Vai Patri (pop) on debut single “Criminal”, plans for EP “Dynamite”

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As a follow up to our review of Denver, CO native, Vai Patri’s release of her debut single, “Criminal” we invited her on to chat for a bit about the track. We are excited to have her back on, and will be hopefully seeing more of her in the future!

1. What inspired you to write this track? 

I wrote “Criminal” about four years ago, when I was 17! What inspired me to write the track was a lack of motivation (haha, note the irony). I was in a period of my life where everything felt impossible; I was struggling with depression and some other mental health issues. I think, internally, everything piled up so much that I finally burst – and in this explosion, “Criminal” was born. Writing this song was me fighting an internal battle. It was telling myself: “I am alive, creative, life is unwritten, and I can be what I want”. I strongly felt need to share this message with as many human beings as possible, so when I wrote this song, I knew it was going to be the one I released, and I knew it was going to be the first single from my E.P. “Dynamite.”

 

2. Are you hoping to put together a music video for “Criminal,” or any further production for this single? 

 

Absolutely. I am currently writing the music video for “Criminal”. I see it all in my head! I am currently working on putting together a team. The music video is going to focus on mental health issues and overcoming various struggles. There is going to be darkness and light, and it is going to be very realistic.

 

3. How has the feedback been so far? 
The feedback has been fantastic! A lot of people have been telling me that the song has resonated very deeply with them. I am so incredibly happy and proud. 

 

 

4. Are you planning for any release shows, or shows that listeners can watch out for with summer coming? 

I am planning for a release show as soon as “Dynamite” is finished! I am planning for something late August! I am very excited.

 

5. Finally, any more releases planned for this year that we can expect from you? 

“Dynamite” my E.P. will come out later, in August! The songs are very diverse! There’s a little bit of everything.

This is all we know right now about her exciting plans for her new EP, and a video coming but we will keep you all in the loop about anything else we find along the way!

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Mawule (R&B) out of Denver, CO on video for “It’s Not You” and plans for 2018

R&B artist, Mawule out of Denver, CO recently released his new video for well recieved single, “It’s Not You.” After a chat about his earlier released single, “Anything,” we here at THISISWHEREIAMALIVE were excited to have him back on to talk about the latest and greatest with Mawule.

1. As mentioned before in our previous interview, you tend to use music as a creative outlet to speak out about social issues. In this video you took a rather strong approach to sexual assault, tell us a little more about the steps you took to conveying this in your new video for “It’s Not You?”

I work in higher education at the University of Denver and took advantage of my resources. I asked colleagues who work in victim and advocacy centers to listen to the music and share ideas that come to mind if they were to envision a music video for the song. From there, Director Garrett Hayes and I took their ideas and used it to develop the storyline and visuals in the video.

2. About how long did it take to film, edit, and polish the video altogether?

We started in March, didn’t finish until early June. Critical evaluations of scene footage and dialogues led us readjust the storyline and re-shoot to makes sure that our message was understandable and salient.

  1. How did you approach the filming of this video differently than other video?

We collected feedback, conducted research, and engaged in dialogue with people who had been in these situation to get their thoughts. We wanted to produce work that would not trigger people and still make an impact.

  1. If you could do one thing differently on the video, what would it be and why?

Director Garrett Hayes and I both agree that we would pay more attention to the couple on the couch and build out their story. We wanted to bring awareness to emotional abuse but do not believe we effectively communicated that.

  1. To give credit where it is due, how was working with Garrett Hayes of Square Visions Media? It’s always a blast working with Garrett Hayes. This video was a lot more challenging compared to the “Black Is Beautiful” music video we first published. With this video, we learned a lot more about each other at times when visions and ideas clashed in the shooting process. I think we both challenged each other, learned how to be better communicators and provide better support for each other when we work on future projects.
  1. What’s your favorite scene from the video?

All the rewind scenes. I think anyone who watches this music video begins to experience that “ah ha” moment when they see the scenes rewind. I believe at this point is where the message becomes more salient to the audience.

  1. Any more plans for the rest of 2017, or surprises your listeners can anticipate in 2018?

Pushing the “It’s Not You” music video will wrap up my music work for 2017. However, I am currently working with Garrett Hayes and two otherfilmmakers Johnathan Nicholas and Tim O’Connor on a three part series music video that will jaws dropping for my unreleased songs “Save Me”, “Stay”, and “Closure”. We will be preparing these videos for release in March 2018.

 

Silver and Smoke (Dever, CO) talk on “Crooked Road” production, thought process, and upcoming plans

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Dever, CO’s Silver and Smoke sat down with us at THISISWHEREIAMALIVE to chat about their newest release of the video for their track, “Crooked Road,” some of their upcoming plans for this year and beyond, (a Silver and Smoke beer even? Put my name on the sign up list wherever it is)  as well as some of the work that went into the production of the video.

The video takes you through the guys practice space, to sound check and the real thing at their live performances, ending with live shots of the concert and fan reactions. Personally, I loved the concept of giving the video to the fans becasue after all, a musician or band is nothing without it’s fans. The video lends itself to the natural flow of musicianship in rehearsal, to the venue and the performance. Scroll all the way to the bottom past te interview to check it out!

(Lia Davis): Introduce yourself to us! Where are you guys from, and how long have you been a band? What genre do you identify as?

(Rick Brown):  Diego was born in Chile, but for the most part, all 4 of us grew up in Aurora, CO. Silver And Smoke has been a band for about 2 years. Dino and Ty have played with a few other members in the band, but with the current members, we have been playing together for a year. We really don’t know what genre to consider ourselves. Even after we finish playing live, people come ask us what genre we identify as. We just play music. We write each song in a style we feel fits that individual song best.

(Lia Davis): How long did it take you to put together the music video for Crooked Road?

(Ty Bray): Our first day of shooting at the Acacia Jade Studios was in mid April, then the concert we filmed was on May 5th. We spent the next couple months tweaking, mixing and mastering the actual song while 4th Kind Entertainment worked on editing the footage. All told, the project spanned about four months.

(Lia Davis): What was your thought process behind including shots of your audience, and live fan reactions?

(Diego Valenzuela): It was part of the video concept of the video and the song itself. Starting at our rehearsal space at Acacia Jade Studios, then to our sound check, and finally how it all comes together at the end at our live performances. We also find ourselves incredibly fortunate to have the friends, family, and following that we have. We put a lot of work into our music and performances and we could t be here without our fans. It’s to show them that we appreciate them just as much as they support us.

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(Lia Davis): How do you think “Crooked Road” reflects the overall sound of your upcoming EP?

(Dino Ianni): “Crooked Road” is probably the song that could best be classified as our “ballad” for the album – so to speak. Even then, it gets pretty rowdy in the second half of the song, so I guess it’s all perspective. “Crooked Road” and our other single, “Burning Bridges,” are the centerpieces of this album (or bookends if you want to look at it that way). They’re two extremely different sounding songs, but they represent the diversity of the music we play, and in a way, the variety of influences and personalities that make up Silver And Smoke. You’re gonna get some blues, you’re gonna get some head banging, you’re gonna get some soul. A surprising range of emotions packed into one body.

(Lia Davis): What does the lyrical content of this song show about you guys as a whole?
(Ty Bray): This song came to Dino and I over the course of about an hour and a half. Interestingly, it’s not really typical of our sound, and the lyrics are more optimistic in tone than some of our music. Crooked Road tells the story of someone who is doing anything to achieve their goal, with only the thought of a loved one pushing them forward.

(Lia Davis): How does this EP compare to your past two releases? 
(Dino Ianni): As a young(ish) band, relatively new to the scene, this upcoming EP (our third album so far) makes sense from both a musical development standpoint, and a demand standpoint. Our first year was somewhat of a mess as we had about five different iterations of the band, with people joining and leaving throughout the year. But this past year has been much more stable and I think that will show in this next album. We now have four song-writers instead of just two, so you’ll see a higher level of musicianship and production in this album compared to our last two.
And demand: this past year has seen our music played on multiple radio and online stations, shows being sponsored by radio stations, gigs of all shapes and sizes at venues all across Colorado, participation in one of the biggest music events in Denver (Underground Music Showcase), sponsorships by major local companies, and a whole other list of events that we are incredibly proud of and thankful for. The undercurrent throughout all of that is our fans – the people who give us our lifeblood so we can carry on.

While art is somewhat personal, we try extremely hard to make sure our fans know how much we love them. And our best way to do that is through music. So this album is a way to bring something new and exciting to the very people who’ve helped support us through this journey we’ve embarked upon.
(Lia Davis): How has the feedback been so far for the video? 
(Diego Valenzuela): The feedback has been incredible! It’s our second music video and it is close to reaching 8k views on Facebook which, for us, is such an achievement. People that we have never met or interacted with have given praise to it and shared it and that feels so good. It’s great that people have received it so well, both the video and the single!

(Lia Davis): Any anticipated “big things” coming up for this year or next?

(Rick Brown): Yeah! We are definitely excited to release the new songs we have been recording, and we are planning on traveling to new cities in the near future. We also are partnering with microbrewery to create an exclusive Silver And Smoke beer in 2018 – stay tuned!