INTERVIEW with Mackenzie Nicole

 Mackenzie Nicole photo courtesy of Strange Music, Inc.

Mackenzie Nicole photo courtesy of Strange Music, Inc.

Mackenzie Nicole defies the pop standards with her classically trained chops and urban rock influence. Her musical experimentation led to her debut single, “Actin Like You Know” which caught the attention of Travis O’Guin, the co-founder and C.E.O of juggernaut Strange Music, Inc. Her recording history predates the single as she made her debut on platinum certified rap icon Tech N9ne’s K.O.D.

We chat about life as a pop artist on a rap label, her musical influences, and being a young woman in the music industry.

INTERVIEW

Follow Mackenzie Nicole:
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Strange Music:
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SONG REVIEW: Rob Drabkin - "It's A Beautiful Day"

By Wanda Whitley

 Rob Drabkin.

Rob Drabkin.

Without even one glance out of a window, this latest single from artist Rob Drabkin lets you know what the weather is. 

“It’s a Beautiful Day” is so positive and uplifting, you may not even need that morning Cup of Joe to get you going. The guitar is very pretty, and Rob’s lyrics are just so smooth and soothing. As the song pleasantly soars you into the chorus, you want to get up and take that deep breath – breathe in all of the joy of this beautiful day. And you can just feel the sun on your face as you listen and take in this day that Rob has created and shares with you, feeling more than okay as you sing along with this anthem of celebrating today.

Although his musical talents make it easy to believe he’s always been a full-time musician, Rob attended Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, where he graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with the intention of becoming a doctor. His focus quickly changed after a family trip to New York to reconnect with his father’s old musician friends. After that moment, Rob knew he wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. His song, “Someday” has already a spot on major Spotify playlists and in just one month, the single accumulated over two million plays from listeners around the world. I think we can agree that Rob made a great choice in a career change.

Clap your hands, move to the beat, and enjoy the vibrant horn arrangement - just drink in the fun of this celebration of life!  And like a day that is as truly beautiful as this musical creation, as Rob tells us in his song - “whatever you do, don’t let it go, don’t let it get away!”  No worries, Mr. Drabkin, we promise we will hit replay on this one! 

Follow Rob Drabkin:
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KNOW YOUR PROS: Vanessa "V" Fune - CEO of Tribe Unity

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Vanessa "V“ Fune is our featured music industry professional of September 2018.

She's an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, an entertainment guru and the founder of Tribe Unity. The company responsible for the production behind Hollywood Music in Media Awards, TBOZ unplugged, City Gala reaching all aspects of the entertainment industry from Film, Music to being a world changing influencer.

V created Tribe Unity with the sole purpose to change the world through people’s passions.

“Life is just too short to not live your passion. Everybody has a passion within them that I believe was instilled into them by the universe as their purpose. Even if your purpose is to play video games, if it makes you happy then that happiness puts out this positive vibration that spreads to others,” explains V.

Check out V's story HERE.

Looking to live your passions and align with a Tribe who supports you?

Join the Tribe Club to receive Bi-weekly coaching with industry professionals, exclusive invites to Social and Celebrity Events, and more.

www.Trupassions.com

www.wearetribeunity.com

Follow Tribe Unity:

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Instagram

 

 

SONG REVIEW: Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir - "Stop Shakin"

By Wanda Whitley

 Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir.

Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir.

Let me begin by addressing the one disappointment I found with Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir’s new single “Stop Shakin."  It is not fair, just not fair!  How can you tell us to stop shakin’ to such a lively beat? 

Let me tell you, I am just loving how this song gets you movin’ and groovin.'  And even though this song has some angst, it is a happy song, a song of hopeful reconciliation – a song of “ok, enough is enough – can’t you see I can’t take it anymore?” 

Blake's wife, Tiffany Brown and and his longtime friends Jason Legler, Adam Blake and Trent Nelson make up The American Dust Choir, creating a blend of indie rock and Americana. Blake’s music is rooted in acoustic sounds, and characterized by his seemingly simple, yet complex melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

This is actually a sweet love song, too. And what is that I hear? An echo of Fleetwood Mac in the music and vocals! "Stop Shakin" is the lead single off the band's debut full length album, Long Way Home. It should shake up the charts, for sure! 

At first, I thought the bass is what I love the best, then – those guitars! And wait a minute, the keyboards, too!  All in all, such a complete package of vocal and instrumental beauty.  Did I mention I love this song?  I cannot wait to hear more from you, Blake Brown!

Follow Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir:
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Spotify

SONG REVIEW: Tim Lancaster - "Half-Life"

By Wanda Whitley

 Tim Lancaster photo by Guy Roberts.

Tim Lancaster photo by Guy Roberts.

Listening to Tim Lancaster’s latest single, "Half-Life" has left me in joyful wonderment.

Tim Lancaster is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer. His music spans the spectrum of pop-rock-psychedelic-punk to modern jazz. "Half-Life" is the second single off his debut album, Conspiracy. With Conspiracy, Tim created a genre-bending collection of tracks that utilize a carefully selected range of instruments, effects and production techniques. He even built a pedal board from scratch, imagining exactly how he wanted the fuzz to sound and how the distortion should roar.

There is so much to love about "Half-Life." The music itself is spooky-cool, an eerie, melodic sound that is all at once futuristic, yet it transports you to the past. With keyboards that pay homage to The Doors, some electric guitar riffs that whisper a little bit of Jimi Hendrix, drum beats reminiscent of the space-age beat of Billy Thorpe’s "Children of the Sun," to Tim’s smooth vocals and performance channeling a bit of Alice Cooper – this song is a trip to the past, present, and future.  

Yet with this pleasant transportation, "Half-Life" is truly Tim’s song and Tim’s song only. Such an eclectically-ethereal treat. This song is far-out for sure.  Far-out in a good way, man.  We are definitely feeling your presence with "Half-Life," Tim, and we are all the better for it!

Follow Tim Lancaster:
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Instagram
Youtube

SONG REVIEW: Kodacrome - "Think Of The Children"

By Wanda Whitley

 Kodacrome.

Kodacrome.

I am so energized right now people! 

If you haven’t heard it already, rush right now and listen to Kodacrome’s single "Think of the Children." I promise you an awakening and a rush, a transportation into an electro pop dream, with beautiful vocals that are breathy and sexy, yet what a pristine sound! The techno-beat gets your feet moving, your head grooving, and your body shaking in a rapturous dance.

Kodacrome is comprised of Elissa LeCoque and Ryan Casey. The pair create fragmented pop with a warm electronic pulse, featuring swells and lead lines which ring from synths and throats, alike. Elissa and Ryan share a deep love for melodic composition and it certainty shows within their music.

I particularly love the horns and keyboards playing along with the beat, a joyous addition to the composition. This is the type of song that keeps playing in your head long after it ends, the kind of music you tell the D.J. to “play it again”!  

A line in the lyrics tells us to “Stretch your arms out…” Indeed. Listeners will most definitely stretch their arms out in an embrace for this one. Think of all of us, Kodacrome, and keep up your excellent and eclectic work!

VoyageLA interview with Jessica Klausing

 Jessica Klausing photo by SAW Photography.

Jessica Klausing photo by SAW Photography.

Words cannot express my sincerest gratitude. Thank you VoyageLA for taking the time to chat with me about my music blog. I am deeply humbled by all of the support! Thank you to all of the readers, contributors, music artists, and music professionals that have helped On The Flipside Music become what it is today. 

Check out the full INTERVIEW.

 

Contributed by VoyageLA Staff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Klausing.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

I have had a passion for music and writing from an early age. I did not officially combine the two until my sophomore year at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA. I was skimming through some magazines at this local music store where I used to take guitar lessons and just thought, “I want to write about music. This is what I want to do with my life.” I went home and contacted every music magazine on that magazine stand. I had one that offered me a guest writer slot.

My job was to write about the different guitar recording techniques used in professional studios. For the record, I did not know anything about recording or mixing music whatsoever! My work was cut out for me, but I was determined. I spent countless hours at the campus library (we had a really bad internet connection at home!) researching anything I could find about recording guitars. I interviewed guitar players and visited actual recording studios. A few months later my first music article was published in Recording Magazine, and that opened the door to more publication offers for me.

I initially created my music blog for a class project. I was so focused on writing for print publications that I never considered blogging. The idea came about from some friends overseas – they wanted to read my music articles but could not find those magazines. I posted my articles on that blog to share with them. I love talking about music and sharing it with others. I’m always eager to hear music recommendations from others too! The blog was an easy way to connect and share with a broader audience.

In 2013, I moved to Los Angeles to fully immerse myself in the music industry. I worked night shift full time at a television company just to be able to do unpaid internships for various record labels and PR companies during the day. It was rough! I was exhausted and frustrated but refused to give up. I thought about my music blog and remembered why I moved here in the first place. I started to put the focus back on my blog – my passion. I am blessed today to be able to work with some of the most incredible people in the music industry.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?


It has been more like a rollercoaster. There are days when I go through writer’s block and struggle to find the desire to write or post anything. I’m my own competitive rival. I always challenge and put pressure on myself to write better than my last article. Writing can be a daunting chore but after finishing an article, I’m inspired to want to write more.

I would say the biggest obstacle is marketing. There are so many amazing music blogs out there that it can be quite challenging to stay relevant on social media. I run and manage my blog and the social media accounts all by myself, so that can be overwhelming when I’m working on multiple projects.

I don’t have a set social media schedule. I just post whenever I feel inspired. It’s a good idea to unplug from the digital world every now and then! A little break helps the creative process. Overall, I do think it’s important to just post for you. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing just for the followers. Share what makes you happy.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about On The Flipside Music – what should we know?


I use my blog to help promote upcoming Los Angeles music artists and professionals.

Living in Los Angeles has opened my eyes and ears to so much musical talent! I’m a big supporter of live music. Records will always be special, but to me, the magic happens on stage.

There is no greater pleasure than watching an artist bare his or her soul to the world. I love getting out discovering new music. I strive to introduce the newer music as well as re-introduce some old favorites too. Music never goes out of style. If it’s something that I love listening to then I just gotta share it with others.

On The Flipside Music has evolved so much over the years. What started as a simple college class project has become a working collaboration. I not only write about and interview artists, but I also help book gigs, promote, and manage artists.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
 

Resilience. The road to success is filled with many unexpected twists and turns. I have had many obstacles try to knock me down and keep me there. It still happens. The key is to have the confidence within yourself to always persevere.

SONG REVIEW: Jake Aldridge - "The Underdog"

By Wanda Whitley

Jake Aldridge - The Underdog - Cover Art.jpg

Listening to Jake Aldridge’s latest single, "The Underdog," I was pleasantly haunted and inspired. The music is incredible. It’s melodic and ethereal beat puts me in mind of emerging out of the mists of a moor. Which is fitting, as his song about an underdog is all about coming from the bottom and rising to the top, and not giving up. 

Like a swirling mist that may obscure those in our lives (or even our own selves), that we might say never have a chance, "The Underdog" breaks through the clouds and comes into the light on the winning side. Jake’s moving lyrics convey in every way the struggle of the underdog, and how hard the battle is, and how lonely it can be. 

Listeners can relate to feeling like they never fit in, and having to “fight demons for your freedom," as Jake raps smoothly and sincerely the plight of the underdog. Yet in this plight, what encouragement! Jake tells us we “gotta get up” and “stop wasting our potential," and even though at the bottom, with a long way to go, we can “live in hope for tomorrow."  What an inspiration this song is, as Jake reiterates to the listener in his lyrics that the underdog  doesn’t need a mirror to know who he is, and he offers to “let me show you," opening himself up to reveal who he is to us, keeping it real. 

Jake is showing us his heart and sharing his soul to us in this song. A very moving part of this song is his tribute to his father, who he reveals he “lost at an early age, but his love remains."  He also refers to being the son of a king. And my favorite line in the song is “a gift from God, the underdog with no collar” – how humble the underdog is to recognize where his gift comes from, and what imagery that there is nothing holding this underdog back! 

I will conclude this review with the beginning of this song, which is a montage of introductions of Jake Aldridge.  One of the announcers introduces Jake with the underdog’s proclamation: “Don’t get discouraged, no matter what is going on in your life." This is the key to "The Underdog" coming out on the winning side – never give up.  Bravo, Jake, for this brilliant song – you are definitely on the winning side with this work.

SONG REVIEW: Yona Marie - "My Soulful Baby"

By Wanda Whitley

 Yona Marie.

Yona Marie.

Okay, folks.  First, I cannot tell you how relaxed and chill I am right now.  Listening to Yona Marie’s new single, "My Soulful Baby" has de-stressed me (can I say to the max)? 

In 2010, R&B artist Rachel Marie Moore AKA Yona Marie first gained mainstream popularity by releasing 'The Luv Exposure' featuring artists, producers, and singers from all over the world. The lead single was featured on a Majormix release which included Chris Brown, Ace Hood, and Tyga.

Marie followed up with the release of "High," a 90's styled instrumental garnering over 100,000 listeners and 20,000 downloads. In 2014, Marie released her full length album, "Reminiscent" which eventually led her to collaborate with EDM producer Eli in 2016 to create the viral track, "Just Wanna Love You" which hit over half a millions plays between Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud.

Marie's soothing, soulful voice is such a balm to the soul.  And what a song!  With hints of Diana Ross’s voice, and such sensuality flowing from her heart-felt words that I am put into the mind of hearing a female version of some of Barry White’s work, Yona Marie is indeed a multi-talented artist. 

The musical arrangement is very cool and smooth - the keyboards and groovy guitars and the beat just carries "My Soulful Baby" onto the dance floor for a romantic slow dance.  The music to this song, along with the lyrics, takes me back to another time – a time when this world cared a little more and loved a little more. Thanks, Yona Marie, for helping bring us back to this time with your beautiful love song.

Static and Surrender @ Hollywood's Hotel Cafe

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Static and Surrender are on tour throughout California in honor of their debut album release. Their energetic riffs and rhythms are on par with the alternative superstar acts such as Lifehouse and Matchbox Twenty. Jeff Campbell (lead vocals, guitar) backed by John Schuman (drums), Adam Schuman (guitar, vocals), and Lauren Stockner (bass player) – all stars in their own right – delivered a passionate performance at Hollywood’s Hotel Café.

READ MORE

Check out Static and Surrender’s debut album. If you get the chance to see them live, do it! Very few artists have that special knack to sound better live than in the studio. Static and Surrender is definitely one of those bands that kick it up a notch in the live shows.

Interview with Matthew Phillips

 Matthew Phillips photo by Noah Gilman.

Matthew Phillips photo by Noah Gilman.

Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Matthew Phillips has been making waves through San Diego’s music scene with over 100,000 followers on Instagram and receiving endorsements from Fender Electric Guitars, Taylor Acoustic Guitars, GHS Strings, and Voss Water, just to name a few.

We got to chat with Matthew about his journey becoming a solo artist, independent artist struggles, and his mad videography skills!

INTERVIEW.

Be sure to follow Matthew Phillips:
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
SOUNDCLOUD
YOUTUBE

 

THROWBACK: M2M

 M2M.

M2M.

M2M defined the bubblegum pop genre in the Y2K era.

The Norwegian pop duo comprised of childhood friends Marion Raven and Marit Larsen. Their debut album, Shades of Purple (2000) sold over 1.5 million units worldwide with the single, “Don’t Say You Love Me,” receiving critical and commercial success. Raven and Larsen wrote the lyrics and played instruments on their songs which set them apart from most pop artists.

Check out our Top 5 M2M song picks.

READ MORE.

 M2M:
FACEBOOK

Marion Raven:
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

Marit Larsen:
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

KNOW YOUR PROS: Heather Hudson - CEO & Owner of REVOLT WINE CO

 Heather Hudson photo by Sydney Prather.

Heather Hudson photo by Sydney Prather.

Heather Hudson is our featured industry professional for July 2018!

Heather and Steve Hudson own and manage the wine label, REVOLT WINE CO, a brand that focuses solely on the connection between music and wine.

The Hudsons' brand has gained attention in the music and wine world by having partnered with many artists such as The Offspring, Atlas Genius, Pepper, Less Than Jake, Yellowcard, Cartel, and The Spill Canvas. The company also partnered with The Vans Warped Tour VIP party, was an active participant in the Wine Riot Chicago, and sponsored the Skateboard Marathon in San Diego, along with Rock Vs. Cancer event at The Gibson Showroom in Beverly Hills.

READ MORE.

Follow REVOLT WINE CO:
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM

Coby Brown @ Hollywood's Hotel Cafe

 Coby Brown performs at Hotel Cafe. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Coby Brown performs at Hotel Cafe. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Coby Brown treated fans to a beautiful, laid-back set in the intimate Second Stage Room at Hollywood’s Hotel Café on Thursday.

Brown is no stranger to the Hollywood music scene. He’s a composer and songwriter who’s had his work featured in numerous films and TV shows; most recently he completed the score for the biopic, “The Man Who Knew Infinity.” 

Brown is an acoustic folk artist, but more importantly, he’s a keen observer able to capture the singer-songwriter genre in the personal stories the lyrics tell, and the sensitive, emotional accompaniment of his band.

READ MORE.

Coby Brown Social Media:
Spotify
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Website

Food + Travel

 "Come On You Wanna Let Me" tiki drink photo by Jessica Klausing

"Come On You Wanna Let Me" tiki drink photo by Jessica Klausing

"If music be the food of love, play on," - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

I am excited to announce FOOD + TRAVEL to our music blog roster. Check out our reviews/recommendations of food, drink, travel, and other random musings with a musical flair. 

Here is a sample of some of our reviews so far:

-Summertime is here! Why not cool off with a delicious tiki drink and some Beach Boys playing in the background? We stopped by Hollywood's Harvard and Stone to check out their seasonal tiki drink menu. READ MORE.

-For a limited time - Hollywood's Ever Bar is serving up 2018 Oscars inspired cocktails. We tried the "Get Out" based off of Jordan Peele's Best Original Screenplay Winner of 2018. READ MORE.

-Fellow Star Wars nerds! Warp speed on over to Hollywood's Scum and Villainy Cantina for some Sci-Fi themed drinks and fun galore! We tried out the famous "Wretched Blue Milk." READ MORE.

-Happy National Wine Day! Join us as we crack open a bottle of Red Decadence Chocolate Wine and listen to steampunk artist, Jordan Reyne. READ MORE.

-We LOVE brunch in LA! We visited WKNDR in Los Feliz to try their famous Japanese Air Pancakes. READ MORE.

Monks Of Doom @ LA's Cafe NELA

 Monks Of Doom photo by Jessica Klausing

Monks Of Doom photo by Jessica Klausing

Monks Of Doom are back on tour. Yes, you read this correctly.

The surrealist progressive rockers are back in support of their newest album, The Bronte Pin. This album is the first of new material released in 25 years. The long wait, though highly frustrating, was indeed worth it. Victor Krummenacher (vocals, bass, and guitar), David Immerglück (vocals, guitar, bass, and mandolin), Greg Lisher (guitar), and Chris Pederson (drums, percussion) pulled listeners into a post-rock world of cryptic hysteria and psychedelic instrumentals at LA’s Café NELA.

Check out our REVIEW.

Victor Krummenacher took some time to chat with us about the new MOD album. Check out our INTERVIEW.

Interview with Falling Doves' Chris Leyva

 Falling Doves. From left: Mike Dorsey and Chris Leyva. Photo by Kelli Hayden.

Falling Doves. From left: Mike Dorsey and Chris Leyva. Photo by Kelli Hayden.

The Falling Doves never play it safe.

Chris Leyva (guitars, vocals) and Mike Dorsey (lead guitarist) create an unpredictable mix of garage rock with jazz, metal, Latin, and pop infusions. Known for their deep lyrical confessionals and aggressive playing, this band is not afraid to combine the classics with the new.

Falling Doves' Chris Leyva chats with us about his musical influences, international touring, and the new upcoming Falling Doves album.

Check out our INTERVIEW.

Falling Doves Social Media:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

Szlachetka @ Hollywood's Hotel Cafe

 Szlachetka performs "Heart Of My Hometown" at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Szlachetka performs "Heart Of My Hometown" at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Szlachetka (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) is out on tour in support of his new album release, Heart Of My Hometown. Rolling Stone Magazine praised the album citing Szlachetka as a ‘New Country Artist to Know.’ That was evident as many Angelinos packed into the Second Stage venue at Hollywood’s Hotel Café on Wednesday night. The music was Americana roots rock superb, the storytelling honed the heartland spirit, and with the added chemistry of Szlachetka’s full band— it was transcendence into musical nirvana.

Check out our CONCERT REVIEW.

Szlachetka social media:

Official Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Snow Patrol @ LA's Fonda Theatre

 Gary Lightbody and Minnie Driver at the Fonda Theatre. Photo by U2Soul/Flickr.

Gary Lightbody and Minnie Driver at the Fonda Theatre. Photo by U2Soul/Flickr.

Snow Patrol performed a legendary set at Los Angeles' Fonda Theatre over the weekend.

Check out Courtney Lavender's REVIEW.

The mark of a great singer is measured less by vocal quality, and more by believability. Do you believe what you are singing? Do others believe you when you sing it? Though he may have tripped up technically at points, I never once doubted what Gary Lightbody was communicating, nor did anyone in the rapt audience. "Heal Me" was dedicated to someone who saved his life. I've been standing in the fire for way too long, he sang, and I could feel the flames.

SONG REVIEW: Aidan James - "What My Friends Talk About"

Written by Jessica Klausing

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Aidan James shakes up the pop scene with his Hawaiian inspired melodies.

At age 9, James uploaded a Youtube video cover of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” while playing a ukulele. The video went viral with over 20 million views inspiring the young Hawaii native to venture into a music career.  In the last couple of years he has released an EP, “Live Again,” and a full-length album, “Echoes.” He has toured with many notable acts such as Train, Jack Johnson, Lisa Loeb, and Michael Bolton. Currently, 16 year old, James has been hard at work to release his new full-length album sometime later this year.

In his new single, “What My Friends Talk About,” James uses his ukulele to the bridge the melody gap between contemporary pop and R&B. Think sound wise similar to Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” The ukulele fades as the song progresses into an eclectic fusion of finger-snaps, hand claps, and percussion.

James’ warm vocals evoke a sweet innocence as he admits, “And you know I can’t remember anything before I saw your face.” His versatile talent and individuality shines through on this track. I can’t wait to hear what Aidan James has in store on his new album.

Purchase Aidan James’ MUSIC

Follow Aidan James:

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Youtube

Spotify