Kovic, a.k.a Mark Konstantinovic, is a U.K. based singer, songwriter, and performer. Kovic’s career started with him traveling constantly from London to Brighton playing every open mic night he could, working his craft, his showmanship, and his songwriting with every new audience he found himself in front of. After years of building his reputation brick by brick, he released his debut album ‘Running Underwater’. The album saw an incredible 40 million streams on Spotify. Opting to stay independent, Kovic turned down a major label contract and in 2019 found his song ‘Drown’ featured in that year’s FIFA video game, followed up by a performance at the Royal Albert Hall for BBC Radio 1. Gearing up to release his latest album, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Kovic about life, liberty, and the pursuit of all things music.
A little while ago, I got to hear the latest single from R.I.Pablo, singer/writer/producer and member of the Manchester writing collective, The Six, known worldwide for developing some of the catchiest pop melodies around. It’s always exciting seeing creative people do what they do best, and in the case of R.I.Pablo I was looking forward to hearing what the follow up to “Sunday Morning Boy” would be (Read my review of R.I.Pablo’s “Sunday Morning Boy” here: https://essentiallypop.com/epop/2021/08/hit-maker-r-i-pablo-strikes-out-on-his-own-with-new-single-sunday-morning-boy/). With the release of his first EP Bug Lyf coming out September 29th, I had the pleasure of catching up with Pablo, chatting about the inspiration behind the EP, and got an exclusive listen to Bug Lyf that I’m now passing along to y’all.
R.I.Pablo might be a new name to some, but he is definitely not new to music. As a member of The Six, a writing collective from Manchester, England, he is known worldwide for developing some of the catchiest pop melodies. Pablo holds an impressive pen game with his biggest solo breakthrough being co-writing half of Bebe Rexha’s second album Better Mistakes. He’s also contributed to various Billboard charting songs including Marshmello’s “Leave Before You Love Me”, which landed in Billboard’s top 20 in the US, Alan Walker x Noah Cyrus “All Falls Down”, Marshmello + Anne Marie “FRIENDS”, and “Baby I’m Jealous” from Bebe Rexha x Doja Cat to name a few. With The Six’s songs amassing over 1 billion streams on Spotify collectively, Pablo decided that it was time to start his own project and release music under his own name. Today, Pablo releases his second single “Sunday Morning Boy”.
For some, the name Casi Joy is synonymous with the 2017 season of The Voice where she had one of the best blind auditions in the history of the show according to Rolling Stone Magazine. A powerhouse of a singer on Team Blake. For her family and friends in Kansas City, as well as her fans, Casi Joy is that hardworking homegrown talent doing what she was meant to do.
I was asked to premiere this song written by a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from New York City named Stella Prince. Given her age and just how many artists, from Taylor Swift to Bob Dylan, are considered singer/songwriters; I thought I was going to hear something more along the lines of “Me”, “Cardigan”, maybe even “Driver’s Licence” By Olivia Rodrigo. What I did hear, was surprising and brilliant!
Walker County is a sister duo from Sulphur Springs IN, a town of 390 people. Ivey Dene and Sophie Dawn would take frequent trips to Nashville from Sulphur Springs very early on, busking on lower Broadway. In fact, the first time the sister duo busked on Broadway Ivey was 12 and Sophie was 9 years old. Bitten by the performance bug the sisters started playing fairs and festivals until about 7 years ago, this duo made the move to Nashville permanently to pursue their passion for music full time.
How young is too young to know things about life, have experiences, and want to pass that wisdom along? How old do you have to be to have valuable wisdom to share? As a songwriter, I believe that storytelling is a partnership between the artist/writer and the source of inspiration. The more we let that inspiration guide us, let our experiences and emotions dictate the stories we tell, the more we’ll have to share. When I sat down to listen to artist/producer/songwriter Brye’s latest song “Rather Be Alone” I was immediately struck by how well-crafted the lyrics were, and how relatable the song was.
If you had told me when I was 10 that through pursuing my passions in music that I would also work with my siblings writing blogs, songs, and screenplays, that I would get to tour with them, watch them pursue their dreams, and that as a result, I would be interviewing my brother as the lead of a brand-new CBC Gem show called ‘The Communist’s Daughter’, then I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Looking back, I also wouldn’t have changed a thing!
Liddy Clark is someone who feels things on a very deep level. After a very cool conversation with this young singer/songwriter she opened up about how feeling moments as deeply as she does can often lead to her feeling drained, overwhelmed, and at times make the situation seemingly incomprehensible.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. These words by John Lennon ring truer today than I think they ever have before. We all had plans to do things, go somewhere, be places that other people were or were not, and then life happened. For most people, these months of unrest, upheaval, and isolation have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. For some, however, this kind of experience isn’t a new one.
There’s a term that I use a lot for mid-tempo, danceable tracks where the rhythm physically moves me. Songs where I can’t help but smile as they begin and feel completely willing to go down whatever road they want to take me down. Sway, that’s my term for songs like Stevie Bill’s “Better”, and this song has sway for days.
I am a huge fan of Pop Punk music. Some of my fondest memories take place in a now-closed club in Toronto waiting to watch bands like New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack, Plain White T’s, and Fall Out Boy do their thing. So, when I heard the opening seconds of Little Cities self-titled EP, it felt like coming back home. Then I found out that this 5-piece alt-pop rock outfit is also from Canada and knew I was already home.