14th Annual World Beat Song Winner
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Record Label: Self-Released
Home Base: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Alternative/Industrial rock, electronica, dark pop, classical, ambient, world…
Categories Entered: World Beat Song
Work Submitted: “Dark Water”
Artists Featured: Amy Lee, Malika Zarra, Dave Eggar, Chuck Palmer
Who are your influences?: Bjork, Portishead, MIA, Lykke Li, Hans Zimmer, Trent Reznor…
Describe your nominated work: “Dark Water” is a blending of synthetic and organic instruments, Dark pop fusion with Middle eastern influences.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: Using Oud on a song was a first for me, and my favorite was the hammer dulcimer- so eerie and dreamlike.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: I don’t know about accidents, but the process was very unplanned, and the song was uniquely built. Malika sang, making it up as she went, over a simple drum loop and an Oud strumming just one chord for 20 minutes or so. I heard particular moments I wanted to repeat, accentuate, and rearrange so I took the track home and hacked it to pieces, building the song’s skeleton that way. After that I layered my own vocals, then we added drums, programming, cellos, more vocals, hammer dulcimer, guitar, and whatever else we could think of until it felt complete.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: This was one of the songs we wrote for War Story that didn’t end up in the film, which is why I wanted to put out Aftermath– so I could still release all of the best stuff we made. We have recouped! (Fastest that’s ever happened for me, it pays to do it yourself! ha)
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: I believe that artistic success comes from within your own heart. You’re either satisfied with your work or not.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: I am constantly surprised by the diversity of my fans. I have met so many different people from all around the world, who come together and find how alike they are in the music. It’s a beautiful thing. I often find that they are particularly compassionate, because they know what it’s like to feel outcast or different.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: I like subscription streaming services like Spotify. It gives you access to just about everything and although it is a very small amount, the artist does still get paid. But I do still buy if it’s an artist or album I really like, to support it.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: Our expectation today is for instant access to everything. If somebody wants to hear a song all they have to do is go to YouTube and click play. But I don’t think the solution is just forcing people to pay for music the old way. We have to think creatively on how to get artists paid so they can afford to continue to make the music we love. I think paid streaming is kind of like cable- you have to think of music in more of a package form, rather than purchasing a la carte. We just need to keep those sites accountable for what they pay the artists vs. what they pay labels, and what they pocket.
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: I don’t understand the music industry today!
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: I think the future is anything and everything. I think that’s what makes it art, as opposed to fast food or the most efficient smartphone. Singles, full albums, vinyl, music released in App form- who knows, the next cool thing could be somebody releasing their new single in an electric toothbrush and you can only hear it while brushing your teeth.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…in a constant state of change.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: I just made some cool music with Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer for Hammerstep’s new live experience and short film project, Indigo Grey. Evanescence will be playing Ozzfest Japan November 21st, and I’m really looking forward to going back there, and performing live again!