Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Syd Rose Visits Section 36 Music!

Photo: Timothy Mah
Section 36 
Music has another visitor!
 Syd Rose is an extremely talented artist whose recent EP "Half the Things I Said" is one you won't want to miss.
 I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us and discuss her music, future goals, and more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy everything she has to say.

So, let's see what happens when Syd Rose visits Section 36 Music!

I really enjoy your latest single, “Nothing Like Me”. What can you tell me about it?
Nothing Like Me is a pop-rock anthem with a catchy hook, upbeat feel, and strong vocals that snatch a listener’s attention. Despite its lively sound, I explore more serious themes in this song regarding body insecurity and modern beauty standards. The first verse opens with: “I swear this mirror must be warped / Standing in this department store / Knowing nothing will fit me like the pictures.” The verse sets the stage for “Nothing Like Me,” opening the song with my experience of feeling inferior to other women, especially the beautiful people you see all over social media and the Internet.

“Nothing Like Me” was born after a moment that I’m not very proud of– doing a social media deep dive on my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, and seeing that she looked nothing like me but everything like the beauty standards I had always wished to achieve. The chorus of this song outlines what I was feeling at that moment: “I don't know what to think anymore / She looks nothing like me / I've been wondering all night long about / That girl on the screen / She looks nothing like me.” The girl on the screen first began as my ex’s new girlfriend, but as I continued to write the song, I began to see more of myself in her.

Writing about this moment made me think back to when I had a much more damaging opinion of myself and my body. My history of unhealthy body image and constant comparison began young, exacerbated by being an early bloomer (yes, I was the first kid in my class to get acne AND to have to get a training bra, and no, I can't remember which was more embarrassing at the time) and a swimmer, where bodies were always on display during training. I became hyper analytic of things that I couldn’t control. Everything from my height, to how my forehead wrinkled around my acne when I spoke, to how my legs looked underwater when I swam, to the thickness of my thighs, waist, and arms were points of contention for years of my life. Thoughts like these are something that so many women (and men) experience, even when we know it isn’t healthy to compare ourselves to each other. We know that other women should be a source of friendship and comfort rather than competition, and when conversing with others, I find most of the time we share this experience-- often criticizing our bodies unfairly while never judging others in a negative light.

Eventually, when it came to my thoughts post-breakup, I stopped thinking about the new girlfriend. I began comparing myself to old pictures of me when I had been in the relationship, going through a futile cycle of trying to see if I had changed or if something could explain why that relationship had gone so sour. Writing “Nothing Like Me” became a very cathartic process, helping me understand my unhealthy thoughts and leading me to replace them with positive ones. Ultimately, I learned that comparing ourselves to how others (or even our past selves) look is pointless. Everyone is unique, and appearance is the least interesting aspect of who we are.

Do you see more studio work in the future?
Photo: Vince Baur
Yes! Though I have an artist project, my primary career path is related to studio work. I’m a recording engineer, producer, and instrumentalist. Creating records in the studio is one of my favorite things to do, and I am actively pursuing opportunities that will bring me more work in the recorded music realm as I continue my career.


You are a graduate of Berklee College of Music. What is the biggest thing you saw Berklee do for your career?
Berklee is the kind of place where you get out of it what you put in. I think the biggest thing it can do for your career, whatever you pursue, always comes from the network of people you meet while studying there. Whether it’s a classmate, professor, band member, work-study employer, or former roommate that ends up bringing you your next opportunity, the Berklee network is massive and can always help you out. When applying for jobs before I first moved to L.A., I made sure to let all of my professors, peers, and bosses know that I was looking for work out there. I actually got my first gig from a “Hey, we’re hiring” story post on a studio’s Instagram account that a former work-study supervisor sent me. You never know what opportunities are hiding in plain sight and what directions they can take you.

Who or what would you consider your biggest musical influences?

Photo: Icekcream
My biggest musical influences are acts like The 1975, Noah Kahan, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Maggie Rogers. These musicians walk the line between old and new sounds, combining modern mixing technologies and synthesized sounds with full-band recordings to make music that teeters between folk, soft rock, and alt-pop. Their songwriting is also a great combination of dedicated pop hooks, folk-like storytelling and melodies, and poetry-influenced vocabulary and subject matter. All of these characteristics are things that I hope to reflect in my music and continue to grow as I build my voice as an artist.


What would you say is your biggest challenge with your music career?

My biggest challenge so far with my music career has been finding ways to grow my credits as a recording engineer while also dedicating time to my artist project. Since moving to L.A. and beginning life as a postgraduate, it has been hard to find the time to write more between job hunting, working at studios, freelancing, and still making time to see friends. I’m also trying to learn how to promote myself and my music effectively without having social media take too much time out of my life. I hope that as I build more of a routine and a reliable income, I will be able to find the freedom to continue to write my songs and build a career I can be proud of.

What are your immediate music goals?
Photo: Vince Baur
My immediate music goals are to learn more about the skill it takes to engineer and produce records while building a new discography of songs to flesh out when I am ready. As of Friday, May 17th, my debut EP Half the Things I Said, which I spent over a year working on, is finally out in the world. This opens up a chance for me to slowly begin figuring out what I want my next project to be about. Right now, I want to focus on making L.A. feel like a home, hone my skills as an engineer and producer, and let the next project idea fall in place as it comes.

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Don't forget to stream that EP!  


As always, I want to thank Syd for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.


I'm sure you’ll all want to follow her and see what she has going on. I would follow her on Instagram, Bandcamp, and Spotify to make sure you don't miss a thing. 


Thanks again Syd, and good luck reaching your goals!



Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Upcoming Tour: Kelsey Blackstone, Allie Dunn, and Felicity Team Up to Visit Section 36 Prior to Tour

You probably remember Kelsey Blackstone from her incredible music, her "With a Little Help From My Friends" tour, and her lessons learned from that experience. Well, she's back with a new tour starting on May 23, 2023. She'll be joining Allie Dunn and Felicity on a tour making stops from Nashville to Boston. All of the shows promise to be events you won't want to miss. 

I was flattered to hear that all three of these amazing women wanted to sit down and talk about this upcoming tour with us. The three of them played off each other wonderfully during the interview, and gave a great indication of the fun this tour will be.

So, here's what happens when Kelsey, Allie, and Felicity all visit Section 36!

How did the three of you decide to tour together?
KELSEY: Allie, I feel like you should take the lead on this one.
ALLIESo I was planning a run. A northeast run in Nashville, and I wanted just like a bunch of good nights of music from talented people. Specifically, I wanted women because we are great. So I hit up Kelsey because I found her on Instagram, and I loved her music, and she was down. And then, Johnny, Felicity's manager, hit me and was like, yo, we're like we're looking to do shows in the summer. I was like, well, I am planning a tour end of May. I would love nothing more than Felicity to come. And boom, the magic happened. And now we're here.
KELSEY:  Yeah, it was a pretty easy decision, honestly. I think it's definitely very cool that for the most part it kinda came from Instagram. At least my initial involvement from it. And then Felicity, finding out about you and how you lived in Nashville and getting to meet you, and see you play in person a few weeks ago. It just made me so excited for the tour, too.
FELICITYOh, hell, yeah. It's just gonna be such a vibe, all three of us. I feel like we all make a similar kind of music have a similar kind of energy. And I just have loved everything we've done planning for this tour. So I'm just gonna be that much more excited when we're actually on the road.

How did you select the venues?
Kelsey Blackstone
KELSEY: So, again, Allie I think you can take this one.
ALLIE: Well, I played at the Bowery Electric before. It was, it was honestly a great place to play. People were having fun. So that was just something I played up before. And the 5 Spot was like a home to me in Nashville. Then I haven't ever played at The Pocket in DC. But it looked like a sweet spot that supports like local live music. So I hit them up. Boston, Cantab, was just a group effort from all of us just like throwing around names of venues. Especially Kelsey. Just like being: this place, this place, this place, and Cantab looked really awesome. And then, Philamoca, just came along.
KELSEY: Section 36 knows this well, that I played there, and that's where the car was stolen. So I'm gonna be super careful. That's a story for another time.

What goes into creating the set list for a tour, and do you expect it to evolve as you go along?
KELSEYI know for me, when I play like live shows in general, I'm very like inconsistent. Sometimes I'll go into show days, or even weeks before, and like know exactly what the set list is. Other times I decide on the day, like a few hours before. Obviously for the tour, though, having to be more just organized and rehearsed, and you know everything cause you really wanna present a great product to audiences who haven't seen you before. So I am doing something that I haven't really done before, at least on a wide scale, which is like playing the first like four or five songs of my set solo. Some of it's released. Some of it's not. I'm pretty sure my partner, Adam (Gōst Pepper) is gonna be playing guitar and some bass with me. We have some tracks, we have a looper pedal, and we're gonna try, and jazz it up. And then the last, like three or four songs, I'll be taking some band members from Felicity and Allie, which they are generously donating to me. So that I can finish off the set strong.
Felicity
FELICITY
I'm in the process of releasing my first EP, my first single already came out. So it was easy for me to choose my songs there...the songs coming out on that EP. I've also been lucky enough to be in Nashville for the last two years. There's so many little stages here, and I've done every combination in every order of songs already that I'll be playing on this tour. So I've just been able to figure out which songs I like, and in which order, you know. The more like bombastic ones, at the end. I love having a moment where you can just absolutely wake up the next morning with whiplash at the end of a show, because you're just head banging so hard, and I can't wait to bring that on the road.
ALLIENo, I literally feel that, though, because with my last tour I was on, I remember I had like a couple of slower ones in the set which are obviously how you wanna break up a set. But I just wanted people to dance. So I think that's what is behind my picking a dance vibe. I just want to people to vibe like there's so much sad stuff in the world, you know.
KELSEYVery awesome. And yeah, I feel that I've been at concerts where it's just like the indie, sad girl thing for a whole hour, and at the end I'm just like, Oh, my God! Like I'm gonna crawl home and cry! And I feel like that's another great thing about all of us is, we're all like really upbeat and bubbly, and just, like excited. And I think that's really gonna come through in each of our sets on tour so it's very exciting.

Is there something you're looking forward to at each stop on the tour?
KELSEYMy answer to this one is short and sweet. I'm just looking forward to seeing some of my friends that I have been friends with for either a long time, or even just a short time, and all of the cities that we're going to. It's just gonna be a nice big reunion vibe.
FELICITYHell. Yeah, I mean, dude. I've never been on tour before. This is my first tour. But so excited genuinely to do absolutely every single thing. I mean I've played a lot of shows in Nashville, played some shows in New York before, too, when I lived there. But I mean connecting with people that could be fans in cities that I've never been to. That's unreal. That's so sick. And of course, Bowery Electric, New York City, I mean, let's go!
Allie Dunn
ALLIEI'm excited for the food, too. I'm gonna get a Philly cheese steak for sure!

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Next week, we'll share the second half of this incredible interview. Can't thank Kelsey, Felicity, and Allie enough for talking with us. Be sure to get your tickets for their tour now so you don't miss a single show!

Don't forget to check out each of these amazing women so you can learn more about them as artists.

Instagram: Kelsey, Felicity, Allie
Spotify: Kelsey, Felicity, Allie
Website: Kelsey, Felicity, Allie


Monday, May 20, 2024

Jules Wade Visits Section 36 Music!

Section 36 
Music has another visitor!
 Jules Wade is a fantastic singer whose recent EP "Smokescreen" is one you definitely need to hear.
 I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us and discuss her music, future goals, and more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy everything she has to say.

So, let's see what happens when Jules Wade visits Section 36 Music!

I absolutely adore your recent EP “Smokescreen”. What can you tell me about it?
Well I’ll start by saying that a smokescreen can be defined as using complex language to distract from your true point and confuse whoever you’re talking to. I’d say that this whole EP is basically me making things so complicated and metaphorical that you’re not really sure what people/moments I’m talking about. My family and friends will listen to the tracks and ask me “Is this about ____? Does this have something to do with ____ happening?”, and I just laugh to myself. I think that this EP perfectly embodies what I want my music to mean to people. I never want to give too much detail, because I always want listeners to be able to apply it to their own lives. 

If I were to actually give context, this EP discusses three past relationships, and each song references different times in my life. It’s kind of like a patchwork piece made up of the highest and lowest points that I experienced with those partners. All of the tracks were written in 2023, and I think that reflecting on so much of what I’ve experienced in the past four years helped me get to know myself better. “smokescreen” is me saying “Hi, this is who I am as an artist, but most importantly, this is who I am as a romantic and as a person.”.

What was your favorite part of the recording process?
I’ve worked with the same producer for my last two EPs, and I think there’s something so special about finding someone who understands exactly what you mean when you’re brainstorming. I love the moments after the lead vocals and the bones of the instrumentals have been recorded, and all that’s left to do is fill in the gaps and make everything exactly how you want it. With “smokescreen” we sat in the studio for over a week adding new vocal layers and sounds to enhance every track. One of the tracks that we just kept building on was “under my skin”- I would’ve stayed in that sound booth forever adding more vocal layers if I had the time. Eventually I had to sit down and ask myself if I was trying to reach some impossible perfection, and the truth is- I was. I guess that’s the difficulty with the recording process though, you always want to make everything perfect.

You are currently studying at Berklee College of Music. What made Berklee the right choice for you?
Honestly, I think I ask that question everyday. I’m not sure what it was about Berklee that felt so right for me. Initially, I was committed to study criminology and eventually law, but my heart was never in it. I’ve been a songwriter since the age of four (check my father’s camcorder videos for proof), and I think I’ve always known that music is my calling. My problem has always been figuring out how to get to where I want to go. 

I had an internship at a recording studio, where I met my mentor, who then introduced me to my producer, and it seemed like the signs for me to pursue music were too great to ignore. I withdrew from my initial college decision, and applied to Berklee two days before the final deadline (March 2023). I auditioned the day of my prom, dealt with several power outages during my audition, and when I found out in June that I had been accepted for the fall, I felt like there was some greater power saying I had to go. 

Going to a performing arts school can be a constant test of your character and strength as an artist, but everyday I wake up grateful for everyone that I’ve met who reminds me why I’m here. 

Who or what would you consider your biggest musical influences?
I could go on and on about this one. There are so many artists that inspire me, but my ultimate idol is Stevie Nicks. Her solo music and her work with Fleetwood Mac has such depth, and I have admired her lyrics since I was a child. I also feel so deeply connected to her style of performance, and the iconic May 1997 performance of Silver Springs is forever ingrained in my mind.

Another inspiration for me has been Miley Cyrus. Growing up with her and watching how she has found her identity through music has been so informative for me as an aspiring singer-songwriter. Her “Plastic Hearts” era is especially meaningful to me. As both a lover of rock and of hard-hitting lyrics, the album appeals to me in all ways. I love her voice, her stage presence, her strength, and her commitment to making the best work possible.

There are so many inspiring women in the field that have led me to wear I am. Joan Jett, Florence Welch, Chappell Roan, Maggie Rogers, and Debbie Harry are a few more that have heavily inspired me.

What would you say is your biggest challenge with your music career?
I would say that I struggle a lot with confidence. In an industry that is so reliant on external validation, it can be hard to feel that what I bring to the table is enough and will be enough in the future. I think we have really normalized this idea that women in the industry inevitably change themselves multiple times throughout their careers to maintain success, so it’s challenging to decipher what can be a consistent public identity (in my case, I don’t really have a public identity yet, but it is something that every artist has to think about). I’m definitely in the early, early, EARLY stages of a career, so as of now I don’t have too many struggles to worry about. 

What are your immediate music goals?
Right now I’m focusing on gaining a broader following and finding the people that really gravitate towards my sound. I also hope to be doing more shows and would love the opportunity to open for some of the indie artists I look up to. I’m really open to however things are going to move forward for me, and I’m excited for the journey of it all. 

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Those sound like great goals!  


As always, I want to thank Jules for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.


I'm sure you’ll all want to follow her and see what she has going on. I would follow her on Instagram and Spotify to make sure you don't miss a thing. 


Thanks again Jules, and good luck reaching your goals!





Monday, May 13, 2024

Olesya Visits Section 36 Music!

Section 36 
Music has another visitor!
 Olesya is an incredible singer whose single "you know the truth" is one you'll have on repeat for a long time.
 I was so excited that she was willing to visit with us and discuss her music, future goals, and more. I’m sure you’ll enjoy everything she has to say.

So, let's see what happens when Olesya visits Section 36 Music!

I really enjoy your latest single, “You Know The Truth”. What can you tell me about it? 

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I love “you know the truth” so much! I think that this is my best work right now, and this song is very special to me. I started writing this song back in December of last year, and it is fully about my personal experience. I really love writing songs, turning stories from my life into music and art! Also, it is such a perfect way to heal! 

“You know the truth” is about a person who lies all the time without any hesitation, but at the end of the day, I still know the truth, and it’s impossible and useless to make me believe in everything that person says. 

It’s very interesting how the melody and lyrics of this song were popping up in my head from almost nowhere. Here’s a little story about how I started creating this song. I was in the music tech class at Berklee when the idea of the main synth melody came to mind. It was so spontaneous, that was crazy. When I recorded and replayed it on the spot, I felt like this is how my new song should exactly sound! This idea just randomly came to my head in the middle of the class, and it turned out to be a very catchy lead melody. 


This song is so inspired by 80s, 90s, and 00s music. Especially by Michael Jackson and Madonna. The main synth melody that you can hear at the beginning of the song, as well as in the rest of it, is mostly inspired by Michael Jackson’s songs from the “Bad” album. 


An interesting fact about me is that I have a colour association with every song I create. I can’t explain how I get these ideas, but before or while creating a song, I already see what colour my new single cover art will be and what aesthetic my song will have in general. For me, all the single cover art that I do for my songs is very important. It’s not just pictures, that’s a whole visual. For instance, at the very first step of creating “you know the truth,” I already knew that it would be orange. I have no idea why, I just saw it like that. That’s how my 00s-inspired photoshoot for this song was born! 


The lyric video for the song is also outstanding. What was it like putting that together? 

Thank you a lot! Actually, this is my first lyric video that I have ever done, so it was very creative and interesting putting my song and video together! All of my previous singles that I put out had nothing but one picture in the video, which was the cover art of that single, so I thought that it would be more interesting to have something visual while listening to the song. 


You are currently attending Berklee College of Music. What made Berklee the right choice for you? 

Berklee was my dream school for a long time. Berklee is a magical, wonderful place filled with love and musical passion, where a lot of talented people connect with each other and create a lot of beautiful, amazing art together! I have an opportunity to practice and grow with amazing professors and students, and it helps me in my craft a lot. 


Who or what would you consider your biggest musical influences? 

Oh my god.. I don’t know where to start! I’m such a musical person! I listen to every musical genre in the world, love a lot of artists and bands! It’s very hard for me to choose, there are so many! 


The first person that caught my eye in my early childhood was Katy Perry. 

Later, I fell in love with Ariana Grande’s music and voice. 


They were the first artists who inspired me to be a singer/artist in the future! 

In 2018, one of the most successful biopics in history came out in movie theaters. It was a “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie about the rock band Queen. This movie changed everything for me and started a new chapter of my life. When I came back home from the movie, I tried writing my first original song after being inspired by Freddie Mercury doing it in the movie. After that day, I couldn’t stop writing my original songs. That’s where my songwriting journey started, I was just 14 years old back then. 


My other biggest inspiration is Michael Jackson and everything that relates to him. A king of pop, a legend, a perfection, a literal God of music! A lot of my music is inspired by him! He is an example of what an artist should be. 


I am such a big fan of real showmen and performers on stage. I cannot mention Elvis Presley and Britney Spears! Another giant inspirations of mine! I really love how Elvis was not afraid to be himself on stage. The way he moved on stage was impossible for anyone else. He was ahead of his time. Britney is also a phenomenal performer and a wonderful artist. The energy that these artists put out in their songs and on stage deserves enormous praise. 


What would you say is your biggest challenge with your music career? 

For me, one of the biggest challenges right now is promoting my music. To be honest, I really enjoy promoting my songs, but unfortunately, sometimes it feels like results still stay the same after many tries to do so. At the same time, I hope that it’s so far from the truth! I love to experiment with different types of promotions, and I’m sure they can be original and organic! 


What are your immediate music goals? 

I really want to inspire people as an artist. I want to share my emotions, stories, support, and personal experience throughout my music and performances. I want to be really connected with my audience! I enjoy being on stage, I feel like it’s my second home. Nothing compares with the happiness on people’s faces and their applause after performing. This is what I was born for. 

Right now, I’m working on several new projects, and I can’t wait until I share them with the world!


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So excited for those new projects!  


As always, I want to thank Olesya for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.


I'm sure you’ll all want to follow her and see what she has going on. I would follow her on Instagram and Spotify to make sure you don't miss a thing. 


Thanks again Olesya, and good luck reaching your goals!



Friday, May 3, 2024

New Music From Jessica Woodlee, Charlie Weld, Adia Clark Lay, and Sarika

 



"Rainy Day" - by Jessica Woodlee

Release Date - May 3, 2024

What You Should Know: Another wonderful addition to her must-listen music catalog


Find It: Everywhere, like  Apple or Spotify


Previous Noteworthy Releases: "Dude", "Whiskey", "By Now", "Dairy Aisle"


Her Spotify Playlist Inclusions: "What 2024 Sounds Like From Section 36", "What 2023 Sounds Like From Section 36", "Women Going Places, from Section 36"


Previously on Section 36: "Jessica Woodlee Visits Section 36 Music!"



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"What Is Now" - by Charlie Weld

Release Date: May 3, 2024

What You Should Know: "you know what was, you know what can’t be, now you’ll know what is now. these two songs are the prologue and epilogue of the same story. they’re a year of reflection tied into a neat bow. i hope u love them!!!"

Find It: Everywhere, like  Apple or Spotify



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"Wanna Go Back (Remixes)" - by Adia Clark Lay

Release Date: May 3, 2024

What You Should Know: "
We kept getting asked about releasing the sped-up version of Wanna Go Back…so we decided to record an acoustic version with @tonyychavezz and release them together! We hope you like these as much as the original:) Keep streaming!!!"

Find It: Everywhere, like Apple or Spotify

Previous Noteworthy Releases: "Wanna Go Back", "Not My Fault", "Brown Eyes"



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"Something Blue" - by SARIKA

Release Date: April 26, 2024

What You Should Know: "I wrote “Something Blue” my senior year of high school, inspired by an ig caption @alex.maree posted that said “@ eligible bachelors, i look good in white” hahhaha. I sent it to a few friends, i think posted it on a music ig page I had at the time (or my finsta?), & i ended up recording a version of it for a school project later that year and putting it on spotify (didn’t even sing on it myself bc I was self conscious af). the school project songs have since been wiped from the internet but this one has been a fan (ok, close friend)(ok, @welcomingsaturn) favorite ever since. for the past 5 years ive had the voices in my head screaming “release something blue” at all times. i am a simple woman and I do as the voices tell me. Something Blue (song + video) is now out everywhere"

Find It: Everywhere, like Apple or Spotify

Previously on Section 36: "SARIKA Visits Section 36 Music!"