Australian Born Danish Beauty Candice Dianna about her singing career and how she is managing her life, filled with family, performances, kids and moving houses.
Hi Candice, thank you for taking the time to do an interview with Cloudy On The Other Side.
1. You were born in Australia, but do you have any roots in a different country?
Well, my last name is actually Danish which is ‘Skjonnemand’ that stems from a German Schoner mann or something like that, haha. It means ‘Good Man’. My dad used to make jokes that it actually meant ‘Good looking man’ so I like to tell that every now and then haha! I do have some family in Denmark like Evy Skjonnemand. We connected through social media, but I’ve never actually been to Denmark yet to meet her. We had another distant cousin from Denmark come to visit and have dinner with us not too long ago which was really exciting as we are really family orientated.
On mum’s side it’s heavily New Zealand from the Jessop family with a fair few uncles, aunties and cousins still over there. I myself am quite fond of the New Zealand culture in particular the Maori culture of dancing, warrior cries, Hangi, fry bread, and the general nature of their music orientated lifestyle. Sitting around the bonfire with a few drinks singing along to someone’s acoustic guitar is something we do as a family with our friends.
2. Do your roots influence your music?
I think mostly my love for the Maori culture and socializing a lot with that culture growing up
Even though I am in Australia actually did have a lot to do with the development of my vocal
timbre and style of music and writing. I tend to gravitate toward Soul and R&B with some
reggae influence also.
3. How long have you been in the music industry?
Well, that depends on which industry we are talking about. The recording industry I fell into gracefully at about age 16 and became a writer for a local label at 17 for a couple of years, then continued to work in music production and songwriting of the studio nature on my own for years!
I would literally wait until everyone was getting ready for bed around 8pm and then get into the caffeine, sit in my home recording studio with candles and AMAZING Denon headphones and create 2 and 3 songs in a night from scratch. There was something about the nighttime making it easier for me to concentrate, create and flow. The silence on the Earth, nobody moving, no light pollution, just peace and quiet and if you’re lucky some rain. Once the sun started to come up I would crash out, haha. Then I’d wake up all excited to show my family and friends what I did while they were sleeping. Those were the happiest days of all.
4. How many albums have you released and when?
I’ve released one EP in 2014 after I did ‘The Voice’ after my amazing friends, family and
supporting fanbase raised $15,000 for me to do so. Since then I have just been releasing singles one at a time and my latest was my proudest work. That was in 2019 September. I released ‘Tear my heart in two’. It felt like the most authentic I have ever been which is a freeing feeling. The producer ‘Mark Watson’ from ‘Studio Proof’ was absolutely incredible to work with. Fast, professional and accurate with a deep connection to the soulful purpose of the music. Then my film producer for the music video ‘Sonny Glover’ from ‘Four Six Productions’ was just a blessing to work with and his quality with our budget blew my out of the water! The actor and support on that project was amazing.
5. Along your career you have accomplished many things, let’s touch on a few of them . You got 2nd place in the 2012 Karaoke World Championships, were you writing and singing prior to entering this competition?
I was, sure. That was in my ‘BatCave’ days, haha. I LIVED and breathed creativity. Sleep, create,
share them with friends and family, dance, have fun, repeat, haha. Also, just before those
world championships in 2011 I featured on ‘Planet Unearthed’ under my ALIAS ‘Elektra Vine’
with my old electronic duo partner Loic Moobs. That aired on the Aurora channel on pay TV.
You can still find that on YouTube, which is cool.
6. Do you play any instruments? If yes, why did you pick this one?
I play piano. I think it’s just always come naturally to me. The instrument and I are drawn to
each other and it feels right. It flows for me. Growing up, Nanna’s house had a rumpus room
downstairs and that had an old piano in it. Watching all the family play, I think, I created a
nostalgic bond that lasted forever between me and the instrument.
7. Would you like to learn to play another instrument?
I love Violin, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Harp and percussion. All instruments I would love to be able
to harness in this life time.
8. Your name is engraved in the Gold Coast hall of fame plaque at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, tell me about that.
Well, in 2003 I was in a lot of solo competitions for the Tropicarnival Eistedfods. I entered in all
Different genres like ‘Classical’, ‘Lieder’, ‘Opera’, ‘Jazz’, ‘Pop’, ‘Musical’, and so on and so fourth
as a singer. I won so many of them I was crowned the overall champion for that year for the
Eistedfod Festival. And when you do that, you are blessed to have your name engraved on the
plaque that was on display in the Gold Coast Arts Centre. I’m not sure if it’s still there almost 20
years later but it would be nice to find out.
9. In 2014 you became a member of Kylie Minogue’s Team during ‘The Voice’. What did you get out this experience?
The opportunity to have a giant like ‘Universal’, ‘Channel 9’, ‘Shine’, and ‘The Voice’ promote
you and your talent to the entire country while you are treated like a star with free flights,
accommodation, transfers, wardrobe and makeup and well basically a lot of show reel even for
your acting career is something that is priceless for your music career. It opened up immense
opportunities as a singer, an artist, and an actor/TV personality. I’m forever grateful and I would do a talent show again in a heartbeat. I have no regrets. I learned a lot about TV and production and that’s how and why I now appreciate everyone that’s a part of the process and how hard they work.
10. Were you in daily contact with Kylie Minogue and could you pick her brain?
Oh God, no, haha. I wish! I would have talked her ear off. I think with her hours and efforts in
the production process, there was no way she would have the time nor the energy for that. I
mean, the judges start before us and finish after us every day. And they are very long days.
They’re on camera the entire time where as we, the artists can relax a lot of the time in between individual tasks and filming.
11. So, you hardly saw Kylie Minogue. Are you in contact with her now after the show?
No, sadly not. I can’t imagine what it would be like for her to stay in contact with all the artists
when she has such a busy career as an artist, entertainer, actor and businesswoman. When
you’re in the spotlight as much as someone like Kylie, you need your time of peace and serenity
in order to stay healthy. And, I guess, if she was to stay in open communication with some
artists and not others it would hurt peoples’ feeling and cause dislike which is no fun for her.
12. With your song ‘Mamma’s Coming Home’ you reached the finals in the song writing competition for the QMusic Awards. Are you going to keep entering competitions and what do you hope to get out of it?
I will always enter competitions with my music. I think things like the Gold Coast Music awards,
QMUSIC awards, Vanda Young songwriting etc., are all incredible avenues for independent
artists to breakthrough to the other side and all we have to do is keep trying.
13. We can find you performing around the Gold Coast Area in RSL’s and Clubs. Where is your favorite place to have a performance done?
Strangely enough I don’t have a favourite place, because as soon I begin my show, I’m in my
own world anyway and I kind of pull people into that world with me, haha. I would love to start
doing home concerts though. Or even better, music festivals and more of my own ticketed
events with support acts.
14. Does your location at any given time influence your music when writing songs?
Yes, inspiration-wise, it does. Travelling and working in studios is definitely an added bonus to
15. Are there any current events or anything in the media that influences your music?
Domestic Violence and general unhappiness in the world are the biggest influencers of what I
sing about. I used to write the saddest songs but one day I realized, if I kept writing about the
sadness, I was only creating more of it. So, I had to start changing the way I write to tackle the
problems in the world the right way. With positivity. So, I wrote a song called ‘Walk away’ about Domestic Violence instead of my song ‘Let’s talk about this’ (which is commonly referred to the Tara Brown song because her murder on our street inspired the writing process for that song). ‘Walk away’ was an empathetic song to everyone involved in a relationship that’s struggling, and suggesting that they ‘…walk away when it’s dangerous to stay, it’s better to have a broken heart than to kill the one you love’. *Neither of these songs have been officially released yet but will be officially released TBA.
My theory on the state of the world’s general unhappiness, is lack of kindness and compassion towards each other and so for this, I wrote ‘Soldier’ (released 2017) and ‘Human Kindness’ (released mid 2019). Soldier speaks about equality and balance among the human race, suggesting that one person’s life struggles is not worse than another’s as it’s all relative. ‘Human Kindness’ is a story of the ultimate act of kindness taken when faced with an angry looking stranger. You’ll have to listen to that one on YouTube. It’s a great story inspired by a war Veteran I met busking one day.
16. Which movie would best describe your music career/life?
Coyote Ugly meets 8 Mile
17. You have a toddler, you perform, and you have recently moved house. How do you manage all this?
Well I’m just a ‘get it done’ type of person, haha. I see no point in stressing over things that are
out of my control, so I get what I can done well and efficiently, then if I come up against
something that has no solution I ask God to handle it and /or ask for help from my family. I have
a great family, namely my mum. She’s amazing. So, God blessed me with a fantastic support
system. And then, well I always mike time even if it’s an hour or two a day when I’m busy, to do
something nice either by myself or with the kids. Because every day could be your last so you
mustn’t go through a day and not have lived.
18. During you time in the music industry, what was the best advice you received?
Don’t depend on outside sources, get it done yourself, and don’t allow other’s opinions to ruin something when your gut tells you that something’s a brilliant idea! Always go ahead….
19. What was the worst advice you got?
Think about what people want and do it that way.
20. What makes you stand out, what is your magic power?
I think it’s my character as a person and how that comes through in my music from a deep place and touches people in the soul.
21. How do you feel going on stage?
Glad. I can sing with no interruptions and swim in a magical world of music for hours.
22. With whom would you like to do a performance?
Alicia Keys or Ed Sheeran.
23. What are your plans for 2020 and the near future?
I can’t tell you that right now, ha ha. It’s a secret and hasn’t been confirmed yet. But aside from
that continue to release and create music and live life happily. We are actually planning to head
to Nashville this year also to dip our toes in.
24. Which advice would you give fellow singer/songwriters?
No matter what industry you’re in, you’re going to face the same amount of challenges. So,
make sure you’re doing something that brings you great joy, and only ever do it the way
that brings you great joy. Often, we follow our passion but forget our dreams because we’re too
focused on surviving and it will kill your passion and joy. So instead, focus on the fun creative
side and have fun with it. Bonus is, when you do that, being an entertainer, you sell more
because people love to watch a fun, joyful, free spirit being genuine.
25. How do you interact with your fans?
I actually do most of my interacting on my personal profile ‘Candice Dianna Singer’, which is now a fully public profile. I switched to that because Facebook pages algorithms were causing too much gap between myself and my followers and Instagram is something I’m still learning about. Same with YouTube. I don’t really understand it.
26. Do you have a message for your fans?
Come and find me on my Facebook, I can’t add everyone because I’m running out of room but it’s fully public anyway, anyone can interact. Come to my shows if you can and let me know who you are so we can hang out afterwards and have a fun time talking about everything!
Wow, Thank you so much, Candice, for taking the time to do this interview with us. A very inspirational and profound interview.
Nomina, you have just released your new single ‘Fetish Daddy’, which is available worldwide. The YouTube video has already over 1m views.
1. Did you expect such a positive vibe?
I was hoping for a positive vibe of course, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast.
2. What were your intentions for writing the song “Fetish Daddy”?
My intentions were to write a song, that is not merely to entertain, but to tell a story, send out a message and draw attention to a real issue of sexual abuse and of girls and women being forced into relationships and acts that they do not desire, but also manages to be a fun song to enjoy listening.
3. Have you encountered negative feedback because of the sensitive topic of the song yet?
Yes, at times, some people didn’t want to identify themselves with the topic of the song „Fetish Daddy“ because the song addresses a tabu theme. Most people do not want to be confronted with such.
4. You are performing at the Worldpeace Day in Berlin this year! How did you get into the event?
Yes I’ll be performing at the World Peace Day-Berlin this year because I’ve been appointed as the ambassador of the UN World Peace -Berlin, representing Germany internationally.
5. Are there any memorable moments on stage so far that you want to share with us?
Yes, the time when I performed with the roots warriors at reggae in Wulf, Germany and pulled the crowd, without us having rehearsed.
The other time when I performed at a charity Gala in London, where by I had to keep on repeating the high notes in order for people donate more money for charity.
6. You grew up in Botswana. Are there any African elements that you usually incorporate into your songs?
Yes I grew up in Botswana. I like to fuse modern music with traditional Southern African elements that is why I also work with some producers ( beat makers) from Botswana so I do not loose touch with my roots. I was born Zimbabwe, so both countries have an impact on my my African elements.
7. You currently live in Germany. Are there any plans for you go back to Botswana someday?
Germany has become my home and am proudly German, though Botswana will always remain my home too since I grew up there, So yes I love both counties and wouldn’t mind living in either one of them.
8. You also write your own songs. At what age did you write your first one?
I started writing lyrics and melodies at a very tender age as soon as I was able to read & write. I think at the age of 8, i’d use text books as lyrics and make a song out of that.
9. Do you remember the first line of your very first own written song?
Yes „Every time am wondering i look at you and me, Sometimes when I look up the sky I imagine you and me by the waters of the sea so come back and do me right coz you know I’d never do you wrong, Come back coz you know we are right for each other…etc.
10. By what music were you influenced when you grew up?
I listened to a lot of gospel music, RnB, Soul, Kwaito, Reggae and many more.
11. Do you play any instruments? If so, which one was your first one that you learned to play?
My instrument is my voice. I can play a bit of percussion though.
12. Since you are writing your own songs, can you explain your creative process?
Usually, an idea crosses my mind and i record it on my phone so I do not forget the idea. I then find some time to write the lyrics and the melody, if I feel like I am ready then I record the whole idea on garage band and send it to my producer who then creates a suitable beat or instrumentals based on my melodies. We work together till we are both happy with the results. After this I go to a professional studio and record the song. At times it’s vise versa, I receive a beat and I write the lyrics and create melodies to it.
13. What are the principles of songwriting for you?
It is important to have an idea and an imagination of the story you want to tell. Don’t bother about the structure of the song first. Put down on paper whatever you feel at that moment. All will fall into place later on.
14. Is there a hidden message in your songs?
Not really because I want people to understand the story behind my song.
15. What do you think are elements of a hit single?
Oh thus a difficult question, I guess. I think it is not easy to tell if a song can be a hit or not because they are so many great songs out there but they are not necessarily hits, but on the contrary, I believe a hit song has to have a catchy tune, which most people can relate to.
16. Who is producing your songs?
I produce most of my songs with Orchidan Waworka based in Germany, but I also work with some producers like Rekesh Dukaloo from Holland.
17. How would you describe the music you typically create?
It is a blend of electronic composition, with African tribal special sounds. It´s something quite unique, I think. It is a sound that doesn’t necessarily have a specific genre although I would describe it as future experimental Afro Pop with house-electro elements and at times reggae elements too. I like to fuse modern music, like (Pop/ RnB) with traditional Southern African elements. It could be in the form of instrumentals and/or just using my African languages like Setswana, Ndebele or Kalanga, as well as English. I always try to push the African sounds upfront to give them emphasis.
18. If it wasn’t for your music career, what would you wanted to become growing up?
An actress or tv presenter.
19. You released 5 singles so far, which of your songs do you personally feel is your best one and why?
Mhhh.. I love all my songs, I don’t think it’ll be fair to choose, I feel like each song has it’s own character, so that makes it a bit difficult to choose the best. What I have realised though, is that my voice has definitely improved within these last 3 years.
20. What part of making music do you find most creative and why?
Working on a song idea and watch it develop into a full great song and of course writing video scripts, being at set playing the role or character you imagined. I’d say the creation and production process is the most creative for me.
21. To break into the music business can become demanding. What do you find most challenging as an artist?
The thing is, everybody wants to sing nowadays, wether talented or not, the market is packed with great music and very bad music, so to really make it as an Artist you need to work hard on your self and your talent. You have to be outstanding and recognizable, be patient and a bit of luck might do too. You must be strong to hear that NO so often, take in criticism. The often changing and updates of digital platforms is also a big challenge especially if you’re an independent Artist, it is a forevermore learning process.Oh not to forget the financial challenging part, music production, music promotion, marketing etc all this need to be financed.So it is a very big challenge for many up coming artists.
22. If you could bring back any musicians from the past to work with, which one would you choose and why?
That would be Miriam Makeba and Aaliyah. These two because I feel like, if their music were to be fused, then something similar as my music would emerge. Just a thought. I love the kind of music each of them made, very different. Mariam Makeba had this typical African sounds while Aaliyah did con-temporal RnB.
23. You have planned an album release called „I FOUND MY SELF” in 2020. What is the main message and the story for this one?
Nomina means "I've found myself." I was a teenager when I lost both my parents so I’ve been aware of my mission and that is to motivate disadvantaged people, give them hope, hence my slogan „ Inspiring For Change“
Thus why my Album takes us on a journey through passion, fun, misery, pain, hope and love. On the album I share my soul with the world.
24. Germany is one of the largest music industries in the world. What do you think about the German music market?
It is great that Germany is one of the largest music industries in the world, since I live in Germany now, it is an opportunity for me to test the market and try to establish my music career also in Germany.
Thank you for your time and good luck with the release!
BETTER - DEBUT SINGLE BY ‘POP QUEEN’ GALLIA - read about her songwriting session with sir paul mccartney
Sir Paul McCartney-approved ‘Better’, is the debut single from Liverpool based “pop queen” Gallia. After working on the track acoustically in a one-to-one songwriting session with the legendary Beatle, Gallia decided to make the track her debut single after getting a huge yes from Paul McCartney himself. The track won the title of ‘Best Contemporary Song’ the following day, selected by David Stark (SongLink International) at the recent Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts graduation ceremony, where she graduated from during the Summer of 2019.
‘Better’ is the perfect combination of light and dark, with a spotlight on self-love and empowerment. Gallia’s crystal clear diction tells the personal - but most importantly, relatable - story of betrayal by a person that you placed top on your list of priorities.
“Baby I loved you like I’ve never loved anyone, but baby you treated me like I was just anyone” - the cleverly phrased opening line of the single shows the different outlook from two sides of the relationship. After losing self-worth and being convinced that she was in the wrong for so long, Gallia realised that she can paint her own sky blue, without needing the validation of anybody else.
‘Better’ is about not settling for any less than you deserve, and receiving no less than what you give out in a relationship - a great lesson for life, as well as relationships.
Gallia spent her school years being branded an outsider, and her music reflects that. After constantly trying to impress people and gain approval, Gallia realised that by creating music for herself, she’s targeting the people going through the same things that she experienced growing up. Song by song, she aims to help them feel a part of something, to help them learn that they’re worth much more than they currently realise.
‘Better’ represents more than just a positive outlook on a failed relationship. it represents confidence, empowerment, self love, knowing your rights, never settling for less than you deserve, and most of all, being yourself and never changing for the approval of others.
Gallia is on the side of the outsider and she’s already on the way inside: to your favourite playlist. A voracious reader from an early age, the power of narrative has made the melodious leap from the titans of literature to the 3 minute pop song: pop-culture’s atomic bomb.
After being selected for Bido Lito! Magazine’s Artist Development Programme, Gallia expanded her performance and songwriting artistry further. With an unforgettable live performance, Gallia’s pop with a message keeps you absorbed in the moment, and inspired through catchy lyrics performed by a powerful front woman - a dynamic performance that leaves you wanting to relive the experience.
With a songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney checked off her bucket list, Gallia has gone on to perform with other musical legends, such as a recent performance at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, performing ‘Better’ alongside ‘The Power of Love’ with Brian Nash (Frankie Goes To Hollywood).
Leading up to the release of her debut single, ‘Better’ on March 13th, 2020, Gallia aims to build a family rather than a fanbase, prioritising love and support above the negativities in life.
Breaking Barriers and letting go of an accounting job to become the singer you know today. Read all about Julie and more here...
Thank you for your time, Julie.
1. Your last song “Fighter” did well on Spotify with over 35.000 Streams.
You got onto a few playlists. The song got on the Top 10 List of Music Enough. Over 8K views on YouTube and got some radio airplay. Features on a few sites. How did that make you feel?
I was thrilled by the response and it was so amazing to receive comments from people saying how much “Fighter” resonated with them and helped them with the struggles they’re going through.
2. You grew up with little music at home and only later when a co-worker suggested to audition for a theatrical company you took interest in music. Do you remember the moment when it clicked?
I think I’ve always loved singing as I started singing in my school choir as a child with a performance at the Albert Hall, so even though I wasn’t surrounded by music growing up when a co-worker mentioned about auditioning for the theatrical company I just knew I had to give it a go. That then led me to want to front bands and then later down the line obtain a passion for songwriting.
3. What would you have become if not for your music career?
Although my previous job was in accounts, I think I would have always edged towards a creative avenue whether that’s art or dance.
4. The song ‘Fighter’ was about being bullied and insecurities, written out of personal experience. Was it a relieve to get this powerful song out and gathering so much attention along the way?
Yes, it was great to be able to put my thoughts and feelings down that built up inside and channel them in a positive way. It’s certainly been amazing how many messages I’ve had from people saying how they can relate to my song whether it’s from bullying, addiction, heartbreak or another struggle.
5. Are you working on any new songs? On what journey are they taking us?
Definitely, I’m writing new material at the moment so I’ll keep working on new songs so that I can share a lot more music this year. I continue to write empowering songs but also write about other topics such as love and heartbreak.
6. What do you find most enjoyable in the music industry?
With the new digital music industry the ability to connect with so many people around the world with my music and help them based on my own experiences.
7. You also did a Songwriting Competition and reached the finals with your song ‘Fighter’. Will you do this again?
I’m truly grateful to have reached the finals in a number of songwriting competitions. Yes, I will look to submit music to songwriting competitions again, as I like to have a marker to know which songs resonate the most and to keep honing my songwriting craft.
8. What is your creative process when writing songs? When or how do you get your song ideas?
I don’t have a set way of writing, sometimes a melody will come into my head and other times I’ll come up with some lyric ideas or start playing chords on the piano and ideas start flowing from that. I do tend to start from the top down though i.e starting with the chorus/hook.
9. Do you experience writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
I’m most creative at night so I’m trying to get into more of a routine where I don’t leave it just down to when creativity strikes and instead plan to write, which I think helps with writer’s block. I do have a lot of half-finished songs though that I need to re-visit, where I started writing in the middle of the night and felt like I should get some sleep instead of finishing the song at that time.
10. Not every song can be a hit apparently. Do you sometimes write a song and it makes you laugh as the lyrics are just crazy funny and then what? Do you keep the song or do you throw it out?
I have one that I’ve just started writing called “Screw it” which is about having a rubbish day and giving in to the chocolate calling. I’m also trying to improve with my diet and fitness which is tough so I definitely feel this way at times with it. I’ll see how the song turns out when I’ve finished writing it as to whether I’ll get it produced or not.
11. Do you have any tips for other songwriters?
Never give up and keep learning.
12. Your last debut album ‘Breaking Barriers’ was produced by Studio Pros in LA, California. How did you come across them, living in the UK?
It was purely by doing a search on the internet and listening to music they had produced. I liked the idea of being able to get professional session players on recordings without having to hire a big studio. Production can also be very expensive so that was a factor too.
13. You love your dog, Casper a Golden Labrador, since when do you have him?
Yes Casper is very lovable, he’s now 5 years old and we’ve had him since a puppy…. I’m sure he still thinks he’s a puppy though.
14. We have a suburb on the Gold Coast called Labrador, would you consider moving there, if in Australia?
The Gold Coast certainly looks very beautiful and I would love to visit, although I think I would always like to live close to my family.
15. You play the piano, what made you choose this instrument?
I think because the piano is so versatile and you can create such beautiful harmonics with it. One day I’d love to own a grand or mini grand piano.
16. Do you play any other instruments?
I can strum a few chords on a guitar or Ukulele but no I don’t play any other instruments yet….maybe one day I’ll put more time into learning guitar.
17. You worked with producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Led Zepplin, Oasis)? How was that for you?
It was an amazing experience meeting Stuart at Rak Studios in London and being able to work on my song with him and find out more about who he had worked with and his experiences.
18. What was the one thing you took with you from the work experience with Stuart Epps?
I guess how important it is to get feedback on your songs from music industry professionals and be open to different ideas. I’m certainly very grateful to have had the opportunity to work directly with someone who’s had as much experience as he has in the music industry working with legends like Elton John, Led Zeppelin etc., and being able to play/sing through my song live with him.
19. What do you find most challenging in the music industry?
As an independent singer/songwriter you need to learn a lot of different areas of the business that you may not need to learn so much as a signed artist, so it can certainly feel overwhelming and a lot of fear does come into play.
20. What is the weirdest or funniest thing that happened to you?
Someone lifted me up mid song at a gig once and I just carried on singing horizontally in the air for the rest of the song. This spontaneous act was certainly appreciated by the audience.
21. Which movie describes your life best?
Probably Forrest Gump because he learned to “break his barriers” and achieve amazing things, plus the chocolate analogy is very fitting with my love of sweet things.
22. Have you planned any tours? Where will you be in 2020? What are your plans for the near future?
I’m focusing at the moment on building my online presence so that I can reach more people anywhere in the world easier, but playing my own music live is definitely something I plan to do. I am writing new material at the moment so will look forward to sharing more music this year.
23. Looking further into the future. Where will you be in 5 years from now?
Connecting with people on a much larger scale and writing a lot more music that resonates and can help people with the things that are happening in their lives. I think it would be amazing to be playing my own music live and be able to connect with fans that way too. Plus, I would also love to have music in TV/Film as I love movies so it would be amazing to see how my music could fit into a certain scene.
24. Do you have a message for your fans?
Yes, a huge thank you for being amazing and supporting my music, I truly appreciate it and am looking forward to sharing a lot more with you.
A legacy of passion: Herb Armstrong tells us how he keeps the legacy of his grandfather louis armstrong alive
Herb, thank you for your time. It is a pleasure to meet you. Let’s get started, shall we?
1) You were born in New Orleans, how do you remember your childhood?
Drug dealers, pimps, tailors and music at every house, every corner. Jug joints they called it.
You could hear Jazz, Blues and Soul in every household. Every Saturday from 9am till 10pm the music box was turned on. I remember my Mom took me to see James Brown in 1970. James took me on stage to dance with him. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be singer. The place was called the ‘Soul Bowl’.
2) You started to sing and perform by the age of 11. Why?
There was a Gospel choir, the Gospel Soul Children of America it was called. I just wanted to see and check it out. I liked it and started to sing in the choir.
3) When you were 14 years old, you went to your grandfathers funeral. You didn't really know Louis Armstrong. Did you follow his musical career?
Yes, of course. We listened to his songs at Storyville, New Orleans, all the time.
Later, my mother Decina met Louis Armstrong's son and I was born.
4) A huge crowd of 25,000 people attended your grandfathers' funeral, many entertainers such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. As sad as this moment must have been, did you get the chance to meet any of those famous entertainers?
Yes, I did. They told me to come and work in Las Vegas when I am older. And I did! I performed at the MGM Grand Hotel for 17 years. Eventually, I went back to perform at the Bourbon Street, the French Quarter of New Orleans. I missed the city vibe and the food.
5) What memories do you have of your grandfather since he died when you were young?
His strong presence. Wherever I went.
6) Who is left from the Armstrong family?
Charlie and Delores, which I have not met. Charlie lives in Russia and Delores in the UK. Both are singing.
7) How do you feel being one of the last ones left of the Armstrong family?
It feels like I am still carrying the torch. I don’t want his legacy to be forgotten.
9) You have been keeping his memory alive by playing and touring through the US when you were younger. Tell us about this experience.
It was an amazing experience. Always going to different towns and seeing the smiles of the people. How they cried, it touches my heart.
Even younger crowds are getting into it now, like Michel Buble.
10) What made you come to Australia?
I met an Australian woman in New Orleans. We got married. But when she got robbed at gun point, that’s when we decided to go to Australia.
11) You wear a read suit, is there a story to it?
Nah, I just like the color. It is a powerful color.
12) Which Louis Armstong song is your favourite?
“Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans.”
13) If it wouldn’t be for your music career what did you want to become when you were a child?
Bass singer with the Temptations.
14) Who else in your family went into the Music business?
My children are following my footsteps.
15) Do you play any instruments? Which one?
Yes, I play the piano.
16) Do you write you own songs?
Yes, I do.
17) What sort of music do you enjoy?
Latin, Classics, Blues, a bit of everything really.
18) Tell us about your best, funniest or most disastrous moments in show biz.
It was in New Orleans and this girl came running onto the stage, topless, but the security personal caught her before she could do anything. She was topless because it was Mardi Gras.
19) Thinking of animals, which animal would describe you best?
A bear, a polar bear.
20) Thinking about your music carrier, which movies would best describe it?
Dreamgirls, the Broadway Musical
21) What is your definition of Hard Work?
Getting up at 6am and to reach my goals. I find that empowering. I always try to reach my goals.
22) How do you feel going on stage?
Like it is my living room, I got you for an X-amount of time and I want you to feel comfortable and have the best time of your life.
23) Could you imagine singing in a different language?
Haha, yes, I would love to sing ‘A wonderful world’ in French.
24) How do you spend your holidays?
I love to visit Sydney.
25) What are your plans for 2020?
I don’t have a plan just yet, but I would like to tour more, Sydney, Melbourne, South Australia, Cairns. Never went to Northern Territory, I’d like to be there to be able to perform.
26) How do you interact with fans?
I always take the time to talk to everyone after the show.
27) Do you have a message for your fans?
Yes, I am most grateful for everyone who came to my shows. Knowing that I touched someone’s heart while singing, I know I have done my job.
28) Where will can we see you next?
Sunday 23.02.20 at the Paradise Point Bowls Club, Gold Coast, Queensland from 3-6 pm.
“WE GREW UP WATCHING HIS MOVIES AND ALL OF A SUDDEN HE SAT NEXT TO ME IN MY FAVOURITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT!"
MICAH WARZYWAK SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE MEETING TOM HANKS
Our friend Micah Warzywak was having a casual dinner with his friend Sarah at their favourite Mexican Restaurant Bonita Bonita in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast, Australia. While chatting and focusing on his yummy margaritas, a car parked in front of where they were sitting… At first, Micah didn’t recognise who got out of the car….then Tom Hanks and his crew end up sitting down at the table behind them.
Both, Sarah and Micah thought that an opportunity like this is “pretty cool and doesn’t happen often”…so, they asked Hanks if they can get a photo with him. After finishing dinner, Tom Hanks was like “ok, ok we now need to do a fun photo, let’s be exuberant instead of the normal cliché photo.” And they were all like: ok let’s spontaneously throw our hands up, haha!
I’ve never been “star struck” before.
And yes that’s my word to describe
the situation. Star struck.”
Micah describes Hanks as “so down to earth and such a kind-hearted fun man to be around.” And “of course I am still flashed and honoured that we have met him”.
The 2 -time Oscar winner Hanks has been around the Gold Coast over the past 2 weeks for an Elvis biopic that’s currently in production.
There might be more opportunities to run into the great man.....
Artist Scout – What is behind all this?
My name is JJ Goenen and I work for Claudia eRecords, an international Record Label based in the UK with locations in Germany and Australia.
I am an Artist Scout and when I tell someone who does not know me, their eyes open wide and their mouth forms an amazed “Oh”. Then the questions comes… “So you are doing what exactly?” Great question… hmmm, what does it mean being a talent scout and working for a label? Is that something like the Boy/Girl Scouts but for an artist? Do they learn how to survive in the woods trying to not use their guitar as firewood? Does singing in the woods saves them from being attacked by wild animals? That would be cool, but NO.
An Artist Scout is a person, who roams the streets and clubs, surfs the web, checks out the newsletters, influencers, Socials, playlists and charts, and listens to hints of friends in search of new artists. Whatever pops up and whoever has new music, original new music, is of interest to them. They are the ones that find the artists that are amazing, which you have not heard of yet. YET! Yes, Artist Scouts are the first to find that new sound for you. Maybe even set a new trend…Who knows!
Now, there are limitations. I do need to sleep, so roaming the streets at nights is not going to work too often. Surfing the web and checking out the Socials is more what I do. There are many different aspects and opportunities to find an artist, but my time is limited again. Too many channels, too little time. However, whatever catches my eye gets a click.
Noticed the hint? Yes, ‘Catches my Eye’. First of all you need good music. Yeah there is a lot of really good music out there and it has become hard to stand out in the eyes of industry people like myself. The overnight artist success stories are probably one in a million. It takes hard work, diligence and absolute dedication. Just be the best at what you do, and do it with passion and professionalism. A black or blurry thumbnail on your video will easily be overlooked.
Artists also need to be proactive. That starts from building your own fanbase, creating strong messages on Socials, generate press coverage and so on. No one is going to build it for you.
Treat your music as a business! If you have a poor online presence or poor content to share, you won't create any noise and you will also be easily overlooked.
I love my friends and I love it that they think of me and point out artists that they think I will like. Yes, I do check them out, but not all of them are what I am looking for.
Ok, so WHAT am I looking for? Well, Rock, Pop, EDM, Dance, Indie Pop, Soul, RnB, HipHop and sometimes Rap too. BUT hey, it needs to be good. Uhm, what does THAT mean now?
To be good has many aspects. Taste is an aspect as well.
Then there is the production, the voice, the melody, the recognition effect.
In short, if you ‘produce’ your song in the bathroom with your mobile phone….umm nooooo.
Your voice, be honest, are you off key? Are you hitting the note? Singing too high and it hurts your ear? Well, guess how I feel? I click the stop or next button. Worst case, I shut down my computer, no, that actually has never happened before 😉.
The melody has many different factors, such as “Hey, that sounds exactly like XYZ”, um! Is that good or bad? Well, if you copy the melody of a famous song… it is not new apart from copyright issues that you may end up with. Or if one cannot distinguish where the actual chorus starts and the verse begins…what? hang on, where?...Structure is important as well.
Yes, it is your song, your style, and no, not every song is a chart-breaker and yes again, so many aspects.
BUT – NEVER GIVE UP! It is your passion as it is mine. Keep making music, keep contacting people and keep sending it to me. You can reach me under www.claudiaerecords.com via the SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC button or connect with me via Socials below.
Next time I will let you know what I need to consider when listening to new songs. My taste alone does not give you the ‘Thumbs Up’. I know, I am sad about it too, but watch this space and you will get a better idea. See You next time.
Thank you for your support and keep the music coming.
Zacharria fuses his true vocal ability of over 4 octaves with a sophisticated combination of pop, soul and electronic. He draws inspiration from artists like Childish Gambino, Lauryn Hill and Frank Ocean - but with a sound as unique as his songwriting.
His natural talent combines a powerful voice with diverse and addictive songwriting - effortlessly moving between modern electronic sounds and acoustic vibes.
Originally from Adelaide, born to Greek Cypriot parents, Zacharria has been writing original music since his early teens. His coming of age story contains lyrics of deeper content cloaked in catchy melodies and a fresh beat to match. His introspective and direct approach covers and adventurous journey of emotion - stories of love, loss and standing up for his truth.
Fresh FM votes Zacharria as "Fresh New Artist" and Triple J Unearthed agrees. European radio stations are catching on too: His debut single "It's Been So Long" reached #1 on the Swiss Dance Charts.
Following this early success, Zacharria's freshman single - "Living Without You", remixed by the uber-talented TOP50 DJ producer Thomas Godel topped Austrian and Switzerland charts and is set to break new ground with his latest single "YOU".
Currently in Sydney, Zacharria has been working in the studio recording a number of fresh new songs to be released throughout 2019. Explore his upbeat yet soothing sound and see why his music has caught the attention of international DJ’s and producers who have re-invented his music for the EDM club scenes.
In his own words, "For me, writing songs is a way to put my life experiences into 3-minute time capsules which make you move but also make you think. Music has always been a healer for me, and this is my way of sharing what I've learnt along the way".
Natalie Gauci is a Musician. Natalie won Australian Idol in 2007, has a platinum album and a gold single.
Natalie is an International Artist and Inspirational Speaker, who sings and writes Soul and Jazz music. Natalie is also a Spiritual Healer, Teacher and Shaman. She can blow you away with her powerful voice, take you on a journey with her music and live performances.
Natalie released her last single “Back To Life” in June 2019 where she teamed up with platinum selling artist and DJ Thomas Godel to create magic. Thomas has taken Natalie’s powerful heartfelt vocals and lyrics and created a new fresh beat that will make you want to dance, workout, put up the volume in your car while you drive and hit the clubs!
“Back To Life” debuted at #16 on the UK Club Charts alongside Kylie Minogue, where we have two Australian platinum and gold artists, dominating the top 20 charts. Natalie also entered as best new artist in the Swiss Dance Charts, climbing from #75 to #20 in just one week.
Natalie says she subconsciously wrote “Back To Life” about herself. After her big Idol win, she lost her way and turned her back on fame. Now, she truly believes that building a strong foundation is the secret to long lasting success. “We can have all the fame and fortune, and still feel lost and anxious, but when we build something together, on the basis of love and have a strong support network, we can move mountains”.
After her baby break, Natalie is back in business and is currently working on new songs that will be released throughout 2020 with 'Heartbeat' being her next single coming out in March 2020.
Eloisa Cullington embodies the sound of nu-jazz, effortlessly floating between old-school live elements and the latest electronic production treatments.
Cullington has toured and performed around Australia and Europe, collaborating with producers including Flight Facilities, Jim Finn of Art vs. Science and Tyler Touché. Inspired by contemporary R&B and soul artists such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Sade, Eloisa’s music is sensitive, insightful and real.
There will be more music coming from Eloise throughout 2020. Stay tuned for any updates!