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Worldwide Indie Music, Lifestyles, Entertainment Magazine

Anniversary Edition

February 2014

christina maria from the cyprus shores to European Applause


babydol chellz

‘East Coast Swag With A

Flush Of Southern Roots.’

OVER a decades worth of experience and knowledge

the 88 From Island Records To Mr Ray Davies...

Features 04 Christina Maria From The Cyprus Shores To European Applause

06 RadKey Punk-rock’s Right-honourable Rabble-rousers

10 BABYDOL I Am Power: I Am History

14 Offenda Living And Breathing Artistically As One

18 Jennifer Garces-Owens An Orchestra Of Aural Opulence

20 Chellz East Coast Swag With A Flush Of Southern Roots

23 DUB In The Studio Crafting New Tracks

24 The 88 From Island Records To Mr Ray Davies

COVER STORY 12 Kaylee Rutland Billboards’ 2014 Artist-To-Watch

Lifestyle 08 5 Music Apps Whether It Be Flava Flav Or Peace In A Bit Of Placebo

16 What’s The Difference? Between A Pair Of Beat By Dre And Some Sony’s

ENTERTAINMENT 22 BWD Radio (Sponsor) Your Top Indie Artist’s ‘Global’ 24/7 Non-Stop Music Radio Station - Commercial Free - #1 in Genre Variety, Live Shows and Contest Giveaways!!

26 BWD Records (Sponsor) The Independent Music Label of the South

2 • BWD Magazine •


last issue

Bridging the gap across all media platforms BWD Magazine is dedicated to turning the spotlight onto the figures and faces, names and in-the-knows hitting the headlines and filling the attentions of the entertainment world. From musicians to models, ground-breaking acts to artists and artisans, imagination is the only limit in BWD’s ambitions in bringing the audiences of the world to the names we feature. With over a decade’s worth of experience in the music industry and a crowd of millions worldwide spreading the word with each new release, BWD has established itself as the leader in its field. BWD Magazine- ‘Leading Whilst Others Follow’

Editor In Chief V Keach

Associate Editor J Addams

Lead Contributing Writer J Addams

Contributing Writer V Keach

Art Director V Keach

Graphic Artist V Keach, BWD Graphics

Circulation/Sales Officer(s) V Keach/J Addams

BWD Magazine • • 3

I feel really honoured


ith a compelling voice that

Orchestra offering her the opportunity of per-

draws the listener to the melod-

forming alongside them during their Cyprus visit.

ic shores of the artist reverentially called Christina Maria it is

Piqued and now prepped curiosity became cer-

only equalled by the sheer

tainty as she set her sights on English shores, a

the chance to connect

range of genres that lone voice commands, the

move to the UK and a year spent studying at The

with your readers. I

musician’s ego kept resolutely in check by a

Academy of Contemporary Music edifying her eru-

calming self-confidence that allows us to expe-

dition at composition and performance of same.

to have been given

love hearing from

rience the dynamic impact of the songstresses sound with none of the ‘after-market’ effects of

Headlining an R&B/Pop all girl group saw

people who come

vocal-tune or similar.

Christina branch out further in her performance

across my music.”

Born and raised on the glorious island of Cyprus,

trolled by her voice as much as her moves on

Christina’s natural draw to the bard in herself

stage as the group fitted opening for artists

first became known through her performances

Marques Houston and Lloyd into their busy

in professional musicals. A talented rising star,

touring schedule. But it was in the sole voice

the then six year old drew attention through

and simple, organic music that Christina finally

her latent skills, and by the time she had turned

became the artist the world was simply waiting

fifteen Europe came calling, a tour of that great

to welcome onto their iPod. ‘Singing with just

continent; as the lead in an original English

the sounds of a guitar, or piano and strings,’ she

composition, the role she would start drawing

explains, ‘can completely change the emotional

international interest with.

atmosphere…and bring a whole new meaning and

and crowd control expertise, audiences con-

dimension to the listener’. The stage now no stranger and curiosity piqued it was the suave sounds of jazz that would

With the desire to bring a richer, deeper, more

grab Christina next, the UK’s National Youth Jazz

orchestral and emotional sound into the world

4 • BWD Magazine •

Christina Maria “SINGING WITH JUST THE SOUNDS OF A GUITar, or piano and strings...”

of music Christina is currently reinventing the genres seemingly

as While Angels Pass and Makes Me will make your stay the most

incapable of containing every nuance of note and tuning or tone

indulgent extravagance you have yet to afford yourself.

Christina reveals within her tracks, working on what she describes as ‘…slightly Avant-garde alternative pop,’ stripped down and honest and emotionally charged deliveries of songs. ‘I feel really honoured to have been given the chance to connect with your readers,’ Christina said when discussing her BWD feature win, revealing future plans entail ‘I love hearing from people who come across my music, and am soon starting up a new YouTube channel to the one I already have. I will be connecting more with the people who listen to my music by taking requests for tracks that they would like to hear my spin on, so follow me on my social networks if that is something you would like to hear!’ Alongside her entrepreneurial endeavours online and her newly focused musical direction Christina still finds time to collaborate with artists of every genre, more recently having lent her melodious notes to both dance- and house-tracks for Bootleg Social

Contact Information:

Records and Redux Recordings. Website:

From the Cyprus shores to European applause, serenading the

Twitter: @MzCristinaMaria

world on stage to standing on the brink of entirely new genres,

Facebook: ChristinaMariaMusic

imagination and attraction in equal measure are what initially

Photo Credits: Zastron Photography and

bring you to the music of Christina Maria; and the sounds you

ChristinaMaria - All Rights Reserved

will hear stroking your mind and senses soothingly on tracks such BWD Magazine • • 5


rowing up on a steady diet of musical nourish-

brothers’ attentions as 2014 unfolds. A brand new video to accom-

ment such as The Who, Misfits, and masticators of

pany their single Start Freaking Out made from footage of the bands

the moreish moribund message The Ramones has

European tour as they bestrode the stages of Brighton, Cambridge,

nurtured and developed the trio of brothers Dee,

Manchester, Stoke and London sits high on the BWD Radar Of

Isaiah and Solomon into the lean, mean, riff-filled

Replay, and with their Devil Fruit EP - out now on Little Man Records

fighting machine known as punk-rocks right-honourable rabble-

– prepped and ready to go on our iPods and turning the download

rousers Radkey.

charts pleasantly punk-flavoured; BWD Magazine thought it was time to sit down and talk with this trio of teenagers about many

Enriched with the essential melodic minerals of their influences,

things Music, Manga, and somewhat suspicious stainage…

the siblings rise to the stage seemed as certain as day following night, the self-taught musicians absorbing the fulsome sounds and sustaining melodies the greats had laid out before them and devel-

exclusive interview

oping their own powerful punk-rock pythons and six-packs of sonic skill-sets you could grate cheese on as the melodies melt your ears. Quickly establishing a collection of confections for crowd consid-

BWD: Hello, welcome, and if you would care to deliver on all the

eration the band took the impetus to throw themselves into the


gigging scene, tearing up the copy n’ paste approach of their contemporaries on the scene and piercing tired venues with a Radkey

I’m Isaiah Radke and I play the Bass. My brother Dee Radke plays guitar

sized safety pin of assured individuality and incessantly insightful

and sings. Solomon Radke plays the drums.

aural addictiveness. BWD: Three brothers, one band, and a sound that has already caught Establishing themselves on the underground scene the reception

the attention of the world’s musical press; incredible hardly seems

for Radkey was ravenous, their audience exploding into a fan base

a suitable word..?

almost overnight; such was the infamy surrounding the young group they were quickly snapped up and invited to perform at the

It’s just really cool to have been able to experience playing on The Jools

prestigious 2012 Afro-punk Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Further interest

Holland Show, and we’re really stoked to be getting all of the attention

found them with a list of engagements that saw them appearing

that we have.

before stadium sized crowds, fans of Fishbone and Supersuckers becoming ‘Radkey Groupies’ after the brothers opened in support

BWD: From listening to your debut EP Devil Fruit I notice a powerful

for each and stamped their big booted authority across the stage.

edge of musicianship and delivery- integrity and grit, if you will- that echoes the original punk ethos of staying true to the message of

With 2013 seeing Radkey appear at the official SXSW Showcase, voted one of the 5 Best New Artists by SPIN, and turning up on the shores and screens of the United Kingdom on the BBC’s musical bible The Jools Holland Show there’s even more of a demand for the

6 • BWD Magazine •

the song..?


We really love a ton of different kinds of music, everything from the

covered in letters of adulation and appreciation from the bands

Beatles and Led Zeppelin to like Nirvana, Ramones, Weezer and the

many, many fans, and the air conditioning long since lost the battle

Pixies. When we decided to start making music, we didn’t want to pick a

against the general fug of too-long spent in too-small a space that

way to sound. We just wanted to do whatever it was that came out when

has already turned the tour-bus walls an unhealthy shade of yellow

we jammed. So that’s how we sound the way we do.

and is threatening to become sentient any day now.

BWD: Audiences across America and Europe have embraced Radkey

Just as the sign saying Home: ‘250 Miles To Go’, zips past the window

like three long-lost sons of music; from the electrifying atmosphere

you notice a certain dampness to the carpet, a distinct ’odour’ per-

the trio are known for creating when performing live to the adren-

meating through the thickness of air and generally stinking up the

alin shot to the ears experienced when songs such as Start Freaking

place a bit. A brief investigation reveals the problem to be located

Out and Overwhelmed pops up on the old playlist, the band appear

within the bus’ bathroom area; specifically, the toilet, wherein the

to be creating not just a name for themselves amongst their peers

pipes have become all backed up and are now returning the mounds

but a legacy for others to aspire to..?

of digested food and drinks with ne’er a care for whose feet they may besmirch nor comfort impugn.

We just feel like it’s a rip off when you pay to see a band and they look like they don’t care. We want to make it worth their money. Why do this

With the best part of two hundred miles and change to go and the

if you aren’t going to give it your all every time?

situation only set to get worse something has to be done. On the one hand, simply opening the tour bus door and putting all the

BWD: As rock band Oasis showed there can be times when working

heavy gear on the same side should illicit just enough of a lean for

with siblings proves somewhat testing..?

the liquid filth to spill out of the bus and harmlessly into the streets of Someone Else’s Problem which undoubtedly could mean one

We pretty much get along all the time. We rarely fight and whenever

or two potentially hilarious headlines within the music press, but

we do, it’s not for long and it’s never about music. There really isn’t an

could also pose some difficult questions with the local authorities if

ego. Actually, the band pretty much works to where we all contribute so

caught spraying someone’s picket fence and plastic Flamingo’s with

there’s no weirdness. We just think that there’s no point in being some

bio-hazardous material. On the other hand, a few minutes with a

jerks with an ego.

bendy brush and an arm sent down the winding pipes will clear the blockage and backwash but at the price of an arm the owner would

BWD: From conquering the screens of foreign shores to touring the

probably want to remove the second the ordeal was over. On the one

US with Black Joe Lewis; appearing at the legendary Fillmore in San

hand, road-side recklessness and the responsibility of having pep-

Francisco and even gracing the presence of the good people at the

pered the picket-fences of the nation with Radkey refuse along with

Huffpost Live Series for a Q’n’A… Surely the band must be eyeing up

several dozen Home Depot Plastic Fantastic Fun Time zoo animals.

a suitable plinth in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame?

On the other hand, stains. What would you do?

We’ll definitely be at SXSW this year, and we’ll be doing a UK tour in

That’s a good one... I’d think after two years of touring, that amount of

February. We’re so stoked to hit the road again. We know that we are

stainage would probably be pretty normal for us. We’d probably just be

really lucky to be able to be doing what we do, and you should just enjoy

pissed that we’d gotten the ride that dirty again.

it inseam of being lame about it. BWD: And finally; what’s next for the band? What can we look forBWD: Penultimate question time! After a two year world tour that

ward to from the band in 2014?

has seen the band cement its status as punks new Princes, Radkey are on the tour-bus home; relaxed and looking forward to a couple

We’re currently working on a bunch of new stuff, so next is definitely an

of weeks home vacation and the bus is littered with the detritus

album sometime this year.

of a twenty four month stint on the road. Fast food wrappers fight

Contact Information:

for space with bags of ornaments and accoutrements and bundles of seaside rock; a row of sealed-tight boxes filled with unwashed


underwear lean dangerously against shelves filled with several

Twitter: @RadkeyRock

libraries worth of receipts for the Tax-Man to trouble himself with.

Facebook: radkeyband

Broken guitar strings lie in wait for the unwary sitter on cushions

Photo Credits: Phil Knott - All Rights Reserved BWD Magazine • • 7

five music apps YouTube MP3 Music is great, isn’t it? No matter whether you’re

Yeah, so it’s a streaming thing, right? Um, well, sort of

a Hollywood hipster of urban gangsta, back-street

but not quite, I think sums it up.

bad-boy or pop princess there’s a genre bursting with clichés and caricatures of genuine musicians pertain-

Given the amount of music YouTube contains it’s a

ing to be ‘the real thing’ when the only ‘coke’ refer-

fairly straight line most of us draw when seeking out something to soothe our troubled brows with post-

ence ever associated with them is through their soft drinks endorsement deals.

work/-school/-getting-out-of-bed. Hammer in some letters in near enough the right order and a playlist of music appears containing whatever the hell

But I digress…

it was your bleary eyed self smooshed into the Search bar.

Whether you find favour in Flava Flav or peace in

Not as good as a standard player but the YouTube MP3 makes up for things

a bit of Placebo it’s the all-important player of the

a bit, for the user, by shoving the videos into the background where they run

sounds that we’re looking at here; to whit, android

as happy as pigs in poo. Thus, we no longer need to keep the window open

applications that allow one to listen to their ear-

and reveal to the world our secret Belieber status.

candy on the go, on their mobile, and in any flavour of technical gubbins they demand.

A built in search and simple interface and access to Wendy-Lou’s own cover version of the Friday song and really there’s not a whole lot more you could

So, for a place to begin let’s start with a player whose name you might not necessarily think of being anything more than a comprehensive guide to the worst mistakes humanity can make…”

8 • BWD Magazine •




Unless you want more.

Known to nearly everyone but used by surprisingly few of us WinAmp is one of the

In which case you’re probably going to have

best overall one-stop apps for music lovers

to pay, too.

with a variety of platforms they use to listen/store their tracks on.

So why not throw some monies Poweramp’s way. No, there shouldn’t have been a question mark at the end of

WinAmp allows you to synch your songs and manage your music

that sentence. It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.

across many options of device; Mac, PC, Android…yup, it covers ‘em! iTunes library import? Swiftly sorted! Simply to navigate browsing

From supporting just about any audio format you can cram onto the

experience for the individual song search game we all take a turn

device it’s loaded onto a ten band graphic equalizer that you can

playing every now and then? Compare it to rolling sixes every time

completely ruin your favourite tracks with; support is also afforded

and you get the idea.

for lyrics and cue files, along with library search, tag editor, even widgets aplenty and with enough customizing it looks there’s plenty

Free wireless desktop synch and others words of impressive actions

here to make a whale pause.

comes into the equation when considering parting cash for the paid version; paying for an app that will find missing album artwork or

Chuck in some stereo eXpansion, replay gain, album art download-

for the lyrics to the songs does cut down on the install if those sort

ing, Bluetooth for headphones, even the chance to do some scrob-

of things don’t bother you, but seems a bit tight to not have them

bling and a few bucks ain’t much to pay for a player this packed

as a standard feature.

with punch.


Rocket Music Player

If you favour a more playful approach to

Holograms make everything cool so the

picking your playlist contenders then may

Rocket Music Player is cool because it has

we suggest N7player.

holograms and logic says so!

A delightful little music app (available only

If pretending your Star Trek Comic-Con

on Android) it turns your music list into one

outfit is fine for popping in to the shops

plane of album covers, a pictorial display of the songs on your stuff.

for some gum and gin as you pick your playlist then come join the club where there’s a welcoming air of simplicity and science melded

Multi-touch lets you see a variety of views of your music, zooming

beautifully together into the real world of now.

in and out and then back in again like a chimp with an elastic band around its thumb and forefinger.

The RMP interface is a scroll-up/scroll-down affair, with thumbnails of album artwork representing whatever your thumb is about to

Tag the songs you want to hear and build the playlist to see you

bash. Missing artwork will stay that way until some notes are folded

through the next slog of tiresome necessity undertaken to continue

and shoved under the developer’s door, along with other features

in the game of life, and you’re good to go marching to whatever beat

such as assigning pre-set equalizer settings to selected songs,

you choose.

genres, playlists or podcast, replay gain and crossfading, and the good old left/right balance control and gapless playback options.

Download missing cover art, prevent accidental skippage with a lock

Free still gets you a handful of handsome helpful stuff, including

screen, scrobbling for the brave, a nifty equalizer for the too-brave

displaying any embedded lyrics, video playback, a five band graphic

and there’s a gratifying ease to the n7player for those of us who just

equalizer and even themes (yes, themes!) to colour your music happy

want to listen to our music, not crack the Enigma Code.

all the live long day, night, and from dusk till dawn. Comprehensive and clean, brilliant but a bit bare-bones, it’s a nifty little space saver for those needing some video playback better than stock, but again, it’s a case of ‘the money unlocks the meat’, though the vegetarian option still looks tasty enough.

BWD Magazine • • 9



magine being afforded the opportunity to open

emboldened with captions that exude confidence and command

one of the world’s most lauded venues in the

within the wearer such as I AM POWER: I AM HISTORY - meaning to

shape of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in

show pride in who you are and be proud of who you are called to

Nashville, TN.

be – she brings the same self-belief out in others when adorned by her touch she herself has shown at each step of her life.

Now, imagine opening said venue to the strains of a self penned future classic, a superlative track entitled Still In Love to a compel-

Forging three separate paths to bestride with apparent ease,

ling acclaim and packed audience accolade.

BABYDOL has begun creating an empire of extravagant indulgences exclusive to all and inclusive of everyone, each complimenting the

Adding the caveat that the show you are opening is the much antici-

other superbly whilst being wholly complete in its own right.

pated Charlie Wilson/El Debarge concert of October 2013 before a packed house of expect-

Currently ensconced in the

ant fans and the ever-critical

creative charms of the CTM

eyes and ears of a worldwide

(Catch This Music) Studios

media alike.

on Music Row, Nashville; BWD Magazine caught up

Now holding tightly onto all

with BABYDOL as she took

those thoughts, try imagin-

a break from working on her

ing being charged with the

new tracks to speak to her

responsibility and honour all

about her win.

that would entail after only first stepping out as a singer/

‘It has been and still is a battle

songwriter performing to the

to be heard,’ the ever modest

masses a mere two years pre-

musician replied when dis-


cussing her win. ‘I represent Mississippi and the fallen who didn’t have the strength to keep push-

Such was the reality rather than imagination for BABYDOL, an

ing. Someone once said, “You can’t stop a dream that doesn’t have any

incredibly exciting new R&B and Country singer/songwriter artist


from South Mississippi; the business-woman and brains behind the sought out Divalish Studios and fashion label Egyptian Renaissance.

With two thriving self-made businesses and a music career that looks set to eclipse all her accomplishments thus far, perhaps the

Enriched in her life with two children of her own this Mississippi

final word should go to BABYDOL herself who says; ‘Make history,

mom has spent most her life turning her passions into profit, the

don’t be forgotten because you didn’t fight.’

plain into the appealing, and dreams into designer wearables; 10 • BWD Magazine • Facebook: MS.BABYDOL Twitter: @BABYDOL_QUEENB Photo Credits: LTC Studios - All Rights Reserved.

BWD Magazine • • 11


nown for being one of the Great States and respected for not doing things by half Texas is one of the most lauded places to find the biggest, best, and brightest of almost anything the mind can think to conjure when desiring something more.

Such is the case with Nashville’s recently revealed voice of life lifting lamentations and observations of the soul, singing sensation, country music melody maker and siren of soliloquies, our cover star Kaylee Rutland. Delivering a voice that can captivate and engage an audience of hundreds with as equal a command as an audience of ten, Kaylee may fall within the genre we call Country but has an appeal and sound that transcends such fripperies as borders of taste, reaches into your emotions and pulls you deep into the swirl of the song. Having already been able to chalk up taking the stage at The Hard Rock Café, Six Flags Over Texas, The Grapevine Opry; amongst her list of appearances, the in-demand Kaylee has proven herself as an artist equally at home before an audience of ten as she is ten thousand, her demeanour one of confidence and delivering a show with all the surety of a seasoned performer that belies her youth and defies all ego. With a debut EP release in September 2012 Kaylee got to show the world she had the creativity to match her captivating voice, working with both Jamie O’Neal and Colt Ford to bring the self-penned tune Into The Circle out of the ether and onto the worlds playlist.

Kaylee Rutland exclusive interview

‘Her ideas and creativity shined in our sessions,’ says Megan Conner, Songwriter/ Producer - Shapiro Bernstein, NYC and Nashville. ‘She held her own in the room with hit writers and musicians throughout the recording process.’

BWD: Gracing the cover of our February issue and an ever growing fanA video to accompany the track Daddy’s Got A .45 saw YouTube fall beneath

base’s playlist, who is Kaylee Rutland?

Kaylee’s charms in April 2013, and with Billboard declaring her to be one of their Artist’s To Watch the watching- and listening-world had shown they were waiting

I’m just a simple girl from Flower Mound, Texas, raised in church and sur-

with open arms and ears for this genre spanning star of ascension.

rounded by family. I love to read almost as much as I love music. Nashville is my home away from home, and being here has made my first year in

With the year drawing to a close Kaylee returned to Nashville to pursue further

college amazing! I started playing music at 6 years old. It all started with

scholastic achievements and adding to her already burgeoning list of accomplish-

piano and a church choir. It was just 2 years ago that I picked up a guitar

ments, raising the bar for others to follow as she continues to show herself as a

for the first time and fell in love.

genuine role model to her fans and for music overall. BWD: You’ve launched onto the music scene with an incredible sound Feeling a trip South to be in order and packing our finest Ten Gallon Stetson BWD

and simply amazing release with your debut single Into The Circle…

Magazine set out to the land cowboys call Home to collar Kaylee and chat Country, College, Circle and, of course, Kaylee herself…

Thank you! There are so many who have influenced me, not only with vocal talent and brilliant lyrics, but also with genuine heart. My desire is to follow in the footsteps of those who are positive role models and truly care about setting a wholesome example for others. I am inspired by traditional and new country music. There’s much to be learned and


appreciated from both.

Twitter: @KayleeRutland Facebook: Kayleerutlandmusic

BWD: Your contemporary style and sound is like a breath of fresh air to the genre, really offering a unique voice filled with a genuine sense of emotion and soul, yet incredibly you’re still only eighteen years of age…

12 • BWD Magazine •

Cover Story Billboard declares Kaylee to be one of their 2014 Artist’s To Watch!”

Thank you so much! I grew up singing in church, and I believe that’s where

I’m always excited to have an opportunity to perform at a new venue, especially

my soulful sound came from. Jesus is my biggest inspiration! Christian and

ones that are well recognized. Many of them have reached me through Reverb-

country music have influenced my style and lyrics. “Into the Circle” is a song

Nation or my website. Along with the excitement always comes a little bit of

for everyone, not just country fans. We all have a “circle” we want to step in

nerves, but getting on the stage and seeing the audience is actually calming,

to. It’s a dream we’re reaching for. “Into the Circle” is on YouTube, and can be

because it feels like we’re all just having fun together.

downloaded on iTunes, Amazon & Spotify. BWD: And finally; what’s next for this brightest of rising new stars we can BWD: Not only offering the world a captivating new artist to become en-

look forward to hearing and seeing?

amoured with you’ve also offered your talents to working with Jamie O’Neal and Colt Ford; how did this amalgamation of artists come about?

I’m excited to have been named by Billboard Magazine as one of the top 10 country artists to watch in 2014. You can hear my music played online at Ren-

Working with Jamie O’Neal and Colt Ford was an experience I’ll never forget.

egade Radio Nashville. I will be performing live in Nashville and Dallas in the

They are both such talented musicians with a willingness to offer musical in-

coming months, updates will be posted on my website, Facebook and Twitter.

spiration and kind-hearted advice to help me on this journey. It was an honor to work with them both. I’m grateful to Jason Davis with One One 7 Media for connecting us. BWD: From performing at Six Flags over Texas to The Grapevine Opry, and even the world famous Hard Rock Café The House of Blues; how intimidating are such prestigious venues to perform at and how have you managed to maintain such a down-to-Earth and level headed approach?

BWD Magazine • • 13


exclusive interview BWD: Before we get into things proper, who are the Harlot and the

Literally becoming the canvas upon which, as artists, we shared our-


selves completely.

We are two creative characters who live and breathe artistically as one

We were taken and freed by this process of open honest dialogue. We

and love each other beyond an obsessional degree. We are Offenda.

now share this process with the birth of Offenda.

BWD: Your range of expressive T’s are certainly geared towards the

BWD: Aimed towards the adult market with powerful slogans and –

individual – mass-produced or ‘Primarny’ styled multiple runs don’t

some might say – contentious tag-lines, have you experienced any

seem to be too high on the company’s agenda..?

backlash from those who don’t quite get it?

The opportunities are rare for those wishing to be, say, and do what

We are enabling our customer base the true opportunity to wear a tee

they want, without fear of misunderstanding or miscommunication and

that is genuinely a one off. We make them our selves; every applica-

being incorrectly branded then judged fiercely for it. So it’s not all that

tion through the printing process provides slight deviations like a

surprising that with an option to do so with anonymity, all but every-

fingerprint. We wouldn’t want to flood the streets with these designs,

one would jump at the platforms providing such a chance. However,

nor through our production would it even be possible to do so. These

this breeds a society of faceless opinions, as people are enabled to

tees are artworks in their own right.

express their truths from behind masks. The conforming face is simply a creation formed of lies, so as to be accepted, your mask is actually

As for backlash, it’s too easy to be offended; it takes a certain level of

your everyday face, and your alter ego the true you.

intelligence to understand and to quite simply get it. This puts us in

Offenda dares the wearers to be true to themselves there is no need

the fortunate position of not having to worry about those who exclaim

for distortion of self.

to be offended. To be honest, everyday we expect some turbulence, yet it’s refreshing to know that people love Offenda.

This conception came from our own encounter of self expression. We were working opposing shifts, so that in reality our bed was the only

BWD: Do you feel having an online store as opposed to a bricks-

space we occupied together, and only for the briefest amounts of time,

and-mortar frontage allows you more scope with expansion of the

either sleeping together or crashing out. We began leaving messages

brand and company?

on each other’s skin, while they slept, both loving and otherwise.

14 • BWD Magazine •

It makes no sense to us currently to have a store when the landscape of

We wouldn’t consider selling to supermarkets and the like, these com-

consumerism is changing so rapidly and dramatically. During the mass

panies are like the ultimate in conveyor belt grey, with products that

exodus from high street to online a young company needs to remain

are designed with the sole intention of pleasing the herds, to convey to

dynamic, we want to be flexible and adaptable and by using our time

people that “you’re all, individually, alike”!

as productively as possible. By creating our online existence, not only is it an extension of our creativity, it allows us to be hands on in all

The skill of the hand made is the art of Offenda, which is lost and dead

areas of the business, from production to posting. Offenda is at our

in such places. Our tees are the revolution against the revolving doors.

fingertips at all times. As for celebrities, who cares! The only real worry is if it’s worn to shock BWD: The closest name one can think of that comes close to being

and offend without understanding what the brand stands for. But to

comparable to Offenda and its custom clothing is famed punk pio-

be honest, any celeb doing so, would simply out themselves as vapid,

neer Vivian Westwood..?

stupid, and synonyms with the kind of dull, boring, bland behaviour we’re all too used to seeing.

We are each other’s inspiration. Our concept was born through a particularly obsessive yet volatile stage in our relationship, it grew natu-

BWD: And finally; what does the future hold for Offenda? What can

rally and was fluid in its progression, it’s only really now that we can

we look forward to from the geniuses behind the scenes?

appreciate that there may be slight nods to other creative endeavours. So consumed by our concept are we, that although we are not immune

We are soon to be introducing the female tees. It is structurally impor-

to outside influence, we do not directly draw from it. The progression

tant to have the symmetry in the products to reflect the company and

from concept to realization has been compulsive, due to the nature of

ourselves. We are carefully incorporating the new range in a campaign

our interaction. We are our brand.

as we aim for it to emerge in a fluid way. We imagine those who have been introduced to Offenda may wonder why there are only male tees

Mass media’s celebration of conventional attitudes and societies intol-

at the moment, considering the fact we are heavily defining Offenda

erance to individuality has diminished some artist’s confidence, hinder-

through the male and female aspect of ourselves, Harlot and The Lord.

ing them from placing a stamp on their environment. We look forward to showcasing the new items within our usual artistic light. We have collaborated to enable the art to be more accessible and BWD: Penultimate question time! After a successful campaign

to communicate the growth of the brand. Our first offensive for 2014

Offenda clothing has stamped its authority across the globe and is

has begun with ’transfixed’, the street art for this is now showcased

starting to make a dent in the world of celebrity; specifically, one of

throughout London’s artistic hotspots, and will continually expand.

the Kardashians was spotted wearing an Offenda T, and her people

Our current concept is based on The Lords infatuation with Harlot, the

have got in touch regarding an endorsement deal with yourselves

stalking, the developing and the documenting of the process. We have

the star.

exciting ideas and different ways of projecting our work this year that will please people passing it on their journeys in the coming months.

Before you’ve even had chance to digest this fact one of the most

Offenda is born in London but will disperse through other cities and

well-known supermarkets have jogged on up to your door and pre-

across the globe.

sented you with a contract to bring out a licenced version of your range, with a toned down execution in the stead of the ‘your T, your words’ approach Offenda is known for. Obviously, both options have their positive and negative sides – a celebrity endorsement is almost guaranteed to place Offenda squarely on the map and in the hands of an incredibly huge consumer base, but is also only to be in the spotlight for as long as the celebrities star shines. Being available wherever the supermarket chain has a store could mean unlimited outlets right in the heart of the consumer, but possibly to the detriment of why Offenda was founded to begin with, with a watered down and more socially acceptable tone.

Contact Information: Website:

The question, of course, is which would you pick and why?

Twitter: @ Offenda_co_uk Photo Credits: Offenda - All Rights Reserved

BWD Magazine • • 15

What’s The Difference? Between A Pair Of Beat By Dre And Some Sony’s If, like me, you find yourself at the wrong end of almost half the life

a stage near you!’ Bookings being taken, all complaints ignored.)

expectancy of the average overweight, under fit self-opinionated

I only have enough noggin space to rent for wearing one pair of

music lover you may marvel when you see the price that some

head-phones beneath a beanie for the bald-spot at any one time.

major head-phone makers expect their customers to pay in the name of hearing things louder.

And if, like me, most of this research is done by yourself and online and when you should be working instead of surfing then you too,

And if, like me, you enjoy the aural delights of a well penned tune

like me, take this matter as seriously as a possible suspension and

piped directly into the ole lug-‘oles then you too, like, me, will

dismissal for deliberately misusing company property during work

have somewhere about their person a pair of head-phones. No

time can be - whilst hoping nobody checks the history tab or else

doubt these are of the sort that you spent time investigating and

circlejurk37 is going to get a visit from the boys in blue asking for

researching like one does a thoroughbred dog or good pub, open-

the return of the ornamental bird fountain he bought off that auc-

ing tabs online and flicking between pages and pounding the high

tion site and I stole from the car-park outside.

street before committing to your choice and running into HMV and throwing a sock-full of pennies at the till jockey with one hand, the

But all talks of who did what and then lied about it in an official

other snatching your purchase away from their clammy paws and

statement aside there’s an almost unending choice of Avarice to

jamming the business ends into your head, the pointy metal bit into

pick from when buying a set of headphones that most of us man-

the jack-socket of your chosen music player apparatus.

age to distil down to three simple points of consideration;

And if, like me, you consider the buying of a quality pair of ‘buds as

1: What name is on the box?

often an occurrence as the Pope endorsing a Condoms For Catholics

2: What colour do they come in?

whist drive fundraiser then you don’t object to laying out a size-

3: …Pardon? I can’t hear you…

able pile of folding stuff on some quality ear gear on the occasion you deign to upgrade or buy a new pair. The market is awash with choice aplenty, but I only have one face to load up with real-world cancelling accoutrements, so until old age and that worrying blurriness in my right eye takes my sight but adds untold credibility to my white-man Stevie Wonder tribute act (‘The Caucasian persuasion white ‘Wonder’ himself, marvel at hearing ‘Stevie’s voice on 16 • BWD Magazine •

There is a personal investment we all spend when ponying up the

Even after all these years I’m still no nearer understanding what the

dough on our desired ‘drum destroyers, but recently it seems we’re

weirdly written language on the side of my Sony’s packaging says

so awash with Apple and the alluring air of exclusivity and one-

any more than I was with granddads home-use defibrillator, and

upmanship it affords the owner that we’re more than happy to spend

though I know no-one’s going to expect me to answer for my pur-

crazy numbers on a pair of shells endorsed by practically anyone,

chase in the same way the neighbours did, over the smell of burning

most notably those of a rapper whose biggest claim to fame was

flesh and blazing fire at my uncles house last week, I still find only

giving the world Vanilla Ice in a wife beater.

one answer to this greatest of all questions quizzed by those querulous of such matters benign; What’s the difference between a pair of

There’s a definite sense of being ultimately driven by fashion rather

£220 BEATS by Dre and a pair of £20 SONY headphones?

than functionality. Honestly, how much better do you think a pair of £250 headphones will be in aural out-lay than a pair half the price?

About £200

Obviously, things like Bluetooth connectivity and wireless-withoutloss are additions worth paying for if such a thing you want, and the old rule of You Get What You Pay For should be observed up to a certain price-point – but when that point gets reached and we’re firmly into padding a singer’s pension pot with our hard earned, hard-earned then we really have to take a moment’s pause to look at what we’re buying. It may state being the best for this type of sound or the greatest at achieving these levels of in-depth and expansive tonal reach double the power of the original computers that sent Russian dogs off to die in space, but as an uneducated plebeian to perfect aural assault such pretty missives are like the drawing your five year old presents you when he comes in from school; there’s enough going on to keep your eyes busy but it’s such a mass of mess it could be a long lost Picasso or a piece of snot smeared up the page and you’d still award it the same grunted half smile nod of vague approval before moving on and seeing what’s for tea. All those numbers and abbreviated hieroglyphs on the side of the box? They’re the guide to revealing how good the thing inside the box is; how well it projects the sound through the wire curling out beneath the Princess Leia head gear. What frequency they transmit said sound across, and how good or bad they are at doing same. Nobody reads or even understands these missives, and to the average man in the street you may as well have a picture of an infected lung on the side for all the interest they’ll be paid when making their final choice.

BWD Magazine • • 17


ocalist, pianist, composer within the fields of such disparate genres as R&B, Jazz, Soul and Classical Music, Jennifer Garces-Owens musical bow has so

exclusive interview

many strings to it that it’s practically an orchestra of aural opulence all in its own right.

Presently to be found at the Royal Conservatory of Music working on

BWD: Hello, and if you would like to announce yourself...? I would like to refer myself as Jennifer Garces-Owens.

performers ARCT in piano, Jennifer’s previous engagements are as many as they are munificent; from touring and performing as part

BWD: Your biography speaks of one completely obsessed with

of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, appearing with band The

music, genre and style seemingly no barrier to your interest..?

Clear Mind before enamoured Canadian audiences, to composing music for film and television scores and soundtracks, Garces-Owens

The reason I enjoy and do perform so many genres is because there’s

has given us a whole new level of musical execution and the

so much great music and talent out there, that it’s hard to just enjoy

pursuit of its appreciation to be shared and enjoyed with millions

one style of music nowadays. I have utmost respect and appreciation

across the globe.

for all the different varieties of music.

A dabble with the broadcasting


When it comes to actually

affections has seen

performing different styles




of music, I am passionate




about the challenge; like

worldwide, guest-fea-

many actors and actresses.

turing on the Culture

They don’t like to just play

Avenue, the A Channels

the role of only one charac-

‘Big Breakfast Show’, as

ter, this limits oneself as a

well as accepting an

musician. I will be forever a

invite to appear with

student of this industry.

Brian Gee and Barry Campanelli on Omni TV.

In regards to the style of music what I enjoy perform-

Having previously established her fortitude as the standard bearer

ing I would have to say Jazz, Classical and Soul only because there is

for music- her work with band The Clear Mind recently saw her

so much to learn and it has been the biggest challenge of my life.

collaborating on an album with the group, to studying R&B and Soul with respected industry vocal coach Toshi Jackson (of the New

BWD: Even though the up-coming release of your first single

Supremes fame) - she is now turning her attentions to releasing her

Adrenaline High is the solo J.G.O. debut there’s a high likelihood

own original track, the incredible single Adrenaline High.

our audience will have already heard your music..?

With a quick gargle of mouthwash for the throat and a run through

“Adrenaline High” will be the first original song I actually release to

of some vocal scales BWD Magazine felt prepped and ready to talk

the public that can be purchased. However, most of the other origi-

the squark with Jennifer Garces-Owens about her upcoming debut

nals have been performed live locally here in Calgary, AB at events

single release, Adrenaline High; her musical involvement within

such as “The Lilac Festival” and “Calgary Contemporary Musicians

film and television industry, how her collaborations with the band

Festival.” The TV Stations that our Cover Band “Clear Image” have had

The Clear Mind came about, and the ‘who’ and ‘because’ and one or

the privilege to be on are “The A Channel’s - The Big Breakfast Show

two other things as well…

and Omni TV’s - Culture Avenue.

Jennifer Garces-Owens 18 • BWD Magazine •

Having the opportunity to be on Television has definitely increased our popularity when it came to getting more bookings at local venues. The

I would have to say the funniest moments are on stage when we as

only thing I could say that would have hindered us as musicians is that

performers screw up and one has to improvise to save oneself. Those

we were a Cover Band and you can only get so far doing this, but it was

are the moments I do remember well and also touring. I would like to

such a good learning experience for the time. This is why I have taken

say that being on the road is quite the experience and should really

so many years off and started to write original music to start pushing

have the same saying as being in Vegas. “What happens is Vegas, stays

my limits abroad, and only by doing original pieces will one get further

in Vegas!”

as a musician. Lesson learned. BWD: Fill in the blanks; If you were to ask me who I would want to BWD: Your involvement with the band The Clear Mind has seen you

collaborate with on a song then, to be honest, it’d have to be _____

enjoin in collaborations musically as well as hitting the open road

because _____.

and touring with the group to a favourable reception..? There are three that come to mind when it comes to collaborating The Clear Image Band no longer exists unfortunately because two of

with in music and all for the same exact reasons. David Foster, Stevie

the members had already passed away, therefore I decided then to

Wonder and Radiohead. Their songs are extremely well thought out,

become a Solo Artist and start Composing Music for the last 5 years.

their chord changes, keys, melodies and arrangements are fluid, and

The Original Members in 1998 were “Grammy Award Winner” Perry

can be very challenging. The lyrics are intelligent and relate to the

Kibble on Keyboards, Kirby Small on Guitar/Vocals, Memo Suarez on

mass. I basically have to say that they are absolute geniuses in my

Drums and Jennifer Garces-Owens on Vocals. Once our band leader


Perry Kibble passed away the New Members of the band were Barry Campanelli on Keyboards, Kirby Small on Guitar/Vocals, Jennifer

BWD: And finally; you tease us with a release date of End of

Garces-Owens on Vocals, Paul Chin on Drums and Steve Zambrano

February for your debut single Adrenaline High but until then

on Sax.

where can our audience get their fix of Jennifer Garces-Owens?

BWD: You’ve taught and been taught, worked as a solo artist and

At the moment, I continue to be a tease. Lol I have secluded myself

worked with a group, but has there ever been a time/incident when

and have become quite the hermit so I can focus on releasing more

things have been less than in pitch, shall we say..?

originals that will be coming out during the year. Stay tuned!

Ah yes, you are quite correct. I have been very serious about “The Art of

Contact Information:

Music” at the young age of 8 when I first started Classical Piano, which eventually led me to pursue Opera lessons at 13 and then the rest fell

Twitter: @JenGarcesOwens

into place afterwards. I just couldn’t help myself wanting to learn so

Facebook: JenniferGarcesOwens

many genres of music, I always and still do continuously want to learn more. This is the only Industry where it keeps my A.D.D. satisfied. Lol

Photo Credits: Jennifer Garces-Owens - All Rights Reserved BWD Magazine • • 19



he music and style of one whose confidence comes

where careers are perhaps not made but can certainly be broken on

from the complete understanding of who they

such an uninhibited platform.

are as a person, what passion fires their emotions and how to control the energies into constructive

With a unique style that sees a confidence of East Coast Swag

results, is the sound you hear when Chellz takes up

tempered with a flush of Southern roots surge through the eleven

the mic and lays down a track.

tracks on the album Tha Promise Chellz borders on the affluence known to artists many years established; there is a theme of main-

Born in Newark, NJ Chellz excelled in his formative years through

taining the unspoken belief in yourself that weaves you through

the field of sports; specifically basketball, wherein his natural

the albums intoxicating landscape of soundscape and synergy, an

rhythm and born-flow saw him command the court and collect the

appeal of the appealing and attraction of an artist in both senses

accolades of onlookers and audiences alike.

of the word.

Weaving through the country

More than an artist,

much like he wove through

Chellz is an athlete

the opposition, Chellz has

in the music world;

seldom remained static in

out-pacing the com-

one place, moving from New

petition and winning

Jersey to South Carolina and

the world’s atten-

back again, as the mood

tions as he continues

takes, and the sedentary life-

to raise the bar for

style looks set to rear its

others to attempt to

head - such as when the

one day reach.

call came in 2005 for him to retake his position within the field of sports, bring back the glory that had served so

EXCLUSIVE interview

well before, and play for the Francis Marion University basketball team.

BWD: Before we flow into rumination and rhyme, please introduce Located (for now) within the confines of New Jersey, Chellz has

us to Chellz..?

finally committed to recording the style and sound that earned him the respect and interest from the underground scene across the

What’s good BWD they call me Chellz.

country, bringing with it the awards and rewards such a reputation attains. Unofficially dubbed South Carolina’s hottest underground

BWD: Your recent album release Tha Promise is quite an introduction into

artist, Chellz has proven his credibility and worth on the live stage;

the world of Chellz.

where opinion is very much public and reaction an instant decision, 20 • BWD Magazine •

Well I got the idea to name the album Tha Promise from a letter that I wrote to

different than most of my contemporaries so I can rap about different things that

myself a while back. In the letter I said that I would not let anything or anyone

people can relate to. Most rappers can only rap one way and can only tell you

stop me from achieving my goals in life. At the end of the letter I wrote, Tha

about one aspect of life. I can rap about a few things that people can relate to.

Promise. I didn’t want Tha Promise to be a regular mixtape. I wanted it to have an album feel to it. I wanted it to be packaged like an album as well. Most artists

BWD: As one of the most exciting new artists to emerge in recent times do

at this level who are trying to break into the industry don’t have an album out.

you feel any pressure when creating new tracks?

I wanted to be different so I took my own money and put out the album. To get something you never had before you have to do things you never did before. I

I don’t feel any outside pressure when making new music I put enough pressure

recorded like 20 something songs for Tha Promise but I only put 11 songs on the

on myself daily to be great. It’s a blessing for people to like my music. When

CD. I wanted every song to make a statement and to show the world my ability to

someone tells me they like my music it just makes me want to make more. I use

make great music. I think this album is my coming out, so to speak. I think when

to write rhymes down every single day but I always told myself if I want to be

I look back, I’m going to say Tha Promise is what started it all.

great I’m going to have to put the pen down and not write like Biggie and Jay-Z did. That was just my personal goal. No one told me I had to do it that way but

BWD: The album speaks volumes of your talent; inspirational, is more the

I just thought if I want to be great I have to emulate the greats not copy but

word. It seems clear your early success as one of the hottest South Carolina

emulate. So by the time I got to a studio which was 2006 (I started writing raps

artists was very much deserved.

in 2002) I was not writing anything down and it’s been that way ever since. I just like the feel of the beat and I want to be so in tune with the beat that it sounds

I have to go back to when I was going to school at this junior college in

like the beat is coming out of my mouth when I rap. Greatness is my inspiration.

Mississippi (SMCC) playing basketball. I always had this crazy love for music and by the time I got there I was rappin a lil’ bit. I was just reluctant to rap in

BWD: Penultimate question time! As an artist your music has taken you

front of people, my confidence wasn’t there yet. When I finally let a friend of mine

to the minds and hearts of a loyal worldwide following; so imagine your

hear me rap he was blown away. Other people took notice and before you know

surprise when the call comes for you to dust down the shorts and brush up

it I was out battling in front of crowds; but it was when I moved back to South

on your dribbling skills because the NBA is on the ‘phone asking for you to

Carolina where I felt I could really do something with rappin’. Francis Marion

become their next Star Player. It would mean having to call time on your

University is where Chellz the rapper was born and where I first started record-

music career, but on the other hand is an once-in-a-lifetime chance to make

ing music in a studio. I performed for the first time at a talent show at school and

the slam-dunk that’s heard around the world. Basketball or beats; hoops or

the rest as they say is history. The love I got from people was crazy. People were


using my songs as their ring tones and this was 2006, 2007. I started performing more at school and at local parties. When I saw the love I got from people was

Lol...that’s a tough one, basketball is my first love and anyone who knows me

so genuine I knew I had a gift and I knew I would never put this music down.

would tell you that. Basketball was an escape from what was going on in my life. The music made me confront everything that was going on in my life. I think

BWD: Many artists fall to presenting their music with a feeling of arrogance

basketball lead me to music. In life you make plans and I thought I was going

to the sound, but on Tha Promise it’s more a confidence that comes across

to be in the NBA but God had a different plan for me and music was that plan.

on your tracks…

So beats over ball.

The confidence comes from just being myself. When you are being yourself it’s

BWD: And finally; what can we look forward to in the coming months from

easy to talk to people. I had to find my voice and my flow though, it wasn’t

Chellz? Any dates we should be looking to circle on our calendars?

there when I first started rappin’. I had to develop it. I make what I like to call life music. I’m never the same way every day sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m

Well I’m already working on Tha Promise 2. I have about 10 new songs for that

happy, sometimes I want to party and sometimes I just wanna chill. My music

already. It’s going to be better than the first and that should be ready by March. I

reflects my mood and for most people the music they listen to that day is how

have 4 more videos to shoot for Tha Promise. I have some show dates coming up,

they are feeling. I try to capture those feelings in my music. I’m inspired by many

I will keep everyone posted on the dates. I’m also starting up an entertainment

artists. The 5 I’m most inspired by are Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, Nas and Fab. They are

company called ‘Tha Black Cabniet’ that’s coming real soon. I’m going to have

great artists and inspire me to make great music.

a website up and running as well real soon. So be on the lookout for Chellz... he is coming.

BWD: Your style is best described as East Coast swag imbued with a southern

Contact Information:


Website: My sound comes from my background moving back forth from New Jersey to

Twitter: @Chellzthagreat

South Carolina my whole life. So my voice and speech is different from other rap-

Facebook: Chellzthagreat

pers. I went to college, played ball, did the street thing, and worked at Fedex. I’m

Photo Credits: Chellz - All Rights Reserved

a well-rounded and grounded person. I did a lot of things so my aspect on life is

BWD Magazine • • 21

BWD RADIO is available on iTunes & Google Play! DOWNLOAD BWD RADIO’S HOT MOBILE APP

BWD Radio IS Your #1 Variety Station Spinning The Hottest Indie Music Artists of Today!! Non-Stop Music 24/7! All Genres! No Commercials! Your ON THE GO Station!

22 • BWD Magazine •

DUB With a range of influences that span the genres and greats to in-

ing the synonymous Rosa Boi, Dub reveals an up-tempo, bass heavy

clude such artists and bands as diverse as Michael Jackson, The Bea-

smash of a single, a club favourite and certain to remain on your

tles, even the made-up impresarios of the hook laden lords KISS…

playlist for a good while to come.

DUB certainly knows how the greats go about creating a string of notes together into uniquely incredible sounds.

Currently ensconced in the studio crafting new tracks for your consideration – or, as Dub himself puts it constructing the recipe to feed

Since fifteen years of age Dub has been perfecting and honing the

the world his sound of Street & RnB - DUB and his works of infectious

craft that would see him become the most exciting new artist to

confection can be found at the following links

break out of the underground and onto the world’s stage, his association with the unparalleled Billboard charting artist Strizzo was one of fortuitous chance at a local show.

Contact Information:

But...let’s rewind a little and unveil how Dub took the first steps of

Twitter: @dubonmygrind

commanding the stages of the globe after first stepping out of his

Facebook: dubonmygrind

home town of St. Petersburg, FL and into the spotlight of the Tampa Bay Area’s live scene.

Instagram: DubOnMyGrind Photo Credits:

Devastating the competition and building his audience Dub’s sign-

POW Marketing Group

ing with #POW Marketing Group confirms not just his rightful place

All Rights Reserved

at the table of the Good and Greats within Street and R&B, but also


his place on the stages of some of the biggest clubs in the market, each new audience a fan-base about to be claimed beneath his thunderous unveiling of rhythm, sound and suave sine waves. With his first official release All Night being produced and featur-

BWD Magazine • • 23

the 88

What ties the legends of music Ray Davis and the influential supergroup

of ways releasing the band from the ties of another’s chains one year later;

known as The Smashing Pumpkins, a return ticket to tickle the aural won-

armed with the experience of the industry within this freedom to return

ders of audiences the world over through Universal’s cinematic release

to the independent scene that first embraced the band so hard with the

of The Lorax and NBC Comedy Community, and the historic Mecca of

groups 2009 ‘unofficial release’, the album This Must Be Love.

musicians that is London, England’s Royal Albert Hall into one two digit explosion of irresistible urge to get up, get down, and get straight to the

With work on their next album underway 2010 saw The 88 receive word

download charts for more?

from a certain Mr Ray Davies regarding his interest in the group and his penchant for their sound. Fans to a man of the man, the group quickly put

If you answered anything other than ‘why, that sounds like the L.A. band of

together a set of six classic Kinks songs for Mr Davies consideration, an

bombastic brilliance collectively known as The 88’ then congratulations; you

acknowledgement of the bands fandom and appreciation of the classic

win the respect of music connoisseurs and the chagrin of the ill-informed

group as well as the integrity of passion they each held for the music.

everywhere, alongside extra credit from the industry’s insiders. An offer for The 88 to support and back him on his U.S. tour by way of Beginning in 2002 in the sunny climbs of Southern California, Adam

reply later and the toothbrushes were packed alongside the passports as

Merrin, Keith Slettedahl, Todd O’Keefe and Anthony Zimmitti tore the indie

London demanded the tour stop off and set down in the Hall of Albert, a

music scene apart with The 88’s now characteristic explosion of sound and

slew of self-headlining shows complimenting the sojourn across the seas

stage acuity. Two self-released albums quickly confirming both the depth

and solidifying the group in Europe’s consciousness.

of creativity this handful of musicians held and the audience’s insatiable lust for The 88’s music led to the group being hailed by L.A. Weekly as

A further invite from Davies saw him extend the opportunity of perform-

being ‘…the best pop/rock band of the year’, and confirmed their legitimacy

ing on several tracks for the See My Friends-A Kinks Tribute Compilation

as credible artists of considerable merit.

album, recording at his own world famous Konk Studios with artists Lucinda Williams and the late, great Alex Chilton.

A brief flirtation with the industry itself saw the band signed to Island Records in 2007, a coup in the form of having a release on a major label

With their upcoming release - a ten track treat laden LP that sees the

in 2008.

group stretch their musical legs and reveal just how far and above they are from other groups deemed their so-called contemporaries with the

The flirtation proved to be a passing one, however, with a mutual parting

delicate expression of the soul through piano on the song I Saw The Light

BWD Magazine • • 24

That Day unashamedly complimenting the emotive ballad The Clouds

to see so many people glued to their phones looking like zombies everywhere

Rolled In – BWD Magazine put its elbows out and knees forward to clear

you go. It’s become a bad habit.

away the crowds of the intrigued and in-the-know currently surrounding the band and building at an exponential rate to discuss their mind-blow-

BWD: As a band The 88 already feel so familiar, your music appearing in

ing career to date; how they fit touring the world with scoring the Jennifer

many, many high profile films, television shows, commercials, and even

Westfeldt film Friends With Kids, how they continue to break new ground

video games...?

and push back boundaries using technology such as with their iPhone App

One night, I was passing out CD samplers of our music at a Supergrass show at

created release Love Is The Thing, and what they would do if I chose tomor-

Spaceland in Silver Lake, CA, and one landed into the hands of Danny Benair

row as my day of departure..?

who is the owner of Natural Energy Lab. His job is to place music into film and television. He listened to the CD on the way home from the show and

exclusive interview

called us the next day telling us he’d be interested in representing the band. This was the first time we had heard of something like this. This was in 2003 when licensing your music started to become popular. We were there at the

BWD: As we begin, so we introduce ourselves..?

right place and the right time. Although it has slowed down a bit lately, we

Hello BWD Magazine, this is Adam Merrin. I play the keyboards in The 88.

still have been getting work from this. Our song “All Cause of You” is being used in a Russian commercial for Lipton Tea. That’s a perfect example of

BWD: From TV and film soundtracks to touring the world with a living

something that we cannot plan as a band. Our part is to stay creative and

legend; it’s difficult to know what to ask about first..?

get together and make up new songs, and let everything else outside of that

Our last tour was through the Pacific Northwest with Ray Davies. We ended

develop on its own.

that run with two shows at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. The first day we got to play in front of the biggest crowd we’d ever been in front of which was

BWD: Do you feel having achieved so much already, there’s little left for

somewhere around 50-60 thousand people. It was amazing to look out and

The 88’s to set as a target?

see everyone singing every word to all of the Kinks songs.

What works for us is to take it a day at a time, and not think about anything of the future. Success for us is the joy of getting together and playing music

Jennifer Westfeldt was using our song “It’s A Lot” in her film “Friends With Kids”

with each other. Anything that happens outside of that is a bonus. Our record

and contacted us to see if we could record a longer intro for it. So we got

“Fortune Teller” came out in June and we were very happy to make vinyl copies

together and wrote a few options for her to choose from. Her editor ended up

of it. We recorded it in my house and we all played live in the living room. We

taking those intros and placing them in a few other spots in the film, which

were limited on how much control we had in the final mix since the sound of

she ended up falling in love with. So that led us to writing more music for

the instruments were bleeding into all the microphones but the room ended

some other scenes. We ended up scoring more than half the movie which is

up sounding good and we were pleased with the way it came out.

something we’ve always been interested in doing. We appreciate every opportunity that comes to the band. We enjoy getting together and being creative.

BWD: Aside from the Kinks who would you ‘drop everything’ for to go on

Projects like this help force us into writing and recording ideas that may not

tour with – even if it meant playing to an unappreciative crowd?

have come on our own. I’ve learned to give up the idea of having expectations

The Beatles

for The 88. The future is beyond my control, so my part is to be open to all opportunities and just appreciate every day and be grateful that I have Keith,

BWD: Penultimate question time! Simply finish this sentence stol- adapted

Todd, and Anthony to make music with.

from that classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song; ’If I leave here tomorrow, will you…’?

BWD: You’ve embodied the original spirit of the Kinks music, certainly,

know that I haven’t left.

embracing all forms of medium to engage with your fans and bring your music to the world..?

BWD: And finally; when can we look forward to the next ‘The 88’ release?

The video we made for “Love Is The Thing” came about when we were look-

We’re currently writing and working on a new batch of songs for the next

ing for a new way to record a song. We like to try different things when we

release. We get together at least twice a week and are hashing out new mate-

start working on a new project; whether it’s being in a new studio, switching

rial. So I’m sure sometime this year we will be sharing a new album. In the

instruments, or experimenting with new sounds. So we had heard about this

meantime, we just finished a music video for “Deep In Your Heart” from Fortune

app called ‘FourTrack’ that allows you to record multiple tracks on your phone.

Teller, which we will be posting online very soon!

So we documented the process of us recording this song and posted it online. The band uses social media to announce tour dates, and to post videos on our

Contact Information:

Facebook and Youtube page. We will also post on our Twitter page as well.


However, we don’t use those things as much as some people. I try to avoid

Twitter: @the88

that stuff as it’s just a waste of time for me. I can see how it can be beneficial

Facebook: the88

for people, but I just don’t think it’s necessary to put any energy into. It’s crazy

Photo Credits: The 88 - All Rights Reserved

BWD Magazine • • 25

bwd records, llc independent music label of the south Continuing to set the standard for others to follow

Owing to their unique position within the world of

BWD Radio has extended its vast reach in the me-

music BWD were able to snap up and sign Flori-

dia with the launch of its own record label, BWD

da based rapper 5 M.I.C-Z to their label, an artist

Records, LLC ‘The Independent Music Label of the

that brings with himself a level of credibility that


owes everything to musical talent and dedication and nothing to a cynical self-styled back-story and

Taking over a decade’s worth of industry knowledge

whose first release on the label – ‘Head Turna’ – has

and experience BWD Records, LLC - ‘The Indepen-

firmly established the label as serious competition

dent Music Label Of The South’ - is the culmination

to the established status quo.

of BWD’s vast expertise in the field of music and artist promotion; not content with simply waiting

Continuing to set the standard for others to follow

to see what single or artist reaches number one

BWD Radio has proven again the need to change

BWD Radio took their position of being known

and adapt in this never static landscape of media

globally as the leaders in discovering new indie

and music is key to continued growth and success.

acts and on the 26th of October 2012 launched

Pushing where others are content to stagnate is

their own record label, BWD Records. Dedicated to

the secret behind where BWD Radio currently find

finding the best as-yet unknown talent out there

themselves today, and with the launch of their own

BWD doesn’t limit itself to one specific genre; rath-

label in BWD Records it gives you some idea of just

er it extends its horizons to include all genres such

how far BWD Radio are aiming to go.

as rock, metal, hip hop and dance amongst others. A smorgasbord of scintillating new acts are present-

“Don’t just MAKE a Difference, BE the Difference.”

ed under the BWD mantle, representing the best of the best and most unique in their field, such as you

– BWD Records, LLC

have come to expect from one of the industry’s top

‘The Independent Music Label of the South’

media professionals.

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26 • BWD Magazine •

BWD Magazine - February 2014  

Known for being one of the Great States and respected for not doing things by half, Texas is one of the most lauded places to find the bigge...