Posts tagged #atx music

Kady Rain and Ben Bazzrea Enter Austin Pop Scene with New Single 'Infinity'

by Jake Navarro

Click picture to listen to Kady's latest electro-pop single, "Infinity"  Photo by: Daniel Andrade

Click picture to listen to Kady's latest electro-pop single, "Infinity"

Photo by: Daniel Andrade

By fulfilling her "Plan B" of "becoming a rockstar," a new pop sensation is starting to buzz around Austin. Kady Rain is beginning her journey to become the next global superstar right here in the good ol' 512. Besides her newly released single "Infinity" being catchy and radio-worthy, Kady has some big ambitions and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. 

The versatility of the up-and-coming star is quite apparent which crucial to have in today's pop scene. Kady is able to not only sound sexy and bubble gum, she's able to dress the part as well. 

MyCityATX caught up with the pop artist and one of the creatives and co-writers on her team, Ben Bazzrea, to talk about their latest single and find out what's in the works for Ms. Rain and the collective. 

As I enter Radio Coffee and Beer, I see Kady instantly. I can't help but notice how bright she is. 

"Hey," she exclaims as she gives me a hug as if we were best friends then introduces me to Ben. 

Her personality is as colorful as the skirt she's wearing.

Ben follows up with a handshake and a "How's-it-going-man?!"

Photo Credit: George Sarris

Photo Credit: George Sarris

We quickly jump into talking about Kady's latest electro-pop single, "Infinity." Knowing they needed something that demanded attention, Kady and Ben set out to create something huge. 

"We want our music to go hard. We want to make music that people have to dance to," Kady elaborates on the production. 

“When we wrote ‘Infinity’, it was two in the morning. It was this little folk song. Sometimes when you write something, you’re not too sure what it is. We really liked what ‘Infinity’ was turning into. We showed it to Doug, our producer, and he said, “I think this could be a monster pop-electronic hit!””
— Ben Bazzrea

"To see our songs go from little pop-things to full production, it's like breathing new life into something," the singer adds.

Kady Rain is no diva that only partakes in certain sounds. She's coming onto the scene with a variety of different music and ways the duo can set up the songs during the live shows. 

"When we play our sets, we feel the crowd. Sometimes we do more of the acoustic set or we do the full-on production. We're making something for everyone--without really intending to do so. It just turns out that way. It's kind of cool," Kady explains. 

Ben reassures MyCityATX that pop music is their niche with no denying it. 

"We never were under the impression that we were making anything other than pop music. When Kady and I started working together about a year ago, we decided we wanted to take over the world. We want to make big, epic pop music for everyone." 

Without an album in the works, Kady and Ben are able to explore the pop realm in a bit more personal way. The songwriters focus on what feels right when they are in the creative mood. 

"When you sit down to write, you can't really control what comes out. You can try to corral your creativity, but sometimes you end up writing ballads when you wanted to write an up-tempo banger. When we write, it's always on a primary instrument, like a guitar, and vocal, because production can make a bad song good, but it's never going to make a bad song great," Ben finishes. 

Having a non-signed budget, doesn't always mean poor quality--especially to Kady and Ben. Along with writing all of their music, the two are crafting single covers, scheduling photo-shoots, creating music videos and printing t-shirts. We get to talking about stage presence and Kady's live shows. The creative visions only keep flowing when we talk about Kady hopefully becoming an official showcasing artist for South By Southwest 2016.

"I want to take dance lessons, so I can get my stage performance on point. I want to do some type of cool hand-voguing like FKA Twigs and "Selena-turns" on stage," Kady excitedly tells us.   

The pop-singer confirms "Quintanilla!" as she does the "washing-machine" dance in her seat, paying homage to the late Tejano pop-icon. 

As the interview comes to a close, Kady wants something to remain clear. She works hard to write music that everyone can enjoy and relate to. She wants to be someone that fans feel comfortable enough to approach, and I felt this quality from her in our first meeting.

"I don't want to be this untouchable idol," she says, knowing what's in store for herself. 

With a promising lead single and eye for the pop scene, Kady and Ben are well on their way to crafting something that Austin hasn't quite seen yet. The creative team not only hopes for the best, they expect the best. 

Be ready for the storm that Kady Rain is about to bring to this city. 

Follow Kady and Ben on:

Twitter: @KadyRain and @BenBazzrea 

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/kadyrain and www.soundcloud.com/ben-bazzrea

www.kadyrain.com

Emily Wolfe Strives for Super-Legend Status

by Jake Navarro July 31, 2015

Musicians on the Austin scene want to make it. Emily Wolfe, however, wants to become a super-legend. When you talk to, listen and experience the Wolfe live, you end up thinking it's not a far-fetched idea. 

The badass rocker-chick agreed to sit down with MyCityATX this past week. With a quirky and funny persona on stage, Emily ended up giving the most honest and vulnerable artist interview to date. 

Jack White being her dream collaboration, The "Swoon" songwriter starts by sharing some of her musical influences that one wouldn't readily expect. 

"It's not that prevelant in what I play. I think it's the passion in Motown music that I really want to emulate. It's the simple words with so much feeling. Groups like The Temptations, they can sing one word, and it's like, "Oh, my God. There's so much emotion in that."" 

With almost no time to even consider other artists, she continues. 

"I would also say Linda Ronstadt. My mom had all of her vinyls, and she gave them to me. There are bands these days I really like too, like On and On. They just put out a record that's really great." 

Emily laughs because she uses "these days" and jokes that she feels like an old woman.

While she is light-hearted and funny, she possesses the ability to leave you feeling like you have something big going for yourself

Photo by Stevan Alcala

Photo by Stevan Alcala

"This is exactly where I wanted to be, you know? Talking to people like you, playing gigs, making music. This is what I wanted to be doing with my days," the rocker admits. 

Although she's able to rock out and inspire others with her insightful thoughts, things weren't always that way.

Emily thinks back to working her day job as a receptionist at a construction company when I ask her about particular set of lyrics in her 2013 song, "White Collar Whiskey."  

"I don't think anyone would notice [those changes in the lyrics]. That's so great," she starts, "In 2013, I had this 8-to-5 day job. It was hell, because it wasn't music. I dreaded it so much. I answered their phones which rang once a day. I'm the kind of person that needs to be busy. I have to work with my hands. During college, I worked in the main office which was this super white-collar office. They had whiskey in the meeting rooms. When the company started changing, they put me out in the field with the construction workers--like "let's fucking build this--"

Emily stops herself and apologizes for dropping the f-bomb. I reassure her it's fine and encourage her to continue. 

"I saw the white and blue collar part of the industry. I felt really caught in the middle of it, because I didn't want to do any of it, but I had to make money somehow. I was sitting in the back, answering their phone calls and getting them coffee. All I wanted to be doing was making music." 

We take a quick journey back to her childhood to find out what inspired her to pick up the guitar and start creating.     

"I took a couple lessons when I was six. I was pretty bad at it," she begins. 

The local musician chuckles when I let her know I struggled to learn how to play the guitar when I was in middle school trying to learn Oasis' "Wonderwall."

"I'm a by-ear learner. I was really bad at reading sheet music. We moved to Corpus Christi, and I didn't have any friends. I just messed around with my instruments in my room all the time and I taught myself. Ever since then, it's just been fun, you know? I've never really taken lessons, because, for me, it takes the passion out of it. Lessons are great if you want to learn more about [guitar], but, for me, they way I learn is by doing." 

"My relationship with the guitar: I can't even explain it. It feels like it's just an extension of myself. A lot of times, it's hard for me to grasp my own emotions. When I sit down with a guitar, it all comes out in the strings. It's hard to explain.

Although Emily shreds the electric and can put on a fantastic full-band show, she enlightens me as to why she thinks keeping an acoustic sound also is so important. 

"I feel like doing both is where I'm suppose to be. When I'm really sad, it can be so deep that I need to get it out in a more of an acoustic song. When I'm super excited, it's like, "I want to fucking shred right now!""

The creative process definitely had some drawbacks for the hungry artist. She fills me in on some issues with previous management. 

"I've had people tell me I had to choose, because they needed to pin-point my sound. They told me they needed to know what my genre was so they can write about it on blogs. My thoughts are: "If they want to write about it, they can write about it. It doesn't need a genre." I'm not going to pigeon-hole myself into one thing," she reaffirms. 

Wolfe goes on to say that it's just easier for managers and promoters to label an artist to be able to book shows, but explains that she'd much rather play to the audience depending on the venue and mood. 

With the ability to play so differently, Emily tells MyCityATX that she recently experienced some writer's block. 

"I wrote a full song a couple of weeks ago that I'm really proud of. Reed Turner told me that I can get out of writer's block if I can get one song out that I'm proud of. Hopefully, my writer's block is done, but it seems like it's harder to write now because I'm sober. I've struggled with addiction for a couple of years. When I was drinking heavily, things would just spill out of me," Wolfe says as she takes a sip of her Red Bull. 

She recalls the times when the words and melodies came so freely. 

"It's liquid courage. I thought whatever I said was art, but now it's a little harder to craft the sentence that I want. It's harder for me to not care as much as I do compared to when I was drinking," Emily finishes. 

I ask if the lyrics, "I don't feel alive unless I have someone to chase" were words she put together during this stage of her life. 

She collects her thoughts and opens up, 

"Yeah, totally. I wrote that song about how I was falling into my addiction. I was almost chasing anything good out of my life, because I wanted something to pull me out of where I was. That was a really powerful line, as well. I definitely don't feel that way anymore, though, because of the treatment and self-help I've been through. I feel a lot better. Life is way better than it was." 

With thoughts of playing festivals like Lollapalooza and headlining her own tour, Wolfe has moments when she gets discouraged, but not after I share what her music has done for me personally.

"That's really nice to hear. A lot of days, I don't really know if all of the work is paying off, then I hear that, and I think: "OK! I can do this." 

"How are you different that everyone else on the Austin music scene?" I finally ask. 

"I don't know if a lot of other artists have the drive to be a super-legend the way I have it deep in my soul. I want to be--not rich and famous--but this unique thing in the industry. I have super intense ambition. Not that other people don't have it, but I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't have any shows coming up." 

Emily Wolfe is a powerhouse that has the motivation, will and talent to truly shine in the music industry. Now, it's just a waiting game as she shreds the electric on stages around Austin and plays her favorite originals to audiences excited to experience the live show.  

You can follow Emily at www.emilywolfemusic.com, Soundcloud and Twitter: @EmilyWolfeMusic

Q&A: The Cover Letter sheds light on their continuously changing style

by Jake Navarro

Folk-inspired music in Austin is something I’ve learned is not in danger of going away anytime soon. With that in mind and the urge to find great talent, I went to Mohawk to see what The Cover Letter was all about. Knowing that Chelsea Barbo was on guitar, keys and vocals, I had a feeling The Cover Letter was a band that was able to produce something special live.  

I attended their show with an open mind and heart. I didn’t know what to expect when Chelsea told me their five-member band was essentially a seven or eight piece group. Weaving through chords and juking around stage to change out instruments between songs, The Cover Letter puts on a show that isn’t only pleasing to the ears and soul, but fun to watch as well.

With a true "we-met-at-a-house-party" welcoming spirit, Jacob, Jarrod, Chelsea, Johnni and Trevor took me backstage before the show to tell me a little more about who they are and what they plan to accomplish while on the Austin scene.

 

"You're name is pretty interesting. How did it come to be?"

Chelsea:  "At the time of us getting together, we were all transitioning jobs. We talked about resumes and all that kind of stuff. Jarrod came up with The Resumes. We were all thinking it just wasn't flowing well enough, so we brainstormed a bit more and that eventually turned into The Cover Letter."

"Playing multiple instruments is something that you guys do live. How hectic does it get on stage trying to switch them out? What inspired that?"

Jarrod: "It's fun. It wasn't overly intended. We play multiple instruments and would want to play that instrument live because we wrote that song on it. The logistics of it is a nightmare!"

Chelsea: "Writing the setlist is probably the bane of our existence at this point because we have to know how much change is happening between songs and keep time short."

"I bet it can be pretty hectic! I was reading that some of your influences range from Fleetwood Mac to Arcade Fire. Where would you say you hear that in the music?"

Jarrod: "You'll get five different answers!"

Chelsea: "That's the thing about us, all five of us come from completely different musical backgrounds. I was raised on Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Aerosmith, so that's why I think I go towards the more lighter stuff."

Trevor: "I was in band in highschool. I get some of my influences from my classical and jazz pieces, more than anything else. One of my biggest band influences is City and Colour. He's a great songwriter."

Jacob: "I've been all over the place! When I started getting into songwriting, I was into Modest Mouse. I really liked how they arranged the music. I don't think we can say as individuals that we would be supreme solo musicians. It's all about how we make the song and arrange things. I think that's what a lot of people like about us. We're always wanting to change things and push it a little bit."

Johnni: "It's nice to see people of all ages like our music--young and old. It's nice because it lets us communicate to such a bigger spectrum of people.

"With all of these sounds and influences, how does it all come together to create a unique The Cover Letter sound?"

 Chelsea: "I think that's where the switching of all the instruments comes in, for me, at least. Our writing process is really fun. It depends on who brings the song to the table. We each bring our own influences in." 

Jarrod: "We handle things very democratically."

Jacob: "Short answer--be open to change and comfortable getting outside of your comfort zone." 

Where do you think The Cover Letter sound won't go? 

Trevor: "Death Metal!"

Jarrod: "Chopped and screwed!"

Chelsea: "I don't think we'll ever go anymore country than we are at the moment. We're heading to more of the alternative, rock-pop scene. It'll still have a homey, folk-feel behind it all, but we're stepping it up and pushing our boundaries."

Since there is a bit more of a folk feel to your music, how is The Cover Letter different than any other band on the Austin scene?

Chelsea: "I've heard we give off a very family-vibe on stage. We're very inviting and welcoming. We want to be a part of our fans' lives as much as they want to be a part of ours. It's a mutual relationship. I think that's very special with us." 

Jacob: "It's doesn't matter what happens in front of the stage for us. What matters is that we're having a good time because we're loving what we're doing." 

 

It definitely pays off. The connection the group has with the audience is fun, energetic and makes you want to get involved. Being able to have their music reach as many fans as possible is the goal. Whether is on the "side of the river" or at Mohawk, these guys plan on making a mark on the Austin music scene through their forever changing style. 

In between laughs and some quirky inside jokes, the band continues on to explain how they played five shows in four days during South by Southwest and hopeful plans to be an official artist for festival next year. Their plan is to hopefully be on the festival circuit and play as many shows as they can next year to connect with as many new fans as possible. When asked about music streaming services that will affect their business, they simply replied, "TAKE IT! If you want the music, take it!" 

You can keep up with The Cover Letter on their website, Soundcloud account and twitter handle: @CoverletterATX. 

Be sure to catch the next show here in Austin at the Colorado River Ramble on June 28th!