Canadian rapper and Jewish rap ambassador SHI 360 had a very eclectic upbringing, raised by North African parents in Israel, and his music reflects this. Additionally, he grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Charles Aznavour, and Egyptian singer songwriter and actress, Umm Kulthum. SHI 360 first heard hip hop while lstening to “The Voice of Peace”, a pirate radio station run by Israeli peace activist, Abie Nathan.
Describing herself as “Afro-tina”, Reinana Fernandez performs as Simply Rayne. The 20 year old singer was raised on the classics such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Al Green, Diana Ross, and Etta James, and later on explored her own interests, such as Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Prince, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Mary J. Blige, and Lauryn Hill. But her number one influence is the queen herself: Beyoncé.
San Diego’s Jonny Dee’s love for the likes of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson – along with a new found interest in spirituality and peace – has clearly had an influence on his new music. His latest album, ‘The Human Experience’, which was released in the spring, sees Dee declaring himself to be the new saviour of rock and roll, and blending elements of funk, jazz, psychedelia, and soul, combined with a rap sound and rock. Essentially it’s a sound all of his own, which he’s dubbed “psychedelic hip hop”.
Think of some of the most influential music of all time…Beyoncé, The Beatles, Michael Jackson…now think, what made these artists so successful? Sure, they made great music, but who’s listening to that great music? The fans! In this day an age, getting exposure to the right audience is just as important as getting your sound right. Reaching the right audience gives you the best shot at growing your fanbase, getting scouted, playing a live gig or even getting your first album deal. We’ve rounded up some top tips from music industry expert, Chris Grayston, on how to grow your fans and followers.
Judith Hill has performed backing vocals for Michael Jackson, Josh Brogan, and Stevie Wonder; she additionally dueted with Jackson on ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ during his ‘This Is It’ tour. She opened for on John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’ tour in 2014, and had her debut album produced by Prince. Judith auditioned for season four of The Voice, broadcast in 2013, singing Christina Aguilera’s song, ‘What A Girl Wants’, causing all four judges – Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton all pressing their buttons and turning their chairs to choose her. Eventually she chose to join Team Adam, who said, “She’s going to be a Grammy-winning superstar, and she’s on my team”.
New Zealand artist Tom-Lee Richards summons childhood nostalgia, as he recalls a childhood trauma, in his mini-LP ‘Out of the Oddness’.
He tells us about the LP, which contains songs- like ‘As Far As India’ – that is based on his own life experiences, as well reveals more about his musical influences.
Thomas Dolby is indeed a Connector. His book, ‘The Speed Of Sound’ is on the surface the story of his life to date: the first half about his music, and the second about his life as a pioneer in the computer industry in Silicon Valley.
Dig a little deeper though – and it won’t have to be too deep, and you realise that it’s really about his connections.