Posts tagged #atxmusic

Blue Healer Creates "Pop Music with Teeth" on the Austin Scene

by Jake Navarro, Oct 1, 2015

Local trio, Blue Healer, who describes their repertoire of music as "pop music with teeth" took the stage with UK group, The Maccabees, for their Official 2015 ACL Fest Late Night Show at The Parish on October 1, 2015. 

MyCityATX sat down with Blue Healer at one of their shows at Cheer Up Charlie's to get some more insight on the band's unique sound, current work and how they are able to put a "Blue Healer" stamp on any music they produce.

Click picture to listen to single 30,000 FT. Photo by Alexis Davis

Click picture to listen to single 30,000 FT. Photo by Alexis Davis

The music Blue Healer produces mirrors how the trio is on and off the stage. It's fun, smooth and gets you grooving. With their March release of "30,000 FT" posted on Bandcamp, you're able to give your price for the single. 

"TOGETHER--WE ARE BLUE HEALER," the band says dramatically in unison.

The guys quickly display their fun nature as soon as we sit down.

We get to talking about their name. Ironically, it was only suppose to be a song title. Frontman and upright-bass player, David Beck, tells MyCityATX that it was a song title without lyrics and decided that would be a name that made sense. 

"Although it's spelled differently, I think it's fun to explain the night of the first show involving a Blue Heeler," keys and vocalist, Bryan Mammel starts. 

"We were sitting outiside Sam's Burger Joint in San Antonio before our show, there was this lady that had this huge Blue Heeler. We complimented the dog, but the owner didn't say a word back to us. We're convinced she wasn't real--or if she was real, she was a ghost," Beck finishes. 

Blue Healer performs 30,000 ft. live in Firestation Studios, San Marcos, TX.

As we continue to their single, Mammel chimes in, "Even though we've been around the country together--I can't count how many times--it's fun that [30,000 FT] feels so new." 

"We have some elements that are sonically pretty dance-driven and more semi-electronic, but sometimes I feel songwriting becomes secondary to artists. They may have a dance track, then put some words over it. We start from the ground up, starting with one instrument then build around it," Beck explains when the topic of being different on the Austin scene arises. 

If you only get one thing from Blue Healer, it's definitely going to be the element of their "butt-grabbing-music" as Mammel notes. Strong melodies and well played instruments tend to have that effect on the crowds the band performs for.

Drummer and vocalist, Dees Stribling, gives us some insight when we ask about using different instruments at once to create a certain sound. 

"It's a half necessity and half because it's new and fun. It's exciting," he says.

Stribling triggers a number of samples on a Sampling Percussion Pad while he drums during the set, and, so far, it's paying off. The new sound additions mesh well with what the band is able to produce organically. Beck weighs in. 

We had this idea for [using samples and tracks] before we actually tried it out. I’m really happy that it works. We’ve never played with tracks behind us and ran samples with what we play. When we put it into action, we can pull it off and not just be occupied by trying to do a bunch of stuff, too. That’s no good, either. You still have to put on a show.
— David Beck

The band enjoys hearing the self-proclaimed "pop-music-with-teeth" sound is accessible and different at the same time.  Blue Healer lends that exact familiar sound while letting the audience "walk through a new landscape," which enables the guys to properly stamp their uniqueness on each track they write and produce. 

"Sound changes over time, but if it remains familiar, then that's a perfect place to be," Mammel stresses.  

Beck concludes, "We're not trying to freak anyone out or blow people's minds with sounds. I like to deliver something that's palatable." 

Blue Healer's live act is definitely something to check out for the Austin scene. Their different sound creates a need to scout out when they're playing next after you leave their show. 

Besides being crazy-cool and nice, this trio gets you moving. If you're living in the good ol' 512 or are passing through, Blue Healer is one keep an eye on. Make sure to keep up with these guys!

You can follow Blue Healer at www.bluehealerusa.com and on Twitter at @BlueHealerUSA

Alesia Lani on Creative Process for Album that had "No Direction"

by Jake Navarro

Hip Hop is definitely on the rise on the Austin music scene, but that's no what, singer-songwriter, Alesia Lani is too worried about. Her passion is focused around R&B and female representation in the genre. Alesia strives to make a difference not only amongst the ATX market, but as a whole. 

"R&B IS NOT DEAD," Alesia shouts into the voice recorder as we start talking about her music and writing styles.

The R&B songstress invited MyCityATX into the sacred recording grounds where she's crafted her first album, First Impression. With the microphone, computer and mixing tools just a few feet away, we got to chatting about starting out in music, her latest effort, First Impression, and everything else in between. 

As I begin to get comfortable, I look around and see a wall full of the posters she's collected over time from the shows she's performed at. I have to ask where she "began." 

"It's funny. You see that poster over there," she asks as she points to the one entitled, Tipping Point, "That was one of my first shows. I actually met Gift there. It was a competition. It ended up being a tie between Gift and another artist. I was the only female solo act! I felt like I didn't have a chance! [laughs]"

“I got soul, baby! I’m not doing this to be pretty. I’m not doing this to be the center of attention. I’m doing this, because I love it.”
— Alesia Lani

After thinking for a second, Alesia recalls her childhood involving music and remembers always loving writing as a child--the older she got, the more music she wrote.

"I was always the girl that was ran and talked over. I could be in the middle of a sentence and get interrupted so easily. The moment I opened my mouth to sing, though, people shut up. People actually gave me a chance to be human. That's what really got me into singing. I was so shy, but I had to get over that because people started listening." 

Alesia is the type of person that is willing to not only try anything, but has to be good at it, too. She showcases that quality perfectly in her songwriting. She weighs in on the process. 

"It definitely helps to have a musical background, but [writing] is a craft. You not only have to have skill, but be able to put the work and hours into it, as well. I used to listen to my favorite singers and breakdown everything they did from their format of writing music to ways they released music and their videos." 

The "Sunshine" singer goes on the explain how creating a good portion of the project on her own affected her way of crafting her first LP. 

"This was the first time I ever created an album. I had no clue where to start. I was thinking, "I'm just going to put some stuff together and sing these songs." I was constantly writing, recording and creating material that I knew was album potential. I knew what felt good and couldn't let go. I had no direction on this album, and that's why it I titled it First Impression."

As producers started sending Lani beats and tracks, she found that her writing process started to change. Instead of being able to pull lyrics out of a notebook and create beats based off of the melodies she created, she started working backwards because she loved the tracks that were being sent her way. She elaborates on a track that was produced in a less traditional R&B format.

""Lost Endeavor" was a lot harder to write. The beat is so theatrical. I knew as soon as I heard it that I needed to have it included on the album. I had to make a great song to it," she explains.

Hard work is something that Alesia expects to face, especially with being a female in this male-dominated industry. 

"It doesn't mean anything if everything is handed to you. You're easily going to lose it, because you didn't work for it. My manager loves me because I have nothing attached to me. I have earned everything on my own."

Lani beams with pride as she goes on the tell me she was the only solo R&B artist to perform at the Austin Chronicle Cook Out this past June. Alesia Lani is proof that hard work pays off. 

This talented songstress takes the genre to a whole other level, especially in Austin. She has the voice, stage presence and perseverance that a true artist needs to succeed--definitely a force to be reckoned with. 

As the conversation comes to a close, Alesia thanks MyCityATX for taking the time to sit down for the interview. 

"[Bloggers and journalists] keep us going! When I can't promote or show some love, y'all take time out of your day to do what you do. You guys are the ones that promote and listen to us. I'm very grateful for y'all." 

Don't miss Alesia Lani at Ras Day on August 29, 2015! You can follow Aleisa on twitter: @AlesiaLani, soundcloud and at alesialanimusic.com!