Donovan Hill Interview

By Cullen Ronan

Interview with RIVRS by Mercedes Silva

1) What inspired you to start making music?

We started making music a few years ago. Grimes was a big inspiration, she was making amazing music that sounded so DIY, it felt like music suddenly became more of an accessible thing.

2) How much of an impact has music had on your life?

Music has soundtracked my life, and i definitely relate moments or time periods of my life to bands or artists I was into at the time. Actually, Fin and I met in 2009 – he asked if I wanted to hear his new vinyl of a new band called ‘The XX’ the day we met.

3) If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing instead?

I can’t really imagine myself doing anything different!

4) What has been your favorite place to perform?

Our single ‘Last Love’ was released on Kitsune and for the launch we played the Ace Hotel in London. The venue has more of a clubby and industrial feel being underground, which worked perfectly with our bassey sound!

5) I see that you have opened up for Mariana and the Diamonds. How was that experience?

It was so great, probably some some of the funnest days we’ve had for the band. Touring and performing is definitely the best part where all the hard work comes together. We also got to meet Marina, who was so lovely.

6) What is the best part about touring?

Just driving around to new places you’ve never been before. Newcastle was the furthest North I’ve ever been in the UK. Also audience reaction on twitter, and the supportive comments we got after the gigs were really nice.

7) What do you want people to know about you as individuals, or as a band?

We love pop music just as much as love more left-field/underground music. We’re also inspired by older artists like The Cure, Everything but the Girl and Depeche Mode, as well as newer artists like SBTRKT, The XX and James Blake.

8) Who do you one day hope to work with?

We’d love to work with Grimes, or SBTRKT.

9) What was the inspiration behind ‘Last Love’?

It was inspired by the feeling you get with your first love, where you feel like it’s gonna last forever.

10) If you could tour in any place and with anyone, who would it be and why?

We’d love to tour the US with Grimes.

 

Interview with Ocean Hope by Jayline Tapia

1) If you had to describe your sound in one word, what would it be? 

There’s a word in Greek that best describes what our sound might evoke “χαρμολύπη” which means sweet sorrow, it’s cool ‘cause it’s one word but has two emotions in it.

2) Your debut LP, ‘Chamber Dreams’ comes out this Friday, November 13. Is there any song, or group of songs that you are most excited for fans to hear?

(Correction:  it’s an EP)

3) What genre of music has the biggest influence on your sound? 

We like synth pop, lo-fi, progressive, electronica, Greek folk, almost everything influence us in different ways.

4) What artist do you hope to one day work with? 

Frank Ocean would be someone really interesting to work with and maybe Prince too, both wide open creative minds.

5) Where did you come up with such a creative band name? 

We like the ocean as much as hope.

6) Does the name have any influence on your sound? 

Nope! Unexpectedly, the sound has influence on the name.

7) Considering the fact that your band name has the word ocean in it, are you guys big fans/draw inspiration from the beach, or the serenity of the ocean? 

Our house/studio  is by the sea, we are surrounded by bright colors and water and this influence us firstly as persons.  We like to imagine that our sound is serene as the sea but with big wild waves in the very core of it.

8) What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in the studio? 

Riding our motorbikes.

9) Does the fact that you guys are related make your career easier to handle? 

This fact doesn’t really affect our work in any way. We are good in communicating through sounds and this is what works for us.

10) What else, besides music, do you guys like to do?

We like a lot ping pong and skating.

11) I understand that you guys are from Corinth, Greece. Are the people in your hometown big fans/supporters of your work? 

Well, a few people, our project is at the very beginning.

The place where our work took off happens to be far away from our hometown, Alex Ruder from Hush Hush Records, is the person that listened to our sounds and something moved him and then Chris from gorillavsbear was the first that supported our work…I mean, we are so grateful to both of them.

12) Is there a message that you want to give to your fans?

Sure!

Be always kind and truthful to yourself and to others .. don’t believe what others say, most of the times people hardly know what they are talking about.

Interview with Benjamin Dollaz by Jayline Tapia

1) When did you first start writing songs?

I would say I made my first song at 16 going on 17. However, keep in mind that was just the first song that was recorded and put out there. Prior to that, I had found myself writing random verses and love songs for my middle school crushes.

2) What made you want to pursue this dream of yours?

So music wasn’t always my dream. In fact, I would say it’s one of my younger aspirations. Still, I find making it in the music industry to be the dream I am, hands down, the most passionate about. I inherited my love for making music from my brother, but it was my own personal accounts that made it a dream. Post my father’s death I found that the progression of time led to him being somewhat forgotten, especially by those who weren’t as close to him. So, with that said I told myself I was going to carve my name into history. My love for making music is what is going to make that possible.

3) Where your friends and family supportive about your decision to become a rapper?

My friends were and still are the people who push me to make this dream come true. They see my talent and remind me everyday that I got something others don’t. My family also believes in me, however I think they were a bit more skeptical at first. Growing up I always was an honor student and to be some doctor or lawyer is what they expected from me. It was over time that I grew into the rapper I am today in which they all now recognize and believe in.

4) Is Stage Fright your first EP?

Yes, StageFright is actually my first project in general.

5) What was your inspiration behind the lyric in your songs on the EP?

My lyrics are inspired and governed by my life. Nothing I write is fabricated. I honestly just sit down and vent to the blank lines that fill my notepad. Stage Fright’s lyrics spawn from my hunger to be remembered, my struggle with poverty and I touch upon various times and events in my life to help the audience understand who Benjamin Dollaz is.

6) I hear you’re actually sponsored by “Datpiff,” how did that happen?

What being sponsored on datpiff does is it allows listeners to download a project with out using one of his/her limited downloads. So I

understand that as of now I’m not this musical icon that everyone would be willing to use one his or her limited downloads for. With that in mind, my team and I knew that Stage Fright is an amazing project that we needed to get sponsored. We contacted datpiff and made that happen.

7) Who are your musical influences?

My biggest musical influence is definitely my brother. He has been rapping for as long as I can remember and I use to just watch in awe. I would absorb whatever techniques and skills I could from him. Other than him, there are many rappers and legends I respect but I feel the only other rapper who has an influence on my music is J. Cole. That man is a mastermind with his craft and I urge anyone who hasn’t heard him to give him a listen.

8) How many performances have you done so far and which has been?

I haven’t done many performances and I feel that’s my next stage to work on. I’ve only hit a couple open mics and little gigs. If I had to choose my favorite performance it would have to be the day of my listening party. Although it wasn’t a pure performance it was just euphoric knowing that 100+ people came out to just support me. That night was arguably one of the best nights of my life.

9) What’s your fan base like?

In all honesty my fan base is growing but is still relatively small. What I would like to say about my fan base is that they are extremely loyal and connect with me on a personal level. I can feel the love they have for me and I just want to let them know that it is reciprocated.

10) Do you have any big plans in motion for the near future?

Everything I plan to do is big. I don’t want to mention too much because I have yet to have a set date on what’s to come, but what I will

say is that me and my brother are already working on a collaboration EP and that it is definitely something to look forward to. On a personal account I also want to say it is an absolute honor to finally make music with him.

11) Anything you want to say to people who haven’t heard your music and don’t really know what you’re about yet?

To those who haven’t heard my music I want to tell you what I’m about. As humans we more or less go through the same things at one point or another. My music touches upon these things we go through. I know what it is to be in love, I know what it is to have your heart broken. I understand how it feels to have a dream and to be overlooked every time. I am a working man who has dealt with death, poverty, betrayal, school, you name it I’ve most likely gone through it in one way shape or form and it is these things I rap about. I put my heart and soul into my music and I know if you give me a listen you will see that. I can’t guarantee you will like every song but I can promise that you will find one song of mine that will make you a fan and make you say “damn this guy is the truth.”

 

Check out Benjamin Dollaz at:

IG: @BenjaminDollaz

Datpiff: http://www.datpiff.com/Benjamin-Dollaz-Stage-Fright-

mixtape.733379.html

Soundcloud.com/overlookedeverytime

Dragonforce Interview

By Cullen Ronan

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