I get what I have to get done during the week. For example school, lessons and band practice. On the weekends if I’m not performing, I have sleepovers, eat out and go to the mall with my squad. During the summer I spend a few weeks at Woodward which is an extreme sports camp for skateboarders, BMX bikers, and cheer.

HVUM: Do you get nervous before you perform in public or does it just come naturally to you?

LC:When I was younger I did. Not now, it’s just what I do and I look forward to doing it.

HVUM: What is your most memorable moment as a musician? Do you have an experience you’d like to forget? Can you tell us about it?

LC: My most memorable moments are when someone special surprises me and comes to one of my shows.

HVUM: What are your primary social causes or interests?

Lexy3
LC: I’m very involved in Autism Awareness and have spent several Sundays playing at a local Café the employs young adults with developmental disabilities. I support Paws of A Cause and Long Island Domestic Violence Awareness. I also helped raise money for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital here on Long Island.

HVUM: Is there anything you’d like to add to the interview? Anything we’ve missed?

LC: Yes. Recently I’ve started a band called ELISA. It stands for East Long Island Skate Agenda. I have an amazing guitarist Andrew Friedman, cool David Wolfsohn on bass and hitting the drums is Peter Leonardo. We all immediately clicked from our first time we played together I think it’s because we’re all skaters.. We have a great vibe and energy and we’re starting to record our own songs, have booked several shows and a TV interview and just love to hang together and be real.
This month I started a job as a DJ on Radio Buzz 101 Real Alternative. I’m on Sunday from12am-2am and my goal is to bring some attention to the hardworking local bands out there.

Lexy, thanks so much for taking time with us! You’ve got a lot of talent and energy to make things happen. We wish you all the very best of luck and success. Let’s stay in contact going forward. Again, thank you.

Visit Lexy at Facebook and YouTube


Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor
In the Next Life
Flower Moon

The Birmingham Alabama-born singer-songwriter has released her sixth solo album. The tracks are generally mellow and warm. Taylor’s dreamy voice makes this album well worth the time.

Visit Maria Taylor at Facebook and iTunes

Emily Jane White

Emily Jane White
They Moved in Shadow All Together
Talitres

California indie rock, folk-rock, indie acoustic artist has released her fifth album. The album is hypnotizing and even eerie at times. She addresses social battles and injustices faced by women. In addition to the lead tract, “Frozen Garden”, special recognition goes to “Pallid Eyes” and “Nigtmares on Repeat”.

Visit Emily Jane White at Facebook and iTunes

Alice Bag_200x200Alice Bag

Alice Bag

Don Giovanni

Punk rock verteran Alice Bag has released her first solo album on the Don Giovanni label. She is a noted musician, author and feminist. The album offers up plenty of rock (“Little Hypocrite”), but there’s also some intelligent pop (“Suburban Home”) and Latin folk-rock (“Incorporeal Life”).

Visit Alice Bag at Facebook and iTunes.

Helen Love

Helen Love
Smash Hits
Alcopop!

Helen Love is back with their eight album since their formation in 1992. This Ramones-loving band from Wales made up of members Helen, Sheena and Ricardo Autobahn offers up their combination of punk rock, pop and dance. This album is nothing short of great fun!

Visit Helen Love at Facebook and iTunes


“You just need to believe in yourself. Anyone can sing. Anyone can play the guitar. It’s not that people can say that “I’m not good at that”. It’s not true. You have to not let fear hold you back.” Heather Boo, Beau

On 1 April, HorizonVU Music’s Phil Cartwright met up in Paris with Beau – Heather Boo and Emma Rose – for an informal conversation about the duo’s background, development and points-of-view toward music and expression. Many thanks to Viviane Bres, Kitsuné Records, for making the meet-up possible.

HVMU: This afternoon we have the opportunity to visit with Emma Rose and Heather Boo – together known as Beau. It’s a real pleasure for HorizonVU Music to have the chance to hear your live performance and meet you for a visit today. We can talk a bit about your background, what’s been going on with Beau and talk a bit about the future.

We’ve done our homework reading your profile and interviews that you have done (The Village Voice and Numéro, for example). We understand that you are from New York City, you met through family connections and you have been friends for a long time. You are basically self-taught as far as your musical background is concerned which is quite incredible. Developing on your own is quite amazing.
Can you tell us a bit of the backstory? We have a following of young female emerging musicians and they like to hear from success stories. Surely, you didn’t decide just to have a band one day and all of a sudden you had a manager, a label and went on tour. Can you tell us how your story evolved?

Beau2HB: Well, we were always writing music. We started writing songs. This was after we knew how to play the guitar. This is before I started singing. I thought I was going to be a guitar player. We were writing songs, we got inspired by other musicians who are songwriters and we just knew that is what we wanted to do. We started writing and playing guitar together and that’s when things came full-circle. We realized that we have a lot to say. Not only that, but were not going to be self-conscious and be held back. We were going to write, write, write and produce until we thought we had something we felt good about. We made a lot of music. We recorded music on our iPhone and someone heard it.

I started singing and Emma started playing the guitar heavily. She got really involved. She started when she was twelve years old. She just grew. I started singing and became more confident. There’s a thing about music. You do not need to take lessons. You just need to believe in yourself. Anyone can sing. Anyone can play the guitar. It’s not that people can say that “I’m not good at that”. It’s not true. You have to not let fear hold you back. We are human beings in a society where we have been chanting and singing melodies for years, so that is natural.

So, a friend of a friend heard our music and introduced us to the head of our record label. He popped the question whether or not we had a record label and whether we would like one. We said “yes”.

HVUM: That’s fabulous; a great story. When you look back from where you re today and thinking about people that are starting out, were there any real bumps in the road that you hit and you haven’t forgotten them? How did you get over the bumps?

ER: There are bumps in every road. I don’t think it was one big thing that happened. It was a bunch of little things that happened
Beau3 all the time. That’s where the magic happens, too.

I think the attacks in Paris were really crazy for us. We were on tour in Europe at the time. We were in The Hague at the time. We had the day off the day after the attacks. We started asking ourselves what we should do. That’s one time we questioned whether or not we should take a break. It was scary and it first seemed like musicians were targeted, but of course, it was everyone. That was a big eye-opening event for us in the world. Other than that no real problems.

HVUM: That’s great. So far, so, good. One thing that we’ve noted about your music is that you have a very cool eclectic sound. As we listen to the album we hear rock, folk/rock, a little blues, folk, and some punk and even some jazz. The punk came through more in your live performance last night than it does on the album. The album is beautiful. There is some more “mellow” sounding music. Many musicians have a hard time being eclectic. They hit on a genre and stay with it. They never get outside the borders. How did you pull it off?

ER: We never thought about it. That’s how we pulled it off. When you start thinking about things, nitpicking and judging your music that’s when it all goes wrong.

HB: We are inspired by a lot of people growing up in New York. Every day we wanted to write. I feel like performance-wise making a genre for a band can be a big mistake. Either the band makes the genre or the people make the genre. If the band makes the genre they stick to one thing. If the people make the genre they need to put a label on each song.

BeauOur style and the style of our producer shows through on our Beau album. This gives the album a more specific genre than the live performance, but each song is so different that it should be put under its own genre like “open” or “worldly” or “confusing”. What makes a really good performance is the range a person can give to the audience. You’re expressing yourself. You are expressing the truth of the song, the emotion of the song. You have to be honest with the song and if you are honest each song will be different.

ER: On our set list we also try to put different kinds of songs.

HVUM: You mix it up very well. Can you help us tie together the title, ”That Thing Reality” with the tracks.

HB: Since all of the songs are so different, “That Thing Reality “ is a really good title. For me it felt right. Emma came up with the title and I felt very comfortable with it.

HVUM: What’s the story behind “Animal Kingdom”?

HB: It’s a funny story. Originally we didn’t know what to do with it. It sounded great; great melody, great hook. We weren’t sure if we wanted to talk about the relationship between man and beast or politics…

We had a crazy drummer and we produced a different version of it. It was crazy pop-punk. We all struggled with it. Writing with three people s difficult. We decided to put it on the album. Emma came with final lyrics that were solidified. Emma put it together. It was almost like a book; so detailed. We still didn’t feel comfortable. In the studio it was the last song we worked.

ER: It’s fun to play live.

HVUM: We’ve posted the video and it gets a positive response. Keep it up! Other than music, what do you do for fun?

Beau Photo Credit: Amber Byrne Mahoney Photography

Photo Credit: Amber Byrne Mahoney Photography



ER: Walk a lot.

HB: We like to walk and write and draw. In New York anything can happen; a naked guy walking down the street and somebody gives him a pair of socks and a shirt.

ER: I like Chinatown.

HB: We never get tired of New York. It’s always changing. No store stays there for more than five years. It still feels like home.

ER: And we have ridiculously creative and talented friends from New York. Sometimes I’ll call one of them. If they’re in a move I’m with them just because they’re so “out there”.

HVUM: Thanks for your time and we hope you’ll keep us up to date. Hopefully you’ll come back to Paris and have a night to yourself so you can play all twelve tracks. It’s been a pleasure talking with you and we wish you all the best!

Visit Beau on Facebook and Twitter


Buzz_002

What’s The Buzz ?


1. Maura Kennedy “Beneath The Misteltoe”

2. Emily Zuzik and Scrote “This Season Makes Me Want To Cry”

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http://muzoic.net/release/album/emily-zuzik-this-season-makes-me-cry-single

3. Sagarika “Last Christmas” (Taylor Swift Cover)

Best Holiday Wishes from HorizonVU Music!!!


Photo by Art Heffron

Photo by Art Heffron

Denver-based Folk-pop songstress Katey Laurel grew up drawing pictures, writing stories, riding horses and playing in the woods in the Colorado mountains. This is the idyllic foundation from which she crafts her life and her music. Katey’s songs range from radio-friendly pop tunes to lush, cinematic songs for film and television. With background in Classical piano and French horn as well as guitar and voice, her artistic roots are both deep and diverse. Laurel draws her musical inspiration as a songwriter from many musical styles including bluegrass, classic rock, alternative, country, and even 80s dance-pop.

Katey has performed hundreds of shows via venues, radio, television stations and festivals in Colorado and around the US, including Hotel Cafe (LA), The Bitter End (NYC), Bluebird Cafe (Nashville), Hard Rock Café Denver and Nashville, Colorado State Fair and the Greeley Stampede. She has built a solid fan base with her unique voice and a satisfying blend of folk and pop, garnering airplay on Triple A and AC radio stations around the country including KALC, KMNT, KBCO, KFMU and KOTO. Most recently she is a Great American Song Contest Top 5 Winner and NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Contest Regional Finalist, and has had two songs in rotation on Starbucks overhead programming.

As a live performer, she has shared the stage with Howie Day, Bill Mallonee, Katie Herzig, Matt Morris, Trevor Hall and others. With her latest album “Periscope” produced by industry veteran Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith), Katey Laurel is now poised to reach an even larger audience in the days ahead. Here’s your chance to get three of her songs free!

Walnut Valley Festival New Song Winner
Tucson Folk Festival National Finalist
Great American Song Contest Finalist
NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Southwest Regional Finalist
Texaco Country Showdown Southwest Regional Finalist
International Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist

Visit Katie at

Official Website: www.kateylaurel.com
Facebook: Facebook
Twitter Twitter


What’s The Buzz ?


You can keep the holidays a live with 2012 EP “All The Wonders Of This Holiday” is a 5 song collection that is nothing short of sensational! Patty Mattson can write songs, and with the expert production and mixing team headed by Grammy Winner Rob Chiarelli of ffinalmix.com, it’s just, honestly, magical. Don’t miss this!

No stranger to recording, Mattson, a gifted songwriter, invited us to share her undeniably well written and performed debut release “The Road” Late Oct 2011. Completed again with the expert production and mixing of Rob Chiarelli, Mattson takes us on a moving personal journey from the powerfully rockin, soulful and sexy, to the pristine and still manages to deliver amazing surprises along the way. This record keeps you interested in listening with well written, moving original songs and impressive vocals. “The Road” is a sure add to your music collection.

And, when Mattson’s impressive range is stunningly aligned to commercials, say, for BMW, Showtime, the Discovery Channel, or the many hilarious parody songs she does for Clear Channel and Premiere Radio Network, (including the late Howard Stern Show), she is the magnificent essential which makes each performance fly. Her wondrous imitation of Celine Dion’s Theme from Titanic with its hilariously re-written lyrics is nothing short of inspiring! You can see video’s she’s done to some of them at YouTube/pattymattson.

Visit Patty at http://pattymattson.com/


Today we’re joined by Jenna Epkey! Jenna’s no stranger to HorizonVU Music. Her cross-genre, emotion driven pop and country first caught our ears a couple of years ago. Jenna’s a singer/songwriter from Indiana, and when it comes to talking about the heartland – we look to the Midwest and think Jenna. What sets Jenna apart is the passion and emotion that goes into her music – emotions that we all know from our daily lives – the ups and the downs.

Jenna Epkey

Jenna Epkey

Hi Jenna! It’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to get together. I think you’ve been pretty busy lately. Our followers might remember that we first got to know you when you were working out of Nashville. You’ve relocated to Indiana. Tell us a little bit about where you’ve been and where you are now.

JE: Thanks so much Phil for taking time to interview me! I’m excited to share what’s been going on in my little world since I moved back to Indiana in 2010.

Since then, I released an unplugged acoustic record (Change) and my single “Steel Heart” with friend and producer, Billy Smiley (from the band Whiteheart).

We don’t know much about your musical background. How did you find the path to a music career and do you have any teachers or mentors that really motivated you from the beginning?

JE: I started to sing around eight years old. It was around that time when my family, friends, and people at church started to notice I could sing as well. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something in the entertainment world. This may sound funny, but from the moment I was introduced to Michael Jackson and his music I knew I wanted to be a performer/entertainer of some sort.

We want to get the full picture in our minds. You obviously collaborate with Tony Epke on your recordings. We note that while your on vocals, guitar and piano, Tony’s with you on guitar. Tell us about the collaboration and how the two of you work together.

JE: Tony Epkey is my husband and we play out all the time together. This wasn’t always the case, but for the last couple years we’ve found a unique bond and sound all our own. He plays on the “Steel Heart” track too. We play a nice acoustic show!

In March 2011, you released you EP, “A Little at a Time”. First, give us some background behind the release. How did it come to be?

JE: A Little at a Time is where it all began for me. In 2008, I decided I wanted to take my career to the next level, so I recorded a fully produced, top quality country EP that I still sell to this day. Some of the best musicians in Nashville played on it, and it has opened many doors for me in the music industry. I took a big leap of faith recording that record, and I am still trying to figure out how to market it…and how to get more people to hear it.

Second, reading the titles to the tracks (there are six of them) and having a listen, it’s had not to feel something’s going on with Jenna….”Miserable Girl”, “A Little At A Time”, “The Verge”…What’s going on there…what’s the storyline?

JE: Well…some of the tracks on the record aren’t my originals. I chose them because they are good songs and I could sing them well. But I can assure you as an artist there is always something going on with me internally, 🙂 I’m terribly deep and sensitive… One thing is for certain: when you get a Jenna Epkey record you’re going to get a smorgasbord of emotion! haha

On a light note, you put together a really great jingle for Folger’s. Tell us about that.

JE: My good friend (Vance Lambert) and I did the jingle in 2011. Vance wrote the tune, and we recorded it in Indianapolis where I’m from. It was a lot of fun! I think we should have won:)

Yeah, we think you should have won! Today’s a very special day. You’re releasing your video, “Steel Heart”. It’s an original single and Winner of the 2012 Blooming-Tunes Songwriter Competition. Pretty catchy song with a heavy title, tell us about the song and the video. What went into writing the song and how has it translated to video?

We’re going to take a look and listen to the video in just a second, but first, can you give us an introduction to the how it came about – production, direction and storyline?

JE: Yes. I wrote “Steel Heart” early -mid 2012. I knew it needed to be recorded right away. I believe the song really captures my voice, influences, and everything I’ve learned up to this point about writing.

The song itself is about being vulnerable with your needs and desires as a human being. We all want to be seen, heard, and loved for who we “really” are. “Steel Heart” is about realizing what you want, and the video helps reveal your role in discovering it.

In the music video I’m on a quest in the woods with a key literally around my neck searching for a treasure. The whole concept is based around finding this treasure and knowing I have the key (within) to find it.

The video was directed by Tyler Holbein. He is a young photographer from New York and this was our first project together. Tyler and a few students from Huntington University helped make this video come alive. We had great fun filming in the woods that day.

Alright, let’s have a look and listen!

Wow! That’s really fantastic! You deserve to be very happy and congrats to Tyler. So, what’s next for Jenna? Do you have some projets underway? Where are you heading in the months ahead?

JE: I’m currently writing my new record. I have a new song I’ll hopefully be releasing early 2013. It should be a very eventful and fun year ahead!

I Have to ask you my favorite question…no one gets away…Do you have a particular superhero that keeps you going or gives you inspiration?

JE: Oh jeez- favorite superhero? I don’t really have one. I do think Spiderman is really inspiring and cool though. I like the quote: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Thanks so much, Jenna. We’ve really enjoyed talking with you and we know you’re on a roll. We’re looking forward to hearing a lot more from you in 2013, so we hope you’ll stay in touch. Let us know how the new record is comining along! That’s the latest from our friend Jenna Epskey.

You can visit Jenna at http://www.jennaepkey.com. Download the mp3 version of “Steel Heart” at http://www.jennaepkey.com/fr_home.cfm or click on the Amazon.com link on this HorizonVU Music page!

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