Francesca Luker, ‘Promise Land’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Francesca Luker’s latest single, ‘Promise Land,’ is now available to stream online. Luker outperforms all expectations here; we were anticipating a respectable performance, but she excels admirably. Moreover, her ability is readily comparable to that of Remi Wolf and Rapsody.

For me, ‘Promise Land’ is more than just a groovy pop song; it has a powerful narrative about finding yourself in a perilous circumstance and knowing that you have someone there to provide a helping hand. It has a powerful impact on me, and I love it! Check it out below.

Francesca Luker, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Francesca, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Promise Land’, what is the meaning? 

I wrote Promise Land in 2020, after a very dark time in my life transitioned into one of the happiest summers of my life. I had just met an amazing new band who helped this song blossom into the lively track it is today. They have since grown to be some of my best friends, so this song represents the beginning of an important era for me.

Promise Land encapsulates the very true cliche that hard times do always come to an end. I wrote the lyrics about adopting a half-glass-full attitude to life, embracing change and making positive steps towards my future- The idea that every small challenge you throw yourself into can lead you in the right direction.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

I’m inspired by many artists, but my all time favourite is Lana Del Rey. Album after album I continue to adore everything she releases, even though her music has evolved drastically from some of her earlier stuff. For me I love that her albums tell a story- her songs are raw, personal and true reflections of how she’s feeling at the time. She doesn’t write to please her audience or to have a chart topper, she writes whatever the hell she wants, which can vary from nine minute long songs to new melodic and lyrical material that sounds nothing like any other artist. But whatever she writes, I always enjoy her mellow, enchanting sound as a refreshing contrast from the other mostly upbeat music I listen to.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

The best thing about being a musician in 2023 is how easy it is to access advanced music technology. Being able to use programs such as logic, takes my songwriting to a whole new level. Instead of just having piano and vocals to write with, I have a whole library of drum loops, midi instruments and synths to work with. For example, without even playing bass, a lot of the songs I’ve written started off with bass-lines- Promise Land included. Using Logic, my guitarist and I were able to record the whole song from home without even going to a recording studio.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

I usually write music in my room, because this is where my keyboard and recording equipment is. But song ideas can come to me absolutely anytime, anywhere- I could be walking around in public, at uni or in the shower- So I just have to record a voice memo to save for later so I can create a song from it next time I’m writing in my room!

What is your first memory of music? 

My earliest memories of music are of my dad playing artists like Lauryn Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell and Sia around the house. Growing up I was exposed to an eclectic range of genres, especially Neo-soul, jazz and funk- all of which had a massive impact on how I learned to sing, because I developed a love for these genres and began mimicking their style of vocals. As a kid I was basically just singing all the time- so music has always been a big part of my life.

Francesca Luker on social media:

Photo Credit: Francesca Luker.

Marsha Swanson, ‘Facing Life’

Words By Joey Rochert.

British singer-songwriter Marsha Swanson has made an impressive comeback, solidifying her position as a leading name in the music industry with her recent release, ‘In Parallel.’ And now, she is set to take the music scene by storm once again, as she gears up to drop her latest single, ‘Facing Life,’ this coming Friday, 4th August 2023.

Following the success of ‘In Parallel,’ which garnered immense praise for its captivating sound and thoughtful lyrics, Marsha Swanson aims to push the boundaries even further with ‘Facing Life.’ This new track promises to deliver a fresh dimension, showcasing the artist’s unwavering commitment to quality and professionalism.

While the track is yet to be officially streamed online, lucky insiders have already been treated to an early preview. From what we’ve heard, it’s safe to say that fans are in for a real treat when ‘Facing Life’ emerges on New Music Friday. The song is undoubtedly Marsha Swanson at her best, combining her signature melodic charm with deeply emotive storytelling.

More information here.

Photo Credit: Marsha Swanson.

Cathy Mpaka, ‘Distorted Heart’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Music fan? Have you heard Cathy Mpaka’s hot new release, ‘Distorted Heart’? It’s the freshest thing to hit the music scene this last week! Also, with those European dance vibes, it’s impossible not to vibe with it.

And let’s talk about Cathy’s vocals – they are on point, no doubt! ‘Distorted Heart’ is an absolute bop, perfect for your party playlist and you will be eager to listen to more the second it concludes.

You can check it out below.

Kingdumb, ‘Ecstasy’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Kingdumb keeps proving he’s a true powerhouse in the music industry with ‘Ecstasy’. The track’s got the feel-good flowing from ever pore, and you will be hooked!

You know Kingdumb always brings that top-notch production quality, thats what he does here! Also, let me tell you, even the most reserved folks will struggle to not move to the enticing beat. The bass is also intense, and it will hit you deep in the soul! So, get ready, you can have some ‘Ecstasy’ below.

Ervin Munir, ‘Pick up the Phone’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Ah, without a doubt, the latest single from Ervin Munir, bearing the resplendent title ‘Pick up the Phone’, shall undoubtedly captivate the hearts of those fortunate enough to encounter its melodious embrace. This enthralling encounter emerges from the artistic genius of Norfolk’s very own Munir, whose penchant for amalgamating folk and indie elements into a distinct and remarkable fusion is well-known.

The single, an exultant expression of positivity and joy, is certain to elevate the spirits of its listeners, buoyed by the ethereal vocals of the enchanting Tina Blaber. Munir’s guitar artistry evokes a profound sense of nostalgia and solace, skillfully merging strength and warmth, enveloping us in a comforting reverie.

The rhythmic cadence established by the drums possesses an almost hypnotic allure, promptly compelling one’s body to sway gracefully in unison with its pulse. The harmonious convergence of Munir’s and Blaber’s voices adds a layer of celestial beauty and mellifluousness to the delivery, endowing it with profound depth and significance.

Ears at the ready, you can stream below.

Brian Lightning, ‘Pilot’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Oh, Brian Lightning, where shall we even begin? What an innovator we have here with Birmingham’s latest phenomenon! When he is not mesmerising his audiences with his mind-boggling magic skills, he is pleasing their ears with his brand new and debut single, titled “Pilot.”

A track which takes us far into his imagination, it explores an indie, jazzy sound which is soothing yet has heaps of power within its touch. The vocals from Brian are alluring, and he manages to stand out right from the start! One to watch for the future? We certainly think so!

Photo Credit: Brian Lightning.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Little Miracles’

Words By Joey Rochert.

‘Little Miracles’, the latest composition by Julia Thomsen, is a musical ear-worm that resonates deeply, inspiring us to see the inherent goodness in the world. The enchanting allure of this piece has captivated our hearts, leaving us yearning for more. Also, Thomsen’s creativity envelops us in a blanket of tranquility, akin to the gentle touch of a warm wind.

In the realm of composing, Julia Thomsen has firmly established herself as a beacon of light. Her talent for crafting captivating melodies and evoking emotional harmonies sets her apart. With “Little Miracles,” Thomsen effortlessly transports us on a journey to nirvana. The experience seamlessly weaves itself into the fabric of our consciousness, leaving an indelible mark on our souls.

Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

Thomas Cole, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Welcome back, Thomas! We’re thrilled to have you here, and we’re eager to learn more about your new single, ‘Up In Smoke.’ Could you provide our readers with a glimpse of what they can expect before delving into the track? 

💛 Yes, absolutely! Thank you so much for having me. ‘Up In Smoke’ is my ninth studio single of my upcoming debut album, ‘Late To Bloom’. It’s a dance track that I like to call the sexy song on the album, and it kind of speaks to all the things that try to distract us and throw us off course; such as sex, drugs, temptation in whatever form… in it, I say “my good intentions up in smoke / your sweet sativa has a hold / my good intentions up in smoke / not gonna lose control / not gonna take you home.” So it’s kind of an internal battle as to where to draw the line, because, let me tell ya, actions have consequences. The lyrics and music video tell a story about being approached by someone at a bar, while being in a relationship, and how to kind of manoeuvre that situation. 

Your growth as an artist has been evident in the progression of your previous releases. It’s clear that you’re evolving and becoming more influential with each new release. What fuels your inspiration to consistently produce such captivating music?

💛 Thank you very much! I like to think with each song release, I’m getting better and stronger at what I do. It’s very much a learning process and you learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, I’m a virgo, and a perfectionist as a result, so it’s important to me to put out captivating art that engages the audience. 

Collaborating with Rudy Bundini for the official video must have been an exciting experience. How did that collaboration came about? 

💛 Oh, Rudy and I go way back! Maybe eight years ago, we met modeling and walking the runway for all kinds of New York designers. The great thing about social media is it keeps everyone close in a way. Even though all that time had passed, when I was imagining the concept for the video, I immediately saw him as my co-star, so I reached out and he said yes!

Thomas Cole
Photo Credit: Thomas Cole

As we approach the midsummer of 2023, we’re curious to know what standout moments or experiences have been the highlight of your summer so far?

💛 Honestly, rehearsing for, and filming the ‘Up In Smoke’ music video was a real stand out moment this summer. It was my first time having choreography and professional dancers in a video, so it took a lot of work, and seeing it come to life was really special. Other than that, I saw Ava Max on tour…finally, last month. She’s been a huge inspiration for my music and finally being able to see her live, after covid screwed up her last tour, was really really a highlight of my year! I’m taking my husband to the South of France to celebrate his birthday next month, so that’s something super exciting, still, to look forward to! Maybe it’ll inspire a song on the next album…who knows?!

With the release of your latest single, ‘Up In Smoke,’ in the spotlight, can you hint at any plans you have in store for more releases this year?

💛 Well I thought you’d never ask! YES! My debut album, ‘Late To Bloom,’ is set to release on September 29th. It has 11 dance tracks, all produced by the brilliant LA producer, Electropoint. You can preorder it on vinyl, as well as the digital versions, now. Head to my website for more info. You may be getting a surprise or two before then as well, so stay tuned!

Photo Credit: Thomas Cole.

Marsha Swanson, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Marsha, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘In Parallel’, what is the meaning? 

The song is reflecting on what is involved in maintaining a long-term relationship. I reference swans, as a symbol of loyalty. Not only do they mate for life, but they can often be seen swimming in parallel together over great distances. As humans, we have many distractions and interferences both internally and externally that can knock us of our path. In the video, I use ballet to represent the expansive dance involved for any couple.  I include in this dance, each person’s understanding and management of their own inner child. I also wanted to get across that whilst some threats to the relationship may be conscious, others may only become knowable via dreams. However, it is the ability to face up to or throw sentient light on what lies in the shadows,  that can ultimately strengthen a relationship.

I found it particularly poignant to learn that swans sing when they die.  I feel that each song of mine is perhaps a swansong of sorts, because there needs to be a death to give rise to a birth so it is inherent in any creation.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

The way that David Bowie continued his music to the very end of his life, incorporating his own dying process into his art was profoundly moving and inspiring. Even though he died in 2016, the ripples of this legacy are still powerfully current.

My daughter listens to a lot of Billie Eilish and as a result of this, I have been exposed to more of her music over the last few years than almost any other artist. I have been really struck by the power of her vision, from her songs to her videos, her performance and even the way she engages with her fans. 

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

All musicians who lived through the pandemic have seen that music still has a place, even when we can’t perform live. For all its widely reported problems, technology has enabled us to both record and share music without even leaving our homes and that is incredible. I think in 2023 we are all appreciating being able to play live again, whilst also knowing that whatever the circumstances, the music will still play on!

Photo Credit: James Sebastian

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

When I’m writing for my own need to express something, it will always be on my piano in my lounge. A piano that goes back 3 family generations and is still able to keep its tune! If I’m writing as a commission, or as a project or co-write, it is a very different head-space and I can do that anytime and anywhere!

What is your first memory of music? 

I don’t know that I could trust any answer I gave to this question. Memory is so unreliable as we tend to construct and fabricate our stories without realizing it, shaping them subtly over time like a Chinese whisper. However, I do have consistent and powerful early childhood memories of my Dad’s best friend singing to me before bed on his guitar. I loved his voice which was gentle and soothing. It certainly had a formative impact on me.

Photo Credit: Marsha Swanson.