Video: Selan – ‘Don’t Call Me A Musician’ (I Don’t Camouflage Interview)

 

Multitalented artist Selan speaks with I Don’t Camouflage about the limitations of the “musician” label.

Selan, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, musical director and producer who is known for combining electronic, pop, and soul music. He possesses perfect pitch and musical total recall, also known as eidetic memory. He is also known for his collaboration with Adele, CHIC, Nile Rogers, DJ Spinna among many others.

Exclusive Interview: Ester Rada Opens Up Before Her US Debut

 

Next week on March 11, we will be introducing folks in NYC to a major new talent from Israel named Ester Rada. In the meantime, we got some interesting bits on the unique artist in the interview below. Read up!

Giant Step: Your heritage is that of a very unique Ethiopian-Jewish people. How does this background and being raised in an Orthodox tradition affect who you are today?

Ester Rada: I was born in Israel, and my family raised me in a religious house and tradition, as this was what they were used to from Ethiopia. When my parents moved to Israel they were “put” in Kiryat Arba, a very religious city. We moved from there when I was 10 years old, due to the security issues there.

GS: Coming up in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, what it was like growing up?

ER: I was actually growing up near Tel Aviv, in Netanya, and it was a big change for me. Coming from a more religious village, you can call it the country side, to a bigger city, was a big move for me. I also became secular and not as religious as we used to be. But this change was blessing, and I started to know what freedom is like. In the neighborhood I had good friends.

GS: Your sound evokes qualities similar to Erykah, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae. Are these intentional influences? Who would you say are your influences?

ER: I am influenced by a lot of artists. Of course the ones you named, and also religious Jewish music from my early days, as well as Ethiopian and Amharic music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulat Astatke, Muluken Melesse, Israeli music, jazz and soul legends such as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Marlena Shaw, and contemporary music such as Corrine Bailey Rae, Nneka, Keziah Jones, India Arie and more.

Read the rest of the interview & get show details after the jump

New Release: Charlie Winston – ‘Running Still’ + Exclusive Interview

 

If there’s one thing, folks can’t say that British singer Charlie Winston is without personality or spirit. His songs are heartfelt and rooted in a very real place that can be found relatable for many. This week he released his sophomore album, Running Still, and we were lucky enough to catch up with the insightful artist to get a little closer to where he’s coming from.

Folks looking to preview a bit more of the sounds below can find a free stream and download for “Where Can I Buy Happiness?” Also, the full album stream is available for the listening on AOL.

Giant Step: What’s the story behind your first single, “Hello Alone?”

Charlie Winston: This was a song that got started many years ago. The chorus, that is. I wrote it awhile back, inspired by listening to a lot of Tom Waits at the time. So it was written more like old countryman’s blues, but I wanted to give it a little more soul now that I was thinking of it for my record. It talks about the paradoxical feelings behind the ending of a relationship. On one hand, you can feel sad to be alone again, whereas on the other hand, there is something liberating about only having to answer to yourself again. The way I describe it in the song is as if “Alone” is an old friend whom you hoped you’d gotten rid of, but there he is again, on your doorstep… and after a little time, you remember he knows you better than anyone.

Purchase Running Still on iTunes | Amazon

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

New Track: Maya Azucena – “Come With Me” + Exclusive Interview

 

Miss Maya Azucena recently released a fresh new tune called “Come With Me.” While catching up about the song, we also managed to get a handful of other great bits into Maya’s world these days. Check out the exclusive interview.

Giant Step: Can you tell us more about the concept of this song and its inspiration? Any background?

Maya Azucena: I wrote “Come With Me” as a flirtatious challenge to someone I had feelings for. There is this intense chemistry between us, yet a huge amount of hesitance to explore it because of the fear of being hurt. My point was to stay in the moment and enjoy each other. I wanted him to just allow me to make him feel good, and this is a feel-good kinda song.

“Come With Me” is produced by music veterans Loslito (multi-instrumentalist and founder of The Rebirth) and Caleb Speir (bassist and co-writer of “American Boy” by Estelle) under the name of their new production team: TRIGO FARE. Their unique brand of organic soundscaping and deeply infectious beats is evident in this first offering as a team.

GS: We heard you went to Russia recently! What was that all about?

Maya: I was recently invited by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to do a tour of Russia with my band, as Cultural Ambassadors for the U.S.. We did a phenomenal tour of 5 cities in two weeks. Performing about 11 shows in that time, we did two jazz festivals, went to Siberia, sang at a hospital for young people with spinal injuries, walked through Moscow’s Red Square, and received incredible press coverage during our trip

There was a feature on the cover of the World section in The Washington Post and there is this profile piece by MTV Russia, too.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump