Ellis Music Magazine Issue 18 featuring Kyle + More!

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KYLE // South By South West // JOJO // Gold Connections // Ryder // DozerTx // Rozes // Maverick Music Fest + More!




thank You my staff for putting to

together such awesome content, I’m so proud of everyone on our team for working countless hours and coming together to make this possible. Our cover artist this month is Kyle, also referred to by his fans as “Super Duper Kyle.” I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and his crew and watch them grow from 2013 ‘til now. He’s been on the cusp of stardom for some time and finally hit it with his breakout single “I Spy” featuring Lil Yachty released late last year. Read more on page 20. Also in this issue is Legendary Austin Music Festival South By South West. Rising band Gold Connections, who recently made their SXSW debut, a photo set of returning artist JOJO, Texas band Dozer Tx. Rising female powerhouse songstresses Rozes and Ryder. The one and only hippy Mod Sun, San Antonio’s very own Maverick Music Festival and more! Lastly our staff thanks you for the continued support, Thank you. DANIELLE ELLIS Ellis Music Magazine Owner






IN THIS ISSUE Meet the staff.......................6 Photoset: JOJO....................7 Gold Connections................8 Mod Sun.............................11 R y d e r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 DozerTX.................16 Kyle........................20 South By South West ........22 J M B LYA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 7 Mayday Parade..................28 Rozes.......................30 The Main............................34 Maverick Music Festival......36




PHOTO SET: JOJO Photographed by: Kris Lori


ARTIST FEATURE: GOLD CONNECTIONS Writing and Photographed by: Ashley Travis

It was a Thursday night and Virginia natives, Gold Connections, had recently returned home from SXSW. Their self titled EP would be released the following day, March 31st 2017, on the Fat Possum record label. Gold Connections is Will Marsh (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Patrick Haggerty (Drums), Brett Jones (Bass), and Ryan Lipps (Guitar). The band held their EP release party at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia that evening. The venue is 8

a favorite tour stop for rising talents, with a down to earth music hall vibe, a comfort food based menu, and local craft brews. Frontman Will Marsh warmly claims Charlottesville as both his hometown and the place he became a songwriter. The lyrics to “Faith in Anyone” played on repeat in my mind, as I drove on interstate 64 from my house to The Downtown Mall for the show… .”From the highway, to the mall, from the mall, to your house.” I arrived to the venue early to find

Will and Patrick carefully placing fresh vinyl and posters on a merch table. Fans could purchase records pre-release at the show directly from a thankful and humbled member of the band. I had a bittersweet moment of feeling both proud and protective of this local gem as I watched Will create a sign from a scrap of cardboard and a permanent marker, VINYL $15. I thought, don’t ever change. Perhaps this sentiment was common that night in Charlottesville as Gold Connections released their EP and prepared for a series of tour dates, quickly gaining momentum as their dizzying sound howled across the nation. The show was presented by local independent radio station, WNRN. Also based in Charlottesville, Virginia. WNRN sent Gold Connections across the airwaves last year with songs, “Popular Fiction” and “Icarus” making their way to listeners across Virginia and eventually to their label, Fat Possom. The evening featured a showcase of powerful talent. Singer-songwriter Angelica Garcia opened the show with her jaw dropping mix of haunting melodies and swamp rock heavy riffs. Her vocals command attention

and captivate the audience from start to finish. Her sound keeps listeners in an attentive trance. Her debut album, Medicine For Birds, was released in 2016 on Warner Brothers Records. Winstons grungy soul filled guitar/ drummer duo followed up with a raw and melodic punch. They shake the ground, bringing the crowd to life. Winstons are an animated and energetic duo, guitarist Lou Nutting described their live sound best as, “A Party”. Catch them live whenever possible and check out their 7” LP Without You/Enough released in 2016 on Warhen Records. Finally, I watched as Gold Connections took the stage, skimming past the velvety red stage curtains I came to associate with shows at The Southern. It wasn’t long before the dream like melodies paired with crunchy rock riffs began having a magnetic effect on the audience, pulling them in close. Will’s vocals start as a shy whisper and tumble into an energetic roar. A build up that is infectious to witness, every time. During the shred heavy moments of songs like “Popular Continued to next page 9

ARTIST FEATURE: GOLD CONNECTIONS Writing and Photographed by: Ashley Travis

Fiction” and “New Religion”, I noticed a flood of euphoria sweep over the crowd. Something in the songs telling the audience to let go, and a willing compliance. To some, the five well rounded songs of the EP resemble a likeness to the band Car Seat Headrest, often mentioned in conjunction with Gold Brett Jones of Gold Connections Connections. That likeness can be traced back to Will Toledo, frontman of Car Seat Headrest, who helped produce the Gold Connections EP. The paired creative chemistry of Toledo and Marsh is undeniable. Toledo’s production and hazy vocal influence is ever present, adding a dynamic sound to Marsh’s grounded and sincere vocal style. A sound I admittedly had grown to love in the band’s live performances. There’s Patrick Haggerty of Gold Connections an honesty about Gold Connections songs that cannot be ignored and the end result is an EP that manages to bring that feeling home. You’ll find yourself at the end of those five songs before you know it, coming back for more. Find Gold Connections tour dates, music, and more at http://www. goldconnectionsmusic.com/ 10

Ryan Lipps of Gold Connections

NEW ALBUM: “MOVIE” BY MOD SUN Writing by Danielle Ellis

Mod Sun released his highly anticipated sophomore studio album “Movie” on March 10th 2017. Following the release of the album Mod Sun announced his “Movie” tour supporting the album. Remaining dates and tickets available on www.modsun.com/tour 11


Where are you from? NY

If you had to describe your music style in one word what would it be? Did you grow up with music or Colorful find it later? I started wanting to sing at the age In a world where lyrical content of 3 and just knew that was it for is sacrificed to make popular me. music, how important is lyricism to you when writing a new song? What is your favorite track out Its definitely important to me to say right now? something meaningful. But I’ll also Hmmm I love them all for different say that even a fun song about a reasons but let’s go with “Nirvana” silly moment in time can be really cause it’s the new new ;) well written when there’s attention paid to the details. 12

Do you consciously think about it? Lyrics? Yes surely but I also let the song guide me and the vibe of the day to create the best thing I can in that moment. Sometimes there’s something bursting in me that I feel needs to be said and I’ll come in with ton of notes about it on my phone before we’ve even begun to make a song.

How long have you been creating music? I’ve been a creator of music since 13 years old, but I’ve been a student of music since I was 7 years old and started to write poetry at 8. At 13, I opened a fresh notebook and jotted down my first song ever. I then gave my older cousin a call who was a music producer for film and TV and asked if I could come over Can you tell us a little about the and record what i had just made. music you already have out? So that’s how I made my first demo. I have 4 released songs so far; “Pretty Little Gangster”, “Ruins”, Do you write everything yourself “Fade Away” and now the latest or have help from co-writers? tune “Nirvana”. Each has been I write all my songs but I’m a huge really special and defining for me believer in collaboration and always in different ways. I have a lot of like to work with fellow songwriters different sides and layers to me as and producers. I think so many of a person and I think that comes the greatest songs come out of through in my music as well. I want that and it makes the process so every song to be a stand alone much more fun. Making something piece of art, beautiful in a collection, as awesome as music should be but something to be appreciated all enjoyable. I tend to get in my head on its own. The first three songs a lot, like most artists and I find the represent a darker side of myself best way for me to allow my best and “Nirvana” to me opens a door ideas to flow is through bouncing to something more optimistic and ideas off of others. bright, I enjoy blending the light with dark and look forward to giving you What genre do you consider guys a lot more of both. yourself? Hmm I feel like most honestly I am 13

a blend of so many genres and a bit McDonald, Whitney, Celine, Mary left of center, but if we need labels J Blige. Then I remember I was a big fan of Avril and Green Day in perhaps indie pop haha my angsty teens haha. What are some of your musical At this point, I’ve really grown my influences? own musical tastes and listen to Now and growing up. Growing artists like son lux, imogen heap, up I studied classical, choral, and Amy Winehouse, bjork, M.I.A, folk music so that’s been a major Santigold, robyn and modern influence for me throughout. Outside bands like tame impala, purity ring, of my music studies as a kid I listened chvrches. So my musical taste is to a lot of music at home that my all over the map really. I wouldn’t parents would listen to. I heard say I’m directly influenced by other everyone from Michael Jackson artists but a sum of many different to Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, Michael parts, I just love music. 14

Is there a specific artist that has made an outstanding impact on your life? Not one artist specifically but so many have. Can you speak a little about your recent releases and tell us how you feel it represents where your at in your musical career? I think I’m at a point where I wanna share so much more of what I can do with audiences. I’ve been more innovative and constantly pushing myself to make bolder musical choices and i want people to hear that

Stream Nirvana here

If you could share one of the most important pieces of advice you have learned with other aspiring artists what would it be? Always ask questions, and if you don’t find the answers easily, become a detective and go search for them. We have more resources than ever before with the Internet and social media we need to utilize them :) I’d also say don’t settle for others telling you what your glass ceiling is, if you feel you can push limits and reach higher, don’t let anyone hold your hand down. 15

ARTIST INTERVIEW: DOZER TX Written and Photographed by: TJ Martinez

How did you all meet? A: We’ve all known each other in our local scene for years, Kevin and I actually met at Warped Tour and bonded over the Swellers, Eli and I were in a band together, and one of Mark’s old bands played shows all the time with our bands. Would you all say you complement each other as artists, if so in what ways? A: We all offer different inputs and benefit from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but at the same time we are all on the same page. We aren’t afraid to tell each other 16

that an idea could be better or go in a different direction that is better for the band in general. What is your favorite song that you and your band have written and why? A: Probably Leech, off our new record. It’s so much fun to play, and it’s become a hit when we play it live, people are always pointing it out saying that it’s their favorite which is good for me because I like it so much as well. It hits hard and the bridge is my favorite part because it’s so huge and powerful.

Did you grow up surrounded by music or discover it later? A: My dad has been a musician since he was young, he still plays to this day. When I was little he introduced all kinds of different artists to me, from Black Flag to Stevie Ray Vaughn. He would always take me to his live shows and one of the first times I ever played a live show was actually with him, I think I was 14 or 15 at that time.

In a world where lyrical content is often sacrificed to create popular music, how important is lyricism to you when writing songs? A: It’s very important! As I said before I write a lot of the lyrics to our songs and when it comes to the writing process, I will just sit and write about different topics with no melodies or rhythms in my mind, and then adjust them accordingly when the melodies and rhythms come along, which what Kevin does How do you incorporate your really well. We take pride in our roots into your work? lyrics, they’re all incredibly personal A: I was really into blink-182 and and I’m really proud of the lyrics on Motion City Soundtrack when I our new record. started playing music, so I’ve always wanted to play something fast and How do you strive to stand out in catchy. I write a lot of the lyrics an industry with so many artists? and I’ve always loved MCS’s lyrics A: I’ve thought about this and it’s and how they made such catchy very difficult to stand out when there melodies with really dark lyrics, so is such a wide variety of artists all depending on the song I try to use around the world. We try our best to that as inspiration. make our live show consistently fun and our performances tight because Is there a specific artist that has I think that’s the most important. I made a significant impact on think if an artist can sound stronger your life? than their records when they play a A: blink was really huge for me back live show, people will remember that, in the day. Circa Survive and Say I know I do. Since we are all good Anything also inspired me big time friends we have a lot of charisma and I’ve seen them both multiple with each other when we play too times live. and people will point that out too. 17

It sounds cliché, but honestly we just be ourselves. I don’t try to be anything I’m not or say things I don’t normally say, when I was in bands in high school I would say things to try and sound “cool” and I quickly learned that that’s not the way to be. When writing your music how do you draw from personal experiences, feelings, or other things surrounding you such as movies and art? A: I’m a very empathetic person and I think that helps with my writing a lot. I’ll watch movies or TV and if 18

a show clicks with me or I relate to a certain character or story, I find myself writing lyrics about it. Westworld was the most recent show that I wrote a bunch of lyrics about, I definitely recommend that show if you haven’t checked it out. When did you know you wanted to make music for the rest of your life? A: Probably when I was like 12. I went to so many shows that my dad played and seeing his passion for music was always really cool. As I got a little bit older and started to have such strong support for

artists that I looked up to, I would go to their shows and see so many people singing along to their songs and how many people they have a positive influence over, I’ve told myself ever since then that, that was what I wanted to achieve myself. Music is like a drug, I’ve described it as being untouchable when I play and I hope that feeling never goes away. I don’t think it will.

artists? A: Practice as often as you can, work hard and be yourself. I know that sounds pretty generic but it’s true. Don’t worry so much about what other bands are doing and support your fellow artists when they get cool opportunities. Be honest with your band mates and if you have an issue with someone, don’t hold it in. I’ve seen a lot of bands break up over little things that pile Can you talk a bit about the music up. It’s like any other relationship, you already have out? communication is key. A: We have our first EP Self Stream DozerTx here Sabotage that came out in the summer of 2015 and then a split with our friends in Nominee last year. Those two releases as well as our new record Centerpiece were recorded at Blackroom Studios in Georgetown, Texas. Who is your dream collaboration? A: Writing a song with Mark Hoppus would be a dream come true for sure. Recording with Will Yip would be incredible, he’s released a lot of my favorite records in the last few years. What is one of the most important pieces of advice that you would like to share with other aspiring 19


Shot by: Anthony Campusano (@OneHispanic) Written by: Danielle Ellis

23 year old rapper Super Duper Kyle has been on the cusp of stardom for some time now, currently riding the wave on his first number one single “I Spy” featuring Lil Yatchy. Kyle has payed his dues prior to signing to Atlantic Records at the beginning of this year. Kyle was on the independent grind with his team, nicknamed the “Super Duper Crew” releasing his first record “Beautiful Loser” in 2013 and touring with G-Eazy on the “These Things Happen Tour.” In 2014 Kyle released his single “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” which is also featured on his latest album “SMYLE.” Between 2014 and his latest release of “SMYLE” Kyle has collaborated with G-Eazy on “King Wavy,” and Kehlani on “Just A Picture” not to mention the two other singles he released in 2016 “Blame” and “Doubt it.” His latest album “SMYLE” features Chance the Rapper, SuperDuperBrick, Yuna and Je$$e. Kyle recently embarked on his “Super Tour” starting in Tempe, AZ and covering over 30 other cities, ending in his home state of California. Kyle recently announced 20

he will be joining The Chainsmokers on their “Memories Do Not Open” tour in San Fransisco, San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio and New Orleans. Kyle is definitely an artist to watch. Between his stellar live show featuring some of the coolest visuals and dance moves I’ve ever seen, Kyle is on his way to redefining what being a rapper in 2017 means. In an era of rappers who often take themselves too seriously, Kyle is able to preform with amazing enthusiasm and crediting the fans on his success. His positive outlook on life and always being happy makes him one of the most positive people I’ve gotten the chance to meet. It wasn’t always like that, though. During his show Kyle touches on finding Kid Cudi in high school, and the importance of mental health before leading into a cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” by Cudi. With a calculated, skilled and strategic approach at everything, Kyle has built quite a fan base completely on his own without a major backing. Keep your eye out for this rockstar, he’s got big things coming!


SXSW: PANDORA HOUSE FEAT TI Photographed and written by: Stephanie Tacy

The crowd came for T.I. but they got so much more. On Tuesday, March 14th, Pandora hosted a showcase for SXSW including artists Temples, Powers, Rob $tone, and headliner T.I. at The Gatsby. The beauty of the Pandora line up was in their lack of dedication to one genre. While most hip-hop headlined shows feature up and coming rappers or a house DJ who barely diverges outside hip hop music, Pandora packed together 4 artists from varying genres. They 22

were going to give the audience what you wanted to hear but also expose them to new music, one of the main goals of SXSW. With a lineup that strong the venue hit capacity quickly, though that did not stop individuals from remaining in line hoping for a chance to get in on what was now a one in, one out basis. The show began with English rock band, Temples, whose psychedelic undertones had the audience begging for more. Next up was

Powers, an electro-pop duo out of Los Angeles. Their electric energy swept the crowd as they sang “Classic” and “Sunshine”. Performing an array of songs both old and unreleased, the duo had some audience members questioning why they had not heard of them before. Rob $tone followed Powers serving the audience a newer sub-genre of rap music. With the audience now ready to go, the stage lights darkened. Beams of purple and blue highlighted the stage as T.I. emerged in a Wu-tang t-shirt and a black trench coat. T.I. danced and bounced around as performed some of his hit songs “Motivation”, “Big Things Poppin”, “No Mediocre”, and much more. Everyone from the front to the back of the venue seemed to dance and/ or rap along as he captivated them

with at least one song from each of his major albums. Whether you were a T.I. fan or not, you left with a memorable performance.

Temples (Above)

Rob$tone (Above)

Powers (Above)


SXSW: SWISHA SWEET HOUSE Shot and Written by: Stephanie Tacy

Mike Jones (Left) Slim Thug (Right)

With the line wrapped around the block, Revolt TV hosted a showcase unlike any other I have attended at SXSW. The showcase, located at Vulcan Gas Company on 6th Street, included over 25 artists equating about 10 hours worth of music. The lineup included many up and coming artists including Young M.A., MadeinTYO, Ro James, Nick Grant, Blac Youngsta, and Khalid as well as esteemed artists like Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and Slim Thug. As the venue began to fill artists such as Rainsford, TYus, Ari Lennox, and Kodie Shane took the stage. Decked out in Brooklyn attire, Young M.A. hit 24

the stage with an energy that stood out from those before her. The crowd rapped along as she performed “Body Bag”, “Get this Money,” and her hit song “Ooouuu.”With the venue at full capacity, standout house DJ, Hannah Rad, kept the show moving playing tracks in between sets. The array of music from top 40s to classic Hip Hop to EDM kept the crowd on their toes and provided a distraction from the fact that the showcase began to run behind schedule. Positioned later in the lineup, R&B artist, Khalid gave a nice break from the hip hop artists before him. As he took to the stage with a keyboardist and guitarist, the audience knew they were getting something different. Twerking slowed down to hip sways as he performed his hit song “Location.” Twenty-one artists later, DJ Michael

“5000” Watts made his way to the stage to get the Swishahouse Reunion underway. Lil Mario and Big Tiger performed first before an injured Mike Jones took to the stage. With a Jordan on one foot and a Gucci flip flop on the other, Mike leaned against a bar stool and performed crowd favorites “Back Then” and “Flossin.” With four fingers in the air, Mike Jones ended his set with “Still Tippin” as Paul Wall and Slim Thug joined him on stage. The crowd cheered and rapped along as each artist performed songs that

C.Stone the Breadwinner (above)

Continued to next page

Lil’ Flip (above)

Lil Mario and Big Tiger (above)

Paul Wall (above) 25

Ro James (above)

highlighted their career. For Paul Wall this included “Sittin Sidewayz” and “Grills” for which he brought out Johnny Dang to the stage. Lil Flip made a guest appearance as DJ Michael Watts reminded the crowd of a time when Houston rappers did not get along. After Lil Flip performed songs including “Like a Pimp” and “Da Freestyle King”, Slim Thug took the stage to perform some of his hits “Thug” and “I Run.” After a night of Houston anthems, some of the rappers took to 6th to greet fans.

Young Ma (above)

Trae Tha Truth (above) 26



SHOW REVIEW: MAYDAY PARADE Written by: Erin Richer

On April Twenty-Second I geared up for a night that I knew would be emotional for me: Mayday Parade’s ten-year anniversary tour for A Lesson in Romantics. When the record first debuted on July 10th in 2007 I didn’t know how much it would come to mean to me or so many other people. Through the ups and downs of navigating high school and going off to college in an unfamiliar city, this album gave 28

me the courage to power through. Seeing and hearing it played in full was going to wreck me emotionally, but in the best way possible. What I wasn’t expecting was how much I’d enjoy the opening bands. First up was Milestones, a band from the UK that I’ll admit only vaguely sounded familiar. I’d heard them brought up in conversation a handful of times but I never actively listened to them until this night. On

tours like this, I feel like it can be hard for an opening band to get the crowd excited. From where I was standing, it seemed to have no trouble with getting people going. It was easy to tell that this band has a natural affinity for performing in front of a crowd, regardless of where they are. I’m really excited to see where this band goes in the next few months because they are full of potential and talent. I’ve lived in Chicago on and off for the past five years and I had yet to see Knuckle Puck until this tour. I’d only been casually listening to them for a few months before this night and I was blown away. If I could say one thing about this band it’s that their fans in their hometown are dedicated. Not just in the way that they show up to shows but they go hard when they play. Although I wasn’t in the pit for any of this show, my sixteen-year-old heart ached to be in the crowd and feeling every emotion that those kids were feeling. The room felt absolutely electric. Finally, we were all ready for Mayday Parade. I could barely contain my excitement before they took the stage. We waited anxiously as the crew members built the stage that the headliner would be playing on

in mere minutes. The stage was designed to look like the cover of A Lesson in Romantics. The backdrop was the red and orange sunset, the speakers covered in what looked like buildings, and Jake Bundrick’s drumhead revealed the man carrying the red umbrella. It was completely clever without being cheesy. As the first notes of Jamie All Over filled my ears I remembered why I’ve been a fan of this band for so long. Being in a room full of people singing the lyrics to songs that helped me through my formative years as an adult was truly surreal. I truly felt like I was sixteen again, but without as much teenage angst. I know people that were disappointed that Jason Lancaster wasn’t there to do the tour with them, but I will say that these five guys pulled it off regardless. Part of me wishes I could live this night over and over again, but I know that it will forever be a special memory for me to hold onto forever.



Interviewed and Photographed by Danielle Ellis

Meet vocal power house and Philadelphia native Rozes! Ellis Music Magazine Owner got the chance to sit down and chat with her during the madness known as South By South West.

month if everything stays according to plan, I’m doing firefly and a bunch of festivals hopefully an LP is coming soon!

“Do you plan on having any special guests on your LP?” “Is this your first time at South I do! There’s this new production duo By South West?” called SSIK and they are producing No, this is actually my second! my whole record, I’m hoping it comes out by the fall but we’re kind “What do you have in the works of putting the pieces together now! in the next few months” I have a new single coming out next 30

“Can you tell us a little about yourself and your upbringing with music? I have always done music, my family is a very musical family. My dad plays guitar and everything else, and my mom grew up with flute, piano, and guitar so we kind of fell into music and it became our way of escape or praise or our way of crying. I started playing in church and in children’s choirs and I did it in high school, it’s always been my thing. I started writing in high school. When I went through a breakup I started using that to my advantage because I had music and I could use it.

“How did music impact your life growing up?” It kind of became my only friend for a while, I was bullied in school so I would turn to Adele, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, and Amy Wine house who knew so much about loneliness and heartbreak. It kind of became my only friend and diary when I started writing. “How did growing up outside of Philadelphia help you become the musician you are today?” I grew up in a really good school district and we had a really good music program, so I think that I was really shaped and rescued by all my music teachers. I had a specific music teacher named Mr. New who really took me under his wing and was my escape when I had no one to sit with at lunch because we had band rehearsal at lunch or something like that. I was so lucky that I went to the high school that I went to because that’s why I am who I am.

“When did you find out music is what you wanted to do?” I think I always knew I was going to end up in a creative industry somehow. I always knew that I wasn’t the person to fit in, I didn’t have that many friends growing up. I had my three best friends and people came and went. I always knew I would do music cause it was the only thing I could picture myself doing I couldn’t picture myself doing “Do you have any friends that inspire you in the industry?” anything else. Of course my friends The Chainsmokers, they inspire me to no end. When I met them they’d


just come off their song, “Selfie” and they were hating the song and just wanted something new for themselves, and here they are, nominated for Grammy’s and winning awards. I see them on TV which is really inspiring to see them come from one place and get to another. “How was working with The Chainsmokers, and how did it come about?” It was just hanging out with my two friends, and all of a sudden we were in this together. Well, they messaged me on Twitter and they sent some tracks back and forth, but I really pushed to get into the studio with them because there is something to be said about the emotional connection in a room and I guess that’s just the old school in me. So we sat in a room and wrote and out came Rozes haha. “How do you incorporate your roots into your work?” I guess the way that I do it is emotionally by the people who have effected me, my newest song matches with cash cash is like so clearly about my boyfriend that I was dating in high school so I guess 32

I take those emotional roots with me everywhere I go. “In a world where lyrical content is often sacrificed to create popular music, how important is lyricism to you when writing a song?” I completely agree there are so many times when people ask me like, “What are you listening to these days?” And it’s so hard for me to answer because I’ve grown up being attached to what people say. There’s something about my music that I want to be so brutally honest that somebody knows what the song is about so they can feel it and cry to it or dance to it. I take such personal experiences and really put it out there for the world to see and even something as lighthearted as my song “Rozes” with The Chainsmokers, I would not sacrifice one lyric in that song because I needed to tell the story of falling in love. I think it’s so important to me personally to have the most honest lyrics I can and I don’t want to just have the pop lyric thats gonna get on the radio, so if I don’t feel attached to it I’m not gonna write it.

a dramatic person. I wanted to add the dramatics of my lyrics and add “How do you strive to stand the piano and the violin but also out in an industry with so many have the dance vibes, so I guess artists?” that’s really where I’m at now. I think that with my own style and my own writing, there’s something “Who is your dream to be said about the things that I do. collaboration?” I do them for myself and I learned Calvin Harris how to do them myself. You’ll find so much in the industry where “Who would you dream to tour you know people just maybe don’t with?” have time to write their own music I would love to tour with The 1975 anymore, or have time to step in or Kings of Leon. the studio and pour their heart out. I feel like for me, I’m never going “What is one of the most to stop doing that and that’s what’s important pieces of advice you gonna set me apart. That’s what would like to share with other set Adele apart in the industry, the inspiring artists” constant honesty and going through Never compare yourself to others. something and going into the studio It’s so easy to look at someone and talking about it. else’s path and think, “Oh, they’re 23 and they’re already holding “Can you tell us a little bit about a Grammy.” It doesn’t matter. the music you already have out?” You can’t put a time limit on your I would say it’s an emotional dream. Essentially it’s like finding a pop-dance vibe. Before I met boyfriend or a girlfriend or getting The Chainsmokers I was kind of married and having kids. Everyone in a singer-songwriter symphonic is going to be on their own time theatrical and dramatic Lana schedule, so you can’t be keeping Del Rey kind of area. I met The up with everybody. You have to do Chainsmokers and it kind of plunged it your way and not compare your me into the pop dance world. After that I wanted to kind of mesh the two worlds together because I am 33


I’m a firm believer that The Maine is one of the most hardworking bands in the scene today. From being signed to a label, to being a completely independent act, they are the poster band of what can happen when musicians care about not only their craft, but their dedicated fan base as well. The much anticipated release of their sixth studio album Lovely Little Lonely was met with 34

an overwhelming amount and love and support on social media, and rightfully so. The Maine are one of the few bands that consistently releases good music. From Can’t Stop Won’t Stop to American Candy we’ve seen them grow and evolve into what is Lovely Little Lonely. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve heard a single from a band that made me want to immediately per-

order their album. The moment I heard “Bad Behavior” I knew that this record was going to be something special. That was confirmed with their second single “Black Butterflies and Deja Vú” and I couldn’t help but think about how great the rest album was going to be. I knew that following American Candy would be tough because it was my favorite record they’ve released. However, knowing this band, I knew they’d have some sort of magic up their sleeves. When I finally heard LLL in it’s entirety, it felt like I was falling in love all over again. The night that the album dropped I stayed up until my perorder downloaded from the iTunes store so I could listen to it from front to back without distractions. I laid in my bed with the lights out and listened as each song flowed seamlessly from one to the next, something that I’m a total sucker for. I felt myself smiling because I couldn’t contain how much I loved the lyrics in each song and how nostalgic it felt, but also hopeful for the future. There’s not a single song on this record that I don’t enjoy. I feel like that’s so rare because a lot of the time I can find one song

that I just don’t connect with. Yet somehow I genuinely love every song on LLL. Some of my favorites include “Do You Remember (The Other Half of 23)”, “The Sound of Reverie”, and “How do you Feel”. If being a fan of The Maine has taught me anything, it’s that hard work and dedication can help you reach your dreams but you can’t do it without the people that love and support you. Growth and change is going to happen, but it doesn’t always have to be big, bad, and scary. The Maine will continue to put out good music and their fans will continue to love it because of the partnership that they’ve formed with them since day one. They’ve remained humble and true to their craft even after five previous fulllengths, and a handful of EP’s. They truly have nowhere to go but up.


REVIEW: MAVERICK MUSIC FESTIVAL Photographed and Written by: Tj Martinez

The 2017 Maverick Music Festival took place in the historic arts district of San Antonio, Texas in La Villita. The annual music festival is one of a kind, bringing thousands of fans out to witness multiple indie and alternative bands for a weekend. This year’s lineup included some of the biggest names in these genres like Young The Giant, Minus The Bear, The Naked and Famous, and headliner, Bastille. The festival attendees came for the music but were 36

also served with sweet southern cultural aspects as well. From the array of street food vendors to the local clothing companies, this is more than just a music festival; it is a cultural gathering of Texans that celebrates their unique heritage. Night One of the festival included Fishermen, Bustin Loose, Generationals, Book of Love, DJ Mighty Iris, De la Soul, DJ BC, DJ Lando, and Young the Giant. Night Two followed up with HONEYHONEY, Swimming

REVIEW: MAVERICK MUSIC FESTIVAL Photographed and Written by: Tj Martinez

with Bears, Small Black, Carla Morrison, Minus The Bear, The Naked and Famous, Bastille and many more.


Ellis Music Magazine // POB 227441 Dallas Texas 75222 38

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