Interview: Vokab Kompany

San Diego Duo, Vokab Kompany, use their music as a source of healing for both themselves and all of their listeners. In celebration of the recent release of ‘Small Viktories’, I caught up with the guys for a fun chat about developing their skillsets throughout quarantine, the importance of being a good person, being on the right side of history and more.

Congrats on the release of your new LP, ‘Small Viktories’. Tell us about the creation process and what your intention was behind this release.

Robbie – Been a long time in the making for this one. Respectfully Burkey and I have been working on our side projects too, (check Red Giant Project & B3k). However, we’ve been at this for over a decade having put out a total of 6 albums in addition to the collaborations with so many of our favorite artists! Needless to say, we have been needing to put this out! Our last album, The Good Kompany Album, had a total of 15 songs on it. While this one only has 9, it feels full of story and substance. It’s definitely a viktory for us! Can’t wait to play this live. We will be streaming a show July 24th at 6:30 PM  – – Tune in here.

I know that the Coronavirus has been really impactful on all, yet tell us the lowdown on how you have been utilizing all of your time in quarantine.

Both Burkey and I have been practicing our craft and developing more musical skills. I have been learning Logic Pro and he’s been learning guitar. We’ve also been getting that outdoor exercise building gardens, hanging with our families and trying to be better people and lead by example during all this crazy stuff.

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

Robbie – With all wild shit that’s going on, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you are a good person to all! Whether that’s protesting for civil and human rights, or staying in your house wearing a bubble suit, do it and do it fucking right! Let’s set the new gold standard of being a quality human. No matter what race you are, don’t be a part of the divide. Be a part of the connect. Be a part of the change. And be a part of the support.

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

Robbie –  It’s a necessary evil! But for real if you’re not using it to learn, you’re lost. Granted there is a bunch of bullshit out there however, there’s also a bunch of great information and tools we can better ourselves with. Also, be nice to the computers. One day they’ll own us.

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. 

Burkey – Being a parent drives me in all aspects of my life, from how I perform, to how I create music. It becomes the driving force of how I navigate my relationships in the music industry, as well. Being an educator also impacts how I view myself and others. For example, I don’t like writing songs that I wouldn’t play in front of my children, students or parents. I’ve found that if I keep them in mind when responding to most situations in my life, I can be more accountable for my actions. At least this is the mantra I’m striving for.

Photo Credit: Six Degrees Creative 

If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone who has guided you through your journey as an artist, who would you choose and why? 

Mrs. Keurac. She taught me how to play trumpet through middle school. But then I quit! I would tell her, don’t let me QUIT! Also, I would go back to my 20 year old self and say, don’t throw out all your hip hop tapes, dummy! I had such a nice collection.

Going back to when you were 12-years-old, if you were stuck at home then as we are now, what would your 12-year-old self be doing?

Burkey – I would be playing hoop all day errrrrday!

Robbie – I would be riding my bike as far as I could go without getting in trouble by my moms!

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

WE FUCKING LOVE YOU! Thank you for hanging in there with us for so long. Stoked you guys are celebrating this record with us! #SmallViktories! Can’t wait to play for you again soon.

Vokab Kompany Social Links:


Music Reviews

New Jersey Quartet, The 65’s, Release New EP – ‘Never Say Never’

New Jersey Quartet, The 65’s, push beyond societal boundaries to bring to life a bold and aggressive EP, ‘Never Say Never’, which is full of adrenaline and Punk-Influenced Rock that is bound to stir up a frenzy within listeners. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first and title track, “Never Say Never”, The 65’s instrumental fluidity immediately stands out as a highlight as Lead Vocalist, Joe Pugsley, carries out deep vocals which mesh with the lyrical trajectory that is full of a sense of feeling overwhelmed by life’s pressures. The second track, “Broken Nose, Busted Knee”, picks up the pace with a blast of Grunge Rock that leads into lyrics that are spun around being fed up with another’s excuses as the guys of The 65’s showcase that they’re over it. Closing out with “Waiting Here So Long”, The 65’s lyrically reflect upon their life experiences as they dabble into what it takes to truly trust another and how much weight some relations can carry.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Eve 6, Lit and Alien Ant Farm then keep an eye on the ride ahead for The 65’s on SoundCloud.

The 65’s Social Links:


Music Reviews

Psych Rock Musician, Aura Blaze, Releases New Album – ‘The Sparkling Black’

New Jersey Psych Rock Musician, Aura Blaze, is emerging in mind and translating his kaleidoscopic inner world into a space to create musical eccentricity throughout his new album release, ‘The Sparkling Black’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Overture: Solar Emerge”, Aura Blaze cunningly sounds akin to The Beatles and brings a bit of soul into our modern-age while accompanied by lyrics that reach out for love. The second track, “Good While It Lasted”, begins with a groovy instrumental that eases into soft vocals that are enchanting as lyrics that reminisce on the days of ease and peace within a relationship showcase the imprint that the connection has left on Aura’s spirit. “Eyes of the Rising Sun” is the third track that begins with a hypnotic and psychologically intriguing lyrical blast of spirituality as Aura’s mind comes ablaze through the experience of soul connection. The fourth track, “Manipulation (feat. Björn Strid)”, begins with a medieval instrumental that transforms into a psychedelic lyrical journey into the mind of a manipulative human that is tossing swords without a slight bit of remorse.

“Keep On Believing” is the fifth track that is abounding with lyrical positivity and hope as Aura Blaze reminds listeners that their journeys are entirely their own and worthy of living out loud. The sixth track, “No Soul That Couldn’t Be Sold in Hollywood”, is full of lyrical truth that speaks of the rags and riches stories that tend to steer a soul from their highest self while veiled by the empty promises that can tear one apart. “Hope It All Works Out” is the seventh track that begins with an instrumental journey into a place of peace as lyrics that speak of overcoming a broken heart showcase the level of vulnerability that Aura Blaze approaches his music with. The eighth and title track, “The Sparkling Black”, begins with the instrumental feel of an industrial track that swiftly leads into the feeling of a track by The Doors as mysterious lyrics trickle into the subconscious mind. Closing out with “Reprise: Lunar Dissolve”, Aura Blaze’s energy is palpable as he creates a space for listeners to dive back within themselves.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Tame Impala, The Beatles and Cream, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Aura Blaze on Soundcloud.

Aura Blaze Social Links:



Interview: Ali Caldwell

Soulful, grounded in positive intent and delivering a Motown vocal style that listeners could never forget, Ali Caldwell is it. I caught up with the New Jersey Musician to discuss the Summer of 2019 release of ‘88’, her experience on The Voice, keeping her family and best friends close while touring, clearing space for a healthier mindset and more.

Congrats on upcoming release of ‘88’. Tell us about the creative and recording process in the studio and what you learned about yourself along the way.

‘88’ is scheduled to come out Summer 2019! The process is going really well and I am working really hard to make it perfect.

Let’s talk life beyond ‘The Voice’. How have you handled spreading your wings and transcending as a musician ever since you have moved on from your experience on the show?

After my time on The Voice I realized that I have grown so much as an artist. I have grown in my performance skills as well as vocally. Seeing the growth made me want to keep going harder, and I was very proud but well aware that I still have some growing to do and was ready to take on the world after coming off of such a platform on a high note.

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

I would worry about what people thought of me. If I was pretty enough. IfI was the perfect weight, if my hair was straight enough. Many non-productive thoughts would constantly run through my head so much that at one point it took control. Basically, lots of over thinking. Through growth, self-love and realization, I am in a much better head space then where I used to be but AS A HUMAN. I learned not to be too hard on myself and realize that no one is perfect.

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

I do believe that social media has literally taken over not only our younger generation, but the world. I admit It’s fun, but some don’t know how to separate the internet world from their actually reality, and to me that’s the scary part. But overall, I love the positive things about the internet and social media. I love the ability to touch and talk to my fans globally at the click of a button. For me it’s my vehicle to spread love and positivity worldwide.

No career path or number 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’ve always taken a lot of pride in my relationship with my family. My grandmother is literally my heart, putting a smile on her face always makes me proud. I’m very proud of never getting in any trouble as a young lady coming out of high school and figuring out this thing called grown up life. I remained focused on doing whatever it takes to accomplish my goals. Being a focused and driven woman in a male dominated world especially in this industry; I take LOTS of pride in that. As a young girl I’ve always been one to never like to ask anyone for anything including my parents. I’ve always wanted to prove to them I can figure it out on my own and I have been doing just that for years making my parents and myself very proud. I take pride in being the best person i can be and spreading as much light and positivity to those I come in contact with.

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?

Massive amounts of prayer! I’m never afraid to pick up the phone and call my parents,  grandma or best friends to bring me back to reality, and keep me grounded and humble. I make it a habit of keeping the circle of people around me clean and beautiful. I believe the energy we keep around us is very important when it comes to mental, emotional, and physical health. Peace and a stable mind are everything to me. I love life drama-free!

You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way.

There are a few things I never forget. Some very important people have shared with me as advice and uplifting words of encouragement while touring and traveling (to name a few!) which are….

“Be Yourself, It’s Okay”

“Perform like it’s your last time”

 “Leave it all on the stage”

 Patti Labelle once told me, “People will hate for no reason, but your job is to remain a class act, smile, love them anyway, and then kick their butts later!”, and these words I have always kept with me and it helps me so much every day.

What do fans of Ali Caldwell have to look forward to in 2019?

My new album, ‘88’, will be released in the Summer 2019. new videos, more collaborations with some of my favorite singers, more show dates and a possible States tour and European tour. Of course, my limit is beyond the stars so who knows. I do know 2019 will be special. How special? MyAlikats (fans) and followers will have to stay tuned to watch and see.

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

I absolutely adore my Alikats. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Without their undying support I wouldn’t have a following or a career, so I’m beyond grateful for each and every Alikat that loves and supports me and my journey and my dreams. I truly feel like we are riding this thing together. I can say thank you over a billion times and never get tired! It literally means the world to me. I’m very excited to share this new music. I can’t wait!

Ali Caldwell Social Links:


Music Reviews

New Jersey Musician, Sam Fishman, Releases New Album – ‘End of Time’

New Jersey Drummer, Sam Fishman, gathered an army of fellow talented musicians to accompany him along a spiritually rich and instrumentally extravagant musical journey throughout the recent release of ‘End of Time’. Here’s our track-buy-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “The Musings of Your Heart (A Path Illuminated)”, Sam opens up with a dose of psychologically intriguing storytelling that leads listeners to build castles in the sky in mind. The second track, “Sh’ma Sh’ma”, is a soft and slow blast of strings that sounds akin to the likes of Lindsey Stirling in her self-titled debut days back in 2012. “Don’t Forget You Can Breathe” is the third track that is the perfect storytelling reminder to listen to before bed after a long day of absorbing stimulus through simply being in the human experience. The fourth track, “Omens”, picks up the pace of the album with emotive instrumentals that feel as though Sam is encountering a dark space within while vocals from Samantha Cram elevate the denseness of Sam’s current inner world.

“Pure Kinetic Energy (Inside the Labyrinth)” is the fifth track that is abounding with childlike and mind-bending storytelling that is hypnotically absorbed by listeners who perceive and lead life beyond the surface. The sixth track, “Voices Emerge”, opens with an astounding and fluidly meshed array of instrumentals that mimic the likes of Dream Theater and carry a theatrical tone that is as inviting as the opening lyrical line. The eighth track, “Stolen Lives”, is an album highlight that subliminally serves to release the subconscious mind within listeners through instrumentals that take us back to the glory days of bands like Fuel, Our Lady Peace and Trapt. “Sulfuric Fumes of Fury (Enter the Dark)” is the ninth track that showcases Sam’s dynamic approach when preparing the instrumental, musical and production style for the release. The tenth track, “Mantra”, is a whirlwind of delightful juxtaposition that sounds furthest from the peaceful title in the most lovely way with high-power riff’s and drumming that showcases the amount of dedication Sam has put into his artistry. “Final Distance to the Clock” is the eleventh track that lights a flame through the hearts of listeners as a classic instrumental eruption of Rock ‘N’ Roll that is simply good for the soul. The twelfth track, “The Space Between Calm and Catastrophe (Approaching the End of Time)”, keeps the story spilling forward as Sam purposely entwines thoughts that he absorbed through being in tune with a higher dimension and thoughts beyond himself into his music.  “The End of Time” is the thirteenth and title track that begins sounding akin to Phil Collins and Genesis and swiftly leads listeners to being tugged at the core by the hypnotic soulfulness within the vocals of Samantha Cram. Closing out with “A Short Dream Revisited”, intro instrumentals that mimic the likes of Glasser in her ‘Ring’ days soothe the restless mind and spirit and induce a state of emotional tranquility.

Taking over 18 months to bring together this work of musical art, it is evident that Sam Fishman had his heart set out to create his desire from the start throughout ‘End of Time’. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Megadeth, Porcupine Tree and Our Lady, Piece, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Sam Fishman on Spotify.

Sam Fishman Social Links: