JOVM’s William Ruben Helms belatedly celebrates 50 Cent’s 47th birthday.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon to an Irish-American father and a British mother, who was of Arabic and Italian origin, singer/songwriter and actor Michael Malarkey grew up in Yellow Springs, OH. He eventually relocated to London, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As the story goes, while studying acting and drama, Malarkey began to immerse himself in music and songwriting, which he found to be a form of poetic journalism and an endless journey of self-discovery. Interestingly, although Malarkey may be best known for playing Enzo in CW‘s The Vampire Diaries and Captain Michael Quinn in the History Channel‘s Robert Zemeckis-executive produced Project Blue Book, he has managed to simultaneously carve out a separate career as a singer/songwriter.
Malarkey’s full-length debut 2017’s Mongrels was released through Cap on Cat Records to critical applause from Metro, Billboard, Classic Rock, and The Guardian. The album’s material thematically explored the duality of his nature and that of human nature in general. Recorded by Malarkey along with Tom Tapley and Brandon Bush in Atlanta, and from album title track “Mongrel,” the material possesses a subtle old-school Nashville/country vibe that further emphasizes the introspective nature of the song and of the album’s material.
Malarkey’s sophomore full-length album Graveracer is slated for a February 10, 2020 release through Cap on Cat Records/Kartel Music Group. The album’s material was written in 2018 in Puerto Rico and Vancouver while the singer/songwriter and actor was working on the 50 Cent-produced crime drama The Oath and Project Blue Booth. That period was one of a physical and emotional turbulence: Malarkey, along with the cast and crew were evacuated from Puerto Rico during the build up of Hurricane Maria. And understandably, that experience has reportedly bled into the material’s lyrical imagery. “During the time I was working on the record, I escaped two hurricanes – as well as a third, I suppose, my own personal one. This record is my Odyssey in a way. It’s the journey back home after being ravaged in the seas of your own mind and finding the strength to carry on after the storm. I was left with a feeling of freedom and I found it through these songs,” the singer/songwriter and actor says in press notes.
Recorded at Sheffield, UK-based Tesla Studios and co-produced by Michael Malarkey and singer/songwriter A.A. Williams, Graveracer is reportedly centered around a straightforward, heartfelt honesty in its songwriting and tone with the material being reflective without leaning on nostalgia and forward-thinking without being urgent; in fact, it’s rooted in the present, as a portrait of one complex and flawed person, as a work in progress — as we all are.
“Shake the Shiver,” Graveracer‘s latest single is a sparse and brooding single, centered around Malarkey’s sonorous baritone, atmospheric synths, a simple yet propulsive backbeat, a sinuous bass line, strummed guitar and a razor sharp hook. And while recalling Daughn Gibson and Jace Everett, the track manages to be seductive yet full of a dark and creeping, existential dread.
Bulletone is an emerging, Argenteuil, France-born DJ, producer, beatmaker and artist, who grew up listening to and being inspired by American hip-hop and R&B — in particular, artists like Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z. Interestingly, the French-born producer, beatmaker and artist can trace the origins of his musical career when he bought his first MIDI keyboard with FL studio software five years ago.
Shortly after he purchased his first MIDI keyboard, Bulletone began making beats for his rapper and vocalist friends, which lead him to recording material in a professional recording studio. While meeting artists across an increasingly diverse range of genres and styles, the emerging French DJ, producer, beatmaker and artist began to explore different styles, genres and sounds — including hip-hop, pop and electronica among others. In fact, he proudly boasts having broad and eclectic tastes: while his sound generally leans towards trap, future beat and electronic music, he also cites Kaytranada, Phase, Jarreau Vandal, Daft Punk, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland, Mike Will Made It and 808 Mafia.
Bulletone then went on to take a course on creative media education at the S.A.E. Institute, where he learned to be a technical sound engineer and made important connections to further his career. Since 2017, he has also managed to establish himself as a DJ, spinning in French clubs like the Recylclerie, Na_m3k, The 45 Tours and others. But he began to make a name for himself with the release of his debut EP, last year’s Interference, which is available on the major streaming services.
Interestingly, Bulletone’s latest single, the swaggering “Endless Love” the title track off his latest effort Endless Love EP is centered around twinkling and shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking 808-like beats and a looped sample of thunder. But what makes the track — and in turn, the emerging French artist — compelling is the fact that track seamlessly and effortlessly meshes elements of hip-hop, trap, footwork, R&B while subtly paying homage to legendary beatmakers and producers like J. Dilla, Flying Lotus, Kaytranada and others.
The accompanying video for “Endless Love” is a hallucinogenic-fueled fever dream featuring a young couple, who are madly in love. And in many ways, the video manages to evoke the wild feelings and thoughts of young, passionate and foolish love.
Rollo Jackson’s intimate look at mega producer Scott Storch and a Sway Calloway-hosted Q&A session.
Live Concert Photography: DRKWAV Brooklyn Bowl March 5, 2015 Comprised of Skerik (saxophone), John Medeski (keyboards) and Adam Deitch (drums), the trio of DRKWAV may be among the most accomplished and renowned musicians of experimental […]
Skerik (saxophone), John Medeski (keyboards) and Adam Deitch (drums) have all been vital and important figures in contemporary, experimental jazz. Skerik, who’s been a member of renowned acts such as Garage A Trois, Critters Buggin, […]
As a native Queens boy, it frequently seems as though my home borough is a sort of barren wasteland artistically, although that isn’t quite the case. After all, The Ramones, one of the world’s greatest […]