Musician, producer, DJ, director, and author Questlove has released season 2 of his Shorty Award-winning YouTube series 'Quest for Craft', where he talks to creatives about their creative process and the way they’ve honed their craft. In the new season, he talks to ballet dancer Misty Copeland, author Fran Lebowitz, and Kenan Thompson. In episode 5 he talks to producer Mark Ronson about finding your voice as a craftsperson and an artist, as well as composer and musician Kris Bowers about expressing emotions.

Dan Runcie talks to New York Times music reporter Joe Coscarelli about his new book, 'Rap Capital', in the latest Trapital's podcast. The key, Coscarelli believes, is Atlanta rappers' adoption of modern tech: “I love to see when art lines up with the technology of the moment. These Atlanta rappers were in the perfect place at the perfect time to take advantage of that explosion". Also, the reporter sees broader liberties: “Artists have found freedom…your audience is going to find you. You can still have as much of a footprint but not in the same everybody-knows-the-same-10-people way. It’s almost healthier for some of these artists to say ‘I’ve seen what happens on the fame side and I don’t want that part. I just want to make my music and play for my fans.’ That’s become more and more of a possibility without having to play the game with the gatekeepers”.

Drugs side of the Lhooq
October 14, 2022

Podcast: The changing landscape of drugs

Party and drugs specialist Michelle Lhooq discusses the changing landscape of drugs in the New Models podcast - from legalization grifts to “spectrum sobriety”, They also discuss nü party paradigms, emergent synthetics, and the gentrification of club drugs like K, MDMA, and 3-MMC. Additionally, Lil Internet fills in some context with fascinating explainers on Berlin’s Telegram drug delivery services. Listen to the podcast -

Country superstar Kane Brown's manager Martha Earls shares some interesting thoughts in an MBW interview about signing musicians based on their viral TikTok videos. "People are signing moments – 15 seconds of a song being popular — without a plan to develop a long-term career for the artist they’re signing. That’s troublesome to me because that implies these artists are disposable people. ‘Oh, you had a hit, we’ll sign you. You don’t have another one? Whatever, we’ve moved on.’ Are you really giving them everything they need to have the most successful career possible? I do have some concerns with that".

An interesting interview by The New Cue with Paul Heaton from The Beautiful South and The Housemartins, on several topics, including money: "I have seen that the more money you make, the more it controls you. They move to bigger houses, with bigger fences and bigger gates. The higher the gate, the more safe they feel, but I always think that’s really unsafe. I live in plain sight. I live on an ordinary street. You come up to the door and I answer. There’s no barrier between me and other people, because I think if there is it promotes a them-and-us thing. If I have someone stalking me I know straight away. I’m not a curtain twitcher but I know everybody on our street. So if someone tried stalking me, they’d be stalked back".

How music is being used and its effect on people is the topic of the Anne Helen interview with musicologist Lily E. Hirsch. "The discussion came up among music scholars of whether music used as torture even is music. Can music actually be torture? At first, I was caught up in the discussion, but immediately I started to think, This is not the point. The torture is the point. What this is doing to people is the point, not whether or not it’s music." Hirsch has also written a book about the issue.

"Be uncompromising in what you’re doing with your music. If you really feel it, then go with that" - Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember shared his career advice with The New Cue. Also, he believes you can't really plan to have a career in music: "Just do what you want to do and maybe later on in the rearview mirror you’ll see it as a career". Kember also says he doesn't really plan to reform Spacemen 3: "There is no reason why every band should reform just because people have gotten into them 30 years later. Careful what you wish for as well. I remember going to see The Velvet Underground when they reformed and I left halfway through. I’m a massive fan but I was just like, ‘Naaaa, I don’t think I need to do this to their memory'".

The Mars Volta have reunited and announced a new album with single 'Blacklight Shine', 'Graveyard Loce' and 'Vigil'. Many fans weren't happy with its latin-rock/yacht-rock sound. But the MV's main two boys don't really mind, as they say in the Guardian interview. “I’m not bound by genre. The only thing that matters is if music makes you feel something” - says Omar Rodríguez-López, and adds: “Losing ‘fans’ is baked into what we do. I don’t know a greater happiness than losing ‘fans’. A true fan is someone interested in what’s happening now, and then there’s everyone else trying to control what you do or project on to it. I have an aversion to that. That sounds like school. That sounds like the government. That sounds like the police. And unfortunately that’s what a lot of people who think they’re fans end up thinking like”. His bandmate Cedric Bixler-Zavala goes back to the perspective of the band: "Omar said the Mars Volta can be whatever we

Some really interesting thoughts by singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin in The New Cue about how songs come to life and how they change: "I feel like this record in particular, when we finished it, it was just like, ‘oh, OK, this is what I made, cool’. It wasn’t exactly what I imagined but also I was just very open to the journey and for it to be what it needed to be, which is a relaxing way to be sometimes... Sometimes I think crowd responses informs me what the song is and how it should be played, I think they can really transform on the road".

Roxy Music's guitarist Phil Manzanera talked to The Telegraph about how much he makes from music: "Luckily, Roxy have continued to be popular, so it’s like having a pension. I don’t have any other pensions... I was also lucky to have my guitar riff from my 1978 second solo album 'K-Scope' sampled in 2011 by Jay-Z and Kanye West, who built a whole song around it. The track, 'No Church in the Wild' on the 'Watch the Throne' album, won a Grammy and was hugely successful and used in films and lots of ads. It was like winning the lottery out of the blue. I get more than they get for it: a six-figure sum over 10 years. And they continue to pay me multiples of six figures because they’re so successful and I partly own my share. It’s prob­ably more than I ever earned in Roxy: we had all the gold albums but no gold!".

Guardian takes it all
June 19, 2022

Abbatars changing the future of music!?

How will digital technology shape the future of live music - that's the theme of the Guardian podcast about Abba Voyage, a digital Abba tour which debuted in London last month. The production cost £140m. The Guardian’s head rock and pop critic, Alexis Petridis, and the Guardian’s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, were there. Was it history in the making?

An interesting point by Interpol's Sam Fogarino in The New Cue interview about live rehearsals: "When you’re in a room together, even if you’re really close, and the band has never come to fisticuffs over the years, we’ve had heated arguments, but nothing more, but still, you get with everybody’s daily mood, stuff that’s unrelated to the task at hand. There’s ego and desire and we’re all emotionally bound in this sexless three-way relationship, you know what I mean? It’s worse than a marriage, because it’s all the emotional shit but no sex at all! There’s no outlet in that way. Being separate, you were able to fully express yourself before sharing it with anybody. Then when we finally went to upstate New York to get together to play the material, it was extra special. We’d bypassed this whole usual laborious process".

“I take the month off of gigs and use Ramadan to focus on my spirituality, giving back, making time for family and close friends, revisiting the areas in my life that need improvement. Islam is all about being intentional with the way we live our lives" - Minneapolis-based DJ Yasmeenah told Mix Mag about how she spends this month-long period. Kan D Man says “It is a detox for me for the mind, body and soul. Sometimes in our industry, we are always rushing and on the go, especially being in London my whole life; I know how fast-paced life can be on a daily basis. It is a month I like to detox, switch off and reset everything”.

"This was a savage festival, a free-for-all, beyond chaotic. The survivors in the film, they gave a good picture of what happened that night, and they were all fortunate they didn’t die or get seriously injured" - film-maker Charlie Minn says to LA Times about his documentary 'Concert Crush', on the Astroworld disaster in November that left 10 concertgoers dead at the Travis Scott show. Minn reconstructs the night’s events from phone footage and interviews with survivors - "with 50,000 people there and everyone on their phone, imagine how much footage is still out there". However, High Snobiety points out Minn was previously accused of sensationalizing tragedy and exploiting trauma for profit.

An interesting angle on music-making by Paddy Considine from Riding The Low in The New Cue interview - "It’s purely my own self-expression. It’s completely unfiltered. It doesn't go through any other process. I'm not giving a performance and second guessing what I'm doing. I'm not having to run it past script supervisors, or financiers or anything like that. I'm not doing a performance and leaving it to the mercy of editors. It's the thing that I find is the truest form of expression that I have, really... I think only a few times when I've acted, and possibly directed, has it been purely from my soul, if you like".

LA teenage pop-punk band The Linda Lindas released their debut album 'Growing Up' this week, dealing with the issue from the title. “We hope it resonates with everyone and not just kids. You don’t stop growing up after you’re a kid!” - as guitarist Lucia de la Garza (15) told MTV. Her sister Mila (11), shares - “[The songs] are like parts of us. So if you listen to it, you kinda get to know us a little better, Consequence reports.

A phone, not a xylophone
April 03, 2022

Goldie: Smartphones scare me slighty


​“I found myself reading about coronavirus and the effects of it on clubbing. I feel slightly blessed and overwhelmed wih what has happened because of it” - Goldie says in The Face interview. There's this other burning issue, smartphones - "‘Oh my God, what about my daughter’s kids? What about this new generation that have been pacified with telephones? Are they smart enough to jump over the telephone and go, ​‘There’s a new trend where you switch it off and go to a club!’ It scares me slightly.”

We prepare the faces to meet the audiences we meet
March 25, 2022

Aldous Harding: I feel like a song actor

Today, Aldous Harding released her new album 'Warm Chris', a strange collection of minimalist baroque folk songs. Recently, she talked to Pitchfork about it (The P tagged it best new music, gave it 8,2), and her personality: "For me, taking identity too seriously is really detrimental to my music. People say to me, 'Why don’t you use your real voice?'. But what people don’t understand is that I don’t know what my normal voice is anymore. In a lot of ways, I feel like the songs are like secrets that the muse is keeping from me. I have to listen, and then it tells me where the gaps in the universe are, and then I try to fill them with good intentions".

A lovely interview by The New Cue with Kae Tempest who is releasing their new album 'The Line Is A Curve' in April. They talk about recording vocals in one take - "really what I want, to get the most amount of truth in the vocal and to get the best vocal is I want to do one full pass of the whole record, a live take. There’s something about the endurance of it that creates this feeling in the lyric that you can’t get if you do 150 takes at each verse"; about all the songs on the album being connected - "all of that stuff that happens as one track leads into another that gives you this sense of propulsion and forward motion and movement"; about how music for them is an outer-physical experience - "when I go to the music and I go to the poetry, I go with my soul, it’s not really about my physical experience in the world, it’s another place that I go to when I’m making music or when I’m on stage so it didn’t affect it like that I don’t think".

Music theorist Adam Neely analyses the latest copyright infringement lawsuit which claims that Dua Lipa plagiarized reggae band Artikal Sound System's song 'Life Your Life' for her hit 'Plagiarized'. Neely goes a step back into history only to find Outkast's 'Rosa Parks'.

Japanese digital pop-punk artist Haru Nemuri shared some interesting thoughts with Tune Glue. Here's one: "I really feel that music is vibration whenever I play shows than when I listen to music at home. It’s an experience where you feel the vibration through your body. It also changes how I take in rhythm, so even from my own responses, I think, oh, so it feels like this best for this kind of beat. The audience, people in Japan would ride the beat this way, but during my Europe tour, I learned people in Europe ride the beat another way. My approach to beats have really changed from looking at how people respond using their bodies".

Like exploding podium
February 21, 2022

Kurt Vile: Concerts are the new drug

It’s really good to be playing concerts again and seeing concerts again. Concerts are the new drug, seeing them around town. You don’t even need to get high anymore, it’s like, ‘wow, this feels almost unnatural and simultaneously so euphoric’. I saw Bob Dylan into Ween into Steve Gunn, I’ve seen a lot lately. I go out to all of them" - Kurt Vile told The New Cue about the "high" he gets from going to concerts. His new album (watch my moves) is out in April.

An interesting interview with the biggest new UK rapper Central Cee in The Face. ​Two of his thoughts: about online comments - “Like, I wake up every day, I step out on the roads and I never have any sort of altercation. There’s no animosity in my real life. So if there is any sort of negativity online, I just look at it from a level-headed point of view, like: ​‘What are they thinking?’. Most of them are creeps"; and about opportunity - “we’re in a growing state, though, we’re in the early stages to say the least. We’re in a good position because there’s a lot to do, and there’s certain people like me that [are] pushing down doors for people to do different things. For everyone”.

A nice little chat with producer David Holmes in The New Cue, about making movie music. When he got offered to do the music for 'Hunger' he thought the film didn't need any music, because all the music was in the silence. Director Steve McQueen told him "he wanted the music to be really emotional but non-musical. OK! I learnt so much from that one thing because it’s helped me in so many other projects, that you can hit that really raw emotion without being really emotional. That’s the power of the drone. Things like accordions where you just hold a chord, these harmonics come in. You put that against the right images and you don’t need anything else, and it’s actually way more powerful than a thirty-piece orchestra". Holmes also says he has "tremendous respect for anyone making a movie because there’s so many moving parts to think about. Directing a good film is so hard, it’s a bit like winning the Champions League".

Guardian shares a moving story about members of Iranian-Norwegian band Confess Nikan Khosravi and Arash Ilkhani who got arrested in 2015, and spent 18 months of incarceration awaiting trial. Their crime was writing anti-establishment metal music, for which they were charged with blasphemy and propaganda against the state. After paying am $80,000 bail, they waited for the trial and, following a guilty verdict that sentenced them to six years in prison, they sought asylum in Norway. Now they have an album out 'Revenge at All Costs' where they're "making the statement that you cannot do this to a human".

How soon is now. now?!
January 18, 2022

Johnny Marr: Time means nothing now

Guitarist and former Smiths axeman Johnny Marr talked to The New Cue about how he managed to stay sane over the last couple of years: "I've been into meditation for years so I suspect that it's doing me some good. It’s become a habit and I'd miss it if I didn't do it. I imagine things would be a little bit more wobbly without it, or a little stranger. To be serious for a minute, that's kind of what creativity is for. And work, in whatever field it is. I’m extremely lucky because I’ve had a creative outlet since I was a kid, but you don't have to be an artist to lean into some of those things that make life more pleasurable".

London rapper Central Cee is the first musician shortlisted on BBC's Sound of 2022. He's been doing music for 10 years, but he's been in the limelight for the last year. He talked to BBC about his perseverance: "Within those 10 years there's obviously been bumps in the road and whatever but I was determined for the most part". His plan for 2022 is to - "stay alive and get richer!".

Michelle Zauner, singer-songwriter better known as Japanese Breakfast, talks to Consequence about her past year which saw her release a best-selling memoir and an acclaimed album. She also talks about how loneliness helps her prevent burnout: “On tour, I don’t socialize as much as other people might. Touring is sort of like throwing a party every night — imagine hosting a party six nights a week in a row for six weeks! And every moment leading up to that party, you want to save up all your charisma and charm. A big part of avoiding burnout for me is being OK with taking alone time in-between moments that I have to be ‘on’.”

"I don’t take myself too seriously, these days, I’m just trying to have a good time because if these past twenty-four months have taught me anything, it’s how short life is” - Little Simz tells in in The Line Of Best Fit interview about her future plans. She also reflects on her latest album 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert', Best Fit's album of the year: “Introversion is my superpower, it’s something that protects me and shields me. I am this way inclined but in the same breath, I’m not unconfident in myself – I’m very confident. I just know that I haven’t got to necessarily be the loudest person in the room”.

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