Developing their piano-driven electro-rock sound into what it is today, SUDDYN stemmed from humble beginnings in New York, broadening into an internationally-comprised mix. Formed by brothers Alan (vocals, piano, synths) and Jarrett (guitar, vocals, bass) Steil, the band honed its music while touring through Ireland, completing their electrifying trio with the addition of Irishman Brendan Connolly (drums, vocals). They were rehearsing at AMP rehearsal studio on Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood and we want to know more about them.
The NoHo Arts District is home to thousands of musicians, vocalists, dancers, actors and visual artists. Many of them are seasoned artists you recognize from TV, film and Broadway while others are in North Hollywood learning their craft. NoHo has been called the "Talent Pool" for movie studios in surrounding communities. As the official site for the NoHo Arts District, we would like to showcase some of our talented locals. This week we introduce you to a local North Hollywood resident Samuel Bazan, a singer/songwriter.
Tell me about yourself.
SB: I'm a singer/songwriter from Olympia, WA that has lived in NoHo for about 10 years. Like many songwriters I started writing poems first and then it transitioned into songs, while learning to play the guitar and piano. It started out as a hobby, then I soon became obsessed with songwriting and music as a whole. I read every music book/autobiography/magazine I could get my hands on. I listened to every album from the late 60s , 70s, 80s and 90s in that order. And now I feel very fortunate to have something in my life that I look forward to everyday...makes me feel whole as a person. The best part is that I can share it with others and be able to connect in some way through music.
What style of music do you play?
SB: I play alternative rock
Do you work with other musicians?
SB: I may be a solo artist but I could not have done it with out my great friend/drummer, Jeff Wilson, who has also worked very hard all these years to make this happen. He played all the drums on our album and co- produced it.
What do you see as your greatest accomplishments?
SB: I self-produced/recorded the album. I played a large portion of all the instruments on the album... guitar, piano, keys, bass and Jeff played all the drums.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
SB: Hopefully, I'll be making a full-time living of music, going on the road, doing some songwriting for other artists, some tv/movie placements and producing up and coming artists who need the help.
Can you give artists some tips on self producing an album?
SB: Be patient: if you're doing your own project, its going to take time. There are going to be a lot of changes and/or ideas. Be ready to go back two steps to move ahead one.
Work hard: you're going to put in hours and hours to find what works out for you. Sometimes after all that, it might not be what you wanted. So you are going to return to square one and try it again. Work is key, but it pays off in the end.
Outsiders' perspective: First, learn to criticize your own work from an outsider's point of view...not every thing you do is perfect or the best thing that ever happened in music. Don't be self indulgent. We can only take so much of five minute solos and never ending vocal runs. Learn to listen for your limitations, your strengths and how you use those to tastefully compliment the SONG... its all about the song. Also, get some one you trust to give it a second listen, some one who you have cleared as a reliable source. There are too many "know it alls that can't do anything."
Listen: Learn to listen to music. Songs are made of layers some of which are practically unnoticeable to a regular listener. It's these little nuances put together in the right way that make a solid sonic structure. The smallest detail can make the biggest difference. Learn to pick those out.
What do you like about NoHo?
SB: I love that I can walk everywhere, the diversity of the people, the way that is has changed and its becoming a destination of its own. The small community feel the better. Its one of the only places in the Valley that you see artists making things happen for one another. Dancer, singers, actors, musicians, writers keeping each other inspired and motivated. We rehearsed/recorded the album in an apartment in NoHo for about two years on Morrison/Vineland with real live drums (on the second floor). If any of my old neighbors read this I thank you very much for putting up with us for all that time. And to the apartment manager thank you!!!!
Tell me why I should buy your album?
SB: If you want to listen to a collection of songs that flow together, and take you to a place where you can relate and reflect on life and feel good about it, check out my new album "Slow Down."
Artist: Chipmunk Album: Transition Location: London
Chipmunk, one of the king pins of Grime is back with his new album ‘Transition’; and what a transition it is indeed. Little Chip Diddy Chip has grown into an international, chart topping rap star, but is it a good change for his music? I think the answer is yes and no. He is with no question a very talented artist and has created another album of hits and catchy songs, such as the anthem ‘Champion’ featuring Chris Brown; but the switch to mainstream seems to have taken away some of the more grittier sounds and lyrics that made chipmunk great and unique. For new fans it is a change that will not be noticed or cared about, but for some of the older fans it is an obvious change and one that probably won’t be favoured, as he is just becoming like every other Urban artist out there. However, this is still a very good album with some prominent artists featuring on the tracks, and definitely worth a listen. I just hope Chipmunk doesn’t forget his roots and start to cater for a mainly American audience.
Artist: Skepta Album: Doin' It Again Location: London
Skepta, who is arguably one of the most influential MC’s on the grime scene, has come back hard with his third studio album “Doin’ It Again’.
The CD was released on Boy Better Know Records, which Skepta is a co-founder of along side grime artist and brother JME. Before its official release four singles from the album were available, all of which made there way into the UK top 40.