Tag: Hong Kong

Born Tessa Violet Williams in Chicago, the up-and-coming, Nashville-based indie pop singer/songwriter and vlogger, Tessa Violet can trace the origins of her music career to a school project in which she began daily vlogging in 2007 for a school project with the screen name Meekakitty while working in Hong Kong and Thailand as a model; however, by 2009 Williams quit modeling and relocated to New York, to focus on her vlog, which primarily focused on storytelling, skits and music videos — particularly, fan-made music videos for popular artists like Reliant K, Family Force 5 and MIKA.

Wiliams gained national attention after winning $100,000 in a YouTube competition by receiving the most comments on her video entry.  In 2011, Williams was featured in fellow YouTube creator Nanalew’s fan-made “Sail,” which went viral and has amassed over 310 million views. In 2012, The Chicago-born, Nashville-based indie pop singer/songwriter followed her appearance in “Sail” by appearing in the video for Family Force 5’s “Cray Button,” and then directing the act’s video for “Chainsaw,” which featured Tedashii.

By 2013 Williams began to focus on writing, recording and releasing music and the focus on her YouTube channel shifted to her original music, eventually leading to her dropping the Meekakitty moniker and using her real name Tessa Violet across all of her online platforms.

So far the past year or so has been a breakthrough, whirlwind year for the up-and-coming Chicago-born, Nashville-based indie pop artist: she’s released two critically applauded singles “Crush” and “Bad Ideas” — “Crush” has amassed over 18 million Spotify streams and the video has received over 36 million views. “Bad Ideas” became a viral hit. As result of the success of those two singles, Williams toured with her first live, backing band, which featured Jess Bowen (drums) — and that tour included her first sold-out headline shows at Los AngelesThe Troubadour and the Mercury Lounge. 

Building upon an exploding profile, she just finished her first UK tour, which featured a sold out London show, and Billboard featured her as one of 10 new festival artists to look out for this year. She was also named the first YouTube Foundry Artist of 2019 — and she’ll be making her Lollapalooza debut this year. Her full-length album Bad Ideas will be released one song a month or so throughout the year, and the album’s third and latest single “I Like (The Idea of) You” recently premiered on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist and YouTube Music’s Pop Before It Breaks playlist. Centered around a disco meets New Wave-like bass line, the Chicago-born, Nashville-based pop artist’s latest single is a sultry and coquettish, late night strut that recalls DFA Records heyday.

“I was seeing this guy at the time, who I knew wasn’t into me. And even though I could see that, it was still so much fun to think and obsess about him,” Tessa Violet says of the song. “Replaying the way he said my name on the phone, imagining what I would wear or say the next time I saw him, thinking of things I could write about him. I remember that I could logically see it wasn’t going anywhere, so I thought maybe I should feel embarrassed about how much time I was spending on him. But it didn’t make me feel embarrassed, it made me feel sexy and powerful. So what if they’re not that into me? I like the idea of it and I’m going to enjoy that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you have most likely come across a handful of posts on Simon Green, a Brighton, UK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music artist, who has written, recorded and performed under the moniker of Bonobo. Interestingly, Green had long been considered part of a movement of producers, multi-instrumentalists and electronic music artists, who specialized in a sleek, hyper-modern and downtempo-leaning electronic music that included  Four Tet, Jon Hopkins, Caribou and others; however, with the release of his critically applauded 2013 release The North Borders Green revealed a decided change in his compositional approach in which he frequently paired electronic production with lush and stunning arrangements featuring organic instrumentation — wth the end result being a sound that possessed a cinematic quality.

The North Borders was also part of a larger, growing trend among many electronic music artists and producers to not only create a much more evocative and nuanced sound but an attempt to remind listeners, fans and critics that there was actual musicality within their productions besides a person haphazardly tapping away at a laptop or turning buttons and dials on a sampler or a processor.

Since the release of The North Borders, Green has been both extremely busy and rather prolific — he released the Flashlight EP at the end of 2014 while during what would turn out to be a two year period of intense touring across the globe. Green somehow managed to find the time to write and recored the material off his sixth full-length album Migration, which was released earlier this year. Naturally, with an album titled Migration, the material thematically focused on migration. As Green remarked in press notes “It’’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.” And as a result, the material seemed to possesses a transitory nature — some of the material, including album single “Kerala,” was initially composed while on the road and then was road-tested and revised during Stateside DJ sets. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, it featured guest spots from a number of artists, who have emigrated at some point themselves, including Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Michael Milosh of Los Angeles-based indie pop act Rhye, who recorded his vocal tracks while in Berlin, Germany; Australian-born, Brooklyn-based global, indie pop sensation Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, who bonded with the British producer over a shared love of disco; Florida-born, Los Angeles-based Nicole Miglis of Los Angeles-based act Hundred Waters; and the New York-based Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa among others. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, Green also employs the use of found sounds that include a Hong Kong elevator, rainfall in Seattle, an Atlanta-based tumble dryer and a New Orleans fan boat engine.

After completing successful tours across both the European Union and North America to support Migration, Green announced the release of a 3 song EP/single package that features album single “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” an analog version of “Bambro Koyo Ganda” that finds Green stripping the song’s production and sound to the bone — retaining a propulsive, undulating pulse and Moroccan-born, New York-based band Innov Gnawa’s vocals and handclap-led percussion, highlighting the hypnotic groove and vocals. EP closing track “Samurai” was written and recorded during the Migration sessions, and consists of a stuttering vocal sample floating over a sinuous production featuring shuffling drum programming and shimmering, subtly arpeggio synth and wobbling low end. And much like the material from the recording sessions it came from, the song should remind listeners of how much Green’s work draws from classic house and soul, while being paradoxically sensual, intimate and yet cinematic.

 

 

New Video: The Surreal and Sexual New Visuals for Collapsing Scenery’s “Straight World Problems”

Comprised of Don De Vore, who has spent stints in a number of indie rock acts, including Sick Feeling, Ink and Dagger and others and Reggie Debris, the Brooklyn-based electronic duo Collapsing Scenery can trace their origins back to the summer/fall of 2013, one of a series of summers in which humanity seemed to be inching closer to the precipice of self-annhiliation. And inspired by those particularly bleak days, the De Vore and Debris put aside their guitars, the instruments they’d first learn to play music and on which they were most comfortable and most well-versed, and began assembling as much analog electronic equipment as possible — including samples, step sequencers, synths and drum machines, all plugged into a variety of effects pedals. Interestingly, De Vore’s and Debris’ music and creative process reportedly represents the world as the band wishes the world were: mischievous, polyglot, intense, committed, politically engaged, free, open and without boundaries or hierarchies.

With their initial and recording sessions being largely improvised and accompanied by Ryan Rapsys (drums), the material they wrote together expressed their rage and frustration — and while being an electronic outfit, their sound and material draws from punk rock, industrial electronica, techno, hip-hop. free jazz, disco, folk and several other things, and in way that will remind some listeners of renowned experimental electronic act Liars. Now if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you may recall that I had written about “Metaphysical Cops,” a single that reminded me of Soul Coughing’s “Super Bon Bon,” and while it’s been a while since I’ve written about the Brooklyn-based electronic duo, the band has been busy writing new material, which includes their latest single “Straight World Problems,” a propulsive and off-kilter bit of funk that manages to be both radio-friendly and dance floor-friendly despite it’s abrasiveness. While the core of the song suggests an unresolved sexual frustration and desperation, the song as the band’s Reggie Debris explains in press notes is about “the awful frequency with which new regimes and new systems mimic the worst qualities of those they replace.”

Directed by Richard Kern, the recently released video possesses a thinly veiled and unresolved sexual tension between each of the characters — are the members of the band being teased or they are enjoying suffering? Is there more than meets the eye? Hard to tell; but it’s sexy and downright weird.

Born in Germany to a Finnish father and English mother, young, up-and-coming pop artist Leena Ojala was raised in Hong Kong and Essex before she relocated to London when she was 17. Influenced by London Grammar, Rae Morris and Florence and the Machine, Ojala spent a considerable amount of time experimenting, tweaking and honing her sound — until she felt she found her voice. After a six month stint in Berlin, absorbing everything it had to offer and then using her time there to inspire and inform her music and lyrics, Ojala returned to London, and began working on the material that would comprise her forthcoming EP, EP 1.

EP 1′s first single “Why” is comprise of some sparse piano chords at the song’s introduction followed by guitar, an ethereal string arrangement and stuttering synths and skittering percussion paired with Ojala’s plaintive vocals that express recrimination, anger, confusion, heartache and inner resolve within the turn of a phrase.And that shouldn’t be surprising as the song’s narrator seems to be demanding answers from a deceitful, absent lover in a bitter confrontation. Certainly, the song possess a heartfelt honesty that suggest that the song is inspired by the songwriter’s personal experience — while backed by production that gives the song a stormy and melodramatic heft. If you’ve ever been betrayed by a lover or made foolish by a lover, the song will remind you of a familiar (and universal) ache.