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Feature: Staghorns on music, Mental health & creativity

Staghorns a part of  the metropolitan  sound of  music  subculture in Tel aviv talking about Mental health , creative outlets, life and his music ventures.

I’ve been sitting on Staghorns for a couple of months – another great Soundcloud discovery. I connected body, mind and soul with Tel Aviv native-born Staghorns -Shlomi’s track -Outfluence.
The track’s title is the opposite of influence listening to this track conjures colours, soft textures, a breezy summer house tune. It is playful. ‘Outfluence’ and a couple of his other tracks ‘Uneasy Dave’ and another track yet to be released take you on a journey into the very heart of Tel Aviv’s thriving electronic dance music culture.

Staghorns music is inviting the world to enjoy the sounds of Tel Aviv’s music subculture: the message seems to be about Freedom. His sound is infectious without the unwanted side effects of living in a COVID 19 World. Staghorns other tracks are typically optimistic, he experiments with ambient sounds and swings right over the sensual acid synth sounds of electronic dance music.

I love the track Outfluence – it has so much energy and bounces.

Hello Staghorns! Thank you so much for doing this Feature. Firstly I want to say I love the new video for your track ‘Outfluence’. Can you tell me more about how it came about?

 

A page   LoDisco makes videos for hobbies and wanted to make a video and I appreciate it very much.

(LoDisco  promotes upcoming artists in the LoFi disco and LoFi House scene  -Join channel on LoDisco

How did the name Staghorns come about?

Okay, my family name is Zvi (pronounced Tzvi) which is a stand for Stag and a Staghorn is a very interesting plant.

(Okay I’m going to have to look that one up. I am such a geek haha! )

Me too -lol

What if anything inspired your track and your music?

My interest comes from my own trying to make sense of life and living, through the game of parallel sound channels, learning through a playful process.

When/What made you start playing music?

When I was young, I had a Yamaha PSR e413, which is an entry-level keyboard, it had some cool sounds on it and I learned how to record songs into it.

What genres of music do you like to perform in?

House music

What kind of people connect with you and your music?

Most of the people I know feel open with me, and they also feel open with my music, even though some of them are not familiar with electronic music.

What quote/sentence would you say best describes you and your music?

Looping the loops

Going back to ‘OutFluence’ I was drawn to the Alan Watts-esque sample 

Actually in Outfluence I sampled a Psychiatric from YouTube who talks about how to handle with anxiety. but maybe he cited Alan Watt? I don’t know. 

Who are your influences in music? And why?

Tiga, Four Tet, Booka Shade – They came through my mind when I thought “wow I want to make something like this!” while listening to them.

When you think/see the two words Creativity & mental health what 3 words come to mind for each one.

Creativity – Art, Sex, Ideas
Mental Health – Anxiety, Depression, Addiction

How does being creative help you?

Being creative helps me express myself.

What are your experiences or views with on mental health issues and the music & entertainment industry?

Music can be something to lean on, especially if you create it yourself…mmm I’ve been struggling with anxiety all my life, 10 months ago I decided to take care of it seriously.

Have you had negative experiences in your life that drew you to a creative outlet like music? And if so how did exploring your creativity help you?

Sometimes when I have bad dreams it affects the mood of my next creation.

(I think I can relate. When a person’s Mental Health becomes unwell -for myself it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘OutFluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health -isolation, fear, etc.)

Is there a bigger message you are trying to send out and what is your message?

The bigger message is an oldie but a goodie…
Telling my story as a legitimate one and hoping the effect is contagious…

It is a crazy world we live in. What is life like for people living in Tel-Aviv with COVID?

It’s hard to see the city shut down during lockdown, especially after you experience how vivid Tel Aviv is.

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

it’s a work in progress.
I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process.
Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

What is the weirdest job you have had?

I was an Escape Room operator

(Haha! Funny & cool too. That is ironic in the sense that Anxiety is about escaping form what we are trying to feel as opposed to embrace our fears and conquer our goals.

Your new track ‘ Uneasy Dave’ (Big Momma’s House Records) has a great acid sound to it. It’s an intriguing title.

Uneasy Dave is a pun
It’s like Uneasy Day

but Uneasy Dave stands for a character who feels uneasy and shy. if you hear the first 2 seconds of the track, you’ll hear a “heh…” a sound of discomfort

(The first words that came to my mind when I heard the track is that is creative, innovative, sensual – the title seems to tie in with the anxiety and mental health issues yourself and many other people can find deliberating to live with at times…)  

 

 

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

 

it’s a work in progress.

I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process. 

Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

(I think I can relate.In my opinion when my Mental Health becomes unwell – it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘Outfluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health-isolation, fear & other symptoms people can find debilitating to live with at times)

(It has been fun and pleasure collaborating with you and finding out something about Israel’s electronic house scene and I appreciate you opening up about your own Mental health issues and how creativity has helped you embrace and improve your Mental Wellbeing).

FOLLOW STAGHORN

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Toxic positivity culture

Most of us are aware that suicide attempts are on the rise at an explosive rate.

We all don’t want to see or hear someone who thinks the only way out of life is taking their own life.

We are told to talk about our feelings. Get it all out & call for a chat if we need anything.

People have to get on with their lives.

What if the help they are advised to seek out isn’t there or doesn’t help?

What about our ethical stance or views about people who want to end their lives?

Can we become open to challenging our views and reasons for helping people without being able to have a lasting impact on those people who still have to live with the aftermath of wanting to die?

Of course ,we are humans with complex emotions & at times deep compassion & empathy. We want to help or fix other people.

How do you feel about

Someone with a degenerative disease such as MS who has lost her soulmate & wants to end Life?

Or a man with a family to protect who is struggling financially & can’t see a way out either through shame or pride to seek out help or because they refuse to live in poverty so takes his life so his family can live on his Life insurance?

What can you do to make a positive long lasting change in their mind set or circumstances?

Does it soothe our conscience

We can admonish we have done the right thing

Acts of Altruism?

What about a teenager with body issues, relationship problems, a person.

Who sees no way out?

What if the places we signpost him to get help can’t or doesn’t help?

Well.. at least we tried to be a good person..

Instinctively we feel that it would be wrong to not want to help.

We live in a society where we are bound by outdated traditions, people who believe rhat by giving a person a poster can guide a person to change their perspective .

I believe the quality of life should matter more than the quantity.

I also believe that a teenager or a man in serious debt may be able to find guidance and be able to deal with the desire to die.

When it comes to illnesses I watched my own grandmother become an entity merely existing because that is what. society says we should do. Keep her alive.

Keep people alive even if that life is in a care home, unable to speak, move.

We don’t have enough resources to help people in state care homes to signpost these people to places where they can have a chance to rethink how they can live with a sense of purpose.

I’ve seen people I love live on a “leash” tied to life for what? other peoples peace of mind?

If we can’t get the resources to help people see a way out must they suffer their entire mortal life in mental anguish & physical torture?

What gives life meaning?

Purpose?

Finding a way to grow, achieve happiness – evolve as we have been designed to as humans?

We were born to live in our physical bodies and create a life worth living. To be able to say at the end of our lives that we died knowing for what purpose we had lived.

Daedelus

My first introduction to Daedelus (Alfred Darlington)was this track- I was mesmerised by the scattered, schismatic  bassline .This is track reinvented  my idea of  the soul element in music . Up until today, I had no idea how many albums/projects and collaborations Daedalus has done.

I didn’t know much about Daedelus. Last year  I came across an interview conducted by power duo/husband and wife  -(two artists I rate)
DComplex aka Daniel Chavez aka DComplexity
& Mondaine aka Lorena Chavez

FUSION [DIGITAL INFINITI] interviewed Daedelus in 2019 before his latest album release ‘the wand won’t break’.

Their interview gives more insight into  the Daedelus’ inspirations & his views on Juke and footwork movement. A style of music Mondaine, Fusion Digital Infiniti embrace

Breaking down the barriers of language,
location, tempos, genres;
through the Infinite Vibes of
technology, music and dance.
Endless gratitude goes out to all of the
music lovers, artists and supporters of:
Fusion Digital Infiniti

SOUNCLOUD

The wands won’t break ‘ tracks are short & the album seems to be made up of interludes. He has taken inspiration from the (deceased) Ras G. Daedelus’ album is a triumph.

‘The wand is not broken’ solidifies Daedulus as a  true disciple of Ras G sharing an audacious creative vision to push the boundaries of sound.

The results of these disjointed  soundbytes interweave  creating another layer merging into a soundscape of critical cosmological proportions

Ras G – RAS G AND AFRO FUTURISM  ARTICLE.

 

Afro Futurism & Ras G

‘Dub -verb, to make space – COLDCUT A-Z

Remember this track?

When I first heard and watched this video I knew I had come across something cosmic. Something bigger & more striking to any other the song or video I can recall watching at that time. I loved the colours  & surreal animation.

This was my first introduction to  Afro-Futurism music- the black man’s perspective of science in the future.

Listen up! Lose one sense to finely tune another sense. Time to rely on imagination & see what visuals come up. It’s strange how certain sounds can bring up emotions to identify. I find it harder to identify emotions without a visual. Another post for another time.

This was on my first introduction to Ras G & the Afrikan space program.

I was intrigued by Africa’s space program. Do they have one?

Yes, they do.

More than I thought

South Africa & Nigeria are the few countries who have an actual Afronaut.  Yes,  there are afronauts.

Edward Makuka Nkoloso Initiated a space program involving a lady and two cats travelling to the moon

Sadly, he did not raise the £7 million to achieve his dream.

I have a dream – Martin Luther King.

Not even  Martin’s homies believed that they would ever have a civil right to be a black human being.

Dreams are only goals with no structure.

Knowledge and education and an open mind led to a group of thoughts to come together, united by challenging their beliefs about who they were & what they wanted. THINK TANK often turns into a WAR TANK

We don’t look agree with slavery, do we?

Slaves accepted that they couldn’t achieve what was not even a dream.

Add in a spark of hope and Edwards space program involving sending

two cats to Mars shows me- a man using the tools he has. Logistics are subject to change.

I definitely recommend checking out his Back on the planet album too. (2009)

Though to be honest, I didn’t warm to the entire album initially. I had to get in the zone ( haha!)

I had an invitation to textural soundscapes that put me out of my comfort zone.  Change?  Never!

Open your ears 

open your mind philosophy 

Let’s take a trip somewhere

 You are not in control.

This thought-

Instructions: Just, let go

Led me to listen again & again.

I  admire Ras G’s execution of pushing the boundaries of the sound of all his cultural roots.

The Cosmic vocal samples maintain the essence of Soul & Hip-hop. He creates extraterrestrial sounds revelling in traditional Dub & reggae.

I feel this album is a triumph in not defining itself anything than an exploration of the space between what we hear & what I believe

It is a musical philosophy.  The core idea demonstrates the scattering soundscape of the global communities of Africa.

Ras G adapts the essence of ‘ never forgetting to understand our roots & to grow, breathe new life into old traditions.

Invent new traditions.  Be playful.

I think to the know the future you need to know where you come from.
To have self-identity  -exploration evolves from the seed of History.

Science creates miracles & monsters created by man. People over the history of our lifetime have done atrocious acts in the name of Acquisition of power & wealth. The cost is humanity.

The cost is a barren crop.

Nurture Life
Mother nature

This album is or dedication to the Afro-futurism genre.

“The womb is The Stargate of Humanity,” he says. “Stargate Music is a record that I livicated to the Womb-man … to the Vagina, The Stargate from which beings emanate life on this planet. I gathered these sound pieces and presented them as a reflection of the life cycle of beings on this planet.”
RAS G AND THE AFRIKAN SPACE PROGRAM ‎– BACK ON THE PLANET (2017

Ras G is an abstract thinker. I’m closer to understanding what he is doing with music- genres & sub-genres. I’m surprised & impressed.  I suggest listening to this album & getting a new perspective.

What’s the worst that can happen?
You don’t like it?
You find out something new about life?
Or yourself?

Los Angeles based music producer Ras G ( Gregory shorter Junior) & the African space program passed away on 06/08/2109. The is a cause of death is not fully know

He travelled in his mind & I had an invite. Stream of consciousness is my preferred style of travelling.

What is afro-futurism in music culture?

Afrofuturism: reimagining science and the future from a black perspective. … In the way that film noir functions as a genre, or jazz as a musical style, Afrofuturism are a philosophy that can be simultaneously obvious and vague in its identity, bounded and porous in its edges.

The Guardian

Once I started researching into Ras G & Afro-Futurism I’m immersed in researching it outside of music too.

An intriguing article to read is CULTURE: Afrofuturism reimagining science & the future from a black perspective

A few well-known Afrofuturism artists are

I love this statement below because life is colourful -Black & White shades, not hues.

Music can make you engage & think.

Afro-futurism is evidently more than a style or genre of music it is an ideology. It has been noted that Afro-futurism dismissed and challenged the idea that all things futuristic are white or even black.

The album is abstract & challenging without being overly nostalgic.
There are often many moments when the soundscape or rhythm propels my emotions to flit between the past & the future. The journey is Marvel -esque.

Black Panther!

Bank of Sound Feature -Ghostown

All the people I’ve ever asked to do a feature I usually know nothing about so it’s good to know where to find you.

Who is Ghostown? 

Ghostown is made up
Of Rael and D.J. Kirsa.  They do go  by various other monikers.

Their music  style is smelting pot  d hip-hop, mixed with  old school  breakbeats,  they  merge with   trip hop and use bass. They prefer  creating their own samples.

There is a hint of Balkan eastern  folk  hop music.

For this upcoming album a family  acquaintance, PEDRO gero donated a few samples  for Rael to mess about with to complement to the upcoming album.

They have 6 albums released   Culture Vulture 2004 Reflectionz       2009
Spektah Gadjo 2013 Shanksville      2018
Wuchak            2019
And their current album
Fringehead       2020

Ghostown performed extensively yet sporadically mostly in France, playing at alternative festivals with the likes of

  • Balkan Beat Box
  • Chinese Man
  • Degiheugi
  • Brain Damage
  • Beat Assailant
  •  

  The first track that  Ghostown released in May 2020is the scintillating ‘Butterfly. It’s s an upbeat melodywith positive  lyrics that flow with the ups and downs of life  & reality.

It is a theme around doing ones best in life no matter what.

RAEL

 

On ghostown’s  Youtube channel , there is a playlist to show the progress of the tracks that have been released  and to help fans and keep up to date with  the albums next move.

Here is a link to take you directly to that YouTube playlist –  ‘FringeHead’

It was written in May because there are references to the curent period we’re living in. The video was created around social distancing. I called D.J. Kirsa and told him about an idea i had and he was up for it.

‘Butterfly’ is the first track ttaken  off the  new album . The release date will be around  September/October.

The name  of the album will most likely be ‘Fringehead’ which makes reference to a  strange sarcastic fish.

It is actually going to be 20 songs but 5 will be interludes.

Going back to the Jonny Marre tapes  & the Je ei ,marre saying, 

I really like  how the  Butterfly video is produced. I’ve noticed that in most of the videos that  I have seen of your work you don’t show yourselves in any of them..
I impressed with how well the video and track is made. It’s  a long process of finding an audio sample to fit with an animation clip and get the timing precise. I would be really proud of myself if it was my work. 

I don’t  know whether you are consciously aware of how  your first time self editing , possibly helped you come up with an idea where  both you and Kirsa overcame  a way to not fixate on your  hermit  trait.
You managed to overcome that obstacle and find a creative outlet with the cartoonish video and broke the boundaries to express yourself and challenge yourself.

Thank you so  much  for the chat. It was insightful  and  I  I  can’t  wait to hear more tracks  off the album.

 

No, its the first time ,really

screenshot_20200802-203428_youtube3541101127954560808.jpg

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BANDCAMP

Thoughts about Kacimi

I spent hours listening to this song over and over gain

writing this word

that word

Until I come out with this statement

This song portrays a horrific and tragic reality of how many people control how they perceive themsleves in life( including myself).

I refused to loook up the google french to English translation until I was able to write up my transaltion and my own understanding of these lyrics.

The song unfolds in a folk campfire style of nrrating a story within a song-This style lent it a stream of consciousness narrative trail that I often respond well too.

Once I grasped what and possibly why this song has a strong hold of my emotions, I decided to watch the Avante Garde esque animation video

Before I watched and listened to the the lyrics I had this image of a man.

A surly , brooding Serge Gainesbourg character swaggering confidently in a world he clearly has no control over.

His response to being held back by a natural depression in the centre of his universe. He never appears in awe of his world nor being distracted by all the world has to offer.

It becomes apparent he never truly gets out of this depression because it hascarved a groove deep into the centre of his own universe.

There is always an invitation to listen or to watch or take action.

That is what people do in life.

We can be nonchalant spectators.

we listen ,

we watch ,

we sing ,

we live,

We cry

We forget

We love

We remeber

We lose

We die

I cried when I heard the this verse

I’ve never felt so alone not since I was a child.

I felt my heart wrench for that lonely child -every moment that I felt like that lonely child.

I think too much -over analyse

Always thinking

thinking without end or taking nor taking action in this existence.

The song has a positve message to impart. If we feel alone we will remain alone in our solitude. We can find a way tp be strong & embrace our inner selves. Unaware as we may be to the inbetween moments of life through to death.

The french words are a reminder of the voices I don’t hear speaking speak to me any longer.

I made a decision to teach my daughter a few phrases.

The song & the video shows the many you can go on the journey of life -come across many places and meet people, but there is only one person wh can put one foot ahead and carry on with life’s :seemingly childsh sick imagination

No matter how it appears to toy with us -we can’t ever give up on the beautiful.ideal of life.

No matter how many times we are kicked in the teeth or refuse to partake or play natures rules.

In the end( like at the end of the song) a creature lets out a sqwark .

reminding we can never take our eyes off life for long when we have no choice but to face it.

Life with it’s ability to grow wings , beat and fly away from us -yet we still admire it.

To be a bird -is it freedom? Life is simple it requires that we live.

That is it.

Breathe, and live our life and become aquainted with all parts of our characters.

la vie ce’st une grand ville – life is a big place.

It will shake us in side out until we beg it to let us leave this place.

This song makes me feel like I i have loved and lost and should have no regrets yet i still do.

Well, that is my take on the song..

I looked up the english translation becuse my transaltion will be a bit different.

It is a triste song filled with a tiny grain of hope.

Don’t die looking for hope because hope –it is already inside us.

Life is in us and it is bigger than us.

To die living within oursleves and never experienceing the external joy of life must be a horrible regret to have as a ladt moment before death intoxicates us

I love this song because it makes me cry and it reminds me that I’m not the only Depressed muppet living in the world.

Life is a choice and a blessing.

We are not wired to let go of life no matter how hard and lonely and barren it is.

One hug will leave us intoxiated in love with the idea of life. It may turn out to be our last breathe.

He had just turned twenty
Far away in the atoll lay asleep
The hopes of a being; he searched in vain
The lost sacred fire of the great shiver

Under the fiery rays of a black sun
His hope was packed
While morality watched him.

And he had never felt so alone
In this bottomless pit
Where tangible reveries
Meet gloomy gray columns.
He had just turned twenty,
And life was spread out before him.

In a house, flanked by the hearth
A blackened fireplace in the living room
Sprawled injustice, languid.
And in its pale orbits shone
The two (soft?) Reflections of a world which sheltered
A madness as possessed.

 

And he had never felt so alone
In this bottomless pit
Where tangible reveries
Meet gloomy gray columns.
He had just turned twenty,
And life was spread out before him.
The haggard eye, the wet mouth and forehead,
The contemplative mind, the empty gaze
He thought he held the night in his hands.


And while he thought he was finally touching
The mysteries, his anguish with his fingers,
The beauty preferred to dissipate.

 

And he had never felt so alone
In this bottomless pit
Where tangible reveries
Meet gloomy gray columns.
He had just turned twenty,
And life was spread out before him.
Loneliness, he knew her;
Always lurking in every nook and cranny,
To mope and twist into strips.
He found in her arms a comfort
That never ceased to intoxicate him;
A bittersweet pleasure that put him to sleep.

Bank of Sound Feature : Marc OFX

Finally, I managed to get a few words from, Mark OFX.  YAY!

 

What inspired you to do your latest EP -FREEDOM?

The freedom EP was inspired by all the floppy disks I used to record in my computer . They were old material I used with my mate Hootch Music

They were old samples from CD and vinyl

I’ve noticed your latest EP FREEDOM is crossing into the footwork era movement.

Yes I love to

How many beats per min have you used for this EP?

The bpm of footwork is 160 or 80

Who has inspired you to venture into this movement and energetic style?

A DJ friend introduced me to this style of music .Ilove this mix of hip-hop jungle and techno.

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How, Why and What led you to have chosen your creative career?

I think I don’t have choose music, music came to me.

Like a evidence (more apparent) 

Ok. Were. you born with a musical soul and passion to create sound?

No it came at 14/15 years old.

Ok, what changed in your life to get you involved in making music?

I discovered Jimi Hendrix and it was like… this is what I want to do all my life

Yeah, he is cool. Very cool! Haha! 

Did you have the vision  to make a certain sound expressing yourself as Marc OFX-?

I first tried rock because of Hendrix. But I was more touched by black music. At the beginning, I used 4 tracks tape recorder and after a sampler. The idea was to create everything myself. I use Reason essentially, a lot of samples and some hardware synth sometimes

Interesting. Were you influenced by Chicago house scene to mixtapes?

 Where do you find your inspiration for sounds? what /how do you work in the studio 

I was not so influenced by house but more by hip hop and later jungle drum and bass

I searched for all classic samples in funk to rap

I made a soundcloud page for classic samples to download freely

With my personal sound bank

Starving Loop Machine

Classic Samples and Loops in WAV and Free Download. Give Food to your sampler!

soundcloud.com

WOW! You created all this?

Not my own samples. 

Classic old school samples

 

what else do you love to do apart from music?

I love my wife lol

 

What inspires you to keep making music?

I do my job for pay the bills

 what does creativity mean to you?

For me creativity is the fact to could create something that doesn’t exist yet

oh, and who do listen to currently?

A lot of drum and bass and Jazz hip hop

Any specific bands or musicians?

  • Tribe called quest

  • Bob Marley

  • Massive Attack

  • Miles Davis

  • John Coltrane

  • Prince

Good list.

What is your favourite quote in French or English?

Serge Gainsbourg

Ooh, what quote of the Serge Gainsbourg do you like?

Couleur café

(song  or quote ?)

Chanson! What does mean quote?

citation

L’Amour physique est sans issue

Listen on BANDCAMP

SOUNDCLOUD

 

My thoughts on toking humanity

*Apologies for the long preamble. I have so much respect for many people /bloggers – people who have never met me. Read my words. I read theirs and I grew as a person by becoming part of a community. I believed kt thrives on communication, collaborating, engaging with others. I stopped reading other peoples blogs for 3 years I have felt anything but human. *

These are simple words about a complex subject.

Humanity!

Pattie

This is a long-overdue post that I’m not just copying and pasting it. I am embracing the power of human gesture and I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t pass this on to someone and all the coincidence will turn into moments of synchronicity.

Patty helped me (via email with messages and ideas to give me support ) and she genuinely wanted me to be as well as I could and can be.

I’ve just found a rough draft that explains what the token of humanity is, my intentions were good, for sure.

At that time I was in a shockingly wrong &  degrading mental & emotional state. Clearly, on the wrong blog too. Haha!

Apologies for taking so long to pass on the token of humanity.

It’s taken me a very long time to know what my writing “niche ”   is like I have to choose one thing. Who said I had to choose one thing I’m passionate about and can only write about and be successful by my standards in multiple creative outlets. For the record, I draw stick figures. I would rock an abstract painting into an explosion of rich reds, greens, ambers, browns -maybe purple. I had the idea that my chosen creative outlets need to ground me too. I can’t always be high or euphoric when I’m doing good. I need to honour my humanity and fight through every dark day.

I always say how blessed I am, and then do strange behaviours like trying to take my life, hurting myself and my family. A token of something if giving someone else hope in another moment, another day or even another person. I know this because I am this person receiving this gesture to carry on with what makes a smile.

I’m scared of failing and now I have people to keep me busy I’m beginning to think I am a  novice human being.

I’m not going to give up living my life and being a good soul who enjoys mixing with people who also want to spread happiness and inspiration into other peoples lives if only for one poem, or one post or one painting or one DJ set, one album, and the list goes on.

My Life, my values, passions and even my choice of my studies are proof that I am a true heart wearing humanitarian and I write for and about humanity and the beauty and culture I see in humans. We’re not all monsters yet.

I admire Dreampack and writers and humanitarian organisations who remind me that we have the ability to do something. Sometimes we can get too wrapped up in our own life shit.

It strikes me as ridiculous that it’s taken so long to know where my energy and where the focus of my writing and the kind of people I want to get know. I mean I’m not bigging myself up but I have a piece of headed paper with my name and letters after saying I am a pOST (haha) graduate in the humanities & still looking at the work  I have done and How I feel I thrive when I’m fulfilling my piece of paper to prove that I can’t hide from myself any longer, help others then pretend that I have it all figured out. I don’t.

I’m grateful to the people I’ve met here and on social media and in real life who have unknowingly given the courage to carry on with not doing 1 thing.  I had a long chat with a very talented. spoken word performance artist on Zoom ( we chatted for 3 hours) and he explained that he is not a fan of silly labels.

He refuses to let himself, his doubts, his family society, his emotions ranging from heartbreak o anger to rage to love to insert emotion here. I’m glad I recovered 3 hours of a very informal and fun interview on zoom. I’m honoured to have had the chance for him to tell me his story, share his words and encourage me  (without me telling him0 that I could be well and stay well and still get high on what I love to do. No one can take away what I was born to do. Unlesss they cit all my fingers and toes off but then I wouldn’t keep quiet. I would continue to express myself and validate myself as much as ai validate and believe e in people when they are going through shit.  Express me so that I can be happy, feel human, feel piece and not apologise to people who don’t deserve my energy.

My energy is better-served typing and spreading the essence and the energy and power that the token of humanity means.

It isn’t a way to get more follower/fans/glory in my opinion. It’s way to reconnect with the right people and keep connecting with people who Bring out this side of me.

I will feel I have helped others in their dark moments when these same people I communicate with when their sky looks full of soggy, soggy wet, grey clouds drenched droplets of more doubt

I can say it to my people: it will pass because that is what they tell me. I might mot believe but eventually, I thank them or hug them.

Life can be a shit storm. I stopped reaching out to our community because I had lost hope in the one outlet that doesn’t destroy me. What my creative outlets are given more writing to do. \I’m terrified I have3 hours of material to write what I’ve called the wordsmith feature- Andrew.

I want my words and what I felt from our conversation and exchanging of ideas – I want to give his words, time and talent justice. I want his story to encourage people, inspire hope.

I have another feature I’ve been dipping in and out of and perhaps I have; be clear about what I want to get across the doc features on people who choose to keep focused on their with creative outlets. I want to promote the gift that creativity can do to still the mind and to heal if you are patient, kind to yourself and others and willing.

So I’m overwhelmed and terrified of I screw up 6 GMAGS  feature because I respect the effort and passion he has for his creative outlets. I respect he has and is willing to talk about the uglier moments of life that have led to the awesome moments – that may not have happened if he didn’t. I’m working with 6 Mag to work out a feature.

FEATURE 6 MAG    work in progress

If you want to hear some of there older material

My final token of humanity is one I’m terrified of. screwing up because the man is a genius, elusive. He first turned me down for a feature saying he does not speak good English to do feature interview.  and I persisted and wrote in very bad french -not giving up the chance he may change his mind and I’m not going to give up because every song I’ve listened so far and the small communication we have had or stuff he shared with me led me to discover an artist that blew  MY mind. I encourage everyone to On the music and listen to her sport, the fusion, the soul; her energy. She embodies the soul and humanity.

read about her story here.

The Token of Humanity, brought to you by Humanity Lives On and Dreampack, is aimed at creating awareness on the impact of what an act of humanity could carry not only towards the life of another but your own as well.

It is in dedication to bringing knowledge that by surfacing compassion, spreading kindness and caring for what surrounds one’s environment is what acts as breath for your soul to live on in this world.

Without souls, we are just a mind that gets busy over-thinking about a lot of ongoing relating to oneself, a body that on parallel terms goes by what our instincts asks us to and a heart that beats in silence.

Bring our Soul Back to Life

Every week, we will pass on this Token of Humanity to those, no matter their circumstances, contribute to reviving Humanity.  With utmost appreciation the first three Beautiful Souls we selected:

  1. Natasha -Daisy into willows

  2. BrookeThe Utopia Universe

Bank of Sounds Feature :Dee Wallz

When I first heard this track (2018) on hype machine. My curiosity stirred from the intro of ‘PlayStation'( a sample is taken from one of the most iconic game systems start-up theme ever) I have listened to this track at least 80 times since finding it on hype machine..

*The inspiration for the track came following a break up with an ex-girlfriend and Dee went into his studio, let all the creativity and emotions pour out and the result was this.

I’ve been listening to a few of Dee’s tracks over the past year. I particularly relate to his introspective approach to his lyrics and subtle wry humour.

I decided to get in touch( and after many months of sorting out how we would go about doing it ). I’m so grateful for Dee’s patience in helping me gain the courage to do my first feature interview on my blog.

So who are you?

I’m Dee Wallz one of the best up and coming rappers lol

Yeah man, I love your optimistic attitude. You do have a great flow and rhythm, and a distinct voice that has developed over the last 2 years.

How old are you? ( little ice breaker haha)

I’m pretty old now lol I’m 22

Yeah, you are so old. You come across as rather driven and focused for someone in their 20’s. No offence Though one source I found claims that you were 25 in 2017! )

*To clarify Dee is 27 & still young.*

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Memphis, TN but I’m living in the great city of Houston Tx .

What put you on the music path?

I actually started writing with my cousin Jarvis in Mississippi, I did it for fun but I really became dedicated to it in my hometown of Memphis, at the age of 13. And I’ve been writing ever since.

That’s pretty cool. Memphis is a hub for musical talent. So many great artists like Wendy Rene, Aretha Franklin come from Memphis. Its a place with an intense political history. And it’s where civil rights activist Martin Luther King was assassinated. You have that MLK track. It is a place where many iconic artists such as Louie Armstrong have gone to perform and been well received and perhaps been inspired by politics. You rap with so much depth & soul. There is nothing ugly about your rapping style.

Why do you continue to do music?

To me it’s therapeutic for me whether talking about my life experiences and/or it allows to express my creativity with my wittiness and wordplay.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

I definitely look up to guys like Jay Z and Nas, I love their growth, being just great artist (s). And now seeing how successful they are in other business ventures inspires me.

What influences your music?

My musical influences are from all over the place. From J Cole, Nas, Lil Wayne, T.i, MF DOOM, Big KRIT Jay Electronica, Jay Z, Elzhi, Royce da 5’9 and Phonte are the few that come to mind. Basically all of the top tier lyricists.

Have you ever released an album/or intend to?

Not yet but very soon so stay tuned. Right now I’m just releasing singles.

watch this space!

I know you’ve done a few collaborations with other music artists. It’s a great way to get into the industry.

I’ve collaborated with one of the dopest females rappers out of Cali by the name of MaCita on a remix of my song “Sorry, I Don’t Know You” and I’ve collaborated with my boy out of Memphis Capo Montana and my guy from New Orleans, King Studio Best.

Who do you believe would buy/listen to your music?

I believe my music has widespread appeal. So I think I’ll connect with all races, ages, genders and everyone around the world of different cultures. I’ve actually had my music streamed in 16 countries. So I truly believe that.

That’s cool. I too truly believe that music transcends language. It is the one common unifier and music brings people together.

What newspapers, magazines, tv shows, trade papers, or blogs have you been featured in?

I have been featured in The Word is Bond, EAR MILK which is two of my favourite blogs and I hope to be featured in a lot more.

Why should people care about you and your music(it’s a cutthroat industry to get in to)?

I feel like I give my story and life experiences in music but also provide comic relief with my punchlines. Or sometimes I’ll have my moments of doing both.

Yeah, I do appreciate being humoured when I listen to hip hop. It’s a great skill to have especially when you are rapping about serious issues.

What genres of music do you like to perform in?

Primarily rap & hip-hop but I’m for sure down to collab with musicians of other genres.

I think it’s vital to our creative growth to push ourselves out of our comfort zones in music or whatever we do

One track that comes to mind that demonstrates your versatility as an artist is Fuck Mozart ‘track. It demonstrates (to me) you aren’t afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of your usual style of music while still retaining the essence of who Dee Wallz -the artist is. Your strength is in your flawless vocals. You have a distinctive sound.

Do you write your own music?

Of course, I consider myself a lyricist so I feel like that’s a must.

What do you do in your free time?

I’m a be honest music is my life (lol ), if I’m not doing it .I’m thinking about doing it or how I further my status in music.

What are your other hobbies though?

I would say the gym and video games. Those two are great stress relievers, and it helps just give me a restart before I pick up the pen and pad again.

True, it’s important to have other interests. Its a tough industry to be in and looking after your physical and mental health is vital to staying focused. Yeah, I can see how committed you are and how hard you train using different voice technique reflected in the tracks I’ve listened to

What are you trying to do in the industry?

I’m trying to make the biggest impact I can while being me and making the music I genuinely want to make.

What do you want to be known for/known as?

One of the greatest

😀 baht of course. A G.O.A.T. Indeed.
Make the best of Life. Make it count.

What do you hope to get out of your involvement in the music industry?

To create a lasting legacy and hopefully influence the general(?)in a positive way

 

What is your favourite quote?

It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. I feel like I’m currently at 9,999

*A quote from the author of ‘how to achieve mastery in whatever a person does in life, by Malcolm Gladwell. It is a classic perfectionist quote. in my humble opinion.

What quote/sentence would you say best describes you and your music?

Introspective, Catchy and Witty

What kind of music do you listen to?

I know everyone says this but- all kinds (lol )but primarily hip-hop if I’m being honest…

What are your 3 favourite songs ?

  1. 1.J. Cole-Simba

  2. Lil Wayne- I’m Me
  3. Nas- It Aint Hard To Tell

How does music affect your mood?

It can literally change my mood in an instant. That’s why if I’m feeling down I like to listen to something from my childhood to lift my spirit.

Nothing wrong with indulging in a moment of nostalgia. Music has a way of putting me in a different mindstate.

What is your perspective on the current state of the industry?

I love it, we’re in a state of independence and self-empowerment. I also feel like there is a balance musically.

I agree that music artists have more opportunities to self promote on different music platforms and access to information on the internet has made it easier for some ways to get your music out to the public.

What do you think will help the industry survive/what do you think the industry needs in order to thrive?

I think just embrace artist genuinely wanting to be themselves and not change them and jus accentuate what talent they already have.

Yeah, I agree that we should work hard to stay true to ourselves as well as being inspired or influenced by different artists/sources.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m just dropping songs at a steady pace and perfecting my craft more and more as I go so stay tuned…….. (quoted in 2018)

This track is interesting too

What inspired it?

It wasn’t anything too deep. I just wanted something more upbeat and fun (lol). I like to try new things with my creativity.

Thank you, for taking the time to do a feature. You have been so cool, helpful and it’s been a pleasure collaborating with you.

Dee Wallz’ last released track was this classical hip hop , his with lyrics full of passion and a still waters deep soul soundscape .

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Bank of Sound Feature C. Alexander

Check out C. Alexander’s latest EP – keep scrolling…

From the first 30 seconds of listening, I was captivated by the track ‘Anxiety disorder – The full EP link is HERE. I managed to get Caleb to offer some insight into his ways of expressing himself creatively and his views on his work, the music & creative industry and mental health. I have so much respect for creativists who experiment & do something radical with their creativity.

I was drawn to the stream of consciousness of General Anxiety disorder as it is a form of writing I use often. I found someone who was doing (a better job) something similar to what I was messing about with.

A stream of consciousness writing is underrated & sometimes disregarded as not structured or nonsense writing.

Bullshit.

In Caleb’s case, It can reveal thought-provoking, philosophical & hilarious often insightful into a person’s natural unrehearsed steady rhythms of thoughts.

Please, can I introduce the creator of this dope General Anxiety Disorder EP.


who are you?

Man. That’s sort of a tough question haha. My name is Caleb Alexander. I’m a 29 year old Poet/Musician and English Teacher (have to pay the bills somehow right?). I have a Masters of Fine Arts for Creative Writing, and have released a book of poetry (The Cosmic Hello), and two music EPs (Cosmic Aging (which corresponds to many of the poems in my book) and Found Poetry) under the name C. Alexander (mostly because there is already a semi-famous author named Caleb Alexander).

I suppose there is also a level of anonymity involved with not using my full name, but most people in my life know about the moniker anyway, so that’s pretty ancillary.

It’s safe to say the secret is out. Haha!

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Excerpt from the cosmic hello synopsis

I wrote my pain of loss. I wrote my confusion about the existential questions that plagued me as someone who grew up in the bible belt, but had a hard time swallowing the bigotry I saw.

The cosmic hello synopsis on Goodreads

What (if anything inspired) General anxiety disorder’ and EP?

After releasing Cosmic Aging EP I really wanted to experiment more with strange drone sounds and “found sounds”(sampling) where I mash-up speeches and other elements that you wouldn’t typically think of as musical, and try to make something new with it. The single, “General Anxiety Disorder,” was an example that I thought best encapsulated this new style. The name comes from a psychological disorder that I suffer from that is marked with panic attacks and sometimes dissociative states. I’ve had it since I was a kid, and luckily I’ve learned to manage it without needing medication, but it certainly shaped me and my world-view during my formative years. I think that the song, and the strange list of items listed by the voice actor pretty well encapsulates the way I feel during the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had, that leave me disoriented and somewhat disassociated from reality.

 

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in a small town in the U.S. State of South Carolina. The town is called Williamston, and it is the definition of a “one stoplight” town. I really appreciate that I’m originally from the middle of nowhere, even though it was somewhat culturally isolating growing up.

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Where do you live now and why?

I actually live in Providence, Rhode Island, which is a long way from where I grew up. The story is fairly long for how I ended up here, but it mostly involves me falling in love with a beautiful girl and being a hopeless romantic. We are still together almost 4 years later, so I guess it was the right decision. It has the added benefit of being a really fun city that is very kind to artists. I’ve met so many amazing people since I moved here.

Who says romance is dead? That’s incredibly whimsical, poetic & a blooming incredible reason to live where you are.


Why do you continue to do music?

I have an immense need to create. I follow that down different paths in a way that I’m sure would frustrate anyone who wants me to have a more focused output, but music is one of the most important aspects of my life and my creativity, even if it never goes anywhere. I think everyone needs a creative outlet. We are only in these bodies and minds for so long, and it’s important to explore what this particular version of a human can create while we are here.

Have you had another career/jobs/weirdjobs that wasn’t in the music industry?

For sure. I don’t make nearly enough money (read: basically none) for this to be anything other than a fun side project that I hope sometimes connects with people. I am primarily a high school English teacher and college professor, and I expect I will continue down that path to pay the bills.

 

When/What made you start playing music?

I actually got a pretty late start to music. I did have a couple of guitars in my teen years, and I learned how to play a few punk songs or whatever, but I didn’t really start playing music in earnest until about 3 years ago. I started out playing the keyboard with some friends, mostly just chords and stuff, and then got into finding loops, mixing them with some melodies I would come up with, and later incorporating some samples/my own poetry.

I’ve always loved music as a listener, and always wanted to play an instrument, but thought for a long time I just wasn’t talented. Around my 25th birthday or so, after a pretty nasty divorce, and a year of therapy, I really started to get my life together in a different sort of way, and music was one of the elements that have flourished since that time.

As of about 4 months ago, I’ve started really learning guitar, and I’m hoping to have some of those elements in whatever I come up with next.

That’s what it is all about. Be creative, experiment to recover, move on, grow as an individual by expressing yourself to do what makes you happier than where you were.

How did you get/break into started in the music industry?

I mean I wouldn’t really say I am “in the music industry”, just because I feel like that implies I’ve had success commercially or something, which I have not. But I did decide after a while, that I wanted to create some music that would be on platforms for people to discover (Spotify, Apple Music, whatever) and started to research how to make that happen. The subreddit r/wearethemusicmakers was a great resource for me as I was learning that whole process.

Thanks for sharing that resource for another like-minded folk to follow up.

What kind of people connect with you and your music?

That’s a great question (haha). I mean most people that I have interacted with that enjoyed my art and music seem to have similar questions about life and existence I guess. I think a lot of what I create has an existentialist vibe to it, and a lot of thinking people today have a similar viewpoint on the absurdity and potential meaninglessness of existence. At the same time, I personally think that even though on the surface that idea is depressing, there’s a lot of freedom to it as well. So I don’t know if people get that out of my art, or connect to that, but that’s my overall thesis: Life is meaningless, but your life isn’t.

That is a deep thesis & incredibly empowering. If people don’t get it then they have overlooked the whole point of being creative.

Like life, creativity is a process. (all my opinion) It’s about connections, communicating & finding likeminded people who you can collaborate with or bounce ideas around. That’s the beauty of experimenting with multiple creative methods like you do (in my humble opinion).

What genres of music do you like/would like to perform in?

Oh man. I like basically everything. I would say I primarily am drawn towards Indie/emo sort of vibes, but I also am really interested in hip-hop and electronic music, because I think a lot of the biggest innovation is taking place in those spaces right now. My ideal would be the mix the two, find a way to make electronic music grungy. Like I said before, I’m writing some songs with the guitar now, and trying to incorporate a little bit of singing, so maybe the next project will get closer to that ideal.

So are you venturing into Future grunge? It’s an interesting fusion because of the lack of angst & rage and ‘political induced ambivalence found in today’s grunge music is at the opposite spectrum of electronic music which people associate with the MDMA-induced positivity “scene”.

Do you write your own music?

Yes, but with the caveat that I do use pre-made samples and loops sometimes, but I construct and meld them in a way that is entirely up to me. I also write all the “lyrics” or poetry that you hear with my voice (Cosmic Aging EP) and the next project will feature lyrics and poetry written by me as well

What other roles do you play in the industry?

My other “role” in the music industry is that I’m a fellow music blogger/podcast host. My friend Seth and I run a website called B-Side Guys (www.bsideguys.com) that features artists across multiple genres. We also run a podcast of the same name that discusses music as it relates to various universal themes.

I love it & love what you are both doing.

“B-side guys are so dope. They gave me more confidence than I had in myself before. Tbh I dreaded submitting songs until I started working w them, because they actively helped me grow as an artist w their feedback, posts, artist write ups, etc. – it’s lit these people really help independent artists grow! Real anonymous fans are hitting me up it’s unreal” – Joe P. The MC

SOURCE

What are you trying to do in the industry?

Ultimately, I’m not really trying to do anything, at least commercially. I just want to create art and use my voice. I hope more people connect with it in a positive way, but I don’t care about becoming famous. That actually sounds pretty miserable to me. I want to keep my relatively quiet little existence going, and create the art that I want to create. Do I hope more people come to check it out? For sure. But am I actively creating in hopes of being “found”? Absolutely not.

Miserable? Quite the opposite. it’s refreshing to hear someone say that they don’t have to be a creative artist commercially, to get out there, and do their own thing. Pursue our creative pursuits for commercial gain or as a hobby (or whatever ) is great and both are equal in value & quality on a spectrum.

What is your view /experiences with/on mental health issues and the music industry?

That’s actually a really interesting topic that I’ve discussed at length over quite a few beers. Growing up, I always was really into the “tortured artist” idea. I wanted to be Elliot Smith or Kurt Cobain. A lot of my favorite artists over the years have dealt with mental health issues, primarily depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety. Over time, I’ve seen some of them get better, and sometimes their art suffered for it. It’s a really tough concept because I do think that I have created some really interesting art when I was in some of the lowest points of my existence. But ultimately, I think getting the help you need, and living a happier life, is more important than making tortured art. I wish Elliot Smith or Kurt Cobain had been able to go through therapy and recover, even if it meant they never made the art they are adored for. If anyone is intentionally not getting help because it makes them a better artist, I think that’s a mistake, even though I used to have the same viewpoint. Life is messy and mental health is a constant battle, but it is a battle worth fighting, regardless of how artistic or not you are.

That is a valid point you make. No amount of ‘tortured art’ as you call it, is worth a persons life or happiness. It is a serious issue in the world and in the U.K. creative arts industry. Its sad how many artists are exploited or feel the need to self medicate to fuel their career and creative endeavours.

A great U.K. charity for help with mental health issues is MUSIC MINDS MATTER

 

I am an avid reader and have been for my entire life. There is no way I could pick just one, so I’ll just pick the first one that comes to mind at this particular moment. This is a quote from Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy:

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbour — such is my idea of happiness.” -Leo Tolstoy

That sounds like a Eutopian (attainable) existence. Freedom without conforming to specific Utopian ideals. It’s more of a mutual exchange that is beneficial to all. Thanks, GOOGLE 😀

What quote/sentence would you say best describes you and your music?

There is a line from a Brand New song that I got chills the first time I heard because it resonated with me. It’s from their song “Can’t Get It Out” and it says:

“Not just a manic depressive

Toting around my own cloud

I’ve got a positive message

Sometimes I can’t get it out”

Classic answer because we all struggle to get shit out of our heads or to speak at times in the way we want it to be fully understood. it’s probably why I think your music/projects are relatable to me and (I’m sure ) to others who read this.

What are your 3 favourite songs?

This is another impossible question, so I’ll give an in the moment sort of answer.

  1. “The Silence” by Manchester Orchestra

  2. “Sing About Me I’m Dying of Thirst” by Kendrick Lamar

  3. “Time” by Pink Floyd

What is your perspective on the current state of the industry?

I think it’s a really cool place to be in right now. I think a lot of the major labels are dying, and I’m completely fine with their death. We have more access to people’s creativity than ever before.

That makes it very difficult to stand out obviously, but it has lowered the barrier to entry for artists to get heard, and I think that’s a great thing. Like I said before, human creativity is incredible, and the more people that are allowed to create, regardless of socio-economics or exposure, the better in my opinion. Everyone has a story to tell.

Amen to that. If only people realised they don’t have to be shit hot from the start. It’s great that the audience gets to decide what they want to listen to & can do so by accessing so many different platforms.

What do you think will help the industry survive/what do you think the industry needs in order to stop its decline? (from an American POV)

I don’t think it’s a problem really. I mean I guess it’s a problem for some of the major acts, and it’s a problem if you want to do this as your only job, but I think we are in the coolest time in music history right now. Even if the economics aren’t ideal for it.

Finally, what are you currently working on?

Like I said before, I tend to pivot back and forth between various projects, so it’s hard to say what the next thing you see will be. I will say I have 3 different balls in the air primarily right now.

First, I think I’m going to finish up my next book of poetry, which will hopefully find a publisher in the next year or so. Music wise, I’m writing a ton of music on guitar right now, and trying my hand at singing a bit. So I’m working on figuring out how I want that to sound.

As far as my more conventional sound, I do have another spoken word album almost entirely written, about two brothers who have a tumultuous relationship growing up, but I haven’t decided what musical direction to go with it yet, so maybe that’ll be the next thing. I will definitely keep you posted on whatever it ends up being.

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Thank you so much for this. It has been an absolute pleasure collaborating with you, conversing with you. I appreciate your candour and honesty. And I look forward to checking out your new projects.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. I’m so happy that you find something of value in my art.

C.Alexander’s Website

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Instagram: @calexanderpoetry