Worldwide Indie Music, Lifestyles, Entertainment Magazine
christina maria from the cyprus shores to European Applause
KAYLEE rUTLAND BILLBOARDS’ ARTIST-TO-WATCH in 2014
‘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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
FROM THE EDITOR
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
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BWD Magazine • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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
Records and Redux Recordings. Website: www.christinamaria.co.uk
From the Cyprus shores to European applause, serenading the
world on stage to standing on the brink of entirely new genres,
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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
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-
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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
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
libraries worth of receipts for the Tax-Man to trouble himself with.
Broken guitar strings lie in wait for the unwary sitter on cushions
Photo Credits: Phil Knott - All Rights Reserved BWD Magazine • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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.
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,
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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
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
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
Mississippibabydol1@gmail.com Facebook: MS.BABYDOL Twitter: @BABYDOL_QUEENB Photo Credits: LTC Studios - All Rights Reserved.
BWD Magazine • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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-
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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
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: offenda.co.uk
The question, of course, is which would you pick and why?
Twitter: @ Offenda_co_uk Photo Credits: Offenda - All Rights Reserved
BWD Magazine • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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?
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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
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
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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
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
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
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
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
into place afterwards. I just couldn’t help myself wanting to learn so
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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
Website: www.reverbnation.com/chellz My sound comes from my background moving back forth from New Jersey to
South Carolina my whole life. So my voice and speech is different from other rap-
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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 • www.bwdmagazine.com
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.
But...let’s rewind a little and unveil how Dub took the first steps of
commanding the stages of the globe after first stepping out of his
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 23
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
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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
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
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
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
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
that stuff as it’s just a waste of time for me. I can see how it can be beneficial
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 • www.bwdmagazine.com • 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-
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Records, LLC ‘The Independent Music Label of the
that brings with himself a level of credibility that
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Taking over a decade’s worth of industry knowledge
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and experience BWD Records, LLC - ‘The Indepen-
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dent Music Label Of The South’ - is the culmination
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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
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