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Love is Here

4/8/2021

Love is Here

I don’t know about you, but I encounter a lot of (feelings of) depression going around in the communities I am part of. These things get to me. Although I try not to make everything personal, my heart goes out to the (young) people, who are suffering. Suffering up to a point of losing all hope for the future and the will to live.

This is written in hopes of acknowledging, comforting and encouraging, those who are going through a mentally or spiritually, tough time.

Wishing y’all Peace & Lots of Love

Source: Common English Bible

Spotlight on GAMOR VAPOR

Special Feature 6/29/2022
GAMOR VAPOR

Meet GAMOR VAPOR: A young producer currently residing in Philadelphia, with a respectable 10K+ monthly listeners on Spotify at the moment. While that might not look like much in the grand scheme of things, he is not staying there. Aiming for growth in every creative way possible, this artist will surprise you with every musical turn you take. You can call or text him to ensure his artistical progress, by providing personal feedback. Working under different aliases, he will bring diversity to our ears, something to look forward to with anticipation! On top of it all, he’s a total sweetheart!

My Kind of Music, with GAMOR VAPOR

Need an IMPROMPTU VACATION? Just PRESS B

YES, Yes I know, you’ve all been waiting on this new Spotlight for a looong time, seeing as the last one was 4 (Wait WHATT…4??) months ago… I do sincerely apologize, but lately life has been A Lot. Well, good thing, at least I’ve been feeling quite alive! I’m guessing most of you have been experiencing the same kind of pressure one way or the other, so we can say we’re in this together.. Anyways, here it is, the Spotlight even I’ve been waiting for to become reality! Luckily my guest of today wasn’t in a hurry and full of understanding about why it has taken me so long. Now enough of that, let’s get into some music!

I kind of hate-to-love to repeat myself, but GAMOR VAPOR  and I ‘met’ during the Discoholic’s Anonymous stream. It’s just such a fun community and has brought me a lot of new, very creative, friends. As soon as he released a really great song under another alias, which I shared, we started talking about, what else, music. So let me just start with that track, since this Yanni Dalaperas hopefully has a lot more in store in the future, which I’m sure GAMOR VAPOR will tell us more about below. Another alias and a totally different sound. Makes sense right? The song is soulful in its own way, with lyrics and vocals that kept my headphones glued to my ears. It’s straight from the heart and a bit sad, but then again, isn’t love like that sometimes…

Back to the main act, GAMOR VAPOR. As far as I can see, he hasn’t been around in this music business for too long yet, which makes sense since he is still pretty young. However, even though he only started producing music in 2021, his discography is already impressive and showing his creativity and fire for his art. GAMOR VAPOR’s music can be found on all streaming services, shared below, but for now I’ll be taking you to Bandcamp and Spotify. The combination of the two will give you a full oversight of everything he’s released so far. One thing is perfectly clear from the start: looking at the album/song titles, GAMOR VAPOR must really love the idea of escaping to another place, whether it be the universe or going on holidays.

1️⃣ Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us: who is GAMOR VAPOR? Do you play any instruments yourself and/or do you sing? Does the name have a special meaning to you? How and when did you started producing music? Can you tell us a bit about your first experience with producing ever?

‘Hey everyone! I’m GAMOR VAPOR and I’m a 22-year old vaporwave artist currently based in Philadelphia. I started on the classic side of things, but am now moving on to music that is lighter on the sample-side, though I still love to use and mess around with samples. I do sing and love to sing so much, and I also dabble in keyboarding instruments a bit, but I have a lot to learn. I do love playing the marimba and vibraphone though, I gotta say.

The name behind my GAMOR project doesn’t have too much of a special meaning, I knew I wanted to do a vaporwave project with a video game-like focus, and thought it was funny how “game-or vape-or” sounded, and it was born! It is so corny though hahaha, but I guess it does click!

I started honestly producing music when I was, I think 11 years old by doing realllyyy really bad video game (mainly Pokémon) remixes. I remember my first remix was of Lavender Town and I made it in GarageBand. I remember it taking the longest time to finish (which I still struggle with today), but my friends at the time were surprisingly positive in their reaction, so I kept making remixes. I started producing original compositions a few years later, but my early originals are such a mess’.

Isn’t that what music is about? Providing us an escape from the sometimes harsh world we’re living in? Giving us some much needed lightheartedness. To be honest, seeing the time we’re living in, who could blame GAMOR VAPOR wanting to escape? Or should I say, providing us with some alternate realities? I certainly won’t, since the cosmos always had this real and alluring pull on me. GAMOR VAPOR will take you where-ever you wish to go first. His very pleasant personality reflects in his music and can’t be overlooked when talking to him. He is a total sweetheart and not afraid of showing his love for his friends and their work on social media. Can’t have enough of that positivity these days, when consideration and affection seems something from another world.

2️⃣ Who have been/are your biggest influences? Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you keep the flow going? How would you describe your music?

‘My biggest influences for creating GAMOR VAPOR tracks have been Windows96, Vektroid, Blank Banshee, Saint Pepsi, Luxury Elite, George Clanton, Negative Gemini, and the list goes on! Without these artists I just mentioned, GAMOR VAPOR would not exist, and probably neither would my current sound behind the original music that I make.  I could go on and on about each of these artists and their iconic creations — each of them have really crafted gold.

As for inspiration, I feel like I’m constantly inspired. I think the inspiration partially comes from experiencing life, and then my friends and peers will definitely help and keep my flow going, with their comments and criticisms. My friends and peers are also another way that I get inspiration — I love bouncing ideas, but also just being inspired by seeing what they have created.

Right now, the vaporwave zero scene and artists (Vangoe, Simple Syrup, Ahero, Soul Surfer 1999, Be Careful, Mingkurray, the list goes on) have REALLY been inspiring me, I’ve been loving the vw0 sound and look so much.

I would currently describe my music and sound as nostalgic, classic video-game vaporwave, with each project telling a unique story. With my newer releases, though, this sound is starting to change..’

GAMOR VAPOR and I found common ground in the music we love. If anything, his admission, I quote: ‘❤️❤️❤️ love the SGM playlist so much‘, for sure made me happy. I have and will share any tracks in my weekly playlist that reaches my groovy soul. Sure, it’s not every song that touches me, but there is more than enough to love. Also, every artist should have a discography which includes the variety to reach multitudes. Listening to GAMOR VAPOR’s albums, confirms to me, he’s got the memo alright. Though vaporwave still holds enough secrets for me, the appreciation only grows. To be honest, I don’t really want to know all the ‘ins and outs’, let me just enjoy the music. And sure, my jazz/funk background makes me totally prejudiced, but we all can learn to widen our visions, adjust our taste. The next album is kind of what I’m talking about, just on a personal level mind you.

3️⃣ You are not only making music as GAMOR VAPOR, but also as Yanni Dalaperas, tell us about it! Are there any other projects you would like to get into or I’m not aware of?

Yanni Dalaperas is my personal project! — over there, it is kinda the opposite of what you will find on my GAMOR VAPOR page. You can find music that is completely written and composed by me, with vocals, without samples, and it’s going to be a bit more of a polished and cohesive project. The releases are a bit less frequent but I would say they pack a lot more of a punch, though I’m trying to release music more frequently for that project.  It is pop music, though it is usually more on the emotional side, and I’m gonna try to dabble into other genres whenever possible. —

I started writing my first album for this project in 2019 and I am still working on it, but it’s almost done.  I released my first single, “oblivious and naive” in September last year. It felt like finally exhaling a breath that I’ve been holding in for years, although I’ll really feel like I can breathe again once the album is fully out. My second single, “leave”, will be coming out in soon, so look out!’

GAMOR VAPOR weaves some lovely genres though his vaporwave based songs. Sure there’s the gaming influences, but I find the smooth, jazzy, funky seasoning a joy. 80’s, 90’s, recognizable beats to not only light up my soul but also calm my spirit. Imagining myself in a place under the stars or on a  beach while listening to the waves, GAMOR VAPOR got that dream reality down to a T. Sharing love for a band like Dirty Loops (he requested ‘The Way She Walks’ for SGM’s 1st anniversary, total Banger Board material), it does show that GAMOR VAPOR’s inspiration comes from diverse genres, or so I believe. At least his inspiration is running free and affecting his music in the most colorful of ways. The next album even has some real soul vibes, unexpectedly combined with some mid 80’s synth wave in my opinion. Gotta love it.

As for the second... no, it’s not more of the same from no.1, at all. Next to a couple of teasing reminders of a past most of us recognize – yes even me – there is a lot more classic vaporwave, if I may use the term. GAMOR VAPOR  seems to be diving into the deep with this one.

4️⃣ You’ve joined in with a couple of URL shows, how did that make you feel to be invited? How do you prepare for a show like that? Would you be up for live shows at some point, any chance that would happen soon?

Doing some URL shows this past year has been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done as a performer and a musician.  I’ve gotten to see some amazing and inspiring art from other people that you can’t get anywhere else.  It has been such an honor and a privilege to be able to do the shows I’ve been able to do.  Some major highlights have been the Vaporwave Zero URL show, the Homesick Halloween fest, any show that I’ve done with HBI, and performing for Vapor Memory’s Vapourealm Live.

For URL shows, I usually prepare a live-mix of GAMOR music, including released and unreleased tracks.  Usually it will be a DJ-style set, and you can usually catch a lot of different mixes + other fun easter eggs in my sets.  I would definitely be up for all kinds of live shows in the future, I’m hoping that will happen sometime in the future! Though, lately I feel like I haven’t had much time to get out and actually see some shows…I need to do that more!’

Going through GAMOR VAPOR’s music library, I keep getting surprised by the variety he is throwing out there. I don’t know if there is, in fact, a ‘classic’ vaporwave sound, though my guess is there is and I’ve picked it up, because elements are shining through his music. But yes, GAMOR VAPOR is totally flowing from that specific vibe to the next, which could literally be anything. And I love how his music is unpredictable, seemingly without taking a clear route. Fine by me, we can leave boring for another day. I was again surprised when GAMOR VAPOR told me he loves funky music as much as I do and thanked me, I quote: ‘..me too, so thank ya for spreading it.’ he even went so far as to add the SGM archive to his Spotify library, because, I quote: ‘Honestly a lot of the music that you share at disco’s and on SGM is just unreal’. Listen honey, flattery will get you ANYWHERE, lol  You can imagine my next question brought us…here.

5️⃣ You also shared a phone number where anybody can reach you on. What is the story behind this and where did you get this idea from? Does it connect you to your listeners in a special way? Can you share at least one cool reaction you got?

‘Heeeeyy, I love this question.  You’re awesome for noticing that Wien 😉 for the readers — it’s true, you can call me or text me at (609) 316-2760 and tell me anything you’d like! The story behind this is that I really just wanted to open up a line to hear from my listeners and friends.  It makes my day to go on the line and hear/see what people say, whether it’s just a hello, or a funny joke, a suggestion, a comment about my music, anything! 

It really does connect me and my listeners in a special way — I love to see and hear it all, and none of it goes unnoticed. I got the idea to open up a line from watching the legend himself, Mr. Scooter of Discoholics Anonymous.

I’ve gotten some funny calls and texts, but one of my favorite calls comes from Kawsaki.  I really like his music, especially his new City Funk album, so it meant a lot to me when he called and had some really nice words to share about my 2 AM Mixtape. 

One of my favorite text conversations comes from an anonymous person — we chatted about the 1 AM and 2 AM Mixtapes for a minute, and then they started asking me about my approach to making music and vaporwave.  It is just the craziest thing to me to know that people thought to reach out and ask about my process after they’ve listened to my music…it’s the coolest thing!’

So yeah it took me way more time than before, to put this Spotlight together… At the time we were first talking about this, a lot of nick names were invented for me, which you may or may not have noticed. GAMOR VAPOR then decided ‘Queen Wien’ was the most fitting in his opinion and really, what can I say… not in my wildest – concealed – fantasy I would consider myself a queen hahah, flattered, again, yes. The next album does however seem to unlock new fantasies from our guest. The sound again so different from the previous album, this one will take you into a more fairy tale realm. A bit pompous, or should I say, dramatic, and at the same time choppy and intriguing. I don’t know how, but GAMOR VAPOR is definitely on to something new to me.

6️⃣ What do you consider the most fun part of producing and why? What is the toughest part for you? and what has been the best advice you ever got and would share with anyone who’s just starting and came to you for tips?

‘The most fun part of producing is when you think of a catchy idea and you get it all onto the project file and can just jam to the loop. It’s such a rewarding feeling and it makes you want to keep producing the song even more. & it feels even better when your friends can jam to it as well.

The toughest part for me is definitely the mixing and mastering process. I don’t consider myself much of a skilled engineer and it is always something I am going to try to get better at. When I’m mixing and mastering, I always go from feeling happy about the song, to feeling like I’ve overplayed the song — it is such a mood killer. 

Two of the best things I could say to somebody who is just starting would be to try to work at producing/creating some kind of sounds in the DAW at least once a day (even if it is just for 10-15 min), and to make sure you are still releasing stuff somewhere, even if you feel like it may not be fully polished to your standard’.

The next album’s got that perfect loungy, Sunday afternoon feel about it. Not a real surprise when looking at the title. Honestly, what I’ve experienced from GAMOR VAPOR  so far, I can only say, his music is HIM. A perfect reflection of his personality: friendly, flowing, relaxed, spreading his joy. It seems to me he has a genuine gentle soul. Now I may be wrong, but I do strongly believe in first impressions. This album would also be a perfect companion on the road, while winding down from a stressful day, just let it all go.. Or, indeed, while you’re on your way to your holiday destination. That sense of freedom that surpasses almost everything. Let GAMOR VAPOR take you awaaayy.

7️⃣ What would be a dream come true for the (near) future? What can your fans expect next from you? Anything new/coming up you can share a little about?

‘Oh wow…so many dreams that I can think of…but I’ll try to keep it short for now! — being able to play more URL, or IRL shows in the near future would be a dream! Or being able to collaborate with some of my fellow artists…

In the future, my fans can expect a lot more music from me.  I have a 6-track B-sides EP called “Press B” that came out late April, and (hopefully) a full-length album coming in July or August! & maybe another surprise or two?!? Like…the new Yanni Dalaperas single “leave”, coming out in July…

October 28, 2021, a little surprise was released, when GAMOR VAPOR joined forces with a friend and remixed a song by Fruit Accident. I always wonder how SGM listeners react to the new list on Monday, because next to the well expected groovy, funky stuff, I love to share something different. Still something that in my opinion fits within my personal parameters of the groove. My followers know I’ve been into some ‘alternative’ music in my teens, and I’ve never fully outgrew those tendencies lol. Now to call this track alternative.. Naah. But I hope you get what I’m trying to say here. The song is funny, quirky, slightly violent in a funny way, but still with a serious undertone and a definite GAMOR VAPOR dressing. I also can’t tell you how many times I walked over to my laptop, thinking I received a discord notification 😉

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘I would just like to thank everybody for taking your time to read this, and to Wien for putting this all together and giving me this opportunity!  You’re a hard worker with an amazing blog and it means a lot to have a Spotlight, among a lot of my talented peers. Thank you so much!’

Aaww, that was not exactly what I was aiming for but hey… I’ll take it! It’s been a pleasure GAMOR VAPOR! Thank you for your patience and your enthusiasm, as well as for sharing my love of the funk! I guess it’s time to PRESS B now, where the biggest surprise is saved for last – of course – the utterly jazzy end.

With 9 albums and 2 singles available – for as far as I can see –  GAMOR VAPOR has already proved his worth, considering he started releasing only last year. I hope you will give his music a chance, if you haven’t already, it’s most definitely worth your time. So again, a BIG Thank You to GAMOR VAPOR! I wish you all the best for your future and hope we will stay in touch. Let’s go out with a Bang(er)! Speaking for itself baby.

Thank y’all for reading and show my guest a bit of love today! And oh yeah, the easiest way to catch up on everything GAMOR VAPOR:

Linktree

Wishing y’all a Fantastic Week & you know…let’s just get away for awhile

My Mom, the Warrior (2-The Battle)

4/13/2022
it’s been way too long, thought I POP by

My Mom, the Warrior (2-The Battle)

(or how I’m wondering about her battle lately)

⚔️ What I’ve been doing lately? Thinking. Thinking long and hard. And yes, it did hurt at times I can tell ya. Apart from all the pandemic related stuff, which, to be honest, was more than I would’ve liked it to be, there was one thing that kept coming back to me. Or should I say, one person: my Mom. How. How did my Mom do it?

⚔️ I’ve written about my Mom a couple of times and though her passing is nearing 11 years, the older I get, the more I think about her. Trying to walk in her shoes would be impossible in my opinion, but as her daughter I can’t stop wondering about how she all managed it. I’ve said it before but my respect for her is only growing by the day. Though she worked when she was single, as soon as she became a Mom, she was just that, a full time Mom and wife, managing four kids and a pretty busy household. Then her kids got in a relationship/married and became a grandmother, adding to her sometimes crazy family. She was no bystander. How. How did she do it?

⚔️ With every new answer – or at least I assume they are – new questions are raised and my thoughts are especially focused on the time before she became ill. Our kids were in their teens by then, but she was still the center of our family. We, her kids, but also her grandkids, were her everything and she would always do her best to give us everything we needed. Going above and beyond. All of us coming together for holidays, vacations etc. she would cook, clean, take care, as only a Mom can do and that’s where my brain just kind of short circuits.

Source: Common English Bible

⚔️ The doctors were baffled by the fact she did not experience any pain when finally her illness was diagnosed. She should have felt Something. Now I told you – and we still believe this – God had most likely took her pain away in His mercy, but as time goes by I just have to wonder: Did she indeed feel nothing at all, like, weren’t there any signs? Nothing out of place, weird, painful? And if she did, did she just push that away because she was so used to not complain? Did she feel she simply had to hold on, push through, because she was so used to shoulder things on her own? Taking care of everybody, starting when she was a young girl and basically had to take care of her Mom and siblings? Just convinced she had to be strong all the time?

⚔️ Right, you may think I should not be driving myself crazy with questions I probably will never get the answers to. So let me assure you, this does not keep me from sleeping at night, it just makes me wonder, because I realized lately I have been comparing myself to her. How I feel about things and my response to it all. I don’t like to complain about stuff that bothers me too much, but I will talk about it at some point. Did she, ever? Could she even, coming from a generation where talking was underrated? How can I put this into words without belittling her faith, because that’s not my intention at all.

⚔️ Yes pandemic hit hard and yes, it was pretty shitty to catch covid after being fine for two years lol. But can I just say, it changed us? I mean, even if we wouldn’t have caught it, this whole period changed us and well it should. It should put things in perspective somewhat don’t you think? It should make us think, period. Going back to normal? What normal? New normal? Then it’s not going back, but kind of, starting over, no? Anyways, whether you feel changed or not, I do, we do. And if there was one thing I had plenty time of doing, it was thinking, pondering, wondering. Digging deep. Analyzing, reassessing and starting over again.

⚔️ When I say I compare myself to my Mom, I’m all too aware we are not the same, but I’m becoming more like her than I initially expected. Let me put it this way: now, whenever something – big – comes up, I tend to ask myself: What would Mom have done? How DID she do it? Never giving up, never compromising her principles, ever loving, ever forgiving? No she wasn’t perfect, but she was the best role model I could have asked for. Her attitude of gratefulness and positivity will forever be something I aim to grow into, day by day. But what if she was indeed aware something in her body was off and she chose to carry that burden alone? What if this was how her life had been always, never asking for help, never expecting personal support? Was she even aware she was so worth it all? And what does it help me to follow this train of thought?

⚔️ Communication wasn’t a real thing growing up, so how did my Mom cope? Being raised in an environment where inner thoughts were not always freely shared, I can’t escape the feeling of unease because of the mental struggles I can only suppose she must have gone through, without anybody knowing. Unless her faith was indeed so all-encompassing, it ruled out Everything else. This might very well be the case, but it still leaves me with questions, because she was without a doubt also…human. We’re living in a time where validation is a big thing, a thing my Mom probably never heard about in her lifetime. Truth be told, I think I really did not appreciate her enough, not being able to see the depths of her devotion to us, to me. Maybe that’s why I’m sharing this.

⚔️ You see, this whole pandemic has been like one huge mirror, where I couldn’t look away, but had to examine myself. With time on my hands, that was almost a new day job lol. And sure, I always try to not take myself too seriously, y’all know that and maybe getting older is not helping, because looking back becomes real easy you know. Knowing there’s definitely a reason for living, the question how to keep on improving myself will never lose its importance. So what can I learn from questioning my Mom’s life? Again, I’m not doubting her unwavering faith, because that was as real as it could get. Nope, I’m trying to figure out how I can get where she was, without losing touch with the people around me. Though there are times I feel like I’m already there, there’s still so much in front of me, so much to learn.

it’s just not for us

⚔️ I really have no idea how other people from my generation can start thinking about slowing down. Believe me I get it! Steve and I sometimes make fun of how our life should be ‘calmer’ by now haha. But honestly, it feels more like my life is getting crazier with every added year. All good, but crazy all the same. Now that I’ve been upgraded to Nana 2.0 (yes a little princess was added if you missed it!), and the following generation has been well established, I recognize even more of my Mom in myself, like she was in her last 20 years or so. It’s a lot of little things really, but they all seem to add up to something big. Like her personality was. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate my Mom and all she did for us, because I absolutely did. But looking back it’s always easier to see the truth right? Living through a lot of the same things she had, makes things so much clearer and my appreciation so much Deeper.

⚔️ Of course I’m also very aware there are a lot of people like us: becoming grandparents and being – and staying! – involved in their children’s and grandchildren’s life. Resulting in living an active life, maybe even more than the previous years. You could say we had our piece of peace in between. Time for ourselves…realizing my Mom hardly ever seemed to take time for herself. I don’t like to ‘romanticize’ her, painting her like she was the Perfect Mom, because nobody is and with how my memory often fails me, I could just be doing that. But no, while she may certainly have had her weaknesses, she was always there. I guess I’m just a tad envious of her, how she always seemed to be on top of anything related to her family. Ridiculous really, since I catch myself acting exactly the same way, more and more. The beautiful part of it? Realization only always hits afterwards.

⚔️ I am not simply Trying to be like her, on occasion it feels like I Am actually walking in her shoes. Hence the many questions that were raised in my mind. I see myself as a strong woman – as was my Mom – and I’m not afraid to say it out loud either. Being strong however, does not mean my inner self is always so perfectly balanced. Nope. I wish. But I don’t have to act on doubts do I? I don’t have to actually talk about them, giving them room to grow and turn into reality at some point. Choices, choices. It always comes down to choices. IF my Mom did have any doubts, fears and/or pain, she certainly never shared any of them. As much as I respect her for that – even more so with every passing year – I’m not her and I can’t be her.

⚔️ Her battles were fought – and won – in another dimension, a spiritual realm, where her mind and soul had to bow to a Greater Force, to see true victory. I know this, because I witnessed it many times. Not only that, I experienced it myself too. You may or may not understand what I’m talking about, though I hope you do. So maybe my ‘envy’ lies in the fact she managed this all on her own, whereas I have to share. I have to hold on to the thought, her faith was indeed enough for her to go through life without validation. I have to believe God’s Mercy was enough for her to get through life. I can only hope she didn’t feel like she had to hide anything from us, from me, because being strong All The Time takes a lot form a person, even when close to God. In my opinion and my experience, without Him, it’s impossible. A breaking point will sooner or later occur and backlash might not be pretty.

⚔️ My Mom the Warrior, did not seem to fight her illness when it was diagnosed. A true miracle believer she was, though I can’t remember her actually speaking about healing when she herself needed it the most. She must have known, maybe even instantly, her time had come. She certainly must have known when she asked me to help out my dad. Why didn’t she fight then? Why didn’t she Believe for Her Miracle to happen? Was she tired of fighting another battle, one that would cost her her life? Oh, she wasn’t talking about dying, not at all, but neither did she speak about surviving her illness and living. Did she feel she couldn’t do it alone again? Though we Believed! We Hoped! The only answer that can satisfy me: she approached her illness and thus, her death, the same way she had approached her life: In Complete Faith, but as I now also realize, Alone. Not lonely, because we were there, but because she chose so. Because this was her path.

⚔️ We all got to say goodbye a couple of days before she passed, but she wasn’t really with us anymore. Her spirit already roamed a better place and we had, and I still have, peace about that. There are no easy answers for me and to be honest, I don’t really need them. I have to go my own way, follow my own path and I can only be grateful for the example I had and in my mind and heart, still have. It’s not like my Mom was boasting about how strong she was, never. She knew she was human, weak. And so am I. Every time I catch myself sounding and/or acting like my Mom, I’m surprised. Our characters definitely were different, but it’s like she had her identity ingrained in me. Isn’t parenting a wonderful thing? Well, it should be. I always said I wanted to be like my Mom when I grow up and I do, even more so now I’m Nana. I’ll never stop fighting for my kids and now, grandchildren. Include in there all my loved ones, my ‘extra’ kids, all over the world.

Source: Common English Bible

Sure, I definitely want to be where my Mom was and I’m determined to get there. I want to be known as Nana, the Warrior, but my battles I will not fight alone.

Wishing y’all a fantastic weekend & just know, you don’t have to do it alone

Spotlight on Sidekick Wave

Special Feature 2/26/2022
Sidekick Wave

Meet Sidekick Wave: A Producer hailing from Orange, California, but  ‘sporadic traveling’ – currently in Mexico – and overall very nice guy with a positive twitter attitude, I quote: ‘I make music as Sidekick Wave and run the boutique genre-neutral label Civic Duty Records. You may find me interesting or you may not, it’s okay either way’. Find him on Bandcamp and this is what you’ll read, I quote: ‘Sidekick Wave sits on the couch but never behind the desk. Sidekick Wave is proof that oblivion exists in the outtakes of life. Often electronic, ever eclectic, genre is just a word in the dictionary for Sidekick’. Furthermore, his Civic Duty Records twitter mentions, I quote: ‘Traveling music label. Home of the mistranslationwave non-genre. Submissions are open and just a DM away. Will respond to everyone (though it may take a moment)’. Well okay then.

My Kind of Music, with Sidekick Wave

SLEIGH YOUR EGO, I promise it won’t Hurt.

For all of you Spotlight readers, it took me a while breaking my brain about it, but I’ve finally come up with a little bit of a change in the Spotlight setup. Let’s hope you like it and if so – or if not – you know you can always leave a comment way below the article. Be nice now! Other than that, I’m very happy to be here and do this Spotlight about someone who seems to be leading a very interesting life, on the road. Now I never aim to dive too deep into the artists personal life, but one can hardly dismiss this fact, since his travels have an obvious impact on the way he perceives music and life in general.

Sidekick Wave got my attention early on, when I only just started to find my way on twitter in 2020. I was surprised I got a follow from a label called Civic Duty Records (CDR) and soon found out Sidekick Wave was the man behind the scene. At that time I immediately hoped there would be a Spotlight forthcoming, but because I only just started the blog and was pretty busy already, I decided to abide my time. The interactions with CDR were friendly from the start and when I found out about the travels I was only more intrigued. So it wasn’t a complete surprise when CDR disappeared from twitter for a while, only to return late 2021. I hadn’t forgot about him and was pleased to be mutuals again. The next step – asking for an interview – was a pretty easy one by then. And here we are, I’m hoping to get some insight about the ‘mistranslationwave non-genre’, let’s go!

Sidekick Wave’s music can be found on his Bandcamp page,  as well as under the Civic Duty Records page, where he as to be expected, releases a lot of music from different artists, such as – remember? – my previous Spotlight, Waavypanda. You’ll find them all on the CDR Bandcamp site. Today, I will share some albums Sidekick Wave mentions in the interview, which I hope you will enjoy. But first the one it all started with on Bandcamp, released July 12, 2020. Then, we will straight up dive into some Sidekick Wave lore!

1️⃣ Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us; who is Sidekick Wave? How and when did you start producing music? Do you play any instruments yourself and/or sing? Does the name have a special meaning to you?

Hey Wien, thanks so much for having me! My name is David Miller and I make music by myself and with friends under the project name Sidekick Wave. I’ve been doing Sidekick Wave for the past year and a half.

I started making music in the early 90’s when I bought a Yamaha drum machine and a digital delay. I had no idea how to use them but I knocked out cassette after cassette of material trying to figure it out.

These days I just use my laptop, a usb keyboard and a microphone. In the past I’ve had crates filled with gear, but I live on the road now so portability is supreme.

The name comes from a really old anime called Hyper Combat Unit Dangaioh. It was one of the very first professionally released subtitled animes released in the US. I bought the VHS from an ad in the back of the sci-fi magazine Starlog and loved it dearly.

It has a rather famous mistranslation, where an attack is called “Sidekick Wave” instead of “Psychic Wave” which is what it would have been in Japanese. What the hell is a Sidekick Wave? Whatever it is, the mistranslation is way more interesting than any old Psychic Wave and it’s stuck in my head for years. In the same way, I’ve never quite been able to fit in any specific genre and my various attempts could similarly be seen as mistranslations – hopefully of which can offer an innocent sort of fun’.

Well there you have it. I love the background stories so much, discovering why and how artists made their way into making music – and/or art! – and right with that first release, Sidekick Wave lays down the basis of what his music is all about. I quote: ‘Coffee House Music. These are the sounds of games with friends and coffee or cake. The relaxing CAFè Noise Techno Rave fills the world with uncertainty and joy. Mistranslation Wave is a new form of electronic music made with the right ideas but the wrong execution – misunderstanding as a genre’.

2️⃣ Who have been/are your biggest influences? Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you keep going? How would you describe your music and do you stick to one genre or do you like to experiment with other genres as well?

‘I have a wide range of musical taste so my influences fluctuate greatly. For the past few months, I’ve largely been listening to Hindu devotional music at home. However that’s changed in the last few days (since getting to Tulum) when I switched from audiobooks during workouts and solo hikes back to music. Now tons of recent club music.

My tastes range from Master P to Coil, Carly Rae Jepson to Herbie Hancock, Krishna Das to Merzbow. I love minimalist composers like Michael Nyman and Steve Reich just as much as I love early disco-live band era Hip Hop. I’m huge into Lee Scratch Perry and a ton of early Reggae dub music, there’s something so brilliant about rock music came to Africa and they used the same tools to make something that just sounds so different.

Actually, thinking about it, I love rock too – especially 60s psychedelic pop and stuff like the Stones (through Exile on Main Street, not so much after). I’m a huge fan of FKA Twigs and feel she’s one of the best of the best. I love Sohn, Arca, Bill Laswell, Kanye West, Maya Jane Coles. I like a lot of modern club music: Rufus De Sol, Nora En Pure, Bassnectar and so much more.

The stuff I listened to in High School when I first started making music always has a lingering influence: Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Coil, Throbbing Gristle and that sort of industrial stuff. I also love so much of the underground Twitter music scene: Noex Beats, Donor Lens, Traipse, Sky Yamaha, all the Vylter related projects, Leifendeth, Carb Cap are all huge favorites and so so many more. I spent 2020 mostly just listening to Underground Bandcamp and it was amazing! Right now, I’m listening to waavypanda’s “Music for Broken Toys 2 (out soon from Civic) for the first time and it’s freakin’ amazing – people are going to love it!

I use the label “mistranslationwave” for reasons explained in the first answer and do indeed play hopscotch with genres. I have a sort of post-punk industrial album (Wither), early DIY dance tracks, a number of house-y singles and strange Holiday EP and on the way an ambient album, a noise album, a poppy single and some IDM.

I suspect going all over the place with genre isn’t the best long-term plan, but I’ve given myself three years of free reign to just do whatever I want with this project. I’m over halfway through that, and after that I may settle into one style or create specific projects for various moods’.

I was asked by Sidekick Wave to give above mentioned single, Higher Vibrations, a listen after it just got released and y’all know I love it when artists ask for my opinion. It’s a challenge for sure, since the genres might not always be within my comfort zone and giving some honest feedback is something I highly value myself. If there was anyone who dared giving it to me lol. And yes, the Hindu devotional music influence was not only obvious in the cover art, though the music itself is definitely not just calming. I guess the title is kind of a warning, no? Highly energetic!

3️⃣ You also run a label under the name Civic Duty Records. Why this name, how did you come up with it? What was your motivation to start a label? Are you looking for specific genres/traits in artists you wish to help release their music?

‘I’m honestly not sure where the name came from. I came up with the name in 2006 to release an Eddie Entropy album on CDR. I liked Men’s Recovery Project a lot back then and suspect chose the name Civic Duty as it has a similar sort of feel as their work. I didn’t really viewed it as a real name back then, I suspect I just thought it was funnier to put a label name on the release than not. I think I also said the original disc was a second printing too. The CDR was packaged in the oldest and most battered CD cases from my collections, many with random prices tags and labels on them. I wish I still had one.

I brought it back in 2010 and released a few more things by Eddie online. My friend Nick did a logo then and it’s because I liked his logo so much that I released the first Sidekick single on Civic when I put it out instead of just on a Sidekick Bandcamp. To me digital albums often feel slightly incomplete because they don’t have back covers so I just had to design a back cover. So I did a Civic Bandcamp and I was so enamored about how the cover art looked on Bandcamp, I decided to start releasing more stuff by me and my friends.

I got on Twitter using an old account I repurposed and saw Vapor Kitteh asking around for a label to release her DEATH TOUCH EP and I was lucky enough to score that and as a result started releasing material by talented people outside my circle of friends.

I’m looking for artists that feel they’re a bit of a square peg in whatever genre they’re working in. Most things I’ve released are electronic but not all. Honestly, I just want to release music that I love and have fun listening to. If anything, I’d like to release more stuff that goes further afield from what I have been releasing. Free jazz, experimental hip hop, lounge music, pop, reggae, anything I dig.

The only thing I’m strict on is that I either do the cover art or feel the art fits in the overall “vibe” of Civic Duty artwork. I want people to look at the Bandcamp page and see a coherence of vision for the artwork. That artistic curation is hugely important for me and that’s just because looking at the Bandcamp page is one of the most fun things about running the label for me’.

The DEATHTOUCH album is definitely unlike anything I’ve ever listened to before and reading through the description gives me some idea of how and where to place it. I quote: ‘From the jaws of defeat, DEATHTOUCH was born! Fated by destiny to take on the burgeoning synthwave scene with her ancient musical martial arts, DEATHTOUCH will have her revenge! Not for the faint-of-heart, this debut 4-song digital EP presents a cinematic quest and audio will never be the same! You’ll thrill to the sound and fury that is DEATHTOUCH!’

Looking at the artwork of the CDR Bandcamp page, I get what Sidekick Wave is saying. It’s in the colors, the impressions given and the way the covers encourage you to think/dig a little deeper, without losing sight of having a bit of fun. Who wouldn’t understand the way visualizing works? It’s all in the appetizers reaching our eyes, working their way into our minds and hearts. First contact should be a direct hit.

4️⃣ Can you describe a little how you run the label? Do you like, follow certain steps until the final release? You also have been away for a little while, since you travel a lot, how was it to come back and pick things up again?

‘I try to keep good lines of communication open with the artists and do my best to promote in advance of release for what’s coming out. I made a lot of Bandcamp yum codes that I put out a week after the releases drop so there are several waves of interest. As I mentioned earlier, I also always have a digital back cover for every release included in the download.

Because of travel I’m not going to be doing physicals again for the foreseeable future. With shipping becoming more and more of a pain in the past few years, that makes things a lot easier overall for me. I’m also trying to limit myself to 1-3 releases a month. More than that gets to be tiring.

A huge shift I recently made is that I donate all the label proceeds to the San Francisco/Marin County Food Bank. I give 80% of all digital sales (after associated Bandcamp/PayPal fees) to the artist and the rest gets donated. I’m going to do that for all of 2022.

I only really put the label on pause for a few months, but I got out of social media for longer because it was feeling like too much. I have a much healthier and easier relationship with social media now – so it’s been super fun coming back! I used to wake up and immediately jump on Twitter, I’d be looking while eating lunch with my wife, it was obsessive and not great for my IRL. Having it all be digital also makes it pretty dang easy to run while traveling. I’ve released material while in Orange County, Los Angeles, Spokane WA, Eau Claire WI, Cancun Quintana Roo Mexico, Merida Yukitan Mexico and Mexico City. I love the traveling label approach!’

To be clear, this was the album where the shift took place. ‘Sleigh Your Ego’ was released as a Christmas album, last year. Sidekick Wave slayed his ego and posted most proudly – in a good way! – about his decision to donate the proceeds from the album to the San Francisco Marin Food Bank (www.sfmfoodbank.org). I quote: ‘SLEIGH YOUR EGO! A collection of holiday mutations by Sidekick Wave that will tickle your eardrums and give the gift of goofy dance pop ambient sludge! Whether you’re a fan of holiday music or loathe it, “Sleigh Your Ego” is here for you’. I know we’ve left Christmas behind for some time now, but this one is a keeper! Save it for this year’s holiday season, it’s a refreshing new outlook on a sometimes stuffy season. The amount of support Sidekick Wave received so far on this project – and thus the chosen charity – is heartwarming!

5️⃣ You will be traveling again soon, as a matter of fact, you told me you basically ‘live on the road’, how do all these experiences translate to your music and running the label? How easy/hard is it to combine producing your own music and running a label at the same time? There must be some advantages from working on both I guess?

‘My wife and I are really boring travelers. We tend to stay in most places for a month or two, take tons of walks and shop at local grocery stores as a form of entertainment. We’ll go out and do the standard vacation stuff a few times but that’s it. As a result, it leaves plenty of time to get other stuff done. I used to podcast while traveling and doing music and label is pretty similar. I’d say the hardest thing is I tend to disengage from social and the label the few days before and the few days after we actually travel to a new place. Also, I have a weak stomach and tend to get food poisoning easy, so that takes me down too.

As for music, whether listeners know it or not what I do is deeply connected to location. So travel keeps me excited and engaged and the songs released become this nice little audio travelogue for me. I can remember very specific times and places and the memories and emotions associated with them while listening back. I keep a little Rilakkuma notebook that lists the songs I’ve worked on, the dates and locations I worked on them. The Monkey Warhol remix I did was over the course of five states I think!’

The album Sidekick Wave refers to, is Boots & Pants/Stolen Moments, by Monkey Warhol, released June 21, 2021 and including Sidekick Wave’s remixes. Another unfamiliar name to me, but doesn’t that just make things more fun. Discovering something completely new I think the album is definitely one to help you get over any depressive thoughts or moods that might have been holding you down. I quote: ‘In this new hit, our simian overlord tears up the scene with an indie-electro banger paying homage to these wearable wonders: Boots and Pants! Sidekick Wave offers a club-friendly dance party remix as a counter-argument to the age old question’.

Two singles plus two Sidekick Wave remixes and I must admit that he seems to flow pretty easy from one genre to another. Danceable, uplifting, the remix would go straight into next week’s Some Groovy Medicine playlist if only it was available on Spotify. Not that Sidekick Wave is wholly absent on Spotify though and I’m sure to find something to add. I love getting quirky, funky, fresh tunes in and the fact these tunes were produced over such a stretch of distance – and time? – is in no way discernable. And why would it? When there’s such obvious talent at work. This album, as well as Sleigh Your Ego are probably my favs so far.

6️⃣ Looking back, can you give at least one highlight or maybe turning point, that still makes you smile thinking about it? Is there anything you would have done differently now? What advice would you give to anyone who would like to start a label?

‘I loved putting together the digital package for the Mistranslationwave Comp. There’s a ton of extra art and some stupidly long essay about the art of Mistranslationwave included. I doubt almost anyone has looked through them, but I love it all so much it never stops me smiling. In general most my memories for running the label are very happy memories.

The one thing I would have done differently is I’d never have released so many physicals so close together as I did in the last few months of 2020. Way too much!

The main advice I’d have, is don’t take everything so seriously. When it stops being fun the burnout comes and is real. Its easy to start these things for fun but then turn them into grueling and painful work and effort. I’d also suggest don’t work with people you get a bad vibe from and always be super transparent about money. If you plan to make big bucks out of it all – know you’ve got a ton of work ahead of you and doing mail order really doesn’t bring much joy these days with the mail systems globally being in such poor shape’.

The above mentioned album might be the best way of showing off what Sidekick Wave/CDR stands for when talking about Mistranslation Wave indeed. 25 tracks long, the album includes a multitude of genres I wouldn’t even be able to name, but I guess that’s the whole point Sidekick Wave is making. This album is a good way of getting into the Sidekick Wave/CDR vibe, it will shower you with the colorful sounds of every corner of musical possibilities. Get musically unhinged, there are no rules, except to discover and enjoy. I quote: ‘Mistranslationwave will not be stopped because mistranslation and misapprehension exist within every interaction and every experience. Instead of labelling this as incorrect or bad, this compilation explores the interesting intersections that could only come when musical genre dies and the sonics behind the labels are brought together in juxtaposition’.

7️⃣ How do you see your near future music and label wise? Are there any goals you would like to reach this year, something new you have not done before? Any dreams you’re hoping to come true soon?

‘I want to do a second volume of the compilation (artists, reach out!). Beyond that, just keep it 2-3 releases a month and keep a good mix of music I’m involved with and other people’s stuff. The big thing for me is that it’s easy for me to go too full on and burn out, so my real goal is for slow, steady and consistent so that I’m doing this in five years without any need to shut everything down again’.

Well this makes perfect sense. More artists will undoubtedly be added to the CDR ‘crew’ so it would be nice to have them all together again on a second album. Sidekick Wave’s advice about taking things more slow, or better yet, more organized is one for everybody to take into account. Having followed a lot of artists the past couple of years, I witnessed their often crazy schedules. Having followed such a schedule myself before, I can only agree with the statement it’s easy to forget about ourselves and break our limits. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done for most of us – including me, but we all know it makes so much more sense to follow a schedule we can actually handle, instead of having to make a full stop and start all over again… wise words.

Almost reaching the end of this Spotlight, I’ll share Sidekick Wave’s latest releases on Civic Duty Records. As always, there is way too much on offer to share in this little article, especially since there are two pages of which you can choose. I advice you check them both, while a lot of the albums might be on both sites, you don’t want to be missing out and Sidekick Wave has only just begun!

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘Your questions were great, thanks so much for having me! Beyond that I have just two last things.

First, I recommend that everybody spends as much time as they can doing the things that make them feel lighter. The world can be heavy at times and we all have our issues, but I’ve found the more time I spend basking in the light and joy of the people and things I love – the less my issues seem binding to me.

Also, if any of the readers feel called towards daily mediation – go for it! It can be hard to stick with at first, but I can honestly say that daily meditation is the foundation stone for the label and my music. Even the noisy and angry sounding stuff only comes through because the ground my meditation practices.

Thanks again, much love to you and to everyone reading!’

David

And so we kind of go full circle, ending with ‘Loud Music For Broken Toys 2, by Waavypanda, released only February 24, 2022 on Civic Duty records. The album feels like it’s just taking off where it left us the last time we were listening to part 1. However, it wouldn’t be Waavypanda – or CDR – if there weren’t enough surprises woven in. 22 tracks strong, you’re in for another playful listen, while roaming around between the casualties of toy war. I now fully understand why Waavypanda’s music finds such a good home at Civic Duty Records, since they seem to completely share that Mistranslation Wave vibe.

BIG Thank You Sidekick Wave/Civic Duty Records! It sure has been a pleasure seeing you welcomed back on social media by so many! Goes to show how loved and appreciated you, your music and your label are!

To you my readers I want to say: I hope the new setup gets your approval, if not then, sorry-not-sorry. However, I hope you will give Sidekick Wave and/or Civic Duty Records a chance and listen, below are all the links you need!

Follow Sidekick Wave on – Bandcamp Spotify Twitter or simply go to Linktree

Follow Civic Duty Records on – Bandcamp Twitter or simply go to Linktree

Wishing y’all a very Happy Weekend! Let some Mistranslation Wave get you off track, get unhinged & enjoy!

Calamity’s Luck

2/5/2022

Introducing

Today I want to introduce you to somebody new, her name is Calamity. She will tell you about another world. Her world. I hope you will enjoy her stories, transporting you to a realm where you can decide for yourself which part is true and which part is fiction.


Calamity’s Luck (1)

The sun was barely up and Calamity felt cold and alone, thinking about what to do next.

The sun was barely up and Calamity felt cold and alone, thinking about what to do next. Her stomach stopped grumbling days ago and she wasn’t sure that was supposed to be a good thing or not. Surely it was a blessing in disguise when one stopped feeling hungry? She never gotten into what real hunger looked like, seeing as the images mostly horrified her, but experiencing it now firsthand certainly filled the gaps in her knowledge. Well yeeey, she didn’t really relish that. But hey, no use in pitying herself today, she hardly had any energy left, she wouldn’t want to let the remnants go to waste. Fortunately there was enough water to be had. Even if it was the only thing filling her belly for the last couple of days, it was fresh, sweet water and one had to count their blessings. Right?

Stranded, that was how Calamity felt. Really, how in the world could her parents ever given her this blasted name? It almost seemed like they turned their first parenting class of choosing the right name into ‘how to curse your kid’. Her parents assumed sentiment for historically famous – read: adventurous – women, had been the cause of this questionable ‘honor’. You’d think they’d wonderfully passed that class with flying colors, looking at her life today. Oh, she hadn’t always been this unfortunate, there had been marvelous times too, but thinking about those days didn’t really cheer her up right now. Though they sometimes helped to regain some measure of strength and hope – good times could be right around the corner! – this just wasn’t one of those days.

Waking up as far as her tired and underfed body allowed, she had to face facts: she was well and truly stuck. Well, for the moment anyways, but thinking about what next step to take kept her going in circles. How to even take a next step when you were out of options? Her car was her pitiful home, but with hardly any coin left, driving was out of the question, except to get to the next parking spot where she could hopefully blend in with the crowd. Not that there was enough fuel to be had these days anyways. Thank God – in the truest way possible – she had the relative safe shelter of her car, to sleep or at least rest in and there was safety in numbers, or so she hoped. Having to walk around, sometimes for hours on end to get to that aforementioned water, in the heat of the day, left her exhausted. It made her feel like sleeping, walking and sleeping again, were the only things she filled her last couple of days with.

Oh yeah, and getting sunburnt of course. Her skin had never been this dark before, never mind it had gotten so bad she could peel off the upper layer for the third time now, making her think about the serious damage skin cancer could inflict on her. Calamity was almost hysterically laughing out loud now, recalling how happy she was when she thought she found a bottle of sunscreen on the beach, since she ran out of the stuff weeks ago and didn’t wish to spend any money on it. Somebody somewhere was laughing even harder, because that definitely wasn’t sunscreen in that bottle. At least not entirely, maybe it was mixed with water, boy she hoped it had been just water. Her skin kept getting burned anyways, so she stopped using it. Looking in the mirror of one of the public toilets, she hardly recognized herself anymore. How the mighty have fallen, sheesh. Not that she’d been mighty, ever. But better, definitely better.

Public toilets-slash-bathrooms. Most of them were icky and would close for the night, but at least the opportunity was there. She just had to make sure she’d visited before nightfall, or things would get awkward. Calamity had been there, done that and didn’t like it very much. Funny how one could get really appreciative of the most basic things in life. It didn’t take her long to get over the fact those bathrooms were too dirty for any normal human being, but enough about that. One couldn’t be too picky. It was either that or find some bushes, preferably in the shade and one never knew what was hiding there. Safety was warring with nourishment on the priority list and it wasn’t easy seeing as how the world in general had changed. Parking lots were preferred, but after the night when a couple of guys started knocking loudly on her window, while screaming in a language she did not understand, she knew her outlook on life had to be reviewed.

She was asked if she was in possession of any drugs and had to hand over her ID. Apparently they were guards of some sort, dressed in uniforms and acting aggressively, since she was parked on a hotspot for dealers. Not that she had been aware. The only thing Calamity could think of at that moment, was if these people were who they said they were and if she would get her ID back. She couldn’t be sure and stranger things had happened. They gave her the scare of her life, coming out of nowhere in the pitch dark of the night. She had never been more aware of how vulnerable she was. Fortunately they left her alone after she answered their questions and got her ID back, but she left that place as soon as they were out of sight, heart pounding and palms sweating. Yeah she could laugh about it now, she’d gotten more street smart after that for sure.

Her weight had gone down drastically too. As was to be expected when actual food became an exception instead of a regular part of one’s, well, diet. She was almost as skinny as when she was a teenager and her family used to joke about how a strong wind would surely blow her over. When she found a scale at a local health center, she’d spend precious coin to discover they were about right. Her clothes, and there wasn’t much left in that department either, made her feel she was back in the late 80’s, reliving the popular oversized look. Oh but she’d loved the 80’s as well as the 90’s, her youth had been quite easy and happy, compared to what she was dealing with now. Still, it had been her own choice to come here. Leave everything behind and follow the ‘call of her heart’. Had she been crazy to do so? No. No, she had thought it over, through and though, again and again. Up until the point she just couldn’t ignore that tug at her heart anymore. She knew she would always regret it if she did not surrender to it now and honestly, wasn’t she too late already?

Was it just her imagination, or did the lack of food indeed made her head and spirit feel clearer than it had been in a long time? Those stories about how fasting would ‘cleanse your inside’, might have carried some measure of truth somehow. Of course they did, she’d  fasted before, how did she forget? Sure, her body did not really agree – or should she say, really did not agree – with that train of thought. Though Calamity wasn’t exaggerating when she confessed to herself she couldn’t feel the hunger any longer, there were moments she felt as if her senses were sharper, more attuned to what was going on around her. Not on a natural level, no, it sometimes seems like she could look straight into another dimension, sensing things she couldn’t before. Oh, how to describe it accurately.. It was like dreaming while awake, but knowing and accepting whatever was happening to be true. It felt like she was floating through life, though the lack of sustenance could very well be the cause of that light headiness of course.

Calamity felt hypersensitive and while her lack of energy would explain that, it was in stark contrast to her body shutting down. Come on, she wasn’t that old yet to succumb to body failure! And she still had to get to the next well to refill her water bottles. Temperatures today were easily going to rise above 30 degrees Celsius before noon, so she’d better start walking early. As in, right now. Maybe a quick dip in the ocean would wake her from her lethargy, but the current seemed particularly strong today and she wasn’t sure she would survive it. Though the thought of giving up was truly tempting, this wasn’t her time yet, nu-uh. So Calamity did what she did every morning, read her devotionals, took some time to let them soak into her being, gathered her strength and went on her way. It didn’t take long before she was reminded of why she was doing all this, why she was here, but her goal just seemed so unattainable…

Her goal? Her goal…man she’d been so full of fire, so full of dreams and ideals. All of them so much easier to maintain when circumstances were working for you, instead against you. Still all the signs she got were directing her path to…here. Calamity’s choices weren’t guided by being smart, but by her heart, which definitely created enough room for failure. Then again, the successes were all the sweeter. Not that she would take much credit for them, her heart was, after all, guided by a force much larger and stronger than she would ever own. Oh Calamity wasn’t a stranger to moving in another realm, seeing through her spirits eyes, things that weren’t visible for the human eye. Vibes. Once such a popular, hip word. Calamity sensed vibes most people around her wouldn’t catch if they swam in it. And she learned early on, not all of those spiritual vibes were sent by benevolent sources. Nope, some of them were down right evil and it took the right spirit and courage to go against them. Well, to be honest, going against them wouldn’t solve anything, one had to defeat them. Calamity was no slave, but she did serve a Master and He could defeat them all. Had defeated them all.

Following the directions to the nearest well, her reason for coming here materialized before her eyes. There they were, alongside the roads and sidewalks, the beggars, the wanderers, the homeless. So many of them, sometimes whole families would just sit, hoping and waiting for somebody to throw them some coin or food, to survive yet another gruesome day. Some might have been in this situation already, but things had gotten so much worse for all those who were still alive after ‘The Big Change’. A mind-blowing event that happened a couple of weeks after Calamity arrived – just her luck – and still excruciatingly painful to think about. Slackers like herself became stragglers and as much as Calamity could berate herself daily for not taking matters seriously in the past, the fact she was, actually, left behind, was undeniable proof she failed somehow. Hah, talking about feeling like she was looking into another dimension! It seemed earth was simply swallowed by it, altering reality forever. She should have read the signs, really, there were so many signs for those who would have just opened their eyes to face them. Calamity recognized them, oh she did, she just failed to follow them.

The fact she wasn’t the only one was of little comfort, but she took it. These days she took every morsel of comfort she could get her hands and mind on, happiness was hard to find let alone joy. One of the things that hadn’t changed, was Calamity’s urge to share whatever cheer she found with the people who she met along the way. She’d always been convinced happiness was best enjoyed while sharing, multiplying the feeling, encouraging and getting encouraged in return. So her goal, her ultimate push to come here, was to act on that conviction, by actually meeting people’s needs. Basic needs. Obviously food was on the top of that list. After the Change, world economy had collapsed only to be ‘revived’ in a way that made it impossible for a lot of people to trade. Most common products were out of reach for all the people who felt the same way as Calamity: Sorry, so very sorry, they didn’t take the way up, but detoured…taking the road that lead them nowhere but…here.

When Calamity first arrived and circumstances were better, providing food for the hungry had been a joy. Now, things had gotten so bad, she could hardly take care of herself anymore. One could go without food for a little while, and though she’d heard of people who survived on water alone, her body did not gave her any indication she was to be one of them. She loved food, she loved to eat, ugh. But everything was scarce these days, it wasn’t uncommon for people to start a fight over a slice of bread, even if it didn’t look like bread anymore… Calamity could remember so very well the smell of freshly baked bread, one of the best smells ever. As a matter of fact, she smelled it right now. Wait, how far gone was she really, that her mind started playing tricks on her? Fortunately she was close to the well because it seemed she definitely needed water more than she anticipated, if she was starting to hallucinate.

Getting her bottles ready to be filled, Calamity couldn’t shake the thought of freshly baked bread. Was she imagining the smell got stronger with every step she took? Convinced she was losing her mind, she passed a restaurant, closed at the moment, though it seemed to be still open for business. And right there, on one of the patio tables, she saw it. A big basket filled to the brim with steaming hot buns. Calamity’s mind went blank, the hunger suddenly awakened with a vengeance and roaring inside her, overruling every other thought. She looked left, then right, checked again, then snatched the bag right of the table and started to run, forgetting all about filling her bottles. She ran and ran without thinking, back to her car. Out of breath, she took a last sprint, opened the car door and dove inside, closing the door with a loud bang. It took her a couple of minutes to calm down and to start breathing normally again. At the same time her sanity seem to return and Calamity realized, she just turned into someone else. Someone she’d never thought to be.

A Thief.

Slackers like herself became stragglers and as much as Calamity could berate herself daily for not taking matters seriously in the past, the fact she was, actually, left behind, was undeniable proof she failed somehow.

To Be Continued…


Wishing y’all a Happy Weekend

& don’t hesitate to share your opinion about Calamity below!

Spotlight on Waavypanda

Special Feature 1/20/2022
Waavypanda

Meet Waavypanda: Music producer and twitter personality from The Bahamas and most likely the only one reading the blog from there. His Bandcamp bio should give it away, but I’m not fooled by it: ‘yo I make ambient lofi and vaporwave stuff’. Emphasis on stuff. His creativity seems to have no bound, taking him to vaporwave and beyond like a musical chameleon personified, showing in his ever changing profile pic. The first one to call me momma sap online – and starting a hype right there. One of my most fervent followers, outspoken, funny, and last but not least, a fellow discoholic. Catch him if you can!

My Kind of Music, with Waavypanda

My MIND IN DISARRAY sums it up perfectly.

It’s SO time for a new Spotlight! My life has taken a turn for the busy – no complaint, I just can’t deal with it since my brain’s close to exploding sometimes lol – and I haven’t been able to get back to a regular publishing schedule yet. Believe me, it has been very frustrating for me and I really do have to keep telling myself to just Calm the Heck Down. But we’re finally here: The First Spotlight of this new year! And I’m starting with one of Waavypanda’s latest albums – at the time of writing – released the 12th of January 2022, by Engram Recordings. Let’s Goooo!

The freakin Bahamas people! I feel so honored every time readers from another country are added to the stats, I can’t even explain how that feels. It’s such an incredible thing to have people from the other side of the globe tapping into Colorful Expressions. I’m guessing it’s kind of the same thing for the Spotlight artists portrayed here. Numbers don’t matter – well, they do – but the idea people from countries I’ve never been before – and probably will never visit – are reading my stuff. Mindblowing. Every time. Of course I wasn’t aware where my guest of today was hailing from at the start, but discovering this little fact was a nice, tropical surprise indeed.

I guess you could say I officially met Waavypanda on a Discoholic stream, though his name was already familiar to me. I think we’ve been mutuals on twitter (He is less active on Instagram..) since then and whenever I tweet something, he’s always that one person to give me the first like. Gotta love him for that alone right, lol. Of course I’m not really returning the favor, since I’m way too slow to keep up with the amount of tweets not only Waavypanda is sending out. The whole of my timeline is bursting at the seams within certain time frames, it’s must be a time zone thingy. But I just want it to be understood: it’s never anything personal from my side Waavypanda! I also hope you do realize what it is you’ve unlocked by starting to call me momma sap. In all honesty though readers, he did ask permission. Just a pity he went from momma sap to liking wiener sapper better. (thnx Discoholic, ugh)

Waavypanda is into ‘ambient lofi and vaporwave stuff’, and though I’ve gotten a bit more familiar with vaporwave – believe me when I say, a bit – ‘ambient lofi’ still sounds like a crossing between a certain TV model from the what, 90’s? and someone’s ko-fi to me. Y’all can laugh now, I absolutely don’t mean no disrespect and yes, of course I kinda get the vibe, but as far as I can tell, it’s not just one vibe, it’s a stream I could easily drown in. Not the most terrible way to go I reckon. So what else to do then just listen to his music eh? Apart from the album ‘Mind in Disarray’, which at the time of writing is actually a completely fresh drop, I’m sharing them here in chronological order. Bandcamp only!

It’s not that Waavypanda’s not active on SoundCloud, because he is..kinda. He actually has two accounts there but, I quote: ‘SoundCloud is where I post random songs and snippets I don’t plan on releasing fully’. Anyways, I’ve added the links because that’s how I roll ya know. You can figure out for yourself where you choose to listen to his music, adding his YouTube channel in the mix, I quote: ‘and I have a YouTube channel I plan on uploading to more in the near future’. And let’s not forget his Twitch channel, because he does stream from time to time! Don’t worry your pretty little head about clicking on them right now, they’re all listed below as well.

Having gone through the earlier albums, Waavypanda’s music is relaxingly cool to listen to. I’m not sure if that’s where the ‘Waavy’ part is coming from, but it sure is fitting, while his music creates an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. To be honest, I’m truly amazed so far and I’m wondering if I’ll be surprised while floating along. Although I don’t get all the album titles – guessing there must be some inside jokes there, or referrals to stuff I have no clue about – the song titles are mostly speaking for themselves and carry the promise of calmth, with some darker undertones here and there. It results in an interesting combination if we’re talking emotions.

Then suddenly I feel like I’ve entered another of Waavypanda’s musical dimensions. Don’t talk to me about genre’s. I’ve seen how y’all call the genre’s I grew up with nowadays and though you might be right and I think it’s pretty inventive, it’s not how we used to call stuff. Trying very hard not to be that Gen X human, sticking to her ‘good ole days’ vibe, but genre’s are forever tricky in my book. Tried sites that list music genres and got blown away. It’s one of the reasons why I always ask the artist to describe their music. Hah, some of them aren’t even sure themselves. Does it matter though? Not for me and isn’t it way cooler to have invented something nobody really can describe, but you?

Create your own recipe by picking some of this and some of that, add your own spices. Try to stand out. Isn’t that what we all want? Well, I would anyways. Somehow I think Waavypanda is looking for new too. Always making new music, always looking for others to collab with, or to learn from. It’s interesting for me to see where artists get their inspiration from. We’re all influenced in one way or another, twisting it into one’s own thoughts and expressing it in our own quirky way, will stamp it as ours. My guess is, Waavypanda will keep discovering new sides to a genre, I quote a very recent tweet: ‘I’m back on my wtf did I just make shit’. Yep.

Any observant reader should have noticed that Waavypanda is pretty new to the music scene. I can’t stress enough how impressed I am when I see how much music some artists put out there in such a short amount of time. From the 2nd of October 2021, till the time I’m writing this, Waavypanda released 15 albums on his Bandcamp site and I’m not even counting collabs he may be telling us about later. Come on..at this rate his discography will be, I dunno, explode? Not a day goes by and Waavypanda tweets about whatever he’s working on that day and/or announcing new stuff to be released soon. Can’t not be impressed.

In the meanwhile I arrived at the heavier stuff, or so it feels. Waavypanda is a man with many faces for real. I mean, For Real. I can’t keep up with how many times he changes his profile pic and since I’m used to open the article with it – so anybody can recognize the artist, I asked him which one I should use. His answer, I quote: ‘I was planning on changing my pfp to my face today so ill send u one in a bit’. Well whaddayaknow! However, my hope was short-lived when I received an update not long after that, stating, I quote: ‘actually never mind I suck at taking pics u can use my Bandcamp profile pic’. Sigh lol. Hence the Bandcamp profile. It’s all good, as long as y’all know who we’re talking about here.

But yeah, some heavier stuff, music literally taking me to another dimension, or should I say, universe. I love it when music makes my mind come up with images that are beyond this world, moving in a dream state. Though I do have a very vivid imagination. Lots of artists could do very well in cinema’s I think, the same goes for Waavypanda. The movie automatically plays in my mind, even though the images won’t make much sense to anybody else, the fact his music is about more than sound, makes the picture complete. Pun intended.

Again Waavypanda is not staying in that particular corner, but keeps playing around with the genres. By now more people have picked up his talent, which shows in the ‘supported by’ section on Bandcamp and it’s cool to read some of the comments. You could say I’m not alone in my opinion about Waavypanda’s music, so those vibes are pretty clear even if he did not intended it to be like that. One can never be too sure and I stand my ground: it’s all in the ear of the beholder. I’ve heard the ‘ambient lofi and vaporwave stuff’ – at least I think I did – but that’s not all. There’s more in between and beyond and there’s undoubtfully much more to come.

Apparently Waavypanda has a bit of a preference to the darker sides of this life – or is he taunting them? – when his music gets into the nightmare realm. I wonder sometimes what goes on in the artists heads while creating pieces like this. (I have the same with movies, though I hardly watch anything anymore). Is it a way to release inside stress, worries, anxiety? Maybe. I can only speak for myself and though I’m mostly a positive person, when I’m writing it’s easy to dive into the less brighter sides of life. As if my articles are the only place where I can let my ‘negative’ self go. Anyways, ’13 hours insomnia’ sounds awfully familiar and well, ‘brain collapse’, I think I’ve mentioned something at the start lol.

We’re getting close to the end of my gibberish and nearing the moment where Waavypanda will take over and enlighten us about who he is and what he is about. What more can I say really? Other than it’s absolutely worth it to get to know Waavypanda and while you’re at it, get into his music. I remember when I first asked him if he would be interested to do this Spotlight, he answered, I quote: ‘my music isn’t all that funky tho’, and: ‘it is vaporwave but like a bit more experimental’. All the more interesting for me! When I explained how I would send him the questions and he could take his time answering – which he did not! I got them back the next day. Like. Wow. – he answered, I quote: ‘ok that’s good cuz my brain stops working when put on the spot lol’. I love it when I find common ground hehe. Worth. It.

What I will add, are two special albums. The first one being ‘loud music for broken toys’, released 27th December 2021, by Civic Duty Records. You’ll find the link to direct you to the album when you visit Waavypanda’s site. Or just click on the above! The album got a lot of attention on social media and not without reason. It also received a lot of support on Bandcamp and it’s so nice to see the recognition Waavypanda is getting. The album is unexpected fun at every turn, playful and yes, at times loud. But hey, let’s be honest, where kids play, toys are broken and it never goes without ..noise. Fun fact: Civic Duty Records is on my future Spotlight list, so keep your ears and eyes pealed!

The last album I’m sharing, is ‘kombat’, released by Waavypanda the 29th of January 2022, by textile rosary viscera. Wait. WHO? Uhuh. Just yesterday Waavypanda tweeted about doing something new, under a new alias. Will he ever get boring? I don’t think so. The album IS different from all the previous ones. If you find Waavypanda on twitter, you can see for yourself, I quote: ‘aka textile rosary viscera aka chaosbrokenmind. makes music sometimes. 1/3 of glass remnant. 1/2 of TWISTΞD MΞNTΛL. 1/2 of automaton concepts’. Oh and normalguytom lol.There you have it. I’m not gonna waste more words other than: BIG Thank You Waavypanda for joining me here! You have the stage!


The Interview

1️⃣ Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us; who is Waavypanda? How and when did you start producing music? Do you play any instruments yourself and/or sing? Does the name has a special meaning/how did you come up with it?

 ‘Yo I’m waavypanda and I’m an experimental (kinda) vaporwave producer. I started making music in like Jan of 2020. I just started going to a community college thing and it was super boring so I started making music in my classes. Couple months after the pandemic started it became like this 12+ hours a day obsession. I do not play instruments but I used to sing in my church choir ages ago.

The meaning behind waavypanda is kinda corny but I tell it anyway. The waavy part is just there cuz it sounds cool but the panda part is cuz I’m biracial and chubby (black n white like a panda)

2️⃣ Who have been/are your biggest influences? Where do you get your inspiration from? And how would you describe your music?

 ‘I listen to so much stuff its hard to point to one influence but jpegmafia was the first experimental artist I got into so ig u can say he showed me that u can make weird music and people will still listen to it. I get inspired by so many things like movies, anime, someone humming a tune for example. Inspiration isn’t hard to come by for me lol.

My music spans many genre and styles but the one thing that stays consistent imo is how frantic it sounds so to answer your question I make frantic music’

3️⃣ What was your first ever experience with producing music? And how do you feel you have grown from that point on?

‘My first experience with music is me trying to make a lofi hip hop/relaxing beats YT channel the first month I started making music and the areas I think I’ve grown are getting comfortable with my daw and with working with samples’.

4️⃣ You don’t seem to stick to just one genre, are there genre’s that really have your heart? And why is that? How do you get from one genre to another, can you describe a bit how your creative process works?

‘In terms of making music anything with drum breaks I love and probably ambient stuff

In terms of listening I like the abstract hiphop scene that is blossoming rt now (the alchemist, earl sweatshirt, boldly james navy blue, pink siifu, jpegmafia, zelooperz and stuff like that. And I also like listening to the more ambient side of vaporwave like slushwave and late night lofi stuff

Tbh with u I cant really explain my creative process to u its like my brain is so full all the time I just use making music as a way to channel some of that chaos’.

5️⃣ You also seem to enjoy working together with your fellow producers. How do you find each other? Can you give us a bit of a background story about your latest collabs? What are the best parts of collaborating with others? What would be the collab of your dreams?

 ‘All the collab groups I’m in so far started from someone reaching out to do a track/ feature and somehow ended with a group forming lol. My latest collab is with ᴵˈᵐ ᵒᵏ(ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣ ͜ ᵕ̣̣̣̣̣ ˶ )♡ automaton concepts and we just dropped our first project Automata Theory 

Last Wednesday the 19 of Jan. this group formed when I’m okay hit me up and asked me to be a feature on one of his upcoming album which was crazy for me cuz his album infinitesimally small and loved by drugs was one of my fav albums of 2021 so from their we worked on the feature then we joked about starting a group and next thing we know we our first album is out lol.

My dream collab would be with christtt.  I luv his entire discography including his aliases. I think we would make some next lvl shit’.

6️⃣ What do you consider the toughest/most frustrating part of producing? And which part is the most fun for you? How much time would you say you spend per day on producing music?

 ‘idk if this counts as a part of the producing process but promoting my stuff is so difficult for me lol. I feel like such a douche constantly tweeting about my music but that the only way to get people to listen so yea I hate that lol. My fav part is coming up with the initial idea for a song whether it’s with a sample flip or with melodies.

I spend most of the day making music easily 12+ hrs a day’

7️⃣ What can we expect in the (near) future from Waavypanda? Which dreams do you hope to realize at some point?

‘My number one and only goal with music is to being able to make music only I can make.

And I have another ambient project coming out before the end of the month and I have 3 other projects planned for Feb.’

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘Uh not really, check out my collab projects glass remnant, twisted mental and automaton concepts’.


Again, Big Thanks to Waavypanda! It was so nice to have you here and I think you hold the record on answering the questions, heck you were fast! Of course I’ll keep following you on twitter and hey, big hug from momma sap to you! And you my readers, please give Waavypanda a follow, you can do that right here:

Follow Waavypanda on: Bandcamp YouTube SoundCloud (1) – SoundCloud (2) – Twitter Instagram Twitch – or simply go to Linktree

Wishing y’all a Very Waavy Weekend, take it easy, rest your brain, momma sap loves you

Integrity, the Wholesome Package

1/8/2022
HAH. The Cold caught up with my hat!

Integrity, the Wholesome Package

(or how I value doing good when nobody’s watching)

🎁 Looking up the meaning of the word integrity, gives me an immediate, clear description of the trait that can have such a great impact on our lives when implemented daily: ‘The quality of being honest and fair’.

🎁 Lacking integrity will have the same impact, just the other way around, as in, negatively. Rippling through our actions towards the people around us, like a stone thrown into calm water. I’m encouraging you to go for the first option, obviously.

🎁 Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity, due to slightly challenging circumstances, which forced me to re-think my actions. More specifically, if these actions were actually the correct consequences of previously spoken words, as in, promises made. I know we could debate on when spoken words should count as an actual promise, but let’s just keep it simple and say: if I said I would do something, call someone, send something, etc, I should simply keep my word and do it. I mean, I don’t particularly like it when someone doesn’t live up to what they ‘promised’ me, so it would be hypocritical if I would act the same way. (and worse: judge others by those actions)

🎁 Am I never failing? Ahaha, I wish! It is not that hard to inform someone when an agreement or promise can’t be met at the agreed time. A simple message containing a little explanation can go a long way in avoiding others to lose their trust. How is it then, that sometimes even that small gesture of consideration seems too much? I guess shame and guilt are the first to pop into mind when dealing with this and the two together can be enough to avoid taking this easy step which might lead to awkward situations, spiraling into disaster if the situation gets out of hand.

🎁 Integrity or, possessing the quality to be honest and fair and acting thus, will seep into every part of our live. Whether it be personal, family or business affairs, I should honor the same morals everywhere. Though one might think it logical to act, or rather be, the same person, be yourself, in every way, we all know it usually doesn’t work like that. I will most certainly aim to be myself as much as possible, but for instance, the work floor can do with a little less of me at times. We all have to stick to given rules outside our home and even indoors, we need to be considerate towards our ‘room mates’. I’m just saying, we can be ourselves without intentionally offending or hurting the people around us, if we make the effort.

🎁 It has been years ago, since we were first made aware of the importance of integrity in our life and yes, that was during a sermon in the church we attended. It was a lesson we took to heart, in fact, really spoke to our hearts, for we knew it to be valuable and true. Trying to live a ‘good’ life, holding on to moral standards, striving to not just preach – rather not preach at all – but practice. Make our actions speak louder than words. Though I wholly believe that words carry power, they can be as empty as my wallet at times. Integrity is all about ‘living in honesty’ and being true to your words. Not an easy thing to persistently hold on to, but rewarding in itself. Very rewarding.

Source: Brené Brown

So honesty is key and if I don’t value that in my life, it will be impossible to ever be a person of integrity at all. Taking a closer look at the aspects of integrity, there seems to be about seven and they’re all very much intertwined:

1️⃣ Honesty

🎁 Speaking the truth, being open in the best interest of others and yourself. This should exclude taking advantage of others, since there’s no sincerity in that. Being open does not mean I can just blurt out anything anytime. Like I said, we can be honest without being offensive in any way. This doesn’t mean the truth can’t be unwelcome at times. Being honest will not always make you popular, or make you new friends – it could go quite the opposite way – but the necessity is apparent and much needed. True honesty will eventually shine through our actions, when we fulfill our promises, sometimes including the ones we made to ourselves. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, how are we supposed to be honest with others?

2️⃣ Respect

🎁 We can only earn respect and it certainly helps if we’re giving it to others first. People who believe they deserve respect as their fundamental right, are mostly hard to deal with and I find they will not easily – or not at all – give it in return. Respect includes me being open to other opinions than my own, my willingness to act upon those other opinions shows I’m taking things serious. It also means giving others the benefit of the doubt and to not immediately slay them with any judgement, but to listen to their concerns and/or interests. Giving them an opportunity to speak freely. Ooff, that can be tough, assuming they will also be truthful to me.. Disrespecting people can destroy relationships and will keep me from building new ones. If honesty is our real starting point, respecting others should not be a big deal, our combined efforts opening a two-way street.

3️⃣ Generating Trust

🎁 Trust within any relationship will develop when both parties show their effort and positivity towards building that relationship. In other words, showing commitment, because real commitment builds. And commitment itself speaks of respect doesn’t it? Not giving up at the first signs of disagreement, but working through it, or at least try to. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Actually, in a way it might even show trust in a better way, if you catch my meaning. Respecting each other enough to accept the fact you have different opinions and again, act on it. Trust is broken through rash/ill-timed actions and if you’ve ever tried to talk you way out of something like that, you know exactly what I’m hinting at: there are hardly enough words to undo a bad action. When I expect people to trust me, I have to be ready to show I’m worth their trust and be accountable for my actions.

4️⃣ Pride

🎁 I’m not talking about the unhealthy sort that makes one believe they have the right to feel better than everybody else, but about the kind of pride I can feel when I’ve accomplished something. The tougher the challenge the sweeter the victory, and yes, that is a nice description of the right kind of pride in my opinion. Knowing I’ve had to overcome certain difficulties, had to go the extra mile, to eventually make a difference, that’s a rush. Something to be proud of in a healthy way, because the goal was improvement, preferably for the greater good. The rush from a job well done, the personal reward no money can buy, will only push to do more and even better.

5️⃣ Responsibility

🎁 Another way to earn trust is to show responsibility, being accountable for our actions. And it is exactly as I said: SHOWING responsibility. In all we say we have to show that we mean it. When we’re entrusted with certain tasks, small or big, we show our responsibility by acting on it and completing them, or at least trying our best to do so, all the while using our common sense – I know, I know – to fulfill them with care. As a parent you might feel like your acting on auto-pilot at times, but we’re all aware of the importance of all those little tasks we need to take care of, to ensure our children will be comfortable and where possible, happy. By taking our responsibilities seriously, we show the people around us we can be trusted to do our part, which eventually shows our integrity.

6️⃣ Keeping Promises

🎁 As mentioned earlier, it can be really disappointing when we don’t live up to our promises. We all know how frustrating it can be when we’re expecting that one phone call at a certain time and nothing happens. We all have our schedules and it shows our measure of responsibility if we’re considerate about other’s schedules as well. To be blunt, it’s kind of selfish to not regard others in that way, no matter how busy I am, I should not be neglectful and assume not responding in time would be okay. Of course there are more and less severe situations, but I always like to think, if I can’t be punctual in the little things, how will I deal with bigger, more important stuff? I have to start somewhere…and again, my punctuality will show I’m taking the other person seriously, which will build more trust. Even if only by communicating I will have to get back to them at a later time, due to circumstances.

Source: C.S. Lewis

7️⃣ Helping Others

🎁 Offering help is easy, actually helping might be a bit harder. Now we’re getting to the point why I was re-thinking my integrity to begin with, initiated by a tweet I sent out last year. I think I even posted it in one of my articles. Quick recap: 18/08/21, I sent out a message hoping to encourage (young) people, who are struggling, fighting depression, bad home situations, relationships gone bad, etc. ending the message with my wish for them I’m hoping a brighter day to come soon.

🎁 To my surprise I started to receive multiple messages in a row, right before Christmas, from people who were in need, asking me specifically for financial help. Now we’ve known need, the scare of not having enough money for food, bills and housing. It’s a sad place to be, especially when there are children involved. Of course my heart was touched, but as the messages kept coming from different people, I had to wonder what the flip was going on. I soon found out my tweet apparently had been around and was shared between all these people, assuming I would be able to provide in some way. Nowhere in my message did I mention an offer for – physical – help, let alone financial help, but the tweet was somehow picked up – misunderstood? – that way.

🎁 At one point I felt I had to clarify my previous message with a new one, stating that, as much as I would love to help them all, I’m no fairy godmother, nor a millionaire. I added that I only tend to give – in this case money – when my heart tells me to. I was not looking forward to be overwhelmed with messages sent by people crying for money. I totally got it though…anybody that desperate will cling to anything that hints at the slightest possibility of receiving the so much needed help. Anything.

🎁 My heart was touched and there was a struggle going on in there: Should I help? Should I help them all? Should I help them at all? How much could I give? Could I trust any one of them at all? But I am willing to help, always, should I now feel addressed? Although I did not ever offered financial help to anyone through social media, I knew all too well the effects of circumstances that bad. The holiday season and the general sentiment around it, certainly did not make it any easier.

🎁 I’ve written before about the many people I ‘meet’ online, who are in need in some way. Mentally, physically and yes, financially. This experience only confirmed again how serious the situation is for many and I’m sure this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Saying I want to help others is a start and actually understanding what they need and having an idea what can be done to remedy their problem is the other part. The SHOWING part. The INTEGRITY part. Was I able to transfer money to them all? Would that have remedied their problem? No and No. most of these people need structural help, which I can’t give them, not in a financial way. And as much as I offer for them to talk to me when needed, when you’re that low, you’re tired of talking. All focus and effort, whatever’s left of your energy, is pointed at getting help, getting money, to simply survive. Not live. Survive.

🎁 Still, I do offer help in the ways I can. Being there when they need to talk, hoping to encourage them as much as possible. Trying to refer to other possible options – where they indeed could find that structural help. Trying not to be ‘that know-it-all’, but just listen. Helping others doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture you know. I mentioned many times before, it’s definitely not always about money either. Listening to others without immediately feeling the need to give them our ‘advice’ – or rather, our opinion in most cases – sometimes is enough. People need to know their feelings are valid, not to be swiped under the rug as if their not important. Simply telling someone there’s no use in feeling that way, won’t take those feelings away. On the contrary, it might make them feel even smaller and ashamed.

🎁 Helpfulness can be shown in so many ways. At home, at work, literally everywhere. It can be divided in two important elements: Responding to requests as soon as possible and as far as within our capabilities, and/or directing one the right way to find the help needed. The second is, being prepared to give up our time and possibly our scheduled events, to instead accommodate others. In other words, putting the other before ourselves. The Effort that’s Called Support remember? And yes, helpfulness will get us our own reward, just like the pride we feel after a job well done. I am sure many of you have experienced that at least once in your life. Well, I do hope so.

🎁 Though all of the above traits work separately, it’s not hard to see how together they can make us a person of integrity, when we act on them. Integrity is not considered a value in itself, but there’s definitely value in integrity. As a matter of fact, Google describes integrity as a Highly Valued Trait. ‘The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles’, sounds like a difficult model to conform to, but I can, if I want to. So it was a good thing for me to dwell on my integrity. A reality check to see if I still have it at all. Growing older and hopefully wiser, I might need to revise some stuff, find a different angle from which I look at the world, though I’m guessing some things might never change 🙄

🎁 Personally I count integrity as one of the most attractive traits, because it tells me so much about a person. It’s why I’ll keep striving to be a person of integrity myself, it should give you that same impression of me. Having integrity means I can be confident, since I will not corrupt my morals even when all odds are against me. My self esteem will keep me on the right track. Living a life according to my principles, or standards if you will, and that’s what I would expect to see in other persons following the same ‘rules’. I know that being a protagonist, I will always have to balance Idealism with Realistic Expectations and I am well aware I’m not always succeeding at that. Still, I’d rather stay idealistic than become rigid and unapproachable.

🎁 As the famous writer C.S Lewis said, I quote: ‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking’. I’m already dancing like no one is looking, it’s almost the same thing in my opinion lol. How easy it is to corrupt oneself when alone, with no one looking over our shoulder, no one to answer to. No, integrity will hold me accountable, speaking to my soul, judging me, directing me to do the right thing. Do I sound like a saint yet? Haha, y’all know I’m not, but there’s always a higher road we can take in life, a better path to follow. To ‘do unto others as I would have them do unto me’, and I don’t want bad, but good things done unto me, wouldn’t you? Integrity is the Wholesome Package with which I can achieve that.

Source: Common English Bible

Wishing y’all a Lovely Weekend and oh yeah, Hope 2022 will be all & more than you ever wished for

It’s the Right Time to be Kind

12/25/2021
Been at my knitting therapy again

It’s the Right Time to be Kind

(or what I hope this Christmas will bring you)

🎄 Well Hello there. Have I been neglecting you my readers, or no? My last personal blog post was from the 23rd of September, so yeah… I thought to be back in a couple of weeks, but weeks turned into months and here we are, nearing the end of 2021. Fast. To be honest, it doesn’t even feel like months, pandemic time seems to rush even harder than it normally does. Covid seems like a relay-run sometimes and we’re just waiting for the next variant to take over. But I couldn’t leave this year without a note to y’all, so let’s go.

I’m freakin proud of this cardigan no matter what you say

🎄 I sure hope you’ve all been doing well, times haven’t been easy and it seems we’re not there yet. So we’re entering the third pandemic year and we still have to hold on. I might not have been publishing much, except for the Spotlights if you’ve been following that section, but the blog has been running pretty well anyways. Of course I’m very grateful for that and for all you who kept reading. I’m still so very amazed as to how far the blog has come, including the literal sense of the word…like, globally: 82 countries have been covered this year (total 84) against the 70 from last year. Can’t really complain about that.

It always amazes me to see this

🎄 Going at it with my whole heart, I had to slow down at one point. Those of you who know me a little, are already aware I tend to run, run, run, till I can run no more and have to make an almost full stop. Am I trying to change? Yeah, sure, but it’s also just who I am and to not completely lose the joy I started out with, I decided to concentrate on the Spotlight side for a while. So not a real full stop there – progress somehow – but I was taking it a lot easier. A LOT easier. But enough of that.

🎄 The past months have been filled with thoughts and not all of them were always happy. But that’s life and I can only guess as how you got through it. Much has happened and in a way, nothing really changed. An absolute positive thing, is that our girl is back here with her fam, so we have the joy of watching our grandson grow. A privilege that is. So do I feel different as a grandma? Yes and no. Yes: because our daily routine has been altered for real – but we’re not complaining. No: because we’re still the same people and the actual responsibility is not ours. Though of course we do feel responsible for coaching the little one through life winning. Can’t start early enough right?

Started with the back

🎄 Other than that I have been kind of busy with ‘building’ relationships – for as far as possible – with my new online friends. More are added everyday and it’s nice to see and experience there are still a lot of really nice people out there. People might go on about how things online aren’t real, but to me, a lot of relationships in real life aren’t that real either. So what’s the difference? You can trust people for years and they still might not just let you down – which will happen because we’re just human – no, they might actually hurt you on purpose. So yeah, you either trust someone or you don’t in my opinion. Gotta start somewhere.

🎄 If anything, the last year made it clear we need each other. If this doesn’t apply to you, well, I’m both happy and sorry for you. Happy you’re fine on your own, sorry you might miss out on great stuff other people could bring to your life. Maybe even what you can add to their lives. The very fact most people are tired of all restrictions – which seem to have gone back to where we started – and fail to act upon them, shows how much most of us long for human interaction. I know, most of it is probably purely because of selfish reasons and I’m certainly not saying I condone that, but I do understand. We’re just not build to be alone and isolated for long periods of time.

included lyrics from my fav song

🎄 Apart from wishing to catch up – for real – with friends/family whom you haven’t been able to see for so long, just a simple day out has been out of reach for too long and has been cramping our very sense of freedom. Freedom. Most of us are just so used to go about our ways aren’t we? To go when and where ever we want to. This whole period has thrown us back to what’s really important in life. Getting confronted by everything we’ve been taking for granted. Life is full of unexpected changes and thus the opportunity to conquer new – unknown? – territory. Have you seized it yet?

🎄 Limited by our movement, resources and otherwise normal, human interaction, we have to actually THINK about how to fill another day without going slightly mental. Especially since the situation is lingering far longer than we hoped it would. Weariness set in some time ago, carrying the ability to make us less alert and more vulnerable. We need each other to keep a grip on some sort of sanity, if only by simple words of encouragement every now and then. And you all know, I’m all for encouragement. It’s such a powerful tool and highly underestimated most of the time.

Sorry-not-Sorry, it’s all about Disco Love

🎄 I know my words of encouragement have brought some light – and hopefully life – to a lot of people. There’s nothing better than having the same encouragement coming back to me at times. Reap what you sow you know? I hope you do. And yes, there are also times I’ll fall quiet, rethinking stuff, recharging and finding new inspiration. How interesting it is, we can actually get this from simply talking to other people too! Better yet, after some ‘quiet time’ I’m most happy to find out others have been experiencing the exact same thing and we reconnect even better than before.

🎄 (Re-)Connecting is key. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always very good at it. Getting to know one is one thing, staying connected is a whole other animal and – to my shame, but fortunately I’ve found I’m not the only one – I’m not particularly excelling in that department. Luckily there are enough people who will just take the first step – again lol – and strike up a new conversation with me. They know I’m always at the ready for a chat. Sometimes for a simple catch up, other times for pretty serious stuff. Y’all most likely have noticed – because I did share – how I (un)intentionally ended up being a ‘mom’ to many. It’s what has been foretold would happen and in a way I’m proud – the good kind of proud mind you – I can be ‘there’ for them.

Liftoff, by Discoholic

🎄 And yes, it has taken up a lot of my time and has occupied my thoughts. Though I aim not to worry, concern is not far away with all that goes on ‘around’ me. We all just try to keep on going on despite all the limitations we’re dealing with. For some it’s not all that hard, but for those who were already in a precarious situation to begin with, these times can be mentally unbearable. It’s tough we can’t actually ‘be there’ and hug that one person close, to express our sentiment and feeling for them, no, we mostly have to make our words count. Words have always been way more important than we were inclined to believe, but today… you do realize there is LIFE in what you speak right?

🎄 You probably know what a few words of sincere encouragement can do to your soul, paying it forward to someone else can make all the difference. You might belittle it, think it’s nothing special, you might not even witness the effects – at first, or ever – but again, just think about what a couple of kind words have meant to you in the past. Words can destroy, but they can also rebuild what’s been broken and this time of the year, a lot of words will be spoken. The usual niceties and ‘wishes’ are thrown around with ease and, dare I say, sometimes without meaning. I try to refrain from it as much as possible, but  it’s hard without unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings.

My avatar, original by Instantreigen

🎄 I recently read somewhere that kindness has the power to dissolve any damage done by mistreatment and there’s truth in there. Kindness heals. Kindness costs us nothing but effort and though that may sound easy, it’s not. But we can all do it, aim for it, act on it, be it. The effort lies in making time, thinking before we speak, don’t let our fears get in the way of expressing our feelings towards another – the good ones I mean. I know it’s often so much easier to utter our grievances and disagreement, but being kind doesn’t come that naturally. At least not all the time, not to me anyways. But we all benefit from kindness. Seeing how any kind word has been received around me, it’s clear to me there’s a massive need for it.

🎄 Again, I love to be on the receiving end as much as the next person. It definitely feeds my soul and sooths when times get rough. If ever self doubt had free reign, it has been lately. I mean, too much thinking can lead to too much self analyzing, overthinking really. And like I recently shared: ‘Perfectionism is the pain in my flawed butt’. Wanting to keep the perfect schedule, writing the perfect article…all self inflicted lol, but still. Sometimes I need to calm the heck down and be kind to, ME. Apparently I’ve become an essential part – or so they say, I’m yet to be convinced – in the Disco community and with it came a lot of new friends, new opportunities and new Spotlights and inevitably, new responsibilities. To be honest, time flew by because of it.

Art by Instantreigen

🎄 And so I was reaching the end of 2021, more than a bit surprised with myself I didn’t feel the need to write another – personal – article. Just a couple of weeks ago we were able to have our son and daughter in law over for a midweek and it was soo good to see them again, it really had been too long. I basically used every kind of ‘excuse’ to not write. I know, I didn’t really need one, but still. However, slowly it started to come back to me and after my last knitting frenzy hit me – during which I definitely didn’t feel the need to write –  I knew I couldn’t leave this year without having this out in the open. Christmas, or rather the whole Holiday Season, is the time to reflect, to look back and also, to look forward.

🎄 Did I want to leave the blog unused? Did I want to stop? What would be the next step? No, writing is in my blood and so is encouraging people. Reaching out is what I am called to do and this is still a great way to do so. My original schedule – publishing every Thursday – might not be working anymore, but I’m not letting this go while it’s truly reaching people in places I could not have imagined it would. I’m not sure as to what the next step for the blog will be, but I will keep on writing in 2022. If only to let out my thoughts and yes, frustrations sometimes lol. I hope I can keep you intrigued enough to keep reading.

Yep, truly happy with the end result

🎄 So here I am, writing on this – quite miserable, referring to the weather – Christmas day. We’re having a couple of lazy days and though you may think writing to you is not being lazy at all, I’m truly relaxed and words are flowing, as they should be. This Christmas I hope you’ve encountered kindness and you’re ready to share some kindness, it doesn’t have to be a big thing but needed all the same. I hope you will have a great Christmas, though it might not be easy on everyone, I still wish you the best. If times are tough for you right now, I hope things will get better soon, I hope someone will bestow some kindness upon you, so you can find some peace with whatever is going on in your life.

🎄 Everything happens for a reason they say – and I strongly believe it to be true –  which can be hard to accept when things are bad, I’m hoping you can say they actually were, afterwards. Because those things are only clear after they’ve passed unfortunately. I’m sending you a virtual hug and want to let you know, there is always someone thinking about you, even from a long distance. I hope this will comfort you a little, because as much as I would love to be able to do more, I have to make my words count for now. Being nice is not enough, try being kind. It’s the right time to be kind. Today.

xxx

Hope y’all are enjoying a Kind Christmas, thank you for reading and see ya next year!

Spotlight 2 on Lope & Kantola

Special Feature 12/6/2021
Lope & Kantola

Meet Lope & Kantola: Yes, we’re back to this groovy, (more than) Disco duo from Finland. I could repeat the Spotify intro, but you can read that for yourself in Spotlight on Lope & Kantola. However, what other ways are there to properly introduce them here? I think the most important one is how they call themselves: ‘Disco dads’. It was this description back then, that really got to me and I still feel it is one of the most accurate, all-encompassing slogans I’ve encountered since I started the blog. Don’t let these loving and proud dads fool you into thinking they have no clue about what’s going on in the music scene today, They Know. Oh and yes, you might recognize some of the pics from last time. It’s OK, they’re still pretty cool!

My Kind of Music, With Lope & Kantola (2)

Get a LITTLE CLOSER and Meet the Disco Dads.

This third Spotlight 2  – or in Lope & Kantola’s words: Colorful Expressions Vol.2 – makes me a happy girl indeed, because I’ve been looking forward to it for some time now. Quick recap: Ville Lope & Marko Kantola are a duo that won my heart last year, with their funky, groovy tracks lead by their distinct heavy synth work. Though in the same spheres as my preferred choice of music, theirs was a bit different than what I was used to listen to. When their songs got recommended on YouTube by my fav channel (The Jukebox Music Club) I knew I’d found some jewels. The next step was making contact and our history took flight.

It’s been a little over a year since their first Spotlight, when things were still pretty new to me and though some things never change – the quality of their music for one – other things definitely do change. This is why I always had these ‘follow-ups’ in mind when I started. In a way the first article was a long introduction and to be honest, you can consider this one to be ‘the sequel’. My first and foremost wish, is for Lope & Kantola to reach a larger audience and if this helps only a little bit, it’ll be worth my little effort. So after you’ve read part one – I really hope you did! – it’s time to make new memories.

It took me some time to actively start using Bandcamp, but as soon as I discovered this is where artists can get the actual support they deserve – yes talking cash baby –  especially on the Bandcamp Friday’s, I was set on following and supporting them there too. As I also did with Lope & Kantola, who confirmed to me the appreciation for how it works, I quote: ‘Loving how Bandcamp is instant’ and they confirmed it by giving me the next example, I quote: ‘To get that 18 euros would require 5660 plays in Spotify. And add the delay to the payment’. I might have briefly mentioned the workings of Spotify for artists before and as much as I don’t really like to give out these figures, a reality check will certainly help out any independent artist out there. We gotta have to show our love for real.

This doesn’t mean Spotify should be overlooked, as one of my fav artists explained, I quote: ‘Spotify is one of the best places to get heard and shared’. And though I was very reluctant at first, I now have to agree and hope to contribute to spreading Lope & Kantola’s music by adding their tracks to my weekly Spotify playlist, Some Groovy Medicine. The Spotlight articles are my personal little stories about how I’ve found these amazing artists and trying to support them the best way I can, in hopes of encouraging you to do the same. Lope & Kantola are included in the group I kept in contact with – a pretty large group by now – though music wise it got a little quieter after their track ‘Club’ released May 27, 2020. Fortunately it didn’t last all that long.

Lope & Kantola use ‘cottage getaway weekends’, to get together and focus on their music, since they live quite a distance from each other. It was during one of those weekends, they came up with the next song, released February 5, 2021. Coming back strong with a track that was inspired thus, I quote: ‘Imagine a dark autumn night, getting pitch black outside and you get the feeling to do something fresh and unheard in visual style of Stranger Things. Painting Nights is just that: 80’s synths and neon lights’. In all honesty, I’ve never watched Stranger Things, but I was all too happy to be hearing new music from one of my fav artists and so I told them exactly that. Lope & Kantola seemingly just picked up where they left off, though their answer made it clear that wasn’t entirely correct. I quote: ‘Making music is one battle. Releasing it is another struggle. It needs decisions.’ By that time, they were not the only ones who expressed this feeling with me.

It was during that same conversation in February – really, where did the time go? – I mentioned I was in the process of starting the Spotlight 2 series and asked them if they were interested. They told me to ‘just ask’ whenever I was ready, but it took me until recently to get to this point. Lope & Kantola have been making music close to 2 decades together and that’s perfectly clear when listening to them. Though every new track might be fresh and different, it will always have that Lope & Kantola flavor. I might be aiming to listen to all the artist’s music before writing, I do not always succeed. This leads to really discovering some treasures afterwards, almost like finding all those secret places in a new home only after moving in.

A little while later I discovered a couple of Lope & Kantola’s tracks, including some of my favs, were greyed out in Spotify. I wanted to ask them about it, but only got to that point when they released their EP ‘Audiophile’, May 6, 2021. To my big surprise, there they were! I’ll leave any further explanation to the guys themselves. I was not only happy to have those songs back in my playlist, there was a very sick addition as well: a remix by Kahikko – a name frequently popping up in Lope & Kantola’s tracks/remixes and definitely one to remember. The original ‘Under Cover’ with 387K+ plays, is their most streamed tune on Spotify and one where my real appreciation took off to ‘repeat mode’ afterwards as mentioned. It’s their No.1 song for a reason and the vocals by Lucas Marx are fantastic. This remix however, can hardly be compared to the original, but is equally awesome and ended up in my ‘On Repeat’ list, as well as my Top 100 songs of this year.

Though our kids like most of the music I share – pfieew – they have their own favorites. It doesn’t happen that often, but when our daughter added a couple of Lope & Kantola’s tracks to her playlist, that definitely made me smile. Since I am a BIG believer that any artist can only be encouraged by something like this, I shared it with the guys when they released their next song, July 9, 2021. The title seemed an immediate reference to the pandemic and the consequences the human race has been dealing with since it started. Their own comment on Bandcamp, I quote: ‘What would it be like to travel without moving? What would it be like to be Abroad at Home?’ Lope & Kantola’s (social media) posts are always dusted with a sprinkle of irony and it’s one of the things I can really appreciate. Their attitude seems to be: Don’t whine, just keep going. They’ll take you out of your rusted routine AND your ‘home’, with their music and sense of humor.

Their next released song only confirms this. ‘Dual Ipa’, released August 6, 2021, is all about feeling good. As if there could be any misunderstanding about it, Lope & Kantola confirmed the reference to a certain artist – or better, pun – was intentional. And was it a coincidence International Beer Day was happening at the same time? I distinctly remember them mentioning they would have loved to have written one of her songs (Don’t Start Now), as stated in Spotlight on YOU, I quote: ‘A current song I’d love to have written myself.’ Their new song was released on my birthday of all days, so what a great gift indeed. Summer was still ruling, even here in Ireland, we were melting away. Though Lope & Kantola’s comment was done with all the best intentions, I quote: ‘This frosty one is at it’s best on a terrace. Enjoyed cold and in good company’, temperatures only went up listening to it. ‘” Just Wanna See you Dance..” By the way, I love a good IPA.

Lope & Kantola’s latest release extends on their views regarding the pandemic. Not only that, it’s also a song that expresses concern about all the people who have been struggling with depression as a consequence. The song released September 10, 2021, which was also World Suicide Prevention day. Though the duo has a great sense of humor, they showed their serious side by creating this song inspired by the following, I quote: ‘Ever since the pandemic hit us all, it’s been hard to let people near you. Feeling alone, it’s been hard for anyone’s mental health. This song was inspired by that longing to be close to other people’. Lope & Kantola were not afraid to address the topic all over their social media. The song has a raw edge, corresponding to how many people are feeling. “I know it doesn’t make sense at all, but here I am outside your door. I get too scared to face the truth”.

Fast forward to (late) last September, Lope & Kantola had me laughing out loud when they responded to me sharing their song ‘Weekend’, a part of that week’s playlist. Since it’s updated every Monday, I added the caption: ‘Wishing for the next?’ They replied in their story with, I quote: ‘Oh right. We need to decide what to release next’. I might not have meant it that way, but I am always happy to hear new Lope & Kantola stuff. Their music is of the happy kind, meant to make you feel better and consistently manages to make me smile and groove. I have witnesses to prove this to be true. I repeated my wish to do a second Spotlight, my only concern being, to come up with some new, hopefully interesting, questions. You know it might seem easy, but it can be a struggle for me lol. Their reply was as dry as to be expected, I quote: ‘Come up with some. We’re down whenever you are’. Right. Green light almost fluorescent by then.

It was October by the time I got me some nice questions. Or so I believe. Where I might have been too eager when I started, hoping to publish articles every week – man what was I thinking  – I soon got that it would not work that way. Not for the artists, nor for me. So when Lope & Kantola asked me if there was a deadline, I was already used to tell every artist to ‘please take your time answering’. I mean, we all have our schedules to work with right? When I received an apology in November from the guys because it was taking so long, I told them not to worry at all, since I would be occupied with my kids who were coming over. Next to that, I already had a couple of other Spotlights lined up. But you know.. Good Things Come to Those Who Wait and after my break, we’ve finally arrived here!

Now the songs shared here is are mix of their most recent releases as well as some older ones and I really want to encourage you to not skip Lope & Kantola’s earlier work! If you’d take the time to listen to it all, you’ll see what I mean, when talking about their special L&K flavor. For instance, I was very happy to discover their EP ‘Love Burst’, released in 2015 on Spotify. So very recognizable still, compared with their newer stuff and boy, so very funky too. When I said they are more than a disco duo, it was mainly because I couldn’t really define their genre. y’all know I’m not a fan of labeling/genres and a lot of those are overlapping anyway if you ask me. It’s why I always ask the artist to describe their music. In my opinion, Lope & Kantola play a wide range of Disco, EDM, Synthwave all fused with a sprinkle of House? I suck at this, but all I really care about is how it makes me feel: It Makes me Dance, hence, I Love It.

Some older work (including re/mixes) you can also find on SoundCloud – as mentioned in their previous Spotlight and, again, on Bandcamp. Several singles released in 2016 (Like ‘All This Time’ and ‘In The Sun’) tell a story of driving beats, making me want to stomp my feet and bob my head till it hurts. The heavy synths remind me of some older work from the French musician Skalp, if anyone even heard of him at all and maybe more close to home, Doktor Plekter. Prog Disco? It’s funky and dramatic in an almost overpowering way, leaving me wanting more to chase every lurking hint of negativity, away. It’s impossible to ignore the energy flowing from it.

As much fun as this has been so far – well, for me at least lol – we’re reaching the point you’ve all been waiting for. If by now my love for Lope & Kantola is not clear yet, I’ll make sure you’ll end up on the naughty list this year! Their musical journey isn’t over yet, because they ‘whispered’ they’re mastering a new 6 track EP as we speak and I can’t wait. The only question is whether it will be released this year still or at the beginning of 2022. Again, Good Things Come etc etc. Before we’re going to let the Disco dads have their say, I want to just shout out a BIG Thank You, Lope & Kantola! Thank you for taking the time, again, to be here and also for making really incredible music! Very much looking forward to your new EP indeed and of course you will be added to the 2021 Spotlight page! Anyways, no more waiting, Let’s Gooo!


The Interview

1️⃣ How have you been? It’s been a little over a year since the first Spotlight. Has the pandemic affected the way you look at producing music and/or your creativity? Or did you find some unexpected benefits from it?

‘This whole Covid-19 era has been quite difficult for us. Where as many of our colleagues have benefitted from the “excess time” they suddenly had in their hands after the gigs were cancelled, we basically took a hit to our productivity or time to be used on production.

Ville tells in early 2020 there was a complete seven week lockdown: the kids were off daycare and me and my wife had to split 8AM to 8PM in half: That time was solely used to cope with the day job.

Marko’s situation wasn’t much better. His wife works in healthcare. That combined with shift work leads to the fact that we didn’t have the “extra time”. Far from it.

On top of all this, we found it was hard to get any extra influences when there was no events and many people were struggling to release any music’.

2️⃣ At one point I saw some songs greyed out in my Spotify playlist only to discover they were re-released last May on the album ‘Audiophile’. Can you tell us a bit about how this came to be?

‘These tracks were released on a label earlier. This label went successfully under the radar and there were no new releases or any footprint of their existence. Somehow we ended up in situation where we had a difference of opinion on whether they should pay us royalties or not.

They were kind enough to waive the rights to the tracks when pointing out this dissonance in honoring the contract.

When the tracks just magically disappeared from the streaming platforms, we uploaded them via our distributor as an EP (we rather call it an EP than an album). We’re super happy we got to keep the big play count on Undercover. It would have been a shame to lose some 400k plays in our Spotify play count’.

3️⃣ For me the biggest surprise on that album was definitely the Kahikko remix of ‘Undercover’. I was already in love with the original and it’s hard for me to say which version I like most, since they’re so totally different. How did you guys manage to in fact, re-create the track?

‘Kahikko is a good friend of us. Undercover has been his favorite track from our portfolio ever since he heard the song the first time.

Undercover is also one of our favorites and we had super big hopes it would take off even bigger that it did. Perhaps the success would have been bigger if it got bigger recognition from the Finnish radio or got some big plays from the well known DJs. Now we stayed pretty much undercover with the song (pun intended)

We had given Kahikko the remix pack earlier and we had an idea to have it “officially” released on the said label. When things changed it was natural to have it released as a part of this bigger compilation’.

4️⃣ But before that you released the single ‘Painting Nights’ and afterwards, three more singles: ‘Abroad at Home’, ‘Dual Ipa’ and ‘Little Closer’. So you have been pretty busy. Can you give us a bit of background info how these tracks were created/ the thoughts behind them?

Chronologically:

✳️ Abroad at Home was actually a song we wrote as a “support song” for this one Finnish YouTuber. He’s making videos of all light weighted electrical vehicles, mainly on e-mopeds. He’s been a huge fan of us for a long period of time and actually is using “Miami Girls” as his video outdo music.

Miami Girls & boy was my interpretation off… love those background stories for real!

He was about to go on this epic 500km road-trip, which took him all July. When we heard about this we offered him a chance to get a custom song for this trip. Abroad at Home is actually a title that he suggested. We’re happy that we came to agreement he got to use the song as he wanted and we still got to release the song as a single. Everyone won!

✳️ Dual Ipa was sort of a funky track just kinda created itself. Flowing perfectly forward it was just huge feel good track.

Added with a good pun or a dad joke of a title and the happy incident of releasing it on international beer day – damn we got good laugh out of it!

✳️ Little Closer is a bit darker, yet pop-ish song. The title came about when we noticed the international suicide prevention day was approaching. Although we’re happy that there hasn’t been any unfortunate endings in our circle of friends and family, we feel mental health issues is not something we should keep quiet on. This was our way of raising awareness. Luckily we got this through to Finnish national radio and pushing the important message of talking about how you feel to people’.

5️⃣ At the time you guys were also looking into finding a label to have your music released with. Are you still looking for that, or have you decided to keep everything in your own hands? And what would be the benefit for you, by using a label?

‘To be honest, we live in odd times. Having a label isn’t a must these days. But having a good one might be a business venture that benefits both parties.

See, these days anyone can release a song on streaming platforms, the distribution isn’t some black art it was even 10 years ago. But it doesn’t mean that going independent is a fool proof method of maximizing ones revenue of music income. 

Having a label can be a great thing when they are bringing something extra to the table. It could be a kick ass network, amazing promotional push, solid marketing machine, a vision how to build one up as an artist. As long as they are bringing something extra to the table and are super nice people to work with, we’re happy to start discussing.

No, we do not know in which direction we should start asking. Perhaps some label finds us interesting and want to play ball with us’.

6️⃣ How would you describe your music now? Which genre(s) would you place it under? Do you guys ever considered changing it up (again)?

‘This is a great question. To be completely and brutally honest, from time to time we’re completely lost with the genres. Perhaps that’s the reason why we haven’t found a label home yet.

Being genre-fluid (in lack of better term) is a pro and it is a con.

It’s a downside when we don’t always know what to do next. We’re sort of losing the true north on our compass.

It’s an upside because we can always “freshen it up” by switching from house to disco to retro to future pop and so forth without a need of asking a permission to do so. We still do think regardless what the genre of a new release is it will sound like us.

Wouldn’t you agree?’

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE

7️⃣ What can we expect from Lope & Kantola in the – near – future? Do you think when things will get back to a new/more normal, new doors will open for you and if yes, in what ways would that be? Live performances perhaps?

‘We’re sort of still coping from the covid times and it’s been almost two years we’ve been to the same studio session in person. We managed to meet during the summer though!

Somehow during the process of answering this interview, we’ve managed to finish a 6 track EP. “Stories Untold” is coming out in January 2022.

We’re always playing around with idea of doing an album – and then backing out of it and thinking of a series of EP’s. In our circle of close producer friends, we’ve been known for always having a double album (or two) worth of release ready(ish) tracks lying around on the hard drive.

See, it’s not to be taken as granted on the days of digital platforms that releasing an album is the way to go. Sure, if having a bigger story to tell, an album could be the best format available. Then again, the algorithms and how the interwebs and human mind in the age of social media is working, it’s preferring smaller pieces of content in more frequent pace.

However, now the decision is made. There will be more getaway writing camps in order to make a Lope & Kantola album. The concept for it is already outlined, the songs just need to be written. The album should be ready in late 2022′.

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with your fans/the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘Always, always, always support the artists you love and find. Dropping a positive comment here and there doesn’t take too much time of your day, but can give boost to the artist that could mean more to them you could ever imagine’.


Again: Agreed on that final comment! And also again, Big Thanks to Lope & Kantola! Listening to their music is such a joy, which I hope you, my readers will also discover for yourself. Please check them out, you can do that right here:

Follow Lope & Kantola on: Spotify Bandcamp SoundCloud Facebook Instagram Twitter

Wishing y’all a very Happy Weekend, come a Little Closer, crack open an IPA and Fly With Me

Spotlight on PURE PURE

11/27/2021
PURE PURE

Meet PURE PURE: According to his SoundCloud, Instagram and Twitter bio, he is into F u t u r e h o u s e m u s i c, and his Bandcamp bio mentions he is a ’14/yo French house Producer an DJ’. So yeah, that should make things clear now shouldn’t it? Yeah, no, but that’s why he is my guest today! He only started to make music about a year ago, so although his discography is not extensive (YET!), I’ll go through what tracks are available, to give y’all an idea and hopefully encourage you to keep an eye out for more of this young talent. We’re off to the USA once more, here we go!

My Kind of Music, with PURE PURE

You Might Need Him PLAYING AT YOUR PARTY.

PURE PURE and I first ‘met’ at the end of August this year, when he responded to my Instagram story, in which I shared some music from one of his friends. One of the first questions he asked me was: ‘Do you produce at all?‘ Ahaha, nope. But it was a very good convo opener and we soon were talking not only about music, but also about a lot of other stuff we were interested in. He very quickly dropped the question though, if I wanted to listen to a new collab he was working on, requested by another producer. Of course I was interested and it got the ball rolling as in, it was a small step from there on to listen to his music.

PURE PURE warned me about, I quote: ‘Everything I have out now is very much shit’. Well Alright then. He further mentioned, the music he was currently working on was much better. PURE PURE’s music is found on SoundCloud mostly and if you look closely, the earliest uploads are from only about 6 months ago. However, I had the opportunity to listen to a couple of tracks he did release about a year ago, when he actually started. I did not really agree with him on those tracks being that bad and so we talked a bit about why he felt that way. His reply, I quote: ‘I didn’t really do much mixing/ mastering to it at all and didn’t add like effects or give it a decent structure’.

Anyways, he removed those tracks from SoundCloud and added the ones you can now find there, but there is still one saved on Bandcamp, called ‘Mute City’. Next to that, PURE PURE can also be found on Spotify, but more about that later. Since some time had passed since our fist conversation until moment I actually starting working on this Spotlight, I was kind of surprised to find a different discography. So, back to his SoundCloud releases, the first two are mixes, where PURE PURE makes you feel he’s DJ-ing on your personal house party. When I asked him about this he replied, I quote: ‘So basically playing at your party was kinda like what I would play if I were to be at a party, I played some future funk but also some rap stuff from DRAM and a few other guys, some people don’t know this but I’m a huge fan of hip hop and I love to dj it’. Now you know.

Now I think the mixes both rock and would definitely be a welcome guest to my parties. The music varies as PURE PURE mentions, but all in all it’s a groovy mix that will go down well with most people. I mean, I can’t really imagine people not getting down to these beats for real. Having talked to PURE PURE quite a bit, the mixes pretty much feel like ‘what you see is what you get’, meaning: the guy is not shy about his music as well as other things going on in his life and that openness makes him so approachable, just like his music sounds. Still with me here?

Not much later, PURE PURE mentioned he was working on an EP, of which he was already quite proud – and why wouldn’t he be – if all goes as planned, to be released this December. When he asked if I wanted to have a sneak peek and listen to the unfinished EP, I did. All I will say to you, is what I told him: I love where it’s going and it’s giving off a lot of energy. He then asked if I wanted to do the Spotlight after the release, thinking it would be a great promo for the new album. Well, yes, we basically already agreed to do the interview during our first talk.

However, as time passed, PURE PURE had a look at my blog and how the Spotlights work, got more and more enthusiastic about it and he asked me if we could not do the interview NOW. That was about 2 months ago lol. Unfortunately, I already had a couple of articles planned – as always – and on top of that, wanted a little time-out. But finally, we’re here today. I love the way PURE PURE was so eager to do this, that he twice requested me to, I quote: ‘Just send the questions now, while I have time’, while it was the middle of the night on my side of the globe haha. No matter, this party is started now, so let’s get it on.

In the meanwhile, we had been talking about everything and anything: how PURE PURE loves animals, how music has always been a part of his life also due to his parents love for it. How much his parents mean to him and support him – I told him I was very happy to hear his parents are actually invested in his music, not something I hear all too often unfortunately. How he kind of hates school and would rather spend all his time making music, saying, I quote: ‘I’ve been wanting to do this since like 2nd grade, all my teachers were all confused when I said I wanted to dj lol’. And also, how we both had our experiences with racism. A very diverse conversation indeed!

At the same time, PURE PURE joined in on a compilation album being released on Spotify. Under the Neon Japan Records label, he added his track: ‘Yongen Yaja Nights’, claiming, I quote: ‘Yongen Yaja Nights is easily my favorite song I put on, nothing compared to my EP though’. Well, if PURE PURE is comparing the two and says the upcoming EP is, what…better? different? that’s saying something don’t you think? Still we talked more about other stuff too, like going to concerts and how his taste in music changed through time. Well, he might be young, but he knows what he wants and likes and the drive is certainly there, I quote: ‘I be watching tutorials all day when I get free time from like school.’

The next track by the way, has reached 3K+ listens and that’s quite a feat for a song that’s only been out there for about a month. Again, PURE PURE has only just started and the songs he uploaded have been well received. He hopes to be in a band in the future, playing the bass. Well, I’d say, Go For It, with this great attitude, you’ll probably achieve anything you set your mind on! PURE PURE is already well known in the community and has a lot of music producing friends, one of which is Fvert, who was a previous Spotlight if y’all remember. Music goes beyond borders and online collaborations are being cultivated everywhere. When PURE PURE mentioned to me there might be a collab coming with Fvert, I just told him to Do It.

PURE PURE’s next track is also close to reaching 3K listens and if that doesn’t make you wonder what kind of magic he is brewing, you probably don’t want to be convinced at all. As I said earlier, PURE PURE is pretty open about what’s going on in his life, if you’d follow him on social media, you can see for yourself. He repeatedly confessed his astonishment about how well his music is liked and it’s always a good sign to me, when artists aren’t afraid to show their gratitude towards their audience. Again, being approachable as an artist has this incredible attraction to me, making me feel I can not only connect through their music, but also feel and understand a little where they’re coming from.

‘1998 called, wants its hair back’. The intro to PURE PURE’s next track. From dance, to hip hop, to french house and now future funk. Again I wonder how it is possible for anybody to find time to make music – and sometimes A Lot of it – while also juggling school and/or work. And yes, I am my own worst critic, so I totally understand what PURE PURE was saying about his first released – now removed – tracks. My point: having that little free time, producing something is possible, but producing something that is truly cool and you can look back yourself at feeling proud? Ooff, good stuff.

Talking about PURE PURE’s school, he told me about how much he is into history and also that he was looking into an exchange program, because he would love to come to Ireland, or even better, Australia. See, this guy is not afraid to live and not only through his music! When he messaged me some time later, he is going to Greece/Europe, for the next spring break in 2022, his enthusiasm was palpable in every way. Easy to talk to, easy to laugh with, easy music to listen to, PURE PURE has a great future ahead of him I’m sure.

We’re already at the last released track by PURE PURE. I hope all the above has encouraged you to follow this young talent and eagerly see how he will develop. Just recently I saw a tweet where it was stated, how cool it can be when you already knew that one artist when they were still ‘small’, after they’ve grown ‘big’. This was so up my ally and it’s one of the reasons why these Spotlights give me so much joy. I wish all artists here a bright and successful future, but even if they don’t make it ‘big’, having the opportunity to meet them – even if not in real life – and most of all, discovering and enjoying their music, is a big win to me.

PURE PURE is the next on the growing Spotlight artist list and I’m thankful he wanted to be here. So, before we go listen to the man himself, I want to say, BIG Thank You PURE PURE! I know you’ve been very busy with school and all, so I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I’m also very much looking forward to how your EP will sound  – and if there has been a lot of changes made, since my early listen. I will add you to the Spotlight page, where you will stay indefinitely, together with all the previous Spotlights. Now Go!


The Interview

1️⃣ Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us: who is PURE PURE, when and how did you start making music? Does your name has a special meaning? Do you play any instruments yourself and/or do you sing?

‘Hi! I’m pure pure, I make French house and other sub genres in my free time! I got into DJ-ing originally but stopped after a few months after I wanted to create my own music, not just play others haha.

Big thanks to neko milkshake, he assisted me the most in making music and taught me how to work the daw. My name has a few meanings, in my favorite anime “K-On” one of the rejected band names was pure pure, and in my favorite city pop song “stay pure” my omega tribe also inspired, it has one more meaning but I won’t share it on here, feel free to DM me on Instagram if you want to know the 3rd and biggest reason lol.’

2️⃣ Where do you get your inspiration from? Who were/are the biggest influences on your music? How would you describe your music? Have you ever considered/tried other genres or do you feel this is it?

‘I mostly get my inspirations from playing video games and watching movies, like really old shitty movies. My favorite games to play include legend of Zelda and Pokémon and my favorite movie is lost in translation as it always inspires me to make music.

Music wise, I’m a huge fan of Daft Punk, Cassius, phantoms revenge, QB9, Neko milkshake, and Mr Oizo. But non French house artists I love the Clash, Temporex, Sex Pistols, the cure, Phoenix, yung lean, men at work, and bladee. I’ve always wanted to be in a punk band on bass as I play it, my best friend plays guitar so we will start playing together soon and hopefully get some gigs’.

3️⃣ You’re pretty young still and after releasing a track on Bandcamp and some more on SoundCloud, you only recently released a song on Spotify, part of the album NJR Vol. 1, under the label Neon Japan Records. How did that make you feel? Can you give us a bit of background info about how the song came together and how it ended up on the album?

‘Releasing on NJR was awesome! Huge thanks to Crimson Ray for inviting me and everyone on their being super supportive, it was insane seeing my song as most viewed on SoundCloud, it was my first song to get 1000 views!

It was originally going to be apart of kinda a “love” themed project but it was scrapped when I got rejected haha, It was the only song on the project that was somewhat good so I decided to use it in the compilation when the owner Shanpu told me that their was going to be a compilation for the anniversary.’

4️⃣ What do you think is the hardest part of producing music? Do you have a nice support system (family, friends etc) to motivate you and keep you going? What do you find the most fun part of producing music and why is that?

‘The hardest part for me is finding inspiration, sometimes I just don’t want to make music but those times will eventually pass. I have many awesome friends and my parents and family are supportive of everything I do.

I think my favorite part of producing are seeing the response to my tracks, comments will genuinely make me smile like I almost cried when I got my first comment’.

5️⃣ How do you combine making music with school? How much time per week do you spend on it approximately? Do you aspire to become a full time producer as soon as you get the chance?

‘I’m pretty shitty when it comes to balancing music with school but I’d like to believe I’m getting better, I do my work during the day and do my music during the night as I feel that’s when I’m most Productive.

During the prime of making city loops I’d say I spent 9-10 hours a week on the daw. If I ever get the chance to do music full time, I will jump on it immediately. Personally I hate school and I don’t wanna go into college (sorry mom and dad if you’re reading this) but music full time seems much better than living a normal life and working a boring office job lol’.

6️⃣ One of the first things you told me, was that you think the stuff you’ve put out until now is ‘pretty much shit’, but your ‘unreleased stuff is all ok’. Why do you feel that way, how did you grow from then to now? (what’s the difference in your opinion?)

‘I felt this way because frankly, all the music I had out at the time was super shit but I’m super proud of City Loops EP which is my best work yet, I tried many different production techniques and I feel it went very well for my first EP. I grew a lot by watching just tutorials on YouTube and asking friends for help’.

7️⃣ You told me about a couple of interesting collabs that might be happening. Is there anything you can share about that? If not, what would be your dream collab or project for the future and why? What can we expect from PURE PURE in the – near – future?

‘I have many collabs on the way! I will be featured on Maitro’s upcoming album dragon ball wave 4 along with a few compilations and collaborations with my friends!

I have a tonnn of dream collabs, mostly just the OG French house people like Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, Trankilou, St Germain, and Archigram.

For future projects I’m planning on releasing a second EP around Spring time then begin working on my album which will hopefully contain 20 ish tracks, I can’t say much about it other than the fact it will kind of tell a story’.

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘Not that I can think of! Just go stream my new EP And tell me what you think of it🙏.’


Again, big thanks to PURE PURE! It was fun working on this and I’m very much looking forward to more from you! Wishing you all the best and hope we stay in contact. And you my readers, please give his music a chance! You can do so here:

Follow PURE PURE on: SoundCloud Bandcamp Instagram Twitter

Wishing y’all a very Festive Weekend and while you’re at it, let PURE PURE play

Spotlight on Radd

Special Feature 11/1/2021
Radd

Meet Radd: A Music producer residing in Florida, USA, and according to himself, I quote: ‘Amateur artist! I make music as well!!’Twitter. And oh yeah, when I asked him whether his name was spelled with all caps or not – because I noticed it was used in different ways – he replied, I quote: ‘It used to be all caps but I didn’t see that as me, I’m a more softer person’. Aaw, my heart! You Win, Let’s Go!

My Kind of Music, with Radd

RADDical! OUTSIDE THE BOX, In About 1392 Ways.

We’re off to Florida for today’s Spotlight and it’s going to be a surprise for you AND me. To be honest, today’s guest’s music has me a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount he has produced and released since, hold up, 2018. When I mentioned this to him his answer was, I quote: ‘Eep, sorry about that hehe I will make sure to never make any music again’. Well, shit. Welcome Radd! I can’t even claim I’ve listened to it all, because, well, you’ll see for yourself I wasn’t exaggerating about the 1392 ways…I really did try though. (Oh and I can’t believe I have to say this again, but click on some tracks will ya!)

Radd’s complete discography is found on Bandcamp, where I count 30 releases, starting July 2018. including mostly albums, but also a couple of EP’s and singles. Where I thought OPTML’s discography was already mind-blowing, Radd’s has me in awe again, and listening to it all would certainly take up a couple of days time. It’s funny he realizes this all to well, which is why he – very methodically – released a compilation every year in September with the comment, I quote: ‘For anyone interested with my stuff, but don’t have the time to find the best bits, this is for you! :)’. You could say this is a tremendous help when starting out discovering, but the real die-hards will just plow through…right?!?

Any real observer will have recognized Radd’s portrait is done by the lovely Instantreigen of course! Shoutout to them for providing yet another beautiful piece of art to upgrade this Spotlight! And yes, you guessed right, Radd is part of the same group of friends/collabs/labels, as both Mr. Hoosteen and Instantreigen as well as OPTML are. You can see numerous references to either one of them, because of their art, musical additions and/or support given. What a great way to know there’ll always be this group of people that will have your back, no matter what. I’m suspecting they will be the ones to offer honest advice and opinions, helping Radd grow beyond his own limits.

Talking about growth…if referring to numbers…I’m curious where Radd’s discography will be in another 5 years. Using his words about it again, I quote: ‘fdgahdg – discography big – yeah I have albums – yeah its a lot – then you look at 1390 and stuff and…🤯’. Anyone that driven is sure to be propelled by their love for it because there’s no other way in my opinion, anybody could keep up that kind of level of creativity and the need to release it into the world. It’s the main reason I am sharing ALBUMS here and not mere singles – though there might be a couple of them included. As always, this page is not enough to display it all, but let’s get the fire burning for now and you can take it from there. Radd’s passion for music should be enough to give you a head start.

Searching for Radd’s music on Spotify might not be easy, but if you manage, it might leave you just as confused as it did me. So when I met Mr. Hoosteen I asked him about Radd’s Spotify account because of the very real difference in music that’s offered. It was then quickly explained to me that indeed, that Spotify account was a mess, a jumble of more artists with apparently the same name. Talking about what’s lacking on certain streaming platforms…This was recently confirmed by Radd himself, so again, take my advice and find his music on Bandcamp. Everything is there and it’s more than enough for any hungry House/french touch soul, to feed on.

I regret to say, this means I won’t be able to add that much of Radd’s tracks to my SGM weekly playlist, but I’ll make do with what I have and trust you guys to go and explore. Radd to me seems a very humble person and not at all one to take the stage at any time, so to have him here as my guest is a real treat. My initial request was kind of disguised at the time when I did the Spotlight on Mr. Hoosteen and if you were paying attention, you’ve seen the shoutout done to Radd. Radd was not immediately convinced he should be doing this, hiding behind his – just as talented – friends, Mr. Hoosteen and OPTML. Well of course I did not fall for that, especially after I started listening to his music right away. It all felt so right to me.

When I finally made the ‘official’ request, I was very happy Radd agreed on the spot. From what I’ve seen so far, he has a smart sense of humor – always a win in my book – and always puts his friends first. That says a lot about a persons intentions and loyalty, aka, integrity, which is a valuable thing in this world today. After I sent him the questions, he informed me a couple of days later to update on his progress, I quote: ‘follow up: I’m still working on it but this feels like an essay of sorts haha, I’m on number 6 rn :p’. I love a good essay! And the more details the more interesting the interview becomes. Another interesting thing Radd has been doing since October 2019, is releasing an album with a new song created every day, during that whole month. Just. How??

When asked by Smittz – remember him? – how he does it, Radd answered, I quote: ‘October energy, the spookiness in my bones courses through my bones. That and just selecting samples that inspire me to work lol selection is important’. Listen, I simply can’t imagine writing an article every day for a month long. I think it would leave me utterly unhinged, as much as I love to write and never seem to be able to shut up. Still. The only other artist I’ve interviewed and managed to complete this ‘ridiculous’ challenge, was T-BOW, who did this twice, not related to any spookiness as far as I recall though. If this doesn’t convince you of Radd’s creative mind, really, I’m going to break up with you and you’ll be spending Christmas alone.

Experiencing Radd’s music is like traveling through uncharted – for me – but colorful territory, while I have to be on my guard and expecting the unexpected at about every turn. See I’m not a gamer, but I’m guessing this would be how I feel like when starting a new game. Radd’s music paints an environment in my minds eye, only to be compared to the unlikely online world we’re so much part of today. Wait. Words. Radd’s music takes me from the arcade to the movie theatre, from the dance club into space. I would definitely label his music House, but ehm… It’s so, so much more than that. It might just be his starting point, but he’s taking the listener on a journey after which you’ll never be the same again, or…you won’t be coming back at all. In short, he might shake the foundation of what we think any genre should be…

Oh and wait, referring to space, I can’t let this one pass. Let me first say that Radd’s inventiveness regarding the use of album/track titles is absolutely appealing to a simple soul like myself. They’re fun and begging for attention and one very good example is the next album – for which we make a little U-turn on the timeline. I mean, no one can fault me for mentioning this particular one, since it includes the name of my hubby lol. And yes, of course it was one of the first albums I had to listen to, ejecting me right into orbit. I love how Radd uses so much variation and truth be told, this album does give me that outer space feeling. Since my hubby and I are both into sci-fi, this one certainly deserves a mention today!

Back to the timeline as was, 2020. Radd is consistently releasing music and one has to be wondering if his creativity ever diminishes. But no. Some lighter stuff, some a bit darker, some sounding seemingly uncomplicated and others sounding like they’ve been created to fit an orchestra. It’s tough to pin his music down to just one genre, which is fine by me, surprise is all a big part of Radd’s game, or so it seems. He is basically free-wheeling himself through music land. I dare you to form your own opinion because it’s definitely up for some discussion I would think. Of the good kind of course. But yeah, it’s up to you to explore and discover…

Coming to Radd’s third compilation already, in September 2020, I’m happy I can ‘skip’ listening. Wait. I’ve started at the beginning and this is yet another collection he made of ‘his best bits’, BUT you’ll have to check them out if only for the special edits and bonus stuff! Anyways, I’ve still got a long way to go lol, though I’m eager for it. And don’t even think he’s slowing down, because RADDical! Vol. 4 released last September! The consistency and you could say, almost calculated manner in which Radd keeps it all flowing, is nothing short of admirable. It seems he is following his own calendar and has some things very clearly scheduled for himself. I’m guessing his fans have started to sort of rely on that, expecting Vol. 5 by September next year. I’d say.

The same goes for Radd’s ‘October Energy’, the second album in this series released October 2020. Now while listening to Radd’s music, the one question that kept going through my mind was, if there were any grand changes detectable in the way his music sounds through time. You know what – please don’t be offended, since I’m only ‘judging’ this as a mere listener – I really don’t think there has been and the reason I feel that way, is BECAUSE of the diversity in it. Oh I’m positive he has grown in regards to the technical aspects, the mastering, the mixing, in other words: the way he produces now compared to how he did a couple of years ago. But not 2 albums are the same, so it’s pretty hard for me to discern. Wait, so what I’m saying is: Radd started out grand and grew RAD. (sorry-not-sorry, just had to at some point).

The very first time I listened to Radd’s music, it was the EP ‘Heaven’, which actually can be found in the earlier mentioned jumble on Spotify. It was enough to tickle my musical taste buds, but yeah, I had No Idea what I’d gotten myself into when asking Radd for an interview. This is a very good thing though, because it again challenged me to reach further and beyond what I’m used to listen to. I will be honest with you: while writing this, I still have about 9 albums to go through, but trust me, I will. My honor requires me to do so lol. I am a fervent believer I need to give it all a fair listen, to at least give an equally fair opinion. Makes sense right? So it’s up to me to finish what I started. Do not worry, I got this.

BUT, we’re closing in on the reason why y’all are here. This leaves me with sharing the ‘last but not least’ release from Radd, the third album filled with his ‘October Energy’, officially released on Bandcamp October 31, 2021. Mr. Hoosteen made a remark on the song titles, I quote: ‘Please tell me every title is relating to the number it appears?’  Well, have a look yourself and you’ll get that Radd makes excellent use of words/puns to display his tracks. You gotta admit the fun in that. I’m more than happy to give Radd the stage and let him do the really interesting talk, but first: BIG Thank You Radd! I have deep respect for what you’ve been cooking up in just a couple of years and will be on the lookout for more. That is, as soon as I’ve finished what’s still left for me to listen to lol. I’ll add you to the Spotlight page asap, where you will stay indefinitely, together with all your predecessors.


The Interview

1️⃣ Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us, who is RADD? Does your name a special meaning? When and how did you start making music? Do you play any instruments yourself, or sing?

‘Hello,! My name is Radd, and im an electronic musician to keep it simple; if I’m ever asked which genre specifically I tend to say french touch electro which usually confuses most people I know face to face haha.

I’m based in Florida, and making music is just something that I really like to do. Think of it like my auditory legacy to leave after one day when I’m gone, with my beginning to the end on display, a sort of wordless audio autobiography. My name did have a special meaning, but since then it’s moved on from that, and now it just means, me! :>

I started making music around my freshman year in high school, I have a really convoluted long story that explains exactly how I started making music, literally as detailed as stemming all the way back to a miniscule and minute detail that my older brother made in elementary school, but yeah I started just, putting beats and melodies together during my freshman year and, like didn’t stop and, well, I guess I’m here today!

I do play the drums and I’m told that I sing well but currently neither element has been used or implemented into my music whatsoever, I just don’t think it fits the vibe of my music style hehe’.

2️⃣ Where do you get your inspiration from? Who were/are your biggest influences? And how would you describe your music? Do you design your own cover art?

‘My inspiration, hmm, I get inspiration from the artists I listen to, but my direct inspiration came from Daft Punk and Justice when I started out, with producer friends of mine inspiring me to make music of my own, and I’m glad they did. My biggest influences nowadays still include Justice, but less of Daft Punk, and more out of the box interesting musical producers and groups such as Siriusmo, Vitalic, the Chemical Brothers, SebastiAn, J Dilla, Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, the Avalanches, and like, many more haha, too many to count.

I describe my own music as big. I feel like just, big, is a good descriptor for my music. I try my best to fill in all the mental holes when listening to a song, like whenever you listen again and again you can focus and marvel on each part of the song, and there’s a lot of parts and so many layers. I try my best to make a song feel as full as possible, whether that be when I’m making electronic based stuff, orchestral based stuff, or even sample based stuff. I try to make my music sound big! Like my own little electro orchestra.

As for my cover art, I usually collaborate with artists or make the art on my own. A very frequent and trusted collaborator is Mr. Hoosteen, who is simply amazing at graphic design, and has basically frontlined the art direction of the Signal album era’.

3️⃣ Do you feel you’ve found the genre that will stick or are you still exploring other genres too? If yes, which ones would that be and why?

‘I don’t think I’m particularly done genre exploring, but I don’t think that my current musical elements are going to be going anywhere, at least for a long time haha.

I’m hoping to explore more genres and even just delve deeper into the ones I already have done so with, such as Hip Hop, Orchestral, Plunderphonics, and Emotional Music, I uh, don’t know if that’s an actual genre but I want to make music that causes specific emotions when listening to it hehe’.

4️⃣ What would you consider the biggest eyeopener since you’ve started producing music? What would be the first piece of advice you’d give anyone who wishes to start and came asking/ what was the most valuable piece of advice you yourself received?

‘My biggest eyeopener when making music has to be that you just need to keep trying. I mean look at where I started, a joke song edit where I replaced vocals in a daft punk song to say “Gerald” multiple times lol.

So my first piece of advice is, look at your favorite artists’ beginnings, and when I say beginnings, I mean very beginnings. Their first audio thing released in their name. I think you’ll find that it sounds a LOT different, and definitely not as good. This shows that you just need to keep at it, and keep trying. This isn’t really advice that I received, but rather advice that I sort of learned throughout the years’.

Jammin’ Geralds Now I was specifically told NOT to listen to this, but c’mon…if there’s ever a trigger hehe. But Seriously, a real fun listen, so go ahead!

5️⃣ You very recently released the album ‘1392’ on Bandcamp, can you give us a bit of background information about how this album came together? How does your creative process work?

‘1392 actually isn’t fully out! It’s a song-a-day release that’s an ongoing tradition every October, inspired by the “art piece a day” that some artists do every october. Same as that but, with music! This is the third installation of the 1390 series, with the number counting up one each time. For these albums I make a song a day, and tend to try and have a gimmick with each album. What the gimmick is I leave for you to solve hehe. But I really love doing these every year because it’s great music practice and it really helps me improve, even if it’s a bit stressful at times. And yeah, of course I might not do this EVERY year but, I sure hope to try haha

My creative process is very interesting, to say the least. I tend to start with a small idea and build from there, building and layering more and more, until you probably can’t even tell what the original idea even was, and I have a very large sounding song. Most of the time, these ideas come from little melodies, drum patterns, or samples that I find. For instance, my releases Heaven and Up2U were sample based inspirations’.

6️⃣ When would you consider ‘goal achieved’ after releasing new music? What would be ‘a dream come true’, regarding your music? Can you share at least one great comment you got on a track/album and what this meant to you? Can you tell us about what support from friends, fam, other artists, means to you?

‘Honestly for me, my goal achieved is just the really basic “when I think it’s done/when I’m happy with it.” There’s not really a criteria I attempt to meet, but a dream come true for me would be like, being able to try out so many different things at least once, and being happy with it. Like making a song with vocals primarily, a well made plunderphonics track, or a hip hop track with lyrics that I wrote, those are some of the things that I would like to achieve as a ‘dream come true’ as you said hehe.

As for a comment on my music, I don’t really know anything specifically, but whenever people say that my music sounds “big” then I know that I’m doing what I do right haha. I haven’t had any comments that really stood out and stuck with me or anything, but all the support that I get from my friends and other music artists means a lot to me! I don’t really have any family members that support me though, but I’m holding on!’

7️⃣ What can we expect from RADD in the – near – future? Anything specific you can tell us about, like fun collabs or projects ‘you’ve always wanted to do’  maybe?

‘Well I have like, way too many things planned haha, but to reveal one thing for sure; the Signal era is officially over. Sure I have like, some unreleased things regarding some of the tracks of the albums like edits and other lil things, but overall for big releases and singles, it is completed.

Now I’m hoping to move on to various singles, EPs, and mixes, and I’ll tease some now: An EP with a ton of weird vibes and sampling, A mini album based on one of my characters in a sadder reality than his story actually is (this one has been a wip forever but I hope to release it 2022), and a single from this mini album as well!

There’s also a HUGE mix of my own music to be released SUPER soon!!, like, end of October soon lol, and finally in terms of complete ideas I have like an EP that’s organ focused based on the word “linen”? Just a lot of strange stuff coming soon haha. I also have a TON of unreleased demos and scrapped tracks that I may release as B-Sides eventually on stuff, but for now they sit in my folders.

As for collabs I’ve always wanted to do, me and Mr. Hoosteen have been talking about working together on this, let’s say, “project”, so far there’s only been ideas but I hope we actually come up with something one day!’

8️⃣ Is there anything else you would like to add/share with the readers/your fans? Something I did not ask about maybe?

‘Something to add, hmm, honestly I don’t know! Besides telling anyone who is interested to be looking out for new stuff soon, I don’t really have anything else to say haha

I guess that I make art too? I like drawing cute things and I’m soon planning to merge my two creative outputs and using my main character in more of my music as like a sort of mascot, finally putting a person or face with my music!

But yeah other than that, I, guess that’s it! Haha, sorry if anyone was expecting more :p

Anyways, thanks so much for having me Wien, this was so fun to do <3′


Aaw, well, again Big Thanks Radd! it was so much fun having you here and I wish you all the luck in the future: that your creativity may flow forever! And to you my reader, you know the drill, go find Radd and listen to his music. There’s so much of it!!

Follow Radd on: Bandcamp YouTube Twitter

Wishing y’all a very Happy Weekend! Now let’s get Jammin’ Geralds