Monday, April 29, 2024

Ashley Leyva Visits Section 36 Music!

Section 36 
Music has another visitor!
 Ashley Leyva is a fantastic singer whose debut single "Change With You" is definitely one you need to listen to right away.
 I was so excited that she wanted 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 Ashley Leyva visits Section 36 Music!

I absolutely love your recent single “Change With You”. What can you tell me about it?

Thank you! I wrote this song a few months back, and it was picked up by my now producer on tiktok. The song was a slow guitar ballad however my producer had the idea that we can speed the song up and give it a more pop/rock feel. 

What was your favorite part of the recording process?

I had so many ideas for this song when we decided to change the feel, but my favorite part was recording all the different harmonies for the chorus and pre chorus. I don't know why but harmonies are so fun for me and probably come the easiest. It was just so cool listening to everything come together!

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

I'm in my freshman year at Berklee so I have just picked my major which is Pro Music with a performance and songwriting track. I auditioned for Berklee on guitar and I immediately knew I loved it from my first week here. Although I consider myself a better songwriter, studying guitar at Berklee has been so fun and challenging. It has also definitely made my songwriting better because I write all my songs on guitar. 

Who or what would you consider your biggest musical influences?

This is such a hard question to answer. Songwriter wise, I really adore Adrianne Lenker, Phoebe Bridgers, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift and so many other admirable female songwriters. However, my favorite band of all time and my usual answer to this question is always Paramore. They have gotten me through so much and have been my favorite since I was probably like 10 or 11. 

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

The biggest challenge that I have faced so far is social media. I love posting and making content and things like that but the algorithms are so hard. To get any sort of a following these days it's like you have to already BE famous on tiktok or instagram. In today's music world record companies, agents, and managers won't even consider looking at you without a huge following which is not as easy as it seems to obtain. It's also very discouraging as a musician to try so hard with social media and not see immediate results, but like anything else, it's another grind and I'm here for it.

What are your immediate music goals?

I've been making music since I was like 4 years old and the answer to this question has always been the same. My only goal ever with music is for my songs to make people feel something. Whether it's 1 person or 1 million people listening to my music, if I can make one person smile, one person cry, or just help someone who's in a dark place with my music then I feel like I'm doing something right. Success for me does not equal fame or fortune, while of course that does sound nice. If my music can make people feel something, I have done my job as an artist. 


That is definitely the perfect goal!  

As always, I want to thank Ashley 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 Ashley, and good luck reaching your goals!

Friday, April 26, 2024

Mehlani Unveils Tracklist for Debut EP "Hurt People," Featuring Collaborations with Ryan Hall and Lavend3r's John Raidt, Alongside Music Video for "Just Like This"

Boston, MA – Mehlani, ready to make a significant mark on the music scene, has unveiled the tracklist for her highly anticipated debut EP, "Hurt People'' which she has announced to come out Friday, May 3rd. This 6-song EP promises to showcase Mehlani's raw talent and emotive storytelling, with each track offering a unique glimpse into her personal journey of love, loss, and resilience.

The tracklist for "Hurt People" is as follows:

  1. Sober

  2. The Breaking (ft. Adam Hirose)

  3. Anyone Else

  4. i believe You

  5. If I Could I Would

  6. Just Like This

Collaborating primarily with hyperpop artist Ryan Hall, Mehlani infuses her signature vocals with Hall’s unique production techniques, resulting in a sonic landscape that is both captivating and evocative. The pieces on this EP are the perfect representation of the two artists' versatility. Additionally, it is expected to see singer-songwriter Adam Hirose on Track 2, “The Breaking”.

Stay tuned for more updates on Mehlani. For more information visit and follow @mehlanip on Instagram.


Be sure to stream Mehlani's latest single "If I Could I Would" wherever you can. And be on the lookout for her EP "Hurt People". You won't want to miss it. To learn more about Mehlani, check out her November 2023 interview with us here at Section 36 Music.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mehlani: Behind the Music

Almost every single one of my songs stems from personal experiences I have had. Most of the times that I have motivation to write is when I am sad or angry about something, but one thing I am trying to expand on as an artist is writing about the beauty in the little things. Especially in the Hurt People EP I have coming out this May, you will notice happier themes as the EP goes on! A lot of people ask me what I usually start with, the lyrics or the melody? And honestly my answer is different every time. For example, there is a song I am working on right now where I just randomly shouted out the lyrics with the melody while I was alone in my room before I moved to Boston. Other times I will beat myself over the head because I can’t think of good lyrics to a melody that I hummed. I will say however, that since my recent projects where I’ve collaborated with Lavend3r, I have found myself starting out a lot more songs with a topline & coming up with lyrics as I go since they tend to hand me a beat instead of my usual method of playing around on the guitar!


Be sure to stream Mehlani's latest single "If I Could I Would" wherever you can. To learn more about Mehlani, check out her November 2023 interview with us here at Section 36 Music.

Monday, April 22, 2024

GIGI Visits Section 36 Music!

Section 36 
Music has another visitor!
 GIGI is a wonderful singer whose debut single "Won't Be Me" is definitely one you want on your radar.
 I was thrilled 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 GIGI visits Section 36 Music!

I am incredibly excited for your upcoming debut single. What can you tell me about it?

Thank you so much, love to hear it! I am thrilled to finally be able to have it out in the world. The title of the single is “Won’t Be Me” . It is an upbeat trap pop type of vibe. Definitely a song you would wanna dance to but also something that could play in the background while you’re getting ready to go out with your girls. I was inspired to write the song after an experience I had while out at the club. Now let me just say,  I don’t go to the club to talk to men. I go to have fun with my friends, dance, and most importantly NETWORK. Believe it or not, the club is a great place to network if you’re a musician. On this particular night, the moment I walked into the club, I had this one guy lurking around me. I kept brushing him off and ignoring him because I truly just wasn't interested. After about 2 hours of me ignoring him he finally got the message. This really made me think to myself, why is it that women can simply just exist and men will STILL be all over them. The recurring motif in the song is the idea that just because I’m a pretty girl doesn’t mean that I want to talk to you. There are guys out there who have that mentality of “I can have anyone that I want to”...well so can I, and at the end of the day you can flirt as much as you want, but no matter what you do…It won’t be me. It’s so cheeky and fun and I really hope people will resonate with the message and have fun singing along. 

What was your favorite part of the recording process?

Without a doubt the late night recording sessions. There were times when my team and I were laid up in the studio all night and I would have to take little power naps on the floor. I absolutely adore that creative energy that forms when you find a group of people that work well together. Since we were all spending so much time together in the studio,  there was this natural flow and we were able to create this really great vibe in the work environment that helped foster my creativity, even when times were tough. There were lots of nights where I would start getting really sleepy in the booth and it was obvious to my producers, so whenever this would happen we would have mandatory dance parties just to get the blood flowing and the good energy up.  It sounds cliche, but magic really does happen in the studio. Since the song is finished I have been much more focused on the business side of things, which is very important, but I truly cannot wait to get back in the booth. 

You’re attending Berklee College of Music. What makes Berklee the right place for you?

The reason why I feel so good about being at Berklee is because of the strong sense of community that I have built here. My song is fully produced and engineered by Berklee students. Being able to work and grow with others is the most rewarding part of attending school here. It pushes me to work harder and become the best version of my artistic self. There is also something to be said about the plethora of opportunities available here at Berklee. I have made more industry connections in my 2 semesters here than I have my whole life before attending. Berklee is what you make it. I have taken every opportunity presented to me and that is why I find myself to be successful here. That and a whole lot of hard work. 

Who or what would you consider your biggest musical influences?

Right now I am loving Sabrina Carpenter. I think she has done a beautiful job of building her brand. She has this really fun cheeky element to her music that I am super inspired by. I also love Kendrick Lamar. I remember my older brother would always play his stuff while growing up so his music has always been a part of my life. Though our genres are different, I think it is amazing how poetic he is in his songs, they really do tell a story. I’m inspired to be a storyteller like that and really get through to people using my music as a medium. I also love his flow. It is just so satisfying to me. I truly think that he is one of the best lyricists of our generation.

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

I grew up in the world of classical music, particularly in the world of opera. My whole life I was put into this box musically. Since I was a little girl, I was told that the only way I would ever make it in that industry was if I were to “tone down my personality.”  I studied classical voice and opera at The Boston Conservatory for a semester. It was during my time there when I truly came to terms with the fact that I was completely neglecting my true passion for writing my own songs and performing music in a contemporary setting. Dropping out of Conservatory was the best thing I ever did to myself.  I needed some time to reflect on what I really wanted. Walking away from something that was once a dream come true was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I am so grateful every single day that I trusted my gut and did what I felt was right for me, and now I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do in the way that I want to do it. At the end of the day, my classical background taught me so much about hard work and discipline…but the most important lesson I learned from my experience is that I am not willing to change to uphold the standards of others. In the contemporary world, my outgoingness and bubbly personality has gotten me so far, and I am so grateful that I get to do what I love and be my true self while I'm doing it. 

What are your immediate music goals?

I really just want my music to resonate with others. There are so many artists that are motivated by acquiring fame and fortune. I’m not saying that those things aren’t lovely and wonderful things to want, but for me it’s more about personal fulfillment. After pretending to be somebody I wasn’t for years and years, it feels so good to put out the kind of music that I want to make. I want to start playing more live shows in the coming months because I love performing for an audience. I want people to sing and dance to my music and just love it as much as I do.  The ultimate goal for me in my journey is to be able to support myself and my family while doing something that I love, everything else is just considered a bonus!


I can't wait to hear that single!  

As always, I want to thank GIGI 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 to make sure you don't miss a thing. 

Thanks again GIGI, and good luck reaching your goals!

Friday, April 19, 2024

New Music: From Alex Skye, Elliott Woods, Trinity Mei, and Sayaka

"Medicine" - by Alex Skye

Release Date: April 12, 2024

What You Should Know: "
This song I began working on last year and brought to a producer at Berklee who helped bring the entire idea and image to light! It’s been a really fun process seeing this song transform into something I’ve never done before. I’m primarily a jazz and R&B artist and this single definitely took a turn from my usual writing style which has been a very fun change for me!"

Find It: Everywhere, like Apple and Spotify

Previously on Section 36: "Alex Skye Visits Section 36 Music!"


"Your Soul" - by Elliott Woods

Release Date: April 12, 2024


Find It: Everywhere, like  Apple or Spotify

Previous Noteworthy Releases: "Call My Name"

Previously on Section 36: "Elliott Woods Visits Section 36 Music!"


"Temporary" - by Trinity Mei

Release Date: April 19, 2024

What You Should Know: "
this song is so special to me not only because of its meaning but because of all the incredible people who helped make my vision a reality! From the 2-4am sessions with @keeferofficial to the international calls with @joshbroughster this song wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing team!"

Find It: Everywhere, like Apple and Spotify

Pervious Notable Releases: "Ever Be Right", "More Time"

Previously on Section 36: "Trinity Mei Section 36 Music!"


"Bite By Tongue" - by Sayaka

Release Date: April 19, 2024

What You Should Know: "this song is the first one @madirindge and I worked on together and I fell in love with it immediately. I had just gotten back from my Japan trip and I was telling her about it and how the Japanese culture is soooo different from that of American culture and that while I had a great time, it was definitely an adjustment lol I won’t disclose what exactly inspired the song but i’m positive all of us have had people we couldn’t totally be ourselves around!"

Find It: Everywhere, like Apple or Spotify

Previous Noteworthy Releases: "Would You Stay", "Will I Be OK?"

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Mehlani: The Business Side

The business side of being an independent artist is SO time consuming! Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but reminding yourself why you started doing music in the first place is something I try to do whenever I find myself getting stressed out when sending out emails, etc. Something I do to help expand my audience is I try to post content as much as possible 4 weeks leading up to, and 4 weeks after my release. Though I have struggled with posting daily in the past, a good example of a work of mine that did well was Down Bad. I posted every day for 4 weeks leading up to the release and I got so many streams and even made it into a few magazines like the Capital Gazette and the Daily Voice! I did however get very burnt out after that so I held off on posting for a while, but I think something that I took from that was having 1 big content day in a months and brainstorming as much content ideas as I could and filming big chunks of my music so that I had clips ready to post when I needed to. This helped me avoid the mindset of “ugh I need to post again today.” You can view the mentioned articles here:

In addition to content, I send out a lot of emails almost every week to different playlists, articles, and companies talking about my music in hopes to gain a new collaborator! This usually works and I have since been able to build more of a presence for my music. Making music as an independent artist is very difficult especially when you are first starting out, so recognizing that music is an investment has helped motivate me to start finding income in other areas to go toward my music and personal expenses. Ever since I got my first job at 15, I have been putting music aside for my music if I were to ever need it! I think it’s important to recognize different organizations/companies like Section 36 that are constantly looking to represent fresh artists. These are the people that play a big role in advancing your artistry and it creates a relationship with your audience on another level.


Be sure to stream Mehlani's latest single "If I Could I Would" wherever you can. To learn more about Mehlani, check out her November 2023 interview with us here at Section 36 Music.