Following up to my last week's post, I am absolutely blown away by the amount of support from friends, family and even beautiful strangers whom I have never met before, give me words of encouragement and strength, telling me NOT to quit! It is indeed a cycle that happens to everyone no matter what you're trying to chase and when my next lows approaches, I will be well equipped and tell them to "BRING IT ON!"
I needed to use the past week to ask myself the hard questions, to re=focus and one of these days I'll have to find time to re=energize. Being surrounded with musicians, music and people who are in the same hustle helped me get back up. Being a musician requires me to keep "up-to-date" with what's "in" and what music consumers "dig" NOW. Part of the writing process involves research and thankfully we have search engines and streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify respectively, to help us easily discover new up and coming artists and the types of music that are popular today. In my research I came across 3 new artists who are absolutely inspiring my "next sounds" for writing and I absolutely aspire to one day write and produce music at their level!!
1) Daniel Caesar
Our very own Canadian home-boy R&B and soul singer-songwriter from Oshawa, Ontario! Born Ashton Simmonds, Daniel Caesar had an epic 2017 and his sound and brand is only going up and up from here! How did I discover him? I do a live music stream with Faux Label/YEG Music on Twitch.ca every Monday nights from 7-9pm with @millierougemusic where we take requests from our viewers and subscribers and one night, there was a request for "Best Part" by Daniel Caesar ft. H.E.R. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG! And the second I got home, I researched EVERYTHING to do with this artist! He released two critically acclaimed EPs Praise Break and Pilgrim's Paradise, and released his debut album Freudian in August 2017 which earned him 2 Grammy nominations. The song that got me hooked was his break out single, 'Get You' which was streamed over 10 million times!
Anybody who has listened to 'Get You" and quite frankly any of his songs knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say that his melody lines and harmonies moves YOU and makes you feel emotions that you cannot describe! That's why I am so drawn to R&B/Soul sounds and Daniel Caesar captures the essence of this indescribable feeling. Barack Obama, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Chance the Rapper are just a small portion of high profile fans of Caesar's who may agree!
For more quick notes about Daniel Caesar, read this article in The Toronto Life.
It appears that the UK has SO MANY hidden talented artists and Mahalia Burkmar, or better known by her stage name Mahalia is one of those hidden talents! She is an English R&B singer-songwriter based out of Birmingham. She released a couple of EPs and an album called 'Diary of Me'. I came across Mahalia through a friend when we were sharing and exchanging musical influences of our own while gearing up for our own writing session. This was the video that my friend and local #yeg producer @masterkey_ent shared!
Literally 5 SECONDS IN I WAS HOOKED!!! Her voice, her vibe, her swag, her message, her chord harmonies and just HER I fell in love with. I was watching a live, acoustic performance of "I Remember" and I was completely mesmerized. The amount of truth that I felt during those 3 minutes - I knew exactly what she was talking about as if I lived through it myself! An artist who I am studying at this moment to become better in my own future writing!
So you may have guessed it, I discovered "H.E.R" at the same time I came across Daniel Caesar as she was featured on Caesar's track "Best Part". Born Gabriella Wilson, immediately I was drawn to the mysterious name that she goes by. "Having Everything Revealed" or H.E.R. is an American R&B singer-songwriter who is exceptionally talented and musically mature for her age! She prefers to remain unidentified hence her stage name but also wants to be only represented by her music! (when I read that, I couldn't agree more! I RESPECT THAT) Her voice is sooo smooth, developed and full of emotion years beyond her youth!
When I listened to her two EPs titled H.E.R Volume 1 (2016) and H.E.R Volume 2 (2017), I immediately identified and knew exactly what she was going through and how she was dealing or not dealing with the situations she was faced with. Most of her songs consists of contemporary R&B ballads that depicts emotional highs and lows of life! I get you girl!!
If you haven't heard of these three artists, I highly recommend you to! I have been studying their music inside out and will be studying them the rest of my own musical journey! Who are some of your artists who are inspiring your writing today? Leave a comment! I'd like to know who is inspiring YOU!