Music Reviews

Funk and Soul Group, Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio, Release New Album: ‘It’s Time’

Coming together with the intent of creative release and uniting all walks of life through music is the name of the game for Funk and Soul Group, Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio. Having recently released their latest album, ‘It’s Time’, there’s a lot to celebrate for the multi-talented trio. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Forever Day By Day”, an eclectic array of instrumentals that represent the synergy amongst the three leads a listener into a place of total immersion in the lyrical trajectory that is present, mindful and meaningful. The second track, “10 Miles to Empty”, slows it down into a sensual burst of longing as Lead Vocalist, Rose Ann Dimalanta, eases the mind with her serene vocal style that is abounding with wisdom and strength. “Dinner For One” is the third track that is a lyrical slice of awareness when it comes to each human beings ability to create the version of themselves that will serve toward a life of wellness. The fourth track, “Seven Days”, begins with the feeling of an Alicia Keys track back in her ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ days as lightly drawn out instrumentals serve to emerge a bright, open and easy inner space within listeners.

“Happily’s Never After” is the fifth track and album highlight that instrumentally grooves and aligns with the lyrical journey into the moment which leads to the most mollifying glimpses of happiness and pleasure. The sixth track, “Measure of A Man”, gracefully enters a locked inner chamber and challenges the release of rapid thoughts that hinder the maturation of a dear interpersonal connection. The eighth track, “Latin Soul”, is a vibrant burst of instrumental mystery and edge that creeps and crawls into the hearts of multicultural human beings swinging on the dance floor. “Miles” is the tenth track that is an intimate array of feelings that sprout as the song gently carries listeners into a place of mental clarity while Rose Ann lyrically examines her journey of Motherhood and more. The eleventh track, “No Goodbyein”, leaves one floating as the trio lead all into a place of assurance when it comes to the blooming of a deep soul connection. “Mad Run” is the twelfth track that mimics the ethereal energy of Sade in her ‘Stronger Than Pride’ days as Rose Ann lyrically travels through the rush that she has encountered through collision with one of her life’s most beautiful partners. Closing out with “That’s All”, Rose Ann solidifies her belief that the love that she shares with another is a key component of what makes her feel fulfilled in this massive world.

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio has created an Adult Contemporary work of soul that leads the mind toward the release of control. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Sade, Seal and then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio on Soundcloud.

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio Social Links:



Interview: Shinobi Ninja

New York Rock Hood Group, Shinobi Ninja, live out their intent of shaping a vibrant state of consciousness that includes and welcomes all throughout their music and artistry. Having ‘Bless Up’ under their belts as an album that speaks for itself, Shinobi Ninja are finding the wealth that comes from embodying their truest selves. I caught up with Vocalist, Duke Sims (D.A), to discuss how growing up in Brooklyn shaped the man that he is today, progress over perfection, becoming more confident in his talents, being a kid in the studio and more.

Congrats on the success of your fourth studio album, ‘Bless Up’. Tell us about the creative and recording process and what you learned along the way.

‘Bless Up’ was a collection of the  songs we were working on right before our studio that we had been creating and working out of for the past 6 years closed. The goal was to complete these songs before the studio closed, so the album had a vibe of closure and also a positive outlook for what is to come for us in the future. The lesson for me on this album is that you may think that this song or that song is gonna be the one but in actuality it’s not that song you think, it’s the song you don’t think too much of that is going to be the song that people find and connect with the most. I had experienced that before with our previous album, but this album cemented that for me; to be open to whatever is gonna happen.

You guys carry the New York swagger so well, so naturally. Tell us about your life in the Big Apple and how living in New York has impacted your life.

I’m born and raised in Brooklyn and have been running around NYC my whole life. It’s all I’ve ever known. When you hear the phrase, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it’s a duck”, that’s me. Brooklyn formed me. It put me arm and arm with every nationality, age, race, sex, etc. that you could have. I grew up playing in the streets; street basketball, baseball, music, cutting school, getting in trouble, music, good times and bad times. The concrete jungle is the school I graduated from. I’ve seen all kinds of crazy things and I learned from all of it. It’s teachings are with me always.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

Life is a challenge. It just keeps coming. I’m still learning. Fear is something I’ve overcome over time. That’s the biggest challenge. Fear of any kind and choosing not letting it stop you in whatever it is your doing and want to accomplish. Progress over perfection was a key lesson for me. Perfection is perception and it doesn’t exist. Progress is real. You can see it. So I go for progress over perfection. Trying to be perfect used to lock me in. Now I don’t care about that. I keep putting in the work and moving forward. That’s a good feeling. When things reach completion and then you move to the next thing. Keep growing.

How has your experience in the music industry impacted your life? How was the man that is Dave changed every since you began with Shinobi Ninja?

Before Shinobi Ninja, I was still thinking about who I wanted to be and how I could become that person. Shinobi Ninja allowed me an avenue to succeed and to fail. With success, I became stronger and more confident in my talents and what I can offer the world through my art and music and my love for the people and the universe. Failure taught me about changing things that I was not doing well or things that were holding me back. It taught me to let go and to not hold on to expectations. The music industry is made of people. I love people. Shinobi Ninja gave me an avenue to be a Superhero. Now I can fly.

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

I think it is awesome. I think there’s quick fix meals out there that is the content we see everyday. There’s levels of substance. You can see something that entertains you for a couple minutes but doesn’t really change you and then you can see or hear things that make you really think. I love the digital age we live in because all the info is out there. Information is power. This is a great time for thinkers and artists. A lot of fuel for the fire.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

I take pride in service. When I can be of service to people that is a great thing. However, I can be a positive contribution to the people is what it’s all about for me. Whether it’s a song, or a video, or a piece of art or a text message or a positive word to someone. A life is here and then gone, so for me it’s about being a positive influence and force while I’m here in this journey at this time.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

I don’t watch the news. I don’t watch politics. No murder killing type shows. If the Golden Girls is on then it stays on. I love to have anything that I’m going to hear or see be uplifting for my spirit and mind. Documentary’s are great information. Sitcoms have the laugh track. Laughing is good. Music is good. Hearing new music that will inspire my creativity to new realms. Being around good people. Smoking weed. Eating well.

Photo Credit: Pixel Journalism

Tell us about a day in the studio with you making beats. Are you experimental and willing to take major creative risks in your music?

My mom took me to a class when I was little that was a dude in a loft in NYC surrounded by things. He showed how you can make sounds with anything. He put water on a mirror and made noises. Then he took a hose from a vacuum cleaner and whirled it around his head and it made a cool sound; that impacted me huge. When I go into the studio, I’m still that little kid. I’m listening for that unknown. I’m down to try anything. If it sounds good then it’s a go for me. I’m there for the magic. I’m listening to what my body tells me is the hotness. I trust my instincts and I have fun. The most fun. Being in the studio for me is like a fish being in water. It’s who I am. I learned to breathe there. It’s like a bird flying. I could fly forever.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

Keep spreading the positive vibes. Move with compassion. Move with love. Take time to breath. Take time for yourself. Check yourself. Check your ego. Think about your goals for life. How will you accomplish them? What have you learned in trying different ways to achieve them? How can you adapt? How can you keep growing? Make the best of today. Keep moving forward. Every step adds up. Even if you only move an inch forward today. Inches add up to feet. Feet add up to Miles. Follow the yellow brick road. Keep dreaming. Keep striving. You’re not perfect. Nobody is. Have compassion for yourself. Your awesome and I want you to know your loved. I believe in you.

Shinobi Ninja Social Links:


Feature Image Photo Credit: Commons.Wikimedia.Org


Interview: Kerbera

Stockholm Rockers, Kerbera, poured forward raw nerve and emotion throughout their latest single release, “Home Is Where I Don’t Belong”, which is sparking conversation and garnering views around the globe. I caught up with Seize and Dave to discuss the reality of touring, treating their fans like family and how Kerbera has grown through it, how your appearance affects your band, social media being a key competent of their success so far and more.

“Home Is Where I Don’t Belong” is a mighty track full of emotion. Tell us about the personal meaning behind the song and what it means to you.

Seike: The song is about the feeling to have built something up and been a huge part of that something, just to get it stolen from you. Robbed of the credit so to say.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

Seike: As the front man you’re always questioned by your surrounding and with a weak appearance you can drag a whole band down. I’ve doubted myself a lot in the past. I’ve asked myself if I was good enough, good looking enough and if I have what it takes. My voice have a lot of personal ID, and I’ve struggled with it in general. To believe in myself as Kerbera’s vocalist has been a huge challenge, but I’ve found faith in my progress and I’m sure I’ve got so much to deliver.

Dave: Touring and such is VERY stressful for both your body and your mind, in the beginning you tend to eat bad and sleep even worse but with time you learn that if you take care of yourself you will perform AND feel better.

If any of our readers have never been to Stockholm, what are some must-see attractions that you recommend to check out?

Seike: Old town. It’s beautiful. There’s so much history to it.

Dave: Even though stockholm is a big city there is a lot of beautiful nature and such, i recommend just going a few minutes out of the actual city and look at the beautiful nature!

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

Seike: Kerbera is a band that would never have the success we’ve had without social media. I believe it might consume people, but when used the right way it’s the most powerful weapon we got to reach far on your own without companies having your back. I’m a social media nerd. I love to be able to reach out to our followers in such a direct and personal way. It gives us the freedom and transparency that makes me love what I to even more.

Dave: Before I joined Kerbera, I didn’t know anything about social media and the impact it has on the world, now (with a lot of help from Seike), I understand how to use it to my own benefit to interact with friends and fans. I think that Seike’s mindset of fans being more of a family than people who just likes your music has made our following really loyal and is one of the biggest reasons for us being where we are today!

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

Seike: I want to be an author. Writing on a trilogy since a few years back. Also I love photography! That’s a big passion of mine.

Dave: I love video games! On the side, I am a part the management for a Swedish e-Sports organization called Valhalla Vikings. Through that organization I have learned even more about social media and how to talk and connect to people and potential business partners.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

Seike: I don’t, and that’s a problem. I have ADHD and I’m bipolar. Being on the road fucks with your medication cycle, especially when you travel between time zones. It’s hard but I’m gonna be all emo about it and say it’s also a part of my artistic persona. When I’m under pressure, I perform better. I wanna be destroyed on stage. Exposed and a total mess. Sounds destructive but I find some sort of cure in that. It’s like a meditation. Facing yourself at your worst. Processing it all on stage. God, this sounds so pretentious but I don’t know how to explain it better.

Dave: Sometimes i just call a friend and talk about something else than music/being on tour. Exposing myself to the “real life” makes me happy and makes me think that life can be very different that what it is right now.

Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way on tours that you have been a part of over the years.

Seike: Sleep as much as possible and try not to kill each other. Don’t skip meals! You never know when you’ll have time to eat again.

Dave: Pretty much what Seike said, sleep and food are the most important thing in any work environment, it doesn’t matter if you are working in construction or if you are on tour performing on stage with a band!

Speaking of touring, any current or upcoming tour plans that you can fill us in about?

Seike: Europe and US are both in the risk zone. People all over should be prepared. You never know when the modern freak show will arrive.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

Seike: Our fans are family. They are everything to us. Many bands say this but our fan group are a living proof of how close we are. You can ask any of them, and they’ll all reply that to be a part of this is something special. I can’t wait to share this journey together with them and all new people out there who’s about to join in. 2018 was a huge year for us. 2019 will be even better.Dave: I don’t think we can say anything that we haven’t said before, we wouldn’t be where we are without you guys. You made Kerbera what it is. You are a part of us.

Kerbera Social Links:


Music Reviews

NYC Experimental Artist, Max Lee, Releases New Album – ‘Colors of Noise’

NYC Experimental Artist, Max Lee, showcases his uncanny ability to read the state of our future throughout his latest full-length album release, ‘Colors of Noise’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Finder’s Keeper”, Max laces in entrancing samples and musings that has stirred through his mind while his scratchy vocals serve to showcase that he is in tune with his discomfort as member of modern-day society. The second track, “No Debt”, builds castles in the sky as Max bleeds from the heart and calls out into the ethers to magically release the financial burdens that are holding him back in life. “Open” is the third track that creates the instrumental feeling of the dragged-down intricate detail that MUTEMATH shared with the world throughout their 2006 self-titled debut as Max lyrically attempts to open new realms and avenues of thought within. The fifth track, “History”, showcases the dynamic range that Max Lee is able to dabble in as hushes and whispers ignite his vocal style and add a touch of charisma. The sixth track, “2livealife” is the seventh track that feels like Brand New in their ‘The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me’ days as Max examines his woes and sees right through the pretentious antics of a certain breed of human beings. The eighth track, “The Key”, is the musical equation of liberation as Max has reached a place of assurance that he is ready to set himself and another free from the self-imposed restraints and restrictions that have hindered them fully uniting.

“C U Again” is the ninth track that fits like a puzzle piece right into the album’s flow as a moody soundscape leads listeners into the belief that Max is eager to reunite with a long-lost lover. The eleventh track, “Forever”, intentionally fades in and out to mimic the flighty feelings that Max has been encountering within a deeply intertwined soul connection. The twelfth track, “Painted Eyes”, tones down the album with a soft blast of grief as Max lyrically reminisces about the eyes that he stared into and saw remnants of himself within. “Never Going Back” is the thirteenth track that subliminally speaks of Max’s indecision as he lyrically bounces back into a place of ego and attempts to convince himself that he is not returning to a place that has once caused him emptiness and misery. The fourteenth track, “Btwn”, investigates feelings that have sprouted through the distraction (another human being) that has hindered the merging of two human beings that truly love each other. The sixteenth track, “Touchthestars”, carries an Electronic and Trip-Hop tone as Max lyrically declares his desire to learn about every cell within another. “Part of Everything” is the nineteenth track that begins in higher spirits as lyrics that dive into a variety of conscious connections throughout Planet Earth which feels like a psychologically pleasing and stimulating serving of intricate thought. Closing out with “Breathe”, Max reminds himself of his humanness as he slowly reaches for the surface.

Creating samples and the 21st commonalities of discontentment with the workings of the world is what keeps Max Lee afloat and alive throughout ‘Colors of Noise’. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as MUTEMATH and Radiohead, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Max Lee on Spotify.

Max Lee Social Links:


Music Reviews

Alternative Musician, Weather McNabb, Releases New EP: ‘Cubicle Zombie’

Independent and mightily talented Musician, Weather McNabb, takes us back to the days of immersion in moody trances that stemmed from female unease in the 90’s Rock circuit throughout her debut EP, ‘Cubicle Zombie’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Good Morning”, you can hear the seasoned undertone of grief in the vocals of Weather McNabb as she lyrically travels through an experience of distance that has grown to be between two human beings that once shared a potent interpersonal connection. The second track, “Adapt”, begins with the vocal style of PJ Harvey back in her ‘To Bring You My Love’ days as Weather McNabb lyrically challenges herself in quiet moments of solace to overcome the current distress that has stemmed from separation. “War Paint” is the third track that is an album highlight which lyrically speaks of the revealing of the truest self beyond the self-imposed masks that individuals hide behind to conceal their darkest lies. The fourth track, “Time Machine”, begins with an idiosyncratic and trance-laced instrumental that lead listeners into a pool of creative wonder as lyrics poke at the insecurities of another that once poisoned the spirit of Weather McNabb. Closing out with “User Error”, Weather McNabb opens with the industrial instrumental style of Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels over fed-up songwriting that is stuffed tight with a smorgashboard of feelings such as release, frustration anger and in time, closure.

You’re off to a great start with a promising future ahead in the world of music, Weather McNabb. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Garbage, Luscious Jackson, and Hole, then keep an eye out on the ride ahead for Weather McNabb on Soundcloud.

Weather McNabb Social Links:


Concert Reviews

In This Moment Rocks the House in Detroit

It’s when three visions and charismas come together so seamlessly that a tour is able to steamroll through Detroit Rock City without missing a beat. The three bold, empowered and leading ladies of Rock that spearhead In This Moment, Halestorm and New Year’s Day and their respected band of brothers rilled up electric energy last night for a packed house at The Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan.

Storming out with her infamous aura of blackened, starlit and cryptic mystery, Maria Brink engaged an ecstatic crowd with her lyrical musings that have left no stone unturned ever since the release of In This Moment’s debut album, ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ in 2007. Playing tracks that span through what has now become a mighty career of six studio albums that carry weight in the world of Rock, In This Moment injected the “Blood” of concertgoers with high spirits and hits such as “Whore”, “River of Fire” and “Adrenalize”. Check out our photo recap of the show below and grab your tickets HERE for the remaining dates along this stacked tour.

All Photos: Jessica Golich

In This Moment Social Links:

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Music Reviews

Canadian Songstress, Elza, Releases New Album: ‘Nothing’s Wrong’

Canadian Songstress, Elza, isn’t timid when it comes to navigating tricky inner waters and makes that candidly known throughout her latest album release, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Moonlight and I”, Elza slowly introduces listeners to her ignited core through a cryptic instrumental style that leads into the sweet pour of Elza’s sultry vocals as the lyrical trajectory speaks of the current balance of the fire, water, earth and air that she has cultivated within. The second track, “Endeavor”, carries a similar touch of the haunting instrumental style of Poe as Elza lyrically speaks of a sudden shift in experience and/or feeling that served to shock and sway her once composed inner workings. “Swayed” is the third track that swiftly bounces between artistically matching the style of Bjork and Alanis Morissette as Elza picks up the pace with an outspoken and impactful lyrical rush of her frustrations within an interpersonal relationship. The fourth track, “Hollow”, opens with experimentation with a wide array of simple sounds as Elza lyrically takes listeners for a mighty lyrical ride through the second-guessing she is encountering when it comes to the integrity and character of another.

“Simple Dreams” is the fifth track that opens into a wide open space in which Elza’s soothing yet rigid lyrical energy creates a magical blanket of musical warmth. The sixth and title track, “Nothing’s Wrong”, is the lyrical portrayal of the attempt to overcome an expansive and time-worn relationship that is getting the best of Elza. “Stay With Me” is the seventh track that frightently mimics the vocal style of Alanis Morissette in her ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie’ days as Elza lyrically dips her feet into a pool of vulnerability and yearning. The eighth track, “Room”, is a potent lyrical mix of relational frustration and tension that is building within Elza through thoughts of creeping toward the end of a relationship eat her alive. “Can’t Heal” is the ninth track that pulls on the heartstrings of listeners with lyrics abounding with the truth about illusions that individuals tend to create in their minds as they wear rose-colored glasses that shield them from their reality. Closing out with “One Day”, Elza attempts to come out of the hazy fog of love within a beautiful ode to healing.

Elza sings and soothes listeners from a raw place within that she brings forward artistically in a compelling way. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Alanis Morissette, PJ Harvey and Tori Amos, then keep an eye out for the ride ahead for Elza on Soundcloud.

Elza Social Links:



Interview: Devour The Day

Memphis Rockers, Devour The Day, have dissected and challenged the commonalties of modern-day society throughout their electrifying new album release, ‘Signals’. I caught up with Bassist, Joey ‘Chicago’ Walser, to discuss the release of ‘Signals’, the pride that he feels from his experience of Fatherhood, pushing forward in moments in the dark, honoring their fans with their ‘Soundtrack To Your Story’ documentary, traveling to respond artistically in different ways and more.

Congrats on the recent release of ‘Signals’. Over a few listens in full, I recognized a lyrical theme of release. Did you approach the songwriting process with the intention to find clarity within a personal experience? Were you experiencing personal pain that led to the in-depth lyrical expression throughout ‘Signals’?

When we were writing the lyrics for ‘Signals’, most of our influence was coming from one central idea we had both attached ourselves to in the year surrounding the process. We felt so connected to the idea that we could not take ownership of our artwork. We were channels and the universe, the cosmos, the collective energy, has purpose for us as artists, far beyond our understanding. Yes, it is hard to let go of your successes when creating with this in mind, but you are also allowing yourself to let go of the failures, which is so incredibly freeing. Personal pain is something neither of us have had the luxury of escaping, even in our short time here on earth. The last five years specifically were by far some of the hardest of my life, and I have been left with many questions, not only about the world around me, but also about myself and how I handle the changing seasons. In the past I used the lyrics as a way to analyze my experiences, I tried to figure it all out and then stand triumphant in my ownership of the art.  Now, with a new mindset in place, I feel we allow ourselves to trust in a purpose far greater than ourselves for our music. The lyrics are the breaking through of a chrysalis wall, and we are eager to fly with new wings.

Throughout your documentary, ‘Soundtrack To Your Story’, you guys created the time and space to connect deeply with your fans. Beyond the obvious, what led you toward the desire to do so? How did the experience serve you?

As you step away from the ownership of your artwork, you quickly begin to see that you are not the hero of the story. In fact, you should be honored to hold the place as artist among your community. The egotistical precedence that we are surrounded by in the music industry, specifically, in our genre, is ridiculous and misguided. Social media has only intensified this marketing concept and now, more than ever, artists try to show why they are worth of worship. It’s wrong in our opinion. These human beings that support these artists are not “fans”, they are not here to intensify our flame. They are a part of a community and we should feel so lucky that they have chosen to place us in their lives. They are the heroes, and we are their soundtrack, and we are blessed to be so, for however long it lasts. We had to do something to shine the light in on this concept. What we were able to raise money for and create is the most fulfilling piece of art I’ve ever been a part of. The experienced changed me forever. Please visit to read more about the making and idea of #soundtracktoyourstory as it is almost just to much to explain, you have to watch.

“Faithless” is being featured and making its rounds around the Rock circuit. Tell us what that track means to you.

I feel that word “faith”, in my life, has always been so connected to religion. The idea that if you have faith you believe in, and rely on, a specific deity. That is not what this song is about. Faithless is about pushing forward even when you don’t know you will succeed. It’s about trusting the process and allowing the growth in yourself and in your work to happen, even if you don’t understand how you are getting there. It takes faith to push through when you can’t see the other end of the tunnel, and it takes courage to keep going.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

I am a Father and it is my greatest joy and the most fulfilling part of my life. I take the most pride in that responsibility.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

I believe it is extremely important for me to stay inspired. We go out into the world around the venue and try to take in the life and art that surrounds it. The food, the architecture, the people and culture opens us up to be the channels we desire to be and to respond artistically in a new and unique way.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old that you were?

I have two halves, the wide eyed creator and the father of two children. The artist is still a teenager, spinning around in a spray painted basement with a joint in his mouth. The father is in his hundreds!

As you do speak of it in a meaningful and eye-opening way throughout “Loudmouth”, what are your thoughts on online culture?

I want to be specific so I don’t ramble, because I think this is a long conversation. “Loudmouth” discusses different kinds of people, but all three I had in mind while writing it, use their digital voice to bully and spread disconnection. Whatever their agenda, whether it political, or business or just plain judgmental and mean, it’s wrong. The song was intended to call these people out and create a discussion about how twisted and destructive this use of the internet can be.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

We are honored to be a part of this community and we are so grateful to still be creating. Please check out ‘SIGNALS’ and #soundtracktoyoustory and spread the word.

Devour The Day Social Links:



Interview: Mardoll

Leaving listeners immersed in her mysterious world of elaborate creative thought is just one piece of artistic appeal that draws individuals toward NYC-based Songstress, Mardoll. Throwing herself into the ringer throughout her latest single, “God”, has served to challenge common conversation and influence boundless musings beyond one’s known. I caught up with Mardoll to discuss the intimate detail within her latest single “God”, the blend of rebellion and childlike wonder in her idiosyncratic mind, the joy of watching her 10-year-old little brother grow into a young man, always choosing to love yourself and more.

Tell us about the journey that you have been enduring within that has led you toward bringing your first single, “God”, out and into the world.

From a very young age, I was always curious. I liked asking questions. I grew up in Europe with strong values and conservative traditions .  Although I went to an international school and had exposure to many other cultures, all of them seemed to be shaped by something I felt was somewhat rigid… not inquisitive enough for me. Although I have a lot of respect for all cultures and traditions and feel that they are important, I always felt that traditions are not an excuse for not questioning our habits and way of thinking. Maybe it was my rebellious nature or maybe it was my childlike wonder but I was always a very curious to find out why we did something differently than others would. The song “God” is just an extension of that same curious nature. Why is it we shame and make taboo of love of anyone?   Religion seems to want to dictate love and hate. And if we accept love as a strong and meaningful human value, why don’t we question the powers to set limits to the definition of love and whom we can love? But it’s not only the judgmental way organized religion views same sex love, but in general all the rules that religion sets for our way of life should be evaluated in the current context of human existence. My mother came from a Jewish family on her father’s side and a highly prestigious European Christian family on her mother’s side.  When her parents divorced, her Christian family frowned upon her Jewish background. As a result, although she married a Catholic man and for the sake of his mother in law, went through the motions of Christening us, she decided she would allow us to decide what religion we wanted to follow. I was allowed to believe and worship whoever I wanted. As long as it wasn’t harming myself or anyone else. The “don’t be an asshole” rule was our family motto.  In my early years where, on occasion, we would make it to church, or I would hear religious rhetoric, it always fascinated me how blindly humanity can trust in a book.  I started asking many questions : What kind of God would allow so much human suffering?  What kind of God would create such a chaotic and unfair world? What kind of God would watch his children fight each other, destroy his legacy preaching love and forgiveness, to use his name his name to kill? The fact we are all fighting over whose version of God is right means we’ve missed the point entirely. That is definitely highlighted in the chorus. “Your silence speaks loud and clear….I guess you really left us here.” 

Deep question; have you incorporated your own personal experiences and reflections into your music? Have you been able to heal old wounds through your artistic expression?

Music has always been an outlet for me. It is my way in which I process experiences, traumas, escape depression and find solace.  It’s a space in which I can process emotion and play around. I feel music often leads me to a new perspective, gives me a fuller picture and elevates me to a higher level. So I can take Catherine out of the equation, and Mardolll can see it objectively. Music does not always heal all wounds.  Sometimes music allows me to grieve something I have buried inside. Sometimes I need my music to bring something that hurts up to the surface so I can take a second look, relive it and find new way of dealing with it.

How did the concept of ‘Mardoll’ come about? What does it stand for?

Mardoll  is a character I’ve been playing my whole life. She was the woman I always wanted to be. When I was a chubby little outcast who wasn’t allowed to be a part of the aerobic competition team because of my weight, Mardoll was the version of me who would perform. I’ve been playing her my whole life, I just finally gave a name to her later on. The name actually originates from a Nordic goddess who also goes by Freya, or the White Goddess. My roommate at the time, Bryanna and I were thinking of artist names when she pops her head into the room and goes ‘What about Mardoll?’. The name finally felt like a fit after trying out so many others.  It was an ‘Aha!’ moment, Suddenly I knew this had to be.

Tell us about a recent train of thought that you have had that can inspire our readers.

The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important relationship.  This is where the inner dialogue takes place. I’ve been playing around with this theme and exploring it in a few songs I’m currently working on. It’s led me to start thinking about the stories and lies we tell ourselves as well.  We try to explain ourselves, create limits for ourselves all the time without asking deeply who we really are, why do we fear things, are we able to change? What are the reasons for the mistakes we keep making all over again?

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

I’m fascinated by politics and history.  I love not only talking about these subjects but also debating them. I love the challenge of taking a perspective that might not align with my personal beliefs, and arguing for it. Maybe it’s the devil’s advocate in me, maybe it’s my rebellious nature or maybe it’s just the fact my dad’s a lawyer and I grew up listening to that. But beyond how I love to argue, I’m a sister to my big and little brother and I’m a dog mom. My little brother is my absolute favorite person in the world and watching him grow into the young man he is has been the absolute joy of my life. With 10 years between us, ours  is one of the most rewarding and meaningful relationships in my life. He’s practically a carbon copy of me, from facial features to strong will. He drives me crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. In a weird way, I feel like we’re twins who got the timing wrong and now it’s my duty in this world to show him the way from my mistakes. I’m also a dog mom to my two dogs back home. Ninja and Coco. Ninja is my first-born boy and is me in a dog. All he wants to do is eat, sleep, and be given attention…I relate HEAVILY! Coco is a tiny little dog who bosses everyone around. She runs the show even though she’s 2 KG. 

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health while being in the public eye?

Exercise! Lots of exercise but also Yoga. Yoga helps build mental strength, the ability to focus, or it to stay on track. I have a wild imagination and ADD tendencies, so doing yoga several times a week helps me with that. It also teaches me self-awareness which for someone like me, who has a tendency to slip into depressions, it ensures that I’m not lying to myself and really being honest with everything that is going on. It’s constant work, and not always easy (or interesting for that matter) but it’s important. 

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old that you were?

A sassy and sexy 75. Though I have been known to act 9 from time to time. As a little kid, I felt that sometimes I was just kind of waiting to grow up. 

What is your personal opinion on how immersed society has become into the social media world?

I don’t think it’s good or bad. It’s just different. Every generation has thought the next one was out of touch.  Every generation has looked back with rose-colored lenses. So, yeah, maybe kids don’t play outside as much. And, yeah, maybe today’s kids don’t have the same attention span. But today’s kids are also the most accepting of any generation before. Today’s generation is more informed than ever before .   Today’s generation is creative and resourceful. If kids seem out of touch, maybe it’s the adults who are disconnected, but let’s not blame the modern magic of the internet. As many things often do, it has its ups and it has had its downs. 

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

LOVE YOURSELF! Love yourself enough to hold yourself to a standard that forces you become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Be the person you told yourself you wanted to be growing up. Go out there and be proud of who you are and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You never know what life will throw at you so take advantage of every moment you walk this earth. Work hard, try do better, and aim higher! 

Mardoll Social Links:



Interview: Blacktop Mojo

Texas Rockers, Blacktop Mojo, are rattling the masses with their heavy-hitting bundle of intense songwriting and powerful instrumentals that speak of the emotively rich lives of five guys who are telling a story that is entirely their own. Through molding an electrifying and polished style and sound throughout their two studio albums that are full of howling vocals and soul, Blacktop Mojo is set to make an even bigger splash over the years to come. I caught up with Lead Vocalist, Matt James, to discuss his favorite Tool albums, the incredible support of their fans, the meaningful bond shared amongst the band members of Blacktop Mojo and more.

You guys have a really cool campaign going on on PledgeMusic for your upcoming third album. Tell us about your experience so far and anything that you can about the upcoming release.

We ran a campaign with PledgeMusic to fund our second record, ‘Burn The Ships’, which went really well. We liked how we were able to interact with people on there and how it was sort of like having them with us making the record, so we wanted to do it again for this next album. I’m really glad we did because our fans really got after it and help us hit our minimum goal way faster than we ever thought we could, which helped us to be able to concentrate more on writing songs and have a little less to worry about on the business side of things. We’re very excited to get to work tracking the album. We’ve got what we feel like is a great group of songs, and we’re chomping at the bit to lay them down. I think we’ll make the folks that got behind us for this go-around proud.

What is the most personally meaningful track that you have ever recorded with Blacktop Mojo? Tell us about what it means to you.

I think one of the more meaningful tracks for me was “Where The Wind Blows”, not necessarily because of the content of the song, but because of how we recorded it. We were fortunate enough to be able to record the song at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL with Jimmy Johnson and his engineer Steve Melton who were at the helm of some amazing records from artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, and so many other greats that we look up to. Needless to say we were kind of intimidated going into the session and we didn’t lay down the final vocals until toward the end of the day, so I kind of had to just sit and wait with butterflies in my stomach all day until it was my turn to get in the booth and sing. I sang through the song a few times and wasn’t sure if I was hitting it right. We got to the end of the pass and they hit the talkback mic in the control room to say something and before anyone said anything to me, I heard Jimmy say to somebody, “Damn would you listen to that voice? That guy can belt it!” It was the first time I can remember feeling like that was where I belong. We ended up releasing the song as the first radio single from the album and it hit the top 30 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart on our first tour. The last show of that tour just happened to be in Muscle Shoals and Jimmy ended up coming out to check out the show. When I walked up to him to shake his hand, he had a big smile on his face and he said, “It feels good doesn’t it?” Then he turned to one of his buddies and said, “These guys have them a hit up on the charts right now.” It really felt cool to have someone I look up to like that be proud of us.

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?

Very recently, in preparation for this album we’ve been writing a lot of songs and I got to a place where I felt like nothing I was writing was good enough. I thought, “What if I can’t do this? What if we can’t get this done?” Luckily I had the guys in the band to lean on and kind of pull me out of my funk. They helped me remember we started doing this in the first place because we love it and that it’s supposed to be fun. It’s alright to put pressure on yourself, and sometimes it can be good, but you can’t let that overwhelm what you’re doing.

If any of our readers have never been to Texas, tell us about three of your favorite restaurants that you recommended to check out.

Texas has a lot of great food, so it’s hard to choose just three. La Chappara’s in our hometown of Palestine has my favorite breakfast tacos, Stanley’s BBQ in Tyler, TX has some of the best BBQ on the planet earth, and I have to give it up to Salsa Limón in Fort Worth for some of the best Mexican food one can get any time of night.

What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?

I think it’s something we’re all still figuring out as we go along. Overall it’s a great thing. No one has to be alone. There is a group of friends out there for everyone no matter where they come from or how they think. You can immerse yourself in all kinds of different art that you would have never been able to find otherwise. In our case it’s helped a band from the middle of nowhere in Texas connect with people all over the world over our music. By that same token, it lets people group up over negative things and spread hate and shame as well, which is never good. I still don’t think the negatives outweigh all the positives. It is an awesome tool that makes the world smaller every day. It will be interesting to see what the next generation creates with all this awesome power having been immersed in it from birth.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.

It’s kind of hard to separate music from the rest of my life. All the guys in the band live in the same house, so we’re kind of always doing something for music in one way or another. I think the thing I most take pride in is how close we all are. Any one of these guys would take a bullet for me and I would do the same for them. A lot of bands say they are “like family” and that might be true, but in our case these guys are my brothers through good, bad, and everything in between.

As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?

When we’re traveling around, I always like to go on random walks through whatever city we’re in and go explore. Most of the time I will turn my phone off and only use it to find my way back if I get lost. It’s always refreshing to just kind of wander around and see if you can find anything cool. Also, The guys in the band and I are always good at taking care of each other. If someone has something going on, everyone is pretty good at helping them out. It’s hard to hide in the 100 or so square feet of space on a bus.

I’ll throw you a random bone. What is your favorite Tool album and why?

I mean if it’s Tool, I’m a fan. They haven’t made a bad album. I always liked ‘10,000 Days’. “The Pot” and “Right In Two” are some of my favorite songs they’ve done and the sardonic attitude in the lyrics of “Rosetta Stoned” is absolutely incredible. I love reading through that one after I’ve listened to it once and then going back to listen to it again to try to catch everything in there.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!

Thanks for helping us live the life we always dreamed about. Can’t wait to see all of you again next year!  

Blacktop Mojo Social Links: