Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/12/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Amanda Ply
One afternoon at the age of six years old Amanda Ply walked into a gift shop with her mother. There was a snow globe that caught her attention, playing Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”. After returning home, Amanda found an old junky keyboard her family had in the house and began to teach herself the song by ear. She started to train herself to play songs she heard on the radio and her family started to take notice of her unique ability.
Amanda’s mother made a deal with her that if she stuck with it for a year, her mom would look into buying Amanda a used piano to replace the old keyboard. Amanda never looked back. She was trained for over a decade in classical piano. However, she is the first …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/5/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Jaqee
For the fourth time now Jaqee introduces herself to the World with her impressive voice and her unique attitude. Born in Kampala, the Capital of Uganda, she began her vagabond like life the moment she was born. During her childhood, she travelled the rural areas of her home country with her parents. This is where she collected her first impressions of the life as a nomad. From birth on, wandering the earth became a part of her destiny. In the early nineties she undertook a huge step and immigrated to Sweden. The City of Gothenburg would become her adopted home from where she was able to access all the different destinies and directions, which were on offer to her.
Through all the borders Jaqee crossed, music has always been her …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/22/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Shilpa Narayan
Shilpa Narayan, the woman behind the Youtube username Shilax0929′s musical rendition videos had an unlikely beginning that sets her apart from the vast majority of musical acts these days. As a young child, Shilpa gained a sincere appreciation for music. Her parents exposed her to a variety of genres and a particular influence for Shilpa was the Indian music that her mother would sing. As a busy student at Georgia Tech a few years ago, where a musical scene “wasn’t too widespread,” Shilpa did not have much of an opportunity to become involved in exploring her love of music and singing. However, her musical interests still continued to flourish despite her surrounding environment. Shilpa’s final motivation to begin recording covers and share them with the world via Youtube came during …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/15/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Kelly Hogan
In the 1990s, Hogan sang with The Jody Grind, singing on their full-lengths One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure (1990) and Lefty’s Deceiver (1992). The group disbanded after two of its members were killed in a car crash. She then co-founded the Rock*A*Teens, playing bass on the guitar and singing backup vocals. She appeared on their 1996 self-titled LP and the 1997 album Cry. Her debut solo record was released in 1996, which featured covers of songs by Will Oldham and Vic Chestnutt.
Hogan left the Rock*A*Teens after the release of Cry, and signed with Bloodshot Records, releasing two full-length albums in 2000-01. Among those appearing on the records were the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Andrew Bird, and Edith Frost. In the 2000s she also collaborated with Neko Case, The …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/8/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Haim
According to California-based sister trio HAIM, the origin story of their band starts with their parents’ shared love of music. As a teenager in the 1970s, their mother won an episode of The Gong Show, singing a rendition of a Bonnie Raitt song, while their father spent time as a drummer.
“It might have been why they fell in love,” says Alana Haim, guitarist and, at 19, the youngest of the three. “They met at some disco in the eighties. I guess back then it was kind of hard to find a cute girl who could also play guitar.” As a result, the siblings were raised on a strict diet of classic rock, like the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, and old-school Americana. When they reached middle school, Mama and …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/1/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: First Aid Kit
Prodigious Swedish teenagers Klara (17) and Johanna Söderberg (19), AKA First Aid Kit, have been gathering fans apace since the release of their ‘Drunken Trees’ EP in February 2009. They are proud to have since released their glorious debut full length, The Big Black and The Blue.
Spending their formative years drinking from the fountain of American classics – everything from Buffy Sainte-Marie (you can hear FAK’s revamped version of her 1964 protest classic ‘Universal Soldier’ here, to the likes of Conor Oberst – it shaped their way with song writing, arrangements and even the use of a second language. Audiences have been falling at their feet, enraptured by their pure, shimmering voices in harmony.
Until now they have been rightfully praised for their astonishing cover versions, such as their …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/24/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Gemma Ray
The early 2000s had their share of retro-soul and R&B acts, but British singer/songwriter Gemma Ray had a more complex m.o. than simply aping the greats. Reaching back to pre-Beatles rock for inspiration — but tossing in a jumble of influences as disparate as Tom Waits, Kate Bush, film scores, flamenco, and the sparkly indie pop of the ‘90s and 2000s — Ray sculpted a sound that was familiar and warm, but also appealingly off-kilter and full of noir-ish touches that were part homage, part pastiche. The Essex native released her first album, The Leader, in early 2008 on the U.K.-based indie label Bronzerat. Aloft on a cloud of positive reviews from the British press, she was about to embark on a tour when she became ill and had to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/3/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Ana Tijoux
Chile’s Ana Tijoux exploded onto the scene in 2010 with a sick, tongue-twistin flow that immediately captured the ears of unsuspecting listeners, regardless of the language flowing through their heads. Her style is utterly laid-back, nonchalant, and smooth – and then she’ll hit you over the head with a mad rapid-fire lyrical spit that will leave even Spanish speakers scratching their head thinking she must have learned Chinese.
With horns and strings blazing, her aptly titled album 1977 takes the listener back to the “golden-age” of hip-hop. Tijoux is determined to keep that style at the forefront of hip-hop, using the past while speaking in the present in order to build for the future. And if the world is forced to learn a little Spanish along the way, all the …