With a strong, classic motown vibe, Laura Cole’s latest release Dirty Cheat is confident and sassy…
We live in an age where the medley is found on every street corner. A few years ago the concept was made popular again – revived, if you like – through the TV show Glee.
Rich and sweeping wide, Vitne’s ‘Winter Love Song’ is a perfect Christmas time soundtrack full of glacial tones and emotive sounds.
Harking back to a classic 80s glam style – and who wouldn’t want that? – what sets Vitne’s sound apart is the addition of a swirling psych rock feel that runs through the track. The beauty is found in the construction – the component parts of the track all come together to form a solid and coherent piece of alternative rock – the swirling chorus laden guitars at the start, the solid bass line that sits like a cement foundation beneath everything, and the emotional vocals that pull in the listener to hang on every word and every note that is held. By the time the song has tipped beyond its mid point, it is when things really start getting serious, shifting into a more explosive and energetic sound as the guitars really rumble with distortion, allowing the squealing solo to step in and take centre stage, before finally stepping back to allow the track to finally settle down in a calm fashion, reminding us that this is a ‘Winter Love Song’. It might be an unusual choice to place this on your Christmas playlist, but it wouldn’t be at all out of place.
Deeply and carefully thought through and constructed, Metro Expo 1 is a concept album through and through.
Less pop, and more in the vein of experimental, Junichi Arima’s ’23 Summit Ave’ mashes together sounds that ordinarily wouldn’t be expected to work together.
For the benefit of anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last ten years…who on earth are you?
I am Kenny Fame an “artist” out of NYC that has grown to dislike the term Pop Artist (of which I am usually defined) because I feel as though only artist that have the machine behind them & by the term machine I am referring to the overall music conglomerates, major label’s backing: MTV, iHeart, Clear Channel, Warner, Sony, etc you can not truly be a Pop Artist – “Pop music” isn’t a sound it’s a backing (support system).
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
I got started as a poet/spoken word artist; but again something that I have grown to dislike admitting to, because then people assume that since a guitar isn’t strapped around my neck, I must have been created in a cookie cutter factory that I walked into one sunny afternoon & was handed lyric sheets, & then as per a producer’s request a green button was pushed & I magically began to sing on cue; but once the red button got pushed, I was turned off & then I was sent on my merry little way; when in fact I wrote every song from beginning to end: lyrics, melody & chorus & the chord charts were created with me in the room in some cases but in other cases like with Another Man’s Woman & A Different Day I wrote all of the chords as well & I’ve always produced everything: video’s, music. I remix, edit, engineered several of my own song’s, I’ve directed, produced & edited my own video’s – pop singer’s don’t do that & they don’t have to; that’s why I am not a pop singer. I am a “singular sensation”; thank you very much Michael Bennett.
I drive me because I am amazed at my own fabulousness. There was never another artist quite like me & after me there will be none. I’m not saying that I am the greatest of all time but there is only one Freddie Mercury & there always will be. There is only one David Bowie. There is only one Kurt Cobain & there will only be one me: this Black country singing, Blues rattling, Dance music stomping, Funk making, Rocker – that defies any singular musical genre & then some. I don’t expect everybody to like what I do because we do live in a world that made Justin Beiber a star (go figure). People nowadays all sound exactly the same. Its as if one person is creating every beat. I turn on Power 105 & I throw up; its like really? Rap music hasn’t grown since the 90’s; at least was being forced fed as “music”. I feel sorry for the public because we once looked for originality – people now settle for carbon copies. Thank you very much Beyonce.
Are there any interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
I was discovered by Madonna as a very young artist. I was in my teens & new to NYC. I was working as a go-go dancer by night & an artist model by day & Madonna came down to one of the clubs that I was performing. I was in a troupe back then & she wanted all of us to appear in a project that she was doing (video & publication work). The irony of the story is that she fired me before it even began, because I was so young & naive, that I didn’t have a phone to be reached at. I used to used my parent’s phone number; but in that case I was too terrified to give the club, my mother’s number out of fear that they might call my parent’s house & my mom would find out how I had been supporting myself in NYC (Oy Vey); long story short Denise (manager at the club) called every dancer on staff (or at least the ones that were in NYC at that very moment) and when I couldn’t be reached, I was chopped. It seemed that Madonna had this whole secret everything going on & we weren’t informed about when, where anything would take place until, it was taking place. I never signed the legendary confidentiality agreement, so one day I’ll tell more lol; but in a nutshell I walked away thinking if Madonna thought I was special & beautiful specimen I might add; maybe, just maybe it’s true. Thank you very much Madge.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Being born. Being Black & Being in NYC; and in that very order. Thank you very much.
How can we keep up to date with what you are up to?
I always tell people to Google me, yes Google Kenny Fame, thatís actually more accurate than any of my singular pages but please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud & everywhere else as well. Thank you very much to everybody that has followed thus far.
How did the band get together?
A couple of us, Ryan and Anthony, have been writing and performing together for about 15 years. About 10 years ago, our percussionist Lucas sat in during an on-stage jam session, and the chemistry was automatic. A few months after that, we put out a call to audition drummers to round out our lineup. We ended up auditioning only one – our current drummer and keyboardist Cory. We’ve been grooving ever since.
What would you say are your main influences?
Our main influences are life, love, and humanity. We really try to capture the essence of each in both our music and lyrics. Back when we first started, we were going the “covers band with a couple of originals thrown into every set” route. But we quickly realized that, rather than settling for that and playing weddings and barmitzvahs like countless other musicians, what we really wanted to do was say something, not just play something. After all, if we were already spending the time and energy learning someone else’s tunes, why not spend that same time and energy creating something original? So, we look within and what comes out are songs about love, loss, desire and all that. But also, we’ll touch on subjects such as absentee fathers, the blood diamond trade, addiction, refugees, PTSD. The point is, we try not to settle. As far as artists who’ve had an impact on us musically, well, there’s Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince, D’Angelo, Maxwell, Bill Withers, Radiohead, Kaki King, Van Hunt, DJ Shadow, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Beatles, Eddie Palmieri.
What got you most excited about making your latest album?
The fact that we were able to relax and make it on our own terms. With the album before this – 2009’s From the Storm to the Sun – we were at the tail end of writing, recording and performing almost four years non-stop. We needed a break and time away to examine if this thing was even going to continue. But after we had some breathing room, we came together again and it was like being reborn! The groove was still there, our musical conversations were just as natural. So, we proceeded a little cautiously at first, wanting to just capture the moment. Soon enough, though, the ideas were fast and furious, and the excitement and joy that comes from playing together bled through to this new album. This approach allowed for a free flow that made this the most fun project yet.
What plans do you have coming up next?
Next, we’re slowly putting the finishing touches on part two of the Equilibria recordings – songs that weren’t included on our latest album, plus those that have been in the vault for some years. Also, individually we’re working on various projects – writing, recording, producing, but also performing with other ensembles. Just spreading our wings and making music!
How can we keep up to date with what you are up to?
The best way is to check out our official website Soulganic.com. We’re also plugged in socially – Twitter.com/Soulganic and Facebook.com/Soulganic.