Tampa Band, Set It Off, have maximized their creative synergy to bring to life their own Pop and Electronic infused niche that is idiosyncratic and abounding with heart. Gearing up for the upcoming release of ‘MIDNIGHT’, I caught up with Lead Vocalist, Cody Carson, to discuss the paradoxes of facing rejection, the power within realizing your worth, being proactive and aware of anxiety triggers stemming from social media, choosing not to sacrifice your moral compass for success and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of ‘MIDNIGHT’. Tell us about the creative and recording process so far and what you have learned along the way.
Thank you so much! It is been an absolutely amazing process filled with growth, vulnerability, and experimentation. Once we had our start date to begin the record, it wasn’t an endless grind every day to try to produce what we consider to be our best songs yet. We came in with around 60 ideas and wrote as many songs as we could to end up tasking ourselves with narrowing it down to just 15. This will be our longest release yet, and we’re happy to say that we feel this is the best we’ve been.
What new techniques or skills did you acquire during the process of record ‘MIDNIGHT’?
For me personally, three skills that I honed in on the most were learning when to subtract rather than add, fighting for the best possible metaphor (that I have never heard before) whether it be one line or the concept of the song itself, and how to come up with better titles for the songs overall.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?
Rejection within my career. It is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to personally face because in all honesty, we are talking about our dreams. For someone to make you feel like your dream doesn’t count or that you’re not wanted is a hard pill to swallow. That’s how I felt in November of 2017, right before we started creating this album due to being dropped by people we were working with in the past. But we needed that feeling, it’s good to feel low sometimes, because if we never did, we would never know exactly what we have to fight for. It gives you time to realize your own worth and refuel that fire to succeed.
What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
I think like anything in the world it has it’s pros and cons. It is incredibly convenient that we can access any song we want to whenever we want to because of the digital world. It is also incredibly hard for musicians to sell the albums they create now due to the format of digital streaming. But then you factor in that anyone can access your music with incredible ease and you can’t really complain. Another example is that we are simultaneously the most connected and disconnected we have ever been. Random phone calls or knocks at the door used to be an exciting thing with a positive connotation and now it triggers anxiety. But we also have the ability to talk to whoever we want to whenever we want to on a device just bigger than our hand. Just like anything in life there are positive sides and there are negative sides. For me personally, I think we’re extremely lucky to have the technology that we do.
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 the fact that each member of this band will never sacrifice their integrity or their moral compass to gain success. I pride myself in the fact that I will always be real with all of you, If I’m happy you will know it, if I am sad you will know it, and you will know my flaws. I don’t want there to be a separation between who we are supports us. I want Set It Off to be a home where people can go to cope with everything that they are going through or have been through.
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?
Funny enough, but by feeding it more stimulus. I am a big believer in positive distractions. I deal with my problems, but if they are too hard to face in that moment, then I will just turn to video games, music, or movies. It is okay to take your brain away from stressful situations sometimes. Personally, video games are my escape from the real world.
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 is something that can be learned from every artist no matter if they’re outside of your genre or a spitting image of yourself. You can learn what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing. You should constantly be evaluating how you can better yourself. I’m happy with the fact I will never feel secure in my level of success because that means I will always feel that I have room to grow. Playing shows alongside people who have the same passion as you is the perfect place to learn.
If any of our readers have never been to Tampa, what are three of your favorite restaurants that you recommend to visit?
This may not be a restaurant, but if you go to Florida in general and don’t go to Publix and get a Publix sub from their deli then you’ve wasted your trip! You can customize whatever you want and they will do it with a smile. I miss it so much! Also, my favorite date spot in Tampa is definitely Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club, it’s a real intimate vibe with craft cocktails and amazing food. Right up my alley!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Yes! We are lucky to have you. We are also very lucky that you’re so kind to each other and also some of the funniest people we’ve ever seen online. Thank you for being a part of our lives and for letting us be a part of yours. Here’s to the new era of Set It Off!
Los Angeles Musicians, ROCKET, are flying through an alternative universe of their own to end the year with their stand-out new single, “GIANTS”. Lyrically reminding listeners that everything that you desire begins with what you act on today, ROCKET mixes music that is mastered to precision with songwriting perspective that inspires listeners to find more within themselves and bring it outward artistically. Through playing the lead role withhumble pride that naturally draws listeners their way, Janelle Barreto embodies the desired Lead Vocalist of a bands dreams as ROCKET continues to develop the confidence that keep them ahead in the ever-changing world of the music industry.
Having a variety of accolades under their belt including being voted as one of “Best Bands to Catch” by CBS Los Angeles, ROCKET is a group of impassioned rockers who have a bright 2020 to look forward to. If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Social Distortion, Paramore and CKY, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for ROCKET onSoundCloud.
Hong Kong Musician, Todd Warner Moore, has been consistently delivering high-quality music year after year and continues to enamor listeners with his songwriting skills throughout his latest release, ‘Starry Sounds’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first and title track, “Starry Sounds”, Todd Warner Moore eases into a slow strum as he creates the feeling of nostalgia within listeners as he reflects upon the simple moments in nature that have left memories in his mind that will stick with him until the end of his time. The second track, “Ebb and Flow”, ties in a Classical instrumental feel as Todd lyrically explores the highs and lows of life while ensuring to strive to find peace within going with the flow. “It’s All Happening Today” is the third track that kicks off with the feel of a Dave Matthews Band instrumental as Todd lyrically travels into a space of nothingness that reminds him to return to the place that provides him with the most clarity; the here and now. The fourth track, “Starting Again”, picks up the pace with phenomenal songwriting as intro lyrics that remind listeners of the power of the present stick out and shed light on the power of words translated through music.
“See so Clearly” is the fifth track in which Todd lyrically takes listeners on the road toward a time in which he was able to reveal the joy of life beyond his mind that provided the peace that he strives to return to. The sixth track, “Lapis Largo”, adds a Blues feel to an album that is rich in variety as Todd brings his instrumental talents to light for listeners to ease their minds through. “Meet in the Middle” is the seventh track that is an album highlight that lyrically reflects upon a profound human connection between two human beings that were intensely in love. The eighth track, “Coffee Conversations”, is an uncanny take on social media and how individuals spend majority of their lives behind smartphones rather than exploring the meaning of life and more over coffee in person. “All The Lives” is the ninth track that slows it down to lyrically give meaning to all of the versions of life that Todd has been able to explore within his time on planet earth. Closing out with “Slate”, beautiful instrumentals that sound akin to Sting in his ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ days lead into a poetically rich lyrical journey into a clean slate between two that have distanced and reconnected in the present.
If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Bright Eyes, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Todd Warner Moore on Bandcamp.
Vancouver Jazz Musician, Eva Schubert, strolls into a breezy season of her life throughout her mesmerizing and serene new EP, ‘Hot Damn Romance’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first track, “Flying High”, Eva lyrically reminisces on the days in which she lived to meet the commands of another as she learns to stretch her wings while letting go of living for anyone other than herself. The second track, “Brawler”, begins with smoky horns that lead into the lyrical journey about a hustler in the city that makes moves from dawn to dusk as Eva falls into a state of lust. “Hot Damn Romance” is the third and title track that slowly speaks about the sizzling of an untimely romance that rocked Eva’s world out of nowhere as she reflects upon the beginning stages that still leave her in a state of shock for the love that she feels.
Throughout the fourth track, “Sweet Man”, Eva creates a feeling that would fitperfectly into a dark, city Jazz bar as she is lyrically playful andflirty which leaves listeners feeling like we’re taken back to the days when pure talent was the prize as Eva sounds akin to Amy Winehouse. Closing out with “Water”, Eva slows it down to lyricallyconfess her hunger for another that stays at the peak of her mind eventhough her pride doesn’tleave her with the desire to consistently express how she trulyfeels.
If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Sara Bareilles, Amy Winehouse and Sade, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Eva Schubert on SoundCloud.
San Francisco Musician, Morsifire, has teamed up with Emily Afton to reveal and heal through a serene and moving track abounding with hypnotic instrumentals that are tied to potent lyricism throughout their recently dropped single, “Contact”. Ahead of Morsifire’s upcoming full-length release, ‘Metanoia’, which is set to be out on October 11th, 2019, “Contact” sets the tone for the inwardly restorative mission that Morsifire approaches his music with both in the studio and throughout his day-to-day life. Through lyrics that speak of attempting to wrap one’s mind around the excruciating loss of his younger sister, cutting to the bone is what sets Morsifire apart as an artist that creates from the soul and isn’t afraid to lose his mind to enter a space of serenity in the process.
Diving into the painful moment of having to watch his sister’s ashes go into the ground rather than being able to watch her bloom in the physical, Morsifire’s vulnerability is atypical and sincerely appreciated by listeners that approach their lives with depth beyond the skin. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Mike Shinoda, Fort Minor and Mac Miller, then keep an eye on the promising and vulnerably rich ride ahead for Morsifire on Spotify.
Nashville Indie Singer, Resurrection Fern, dials into the nooks and crannies of her heart and draws listeners into a state of heart-wrenching bliss right from the start throughout her beautiful new track, “Savanna”. Strumming away with a light and lush guitar, Resurrection Fern isn’t an artist that is in it aiming for the stars; she’s in it for the love of music that comes straight from her heart. Lyrics that speak of melancholy laced with a bruised heart that has reached a place of facing the truth of the situation, the heart that is cold in Indiana is coming around with awareness and a new outlook on the next chapter.
Having entrusted songwriting duties to a close friend, there is an intimacy spiraling throughout the lyricism and energy of “Savanna” that leads toward the magnetic pull that listeners naturally feel throughout every listen. Being the first single stemming from Resurrection Fern’s upcoming EP, there’s plenty of room to state that we’re in for a delightful bundle of musical joy to come. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor and Colbie Caillat, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Resurrection Fern on YouTube.
Idiosyncratic New York City Musician, Les Techno, is back with another Pop-infused single, “Edge of the World”, that is sure to ignite flights of fancy within creative listeners’ minds. Being bold and creating the ability within to dare to transcend beyond societies rules while creating his own level of cool, Les Techno continues to stay true to himself and “Edge of the World” subliminally speaks of his courage to withstand any and all criticism that comes the way of an artist who knows exactly who they are and isn’t afraid to express themselves along their journey of life. Taking an experimental instrumental approach that instantly leads listeners back into the headspace of some of the greatest music to come out of the 70’s and 80’s, Les Techno stands eye to eye with a new beginning that he has been craving to experience. Synths and an erotica edge that mimics the likes of Nine Inch Nails further speaks to Les Techno’s engagement in the world of music and how deeply touched a human being can feel through listening to Industrial music.
If there’s something about Les Techno that catches your heart and mind beyond the music, it’s his genre of cool that is palpable and rich in artistic prowess and sass. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Rush, Genesis and David Bowie, then check out “Edge of the World” now on Spotify and make sure to keep an eye on upcoming releases from Les Techno on Soundcloud.
New York Rocker, Paul Maged, continues to charge forward musically from a place of consciousness and awareness throughout his latest EP release, ‘Fight To The Death’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first and title track, “Fight To The Death”, Paul begins with a guitar intro that mimics Billy Talent as lyrics that travel through the ups and down of daily life teach listeners to find out what will truly invigorate their spirit beyond the excess stimulus that we tend to immerse ourselves in to provide distractions from self. The second track, “Life Goes By”, slows it down into a place of metaphorically rich lyricism that steadily speaks of the lack of consciousness that individuals approach their lives with that only hurts them from experiencing the full human experience in the long run. “Nightstalker” is the third track that swiftly jumps into a pool of sin as lyricism that speaks of Paul falling to his knees for the apple of eye are smooth and full of universal language that will catch the mind of an enlightened listener.
The fourth track, “Off In The Distance”, slows it down into a piano intro that leads into lyricism that speaks of the past creeping up into the present while creating a space of the unknown that Paul sails through as he finds pieces of himself hidden within along the way. “The Resistance” is the fifth track that continues to spark a fire in listeners hearts with lyricism that questions the daily motives of individuals in society who continue to fall at the feet of consumerism and our evil political leaders. Closing out with “Illusions Go By”, Paul closes out with a slow dose of reflection that ties in spiritual thoughts that are intriguing while keeping listeners amped to remain in the present.
If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Rage Against The Machine, Billy Idol and Billy Joel, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Paul Maged on Spotify.
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.
LA Superstar Musician and Artist, Jillian Shea, is as consistent as it comes and is having fun coming into her own and claiming her throne throughout her latest single, “Talk Too Loud”. Approaching vulnerability lyrically without a slight bit of hesitation, Jillian Shea embraces that her voice is heard throughout the nation and beyond and has reached a place within in which all veils have been replaced with the courage to simply be herself. Having thoroughly embraced the expansive opportunities that have come through the digital age, Jillian is commonly recognized through her lead role on the Disney hit series, ‘Walk the Prank’, but it is becoming evident that she is also becoming recognizable and notable as a musician.
Through each and every new single that Jillian Shea puts out, the color palette in her mind continues to burst and expand and come together to paint musical pictures that emit nothing short of humble confidence. Maturing with each and every new hit, Jillian Shea is on the edge of stardom while remaining grounded as an artist of many talents. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Selena Gomez, Halsey and Camila Cabello, then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for Jillian Shea on Soundcloud.