The Wonderful World of Carminelitta - Part 2

UK talent: The Brilliant EP, Breis

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Cover artwork for The Brilliant EP

Breis’ name had been on my radar for quite a while but I have to admit I didn’t really check out his music until quite recently, after I discovered his amazing collaboration with French producers HornDogz for Movin’ On, a wonderful track that also features London MC Ty and singer Peeda (in case you missed it, watch the beautiful video for Movin’ On). When he shared the link to my podcast, where I played the track, I felt compelled to have a look at his page and the various links he posted. I had actually seen him post about The Brilliant EP but didn’t take the time to check it out (shame on me, I know…). The timing was perfect then though, and I am quite happy I clicked play. As soon as I listened to the first track, wittily called Landmarks & Spencer, I knew I would not only love the project but feel “homesick” for London. Full of wordplay and references to the English capital only people who visited or lived there can catch (and I’m quite proud to be one of those), the track is therefore a great introduction to the EP and sets the tone perfectly. A wonderful blend of hip-hop, afro-beat and various other influences, the album sounds like a snapshot of Breis’ universe and what life in London town can be. From the lively and enticing Strictly to the short but funny interlude Jammin’ On The Bus, or the more personal Fear of Failure and Mocking Bird, among other amazing tracks, the MC takes the listener on a very interesting journey through his mind where the thoughts and feelings he shares are easily relatable. It is always a pleasure for me to discover a new artist and realise that I can actually “get them”, that I can understand the experiences they recount and be touched by the creative ways they use to express themselves. The Brilliant EP may touch upon dark topics at times, as is the case with Sharon, but there is always a ray of hope and a conviction that things will be alright eventually. The others tracks I mentioned earlier, Fear of Failure and Mocking Bird are probably my favourite, as they allow Breis to bare his soul and share some emotions I know oh too well. While the lyrics are always perfectly written and Breis’ flow is seamless, the music also accompanies the MC in the best possible way, only enhancing the positivity or emotion, depending on the songs (those strings on Mocking Bird!). All in all, and I am sorry if I was not able to resist the temptation, it is indeed a Brilliant EP that Breis offers the listener! From the high energy, bouncing initial tracks to the more delicate and heartfelt final ones, the album evolves in the same way as a day does, with the rising of the sun followed by darkness. The beauty of it is that we know the light will be back. It has to be back. Thank you Mr. Breis, for this beautiful reminder!

P.S. I absolutely love the album cover!

You can listen to and purchase The Brilliant EP on Breis’ Bandcamp page, among others, or simply by clicking on the link below. Enjoy the ride and pass it on!

Find out more about Breis on his website, Facebook & Twitter

Interview: Phraim

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Picture of Phraim

Last time I told you about Phraim, when I introduced you to his amazing album entitled Kasbah Moments, I promised you an interview with the talented Chicago-based producer would be coming soon. Well, it looks like soon was a bit longer than expected, but I am really happy and excited to present this interview now. While listening to a project created by an artist is usually a good way to get familiar with them, I always find it quite interesting to actually meet them or at least communicate with them, to understand their universe better. I was fortunate enough to meet Phraim on my first trip to Chicago, among many other talented artists, and I already told you how much I loved Silver Lined and Kasbah Moments, so it is of course a pleasure for me to finally feature the man himself on this blog. In this very interesting interview, the producer-MC-photographer-writer-etc. tells us more about how he got started with music, what other artistic activities he would like to explore, the creation and concept of Kasbah Moments, and much more. As was the case with my audio interview with Phoenix James, I included several tracks in between questions, so that you can discover what beautiful music Phraim can create. I need to thank him for taking some time to answer my questions and I really hope you will enjoy this interview and the music as much as I do. Without further delay, here is Phraim, in his own words…

Discover the interview after the jump… More

French touch: Le Voyage, Erika Lernot

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Cover artwork for Le Voyage by Erika Lernot

Today being summer solstice and the “longest day” of the year, which means more time for you to listen to and enjoy some beautiful music, I thought it was a good time to update the blog with some goodness. Additionally, today is a special day in France, as well as in several countries around the world, where the “fête de la musique” is celebrated. This celebration, initially launched in France in the 1980s has become a very important event for unscrupulous promoters, bar or restaurant owners music lovers. Even though I am not one to celebrate “commercial” holidays and never need a special day to tell people I love them or enjoy some music, I think it can be a good way to discover new artists and support any type of musical creation. With that said, today is also a way for me to catch up on posts I have meant to feature on the blog in a (very) long time, hence this article about an album that was released in June last year. I already told you about the beautiful and talented Erika Lernot quite a while ago, when I introduced you to her debut EP Le Voyage. After this appetiser, the French singer delighted our ears with the LP of the same name. As full of lovely melodies, enchanting vocals and inspiring lyrics as the EP, Erika Lernot’s debut full-length album is simply perfect. A true “voyage” through music and an invitation to venture in unknown territories, the project is one I have listened to quite regularly since it was released and which never fails to make a smile appear on my face and my body dance to the most lively songs. More

Interview: Phoenix James (audio)

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Picture of Phoenix James

The first time I told you about London-based multi-talented artist Phoenix James was back in September 2011 (wow, time really flies! Catch up with my interview with the then budding actor in case you missed it) and I can say a lot of things have happened in his career since then so it was high time I did another interview. Phoenix, who has worn many hats in the past, including that of a spoken word artist, is now focusing on his acting career and more importantly on his new project as a director. Love Freely but PAY for SEX, which was released last month, is a “mockumentary” based around the idea of a new tax on sex imposed by the UK government. I won’t tell you too much more about it, as this is primarily the aim of the interview, but what I can reveal is that it has triggered a lot of commentary and feedback since it was released. During our conversation, Phoenix James talked about what the film is about, creating a lot of controversy, the creation of the whole project and much more. Without further delay, let me introduce you to Love Freely but PAY for SEX

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Video blog: Episode 6 – NYC, Philly & New beginnings

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The Wonderful World of Carminelitta episode 6

Ladies & gentlemen, I’m back! I know, I know, it’s not the first time you read that and you probably start wondering what on Earth is going on with me. Well, after being in a weird space for quite a long time, I’m very happy to say that my most recent trips and turning 30 had an almost magical effect on my perception, my motivation and my inspiration. This is obviously great news for this blog and my radio show, which have been neglected for way too long. I won’t go in too many details here, first because it is not a personal blog and second because I touch upon my trip more specifically in the video, but I just wanted to thank people who are supporting me and inspiring me, as I would definitely not be where I am now without them. As for what’s to come, stay tuned because there are definitely interviews and features on deck, as well as much more regular radio shows. Check out the links after the jump for more info and, as usual, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me to send (good) music, share comments and suggestions, send love letters, marriage proposals, or just say hi! :)

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Newness for your ears: Kasbah Moments, Phraim

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Cover artwork for Kasbah Moments

I know, I know… I haven’t blogged in forever and many of you probably wonder what’s going on with me. Well, I won’t go into details, as this is not a personal blog, but I apologise to all the artists I should/could have written about in the past months. I may or may not catch up on all the posts I was planning on writing, but tonight something special happened. So special that I feel compelled to write again! It’s as if inspiration was coming from a very distant place and possessed me entirely a few minutes ago. This fire I feel burning inside at the moment makes it impossible for me to do anything but type these words and experience a wonderful moment of pure musical ecstasy. In case you are not familiar with my tendency to get carried away at times, you may think I’m slightly crazy, but if you know me and read most of my previous posts, you already have an idea of how totally subjective and irrational I can be when it comes to music I love. So… after quite a lengthy introduction, it is now time I tell you what mesmerised me tonight, what incredible thing took over me and encouraged me to update the blog again. More

Event review: Lianne La Havas @ Espace Julien, Marseille

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Cover artwork for Is Your Love Big Enough

First of all, a disclaimer and a (kind of) apology: I am not a professional journalist and this quick review is not intended to be the most well-written, perfect analysis of the show I was blessed enough to witness tonight. What it is though, is an extremely biased and emotional reaction to something that touched me, made me feel good, made me want to cry and to laugh, or to put it simply, made me feel alive. After missing Lianne La Havas several times when I was in London, I finally had a chance to see her live in Marseille tonight and I had the most wonderful evening, as I knew I would. To the simple question, Is Your Love Big Enough? both Lianne and the audience replied by a beautiful, joyful and powerful YES! tonight and I need to say I was pleasantly surprised by the energy and atmosphere here in Marseille. I haven’t been to any concert in my hometown in years and I didn’t really know what to expect but my fellow Marseillais blew me away, as they apparently did Lianne. The young singer didn’t disappoint of course, and the incredible quality of her vocals and guitar playing, as well as that of the band, associated with a very receptive and involved audience made for one of the most amazing concerts I have ever attended.

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Newness for your eyes: video updates [4]

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Picture from the Imperial Sugar video

It’s been a while since I last posted one of those video updates and since my eyes were blessed by several wonderful visuals in the past days and weeks, I thought it was high time I shared them with you. If you follow the blog regularly, you probably know that I generally don’t post single videos but sometimes the beauty, originality or inspirational message carried by a handful of them tickles my interest. This time around, I have an incredible selection of four videos from artists coming from the States, the UK, Switzerland and France. Variety is the spice of life! The genres and themes of the song are varied as well, which makes for an interesting melting-pot. Anyway, enough rambling for now, let me tell you about the first one…

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Newness for your ears: Anecdote EP, Rachel Brotman

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Cover artwork for Anecdote EP

I became acquainted with Rachel Brotman and her music through a Bandcamp recommendation by her fellow artist and collaborator Diggs Duke a few months ago. When I listened to her songs for the very first time, I was immediately mesmerised by the magnificence of  the music. I found it very peaceful and soothing yet extremely powerful and emotional, while Rachel’s voice was the icing on the cake and sent my ears on a direct flight to cloud 9.
On Anecdote, the singer wrote most of the music and  lyrics, but she is joined by a group of talented musicians who create an amazing soundtrack for her to delicately deliver her soft vocals. Infused with jazz, the EP is a wonderful collection of lovely tracks that is best appreciated on a quiet, overcast day, when the music is like a smooth balm for your heart and lifts your spirits as Rachel’s voice rises. While it is not necessarily sad or melancholic, the music has this particular quality that fits introspective moments perfectly. There is also an apparent simplicity in this project, some sort of innocence and humility, that is only enhanced by the angelic texture of the singer’s vocals. I don’t know what heaven sounds like if it exists but I have a strong suspicion it wouldn’t be too different from Anecdote More

Newness for your ears: Her Imaginings, ArinMaya x Theimagination

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Cover artwork for Her Imaginings

When I first listened to ArinMaya’s music, I stepped into a whole new universe where everything sounded fresh and innovative. With The Sound of ArinMaya, I got acquainted with the singer and I immediately fell in love with her unique style and voice. While the music was clearly rooted in soul and gospel, there was an electronic edge to it that gave the EP a sound that was unlike anything I had heard before. After that, I discovered the beautiful Let The Love Come, an album of acoustic music she released in association with guitarist Nick Cassarino. It was a way for the singer to showcase different skills and prove how versatile she could be, delving into folk music and giving a new life to a few famous songs.
Now, with Her Imaginings, the brand-new project she just released with frequent collaborator Theimagination, she is once again flipping the script and providing the listeners with a diverse selection of tracks filled with an electronic soulfulness that is deeply satisfying to my ears. Her Imaginings is actually the name of the group they formed and I dare hope for future releases from the duo. If this is the first project they put out as an official group, not all the tracks are recent on Her Imaginings, as is the case with Do You Think, a song that was present on The Sound of ArinMaya and that never failed to move me. More

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