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Entertheventure Featuring Indie Artists

Benefit album supports Chelsea Manning released from prison p. 8 TEAMMATE BAND TALKS INSPIRATION, NEW ALBUM AND MORE! p. 26 Nehedar Returns from Hiatus with “Hello Abyss” P. 37 ISSUE #1 June — July 2017 1

SIKORA

Seeing the world through “Rainbow Eyes”


C O N T E N T S New Releases PAGES 6-25

08-09 10-11 12-13 14 15 16 16-17 18 18-19 20

Hugs for Chelsea Benefit Album

Broke ROYALS Higher Bleeding Knees Club Chew the Gum

R. Missing Unsummering The Human Experience Broken Open Mascarada Conéstame SX Shimona

Island Apollo Hold it Down Bleeder If You

The Great Enough Can You Relate?

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21 22 23 24 24 25 25

Vox Eagle Come Over Scartoon Fangs ft. T. Rabb East of Eli Nowhere The Solars Potter’s Field / Dockery The Company STores Love Me Again Mantra Love Strawberry Milk SUBSTANCE ABUSE Background Music: The Redux

Interviews Pages 26-34

28-29 30-31 32-33

Sikora Band Interview Teammate Band Interview Lucy & La Mer Band Interview


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Julian Camarena Solo Artist Interview

REVIEWS Pages 35-45

36 37-39 40 41 42 44-45

Maryama Where the Mermaids Are

ENTER THE VENTURE ISSUE #1 June — July 2017 www.EnterTheVenture.WordPress.com Twitter @EnterTheVenture

Nehedar Hello Abyss

Avery Lr Never Surrender JOMO What I Want Eric Mrak With You Echoplex 5/29 REGGAE INVASION in L.A.

SIKORA Cover Story Pages 28-29

Local Events Pages 46-51

47 48-49 50-51

Enoc Perez Art Exhibition The City of Beverly Hills Concerts on Canon

Los Angeles Music Scene Calendar 37-39 3


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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ack in summer 2015, I remember sending about 100 direct messages on Soundcloud to bands and solo artists asking if they wanted to be interviewed and featured on my “brand new music website.” I got a reply from about a third of them who were happy to be considered. Over the course of a few weeks, I began conducting interviews by sending them questions and asking them everything from how they began their musical career to their plans for the future. Oddly enough, none of the participants inquired for a link to my site. They would have been disappointed if they did, because at the time, it didn’t exist. Before creating a website, I first wanted to see if there was any interest from the artist’s side to share their story with me. As I continued my interactions, the people I talked to were just as excited with answering my questions as much as I was learning more about them. I realized no matter who I talked to, from drummers, rappers, guitarists and singers, everyone had a different story to tell but they were all grounded in the same human struggles that anyone could

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relate to. After I finished the first batch of interviews, I eventually created what I supposedly already had, a “brand new music website.” I decided to call it Enter the Venture, as a way of allowing fans to enter the artist’s world to become part of their adventure. I wanted to provide a platform for anyone who made music, either professionally or as an amateur, to share their story to the world. Close to two years have passed since the creation of the site and the content I cover has expanded from only featuring interviews to now including info on new releases, insightful reviews, and local events going on around town. I figured now is a good time to take Enter the Venture to the next level by incorporating a magazine component to the growing brand. I did not think that sending out questions that summer would lead to what is now essentially the magazine you are reading now, but I’m glad I did it and I want you all to become part of this new venture along with me. In closing, I’m always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists, so if you’re out there making interesting and exciting music, be sure to let me know so you too can become part of a “brand new music magazine” (one that exists!)

Enter the Venture Founder/ Editor/ Writer/ Designer: Isiah Reyes 5


ENTER THE VENTURE

W

New Releases

elcome to our first edition’s batch of new releases! This issue brings us a nice variety of artists who are looking to bend genres or take them into new directions. On the east coast, we have the indie band The Solars who incorporate many instruments into the mix, from tambourines to sleigh bells, to offer a full musical experience that’s a joy to listen to. New York’s dark wave band R. Missing and DC’s pop rock band Broke Royals show off the diversity of the region in both their overall sound and their lyrical intentions. Hailing from Charleston, The Company Stores are introducing a new sound that blends Hip-Hop and Blues and a whole array of other musical genres. Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, Island Apollo delivers the indie rock anthems while Substance Abuse offers a redux to their street-acclaimed classic.

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The journey continues with a host of international releases. Belgium duo SX has a new music video for their song “Shimona” that takes avant-garde to a whole other level with striking visuals, neo-future inspirations and top-notch production, and not to mention the film and editing was all done by the bandmates themselves. If you’re looking for more of an Australian-flare, check out the new single “Come Over” by half-American and half-Australian electronic duo Vox Eagle. They’re new on the scene but have already established themselves as a worthy upcoming talent for all you laid-back chill-pop enthusiasts. No matter what kind of music you’re into, ETV will continue to provide info on new releases from artists who are looking to push the boundaries of expectations. As long as you appreciate emerging quality music, then join us as we enter the venture!

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NEWS

Musicians launch online benefit album to support Chelsea Manning released from prison “By refusing to be silent she has

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group of major artists including Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), and more launched an online benefit album supporting Chelsea Manning titled “Hugs for Chelsea,” which released on May 19.

from the digital album will go directly to Manning, and will be deposited into a bank account set up by her sister. The GoFundMe page was created on Feb. 7, 2017, and has so far raised $171,170 of the $150,000 goal from a total of 4,176 people in three months.

The album features a variety of Manning is a 29-year-old prominent artists from Talib Kweli transgender woman and long-time to Anti-Flag, and was organized leader in the LGBT community. by transgender activist and singerShe was the U.S. Army soldier songwriter Evan Greer, who has convicted in July, 2013, for violating been one of Chelsea’s close friends the Espionage Act after disclosing and supporters over the last several nearly three-quarters of a million years of her imprisonment. of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. After “The world needs more people like seven years of incarceration and Chelsea Manning,” said Greer. “It following the commutation of her has been an honor to fight for her 35-year sentence, Chelsea headed and a privilege to get to know her. home to Maryland on May 17, 2017. I wanted to do something to make sure she has the support she needs The online benefit compilation was now that she is being released. created to raise funds to help cover Chelsea also loves music, and hasn’t Manning’s basic living expenses, had much access to it in prison. It’s including rent, utilities, health care, so amazing that she is being released clothing and other expenses for the and can fully share herself with the first year after she is released. One world.” hundred percent of the proceeds 8

Graham Nash wrote: “Chelsea Manning is one of my heroes. Anyone that has the courage to disturb the ‘status quo’, to ‘rock the boat’ as she did is very brave and what she did was show some truth to the American people about what the government was doing in our name. God Bless her.” Tom Morello wrote: “Chelsea, thank you for your bravery. You’re a true American hero and an inspiration. Welcome home. I hope we get to meet one day. Relax, enjoy time with friends and family and then please run for President.” “Chelsea’s courage knows no bounds,” said Greer. “By refusing to be silent she has fought for all of our basic rights. Her release is a testament to the power of grassroots organizing, and a victory for freedom of expression and human rights.”


https://hugsforchelsea.bandcamp.com The benefit album is hosted on a Bandcamp page, and will allow for rolling submissions. Artists who wish to contribute a track to the effort in support of Chelsea can contact Evan Greer directly at: evangreer@gmail.com. Manning survived solitary confinement, systemic denial of health care and years of being separated from her friends and community. If you are interested in offering a donation or other support, e-mail: CMreleaseneeds@gmail.com.

fought for all of our basic rights”

“This a small thank you. Thank you, for your courage and willingness to stand up for what’s right. Thank you, for your fearlessness to talk in public about your darkest hours. Thank you, just for being yourself. You’ve been a personal hero of mine since I was 16, and I am so happy you are finally back in the world. Welcome home️” -Colin Mahns, supporter of “Hugs for Chelsea” via Bandcamp

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Broke Royals Release New Single “Higher”

he Broke Royals recently released its new single “Higher” from their self-titled debut album. The band is the team of producer Colin Cross and vocalist Philip Basnight who formed three years ago and together have been called one of the best up-and-coming DC-acts of 2016. Combining rock with pop hooks and electronic elements, they often create fresh and polished tracks that are reflective and inspirational. The song “Higher” was written as an anthem for “anyone whose heart has ever gotten ahead of itself,” telling the story of a man who dove into love head first without taking into consideration the harsh realities that may come with it. It’s a song that fits their trademark sound they have been perfected over the course of three EPs. The band’s 2014 single “About Time” became an anthem for the citizens of Thailand during the country’s political coup, which propelled the band’s popularity to help them be where they are today. Though it’s their simple and powerful lyrics that keep people coming back for more. Anytime a band can effortlessly sound like Coldplay, you know they’re the real deal. The Broke Royals have toured the country opening for Car Seat Headrest, Real Estate and Andrew McMahon among others and are only beginning their journey.

Photo via Broke Royals 10

THIS JUST IN: Broke Royals Compete in Southwest Airlines’

Destination: Red Rocks


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new music competition series by Southwest Airlines pits six bands to outperform each other 35,000 feet in the air with the grand prize of opening for The Fray at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado on June 26, 2017. Billed as the gig of a lifetime, this competition is the ultimate race of whose got the better video and the biggest fan base.

Sundressed, known for their emotional rocks from Phoenix; and Pony League, a 70s-styled soulful band from Atlanta. Fans will help the artist they want to rise to the top for a chance to perform as the opening act at Destination: Red Rocks. The winning Artists on the Rise will be selected by an impartial panel of judges and announced on or about June 12, 2017.

Each artist has performed in a live 35ÂŽ video hosted on Southwest.fm where fans can vote for their favorite performance of the six available. Other bands competing include Pom Poms, an L.A.-based artist with a retro groove; The Daybreaks, perfect pop-making machine from Nasville; Edan Archer, a Southern-influenced artist from Ft. Lauderdale;

If you’re a fan of the Broke Royals, go to https:// southwest.fm/BrokeRoyals/ to help them rise to the top for a chance to perform at Destination: Red Rocks!

Images via Southwest.fm

Broke Royals Perform at 35,000 feet in the air for a chance to open for The Fray at Red Rocks Amphitheatre!

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Image via Bleeding Knees Club

Bleeding Knees smackdown as

Club’s wrestlers

new music video compete for fame

brings and

the glory

Bleeding Knees Club Release New EP “Chew the Gum”

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ustralian garage-pop band Bleeding Knees Club released its new EP “Chew the Gum” on April 14.

The four track EP, produced by John Patterson of The Grates, is the band’s first since 2013’s “Feel.” During the band’s hiatus, frontman Alex Wall released a batch of albums under his sci-fi punk solo project Wax Witches. Upon returning to Australian and coming up with new songs, Wall said the material he wrote instantly felt like Bleeding Knees Club. “[The song] is about overdoing things that are fun, to the point that it’s not fun at all anymore,” Wall said. “Chewing the gum till there’s no flavour left, and it just tastes gross.” “Chew the Gum” is fresh and full of attitude, with high potential for becoming an anthem for rebellious teens. The video was filmed and directed by Sonny Costin and shows an intense wrestling battle in the ring between two opponents who are not quite in the same weight class. After being abused badly, all it takes is a

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stick of gum to revitalize the fallen brawler and defeat his much bigger competitor. The idea for the video came from Wall and stars band members Michael Barker (guitar), Gio Alexander (bass), and Nick Leighton (drums). “Everyone can relate to wanting to get revenge,” Wall said. “And some can relate to getting pissed on. So, I thought I’d make a clip about a kid getting revenge on a guy that pissed on him. A few years back I met a wrestler who said he’d be keen to be in a video, so the time finally came to take him up on it. I thought it’d be cool if you could hire a wrestler to do your dirty work, and get vengeance for you.” The band first began as a lo-fi duo in 2010, and after they released their debut album “Nothing To Do,” they quickly became known for their ability to conjure up high octane garage-pop songs similar to The Ramones. Throughout the years, Bleeding Knees Club has played shows worldwide such as UK’s Great Escape Festival and with bands like Wavves, Best Coast, The Vines, Black Lips, OFF! and more.


In addition to releasing a new EP, the band has also been on a national tour throughout the month of May leading up the final show on June 2 at the Player’s Bar. Support for the shows come from The Pinheads along with a few other special guests.

Now that the band’s performing live as a 4-piece for the first time, its the perfect time for fans new and old to get into the big, punk sound that Bleeding Knees Club knows how to offer.

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Image via R. Missing

“Kelly perfect

D

was

a for

Philistine” is indoor

grainy, dark, summer

and days

R. Missing Releases New EP “Unsummering”

ark wave duo R. Missing has released its new EP “Unsummering.” The mellow dance single “Kelly Was a Philistine” best represents the overall sound of the release. Drawing comparisons to Chelsea Wolfe, Velvet Underground and Morrissey, New Yorkbased R. Missing presents a synth-heavy electronic venture filled with swatches of soothing vocals and simple beats that wouldn’t be out of place with flickering strobe lights and seducing strangers.

The accompanying music video is indie in nature with a grainy texture that presents the main theme of the album well: to be detached, isolated, unloved and finding the darkness in the light. If you’re in the mood for staying indoors and finding the opposite of summer, then look no further than “Unsummering.” Photo via R. Missing 14


The Human Experience Releases New Album “Broken Open”

Photo via David Block a.k.a. The Human Experience

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he Human Experience released the album “Broken Open” which reached #2 on Bandcamp’s best-selling chart, remaining at the top for two weeks. David Block is the mastermind behind The Human Experience, his principal project where he serves as the electronic composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. His music is known for mixing layers of psychedelic melodies and harmonies over relaxing and moving beats. He has released nine albums since his debut “Inaudible Sounds” back in 2010. Along the way, Block has col-

laborated with artists all over the world including Ignacio Perez (Buena Vista Social Club), William Close (The Earth Harp), Random Rab Govinda, Amae Love, Rising Appalachia, and many others. In the last three years he has toured in UK, Europe, Russia, Israel, Central America, Canada, and all over the United States at a variety of events including festivals like Burning Man, Boom, Coachella, Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Lightning in a Bottle, Sonic Bloom, Symbiosis, and Envision. Block is currently on tour with an upcoming stop at Oregon Eclipse in Antelope, Oregon, on August 17. Don’t miss out!

The Human Experience’s 6th full length album “Broken Open” explores the profound depths of human emotions and love, serving as the debut album for the “Slow Down” label.

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Mascarada Releases New Single “Conéstame”

atin psychedelic rock duo Mascarada released their debut single “Conéstame.” Mascarada members Leana Courtney and Shawn Grindle got the idea for creating a new Latin psych rock band while driving along the I-10 from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Together, they co-write all the music and Leana adds to it with her vocals. In the studio, they took their 60s psych-pop influences from the likes of Pink Floyd and The Beatles and went all in to create enough material to complete their first of many fulllength albums. Their self-titled debut released on May 9, with plans for a follow up record in 2017.

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elgium’s pop duo SX has shared its Avant-garde, artistic video for “Shimona” recently to the joy of many. The video was partially recorded at Botopasi, a small village located at the Suriname River in the Amazon Forest, showing off the wilderness in all of its twisted, natural beauty. Directed by Benjamin Desmet, “Shimona” was set on displaying the raw feeling of missing someone or something that was cherished.

SX Releases New Video “Shimona”

All music videos and artwork by SX are made by the duo themselves including all the film, editing, and 3D visual arts. They also created the artistic platform “Community X” together with Harvey Bouterse for all of their creative outputs.

Photo via SX 16

The song was part of SX’s recent “Alphabet” release, the pop duo’s second outing that let everyone know what members Stefanie Callebaut and Desmet were really made of. Their sound is a mix of the natural presentation of human emotions with the futurized vibes of digital elements; a sound that has captivated a large, loyal following.


SX’s

Video

begins

with

a

natural

backdrop

THAT

SETS

THE

TONE...

Images from SXVEVO

...As

...through

Haunting

Visuals

heavy

take

experimentation

over

and

focused

deliver

on

an

artistic

unique

journey...

storytelling. 17


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Island Apollo Releases New Single “Hold It Down”

outhern California indie rock band Island Apollo has recently released their new single “Hold it Down.” It was produced by Eric Lilavois (Saint Motel, Atlas Genius) and recorded at London Bridge Studio in Seattle. Lead vocalist and guitarist Ryan Kilpatrick said recording in another state allowed the band to discover other elements of their sound and try out new ideas, as evidenced in the new single, which features a pop-rock anthem with layered vocals and upbeat guitars that could only have been produced by exploring all their senses. Island Apollo has been one of LA’s rising indie acts having already been featured on VH1, CBS and Fox Sports as well as in ads by Sprint and Sobe. The band has combined classic surf rock with Red Hot Chili Peppers style funkiness to create a sound that is unmistakably a So-Cal product. Bandmembers come from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, making this group truly a west coast product.

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Bleeder Releases New Video “If You”

he black and white video shows the band writing and recording their song in a simple setting that goes well with how calm the rock track is. The lyrics memorable “You don’t wanna be like anybody else” and “You just wanna be / Be yourself ” illustrate the band’s mindset of going against expectations, and the video follows suit by taking a minimalistic approach among the sea of other loud and often cluttered videos. Bleeder is a recording project started in 2014 by Shelby Smoak who is a long-time musician from the Chapel Hill indie rock scene, who has been a part of one musical project or another for the past 15 years. The name “Bleeder” came from Smoak’s memoir titled “Bleeder: S o C a l B a n d I s l a n d A p o l l o has had songs appear on FOX Sports, CBS, PBS, TeenNick, VH1, USA Network, and has had a song appear in a commercial with 2017 Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton.

Photo via Island Apollo 18

A Memoir” that chronicled his struggle living with hemophilia and HIV. It was published in 2013 by the Michigan State University Press and soon after Smoak would go on a book tour along the East Coast sharing his story. The memoir won several awards including the National Library of America Book of the Year and Smoak would appear on radio and TV shows such as the Bob Edwards Show on NPR. Smoak’s struggles in real life bleed into his songwriting, as each song on the upcoming album is filled with raw emotions that allows the listener to get a sense of Smoak has gone through. Smoak recruited Chuck Campbell (drummer for Charlie Post and Ugly) and Drew Speziale (frontman of Circle Takes the Square) to complete the band and the instant chemistry has given Bleeder great potential to reach new musical frontiers. All songs were recorded in Smoak’s basement, with Al Weatherhead (Sparklehorse, Camper van Beethoven, The Magnolia Project, Jennifer O’Connor) doing mixing and Tom King for mastering.


Image via Shelby Smoak Bleeder

KEEPING THINGS SIMPLE: A Minimalistic Approach on Bleeder’s “If You” Video Shows off the band writing music and performing in a Calm environment

Photo via Bleeder 19


Photo via The Great Enough

THE Great Enough Release NEW Video “Can You Relate?”

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he Great Enough recently shared their music video to the debut single “Can You Relate?” Featuring the rock and roll trio consisting of Bright Kelley, Brian DiBiagio, and John Hoff, The Great Enough offer a song that is serious in its message about exploring the similarities in people that brings everyone together. The video does a good job at telling a narrative that is heartfelt, fun and memorable. For this song, the band joined Grammy-nominated Producer Luke Tozour

The

Great

Enough’s

New

Music

(Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Jamie Cullum) for an ode to fans of alt-rockers Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and the Killers, who will surely get a kick out of the tune. The trio clearly have a passion for what they do and it shows in the high quality of their sound and lyrics. “Can You Relate?” is only the beginning, and ETV will be sure to be on the lookout for their next release.

Video

Is

a

Paint-Splattering

affair

Images via The Great Enough 20


Vox Eagle Releases New Single “Come Over”

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ussie-American duo Vox Eagle recently released its new single “Come Over” that will have you dancing to its upbeat electronic charms. The electro-psych pop duo consists of Andy Crosby and Luke Hamel, who formed in the summer of 2015 and are ready to release anEP’s worth of synth-driving songs carried by experimental beats. The two met while on tour in a previous band and since then, they have drawn out the best from each other. Hamel said, “I think the reason the songs are turning out to have some flavor and depth is that Andy and I share a core of stuff we both love dearly.”

The EP was recorded across the country from Colorado, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more locales, all in different locations such as hotels, trains and planes using the band’s mobile recording rig. They took control of the entire recording process and self-produced the record. This approach has given the duo to ability to explore new ideas in different environments, something not readily available for many artists. “I think the new locations help to keep the music fresh to us and to inspire different ideas while keeping us focused exclusively on the songs and not distracted by our respective lives,” said Hamel. Their first single “No Sleep” was a pop-friendly, upbeat California-style club hit that put them on the map as a group who could provide catchy rhythms accessible to everyone. Their upcoming EP released on May 26. 21


Scartoon Releases NEW Single “Fangs Ft. T. Rabb”

Photo via Scartoon

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cartoon released his second single “Fangs ft. T. Rabb” off his upcoming album “The American Psycho,” coming out June 9, via Artist Mafia Records.

Faire who went on to support Diplo, Floss, and Mija. In 2015, Anthony started his own label, Artist Mafia Records, that focuses on promoting talented artists in Vegas.

“Fangs” is a very experimental, progressive track with a vocoder that heavily distorts the vocals in a trance-like way. The second half of the song has T. Rabb rapping to add an intense flare to pumping beats.

In just a short time, Anthony is already on the path to releasing his debut album, which will feature Denisse Bourquez, Dayne Melvin, Jae Douglass, T. Rabb, Ria, and Audrey Brazelle. The “American Psycho” record has a host of singers, writers, and friends that truly represents an independent product straight from the heart of Sin City.

Scartoon is the creation of Producer/DJ Anthony Wynkoop from Las Vegas. His journey into music begins at age 21 when he was aspiring to be a Navy SEAL. He walked into a nightclub for the first time when he happened to see a performance by Diplo. Feeling the inspiration from this musical enlightenment, he went on to collaborate with Laissez 22

If you’ll be in Las Vegas when the record releases, be sure to check out Scartoon’s album release show in Las Vegas where he will be playing with Sam Gellaitry.


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East of Eli Releases NEW Single “Nowhere”

inematic folk artist East of Eli (Nathan West) released the first single “Nowhere” from his upcoming sophomore album featuring his wife Chyler Leigh, known for her staring role on CW’s Supergirl. “Nowhere” was made in tribute to his wife as a gift for Valentine’s day and for being his inspiration, muse and biggest fan. Nathan said, “Love, I want you to know, I’m always thinking of you and just how thankful I am to be able to share this life with you and my love for you knows no boundaries!” The track begins with an electronic backdrop that introduces West’s calm vocals among the clouds. The chorus kicks in with Hip-Hop beats and ethereal guitars that add an epic atmosphere. Chyler’s vocals compliment Nathan’s and they work well in tandem.

Her singing debut could be the beginning of a new career path. The song was made as a reminder of their devotion to one another despite the challenges that come with both having careers in entertainment. “Nowhere is a song about how true love knows no boundaries,” Nathan said. “I invited Chyler to be featured on the track to create a haunting vocal presence that would represent the idea that when you are alone and you think about your lover, they are thinking of you. Her performance is very honest and heartfelt which is exactly tone and feel I wanted to capture within the story and production.” East of Eli has performed in venues such as House of Blues and Soho House. He’ll be performing at The Roxy Theatre on July 29.

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THE SOLARS Release NEW SINGLE “POTTER’S FIELD / DOCKERY”

oston indie band The Solars have released the track “Potter’s Field / Dockery” off their EP “Retitled Remastered” on April 21. The classic, indie folk song is rooted with 60s influences showcasing easy-picking guitars, fresh melodies, and warming vocals that tell a heartfelt story. The track features piano, tambourines, mandolin, synth harp and sleigh bells, all of which add a layer of texture to propel the song forward and surprsingly does not complicate the overall sound. Lyrically, the track recognizes the humor of an existential relationship crisis and deals with this by adding a whimsical nature of the song. The band is led by Miles Hewitt and Quetzel Herzig. who together released their debut single “Old K.B.” in December 2016 and quickly began to build a fanbase in the east coast. They had a successful tour that spanned Boston, New York City and Montreal in support of record release of “Retitled Remastered.”

THE Company Stores Release NEW SINGLE “Love Me Again”

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he Company Stores have released its latest single powerful rock-infused ballad “Love Me Again” off the band’s sophomore LP “Little Lights” released on April 7. The Charleston-native band plays an amalgamation of different genres, from rock to Blues to Hip-Hop, so it’s no surprise the new single explores the vastness of rock and all that is has to offer with a soaring solo, heavy tone guitars and a dark breakdown with lyrics covering loss and confusion. For their newest effort, the band recorded with Grammy-winning producer Julian Dwyer at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC.

Photo via The Company Stores

The Company Stores toured through the Southeast, hitting Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee, concluding with a record release show for the “Little Lights” LP on April 7. We look forward to hearing more from this genre-bending band.

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Mantra Love Release NEW SINGLE “Strawberry Milk”

ouston-based Mantra Love has released their new single “Strawberry Milk.” The song explores the idea of examining one’s own faults, and as the band said, “the idea that the faults we see in others may actually be things we dislike about ourselves.” The song provides a lucid experience with a whimsical spirit. Indie rock band Mantra Love, comprised of brothers Derek and Fabian Silva, formed in 2014 and were influenced by garage rock bands such as The Strokes and psychedelic bands like Tame Impala and Flaming Lips. They have released a self-titled EP and toured along with Holy Wave, Ringo Deathstarr, La Luz, Night Beats, The Halfways and more.

Photo via Mantra Love

The bandmates said they are proud to be a product of Houston and to a part of the emerging musical talent sprouting from the area. Mantra Love is putting the city on the map and are heavily involved in the local community by helping run the local venue the Satellite Bar.

Substance Abuse Release New Album “Background Music: The Redux”

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os Angeles-formed Hip-Hop duo Substance Abuse consisting of emcees Subz and Eso Tre have gone back and remixed their sophomore album “Background Music” that re-imagines the critically acclaimed work. Eso said the album refers to the state of Hip-Hop today and how music is created for mainstream consumption as opposed to original, creative and underground work. He said, “music seems deracinated of the personality and edge that it once had,” and the message in Hip-Hop lacks the significant power and influence it once had as it now relegates to background club and dance music.

Photo via Substance Abuse

This album is a great entry into the discography of Substance Abuse, where listeners can get a taste of their deep lyricism and personality all while focusing on socially conscious material. It features Krs-One, Tash, Waez One, Motion Man with remixes by The Chase, Da Stig, Rad Neef, Good Times, and Change the World.

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ENTER THE VENTURE

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Interviews

his edition’s interview section offers up a duo of duos, a solo project-turned band, and a Spanishflavored social media pop star. Take your pick on who will be your next musical addiction. Los Angeles-based Sikora is a duo that blends a hybrid of guitars and synthesizers, mixing pop, rock and electronica together. Imagine what all three of these genres would sound like if they were masterfully engineered into one and that’s what you get with Sikora. Their new songs “Rainbow Eyes” and “White Ice” will be enough to get you on the dance floor. Also a pop duo, TeamMate originally started off as a relationship. Though the romantic part of it has ended, the musical connection between the two has not only lingered on, but by their own admission, has blossomed. Now 26


they are out with a complete studio album full of catchy anthems covering everything from joy to heartbreak. Where they decide to go next will keep us on our toes. Lucy & La Mer is a project that originally started off as a solo project by Lucy LaForge. Her vocals are so crisp and clear you’ll swear she was in the same room as you when listening to her latest single “Honey, Put your Weapons Down,” a track that was worked on with Grammy awardwinning producer Jared Lee Gosselin. The indie single will remind you of how much great talent is out there on the rise. Last but not least is Julian Camarena, a social media sensation with close to two and a half million followers on Twitter alone. His ability to write songs appealing to those looking to have fun may be his biggest draw, but his singing style reminiscent of Enrique Iglesias and Bruno Mars may be the factor that keeps his fans coming back for more. If you’re looking for a pop-heavy song to blast throughout summer, check out his latest “Beautiful Distraction.”

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SIKORA

BAND I N T E R V I E W A DANCE people to

BAND be

E

lectronic dance band Sikora has released its new future bass track “White Ice” this month, incorporating their trademark vocal harmonies over rhythmic beats and pulsing synth. Today, ETV spoke with members Matthew Sikora and Liz Forde about how they met, the meaning behind one of their songs, and their most favorite show they performed. Self-described as a combination of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Skrillex, Sikora is a hybrid of guitars, synthesizers, and both acoustic and electronic drums that will satisfy a wide variety of listeners, from those wanting to rock out to those looking to dance the night away. After releasing a series of singles and EPs, Sikora has made a name for itself as a premiere electro-dance group that can expertly craft catchy choruses and harmonic hooks. “We first met on Cinco de Mayo a couple years ago at a show in L.A.,” 28

THAT good

loves to one

recalls Matthew. “After connecting, we ended up working together on a music licensing job for a publishing company at the time. We noticed that our singing voices really blended well and complemented each other. We would always joke that where my voice ends, hers begins and vice versa.” “What Matthew so humbly forget to mention is that we met at HIS show on Cinco de Mayo!” Liz said. “I was like ‘OMG who is that guy singing like an angry angel and shredding on the guitar?’ I asked him if he needed a backup singer, he said YES, and we’ve been making music together ever since!” Their songwriting process heavily takes into consideration vocal harmonies and how to best combine their voices to make a unified one. They have together formed a holistic sound over the years, though their influences and journeys into music have been diverse.

inspiring another

“We’re weirdos,” Liz said. “We both grew up performing different styles of music – I was a choir geek and Matthew tore it up in a heavy rock band. There are elements of both styles in our songs and our sound reflects our contrasting pasts. Now we love making music that inspires people to dance and be good to one another.” Being based in Southern California, they have been influenced by the So-Cal environment. Mathew said they like to bring the historical West Coast pop culture into their music, and it shows in the songs such as “Starstruck,” a track that peers into the Hollywood fame-seeking lifestyle. Further West Coast influences can be heard on the fun, poppy dance track “Rainbow Eyes,” which especially sounds suited for the night life in L.A. “Rainbow Eyes is an uplifting song about the calm after the storm – finding that moment of bliss when everything is right in the world,”


Liz said. “It is also about getting high…whatever that means to you!”

electronic artists who are looking to make dance music with substance that goes beyond the beats.

Matthew added, “It’s like the moment in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is elevated to the world of color!”

“Don’t be afraid of using organic instruments or to tell your own story by using Dance music as a platform,” Matthew said. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the other Dance Music artists, like Flume is: it doesn’t need to be bouncy or 4 on the floor to be Dance Music.”

“Rainbow Eyes” will be part of a bigger upcoming release, so for all you fans out there – be sure to pick it up when it drops. Aside from recording music for proper releases, Sikora also enjoys performing for people in a unique live experience. They have performed their signature organic and synthesized hybrid in about 40 shows so far, and more listeners continue to join the musical venture Sikora has set out on.

“Write about what you know,” Liz said. “Don’t be afraid of sounding stupid or taking a risk with melodies and lyrics. You can’t please everyone, so do something you feel good about sharing with the world!”

“We love playing famous venues in L.A. like the Satellite, but my most memorable show was DEFINITELY opening up for Bernie Sanders at his rally at the Wiltern Theatre,” Liz said. “We were (and still remain) giant supporters so it was a HUUGGE honor to play for him.” “Yes!” Matthew said. “The Bernie Sanders rally the most memorable show we’ve played so far! Especially when he thanked us on stage for playing!” For the rest of 2017, Sikora is focusing on putting all its influences together to make new songs and finishing its next release. Both Matthew and Liz shared a bit of what they’ve learned along the way to help other

Photo via Sikoraband.com 29


TEAMMATE BAND I N t e r v i e w L

os Angeles-native indie-pop duo TeamMate has recently released its self-titled debut album. TeamMate spoke with ETV about their musical inspirations, the making of their new album, and advice for other two-member groups out there.

The new synth-pop album showcases the overall sound of Scott Simons (keyboards, vocals) and Dani Buncher (drums, vocals) working together in a musical partnership long in the making. The album is filled with larger than life choruses and pure pop sensibilities emerging from the member’s varied musical influences they’ve had growing up. Dani, who grew up listening to Top 40 radio and MTV, cited early musical influences that included George Michael, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Tears For Fears, Neneh Cherry, and Cathy Dennis. “When my brother and I were little, and were in the car with my mom, we always listed to the local oldies station,” Dani said. “The Supremes, The Shirelles, and The Temptations were in heavy rotation and have played just as big of a role in my musical taste.” Scott grew up with music handed down from his parents, such as The Beatles, Billy Joel, Simon & Garfunkel and musical theatre soundtracks. “I went through a late 80s rap phase where I was obsessed with Young MC,” Scott said. “When I got into college, the first Ben Folds 5 album changed my life. I also got heavily into some great songwriters like Elvis Costello and Aimee Mann and rediscovered a lot of music from my childhood like The Cars, The Police, Blondie, and early U2.” 30

With an assortment of musical knowledge to take inspiration from, Scott and Dani keep in mind how the instruments will shape the overall sound they make when they write songs. The opening track “Nothing’s Ever Over” was important in helping them find this album’s direction and tone, allowing them to realize that even though they operate as a duo, there is only one “voice” as TeamMate. “I think we were trying to grow our sound from where it was,” Scott said. “We started out writing a little more one sided from my perspective on our relationship but ‘Nothing’s Ever Over’ was very much about and from both of us. Once we committed to singing that song in unison together, rather than have a lead singer, that helped us find a sound we liked for the rest of the record. Also, the ‘size’ of the synth sounds and drums really helped us make a bit of a template moving forward.” The grand-pop synth sound can definitely be found in the lead single “Damage.” Scott said the song was written about the time they realized if they could put past relationship issues behind them and focus on being friends and bandmates, they would be able to move onto something special. One of special things coming from their musical relation was the completion of the LP and they are both proud of being able to share it to the world. “Releasing music is the hardest and scariest part because you open yourself up to feedback and criticism,” Scott said. “But we feel so confident that we made an album we’re proud of full of songs we love and that alone is a success to me.”


Images via TeamMateVEVO

Scott Simons - Keyboards / Vocals

Dani Buncher - Drums / Vocals “I agree with Scott,” Dani said. “Finishing an album that you are 100 percent proud of and excited about can sometimes be the hardest part. Sometimes when we play the new songs live, it takes me right back to the studio when we were first working out our ideas together. It’s a great feeling to be on stage, playing those songs, and recognizing the progress process of songwriting and recording.” Now with their first studio album complete, TeamMate is looking to

hopefully go out on tour and do some shows, an experience they find fun. The journey they have been through – as a romantic relationship leading into a musical one – may have been mostly personal, but the journey they went through could help others out there. They offered advice for up-and-coming two-member bands for getting along. “Treat it like any other relationship,” Dani said. “Communicate, respect each other, and learn how to pre-

dict each other’s mood swings.” “Or just date for ten years and break up,” Scott said. “If you can survive that then you’re ready for the music industry.”

TeamMate album available now! 31


Photo via Lucy & La Mer

LUCY

&

LA

MER

I N T E R V I E W

L

os Angeles-based indie artist Lucy & La Mer is out with a new single “Honey, Put Your Weapons Down,” a pop ballad filled with folk inspirations. ETV spoke with Lucy LaForge about the new song’s meaning, collaborating with a Grammy-award winning producer, and working with women’s rights organizations.

Lucy is a singer and activist who has crafted a signature indie folk style through her calming voice and baritone ukulele. Growing up, she said her dad always had a guitar around and her family encouraged her to try new instruments. “I would sit at the piano after school to decompress and escape from homework for a while,” Lucy said. “I wasn’t comfortable singing in front of people until a few years ago, though.” Lucy’s strongest musical influences are Feist, Kate Nash, Beirut, Spice Girls, and Lesley Gore. With a varied mix of artists to incorporate elements into her own original sound, she went out and created Lucy & La Mer as a solo project. The project would grow to include a few other key members.

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“Jared really brought the song to life,” Lucy said. “We started with just my voice and my baritone ukulele and layered live acoustic instruments from there. He created an electronic percussion section that added a very modern edge to the track.” Lucy & La Mer recently performed in a tour that ventured through The Hit Hat, The Echo, and Art Share LA among other venues in Los Angeles and Santa Ana. She is finishing up a radio tour that included a stop at KX 93.5 and concludes with a visit at 88.5 KCSN and a free show at Westfield Topanga.

“I met bassist Jon Keenan at a music media event in L.A.,” Lucy said. “He said he played upright bass and I thought that was the coolest. We just recently added drummer Sheldon Reed after meeting him through a mutual friend and we’re really excited to have him on board.” Lucy & La Mer released the “Little Spoon” EP in 2015, which went on to receive acclaim from various outlets. Transitioning into her recent single “Honey, Put Your Weapons Down,” Lucy’s trademark pop melodies, folk instrumentation, and honest lyrics make a return in full force. The single is commentary about a relationship that is stuck in a rut. Lucy revealed that most of her songwriting occurs during a period of change in her life, and this

song shows how she can take an event in her life and turn it into a piece of art. “We naturally fall into patterns and routine, which can be comfortable, but not the best for personal growth,” Lucy said. “I’d left an unhealthy relationship when I wrote this, after realizing how exhausted I was trying to maintain it. Sometimes you just have to let go and see the bigger picture.”

“The radio tour has been a lot of fun,” Lucy said. “We’ve been driving up and down the coast playing live on radio shows and enjoying the California beaches. I always enjoy meeting new people from different towns and hearing their stories. We’re looking forward to playing new songs on the next tour.” Aside from creating new music, Lucy also spends her time working with the female community and women’s rights organizations including the educational group More Than No and the bi-social community amBi.

“The music industry is male-dominated and challenging, so having a supportive female community The new single was created is paramount,” Lucy said. “I was through experimentation and relieved to find so many wombreaking down barriers to discover a new sound to best tell the en’s groups in Los Angeles when I narrative. The track was produced moved here. It gives me a lot more by Grammy Award-winning pro- freedom in my music and creates an encouraging environment as ducer Jared Lee Gosselin (India opposed to a competitive one. Girls Arie, Eminem, Corinne Bailey rock.” Rae) and with his help, the song soared to the next level. 33


Solo Artist Interview

A

rizona-native pop sensation Julian Camarena has been making waves with a host of sultry singles, with his latest being “Beautiful Distraction.” Julian spoke with ETV about his initial beginnings in music and his future plans for the rest of 2017. “Beautiful Distraction” starts off in English then features some verses in Spanish, showing off Julian’s versatility to song in both languages. The song is wrapped up in an unmistakable pop sound that Julian has mastered. His fans sure seem to appreciate every track that he puts out and it’s no surprise why. “The song is about having a beautiful distraction in life when times are difficult or simply just when you need one,” Julian said. The track best represents Julian’s ability to incorporate his own style with the likes of his greatest mu-

34

sical inspirations, which include Billy Joel, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Enrique Iglesias and Bruno Mars. Most of Julian’s songs are about love, heartbreak, having fun and living life, and his music videos show how he likes to do it all. Julian started making music at an early age and excelled at school at a prodigy rate, finishing high school early and getting his degree earlier than most. “I was originally born in California; however, I grew up most my life in Arizona, which is where I currently live,” Julian said. “I’ve been playing music since I was eight years old. I started playing the saxophone in my school’s Jazz Band. Later I picked up other instruments and started writing and producing songs.” Although he just entered the musical scene, in just a few short years

Julian has already amassed a large social media following with close to two and a half million followers on Twitter alone. If his songs continue to be catchy, heartwarming, and fresh as they have always been, then there’s no doubt his online presence will grow even further. Julian has already established himself as a legitimate pop star in the making but is looking forward to climbing the ladder even higher. His plans for the rest of 2017 include making a lot more music. “I’ve got a lot of new songs I am finishing up,” Julian said. “The ‘Beautiful Distraction’ music video will be released this year. Hopefully have some touring in the near future as well. Also one thing I did this year was make my phone number public so that all my fans can text me whenever they want, as a way to create a more personal relationship with my fan base.”


ENTER THE VENTURE

H

Reviews

ip-Hop takes over this review section with insight and opinions on tracks by Avery LR and Torontobased Eric Mrak as well as an EP from Atlantic City’s JOMO. The lyrical journey from these releases takes us through serious issues from drugs and teen suicide to the more upbeat side of old school 90s. Also check out a review for the aquatic single by Maryama and the reggae invasion concert at the Echoplex on Memorial Day, 2017. New York-based artist Nehedar has been out of the music scene for a few years while she was raising her son. She returns with a new pop album with hints of rock and a few ballads thrown in to offer a cohesive sound experience with fresh ideas stemming from a different perspective in life. Find out if her return matches up with her previous prolific work. 35


Image via Maryam Mirbagheri

Maryama’s new aquatic video is a call to join the

I

ranian-American Maryama has released a new hypnotic music video for her recently released track “Where The Mermaids Are.” It’s derived from a fusion of Jazz and Persian influences, and slowly draws the listener in with a minimalistic approach utilizing tribal elements that convey the calmness of an empty beach. Maryama’s soothing voice combined with piano chords elicit a relaxing feeling that increases as the vocal harmonies join in. Beginning with the word “mermaid,” the song fills the empty painting with images of mysticism and feelings of spirituality from a slow jazz influence. The meditative breakdown offers a passageway into the inner depths of the ocean as the echoing

36

Maryana Song Review “Where the Mermaids Are”

for “Where the Mermaids are” inner depths of the ocean

voice of Maryama bounces from ear to ear and we feel ourselves drowning peacefully. The song offers thought-provoking, easy-listening vibes great for sunset by the beach. The video is an accurate portrayal of the track’s lyrical themes and represents Maryama a siren herself who is calling for her listeners to join her beneath the ocean where she creates music. The scenes feature imagery as vibrant as the lyrics themselves. Directed by Benjamin Hunter, the video shows a glimpse of Maryama’s storytelling and we can’t wait to see what comes from her next. Maryama is currently working on two new debut albums featuring her newly formed Maryama Band as well as new instrumental music.


NEHEDAR RETURNS FROM HIATUS WITH

“HELLO ABYSS”

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N

ew York City-based singer-songwriter Nehedar released a new album “Hello Abyss” in March. It’s the first work she has done since returning from a three year-hiatus to raise her son. The album is optimistic, consistent in style, and an overall well-put together package. All vocals and instrumentation were done by Emilia Cataldo and Craig Levy. “The Story” opens the album as a pop-infused track with groovy basslines and simple synthetic drums. Swirling synthesizers gleam in the background calling back to the classics of the 80s yet this number is focused more on story-telling and less on pure dance. “Catacombs” keeps the optimistic vibes going, though the meaning of this song is less clear. The two opening tracks are an accurate representation of the overall sound to be had here. Things change with “Shedding Skin,” a song that starts off slower, mysterious, and refreshingly different. It’s a welcome change in vibe, however, as the chorus and breakdown kick in, the song goes back to the cheery side. Although the album has consistency, the songs start to blend into each other and become just a little repetitive. The track “How,” which features Tim Rockmore on guitars, has emotion in its lyrics and vocal delivery. A catchy chorus and soaring guitar solo are the highlights on this one, and the rock-style drums give off a convincing full-band sound. This song is one of the best of the bunch, and its powerful approach takes the quality of the album to the next level. Nehedar’s songwriting would no doubt be influenced with her recent experience of raising her son, and the song “Happy Birthday” forms the centerpiece of the album’s journey. It’s a track that many parents could sing as a lullaby to their own kids. “You’re Beautiful When

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N E H E D P s y c h e M u is Through

s

i c a Cosmic

t &


You Fall Apart” features Shaul Zuckerberg on lead guitar, who adds a lot of style and flare along with Nehedar who has a sassy-sounding chorus with “Hey Hey look at me, I’m the one you’re supposed to be.” It’s a side of her that shows off a lot of personality, giving the album enough diversity in songwriting and sound to make the listening experience varied each time. “Fear and Love” draws on the style from the beginning of the album: warm, relaxed, and upbeat. Nehedar can write fun tunes at ease and has an affinity for catchy choruses and narrative-driven lyrics. The go-go inspired song “The Grudge” is fun and popping, another example of her trademark-pop feelings she’s injected into “Hello Abyss.” It fits in well with the other pop-sounding songs on the album.

D A R ’ s e d e l i c v

trippy Digital

i

d

e o Adventure Dimensions

The closing curtain begins with “Tonight Tonight,” a piano-driven ballade with synth-strings coming in to take the song to the next level. The poetic heartfelt rendition begins somber, but as Nehedar does, she invokes sunlight into her songs and shines hope to her listeners. The final song “Sotah” is a rock ballade and perhaps the most experimental attempt on this album, as it showcases fingerpicking acoustics, heavy guitars, and a Western-style interlude that is reflective and edgy. It’s a great way to close the album, but the song itself seems to cut off a bit short and a few bars may have offered a better sense of closure. If “Hello Abyss” had to be described in short, it would be a fun, pop-infused journey with lyrics that transposes images into its listeners. The wondrous Nehedar manages to create a well-defined album that shows off her songwriting and it’s a welcome return after her hiatus. We here at ETV look forward to seeing what’s next in store for her!

Images via Nehedar 39


Image via Avery LR

Avery LR Song Review “Never Surrender”

AVERY LR’S Tackles

R

apper Avery LR released his 25-plus track album featuring the thoughtprovoking song “Never Surrender” that provided a spotlight on sexual abuse, drugs, and teen suicide. Right off the bat, “Never Surrender” hits hard and doesn’t hold back any punches. Avery LR puts his heart into the track and the music video successfully accompanies the brutally honest lyrics. The opening lines set the stage about his hard life and tough upbringing: “Back in ’96, that’s when life got hard / My Grandmother died, mom’s locked in the yard.” Avery discusses the hardships of having his father killed by the cops and growing up without positive direction, yet using his frustrations he felt in this situation as well as his struggles in 40

new song “Never SUrrender” Serious issues school as motivation to overcome it all. The positive message behind this track is a useful tool for anyone who is going through similar circumstances. The lyrics also delve into a narrative about a girl being inappropriately touched by her father, with the music video showing this part of the story in full effect to really drive home the message of the song. Avery’s commentary is all about real talk and rough situations, and the video matches the theme well without being too explicit, showing just enough to get the idea across and still be accessible to all who watch it. The most difficult topic Avery raps about in the song is how people who are unable to deal with the situation commit suicide, serving as a reminder that there’s

always a way out before taking one’s own life. Although Avery’s lyrics originate from a very personal standpoint, the song covers universal themes that could be used to motivate listeners to take charge of the unfair situation they are in. “Never Surrender” is a very bold song that tackles serious issues, and Avery knows how to use his talent to enlighten listeners about topics they may be unaware of. The song is also a good representation of the “Surviving 2017 Mixtape” it originates from. If you are in the mood for a 2Pac-influenced, free-style gangster rapper with substance behind his words, look no further than Avery LR and his single/video “Never Surrender.”


Image via JOMO

JOMO EP Review “What I Want”

JOMO’s and

H

new EP old

ailing from Atlantic City, JOMO is no stranger to the Hip-Hop and rap scene. He released his “What I Want” EP on May 1 and it has already taken off. The self-titled lead single starts things off with a chill beat and hot rhymes that lets the listener get a feel for what’s about to come as well as providing a solid representation of the EP’s overall sound. The track has an uplifting message told through a Hip-Hop rhythm that would sound dope blasting through the car stereo. Following up is “Jersey Strong,” a track that contains a vocal loop that moves along with the beat. This track is perhaps the most experimental, a product of what can be accomplished in the studio by creative minds. Let JOMO remind you of the G-stack tales while chilling with this one. “Cocky” is JOMO is at his best, as his mad verses flow into his bassheavy magic chorus to balance at-

offers beats, swag, school attitude

titude with soulful vocals. He can’t stop tooting his own horn on this song, and he wouldn’t stop if you told him to. The next track “LaLa” is a street-inspired club staple that would get everyone onto the dance floor, continuing with the attitude and swagger that JOMO knows how to deliver. The distinct synth that slides along would make your subwoofer vibrate your car and your pad. The slower “Clap” has JOMO telling his listeners to clap along to the beat if they feel his words. He spits truth while keeping the party going. It’s a track that bridges together the EP along. “Wanna Be My Freak” is more subdued compared to previous songs, but it’s still gonna keep you feeling the beats. Featuring WhiteKeys, the rap duo’s lyrics on this one are the wittiest on the EP with some inventive wordplay on a subject matter that has a lot of material to work with. The double threat is strong here and you’d have to step up your game to keep up.

Perhaps the best track on the EP, “I’m SO Ole’ School” is a 90s-inspired street and perhaps the most instrumental track, with a melodic flute during the chorus and even a heavy distorted guitar thrown into the mix for good measure. JOMO’s swag on this track is bananas and he really does take us back to the old-school style from yesteryears. Closing up the EP is “25 To Life,” a track discussing how many young brothers need to put down the guns and put away dealing to live a more responsible life (while still keeping it real). JOMO promotes his obligation to inspire those to make better choices in life to avoid 25 to life. Overall, JOMO is the kind of rapper you listen to for a good mix of beats and vocals that are fun, authentic, and accessible to many who like rap and even good for those who don’t. Give it a listen, and let JOMO take over your world for a bit. 41


Photo via Eric Mrak

Eric MRAK Song Review “With You”

ERIC MRAK’s new song “With You” is a calm rendition in a Hip-Hop world

T

oronto-based Hip-Hop and rap artist Erich Mrak has released his new track “With You” produced by Bento.

A lot of times artists in the music industry look at what has worked in the past and try to replicate trends to chase popularity as opposed to achieving originality. For Hip-Hop artists, it’s usually a message between the harsh life growing up or the idealized life when making it big, and as the beats have changed throughout the years, the subject matter has become predictable. Mrak enters the Hip-Hop landscape offering an original take on a situation relatable to many. The song begins with playful electronic notes as the beat slowly kicks in, giving off a mellow vibe and relaxing tone. The lyrics tackle the issue of wanting to relax without having to deal with the complexities of dealing with a relationship. As Mrak said, “The song is about the indecisiveness between two people, with regards to committing to a relationship, and if it is ideal for their current lives.” The message is genuine without trying to sound unnecessarily hard or focusing on

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cool delivery with empty meaning. The track is going for a soothing groove dealing with hardships, and the execution is spot on. The chorus is calm in delivery and easy to remember, showcasing Mrak’s ability for catchy songwriting while maintaining a deeper message underneath. Walking on the fine line between sounding good and making sense is the balance true lyricists deal with and Mrak has no problems in talking about experiences he has most likely been through. He has drawn comparisons to artists such as Mac Miller, Macklemore, Asher Roth, J. Cole, but he has enough of an identity of his own to stand apart from them and to continue to rise and make a name for himself. Harnessing his own take on the Hip-Hop genre, Mrak will soon be getting much attention on the scene. ETV will keep a close eye on the ongoing developments of this up-and-coming star and we look forward to seeing what’s next to come.


WEST COAST TOUR 2017

EASY STAR ALL-STARS SPECIAL GUESTS

THE LATE ONES THE ELOVATORS June 1 - Solana Beach, CA

June 8 - Englewood, CO

Belly-Up Tavern

Gothic Theatre

June 2 - Santa Barbara, CA

June 9 - Salt Lake City, UT

Velvet Jones

The State Room

June 3 - Garberville, CA

June 10 - Boise, ID

Summer Arts + Music Festival*

World Village Festival*

June 4 - San Francisco, CA

June 23 - Seattle, WA

The Independent

Nectar Lounge*

June 5 - Las Vegas, NV

June 24 - Port Renfrew, BC, CAN.

Brooklyn Bowl

Tall Tree Music Festival*

June 7 - Boulder, CO

June 25 - Portland, OR

Fox Theatre

Star Theatre* * without The Late Ones/The Elovators43


ECHOPLEX

Memorial

Day

CONCERT

REVIEW:

Reggae Invasion in L.A. T

he Echoplex welcomed reggae bands The Elovators, The Late Ones, and Easy Star All-Stars on Memorial Day 2017 as the three bands embark on their West Coast Tour. Opening the show was The Elovators from Boston, Massachusetts, who brought the beach sounds from the east coast to this side of the country on their first ever performance in California. They performed songs from their recently released album “The Cornerstone,” setting up for what would be a very funky night. Throughout their set, the band was friendly, even asking everyone to step in closer to the stage to create a more intimate setting. From clean vocals to the groovy trombone, The Elovators successfully brought their authentic sound to the Echoplex and showed what their hometown was all about. Overall, they were a great opening band and enjoyed themselves on stage just as much as the crowd enjoyed watching them perform. The Late Ones came out onto the stage next with a different approach. They brought a lot more energy and instantly got everyone hyped. Based out of Laie, Hawaii, brothers Tui Avei (lead vocals), and Tau Avei (vocals), along with cousin Josh Brunson (vocals) brought their rapid-fire rhymes and rapinfused style to give everyone a chance to let loose and truly enjoy the night out. Some of their songs were full of high-octane ferocity, while others were slower jams. Either way, The Late Ones managed to get their new fans swaying to their hypnotic rhythms in no time. The youthful band is taking hold of the reggae torch and infusing its flame with dashes of Jazz and R&B in new and exciting ways. They got everyone pumped up for the final act and the headliners for the night’s show.

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Before the Easy Star All-Stars took the stage, there was an undeniable energy in the air. I believe those in attendance had an idea of what to expect, but no one was prepared for just how hard they would rock out. A thunderous applause followed as each member finally stepped out. The opening song started as a long instrumental that allowed for everyone to get accustomed to the band’s versatility. Soon after, the collective force of all eight members on stage playing off each other began to shine and they started playing their reggae cover hits by legendary acts Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson. The highlight of the night was when they performed Pink Floyd’s “Money” leading into “Billie Jean” and just when you thought it was over, they went back into “Money,” with a flourishing end that had everyone head-banging to the dynamic rhythm section and outstanding vocal harmonies from the multitude of vocalists on stage. This performance proved the Easy Star All-Stars are indeed one of the top reggae performing acts in the world right now. As someone who doesn’t listen to reggae regularly, the entire show for me was a gateway into a new sound that I’ll be keeping an ear out for. If you’re ready to experience The Elovators, The Late Ones, and Easy Star All-Stars, three reggae bands that know how to put on a good show, be sure to check out their tour dates to know when they’ll be coming into your town so you can enjoy it all for yourself too. Reggae was first developed in Jamaica in the 1960s, evolving from earlier genres ska, rocksteady, and other local variations. It became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley.


Top: The Late Ones Left Center: The Elovators Above: Easy Star All-Stars Right: Easy Star All-Stars Photos by Isiah Reyes

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ENTER THE VENTURE

A

LOCAL EVENTS

rt and music collide in this edition’s Los Angeles local events section. Enoc Perez has used his talent to pave way toward opening up a political discussion about the use of U.S. Embassy Buildings from around the world and illustrates the changing roles these buildings have provided over time. If you’re more in the mood for a summer’s worth of free concerts, then the Beverly Hill’s Concerts on Canon may be more to your liking. Every Thursday starting on June 8, a collection of jazz, swing, and classic rock bands take stage allowing for fun nights out that will have you dancing the night away. Whether its art or music, these local events will have you covered.

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US Embassy Tel Aviv, 2017 Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 Inches

ENOC PEREZ POLITICS AT

T

MIXES PAINT AND UTA ARTIST SPACE

he UTA Artist Space will be featuring a politically-based solo exhibition by New Yorkbased artist Enoc Perez opening on May 13 until June 17. His exhibition focuses on architectural paintings of United States Embassy buildings throughout the world based on his frustrations of the country’s recent presidential election. Perez’s intention was to question how the political landscape has narrowed our relationships with these buildings and how they have gone from hopeful sanctuaries into security bunkers. The art portrays compounds in London, Beijing, Tel Aviv, Saigon and more, all with a sense of anxiety looming from the increased political conflict the nation faces.

Born in San Juan in 1967, Perez spent his family vacations as a child traveling to museums in different countries learning about the history of art. After getting his master’s degree at Hunter College, he has had his work displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London and many, many more galleries, universities and art centers around the world. The exhibition will be held at the UTA Artist Space, which is known for showcasing art talent from around the world and helping artists gain access new opportunities. Be sure to check out Enoc Perez open until June 17 at the UTA Artist Space, located on 670 S. Anderson Street, Los Angeles, CA. 47


City of Beverly Hills Presents Free Concerts on Canon

T

he City of Beverly Hills 2017 Concerts on Canon will commence on June 8 all the way through August 31, providing a total of 13 concerts at the Beverly Hills Canon Gardens.

The free outdoor concert will feature a host of bands throughout the month including Eric E’s BoogieWoogie band, a 10-piece swing, jump, blues and boogie-woogie band known for playing the classic covers from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and moderns songs for everyone to enjoy, as well as other bands including The Tokens (Doo-Wop), Les Zazous (French Bistro Jazz), and the Tom Nolan Band (Motown), among others.

All photos provided by the City of Beverly Hills 48

For more information, visit www.beverlyhills.org/concertsoncanon To learn about other events in Beverly Hills, visit www.beverlyhills.org


For the full summer lineup, see dates here: June 8 June 15 June 22 June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10 August 17 August 24 August 31

Eric E Ensemble – Big Band/Swing The Tokens – Doo-Wop Amber and Smoke – Acoustic Pop Duo Act Three – Broadway Tunes Rod Lightning and the Thunderbolts of Love – Classic Rock Covers The Hodads – Beach Boy Covers Les Zazous – French Bistro Jazz Tom Nolan Band – Motown Big Butter Jazz Band – New Orleans Jazz Swing Leslie Paula and the Latin Soul Band – Latin Salsa Stephen Wise Temple Musical Singers Salute The Summer Joyce Marie – Brazilian Jazz Rod Lightning and the Thunderbolts of Love – Classic Rock Covers

Two 45-minute sets at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. will offer loads of fun an opportunity to dance the night away. Seating is available on a first-served basis and the garden’s large grassy area will allow for picnic dining for the public. Boxed meals can also be purchased from nearby restaurants. For a night of Swing, R&B, Broadway tunes and more, be sure to check out the City of Beverly Hills 2017 Concerts on Canon, located on Canon Drive between the Montage Hotel and Bouchon Restaurant. Parking is available adjacent to Beverly Canon Gardens.

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LOS ANGELES MUSIC SCENE

C A L E N D A R JUNE Former Faces (EP Release Show) w/Greyface, Ghost Pavilion Mon, June 5 The Hi-Hat 5043 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Joan Osborne (sings Bob Dylan) Tue, June 13 The Regent Theatre 448 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Orgy

Sat, June 17 The Rose, Pasadena 245 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101

Power Violence

Sun, June 18 The Satellite 1717 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Ruby Force (Record Release Show) Sat, June 24 The Hotel Cafe 1623 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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July Adan Jodorowsky w/Cesar Saez, Rudy De Anda

Sun, July 2 Bootleg Theatre 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Unscene Fest Ft. Hott MT w/Draag, Alyeska, Wolf Woodcock Sat, July 8 The Hi-Hat 5043 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Zola Jesus w/Peaking Lights, Smerz, DJ Michael Stock Thu, July 20 The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, 90012

Miami Horror (Twilight Concert Sereies) w/Cleopold Thu, July 27 Santa Monica Pier 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Tom Gun LIVE: A Maverick’s Homage Fri, July 28 The Regent Theater 448 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Enter the Venture - Issue #1 (June - July 2017)  

Enter the Venture is an indie music magazine featuring new releases, interviews, and reviews covering solo artists and bands from around the...

Enter the Venture - Issue #1 (June - July 2017)  

Enter the Venture is an indie music magazine featuring new releases, interviews, and reviews covering solo artists and bands from around the...

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